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No DatePosted FirstName Surname Message Contact
41516/03/2008ReggieBeamesI was at Verdala from 1954 to 1957. I sat the 11 plus in 1957 and went to Tal Handek after the summer holidays for a short time before returning to UK (Fife) in November 1957. We lived at 10 St Agatha St Sliema. Very interested to see the contribution form Susan Lewis nee Gill. I was at the same open air performance of the Merchant of Venice. I remember one of the leading ladies rushing on stage and then fainting in front of the audience. I remember some of my teachers, Miss Vasey and Miss Butters. There was also a Mrs Holland. Would be very pleased to hear from anybody who may remember me. My brother Patrick was also at the school.


41407/03/2008SimonPopeWas at Verdala as an infant, around 1970/71. Older brother Alan in juniors, father Stan Pope stationed at Dingli. Lived in Mayflower Mansions in Sleima. Thought the school boss was Cmdr Northey- Miss Mahoney was my teacher. Remember throwing all my marbles away on the courtyard, as was the custom, when we left. Does anybody recall those years? Get in touch if you like.
41327/02/2008GillianHudsonWe lived in Malta 1960-1963.Our father was on HMS Surprise. We first lived in Cathedral Street and then at 5 Promenade Flats, Sliema.
I attended Verdala school along with my sister Karen, who was in the infants. I remember so many things about the school...the rope climbing frame, the swimming pool, playing hopscotch, kiss chase, the terrible school milk, sports days and the yellow school buses.
I cannot for the life of me, remember the names of any school friends, so if anyone remembers me, please get in touch.
Outside of school I remember a life full of adventure and fun, and sometimes getting into trouble! At the back of our flats there was some sort plantation where prickly pears were grown and all the kids around sneaked in there at some time or another to pick the pears. The owner used to go mad and chase us shaking his fist!
I remember a game similar to marbles, but played with ceramic beads, which we bought 10 for a penny.
Does anyone remember a sort of derelict theatre that was somewhere in Sliema? I remember playing there with friends, although we weren't supposed to. We used to climb up stairs to balconies that looked out over some sort of stage.
I loved going to Manoel Island where all the Naval families got together. I remember me and my sister taking our younger brother into the shaded toddler pool which was down a lot of steps, swimming out to the rafts, and watching people diving off the diving boards and wishing that I could do it too.
I rember going to the pictures and having drinks afterwards in the cafe in the square, either a lovely cold chocolate milkshake or an orange drink that I can't remember the name of. I remember delicious Maltese bread , some sort of cheese pastry that was sold from a street vendor who came outside our flats, and does anyone remember the lovely almond flavoured ice lollies....?
I look back on those days and realise how lucky we were to have lived on such a beautiful sunny island and to have attended such a good school as RNS Verdala.
41226/02/2008SueWattsI lived in Malta from 1961 to 1964 and went to a school, which I think was called Tigne.

I lived in Prince of Wales Road opposite the Sacred Heart Convent.

My father was in the Navy. I'm not sure if anyone from this site would remember Tigne but would love to hear from you if you do.

