Email from John Hobbins

Dear Clive:

I came across your oldies site and realized that I was an oldie. I was a Millfield boarder at Chilton Cantelo for four terms – Summer ’62 to Summer ’63. I transferred there, despite the long bus rides, because Capt. James allowed pipe smoking a couple of years younger than Boss. Discipline was also less rigid than other houses which suited me.

We always called the family James without the Cotes. Their daughter Sally (?) had just finished at Millfield and their son Richard (?) was still there. For whatever reason I don’t recall mixing very much with the CC boys except in summer sports. I can only recall two female students – Ruth Thomas (?) who was the daughter of one of the staff called, I think, Dolly. The other girl, again if memory serves, was an American with a name like Mary-Texas Crewe (she may have had a brother there).

I left for Canada in 1963 where I spent my life to date and lost touch with many friends from CC. Seeing you site recalled long forgotten names such as John Church. When the A level literature class I was in went to London to see a play at the Old Vic, Church asked us to bring back a beer. This was delivered late at night on our return when he was in the bath. The bottle had been given such a good shake that when he opened it that it was a good thing he was naked in the bath. Following the ensuing explosion, I doubt there was much beer left to drink.

Another difference was the dormitories where we were actually in bunks. I shared mine with Sam Munap, who later joined me in McGill University. He joined the student socialist party, but I later discovered he was a member of the Royal family in Brunei – his full name being DATO SERI PADUKA HAJI SELAMAT BIN HAJI MUNAP and he became important in Brunei finance and the IMF. I should definitely have kept up contacts with him.

Also in the photograph was Mr. F.G. W. Phillips, who I suppose must have been our housemaster or at least the liaison with McGill. Certainly the Capt. did all the official duties of housemaster. I knew Mr. Phillips well as he was my A level history teacher and perhaps the best I ever had at Millfield. A few years later my mother told me he had died in tragic circumstances.

Anyway, this is just a note to thank you on the site that brought back many memories.

Best wishes,


I found this link on the web which leads to a tribute to John Hobbins … link added by Clive L-H.

John Hobbins
Emeritus Librarian
Life Sciences Library, McIntye Medical Building, 3rd Floor, 3655 Promenade Sir William Osler, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3G 1Y6

Email from Nigel Holmes

July, 2012.

Hi I have looked at the reunion sites for a few years now and tried to contact various people without much success, I did get a phone call from Peter Panayotou  but I must say it all seemed very vague and an awfully long time ago.

I was at CC for a couple of years 1964–65 I think, and have fond memories of the ten tors walk, a complete disaster as I remember, I hung out with Rat and others? Playing at being fire men there was an old red Land Rover that towed a pump thing around parked In a garage behind the tuck shop.

I broke my leg playing rugby (2nd team) got my school colours for that one, the only success I had at CC, had an altercation with a kid called Buller. I often wonder if any of these people are still alive. I have hesitated to get in touch as I was asked to leave by Cotes James as my old Chap did not pay the school fees and I entered a dark phase of my life I’d rather forget, but as time passes I wonder if any one would remember me I would hate to attend a reunion and be lost in a sea of strangers. Any way hope you are all well and if you know any one who remembers a thin, short, blond haired kid from Tanzania I would love to hear from them.

Best Regards

Nigel Holmes
The Original Book Works Ltd
1 Wilkinson Road, Cirencester, GL7 1YT’d

Email from Suzi Saunter (nee) Suzi Clark

Dear Clive

Fiona Henderson sent me the link to your excellent Chilton site. I was sorry not to attend the reunion this year, but had just returned from France the day before.

I am in touch by email with Nick Barber (my boyfriend at Chilton … to the horror of the Coates James’) – I visit Nick’s mother in Swaffham regularly; Loraine Frost (who I introduced to her husband and is godmother to my three daughters) – her partner for many years was Phil Moloney but I lost touch with him and understand he has had a serious automobile accident in Australia and may be unable to communicate (my late husband attended his wedding – he was godfather to two of our children); Tic Graves (now Blin) whose 50th I attended in Paris, and she brought Lizzie Lewellyn for a wonderful singsong at my cottage in St Albans in February this year, which was a great pleasure.

My dearest Chilton friends are Jerry Croft, who takes me and my Dad sailing off Malden from time to time, and Miffy Graves, who flew over from Vienna to look after me when I was ill in January. I also shared a flat in Chelsea and remain very close to Sue Bollam, who was head girl during my one year at Chilton – we meet up in London and I visit her and her husband from time to time.

