Ottershaw School Old Boys’ Society
Ottershaw School Old Boys’ Society

The Staff

On the old web I tried to create a thread which contained details of all the staff which I could remember. I am attempting to do this again so please add (or correct) any that I have failed to recall or remembered wrongly. My years at the school were 1963 to 1967 and my memories are as follows: -

Mr Foot - Headmaster -

Mr Dodds - Headmaster -

Mr Johnson - Dept Headmaster - Physics -

Mr Oettinger - North Housemaster - Metalwork and Tech Drawing - made the high round iron table used for presentations - also built the most dangerous "car" I have ever seen which was tested by Mrs Dodds and John Lawry. -

Mr Wigram - My Tutor - Music - used to clip his nails during the Sunday services. -

Mr Hodge - Maths -

Mr Goff - Chemistry - lived in flat over the workshops -

Mr Roberts - maths and CCF -

Mr Tom Weston - Latin - used to walk around the class with a big stick and always mentioned "999 Bogstick". -

Mr Burrow - Housemaster West - Art. -

Mr Goldsmith - History. -

Mr Veal - CCF - Physics. -

Mr Reynolds - "Body" - PE and Geography. -

Mr Hall - "Little Ug" - Geography - Housemaster East. -

Mr White - Housemaster Tulk - French. -

Mr Mencher - English. -

Mr Monell - English and Music. -

Mr Stowell - "liberal studies" comes to mind but not sure what he really did. Also RAF part of CCF. -

Mrs Stowell - nee Bach - Biology. - Mr Oeken - CCF - Geography . -

Mr Thomas - metalwork - famed for his height, his go-kart and his Mini. -

Mr Furlonger - former old boy - English. -

Mr Judd?? - loud singer - involved in school plays. -

Mr Parry - red hair - not sure of his subjects though. -

Bert Butler - not strictly staff but an institution in his own right - his immaculate motorcycle combination - Mr Foot took more notice of him than of many staff! -

The Bursar - sailing - burzarum -

Miss Twineham - Oversaw catering in the mansion. Was she the grey lady? -

Ellen - one of the mansion cooks who lived in Petersfield when not at the school and on who I had a huge crush - cost me a fortune in after-eights! I even made her an oak tub for her garden! Oh where is she now???? -

Rose - the other cook in the mansion - at the same time - I seem to remember quite a few people fancied her. -

The sister at the sick bay - drove a Triumph Herald Never knew her real name - Please add to or correct as you feel fit.


RE: The Staff

Bob Crook, also did music, and smoked like a chimney. Tony Parry did maths and chemistry, which reminds me, at some point a chap called Stapleton did maths too. Famous catch line "the pwobabiwity", in modern maths. Not that I seek to diss him.

Posted by Admin on 12/07/2006 12:15

Peter Cunningham

An affectionate salute to Mr. Cunningham One panted into his classroom after PE & frantic changing. He had a reputation of being hard on latecomers to his RE lesson, that was unfortunately for us just after PE, shower,changing. Also of course taught history to those doing A Level - probably very good at it. Nice man,but you didn't muck him about

Posted by Admin on 08/09/2006 22:14

RE: The Staff

Just a few more to add:- Jonathan Hughes taught English and started about 1965. Mr Robson who was PE and Geography. Mr Curtis, aka Keyhole Curtis for catching smokers via keyholes, he was Biology and supervised the farm. Mr Brian Stubbs, Chemistry and CCF. Miss Garlic was the cooks daughter and was becoming attached to Mr Thomas of metalwork fame. And of couse the 'Botley Boys' and the washing up, dribble in the porridge and all sorts of other tales!

