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Past Pupil Golden Memories

Steve Talbot with family

Steve Ross-Talbot

I was one of those St Paul's children in that second term of St Richard's who were part of that first year of existence. And my sister (granny to the Evendon twins) came to St Richard's at the same time. So for us it will be extra special because we were there and of course because the Evendon twins are there too (and a few in between).


I went on to Dover Boys Grammar school from St Richards and about 5 years ago became a Professor of Distributed Computing at Kingston University in London.

I particularly remember one teacher, a tiny nun called Sister Aloysuis. In many ways I owe my Professorship to Sister Aloysuis who believed in me and helped me through my 11+ exams. And that now is part of the history of St Richard's.


Emma Howsam

I was a pupil at St Richards and finished my education there in 2010. Staff such as Mrs Robinson, Mrs Spencer, Mrs Martin and Mr Rogers may (possibly) remember me! :) 

I now study at Television Production at Bournemouth University and do a lot of charity work whilst at university. This August, I will be flying out to Tanzania and climbing Mountain Kilimanjaro, all in aid of Hope for Children.

Hope for Children work around the world helping provide education, wellbeing and healthcare to the most vulnerable children -  even in the UK. As a school, I am sure you can understand how important this charity is. 

My fundraising target is 2990 pounds and I am over 70% of the way to reach this goal however I am still pushing. Due to this, I am reaching out to schools / businesses that I have previously been involved with to ask for their support! 

If you are able to help in anyway, whether this is done my TAG Days (as the weather is now hot), bake sales or even just forwarding this email, please do! Not only will it be massively appreciated by me, but also the charity itself and as a school, you will receive recognition and praise through social media! 

I will leave a link to my donation page below which will allow you to keep up to date with my progress as well as see any previous donations. This is also the way for you to donate as offline donations are no longer received. Click here donate.



Siobhan Jones
I left in 1987. The friendships I made there were my most favourite thing well that and my love of Netball, it was at St Richards I was first taught this and that love for the sport is still with me today.

I liked how it felt like a family. I will never forget Mr Sherman, he taught us in such engaging ways: our project on The Hobbit, the treasure hunt computer game, P&O ferry trip and fish and chips in his Class room in our last week at the school.


Richards taught me values, team work and faith, it instilled in me the importance of looking after each, being kind to each other and serving the wider community, I will always remember singing carols at Christmas at a local old people’s home, our harvest festival and the importance of giving.


Helena Martin
I started at St Richards in 1986 and left in 1992. I loved St Richard’s as it was a small school and all the teachers there where lovely. I can always remember Sister Margaret in Reception Class with her pen and giving you spots. She was always a happy lady. Mrs. Hadley who I always remember being able to break an apple in half with her bare hands! Mrs. Johnstone having to put eye drops in my eyes even though I hated it. I still go to the school regularly as I have sent all three of my children there. Two have now left and my youngest is still there. It is still a wonderful school with great teachers. Here’s too hopefully to another 50 years of a brilliant school.


Helen Comoy (was Hunter)
I left in 1985, sister Dympna was in charge, Mrs Johnson was my year 3 teacher and my favourite, my mum, was a dinner lady Sue Hunter, I'm married with 5 children 4 of which attended St Richards. I'm a Border Force Officer at Dover docks. We were taught excellent manners, good morals and prayers all of which I still have and do. X


Simon Carter

I left St Richard's in 1972. I most enjoyed having plenty to do. When normal work was finished we could work on projects. I loved my teachers... Ms Merrick, Mrs Tritton, Sr Aloysius and Mr Janes. Strict but fair. I returned to St Richard's for two weeks of classroom experience before training as a teacher.
I now teach on the island of Borneo in SE Asia.


My "warmest" memory of the Christmas parties in the hall and a nativity play when I was third shepherd. I knelt down to pick up sticks just before the heavenly host (of 3) appeared in the small balcony at the other end of the hall. I was aware of a sudden stinging sensation in my knee. I then walked all the way to Bethlehem where I knelt beside the crib, hoiked up my smock in front of the audience, and pulled out the drawing pin and tossed it into the front row.


