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Friern Barnet Photo Archive

Comrie House School, 185 Friern Park
The Friern Barnet Photo Archive
Comrie House School, 185 Friern Park

This photograph was taken in the mid-1950s. The house was built in 1903 and the site is now occupied by a block of flats 'Whitefriars Court'. Please see image number 3334 for class photograph and further comments from former pupils.
Picture added on 15 December 2009 at 11:16
I lived at 28, Cardrew Ave between 1937 and 1950 my friend Derek Adams lived in Cardrew Close and he went to Comrie House School during WW2, I went to Holly Park School.
Added by Roland Ede on 30 July 2012
I was at Comrie House School between 1946 - 1950, anyone still around ?
Added by John Bee on 20 September 2012
What happened to my picture and the rest of the school pictures? THE ONLY OTHER PICTURE WE HAVE IS NUMBER 3334. DID YOU UPLOAD THE PICTURES?

Added by Roy Johnston on 13 January 2013
To Grenda Hurt - send me your e-mail so I can reply to you
Added by Roy Johnston on 04 February 2013
I was at Comrie House from c1946 to 1952. I've seen picture 3334 but don't recognise anyone in it. But some of the faces seem to be a bit familiar (not very good with faces I'm afraid!). But it may be that I started in 1947, but I don't have any records of it.
Added by David Everall on 23 August 2014
The picture was taken in 1945 or 1946 I can't remember which!

Added by Roy Johnston on 25 August 2014
Roy, you mentioned other pictures that apparently have not been published. What are they of? The school and/or pupils? Do you still have copies?
Added by David Everall on 27 August 2014
David there were other pictures beside the school photo but at sometime they were taken off. They were of various classes throughout the years. That's what I meant by other pictures. Where they went I don't know.
Added by Roy Johnston on 29 August 2014
I was in Comrie from 44 to 47, then to Henrietty School Barnet. Looking at photo of class in 1946 from Roy Johnston, with many names submitted by Rev Grenda Hurt( nee Horne). With Pamela Nicholls we can name majority of that class. My younger brother followed 3 years after.
Added by Olwen Evans on 26 November 2014
Olwen Evans, I'm afraid your name does not mean much to me, though I do remember Pam Nichols, she was 3rd from right in the front row. Do you know her? Get in touch. Roy Johnston
Added by Roy Johnston on 02 December 2014
I was at Comrie House from 1958 to 1964. My best friend was Peter Ellerby, but when we left Comrie House he went to Woodhouse & I went to Christs College. Other people I can remember were Nicholas Mott, Janice Landsberg, Judith King, Val Marshall, Susan Henslow, Marcia Vanner
Added by Steven Bennett on 04 November 2015
I was at Comrie House in the early 70's until it closed then went to Q E Boys. I remember the sports days and going to Squires Lane to have swimming lessons in the teacher's VW Beetle about 6 of us squeezed in don't think that would happen now !!!! I also remember Mrs Layson
Added by Billy Davison on 15 November 2015
Hi I was at Comrie House at about 1954 till about 1966. I was a twin.
Added by Stephen Gilbert on 06 September 2016
Hello my parents and my grandmother owned and ran the school Mr Mrs Winterburn I remember the school and have a photo on sports day with the pet pony
Added by Diana Dowling on 16 November 2016
The comments added in by Steven Bennett and the other names he mentions were names that I remembered.
It was only last week that I was looking at all the black & white photos I took of my stay at Comrie House from 1954 to 1966.
Does anyone still have contact with former pupils of their years, I have one.
Added by Stephen Gilbert on 17 November 2016
I remember the Winterburns & Mrs Harden in the wheelchair. I even fought the son of the Winterburn's in the first round of the school boxing tournament.
Added by John Bee on 18 November 2016
Hi my brother John Winterburn must be who you remember, sadly no longer with us.
Added by Diana Dowling on 20 November 2016
I have started a Facebook group called Comrie House - North finchley. I would love to trace any former pupils? Unfortunately I am unable to add the link to the Facebook group but please search for Comrie House in Facebook or drop me a mssage and i would be pleased to add you
Added by Steve Bennett on 24 May 2017
My mother (Irene Hayden) worked here as a 'Live-in Assistant' in about 1928/29 when she was 19/20 yrs old. She used to cook lunch for 25 children and sometimes looked after the proprietor's two young sons (aged 9 & 12) while their parents were away.
Added by Mike Thomas on 23 June 2017
The proprietors of Comrie House School in 1928 were a Mr & Mrs Quilliam. Mrs Quilliam was a teacher and ran the school. Mr Quilliam was Deputy Headmaster of Finchley Grammar School and possibly Headmaster later.
Added by Mike Thomas on 30 June 2017
I was there 1962-67...I think. Remember Mrs Harnden as head. Teachers Miss Hawkins? Mrs Rogers. My year fellow students were Keith Elmes, Elizabeth Cole, Gillian Cutbill. Especially remember Sports Day, the sweet tray lady and dinner assistant Mrs Pearce who was lovely !
Added by Deborah Gold on 21 August 2017
I was at Comrie House between 1962 and 1966.
Added by Dimitris spatharis on 18 January 2018
I have a photo of the whole school taken in 1963. My mother is in the photo
Added by Zoe Dunn on 28 January 2018
My grandparents - Mr and Mrs Winterburn, owned Comrie House School. It was passed from Mrs Winterburn to their eldest daughter Maisie Harnden, who was in a wheelchair. During WW2 the front room was bombed. As a lot of the staff went into the forces my mother, Constance Winterburn, then 16 years old, left school herself to fill a teaching position at the school. I remember the name of Irene who was housekeeper/companion there. Not the same dates as the previously mentioned Irene so must be a different lady.If I remember correctly she was excellent at smocking and used to smock dresses for me during the late 50's and early 60's which Auntie Maisie would send to me for Christmas - we were in Rhodesia at that time. Sadly my cousin Diana Dowling who commented in 2016 has recently died. I believe my Uncle Arthur Harnden sold the school in the mid seventies when he retired.
Added by Christine Willis on 10 January 2019
Does anyone remember the donkey in the sports field next door?
Added by Stephen Gilbert on 12 January 2019
I went to Comrie from 1949 to 1955. Yes, at one time there were two donkeys, Polly and Neddy, who were kept in a stable by the boys' toilet. A boy was deputed to ‘muck out’ until his mother complained! I can also remember the day when my teacher Miss Perry came into the classroom to announce that Mrs. Winterburn had died. When Maisie Harnden became head she would ring a bell to summon the duty monitor from Form 1/2 to run an errand! Part of ‘prefect’ duty was to walk across the terrace ringing a brass bell to indicate change of lessons. Another duty was to bring in the milk crates and put them in front of the coke fire in the winter!
Added by Richard Testar on 23 January 2019
I’ve just seen an entry ifrom David Everall. If I’m right you had a brother called Robert and you lived in a big house in Woodside Park Road, on the right towards the station?
Added by Richard Testar on 03 February 2019
Hi Richard. Yes you are right! The house was converted into flats. We lived on the third floor if memory serves. I now live in Caerphilly (South Wales) and Bob lives in Budleigh Salterton South Devon. I'm afraid my memory now of Comrie House is very vague! Although of course Mrs Winterburn and Mrs Harnden I recall. Don't remember the donkeys!!! I think my problem is that I was very shy!! Bob was always far more outgoing and would probably remember them! I'll send him a link to this site and he may well be interested.
Added by David Everall on 04 February 2019
Thanks David, I can remember a number of my classmates which may ring a bell: - Lyn Bickers, Susan Fineman, Stewart Patterson, Raymond Pullen, Linda Hayes, John Cardell, Francis Holliday, Diana Salmon, John Norman (who I still see regularly), David Grindrod, Paula Challenger, Janice Verando, Trudy and Sally Taverner, James Davy, Paul Gold, Pat Comber, any others?