Posted by Admin on 15/11/2006 19:24

RE: The Staff

Angus Palmer OT 330 at the school from 1953 to 1958 I can add Handel Goddard Maths teacher in my time and a very nice man Mr Christopher - Chemistry quite bizarre Miss Biggs tried for two years to teach me the piano, without any success whatever

Posted by Admin on 24/11/2006 21:43

RE: The Staff

The school sister was actually called Sister Thompson, she smoked more in a day than all the boys put together could afford in a week. There was a second Mr. White who taught Biology, is the listed Mr.Oakham actually Mr Oecken who whilst running the CCF also was the school German specialist (no luck with me though) as well as teaching RE. There was also a truly inspirational History teacher called Green (no relation) who left in 1960 and Tony Stowell also taught History when he wasn't standing as a Liberal for Parliament. He also drove the biggest car in the school (a 4.zillion litre Jag) and had to wash his gown frequently because our lot regularly emptied half a gallon of Quink down his back from our fountain pens as he strolled around his classroom beneath the Assembly hall.

Posted by Admin on 08/01/2007 10:21

RE: The Staff

T.C.Green who joined Sept.55 & left Dec.59 was an inspirational history teacher. He also of course was mainly P.E.,but also taught geography alongside Mr. Hall. I had him for maths in first year Form T, before going to Harry Burrow who was very good at maths teaching. But Green's history was memorable.

Posted by Admin on 01/02/2007 20:13

RE: The Staff

I think this is Tony Stowell: Speaking of Mr. Curtis, did anyone remember the gales of laughter when, during the course of a film, one of the actors peeks through a hole in some rifle butts, and jumps down with fear when some weapons open up, saying "that's the last time I ever look through key holes". The audience erupted into that kind of braying laughter with which we had all become so familiar. He tried so hard once to convince me that he knew I had been smoking, and said that I reeked of it; I wouldn't give in and said he was mistaken. In face of such insistent denial he had to give up. In my later training the concepts of proof and beyond reasonable doubt figured prominently. Does anyone remember Mlle Pierre de Savinette (sp?), who taught French for a while, presumably as part of some degree?

Posted by Admin on 03/03/2007 17:48

RE: The Staff

I am desperately trying to locate Janet Brader who married Mr. Reynolds a teacher at Ottershaw in the 1960s. They had their wedding reception at the school. I am doing this for ex colleague of Janet's before she moved to Surrey. This person is terminally ill and would like to make contact with her if possible. I would be grateful for any information. Thank you My email address is

Posted by Admin on 27/04/2007 15:30

RE: The Staff

My memory is obvously failing - the Mr Judd I listed in the opening to this thread I think was in fact Mr Stubbs - was he not a bit proud of his voice? or was that someone else? There was also a teacher who lived in the house opposite the workshop who had a rather good looking girlfirend who visited him often - we tried to monitor their activities from the radio club window but their net curtains always defeated us. He later went to teach at Rugby school but I cannot recall his name.

Posted by Admin on 22/09/2007 18:22

RE: The Staff

Yes, I think it was Mr Stubbs, who also sang in the school production of the Mikado. Pretty fine voice I believe. Sometime before I left his wife and he finally conceived, and everyone celebrated this at the end of an assembly, clapping and calling. ISTR he taught chemistry. A very kindly man.

Posted by Admin on 23/09/2007 10:45

RE: The Staff

Does anyone remember Verner Volkner the German maintanence man who lived in a cottage down the road beyond west house with his wife and young family in the 1960s?

Posted by Admin on 03/09/2008 20:40

RE: The Staff

Why yes - but until you mentioned him I had completely forgotton. He used to wear a blue boiler suit most of the time I think. Are there any more forgotton staff?

Posted by Admin on 05/09/2008 09:17

RE: The Staff

There were several "behind the scenes" staff whose names are long forgotten, the sewing room ladies who saw to all the laundry and patched up well worn uniforms, the two groundmen who apart from tending all the sports pitches and equipment also took charge when we had to do Estate Work and lastly the two barbers we dreaded seeing every other week in the Mansion who gave us those terrible haircuts an inch above the ear.

Posted by Admin on 10/09/2008 20:50

RE: The Staff

As I read the contibutions I get a few flickers of memory - Mr Hartley? lived in the white house on the right mid way between the mansion and tulk - not staff but played the serpent amongst other things at several concerts.

Posted by Admin on 28/10/2008 13:02

RE: The Staff

Also another german student - red hair and flaming temper to match - once in the library she slapped young Beresford (East) very hard across the face for cheek - left quite a red mark I recall!