I think that would have been in 1969... same year as we watched the moon landing in Black and White TV in Mr Janes' classroom. The whole school watched the Investiture of the Prince of Wales on the colour TV in the main hall!


Monica Golding

I was at St Richards from when it opened until I left in July 1973. I can honestly say I loved my time at the school -can remember how sad I was when it came time to move to the grammar school as it felt I was leaving my family.

Even at that time, the school really offered its pupils the opportunity to get involved in a range of activities outside curriculum learning; for me, that was sport, drama and singing, all of which I continue to enjoy in various forms to this day. I still chuckle when remembering how Catharine Corless and I practiced so hard to ensure we were champions at the three legged race at Sports Day!

Too many teachers to name all who impacted me, but I have especially fond memories of Miss Saunders, Miss Bowen, and Sr. Edith, who inspired me to take up teaching when starting off my career path later on. Their care and desire to impart knowledge, but more importantly, values, has served me well throughout my life.


Kevin Black
I was recently awarded a First Class Degree in Business Management with Logistics by Canterbury Christ Church University, 42 years after leaving St. Richards. I had no doubt that, as well as setting me up for a grammar school education, and for life in general, the excellent primary education provided by Mrs Whickman, Mrs Johnston, Sister Aloysius and Mr Warner ultimately gave me a distinct advantage over my university peers!

My first paid employment was also at St. Richards, as a 10 year old helping the dinner ladies every lunchtime for a few pence a week.


Christina Lawson

A few memories that I remember are, meeting Fonia Gill (as she was then) on our first day at our bright new school, St Richard's, I remember being in Miss Tritton's class we were doing a project about farming and she took us to look round a few farms. I remember when it was May Day there used to be dancing round the maypole which took place on the grassed area to the left as you go up to the playground. Another memory was doing a project about Hiawatha and performing a play based on that at Whitfield School, where all local primary schools took part. We watched important TV events and ‘Schools TV in the library. We also enjoyed the school trips!


The time I spent at St Richard's was so good, I made a friend for life in Fonia, she was my bridesmaid, she is godmother to Neil, we don't see each other often but are still friends after all this time. I would like to wish you, the staff and pupils a very happy day celebrating 50 years of the school.


I was a pupil at St Richard’s from 1984 to 1990. My brothers and my sister also went to St Richard’s, and now my children and my nephews and niece do, or have done, too. I am still connected to the school as a school governor, while my Dad was Chairman of Governors in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

When I was at St Richard’s the headteacher was Sister Dympna and that name will be enough to strike fear in to many adults - parents and past pupils alike! She was the absolute heartbeat of the school and ran everything from top to bottom. There were some wonderful teachers in my time there, most notably Sister Margaret Canny, Mrs Johnstone and Mrs Hadley. Mrs Stanley was the school secretary.
I still see lots of people I went to school with from those times, some of them outside the school when we are picking up our own children.

Some of the things I really used to enjoy at St Richard’s involved the school Christmas plays, or reading in assembly or mass in front of everyone. I played cricket in the school team (we used to have a school cricket team in those days) when I was just 7 years ol,d but I never quite achieved what I might have in that area.

I now work In the civil service as a Border Force Higher Officer. I still go to Church when I can and that is something that was instilled in me not only by my parents but also by my education in the finest Catholic school around.

My values are very much those of the school and it is great to still be involved in 2018 and playing a very small part in developing the latest generation of children to walk these corridors. St Richard’s was a very important part of my life and it remains so even now. I suppose it must have made an impression on me!