Sue
NA
41126/02/2008KarenHudsonWas at verdala 1960-1963 along with my sister Gillian
Verdala was my first ever school and so I was very young and do not remember anyone so I wonder if anyone remembers us?
NA
41025/02/2008FrancesSkinnerwas at verdala 1953 to 1956 remember boy called jack clayton who sat next to me in class .sat my 11 plus 1956 we took he exam in the canteen.
40919/02/2008SteveFrostI posted somthing in the forum looking for old friends and since 2005 I had no response so here is another try I was at verdala 3 years 1967 to 1969 and would love to hear from the following graham fergusson, andrew scut, leslie dunbar, paul kennington, glen macklin. or perhaps someone will know them and let me know dunbar of course was leslie's name then now might be different. some of the best days of my life were spent at verdala thanks for this web site
40819/02/2008LizMardelSteve - have you done a 'Person' search on Friendsreunited? If you don't have access I could have a look for you but don't want to spend the time if you've already tried!
40719/02/2008SteveFrostNo Liz I haven't done that and also dont have access, thanks for your input and forgot one name phillip barton we were in mr Whys class and school footy team he gave mr why a leaving present of a cork screw which Mr Why still has today.
40611/02/2008Catherine (Kate)CondieI am in the picture of the class of 4AJ, 1959-1960, 2nd row in from the front, 2nd in from the left. May I say, coming from dreek and damp Scotland, those were just the best days of my life.
40509/02/2008ColinSearleI was in Edward Savages photo of 4A and was standing next to him - I am Colin Searle!
40404/02/2008SteveMillinThis was an unexpected and first class find. I had a great time both at Verdala and Malta generally. 30 months of fun.
40322/01/2008SusanDingleiws in Malta from 1952 untill october 1956 we lived in Gzira nr Seilma my Dad was a cook in the navy his name was William John Dingle usually known as Joe my mums name was Christina known as Chris i rember being a snowflake i a school play & enjoying time on the climbing net at school if anyone remembers me please get in touch
40213/01/2008LizMardel / Miss McMeekingI got Keith Allen's book out of the library. A colourful life - and an interesting bit about you, Rona! I have to admit, though, that I'm rather glad he wasn't 'one of mine' - I wouldn't like to think I was in any way responsible for a volume that has the 'F' word on every other line!! OK, I'm a killjoy - or just too old!!
Our 'conversations' would really be better in the Forum than the Guest Book, I reckon. I wish there was a heading for 'News of Former Verdalans' there.
40113/01/2008Catherine (Kate)CondieI wonder if there is anyone who lived in Vittoriosa from 1958 to 1963 remembers the fun we used to have in the village? I remember there were other British families living there at that time.
40012/01/2008SueAdamsI met up with Chris Jenkins recently(son of Mr.Jenkins-my teacher in Verdala).He told me about the Keith Allen book which I bought after seeing the connection With Rona Smith in this guest book. Rona and I are busy catching up after .....too many years!
39910/01/2008VivienSkinner (Now Jones)Amazing events - I checked into the website because my younger son was visiting Malta over Christmas and I wanted to tell him where I lived, went to school and so on, so that he could visit. Imagine my surprise and delight to discover that a number of you had heard my Radio 4 story 'Tomato Sauce' and were wondering if you knew the person who wrote it. Well, some of you must have given my dates at Verdala - 1954-1958 -I was 6 in 1954. I'm not so good at remembering names in spite of a vivid recall of events. My sister, Frances, was there too, but she went on to Tal Handaq at some point.We lived at 123 Prince of Wales Road in Sliema. There are six stories, so far,in my Malta Tales and since these days I'm making a late entry as a freelance writer, what I'd like to do is have them published as a group. Two have been published and one broadcast so far - I'd be happy to put them onto the Verdala website but some publishers won't put material into print if it's been on the web. Any ideas ? Any working or retired publishers out there ? I don't want to get into self-publishing because it doesn't count on your literary CV.
What amazing days there were !
39806/01/2008LizMardel / Miss McMeekingVivian Jones (formerly Skinner) the elusive author of the 'Tomato Paste' story has now surfaced! She's lurking in Sue Lewis's section of the 'New Style Gallery' under the aerial view of Hal Far!
39706/12/2007IanBentonI was at Verdala as a pupil from 1950 to 1954. During that time my father Arthur Benton {now deceased} was head teacher of the Verdala section of the school. It think that that my mother who is still alive has photographs and school magazines of that era. I would gladly search for them and make them available if anyone is interested
39604/12/2007PhilipSomertonI was at Verdala 1967 age 7, my Father was in the navy. My elder sister also attended Verdala school.
I have visted malta a couple times in the last five years, and last year (2006) was able to find the old school. Unfortunetly they are pulling it down, and there were only a few building still left.
39521/10/2007GregRobbMy sister and I attended RNS Verdala between 1865 and 1967. A lot of memories - especially some superb and inspiring teachers - Miss Mitchell, Mr Powell (who lent me one of his 45 rpm records), Mrs Faruggia and Mr Why - whi I remember cycling to school on a racing sports bike! Remember best friends Peter Jackson, Jonny Walters and Elozabeth Dunlop - was in love with her aged six! Best regards, Greg
39412/10/2007RonaO'connor (Smith)Re. Keith Allen. Well obviously I had to rush out and buy the autobiography and yes there is a page about me! And very flattering too! So now I'm boring all my friends and colleagues with it. My teenage children are a bit embarrassed by my excitement, but hey ho!
39310/10/2007JoanneMutter (Now Gollandeau)Rona, even more of a claim to fame as it would appear, from mentions of a 'Rhona' Smith in his autobiography, that Keith Allen was very smitten by you. He speaks of Rhona's 'blue sash' as she was in the same house as him at school - the Blues. And yes, he is 54 years old so that fits too.
39209/10/2007LizMardel/Miss McMeekingWhat a pity I haven't got a programme for 'Peter and the Wolf' or any subsequent Christmas shows that Keith Allen might have been in! - Has anyone else? Goodness, there's fame, Rona, if he came to your birthday party!!
Yes, Suzanne, Miss Rowe was a great character. remembered by staff as well as pupils. I gather that she eventually came back to UK and she died some years ago.
39108/10/2007SuzanneLewis Nee GillI was at Verdala from 1954 - 56. Looking back now, I realise what a great start in education I had. Miss Rowe was a particularly strong influence, does anyone know what happened to her? She took us to an open air performance of The Merchant of Venice and Inever forgot it or her.
