Merryl See Tai

Help trace Mr Glassup’s class of 1962

A few weeks ago the BBC ran a story about that first democratic camera, the Brownie. The article triggered some readers to send in their own Brownie photos and these included a couple of photos taken by Merryl See Tai in West Hampstead. Merryl’s on a quest to try and identify the people in one of the photos – the 1961/62 class at St Mary’s school on West End Lane taught by the astonishingly well loved Mr Glassup.

Merryl See Tai now lives in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, but at the start of the 1960s, Merryl and his family were in West Hampstead

Our family (parents, older brother and sister) left Trinidad and Tobago in 1959 and travelled to England by boat. I was eight years old at the time and entered primary school. My brother joined the RAF and my sister entered secondary school. The Brownie 127 Model 2, was a gift from my father shortly after we had arrived. I remember keeping it spotlessly clean, practising, without film, to hold it firmly and steadily and to gently squeeze the shutter button rather than pressing it. My mother and I returned to Trinidad and Tobago in 1962.

Merryl See Tai in West Hampstead 1960/61

“I was 10 years old in this picture taken by my sister in 1960/61 in our back garden at 43 West End Lane, West Hampstead, London.”
Merryl See Tai

In 1962, aged 11, Merryl was a pupil at St Mary’s Church of England school. Today, the school is on the corner of Quex Road and West End Lane, but back then it was much further down West End Lane, almost as far as Kilburn High Road, where Teddy’s Nursery is now. The photo below was taken in mid-1962, just before Merryl and his mother returned to Trinidad & Tobago. Merryl is keen to trace as many people as possible in it. He has never seen any of them since.

“I’ve tried off and on over the years to search on the internet for some of the names that I remembered but without success. I did come across some references to Simon but thought that the USA was the wrong place. I would love to get in contact with some of the old classmates to see how they are doing now. The BBC articles have triggered some serious nostalgia.”

St Mary's School Kilburn 1962_labelled_700

Mr Glassup’s class of 1961/62 at St Mary’s Kilburn. Click to enlarge.

As you can see, Merryl has been able to put some names to faces and furnished a little more detail that might jog someone’s memory.

“Simon De Groot lived in the council flats at the corner of West End Lane and Kilburn Place. His friend Lawrence Harris lived in a flat there also. Peter Carter’s father had a greengrocer shop nearby on Belsize Road. Michael Schaeffer’s father was an American pastor and they lived close to the Abbey Road Studios. There was another Michael and his brother Gerald, I think? There were two girls named Louise and another girl whose surname was Turner. There was also Barry Carter and his sister June, and Andy Patel had a taller brother called David.”

The BBC article actually reached Simon de Groot, as well as Sarah “Betsy” McClain, who was two years ahead of Merryl at St Mary’s, and her brother Andrew who was a year younger than Sarah. Sarah recalled the class teacher Mr Glassup very fondly.

“It is very nice for me to share knowing Mr. Glassup with somebody. I wrote to him until he died in about 1980 or 1981. He used to talk in class about his experiences as a prisoner of war. I remember so much. I know that on the last day of school I was devastated that it was over.”

Mr Glassup, class teacher at St Mary's Kilburn in 1962

Mr Glassup, class teacher at St Mary’s Kilburn in 1962

Simon de Groot also extols the virtues of Mr Glassup.

“I look back on Mr. Glassup as the best teacher I ever had. He and his colleagues not only did a terrific job of giving us the basics of the “3 Rs” but they, especially Jim Glassup, somehow made school challenging and fun at the same time. Truly unsung heroes in a lot of ways.”

Can you help? Were you at St Mary’s School in the early 1960s? Do you know any of these people, or are you any of these people? Do please leave a comment below, or alternatively drop us an e-mail and we can pass your details on to Merryl, now 64, pictured below with his wife Margaret.

Merryl See Tai 2015

  • We heard the other day from Gary Grainger who was a pupil at the school and remembered Merryl. He’s also interested in the following year – the 62/63 year – as he remembers some of the other kids in the photo from that year. Do leave a comment here, or contact us via the Contact button up top if you know anyone else. Gary also appears on West Hampstead Life in our list of famous musicians from the area: http://westhampsteadlife.com/2013/11/01/musicians-in-west-hampstead-and-kilburn/5071 (scroll down a bit)