Posted by Admin on 28/10/2008 13:04

Kenneth John Cable

Any information on John Cable would be appreciated. He is an old school chum who was last heard of teaching at Ottershaw in the early 60s.

Posted by Anonymous on 27/08/2010 22:04

The Staff

1965/66, Miss Barke aka "Bella", used to teach biology and was the first female teacher I believe. She ended up marrying Anthony Stowell, there was another guy who taught English, quite amusing, and always came to the classroom smoking, played rugby. "Daddy" Oet. used to smoke in Tech Dwg class!

Posted by bogawski793 on 23/09/2010 09:37

Mr. Stubbs

I remember being at lunch in the North House dining room. Each table would have a member of staff at one end and a prefect at the other. No-one wanted to sit next to the member of staff so the two positions nearest were usually allotted to a first or second year. I was in the middle of the table when one of those sat next to our guest teacher, Mr. Stubbs, asked him what his favourite things in life were. Mr. Stubbs, (loudly); "A cup of tea, an apple pie and good shag". That moment alone was worth the fees.

Posted by penfold91 on 07/02/2011 00:23

Mr. Burrows' nickname was

Mr. Burrows' nickname was "Josh" and he used to deliver the most deadly of "Josh knocks" to your head when you were not looking. Would be arrested today.

Posted by Anonymous on 09/02/2011 22:48

The Staff

I can't see Harry Sharp on the list. He joined the staff in January 1951, as the first specialist PE teacher, at the same time as the large intake of pupils prior to the completion of new West House. He lived with his family in the first floor flat on the back stairs of the main building, which was transferred to the cooking staff after he had left. As a RAF Pilot reservist, he was largely instrumental in the establishment of the school ATC, initially as a wing of the 11F Squadron at Brooklands and invited some of the cadets to fly with him in Tiger Moths and Chipmunks. No takeoffs or landing, but we did learn how to keep the aircraft level, gain height and make turns, at the same time as getting a bird's eye view of the school . Harry was also very involved with the formation and success of the school swimming and athletics teams (with Ralph White) in the early 50s, whilst introducing many of the new intake to rugby and PE displays.

Posted by roberts189 on 11/02/2011 20:20

Maths teachers

Mr Parry was a maths teacher I think. Mr Hodges was my Maths teacher

Posted by vincent875 on 13/02/2011 05:41

I remember a cook or kitchen

I remember a cook or kitchen helper Named MIMI she was lovely.. she said that she would have Fiels's "Guts for garters" if he yelled at me again at the sunday morning reprimand session, in Oet's small office. I seem to remember that Harrison_Ball had a thing going with her!! And also he was demoted from Prefect to Sub Prefect, was that because of his association with her? How terrible it all was because the remaining Prefects were very nasty to him after he was demoted, maybe they were jealous. Does anyone have any recollection of this??

Posted by vincent875 on 13/02/2011 05:47

The Staff

I`m surprised nobody has mentioned Arthur `Jake` Buttery, deputy Headmaster and Master of West House. He was one of those truly unforgettable characters who gave many boys their love of Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton. He was not everyone`s idea of a schoolmaster - a very regular customer at The Otter and a rather scruffy appearance belied a character which no doubt stood him in good stead while he was waiting to be evacuated from the beach at Dunkirk. (Info from Tank Commander Reg White - French teacher) Another name I don`t see is Roby Johnson - Physics. We used to think it was funny to see him standing at the blackboard blinking heavily all the time. Someone mentioned this in a French class and again Reg White told us that Johnson suffered from snow blindness during a failed attempt to climb Everest in 1938.

Posted by estorffe393 on 05/03/2011 21:56

Harry Sharp

In one PT class Harry Sharp decided to ask one of us (I cant remember who) to take the class. Whoever it was made such a hash of it that I started laughing and couldnt stop. We were all lying on our backs on the floor at the time. Mr Sharp came and trod (hard) on my chest. That shut me up

Posted by palmer330 on 09/03/2011 18:01

Accuracy please!