39008/10/2007RonaO'connor (Nee Smith)Re. Keith Allen. I also am of the opinion, and have been for years, that he may well be the same Keith Allen who came to my beach birthday party (9th in 1962). I remember him quite clearly as being funny. The odd things I have read over the years, though not specifically the word Verdala have always lead me to believe it's the same chap. I have no memory of him after that, but he must be about my age-54 or he could be 53.
38904/10/2007JoanneMutter (Now Gollandeau)Have just read the autobiolgraphy of Keith Allen (aca sheriff of Nottingham in BBC Robin Hood series). It would appear that he was a Verdalan between 1960 and 1963. Just before my time as I started at Verdala in 1964. Just wondered if anyone recalls him or has come to the same conclusion. Although he doesn't name Verdala in his book, it was a naval school he attended and much of the description fits.
38813/09/2007MayMahoodHi,Just noticed that my email address is out of dateand would love to hear from anyone that remembers me from Verdala and then Tal Handaq from 1951-1954. We all loved our days spent on our Island in the Sun
38711/09/2007StephenWoodI was a pupil at Verdala between 1967 & 1970. I remember some of the the name that Brendan Ward posted. Lindsay Foot lived and his brother Steven lived behind us in Egmont Close.
38603/09/2007JulieLambertSorry Rona that it wasnt you! Have posted it on the gallery (hope it loaded!) in the hope that someone recognises her, the only other person I could think of was Irene Liddle. From left to right are: Angela Geake, Jill Henwood, Julie Lambert (myself) and unknown! Please help!
38501/09/2007RonaO'connorHi Julie - yes that would be me! I also was a keen runner and long jumper. Loads of medals. I have been in correspondence with Mr Carrell which was great. He sent me a copy of the school mag with an article I had written about going to the races(!) I remember Mr Ousbey -daughter Belinda? Remember seeing him at the beach - Paradise Bay thinking crikey I thought teachers stayed at school all the time. My parents were in Xmas card contact with the Whys (Mr John and wife Dorothy "C minus, tone deaf" etched on my memory)until my parents died. great times. Must go back sometime.
38431/08/2007LizMardelGo on Julie, post it on here in the New Style Gallery then we can all see it!
38330/08/2007JulieLambertHi Rona, I am an avid reader of this very well conducted and subscribed to website and your name seemed to shout out to me as I read your comments! The Rona Smith I remember had long hair in a ponytail and was in the ballet class. If that was you then I have a picture of you on our flat roof performing with myself (Julie Lambert), Angela Geake and Jill Henwood. Let me know and I would be pleased to forward it!
38229/08/2007RonaSmithHi. I was at Verdala 1962-5 in the last years of my primary schooling and have many happy memories. I was actually there when I was two and have surprisingly clear memories of that time as well. If there is another reunion I would be interested in attending. I haven't been back since 1976 when my late parents Ron and Sarah Smith were on their last tour and have lived in Southampton since 1975.
38128/08/2007LizFormerly Miss McMeekingWell done Alexander! - I knew those brain cells wouldn't stay blank! I had a letter from Mr Ousbey just recently, very funny - must get his permission to post it on here!
38027/08/2007AlexanderBirtHI AFTER LIZ MARDEL GOT ON TO ME I HAVE SPOKEN TO ONE FORMER PUPIL A FEW TIMES & SENT HER SOME PHOTOS OF SENGLEA WERE WE STAYED AT THE SAME TIME 1957/1960 ALSO WHEN I LOOKED AT THE STAFF PHOTOS ONE FACE JUMPED OUT AT MR OUSBEY. I THINK MY CLASS WAS ON THE WEST SIDE I REMEMBER THAT IT ONLY HAD TWO WINDOWS TO THE FRONT, I ALSO REMEMBER I RAN IN THE ONE HUNDRED YARDS AT SPORTS DAY & CAME LAST.1 WAS 11 IN 1957 PASSED MY 11 PLUS & WENT TO TAL HANDAG INTO 1EG & THEN 2AM BEFORE LEAVING.ALEX
37924/08/2007LizMcMeeking (As Was)What a vivid description, Helen, of your 'road to Damascus' experience all those years ago! - and how pleased Alma Batty would have been to know what a difference she made!
37823/08/2007HelenChere (As Was)Liz Mardel has mentioned in the forum the riots in 1958 and was anyone there at the time. Curiously, my six year old memory has no record at all of being concerned about problems in those weeks coming home on the bus, I was probably so relieved that I'd found the right one, I didn't worry about stoning or going the long way round. But I certainly have a record of hearing a news item on the wireless ( I nearly wrote radio) which said there was rioting at the dockyard, which is where my father worked, and that it 'Had been set on fire'. I was terrified and pictured some dreadful conflagration, so I burst into tears when Daddy came home perfectly safe.'And what are you crying for?' 'Because I thought Daddy was going to die in the fire!' My mother hadn't realised that I had listened to the wireless report. So that was 1958? Well, well.
37723/08/2007HelenChere (As Was)Thank you for letting me know the news of Miss Batty.She was so significant to me of course, because she taught me to read. I can remember looking at the screen at the front of the hall when I first went to Verdala, covered in marks which were the words to our hymns and it seemed to me that all the other children could read them and knew what words to sing.(And until I saw the photographs in the Gallery here I had thought that the hall that my memory pictures so vast must have truly been huge to contain all the twelve hundred children,but now I understand that when I was sitting there I was, surely, only amongst my own single year group)But Miss Batty explained so clearly about the sounds that letters made that it seems like no time before I could read and sing properly, instead of miming the words. It was the phonic method, (I recognised it later) and she told us about the way that each letter had a sound, if you learnt them carefully you could read ANYTHING you wanted. We sat at our tables and said the sounds of the letters that she wrote, and built them into words, and so clearly I remember the story she told us to explain how 'policeman e' would stand at the end of words like 'bit', or 'mad', and all the vowels were so nervous that in their panic they would say their name instead of their sound; you would read 'bite' or 'made'. I remember sitting and listening and somehow knowing that she was giving me a key which would onlock a whole world.I'm sorry that I am too late to tell her.
37622/08/2007LizMardel (McMeeking)Hello there Pauline! Now how did I miss your message below ?! (perhaps because I?ve been away or perhaps because Verdala has somehow disappeared as my Home Page!)

