Chowdhary School, Lee Chapel North 1980

Class Teachers - Mrs McNeil and Mrs Brown

Do you recognise yourself in the following 1980 photographs and are you willing to add your name and memories of living in the community. If so comment on this page or submit an article. 

Back row from left

5 Garry Ward.678

Middle row

 1 2 3 Simon Carney 4 Spencer Cartwright
 5 Fay ? 6 7 8 Neil Higgins

Front row

 1 Karen Lane 2 3 Sharon ? 4
 5 Michelle Humphrey 6 Mrs Brown 7 8 Tracy Hawksbee

Back Row from left

 1 Richard Adams 2 3 4
 5 Clare Stone. 6 Nicola Grady 7 Michael Fletcher

Third Row

 1 2 3 4
 5 6 Mark Humphrey 7 8

Second Row

 1 Michael ? 2 3 Jason ? 4
 5 6 7 Paul Clarke 8

Front Row

 1 2 Peri Fletcher 3 4 Beverley Hodges
 5 Mrs McNeil 6 7 8 Lorraine Selby


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  • What an interesting read and a trip down memory lane.
    My favourite teacher was Mrs Brown at Chowdary Infant School and I actually bumped into her after having my first baby 39 years ago in Basildon Town Centre in 1983. I love this lady so much, she always made a fuss of me and commented on my long strawberry coloured hair (told me to never let my mother cut it lol). She made me feel really valued throughout my childhood years, a golden teacher and one who clearly loved children. My other favourite teacher that I later appreciated so much was Mr Williams – I can’t thank these individuals enough for their kind natures and professionalism. I loved school because of them both! I was at Chowdary infant school then junior school but for some reason remember a short stint at Janet Juke beforehand (maybe Chowdary Infant school was in the process of being built then?) I transferred over ..
    I lived near Woolmergreen at Thornbush. A lot of children in our square and remember playing out with children I still remember all of their names.
    I remember some of the lovely children in my class at Chowdary Junior-Sonya Hereford and Linda Smith and a sweet natured blonde haired boy Ashley Hawthorn who relentlessly brought in sweeties for the girls, (his dad owned a sweet shop). The things you remember lol – he was the kindest of all the boys, or the smartest 😆 – lovely memories- lovely times.
    I wish I could recall all of the children in that class. 1971-72.
    Jackie Rainbird

    By Jackie Rainbird (25/04/2023)
  • Hello Garry
    My daughter Michelle was also in Mrs Brown’s class and we both remember you and that your name was Garry Ward. Is your friend Daniel Fry also in the photo? Have you tried looking on Facebook for your friend Daniel Fry – he may have a Facebook Page.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (19/07/2019)
  • Hi all
    Does anyone remember my name? I can’t remember what my last name was lol, it was either WARD OR FULKER so it would have been Garry Ward or Garry FULKER. Any help would be great as I’m also trying to find a very old friend of mine Daniel Fry ??? Thank you.

    By Garry Grimsey (13/07/2019)
  • Indent to this school, I am Tracey, 1 of 2 or 3 black pupils in the whole school. Mr Coleman was the head.

    By Tracey (17/06/2018)
  • Hi, I can name all of the children in Mrs McNeil’s class if you’re still interested.

    Editor: Yes please, that would be great.

    By Clare Stone (23/10/2017)
  • That’s my sister Karen Lane in Mrs Brown’s class, front row far left on the end No. 1 on the photo list.

    So cute then, butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, ha ha ??

    By Ricki Lane (23/04/2017)
  • That’s me, the black girl.

    By Tracey Harriott (31/05/2016)
  • Barry. My children went to Chowdhary school until December 1981, when we moved to Langdon Hills. I believe the signatures on your mum’s card are those of the teachers. A Brown is Mrs Brown in the top photo. M. Firman was the Headmistress. She replaced Mrs Ashton, the previous Headmistress. The school secretary was Mrs Fisher. The caretaker was Brian Fowler. Other teachers I remember from that time are, Mrs Bingham, Mrs Mudge, Mrs Lawson, Mrs Boult, Mrs Tompsett, Mrs Petit and Mr Leonard.

    I spent a lot of time at the school, not only taking the children there and back but I went along at break times to help distribute the little bottles of milk and straws to the infants, which we parents had to pay for because Margaret Thatcher had stopped the free milk service.  I also went along to swimming lessons to help dry the children. Mrs Briggs was a brilliant swimming instructor, so kind and patient. She taught many of the infants to swim, including my son. The other swimming instructor was Mrs Taplin who shouted and blew the whistle a lot.  Also Friday football club, I helped in the changing room, turning all the jumpers and socks back to the right side, which saved the teachers time at end of the session.

    I remember approximately 1978, my son Mark went on a trip with the school to Basildon Zoo (remember that?)  On collecting him, I was called to the office as he had been unwell all day. He looked very poorly with swollen face and red eyes. I took him straight to Laindon Health Centre, where Dr Martin diagnosed severe Hay Fever.

    I also remember the very jolly Lollypop Lady who stood outside the school as we all crossed Markhams Chase. I can’t recall her name but I remember her laughing when my 4 year old bounced all the way to the school on her Space Hopper, when we went to collect her brother from school. She told me, “I’ve seen children come to school on tricycles and scooters, but never one of those before”.

    I have a few photos that I took at the school. I also have cine film of their sports days on the field behind the school. I will have to sort them out. I have noticed there are more photos of Chowdhary School on “Friendsreunited” under “Chowdhary”.

    The school closed in 1996 due to falling numbers and later became the victim of fire.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (03/10/2012)
  • Hi Nina. My mum used to be one of the dinner ladies at Chowdhary School. I think she left around 1981,82 I have recently found the card that was given to her when she left. It has the names Colleen Boult, Ann Brown, J. Chapman, M. Firman there are others but I can’t work out how they are spelt, hope these names help.

    By Barry Ellerby (02/10/2012)
  • I went to Chowdhary School from 1979 until 1981. I remember some of my classmates from Mrs Brown’s class (the top photograph). Back row. 5 Gary? Middle row. 3 Simon Carney 4 Spencer Cartwright. 5 Fay ? 8 Neil Higgins. Front row. 3 Sharon ? 5 Michelle Humphrey 6 Mrs Brown 8 Tracy Hawksbee. My brother Mark was in Mrs McNeil’s class (the second photograph). I remember the names of a few of his classmates. Back row. 1 Richard Adams. 5 Clare ? 6 Nicola Grady. 7 Michael Fletcher. Third row. 6 Mark Humphrey.  Second row.  1 Michael?  3 Jason? Front row. 2 Peri Fletcher 4 Beverley Hodges 5 Mrs McNeil 8 Lorraine Selby.

    I was very happy at the school and it had its own swimming pool. I remember there was a picture of Dr Chowdhary in the hall. We lived in Woolmergreen which was just a short walk from the school. It was a safe place to play as there was no traffic in the large square. A Jubilee Street party was held there in 1977. I remember there was a good community spirit in the neighbourhood.

    I joined the Brownies in St Paul’s hall when I was 7 and got several badges including roller skating. We used to go to a playground in a field in Leinster Road. The Round Table bonfire and fireworks used to be held there before they were moved to Gloucester Park. When I was nearly 8 years old, we moved to a bigger house in Langdon Hills I was sad to leave Lee Chapel North, but eventually settled into Lincewood School and then Laindon School. Later I heard that Chowdhary School had closed and then burnt down.

    These days I am lucky enough to live near the lovely woods and nature reserve in Langdon Hills. My two children go to Great Berry School.

    By Michelle Fuller(née Humphrey) (29/09/2012)

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