In the interest of accuracy, the French teacher was RALPH White and the other master was ROBEY Johnson.

Posted by Anonymous on 28/03/2011 16:22

My dates/subject

I mainly taught HISTORY (with subsidiary English) from 1967 to 1977.

Posted by Anonymous on 28/03/2011 16:24

John Cable

I think he runs a B&B on Mull.............

Posted by Anonymous on 28/03/2011 16:30

Many thanks for those

Many thanks for those corrections Jonathan

Posted by Admin on 28/03/2011 18:34


1. Mrs Stowell, was not formerly Miss Bach. She was the sister of Chris Barke, OT 479. He was my Guardian when I arrived in Autumn '59 2. NICKNAMES. I do remember that Mr.Burrow was called Josh, but much more amusingly, he was called "Weally", because that was how he said "Really". 3. Yes John Cable runs a B & B on Mull, as I popped in far a cup of tea with him when I was on holiday there. 4. Yes I remember the excellent Verner Volkner. He once invited two or three of us to tea and biscuits with him and his wife in the little cottage. I well remember that he taught me how to "Bull" my boots for ATC. 5. I am asking for info' Was it Mr. Hodge who also taught Physics, in the accasional absence of Mr. Johnson ? He lived in a flat in West House.

Posted by mcdougall581 on 04/04/2011 13:00

MR Hartley

Mr Hartley lived in a cottage on the Estate called 'Woodwind.' He was a professional musician and his main instrument was the bassoon. Each Autumn term in the late 1950s he would gather together some of his musical friends to form a wind ensemble and they would give a concert in the Mansion for the benefit of staff and boys. He was not a member of school staff and as far as I recall was simply a private citizen who happened to live in Ottershaw Park. MG

Posted by gosling304 on 13/04/2011 10:32

Catering Staff 1960ish

Anyone recall Joy Lovell? I met her while she was working as "head cook" in the early 60's

Posted by Anonymous on 14/04/2011 07:09

Staff from 76-79

I remember many names from above, and some that spring to mind from my time are: Mr Burleigh ( English Lang & Lit ) he had the small classroom behind the stage of the main hall. Mr Ford (Maths) my tutor. Mr Marjoribanks (East Housemaster) a lovely man , always smiling, reminds me of a smaller Brian Blessed. Mr Hughes (PT) a Welshman who introduced me to my love of Basketball and Athletics.

Posted by skinner612 on 06/05/2011 12:29

I think Burrows had the knick

I think Burrows had the knick name Flatty, as we all thought he had a flat lung?

Posted by kirk368 on 14/08/2011 20:16

Staff in the latter days

I can see that a lot of the staff mentioned here were from the 1960s. I was there from '74 to '79. I wonder how many I can remember: If I can't remember the first name I just call them

Mr...... Harry Burrows - art and maths - The original West House housemaster

Arthur Oetinger - TD, Workshop and I think in the early days P.E. (that might be a mistake)

Roy Oetinger - son or Arthur, came back as a master teaching TD and Workshop and Design Engineering

Paul Pfferti - (pronounced ferty) - Music and French also my housemaster.

Norman Keith Douglas (he went by Keith) - Chemistry

mr Hardy - English

Mr Yates - P.E. and Geography - he beat me over the head so hard once, I nearly passed out.... whats the statute of limitations on doing him for assult!

Ralph White - French and German

Mr Oeken - German and French

Mr. Stapleton - Maths

Ian Ford - Physics and Maths

Mr Weston - latin - I only lasted one year as I was truly rubbish, but I owe most of what I know about grammer to Mr. Weston

Mr Curtis - Biology

Mr. Hall - Geography

Jonathan Hughes - History - he was a memorable 'Modern Major General' in the Pirates of Penzance.

Mr Dodds - the head of course - also German and R.E.

