Bowthorpe School


Comprehensive secondary

When my family left Tunbridge Wells, I left Skinners' school, and I attended Bowthorpe School sixth form, between 1978 and 1980.
But the building has now been pulled down:

you can still see the shell of the sixth-form room (upstairs).
I have a couple of aerial photos from 1988 and 2009 which I attempted to merge together, I think it helps to show where the school was. Sort of!

I did various A-levels, but remember lounging around the sixth form room for long periods of time, playing my guitar and listening great music.
I particularly remember playing "Stairway to Heaven", but getting Anna Bentley to do the flute part as I did the guitar part. It sounded great - but I was biased. She was (hopefully still is) a great flautist.

Other activities I did was to be in a few plays, and almost be head boy. But the headmaster decided as I'd only been there about a year, the position should go to someone who'd been there longer. They chose someone who did not have the commitment to do the head boy tasks, so I still got to do all those things anyway, just not have the title.

Here is a photo of a school trip to France by my school girlfriend, a few years before I'd even heard of the school:
trip to france
Brigette Butler, Maxine Butler, Robert Child, Helen Clark, Deborah Gidney, Katrina Gook, Tracy Hill, Richard Hudson, Ruth Moreton, Julie Muckleston, Kevin Pizey, Cary Rue, David Simmonds, Ian Spurgeon, and Mr Fuller & Mrs Thompson.
If you know more, please email me.

Here is a photo of the school doing extremely well on a childrens quiz TV show "Chatterbox" in 1977/78:

The students were:
Julie Muckleston, Peter Gallagher, and Anna Bentley.
The hosts were:
Chris Kelly, Gyles Brandreth, Betty Mulcahy, and Ed Stuart.
Another photo from this show was in the 1979 school magazine.
I have the magazines from 1979 → 1983 (scanned in - as PDF files).

Here is a picture from the newspaper of sponsored three legged fancy dress walk we did to raise money for some sixth form equipment:
sponsored walk
I dressed as a scottish guy, wearing a kilt (ok, my girlfriends skirt).
I recognise a few people there:
Deborah Carmen, Deborah Gidney, Bryan Adamson, Kevin Rose, Anna Bentley (first of arab women), Bryan Dongray, Neil Hardiman, Peter Large, Julie Muckleston (kneeling), Robert Child (kneeling), Victor Muckleston (kneeling), Elaine Candler (chicago gangster), Ann Roberts (school boy), and David Simmonds (cuban druglord).
It's embarrassing to recognise the faces, but not to be able to put names to them. If you know more, please email me.

This is what the newspaper wrote about the walk:
Eastern Evening News: 18-Sep-1980
How can we raise some money to boost the sixth form funds, asked youngsters at Bowthorpe School? The answer the sixth form committee came up with was a sponsored walk. But they wanted to make it a sponsored walk with a difference. Fancy dress was the idea they hit on. So last week 60 members of the sixth form dressed in some rather weird and wonderful costumes and joined together for their walk in the grounds of the University of East Anglia. Joined together being the operative phrase, for it was also a three-legged, fancy dress sponsored walk. The even had an almost 100 per cent turnout. The sixth form is particularly large at the moment as they have been joined by pupils from Costessey Secondary School. Head boy at Bowthorpe, Neil Hardiman, believes the proceeds from the walk reached the target of #150. One of the ways the money will be used is to buy a coffee machines.

I left Bowthorpe and went to the University of Kent, at Canterbury, although as university terms are far shorter than school terms, I found myself hanging around the sixth form for a couple of years more, when I could. I guess I had an incentive, my girlfriend (who became my wife) was still at school there.


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