Has anyone let you know that, yes, there is a Tal Handaq reunion coming up. It?s next month (Sat. Sept 22nd) at Warwick University. There?s a link to Tal H in the ?Links? section on our home page. It?s time we had another Verdala one as well if there?s anyone out there with the energy and experience to organise it! (Note to Alastair the Webmaster, what about a section of the Forum for suggestions?!)

You say that you have pictures of yourself as the princess, dancing (as guest artiste!) in ?Jan and the Silver Planet? in 1959. If you explore the ?New Style Gallery? from the link on the Home Page you?ll see that there are a couple of the pictures there! (And yes, I?ve been meaning to transfer the captions from the old ?Gallery? for yoinks!)

Good to hear from you, Pauline, and also to read your piece, Helen Chere. I know you?ll be sorry, Helen, to learn that (Miss) Alma Batty died in 2003. I put a little obituary in the ?Ex-staff? section of the Forum. There are also two pictures of her in recent years in the ?Staff Room? section. I shall tell her widower Brian to look at your entry ? I?m sure he?ll be interested. I had a message from him only yesterday with the sad news that Alma?s (and my) friend (Miss) Joan Watson (Verdala staff 1954 ? ?60) died on Sunday. I?ll try and get a little obituary from her brother to post into the Forum.

Note to Alexander Birt ? It?s only us Old Bats who were staff who are allowed to have blank minds!! Get digging and I'm sure you?ll come up with something!!


37521/08/2007AlexanderBirtwent to verdala in 1957 .took my 11 plus & went on to tal handag don't remember much about school days minds a blank.
37421/08/2007HelenChereHow lovely to find this Verdala site, full of people who share memories that in my blinkered way I've thought for fifty years were quite unique.

I came to Malta in 1956, five years old, from the quiet cool countryside of rural Hampshire, just three days before term started and so my Verdala years are vivid. Anyone who knew me then, in Miss Batty's class, might remember a tiny, painfully shy and anxious girl; and all my memories of school are coloured by the situations that frightened me; the vast playground; going down to the enormous bus park at the end of the day and would I find the right bus before it left without me (we lived at 2 Maryanne Flats, Fleet Street, Gzira then 58 Egmont Close, St Ignatius Junction, Sliema), the horrible milk, and I thought the rest of you LIKED it; would I manage to fix correctly not only my green sash but my tie as well, though we did all change from winter uniform to summer on the very day that the Navy 'went into whites'.