Mr. Thomas-Davies - English

Mr. Burley - (miss spelt elswhere I think as Burleigh) - English I think thats all I can remember

Posted by harpley457 on 27/08/2011 17:52

Jonathan Hughes

Jonathan Hughes taught me History in one year, I think it was the 2nd year where one of the main topics was the French Revolution. I note this as my warmest memory was when he shows a film about the revolution and it got to a bit of guillotining, he stopped the projector, reversed the film over so we could keep watching the blood letting. I have another memory of J.H. which was that he was in charge of arranging the films we watched on a Saturday evening... some of them were really interesting and unusual films such as the european rather trippy animation 'The Fantastic Planet' - I told him I had seen it and it was brilliant... I was nearly lynched by almost everyone who thought it way too weird. Many thanks Jonathan - you were a tremendous influence!

Posted by harpley457 on 14/09/2011 21:40

The Staff

The above comments trigger off other recollections: Sid Ayling was the school maintenance man. I have this feeling that he may have electrocuted himself. I hope not. Miss Thompson the chain-smoking nurse and friend to Dennis Hall. Did she not say, 'if you don't make your bed properly you and I are going to fall out'? I hope so. Robey Johnson, and this I did hear him say, 'There's no such thing as suction in science'.

Posted by whitehead323 on 26/11/2011 07:42

'Boggy' Johnson

My abiding memory of Mr Johnson, who inspired a solid appreciation of Physics which was to become useful in later years, was him leaving his podium mid lesson and peering over the bench, where (I think) Paul Hards (East) had been rocking back and forth on his stool until gravity had overtaken him whereupon Hards had landed heavily on his back. In Johnson’s best Yorkshire (?) brogue: “Aw Hard’s, are you hurt lad ?” “No Sir” “Pity”

Posted by tyrrell287 on 20/12/2011 18:06

Contact info

Merry Christmas! Tried to call you but can't find phone #, please send with email address. Thx for the card, yours is enroute. Note "new" name, now 5 yrs. Hope you are well. We are 1/2 HR. From Detroit airport, come visit sometime; we will do same if/when we get to England. Look for letter w/updates, traveling US first. Take care, Jonathan. Carolynt

Posted by Anonymous on 23/12/2011 22:15


I remember her, tightly tied back blond hair, very refreshing!

Posted by alison742 on 05/01/2012 17:44


He lost part of his lung serving in WW2 as far as I know

Posted by alison742 on 05/01/2012 17:46

As far as I remember the

As far as I remember the other physics teacher who lived in West house was Mr Veal - Mr Hodge I think lived in the Mansion and he taught Maths.

Posted by Admin on 08/04/2013 10:07

Peter Purdy

My father, Peter Purdy, predates the list but may be remembered by some of the old boys. He came from William Hulme's School, Manchester, at the start of the summer term 1959 to teach chemistry and we lived in the Bothy Flat over the workshops. I recall Mr. Oettinger's boat slowly taking shape there. He bought his first car shortly after we moved in, a Ford 8. The implausibility of this passing the MOT test when it was introduced led him to give it to the school whereupon it had the back half hacksawn off and replaced by a plank-built pickup body. After that it was back to walking down to the village and catching the 48A if we wanted to go anywhere. Apart from chemistry, he led the ATC until it was folded into the CCF. School for me was the junior school by the church, which was reached by walking down past West House to the bottom of the road and then along the Great White Way. I was told that the track had been built by the boys, which I can believe after reading about Ottershaw's Dotheboys approach to cleaning and grounds maintenance. We left Ottershaw at the end of the spring term 1962 largely because my mother was not prepared to go through another winter in the Bothy Flat, which had huge draughty rooms and was impossible to keep warm. He moved on to East Barnet Grammar School, and we settled a couple of miles away on the edge of Hadley Wood, where I stayed until I left home in 1971. By the late 1970's my father had given up teaching and his health was declining, in no small part due to his forty Senior Service a day habit. He died suddenly in January 1983 a few days short of his fifty-fourth birthday. I have many good memories of Ottershaw, and will happily share them if anybody is interested. My best friend was Graham Burrows, the son of the West House housemaster, and if he reads this I'd like to hear from him. George Purdy