Here are a couple of photos …

Warm regards

Suzi Saunter (nee)
Suzi Clark
Rose Cottage
St Albans
2005 – from left Loraine Frost, me, Nick Barber and Jerry Croft
2005 – from left Loraine Frost, me, Nick Barber and Jerry Croft
2012 Jerry and Miffy Graves at my “South Pacific” 60th in September
2012 Jerry and Miffy Graves at my “South Pacific” 60th in September
2012 Sue Bollam and me
2012 Sue Bollam and me

Email from Kevin J Manning


I have regularly read your oldies site—It is excellent.

I arrived at Chilton in 1971—Great days—Seem very distant now.

I will check and see what I can find photo-wise from those days next time I am down at my fathers house in Wiltshire. Currently I am living in Scotland—near Aberdeen—Working in Oil Industry in Copenhagen.

Surprised no mention of ‘The Screaming Skull’ of Theopholus Broome!! Thats a legend!

Again—Great Site!! Keep-up the good work.


Kevin J Manning, 15th May, 2012.

Dear Kevin,

Thank you for your surprise email and very kind compliment. I hope that you manage to find those old Chilton Cantelo School photos when you are next at your fathers home as I could do with more photos of the 70s’

There is a story about the ‘Screaming Skull of Theopholus Broome at Lower Farm, Chilton Cantelo’ in the Thoroughfare Magazine 1980 on this site.

Going back now over fifty years I remember being invited to “Lower Farm” next door to the school, when I was a new boy, by Mrs Kerton and being shown the skull. I wonder if she showed the skull to every new boy or perhaps we were just lucky to receive the invitation.

Relations were good with the farm next door and it was good to see a very popular Nobby Kerton at the 2010 reunion with his wife. However I remember as a young lad being challenged by Nobby in one of the (probably his) fields. He enquired if I was the lad who had been setting snares and complaining that the wires had been getting caught up in his plough. I ,of course, denied it.

I might add that I have mellowed in my ways with age and would never do such a thing nowadays.

Once again thank you for your email and I hope to see you at the reunion in August 2012.

Sincerely, Clive 🙂

Email from Zul Dhanani

Hi Clive,

I got the the link from Mehboob Juma,

I was in Chilton in 1968, I would be like to make contact with Peter Burton as we used to share the study next to the TV room. I would appreciate your help and updates. Let me know of of any forth coming reunions.


Zul Dhanani

Dear Zul,

Thank you for your email. It was good to hear from you. Now that I have got your email I will definitely contact you regarding the August old boys/girls reunion at Chilton Cantelo House.

I hope that you make contact with your old pal Peter Burton. Another good way of contacting people is via an excellent website called ‘Friends Reunited’.

It is free to join and you will be able to find and contact many of your school friends.

Thank you again for your email and I hope that I meet you at this Summer’s old school reunion. Sincerely, Clive 🙂

Email from Stephen Kirk

Dear Clive

Just thought I’d drop you a line in response to your plea for contacts from old Chiltonians from the C-J era. Unfortunately I could not make it to the recent reunion, but recognised the names of a number of old friends. I was there from 1968 until about 72 or 73.

I now live in Nottingham, and work for Boots UK in the department where we develop Boots brand cosmetic and toiletries.

Anyway, I’ve had a look through the photos of the reunion, and whilst I don’t recognise many of the faces, the school buildings bring back quite a few memories. I was also interested to read the tribute to Arthur Swain, and it this is really the reason I am writing. Arthur (or Boy as we knew him) and Pat his sister were family friends in Chuqui in Chile, so I was really sorry to read of his passing. In deed, it was on their parent’s suggestion that I also went to Chilton once I had finished elementary school in Chile. I recognise many of the things written in his tribute, hunting and exploring the desert where we lived, for example. I too remember sitting in his father’s workshop.

I have not seen Pat, or indeed had any contact with her, since she left Chilton, so maybe you could forward this on to her if you have her email address immediately to hand.

I’ve not seen many people since I left, but am in “regular” contact with Fiona Henderson, and also a few others by Christmas card exchange. I saw Nick Barber March 2011 in Washington DC whilst I was there at a scientific conference. We had dinner together one evening in a micro brewery, and had a nice reminisce about the Chilton days, and also about Hong Kong as I have travelled there extensively with work, and of course Nick grew up there.

Well, that’s all for the time being.

Best wishes, and please feel free to add this to the website email section if you wish.

Stephen Kirk.