Can it be possible that Miss Batty sees this site? I am that child who, on the first day of school, waited and waited, to hear the headmaster read out my name, but never did, because it was pronounced unexpectedly, so as the hall became empty just quietly followed children into another class 'Do you have an extra one?' Miss Batty asked, and I felt mortified. And never spoke one word to her, being shy, for six weeks.

But I became rather good at marbles, hopscotch, hoola hoop, and I could make houses for fairies by covering little pits in the dust with tiny sticks for a roof, and by the time I left in 1959 I had determined that I would climb all the way up the rope net to the metal ridge, climb over it and down the other side. And I did; though I also remember a boy having a dreadful accident and being carried away on a stretcher, lots of blood and a teacher walking beside looking frightened and shocked.

How I did love swimming and the clear, clear water, Ghajn Tuffieha and Mx, though my father sometimes would have to carry me to the sea over a metre wide band of stranded jellyfish, and there were sea urchins, and mosquitoes at night so that we had to sleep and suffocate under ceiling nets and burn green spiral incense coils, and the shoats everywhere and the poor blindfolded horses walking all day round and round the irrigation wells.

It somehow seems very important that the palm tree is still there.
37306/08/2007PaulineHargreaves (Now Mendez)If Liz Mardel reads this please contact me. Would love to know if and when there is going to be another reunion for either Verdala or Tal'Handaq? If there is anyone out there who remembers me - Verdala in 1957 for a year - Miss Chadwick or Chapman? ( I think) was my teacher in the 4th form and Commander Law in 1DG in Tal'Handak followed by Miss Murphy in 2CG. Came home in 1960. Did ballet with Miss Rowe until I came home - last time at Verdala even tho I was at Tal'Handaq - seem to remember dancing as the lead in Princess of the Silver Planet lost in Space - have the photos to prove it somewhere!! Steve Martin sent in a photo of some boys outside a classroom - on some steps - I could swear that they were boys in my class of 1DG - I seem to recognise the boy with glasses - maybe called Glen Robinson and if I am not mistaken the blond boy on the steps is a Michael Collins? but I may be mistaken...Do let me know if someone reads this and can verify same. Have been back to Malta several times as I flew with BA for 13 years - in fact met Miss Jackie Yule on a flight returning to Malta having just got the MBE or OBE - whilst operating on the flight she was on. Was invited to Tal'Handaq for lunch and Mike Law - the then headmaster - came to the Phoenicia Hotel in a car to pick me. Happy memories... I am now in Northern Ireland running a Guesthouse on the seafront - check out the website www.hargreaveshouse.com
37220/07/2007JohnHadleyThe cub/scout troop Keith refers to was the Savoy Group and it gathered at the Holy Trinity Church in Sliema. I was both a cub and scout at the troop - in black and brown six during my time as a cub and then up into Wolf Patrol as a Scout. Wolf Patrol was an interesting because it was made up of boys who went to boarding school in the UK. We formed up only during school holidays - as a very new patrol we went off to a big scout jamboree at Takali and won the shield as the best patrol(I seem to remember is was blue with two scouts shaking hands). Not bad for a group that only became scounts just weeks before this camp. And, yes, Keith I remember you well - no bad after over 40 years. You would have been on Bus 38 whereas I was on No. 36. Also you played in the A team at football whereas I was in the B team. Happy days!
37119/07/2007KeithWigglesworthNice to see Egmont Close mentioned..brings back memories of the bomb shelter by the football pitch, ghost stories, subbuteo, topo gigio and burning airfix planes flying from the verandahs, saturday morning matinees at the Majestic with a packet of twistees and a sunshine (weird orange drink) afterwards in the square. Haven't seen anyone mention the Villa Rosa Club with its pools, or the Marsa Club. Can anyone remember the name of the cub troop in Sliema that a lot of us belonged to in the mid 60's??
37018/07/2007barryFentonI was at Verdala in two stints from 1948-1951 and 1952-1955 am in the Class V photo of 1954 top left I think. Sally Skelton is about the only name that I can remember pathetic isn't i lived in Vittoriosa and remember leaving early to get the bus on its way to kalkara creek before school
36902/07/2007GeoffBamberRe message from Tony Clark. Yes I was in the Dockyard Sea Scouts and sent you an email. If it did not go through you can contact me through the Roll Call. It would be nice to chat to you again. I think you were my Ptrol Leader.
36827/06/2007DavidCorcoranGutted! I have just got back from a holiday in Malta and discovered what you all already know - Verdala is being 'updated'. I now feel very sorry that I did not try to take a look earlier because now my sketchy memories will be all that remain! I made the visit with my wife and young son and was rather surprised that few of the locals had any idea where the old school was - even those living within 100 yards of it! In the end all I saw was the sad gates -all rusty and buckled. I really would love to see more high quality pictures if any exist, so that I can try to remember more. Following on from my last posting (11/04/07) I have been asked to submit any pictures I have from old school annuals. I will do this as soon as I purchase a scanner. Best wishes and regads to all who use this excellent website.
36725/06/2007LynnHorsfallDoes anyone remember the 'Club' at the back of Egmont Close, in Sliema in the early 60's. Do you remember the Christmas parties there? The summer nights, with Bingo played on the tennis courts. Volare and Do Ya, Do Ya, Do Ya wana dance?, being played over and over. The 'Twist' and the glamourous twist dress! I know I went to Verdala but my memories lean more toward the after school fun. The Majestic cinema - I and a group of friends must of watched 'The Guns of Navarone' 10 times. And the milkshakes at the Cafe outside the Majestic - no chocolate milkshake has ever tasted so good. The kids of today don't no what they have missed. Happy Days.
36623/06/2007Ric (Eric)SinclairDoes anyone remember Pat or Paul Cracknell, they would of been at Verdala in the early 60's ( 1962/63 ) ..I attended at Tal Handaq in 1962/63 before returning to Australia, my father ran the Australian Immigration Office in Valetta...Pat and I were good friends.
36518/06/2007TonyClarkI agree with Liz my inbox is overflowing with E-mails from Ex Verdalans and Tal Handaq friends isnt it a small world on occasions. Lets try and add to the numbers by calling Geof Bamber. Were you also in the Sea Scouts in the early 50s and does any one know the whereabouts of Phillip Hannan? Incidently goats and shoats are still plentiful in the Chadwick Lake area.
36401/06/2007LizMardelIt's amazing how many former Verdalans pop up all over the Portsmouth area! (Well, not really very surprising I suppose!) Last night on coffee duty at Petersfield Arts and Crafts Society I found that my co-washer-upper was there in the 50s! Welcome here to the site when you find it Christine!
36330/05/2007MaureenThrelfallI was on the Infant staff from 1963 to1966. [No EMAIL Address for this entry-Webmaster]
36212/05/2007BrendanWardHi, i was at verdalla between 68 and 71 I can remember george Mgill lyndsay foot and martin camps. I lived in astor flats point street sliema and my brother peter was at tal han daq.
Great to see the response!
36109/05/2007IainSmithWas at Verdala from 1956 to 1959 and returned in 1961 to do the 11 plus in Mr Ousbey,s class. He is the teacher I remember above all others as a positive influence on me. I went on to Tal Handaq until 1967. My father taught technical subjects there. I remember being terrified of the awesome cimbing frame.I also remember the bus journeys from Paceville, in particular going through the docks area as the ships loaded up for the Suez crisis. What a lot of ships there were in all the creeks in those days. The people in bare feet, the numerous priets and nuns, the donkeys and shoats everywhere, the fireworks on feist days,the colour coded buses, cakes in the Cordina cafe, the blue sea ane the flowers in the spring. What a magical place!
36001/05/2007BobHideI lived in Egmont Close between 1956-1962. My father was Shipping Master for Grand Harbour. Would love to know when the next reunion is. I have been back to Malta on many occasions and found it like home. After Verdale I went to Tal Handaq and then St Johns in Singapore. Despite haveing a great childhood I have found that has given me itchy feet and I haven't stopped moving since. I'm still in touch with some old chums but does anyone know where David Attard is ?
35929/04/2007AlisonHowickWhat a gem of a site! It has brought back so many memories. Found my beaming face on one of the photos of the recorder group. Also played the recorder in the play Peer Gynt. I've just been looking through my autograph book from my time at Verdala (approx 1959 to 1961) Have autographs from the following staff members - Miss Candy, B Eastland, J Pickett, R A Turley, J Pearse N Adams, S Horton. One of the friends I remember most is Gail Tucker (who went back to live in Great Ayton, Yorkshire) Recently went back to Malta and met up with the Maltese lady I was bridesmaid when I was 4! My two brothers Terry and Stephen Howick were also at Verdala.
35827/04/2007NeilGeorgeI am making a radio programme for the BBC about the cold War and in particular Cmdr Brookes and his role in it. I believe he may have been working under cover in Malta for Naval Intelligence. I am very keen to find someone who worked with Cmdr Brookes in the 1950s and 60s to get a better picture of the man, and maybe what he was doing. I would be grateful for any help you can give.
Regards Neil George, BBC.
35726/04/2007SilvanSpagnolMrs Banks, thanks for your photographs! As an ex-(maltese) verdala student, I am quite interested in what's happening on top of Margerita Hill! I cannot believe that Graham Woodall's wife was also a student at Verdala! Last month, I was at a school (not Verdala) activity which included a small talk by Mr. Woodall. He mentioned his wife's memories of Malta in his speech and I had no idea she was a Verdalan!!!
35624/04/2007JaneBanks Nee StubbsI have just returned from a holiday to Malta and have put afew words on the Forum about my visit to my old School Verdala.There are some photos to accompany the building update and some of the panorama of Malta taken from the School Hall ROOF ! If anyone wants to see more then I will gladly send them ,if you get in touch .
Whilst I was there we visited The ST.James Cavalier Centre for Art and Creativity in Valletta ,to see Graham Woodall's Exhibition called 'Besieged'.Graham has stirred Maltese emotions up with this fasinating and very interesting subject at how the new buildings sprouting up everywhere are either good or bad for Malta ! I must add that Graham's wife is Jo (nee Mogridge) so the Verdala connection is very valid for this Guestbook. The exhibition is on until 14th May ,so please go looksee if you are in Malta,It's worth a visit and is Free ! The St.James Cavalier is in what was the old NAAFI by The Auberge, if it looks familiar to anyone who was at Verdala in the 50's.
My Dad was stationed at Dingli and we lived in Egmont Close Sliema 55 to 58, which are now being rebuilt as Luxury apartments! Regards Jane Banks
35520/04/2007LynnHorsfallI was at Verdala between 1960 until 1963. Used to live and play around Egmont Close. Does anyone remember a teacher called Miss Candy or was it Candey? Dad was Joe or Rolly - Fitter electrical. Lots of good memories of these happy years, although have forgot names of people I shared them with.
35411/04/2007DavidCorcoranI was at Verdala for a very short length of time - Sept 75 to July 76 (just as the school closed). My memory of my stay is sketchy at the best of times but I am very keen to learn more. I would love to get in touch with any of you out there who would have been at Verdala at what I understand were the few years before the British left Malta. I am lucky enough to still have a copy of the last Verdala school booklet and that is about it! There are a number of pictures in it; however, the quality is not great. My father had several tours of duty in Malta and so I do have lots of other memories to share with anyone who might be interested!
35305/04/2007GraemePaxtonHi I WAS AT VERDALA FROM JUNE 71 T0 73/74 AND HAD A GREAT TIME THERE I WAS VICE CAPTAIN OF HAWKINS HOUSE .I was always good at sports all round person.MY sister donna was also at the school.I remember everytime we played rounders I would always try and hit for the drive way down to the entrance gate.I remember commander bond being the headmaster.I cant believe when I clicked on to see the show that had susan underwood in I was also in that show.They were the good old days
35221/03/2007DaphneWyeHi everyone,I was at Verdala 1954/56. we lived in Senglea , Two gates street.Dad was on the Surprise.
We returned again in 1958/61 where I went to tal-handaq. My sister Rosina was at Verdala both times.She was in the brownies and the school quior.
Such lovely times, although it was all taken for granted.
35110/03/2007JoyceVoseMoved to Malta in 1949 and attended VERDALA from aged 5 in August 1950. I just cannot remember anything!! Can anyone enligten me?