Posted by Anonymous on 12/12/2013 18:34

John Oecken and Keith Douglas

Very sorry to hear of the death of John Oecken and Keith Douglas. John was very kind to me when the sixth form centre burnt down and welcomed me into his bothy house with his lovely family whilst I completed my A levels. Keith was an exceptional Chemistry teacher and Football coach. I undoubtedly would not have gone to R.H.C. to do biochemistry and to subsequently study medicine at Charing Cross Medical School without a sound foundation in inorganic and organic chemistry which he brilliantly taught. He was also an exceptional football coach and our 1 st XV football were Surrey champions 2 years in a row under his coaching. We had a fantastic team at the time and were probably the most successful team ever to represent Ottershaw at football. Best wishes to their respective families. Submitted by Paul Nielson.

Posted by Admin on 31/10/2016 16:36

Keith Douglas

I was gutted to hear of Keith’s death.

He was superb chap, and I kept in regular contact with him long after leaving the school in 1980. He was my housemaster as well as chemistry teacher. Instead of telling you all the dozens of reasons why I thought he was such a great teacher, a superlative housemaster, and a general 100% bona fide splendid fellow all round, I just want to mention two incidents that are seared into my memory

They demonstrate his sense of justice, and ability to be firm, fair, and humane. Also he was genuinely one of the greatest teachers I met in my 20 year career as a pupil and student.

Summer ’77 ( I think ) , the gym, summer exams:

An older pupil, a Dick Featherstone, a bit of a trouble maker, and quite a large, thuggish and tall young man, was making a nuisance of himself in an exam. The invigilator was quite a weak, shy, man, and Dick was humiliating him. The teacher lacked the authority to manage the situation.

It started out as fairly harmless ribbing, then began to get unpleasant, as Dick played to the audience of boys seated in the gym and bullied the poor man. Most of the pupils wished he’d stop, and were cringing, as it was embarrassing and unfunny.

As it happened there was due to be a change of invigilator, and Keith entered the hall. He witnessed exactly what was going on. He walked over to Dick’s desk, and stood there for a few moments in silence. There was the sound of a colossal slap, as the side of Dick’s head connected firmly with Keith’s fast moving palm, and Dick was sent sprawling to the floor. Keith never said a word, then or until the end of the exam.

There was no further disruption at that exam, or indeed any other exams that summer, and Keith’s kudos with the boys went through the roof. We all agreed it was absolutely the right thing to do.

December ‘78

I was a dorm leader in Tulk House, Keith’s house. We were planning a secret end of term party in the woods, complete with contraband booze and food, to be smuggled into the school by the father of one of the lads in my dorm. My dorm mate was a jack the lad, his Dad was more so, and was going to drive his big booze laden Jaguar saloon to a nearby road in the dead of night where the illegal booty would be unpacked and hidden by a handpicked squad from my dorm. This was to be the night before the party.

I remember this clearly. It was the night before the secret party in the woods, and the second in command for the operation was standing with his back to the open dormitory door. He ran through the plans for the night:

“Sam’s dad will arrive at midnight, we’ll sneak out through the changing room windows on the ground floor, meet the car, move the booze to that shed in the grounds, cover it with camo webbing and leaves …” etc. etc.

From his face we could see that he thought it was odd we were all gurning and making strangulated noises, but he pressed on, until he realised that Keith was standing right behind him, having appeared quietly just before he started to summarise the plans. Keith had heard every word; he’d been standing two feet behind him. So naturally we thought that was that.

“Lights out at ten boys, sleep well!” he said in his Lancastrian accent. And off he went.

We had an amazing night the following evening, and the next morning I got to enjoy my first ever hangover. I clearly didn’t know you don’t drink Martini straight, but usually with a mixer. I still think about that evening, 38 years later.

I will never forget that – he turned a blind eye so we could have some fun. I will never forget Keith, a unique and wonderful man.

I have been helping my 14 year old daughter with her GCSE chemistry – I remember it all, Keith taught me, I even remember the lessons. I am sorry you have lost your brother, but I hope it helps that you know he made such an impact on so many people.

Best Wishes, Jon Cashman Tulk House OT 566 1976 - 1980

Posted by cashman566 on 31/10/2016 16:39