  • Bill Glassup

    All, “Mr Glassup”, who was known as Jim but was actually named Cyril, was my much loved father and I also attended the school for a short time. Pupils from the school used to spend time with us at our house in Hampton, Middlesex and one or two joined us on our family holidays to Sussex. The Caretaker, whose name has slipped from my memory, was a regular at our Sunday Dinner.
    Dad and other teachers also used to take pupils on School Journey, a week long stay at an Inner London Education Authority house located in a place called Seaford on the East Sussex coast.
    Dad always relished getting letters from old pupils and often talked about his years teaching at St Mary’s.
    One thing that sticks in my mind was the yearly school show and especially the St Mary’s production of Gilbert &Sullivan’s “The Mikado”.
    I will see what I can find relating to the school and share it with you all.
    Thank you for reminding me what a great Teacher and mentor he was.
    Bill Glassup

    • Elaine Chester nee Feltham

      Oh I have just randomly searched on google to try and see if there are any references to Mr & Mrs Prothero (my wonderful Headmaster @ St Marys) when I stumbled upon this discussion regarding the class of 1962. To my delight I read about my most favourite of all teachers that anyone could have had the honour of being a pupil of – Mr Glassup! I was in Mr Glassups class of 1967 when we took part in the show The Mikado – I played the part of the Lord High Executioner! This has brought back so many happy and wonderful memories of my primary schools days and the times I spent there. Obviously with the passage of time I knew that Mr Glassup would have passed, but in my mind he lives on very much. I owe him a great debt in that I don’t think I actually learned anything new until at least the 4th year of my secondary education so advanced was the coverage of topics he covered in the one year we all spent with him. I do have a faint memory of visiting his home with a couple of class mates I think it was in south London – I seem to think he lived quite a distance away from Kilburn – I wonder how good this memory would be? If anyone has any photos of the Mikado as I seem to have lost the ones I originally had sometime ago and it would wonderful to see them again…

  • Sarah (Betsy) McClain

    Hello all and Bill – I’m so glad to be able to tell one of Mr. Glassup’s sons how wonderful he was, although you must have some idea. He was the best teacher I ever had, and I became a professional student in the USA, spending 16 years or so at a university (that sounds awful, doesn’t it?), so I saw a lot of teachers. I remember his experiences in WWII (he was in Italy) and the Spanish Civil War when he was a prisoner of Franco. Didn’t he defuse land mines in WWII? I remember he talked about the pipers going into battle. To this day, and I heard some pipers today! I tear-up when I hear bagpipes, but don’t most people? Does any if this ring a bell with you? I loved the way he threw chalk at kids to get their attention. He made such a great impression. Sarah

    • Elaine Chester nee Feltham

      I remember the chalk throwing but I think I was such a ‘good girl’ I never felt the chalk on me! I do remember thinking I don’t want to get hit by the flying missile.

    • Bill Glassup

      Sarah, I’ve added a couple of new posts. Bill

  • Sarah (Betsy) McClain

    Was the caretaker’s name Mr. Jones?

    • Elaine Chester nee Feltham

      Yes I remember Mr Jones – I think his daughter may have been in my one of my classes I think her name was Yvonne and they lived in Cricklewood – we both loved the Dave Clark Five and sang Bits and Pieces to death!

      • Once Were Warriors.

        That particular caretaker was Mr.Harding. Yes he and his family lived in Cricklewood and he was a very keen Hendon FC supporter and I even went to a few games at Clermont Road with him I still have the programmes somewhere in the garage.

      • Bill Glassup

        Clive – I’ve added a couple of posts

      • Elaine Chester nee Feltham

        yes Clive you are quite right – Mr Harding was the caretaker and his daughter I am pretty sure was Yvonne? Cheers Elaine

      • Bill Glassup

        Elaine, a couple of posts added!

      • Elaine Chester nee Feltham

        Ahh Bill I have only just opened up the posts you have put on this site. It’s really lovely to see all the stuff you have kept – it has brought back all the wonderful memories of my time at St Mary’s and of your dad especially.. We never appreciated how lucky we all were and what a great childhood we all had. As I am reading your messages and attachment on my little smart phones screen I cannot see you photos and documents very clearly so I will reply properly when I login to my laptop to get a better view. So until then thanks for replying etc. Love Elaine x