We lived in St. Catharine's Street, Birzebbuga.
35004/03/2007GeoffreyBamberWhen I started at Verdala in 1951 at the age of 8 it struck me as odd that the Infant classes were conducted in a prison building complete with bars on the windows, a wall round the yard and big heavy gates. We of course were not allowed in there to explore. There was a small boy who kept running out of class necessitating a playground search by the teachers. To solve that problem they decided to close the gates until he settled down several weeks later. I wonder if you were that boy Ken?
34918/02/2007KenOkinesI have vivid memories of starting school in 1951 at the age of five, when my father was on HMS Chequers, including my fear of getting on the wrong school bus which led me one day to walk home to Valletta where my anxious mother's anger turned to a sort of admiration for my sense of direction when she found out it was true. I also recall a gentle man in the school grounds who told me he was in jug. Perhaps he had been delegated to ensure I got on the bus in future and thought it would take my mind off the travelling!
I was delighted to find this web site and especially to see the photos from the 50's.
34814/02/2007StephanieElgieI am Ruth's sister and we lived in Malta from 1957 until 1960. What a wonderful 3 years we spent out there. I don't remember much about my school days but do remember swimming off Bighi rocks and all the sandy beaches that we went to. I also remember many of those people but again not so from school. I keep in touch with Sue (nee Waugh) and look forward to seeing her in a few weeks time. I would love to hear from anyone out there that might remember me and can shed light on our school days. A second email address for me (work) is stephanie.bennett749@mod.uk
34709/02/2007RuthElgieI attended Verdala about 1957 I think - then went on to Tal Handak. We lived in Kalkara as my Dad was Jack Elgie and was a Sick Berth CPO in Bighi hospital. We used to do loads of swimming in Bighi on the rocks in the hospital grounds so if anyone remembers us would love to hear from you.
I live in Lincolnshire now but my parents are still in the 'land of the living' and live in Gosport. My sister Stephanie is in Wiltshire.
34608/02/2007SueShaw (Nee Waugh)I attended Verdala School from Sept 1958, completed my 11+ and then went onto Tal Handak in Sept 1960 for one term. My Dad (Doug)was a SBCPO based at RNH Bighi and we lived in Watermill Street, Kalkara. This site has brought back many wonderful memories of what was the happiest time of my childhood. In the Gallery photo of Roy Jenkins Class 4AJ I am the little blonde head poking out from behind the others, just next to Roy. My family and I emigrated to Australia in 1965 but I have stayed in touch with my 'best friend' Steph Elgie from Malta days. My husband and I will be visiting the UK and Malta in a couple of weeks time - arriving Malta on 20 March and staying at the Victoria Hotel in Sliema. I would love to see my old school(s) again, and if by chance there is anyone who remembers me perhaps we could make contact.
34506/02/2007AnthonyCurtinVisited Verdala recently and was delighted to see that it was still there. Was there between 1966 and 1968 and can also remember the water bombs on the buses. What fun!! Having looked at the gallery was surprised to find a photograph of myself and my twin brother Patrick, in the 1966-67 cubs. I was in the front row number 4 and Patrick was in BD number 2. Would love to hear from anyone that can remember us or our elder brother Brendan.
34430/01/2007MichaelFergusonI am visiting Malta next month for the first time since 1965. Where actually is Verdala ?
34325/01/2007AndyPopeJust been reading through the "Forum" (quiet day at work) and have read Lyndsey's comments about the school buses being stoned. I don't remember that but I do remember that, on the last day of term, we used to throw water bombs at the other buses if we passed them. The drivers were maniacs!!!
34224/01/2007AndyPopeHave just spent a very enjoyable half hour showing my 16 year old daughter where her Dad went to school between 1965 & 1968. Mr King was my final teacher

Many thanks to those who have posted photos, really interesting. I'll have to look out some of mine
34115/01/2007AlasdairSoutarMy sister Caroline's posting of yesterday refers. I also remember the gold stars awarded for stories (Miss Todd's class), the swimming pool with the floats for learners and the room where films were shown. I confess to chasing lizards to see if they "lost" their tails if you caught them - they did - and the aniseed smell of a plant with a bright green stem. I also remember taking sandwiches in a plastic box for lunch to eat in the dining room, football, of course, and the climbing nets at the gate. Marbles were a big part of life in the school - who remembers "once out of one from the gutter"? Happy days indeed.
34014/01/2007CarolineNee SoutarMy brothers Norman, Alasdair an I went to Verdala between '68 and '70. Our father was an RN doctor and out Mum was the schoolmatron at Tal Handaq.
Altough I was only four when we came to Malta, some memories are pretty clear. We lived in Balzan and waited for the bus for school at the gates of San Anton Palace. I remember horrible flavoured milk in pyramid shaped cartons. The well in the play ground. The wooden pushchairs and huge climbing frame.At the bus park we sometimes bought sugared nuts in long cones that always tasted far worse than they looked.
I cannot remember any school friends but I do remember Norman and I teasing Alasdair about two girls in his class April Baldwin and Vula Alder(?).
My parents and I visited Malta in 1999 the school seemed so much smaller. We used to swim at Kalifrana; Dad used to make us swim to the raft,Happy days
33914/01/2007DavidAlexanderhi there I was in Malta with my Father,he was in the RN and in charge of Qrendi Mine Depot.I used to attend Tal Handaq this was in the early 60's,I am looking for some guy called Archie Caunter.Our School song was as follows "Benbow Collingwood,Briar and Blake,wish I could get all the words
NA
33810/01/2007DavidGerrardGreetings Verdalians,
I have just set up a new photo website for Tal Handaq at www.talhandaqnostalgia.org .
As many of us belonged to both schools. Cheers DMG
33706/12/2006LizMardel (Miss McMeeking)Hello Susan - I've put a response to your message in the Forum - Questions and Answers.
33605/12/2006Susan LewisNee ReedAttended Verdala 1950-1953. Somehow it was very satisfying on our visit last year, to see the origins of so many good memories. For those of you who haven't yet been back or attended a reunion I recommend that you try it.
Thanks to the organiser/s.
33527/11/2006TonyFooteHi, my name is Tony Foote.
I have just discovered the site and it brings back fond memories.
I was at Verdala from 1955-1958, age 6-9. I cannot remember any names but remember having a class teacher who lost her husband to a swimming accident.

