William Read

Netball Team

This game must have been quite a battle...Circa 1967, from left: Diana Jones, Carole Wall, Heather Letchford, Folake Okulaja, Elizabeth Page, Annette Hudson, Lucy Fairman, Jane Coleman, Gina Wright. Mrs Dingle was our netball teacher and imbued me with a love of netball that lasted for 47 years.
Annette Hudson

I have fond memories of the old school and its teachers; Mr Treasure, Mr Pettifer, Mr Bowers, Mrs Cole, Mr Penney, Miss Southgate, Mrs Bone, Mr Long, Mrs Jefferson (she was Dutch and taught me the recorder) Mr Fugl(?) and headmaster Mr Clark.

I remember the pond in the quadrangle with the goldfish and looking after the hamsters, growing pitifully scrawny vegetables in the greenhouse and trying to sell them to the teachers, ‘music with movement’ in the canteen, testing the swimming pool for chlorine and having to change in those wooden hut things, the country dancing festival, being herded down to Thorney Bay to watch Sir Francis Chichester sail down the Thames in Gypsy Moth after circumnavigating the world.

The trips to the Cutty Sark and the Tower of London – the highlight of which was flicking cream crackers into people’s hair from the coach – songs on the coach, Coco the clown landing on the playing field in a helicopter, the ‘little green men’ rumour which frightened the life out of me.

Jones Stores, performing little musical shows by the brick outhouses on the playing field, sports days, warm bottles of school milk, and the legendary trips to Snowdonia – seems like a lifetime away now….

Comments about this page

  • Couldn’t believe I found this photo by chance. So great to see it and all the faces I remember so well. I always wondered what happened to you Annette so great to see you are still around these shores!

    By Liz Paddison (page) (11/07/2013)
  • Hello Lizzie! How lovely to hear from you! Are you still on Canvey? I have been living in Norfolk for the last 24 years, but like to see how things are on Canvey through the website. Do you remember this picture being taken? What a shambles we look, but we were a good team! You were our shooter weren’t you? I can’t believe my legs were ever that thin! I only gave up playing netball about two years ago. I wonder where all thos girls are now…

    By Annette Hudson (24/08/2013)
  • Hi Annette- chanced upon this photo & was delighted to see you. Although I didn’t know you then- memories of matches in wet weather for Canvey team came flooding back. Impressed you were still playing until recently- afraid its been about 10 years since I last played!

    By Karen Moore ( Nee Hadrys) (05/09/2013)
  • Hi Karen! How are you? Still,in Benfleet? I’ve uploaded a picture of us in Canvey Netball Team in 1973…Look out for it on this website. Yes, wet weather was a feature of our netball games. Probably explains a lot of the muscle aches I get now!

    By Annette Hudson (07/09/2013)
  • Hi Annette- very well thank you. Am now living in Latchingdon. I think you are in Norfolk- I know it well- my daughter went to uni there.

    By Karen Moore ( Hadrys) (13/09/2013)
  • Hi Girls, Just wilfing and came across the old Canvey site .I don’t suppose you remember me but I was the London boy who spent much of a year at that school and remember Gina Wright very well , along with Gina Whenman, Carol Gunner ( Banger the Clanger !- sorry Carol ) and a number of others in Mr Pettifers class . I enjoyed my time there very much thanks to all those who knew me and best wishes. Malcolm

    By Malcolm Roberts (25/10/2013)
  • Hello Malcolm, yes, I do remember you coming to William Read mainly because you had the same name as a popular singer at that time! Also remember both Ginas and Carol Gunner. Hope you are well!

    By Annette Hudson (25/01/2014)
  • hi’ Annette, don’t know if you remember me but was in same class as you at William read,always remember being partnered with you for my very first country dancing class. I don’t know who looked more scared me or you…. hope your well. Darryl hoad

    By Darryl Hoad (05/06/2014)
  • Hello Darryl, yes I remember you and the country dancing classes – I don’t think I was any good at dancing though! I remember being very nervous when we had to do some sort of demonstration of it on the field…! I recently went to a Ceilidh at a wedding and messed up the dancing completely, so no change there! (My other half was even worse than me though)…

    By Annette Hudson (28/09/2015)
  • this was the girl half of my class, round about 1968/9. i can remember most names on this page, and those of the boys. my teachers were mr Treasure, miss Southgate, mr Petifer, and mr Bowers

    By Gary Casson (18/02/2018)
  • Hi Annette, I have only just seen this pic on the internet!  What fond memories, and yes, we were a great team – probably the best!  I moved from Canvey at the age of 20 and have been living in Kent since (near Tunbridge Wells) but have fond memories of the trip to the Cutty Sark and the coach trip!  Buying Oxo crisps at the tuck shop for after netball practise and of course the swimming pool – yes, I remember being sent to Mr. Clarke as I had the small brown transistor radio and we were all listening to the pop charts in the changing rooms!  Fun days.  I now own my own Estate Agency in Kent – life is good two daughters and three grandchildren keeping me busy!  