      • Elaine Chester nee Feltham

        Good Morning Bill,
        Now that I have had a chance to look at your post with the photo of the Mikado and bits of the scripts on my laptop screen – I can’t explain how wonderful it is to see them again! I have taken a good look at the photo and I can just about see myself tucked in between the 2 soldiers to the right of the photo with the big hat! I can also recognise my old school friend Rhonda Magee – who played Katisha – my ‘love’ interest (lol). I am still in touch by post with Rhonda, so I would very much like to get a copy of this photo to print out and send onto her – as I am sure it will make her giggle like me! I recognise a number of the other children on the list of the cast, such as Phillip De Groot, Lilah Haire, Sandra Goodfellow, Sylvester Alcock, Susan Gore, but can’t quite remember the names of S. Taylor or M Bland? Maybe some of the others in this discussion group might remember their full names to remind me? It is a shame that we have all lost touch, but obviously people move on and like myself move out of the area and it is hard to keep in touch with everyone, but I am pretty sure everyone, like me, will have only good memories of St Mary’s due to the excellent teachers and headmaster.
        It would be really great and kind of you, if when you get a moment, if you could possibly get any photo’s that are related to the show Mikado and perhaps either scan or photograph them in a format that could be emailed. If this were possible then if you emailed them to me I would then be able to print them out for a keepsake. Unfortunately I do not have any photos myself.. If you could email me direct it might be easier than using this discussion group? If you think this is appropriate then please email me on moc.y1492934652ks@re1492934652tsehc1492934652_enia1492934652lE1492934652. If this is not possible then no worries as I at least have a copy of what you have already posted here. Once again thanks for the memory jogger!
        Love Elaine (KoKo the Lord High Executioner! lol) xx

  • Once Were Warriors.

    Mrs Jones was the teacher’s assistant that helped around the school, in particular lunchtimes & playtime. There were 2 caretakers I can recall, Mr Harding and, I think, Mr Walsh.
    Like others on this site I have to agree Mr.Glassup was an excellent teacher. Strict, no doubt, but in these times how many teachers of 10 & 11 years old explain how to find the area of a circle, volume of a sphere or show how to convert fractions into percentages (without using a calculator)?
    Any one remember this….” .125, 25, 375, 5, 625, 75, 875 BANG! ”
    I left St Mary’s in 1966 and another of the Schaffers, Eric, was in my class. They lived in Fordwych Ave nr Shoot Up Hill and return to the USA (N.Carolina?) in the summer of 1965. IIRC there were 4 boys and 1 girl in their family.

    • Elaine Chester nee Feltham

      Yes I recall the schaffers – didn’t realise they went to America still how dopey was I? Hahah

    • Elaine Chester nee Feltham

      Morning Clive – everything you have remembered here is matching up with my memories ie. the Schaffers, however, I left St Marys the year after you in 1967, so I think I might have spent time in your class as due to my birthday I ended up spending 2 years in class 2 and I think you may have been in the 1st year I spent in class 2 with the Schaffers. Please forgive me but I can’t recall you. What is your surname as that might jog my memory? All the best Elaine

  • Nicola Simmons

    Does anyone remember ROSEMARY MOCKRIDGE

    • Once Were Warriors.

      In the haze of time the name rings a faint bell. I left in 1966 and seem to think she would have been in class one in 65/66/67 ?

  • Rosie

    Hi, I’m the girl 2nd bottom right with arms crossed over legs/ankles…Rosemary Mockridge, my 2 brothers were at the school shortly before me – Bobby & Barry & my sister Denise followed 10yrs later and lived the other side of the High Road in Cambridge Avenue. I can still see Mr Glassup’s ‘Class 1’, having spent 2 years with him leaving at age 11 in ’63. Does anyone remember the ‘test’ each Friday with the winner receiving 6d & the throwing of chalk or other object down the middle of the class if we were noisy or not paying attention, hoping it wouldn’t hit us. Mr Glassup gave us a full round education, it was good to learn with some fun thrown in which has served us well over the years. Did he spoil us?…. yes, because he cared & made us think, in return we respected & ‘loved’ him. Mr Prothero (who amazed the class with being ambidextrous) was the the headmaster for the whole of my 7yrs at St Mary’s with Mrs Prothero being the school secretary for a number of years & yes Mr Welch, the original caretakerdear who ‘lived under the playground’, where the fires were kept burning to heat those enormous radiators to warm the 1/3pt bottles of school milk in winter, was followed by Mr Harding. Miss Evans, Miss Turner & Mr Grenville (think that’s their names) the long term teachers of Class 6,5,3 respectively, all doing their best to give us a good solid education with an eleven plus at the end of it!
    Do you remember walking to The Grange Park for our sports in the summer & learning to swim at Finchley Road swimming baths or the church services at St Mary’s Abbey Road? As my time crossed two years other names remembered, Peter Mapplebeck and all related brother/sisters/cousins, Beverley Johnson whom I met again for a brief time at senior school, Andrew Patel (my first love at a tender age), Sandra Geary, her brother Barry was in my brothers class, if I think for long enough the other names will come to mind.
    The memorable trips Mr Glassup took us on: Wells Cathedral, Coventry Catherdral, Carol singing at the Royal Festival Hall
    Those days are long gone but the memories are there just waiting for a name to awaken them………

  • Once Were Warriors.