I was also one of the 40 thieves in Ali Baba in 1957.

Will there be another reunion? and when, I would like to visit Malta next year.
33426/11/2006Mark (Fred)DawsonVerdala 67'-70'. Loved Verdala for its sports; footy, cricket swimmimg and athletics. Which played its part when I joined the RAF in 78' and I received my colours representing the RAF 1st XI at both cricket and football. Loved pottery class and history; Mr Sanderson was my last teacher in class 4B 1970(Malayian blow-pipes & other such exotica). Kiss chase(loved catching a sleazy chick called Wendy....) Whacky Bus races, No 33 to Balutta Bay/Spinola-driver called Sunny/Stockings? Fighting and racing on the rope climbers. Chucking schoolbag (small old style suit-case)down the drive. Winding-up Mr Why in music lessons-too easy. Mates Nick Emmence, Huw Cummings and loads more, Kim and Nigel (All our Dads were in the Navy). Swimming at Tigne, rafts, diving boards,fizzy pop & lollies. Sea urchins and needles in foot. Jelly Fish stings, Tar on rocks and feet. Hiding Miss Dickinson's chalk and blackboard rubber. Ah memories in a kid's care free happy go-lucky world that was Malta.
33321/11/2006JuliaWalkerHi Everyone, this is Julia. I was at Verdala from 1999-2002, grades 6 through 8. Unfourtunately I had to leave Verdala and go back to America to start High School. I had classes with Mrs. Zammit for math, Ms. Agius for English, Mr. Buttigieg for history, Ms. Kirkstadt also for math, Mr. Simpson for music (learned to play guitar in his class), Mr. Cassar for Art, Ms. Sanger for P.E., Ms. Pandyova for science, and Ms. Gera, also for P.E. I miss you all, and thanks for all your help and guidance.
I lived in Mellieha and I remember taking a 45 min bus ride to get to Verdala everyday, depending on traffic. Martin was the bus driver. I recently visited Verdala this summer and I bumped into Mr. Pleasance. Everything looked the same, with some minor changes. It brought back so many nice memories. Well I hope some of you remember me. Class of 2006!!!!!
NA
33220/11/2006JulieLambert (Now Margarson)Hi Everyone
I was back in Malta in October and could see the construction crane over Verdala from Valletta. This time I didnt get chance to go to the school, although I knew that renovation was to commence during the summer.
We all love our memories, and in 2005 when I re visited Verdala, it was one of the best moments of my life, but remember everyone that we cannot expect the place to remain as a shrine to us all for our treasured memories. The place is now a very smart and established school and they do deserve to do what they think is best for the place. I hope that the Palm Tree, so visible on the horizon will be left, and also the dome, but time doesnt stand still just to humour us previous attendees! And by the way Chris (Jenkins) I was in your 4AJ class conducted by Mr Radford, and I too also have my class reports for that year!
33120/11/2006MikeAtkinsonI was very sorry to read of Bert Powell's death. I was at the school - and taught by him - during 1968/9, and was a friend of his son, who was one of my contemporaries. My parents and the Powells became friends, and we visited his home several times.

He was a kind man who, I'm sure, will be missed by his family, to who I send condolences.

Mike Atkinson
33019/11/2006LizMardel (Miss McMeeking)Hello Chris, Silvan (how did I miss your posts here?!) and everyone else!

I was also aghast to see Chris's photos, linked from the home page. I wrote a bit about it yesterday in the 'Questions and Answers' in the FORUM (link in the horizontal band on the Home Page) in reply to 'Matthew'. I know that one Old Verdalan (Penny Tucker) is coming over from Oz next June looking forward to visiting the school - thank goodness for your warnings!

Perhaps the Forum would be a good place to continue this conversation! What about a special heading, Alastair, Mr Webmaster?!
[Link to Forum discussion board on subject]
32916/11/2006ChrisJenkinsLadies and Gentlemen,
I was in Malta on business last week and took time to go to have a look at Verdala. I could not believe my eyes. The place is a giant building site. One of the classrooms on the top floor of the block next to the NE driveway has obvioulsy had a fire recently.
If I understood the 'Planning Permission' notice fixed to the side of the old well, the work is on reconstruction (the Nissan-type buildings and the Infants block have been pulled down) and renovation (the original 1906 blocks). I hope I have got that right!
I did take a load of photographs and would like to download a few.
32809/11/2006AlanSmithBy chance found this wonderful site that brings back so many memories of our stay in Malta. I visited Verdala from 1960 to 1962. I have to admit that I remember more from our private life in Malta than I do from the school. I?ve only got one picture of me in school uniform, but looking through the site does bring back even a few school memories.
32729/10/2006AndrewPopeI was at Verdala from 1965 to 1968. I remember John Hadley's sister Katie. My teacher in my last year was Mr King.

I remember being the Policeman in a school play about Viking treasure.