    By Carol Prier (Wall) (24/03/2018)
  • Hello Carol, Nice to hear from you! As far as I remember, you lived up the village end of Canvey didn’t you? I think I went to your house once. That picture was taken 50 years ago. Where does the time go?!

    By Annette Hudson (29/03/2018)
  • Hi Annette, yes I did, you have a good memory, I lived opposite the Dutch Cottage – my parents had a shop in Dyke Crescent. Do you remember how we used to have netball practise every lunch time!  Mrs Dingle wouldn’t let us miss a day.  I also remember how Elizabeth cried at the end of our year in Mr. Pettifore’s class when you were both split up and you were in Mr. Bower’s class with me.  We met a couple of times in our teens on the bus when you were coming home from school and I had been to the stables in Hadleigh – hope life has treated you well and I am so pleased you put this pic up. Carol x

    By carol Prier (Wall) (04/04/2018)
  • We look so young in this photo! Where on earth has the time gone!

    By Heather Meggison (Letchford) (27/07/2018)
  • Hi Annette ,

    Just taking a quick peek to see how everyone is doing . After reading some of the posts it all comes flooding back . Of course I remember you and Carol too. I think I had a bit of crush on you . There used to be a corner in the playing field that sloped away to the stream where the boys and girls met up during break . Because of the slope we couldn’t be seen from the rear classrooms ! Quick change of subject . Does anyone remember the school trip to London Zoo ?

    I was only there from about half way through spring term to about October after the floods at the end of August . I did get to school for the start in September but had to wade through the water to the High Street in shorts . I was a mate of Geoff Kings and his dad used to drop us off at school in his Rolls until he left WR and went to Leigh Beck . Coming from a humble background I thought it a bit embarrassing . I’m pleased he left to be honest ! The bus back to Newlands was great fun and I was able to make more new friends as well as Geoff.

    The Milne twins , Keith Fugl , Steven Oliver and the girls too . There was a kid from Australia called Ray Brewster in the class . He thought he was a really good swimmer . The school had a small pool on the site made of butyl rubber about 4m square and I beat him every time . I used to swim galas everyweek on Newlands and pick up medals for swimming and diving every week . I also played football for Kings for a number of years . Travelling from London most weekends . If I’d known you were a bad dancer I would have taught you !I used to have soft drinks bought me by the holidaymakers for me to dance with their daughters and sung most Sunday afternoons on stage at Kings ( Yes Malcolm Roberts on stage live every Sunday for 6 weeks !) . Beatles , Smokey Robinson , Stones and the Kinks and a few cheeky songs taught me by my older brothers friends . No such thing as Karaoke back then !

    I was given lots of little presents when I left WR ( probably pleased to see the back of me !) which was very touching as that had never happened to me before or since . So it makes the short time there very very special .

    It’s always troubled me knowing lots of people there but not living there and being from a hard part of London was always being offered out to fight other kids . There was a kid called Kenny Blom , that lived on Canvey , that kept bugging me for a fight but never showed up .  I got a little peaved with all this nonsense and stopped going to Canvey for long periods when I was about 14 and old enough to stay at home and look after myself . I was playing Rugby for my school and had a part time job. I went there for the occasional break as we had 3 letting caravans by that time ,and they had to be redecorated and painted during and after the season . I saw Dr Feelgood lots in the Jelly and the Oyster as a kid as I always looked older than my age and could get into the pubs . I was working  as a bar/cellarman as a young teen in a club back home , so I told the bar staff off if the beer was bad !

    Did good at school became a Quantity Surveyor then Site Manager after further study . Worked hard , played hard won lost , won again, travelled all over , lived all over ,. Burnt the candle at both ends until I decided to leave the UK in the 90s , met a girl fell in love , I now have a 19 year old son who is too much like me for my liking ! He’s an engineer coach builder that builds specialised vehicles for Ferrari , Ducati and companies all over the world . 

    My oldest brother Graham sold his house in Rainham and moved to Canvey around 1978 . He had bought an nice place called Valhuska in Laburnum Ave near the Canute and found myself driving backward and forward to Canvey again as we were close . We were into building boats and waterskiing , so it was a few minutes to get the boat in the water . We used to venture out into Essex to the jazz and blues pubs and sing . My niece Jaquie was married in the Church on Long Road to a squaddie in 81 and left Canvey . In ’82 my Brother sold up and bought a bar in Spain . By that stage I got to know most of the dodgy guys in the boat business on the island ! Including a chap that owned the Dauntless yard for a while . 

    Geoff was busy with Gary Masters getting speeding tickets around the Island in his Porsche . Gary had a Jensen Interceptor like mine .Did this pair ever grow up I wonder ? By this time I had split away completely apart from a short period of time when I was in a relationship with a divorcee with a young girl who parents would have a caravan on Kings of all places !

    After all this I still live in the County I was born , Essex . I retired early and live in a little seaside town about 1/2 hour by boat to…… Canvey ! I am trying to put another band together after the last one split . In the meanwhile I do the sound engineering at local gigs and festivals for free . I would send you a You Tube link but perhaps another time .

    Wishing You and all those that remember me a Great Christmas !


    By Malcolm Roberts (07/12/2018)

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