    A random list of memories….
    Playing baseball on the red gravel playing field at Grange Park
    Visits to Stratford and Coventry
    Mr Glassup throwning a tennis ball really high(&vertical) and getting the boys to catch it
    The boilers being so hot that the hall during assembly becoming an oven.
    Assembly with the ‘monitor’ bringing in the wooden cross
    Mid morning deliveries of school dinners
    Only being allowed to be excused from eating one vegetable at lunchtime
    Finding a friend who would eat the other vegetables you were not excused from
    Sneaking said vegetable to said friend without Miss Clayton Booth seeing
    Getting a slap across back of legs from C-B when caught! (smile)
    The mixed class relay games in playground where tennis ball thrown across playground between your team mates and you then run across playground
    Warm milk in summer freezing milk in winter
    Miss Adams, Miss Clayton-Booth, Miss Chance, Miss Sheering, Mr Grenville (who sadly passed whilst I was still at StM). Miss Perfect Mr Glassup
    Getting lines, lots of them! Miss perfect once gave me 1,000 lines and IIRC she settled for a few hundred.
    All the boys getting told off by Mr Prothero for playing war games in playground. We were just too young to understand about the escalation of the Vietnam War in 1965 and that Britain was being pressured to join in. He clearly had fears for his past students.
    Being in countless Nativity Plays
    Being in Pirates of Penzance (my mum bought me an EP of the songs too, that I still have!)
    Being in a play I think called Lost in Space
    Harvest Festivals at St Marys, and my mum in a panic because she’d forgotten to get me something to bring to school.
    Growing daffodils in a pot and getting a certificate.
    Having to walk through class 1 from class 2 (the original ‘Walk of Shame’) when Miss Perfect tells you to go stand out in the hall.
    Mr Glassup now knowing you’d been naughty.
    Waiting in the hall landing dreading that Mr Prothero would come by.
    Mr Prothero coming by……..

    • Elaine Chester nee Feltham

      I left St Marys the year after you and remember everything you have mentioned! I also remember being in the Pirates of Penzance. What great memories we all had..

  • Tony Hall

    Hello
    Just came upon this info and am delighted to read about St Mary’s! Brings back fond memories. I was a pupil at the school, leaving in 1969 and remember Mr Glassup well. I also remember Mr. and Mrs. Prothero too.
    I lived across the road from the school in west End Lane and many of my family members went to the school too, including my father and two aunts.
    Good to see some photos of the pupils and Mr. Glossop himself remain.
    I well remember being taught .125, 25, 375, 5, 625, 75, 875 BANG! as part of the maths tuition, useful even to this day!
    Wonderful times
    Regards to all
    Tony Hall
    moc.l1492934652iamg@1492934652kulla1492934652hynot1492934652

  • Once Were Warriors.

    Happy New Year to all.
    My sister in Oz came across this photo and sent it to me. I suspect it was taken on the trip to Coventry or Stratford.
    Left to right we have (to a then 10yr old boy, the very) Miss Perfect, next to her is Miss Clayton-Booth and then the wonderful Mr. Glassup.
    I hope this will bring fond memories of our innocent and uncluttered childhoods.
    Enjoy.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2b4987967bf9254b70545246cb82b4dcd6beb3263f4b39d3c1946298b32503f2.png

  • Bill Glassup

    Hi All and especially Ko Ko (Elaine Feltham),

    I came across the script for the Mikado when going through some old paper and thought I would share them with you. I’ll try and get better copies but you can read them if you enlarge!

    I will try and get some more memorabilia from Dad’s time at St Mary’s and post it here.

    Hope it brings back some good memories! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a6eb8844fa24769b65b49e608a9db62b77b15ac896e9d8c0cf506bf3665c3550.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e0c8cee33270a71c4d2ac71748c84b97f05b4036805c5bb6bbaddb8e52cf7adb.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ef5bb022ad2ab65da5684a8b0e08125e237ae6bc21ce1c79d53adc58b2bff57e.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/42646480241bca1fed447d854c57ce7ddaf7aa472e7815fcc38b7421256cd914.jpg

  • Bill Glassup

    A photo of St Mary’s Mikado c https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/214e313c3a9375de1a495078cca0c563a22dc904b4e2bf6bb51d986f9a1671b2.jpg ast. My Dad (Mr Glassup) is far left by the piano!