32623/10/2006JulianHaywardLike Vincent (posted below), I haven't been to the site for a while and could not attend the reunion of last year. Here's hoping for another reunion.
32520/10/2006JohnHadleyWhilst it is always sad to read about the premature passing of a former pupil, David Russell?s message concerning Mike Farge does raise an interesting observation. Like Mike I also attended the Royal Hospital School after I left Verdala, as did a number of others. In my year I went with one other ? a Mike Verney I seem to remember who I see has left a message below ? though I knew of others in years above and below me. My point in raising this is that as Service families we were all accustomed to moving every two-to-three years ? it coincided with an era of UK global military retreat ? which made for a very interesting lifestyle for us kids as our parents went from one posting to another. Malta was a good posting - Verdala was my fifth primary school ? as were others. My first primary school was the Royal Naval School at Sembawang (Singapore) and I suspect there are other former Verdala pupils (and possibly staff) who attended there also at some point. For those ex-pupils of Singapore there is a good site at http://geocities.com/derektait/sembawang.html which contains an interesting collection of pictures from the 1950s-through-to-the-1970s with links to the Kebunteh Naval School in Malaya (Derek Tail who runs this site has written a book about his childhood experiences.) No doubt there were other naval schools dotted around the world which I am sure others can point to.

32407/10/2006StevenKimberleyI was attending Verdala from late 1958 until early '61, and living in Birzebugia. My Dad was in the Fleet Air Arm at Kalafrana. My memories of school days at Verdala are rather vague and I dont recognize any of the names in the guest book or roll call. The only person whose name I remember was one Lindy Jones, who was also living in Birzebugia around '59-60 but who does not appear to be listed here. If anyone knows of her, pls let me know. Another name I remember was my teacher for one year, Miss Batty, who is again not listed. I am now 54 & semi-retired, living in Cyprus.
32322/09/2006DavidRussellMy Father was Fleet Air Arm, stationed at Hal Far and Kalafrana (1951-53). We lived at Birzebuggia and I actually went to the RAF Schools at Safi and Luqa (1952-53)because there were not enough places at Verdala at the time.
Unfortunately, I have sad news of a former pupil of Verdala (1955-58), Michael Douglas (Mike) Farge who was later to become my best friend during our five years at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, Suffolk (1958-63)after he left Verdala.
Mike had spent his whole working life in Civil Aviation and was at the very peak of a glittering career which spanned more than 40 years and culminated in him being appointed Chief Executive of an Aircraft Engineering Company and Corporate Jet Aircraft Operator based at Southampton International Airport in the UK.
Mike had recently been diagnosed with leukaemia and sadly, after a valiant battle with the illness, he died suddenly on 30th August 2006, aged 59.
I wonder if anyone has memories of Mike at Verdala between 1955-1958, as I am sure these would be of interest to his family. He leaves his wife and one grown-up son and will be greatly missed by all those who knew him.

NA
32217/09/2006PeterHumeI attended Verdala between 1953-1955.My father was on HMS Bermuda, and we lived in a flat very close to Marshall Court at Sliema.
32130/08/2006LouiseSandy (Was Day)I attended Verdala for a few months up to Christmas 1971 when we were all 'chucked out'. I wish I could remember more about my time there but I do remember the swimming pool and the rope frame.
32003/08/2006Richard [ Dick ]AdamsSo many good memories from just looking through the site,i am even on a photo in the gallery, that was a big shock, iwas in MALTA from 55/59 lived in SENGLEA my sister CATH ADAMS visets malta each year on holiday, i cant ,i am sorry to say as i am now disabled, and short of the old ready,s but iam always trolling through the site to see if i can remember anyone, IF YOU DO REMEMBER ME please drop me a line, i would love it,MANY GOOD WISHES TO YOU ALL, DICK ADAMS
NA
31903/08/2006CherieTiptonI went to verdala 1967-68 for third grade, my teacher was Mr. Powell. I know his son was in my class, and my friend was Joanne. I loved living in Malta for that year while my father who was a History Professor did his research on the Knights of Malta. I remember the bowling alley I believe it was in valetta, that all the sailors would frequent. My brother and I got to tour a lot of navy ships by becoming friends of the sailors. I also remember milk being brought to our classrooms every day for a snack which I believe was goat milk and it was flavored and colored Don't think I would like to drink that ever again. Also remember being afraid of the headmaster, cause I didn't want to be hit with the cane. Looked very painful.
I remember seeing someone get hit across the back of the legs, and I was sure I would be good my entire time there after that. I didn't want any part of that. Also remember recorder class. and the ropes. Also a swimming pool which wasn't very deep. and sewing class where we made this little felt doll that held needles and pins. Wow. such fun times. I would love to visit Malta again someday. My brother has been back with his family. Said it's quite a tourist place now. Still would be fun to see our old flat. and ride the bus. Remember the bus only cost 1/2 penny. and the 1/2 penny was the largest coin.
t
31811/07/2006ChristineCarrollSo many memories coame flooding back when i found this site!!! I attended 58-61 and was in Miss Candy's class when i left.I lived in Silema Trafalgar navy flats with my two brothers John and Robert and sister Maureen.My Dad was based at fort Angelo.I can remember playing with Susan Thompson(i think that was her surname)and Pauline Fenton.We moved back to Liverpool in 61 and i have'nt been further a field since.I've been back to Malta a few times but cannot find the school or where i lived so if anyone could jog my ageing memory i'd be grateful. Please feel free to get in touch with me if you remember me or my family.
NA
31709/07/2006LindsayMcNeilWhat a fab web site. I attended Verdala from 1958 to 1961 when I sat my 11 plus and went to Tal Handaq Sept 1961. We returned to England January 1962 my father was in the navy and I can remember him working at the Naval base in Valletta. I have sister 2 years older than me her name is Sandra and a sister 4 years younger her name is Janine. I was a cat in Peter and the Wolf and remember going to the pictures to see Princess Margaret's wedding, and of course I remember the bus rides to and from school. Oh how I wish I could remember more. I have been in contact with Miss Meeking and do remember Miss Rowe, ballet classes and recorder classes. My mother died in 1965 and I do not have any photos of these days. If anyone remembers our family it would be lovely to hear from you.
31604/07/2006MaryCarter (Nee Furness)I attended Verdala from 1955 to 1958 and remember some very happy times there. My brother John was also there. One day l was very brave and nervous going to the Headmaster asking if we could roller skate during lunch time. Does anyone remember taking part in that activity? My family lived in Sliema. I have been back many times living down in memory lane. I missed the Reunion in 2005. Hope there will be another one soon.

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