A selection of memories: 1990s

Mrs Sarah Sullivan (née Hichens, Nugent 90)

I went to Stowe in the Sixth Form and I remember hearing ‘Stairway to Heaven’ for the first time, performed by Orlando Bloom in the School Theatre. Amazing!

Things I look back and smile about are the incredible food fights in the dining room and being caught by a Master whilst abseiling down one of the temples with a friend during a free period.

Mrs Victoria Baker (née Gregson, Nugent 90)

My abiding memory was of how much I enjoyed Art with Ken Melbar at School and how good his tuition was. He was my standout teacher during all my school years.

Mr Justin Sander (Lyttelton 90)

The difficulties of operating a brewery and distribution network. We set up a brewery on the roof of Lyttelton and created an underground bar called ‘In the Temple Bacchus’, which looked like something out of Vietnam and the bunker in ‘Good Morning Vietnam’.

Mr Charles Gartside (Chandos 91)

For me, walking around the golf course, seeing all the magnificent buildings and appreciating how lucky I was is a memory I shall cherish always.

Mr Andrew Beattie (Chandos 91)

Placing a banner on the marquee roof with James Mackenzie at night, just before my final Speech Day.

Mr Tristan Crawford (Grenville 92)

Completing the Myles Henry Award by trekking the Hannibal Route across the Alps with fellow Grenvillian John P Layfield (Grenville 92) in 1990.

Mrs Vicky Nice (née Thompson, Stanhope 92)

Outdoor English lessons with Mr Farquahar on the South Front lawn under a cedar tree on an idyllic summer afternoon.

Mrs Anna Fiennes (née Casdagli, Nugent 93)

Rowing on the lake as the sun came up singing musicals.

Miss Cressida Chester-Read (Stanhope/Lyttelton 94)

My English and Theatre Studies teacher: He entered the classroom by climbing through the window. It always made me laugh.

Mr Rupert Maxwell-Brown (Chatham 95)

Playing corridor hockey with a tennis ball in Chatham when in the Fifth Form; Mr Meredith was showing prospective parents’ round (unbeknown). The goal was at one end of the corridor and the other at the other side near the door onto the stairs. Mr Meredith opened the door just at the wrong moment as the tennis ball was flicked high and it knocked him on the forehead. In true Tony Meredith unflustered style his response to the boys was “…oh crickey…” and to the prospective parents “…as you can see the boys keep active and have lots of fun. They also pay absolutely no attention to the house rules of no ball games inside!”

Mr Simon Ridley (Walpole 95)

I remember there was a camera crew drafted in to compile a ‘Life at Stowe’ video for the 1995 School Prospectus. Part of this was to film a game of rugby on the South Front. Isaac Michael arranged for a few set plays between the 1st XV and 2nd XV on the South Front.

One of these was for a scrum/breakdown and for the opposite winger Richard Dobbin to score in the corner furthest away from where the camera crew. Being a senior member of the team and playing on the other wing I decided to take matters into my own hands and “Go Solo”.

Clean scrum and ball went out to me to set up the ruck. But instead, I sidestepped my opposite number and made my way towards the try line. In my efforts to get there all I could hear was Mr Michael saying, “Everyone tackle Ridley”. Just before I got to the try line, I was tapped tackled by Nick Roberts with two metres to go.

Needless to say, I went flying completely out of control, touched the ball down and landed in a pool of water before skidding face first into the lens of the camera. The poor lady behind the camera (she was lying down behind the dead ball line) received a black eye and I was rightly reprimanded.

Mr Chris Harrington (Walpole 96)

North Front, Michaelmas term, low sunset, post-match walking to tea across the rugby pitch with friends, kit bags over the shoulder, fresh from a post-match shower, with the bumps and bruises of a hard-fought match. The happiest of memories. Young and healthy, with the excitement and optimism of a teenager enjoying life and school in such a special place. Not a care in the world. Happy days and a feeling that will stay with me forever!

Dr Alia Brahimi (Nugent 98)

When Svetlana broke into the History Department and abducted Mr Cottam’s dog, holding him to ransom in her study in order to pressure Mr Cottam for extra help with an essay!

Mr Rick Hignett (Bruce 98)

I would just like to say that the support I received from Ray Dawson during my time at Stowe was nothing short of outstanding. I struggled quite a bit socially while at Stowe, but due to my early interest in the CCF (and the early adoption of related activities, where permitted), I found solace and contentment in my time spent in the Armoury, under Ray’s supervision.

I would love for any surviving friends and/or relatives of Ray to know that he had an incredibly positive impact on my life and my time at Stowe. He made the difference when it mattered the most. Thank You Ray.

Mr Mike De Butts (Grenville 99)

A ceiling tile removed from the hallway outside where ‘Club’ was in 1999 gave access to the void space between the curved Marble Hall and the rectangular Music Room and Temple Room on either side – and to far beyond.

A Velcro affixed fake wall in a walk-in cupboard of the Grenville Fourth Form dormitory served as the entrance to a void space/ventilation shaft that gave access to several areas, including an otherwise locked disused room with windows that opened fully, giving access to the roofs above the Grenville/Chandos wing, down which some unauthorised abseiling may have taken place. When Mr Chitty found the crawl space, he snared one of us by cunningly inserting some items found in our den into a Lost property return.