We have been finding out about people who came to our school in the past. We asked them some questions to discover their memories of the school, and what they are doing now.
Here are some of their responses:
Name: Kevin Barclay
Kevin has also sent us a photo of one of his classes when he was at school here:
|My name is Scott Janaway. I used to be a pupil at The Downs many years ago (1982 - 1988). I haven't moved far as I now own Downs Road Post Office, just down the road from you. I am now 23 years old and getting married to my partner this year. I remember my years very well at your school and most of the teachers. Keep up the good work.|
Name: Stefan Hargrave
Hi, My name is Lara Tanti and I am 12 years old. I started The Downs in 1994 and left in 2000. I remember Mrs. Schulze because every lunch time she used to give up her time and teach me to play songs on different instruments. I also remember getting told off a lot by Mrs. Coffey, in year 1.
The memory that stays in my mind is when I was asked to play the metallophone for when the Queen Mother came to visit. I don't think The Downs has changed that much except everyone has moved up a year and there are new teachers. At the moment I go to Sir Roger Manwoods in Sandwich. I have lots of friends and my favourite subject would have to be.................... P.E.
|Name: Kyle Jamie Fisher |
Dates of attendance: 1994-1997 (Yr 3-Yr 6)
Most remembered staff: The member of staff I remember best is Mr Henderson. I also remember Mrs Giles, Mr Larke, Mrs Stone, Mrs Spence, Mrs Micklefield (reception).
Fondest memory of the school: Being in Mr Henderson's class because he was cool and funny.
Changes in life since leaving the Downs: I am currently in year 10 at Castle Community School and I work at the local shop (Downs Road Post Office).
|I used to be Lara Marsh and went to The Downs when Mrs Pilgrim was the headteacher. I also remember Mr Skelton, Mrs Wells, Mr Pilgrim............. |
I am now 28 but went to the Downs before going to Manwood's. I then went to Kent University. I now work for East Kent Health Authority.
The Downs was a good school and I still see some people that I went to School with!
Rather belatedly I own up to being a past pupil having regularly checked the website for some years. I'm also a past staff member having been for 8 years the caretaker before Mr Ford joined the school.
In my days as a pupil - just after the school opened - we had three individual mobile classrooms to accomodate the extra children the school had. It wasn't built big enough from the start, even though there is plenty of land. We also had infants at 'The Annexe' - the old Upper Walmer Infant School on the junction of Dover Road and Church Street. This was very useful to break the journey to St Mary's with its toilets and the promise of 'warm' milk which pupils got in those days.
I have fond memories of my return to The Downs after the great storm of 1987 and working alongside staff and pupils for several years. The whole school photo which hangs in my home, taken in the mid 1990's, is a daily source of memory testing as I try to recall the names of 400+ pupils and staff.
Returning now to Walmer as Pastor of the Baptist Church I hope to renew past friendships and offer such support to the school as it might need.
Pastor Seyan Tills, Walmer Baptist Church
Name: Harry Oatridge
Teachers: For year R - I had Mrs Horne, Year 1 - Mrs Andrews, Year 2 - Mrs Peerman and again later in year 4, In year 3 - Mrs Giles, Year 5 - Mrs Harrington and year 6 - Mr Warner.
Fondest Memory of the School: Helping to set up the Downs FM in 2004. It was new for a primary school and nobody knew whether it would be any good, but it proved to be very popular. We were featured on BBC radio Kent, the Apple website and even performed live at a conference in Maidstone. I also enjoyed being part of the school council - deciding how to improve the school and arranging the talent show. It is a skill that I have carried on at Dover Grammar School for Boys, now leading the Fairtrade groups and working alongside the council, as well as numerous other groups with lots of different tasks.
Changes in life since leaving the Downs: I have become busier and busier since leaving in 2005. I am working on GCSEs and hope to become an Air Traffic controller. I have been getting involved in lots of different events, so I might see you one day at one if them- so don't forget to say hi! Of course I finally got a MacBook Pro as I said I would in year 6!! Plus I have taken a serious interest in travelling and am hoping to get around the world by the time I'm 25.
Colin Skinner (at The Downs from 1974 to 1978
Teachers: year 3 Mrs Ostle, year 4 Mr Ablett, year 5 Mr Harveson/ Mr Rudd, year 6 Mrs Wakefield
Fondest Memory of the School: Mrs Wakefield used to read us excerpts from 'The Hobbit' on Friday afternoons, before we had 'Country Dancing'. We always used to ask her to read more of 'The Hobbit', so we could have less time doing Country Dancing! Mrs Wells also used to take us for poetry...I loved the Edward Lear poems.
Changes in life since leaving The Downs: I've now walked about 12,000 miles around the world to help various causes. In 2006 I wrote a book about my walk across Britain and America. This book, 'Beyond the Setting Sun', had an introduction written by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the renowned Polar explorer. In 2010 I wrote a book about a 1500 mile walk across New Zealand ('New Zealand - 1500 miles on foot through- The Land Of The Long White Cloud'). More information can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Skinner.
Name: Deborah Senior (now Brooks)
I attended The Downs from around 1974 to around 1979.
I live in Somerset now but my mother still lives in Deal and when we visit I love to do a 'reccy' around Salisbury Road to see the entrance to what used to feel like a never-ending pathway that cut through the fields and past 'Walmer Secondary' down and down until eventually you reached a gate that led into The Downs. Each side of the path was enclosed with a high wire fence which felt a little like a prison!
We lived far down St Richards Road and the walk to and from school in all weathers was awful! I remember being really envious of my little sister because she got to sit on my mum's bike seat whilst I dragged behind....
My fondest memories though are of 'THE ANNEXE' which I never really understood, It was just this little tiny school further down the road into Walmer, on the school walk-way to St Mary's Church. A few years ago my Mother sent me a clipping from the Mercury showing that THE ANNEXE had been converted into two homes, Wow, I would love to own one of them :)
I recall going there for two years. Everything about it was so, so small and my Grandad would walk down from his house in Telegraph Road and talk to me through the wire of the playground as it edged straight onto the pavement - something that would not happen now! He used to pass me toffees through the wire too that would take ages to chew!!
Mr Fergason was our Headmaster and was a very scary person, he used to ride to school on a motorbike!
I loved the school dinners so much, Gypsy Tart was so delicious for pudding, no one from Somerset has heard of it!!
I hated having to be on 'scraping duty' though, those big bins fill of mixed up food, yech - hopefully that has now stopped!
In Year 6 I had Mr Rudd, he was young and quite radical!
If you know anyone who came to The Downs, please get in touch!