Phoebe Watts
I left St Richards in 2007. My favourite teacher was always Mrs Woodward, and although she has now passed away. I will always remember her looking after us in the adventure playground, and running the Computer Club. I have lovely memories of the KS1 Nativity Play- especially the year I was determined to be a Page Boy! I also performed in the Tempest in Year 6. Going to Kingswood on the Isle of Wight in Year 6 also holds some lovely memories- especially Miss Tinwell freaking out while abseiling, and Mr Grant hiding behind a bush to secretly film her screaming! St Richards meant a lot to me, and always will. It was the place we chose to install William’s bench in the playground, and will hold lots of memories for all of us.

Daisy Turnbull

I left st Richards in 2008 and I loved every minute of being at the school! It always felt like a little home and my favourite part was always the adventure playground! I have amazing memories there and my hang print is still on the shed in the garden from when I was a little!

Richard Willson
I left st Richards in 1973 must have been one of the early pupils as I was transferred from St Paul's.
I remember playing for the school footfall team. I remember Mr James he also had a tobacconist shop. St Richards gave me a good base to my education I went on to train as an engineer and now work in the rail industry


Liam Milroy

I left St. Richards in 2004. Although I dislike school to start with, I was dragged off my mother by Mrs Johnston who made me eventually enjoy school. I am now a Police Officer and work in Canterbury.

My favourite memory is our final year production of ‘Oliver’.


I left 1992/93. I loved the school plays and sports days!
I can remember Sister Dympna and having Mr grant as our Year 6 teacher
Mt favourite lessons was music with Miss brown (I think that was her name )
Today I work in construction- I'm a training coordinator for a large construction firm
Going to St Richards taught me right from wrong , respect and values .


Jen Mannion
I left in 1995. I liked that it was small and felt like a community linking in with my local church at the time, St Paul's and with the local secondary school St Edmunds. I loved all of my teachers: Sister Margaret, Miss Newman and her chicks, Mrs Hadely was just lovely inside and out, Mrs Johnston, Miss O'Brien and her long skirts, Mr Grant, Sister Dympna. Helping Miss Durrant and Mrs Stanley in the office. Mr Griffiths the caretaker.I am now a Deputy Manager in a Nursery. St Richards taught me to appreciate being part of something.


Robert Smith
I was lucky enough to attend St Richards from 1971(ish) until Jubilee year - 1977.  I'm not sure I can quite believe that it is 40 odd years since I last walked from our family home in Barton Road where my mum Hilda Smith still lives,  to and from the school doors. 


The memories are almost all good, right from early days with the lovely caring Sister Margaret Clare in reception class (including the small bottles of milk), through to being big enough to scale the full height of the climbing ropes on the wonderful favorite fold out climbing frame. I feel fortunate to have had my early school years formed by great teachers like Miss Allen and Mrs Johnstone (the latter of whom I still see when accompanying Mum to St Pauls).


I'm afraid my memory of fellow pupil names is limited,  but two have stuck - the first being one of my best friends, and a star pupil - Paul McBride, whom I felt fortunate to just do well enough to accompany from St Richard to The Boys Grammar.  The other being Abigail Mercer - whom I walked alongside dressed as Charles 1st (with great outfit - obviously made by Mum, including black painted wellies!), while Abigail portrayed Henrietta I guess - all in a big school pageant (very [possibly to celebrate the Queen's silver Jubilee.)

Although nothing can really prepare you for 'big school', (thinking back to Paul & I sat in the first big classroom of the imposing school on the hill, after feeling like we'd had to scale a mountain to get there!),  I like to think that St Richards (and my parents) did a good job, as my time at the Grammar was good. Aside from the academic stuff, thanks partly to my brother Adrian - I got involved in the school dinghy sailing club,  which has led to a lifetime of enjoyment and competition on the water. That is one of the reasons I now live in Weymouth with my wife Sandra, - where I am an Engineering Project Manager for a company making Solar Cell printing machines, and spend lots of spare time sailing there or elsewhere around the country and world.

I'm sorry not to be joining you to celebrate the 50years,  it sounds like the school is in good health and good hands - and I sincerely hope that it continues that way as a great asset to Dover and the local community for many anniversaries to come.

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