Added by Richard Testar on 05 February 2019
Richard thanks. However of all those names the only one that rings a bell is Pat Comber! I must have been madly in love with her!!!
Added by David Everall on 08 February 2019
I didn't go to Comrie but it was opposite my grandparents' home in Torrington Ave. Linda Hayes was my cousin; she died in a car crash when she was 20 - and I still miss her. I can remember playing with her and Trudy and Sally Taverner round the garages in Welbeck Close. And I can remember the donkeys!
Added by Elaine Harburn on 02 September 2019
Don't recognise any names; my contempories were Geoffrey Key, Sally Davis, George Sims & Brian Tribe
Added by John Bee on 05 September 2019
Thanks Elaine, that’s interesting because I too used to play in Welbeck Close with Linda, and Susan Fineman who also lived there! There were loads of bushes on the left hand side. I remember with great sadness my dad coming into my bedroom one morning to say Linda had been killed. Was it in a van - and I believe she drove for a dry cleaners in Whetstone? I also recall Linda’s father who I think had been injured in the war and chair-bound and repaired clocks and watches. Some time after he died they got a small Dachshund dog called Fred, I think. My wife Marilyn used to host Linda’s mother Ivy at the Friern Barnet Day Centre
Added by Richard Testar on 06 September 2019
Hi Richard. Linda was driving her car in Maidstone where she was working for Gallup Poll. It was a filthy October day and she skidded on wet leaves, lost control of the car and went into the side of a lorry which was unable to swerve. It was the week before half term and I was off school with a cold so was home when my dad took the call from the police; he had to identify her. X The days that followed were just awful. Her father, my dad's brother, was invalided out of the RAF but the injures which led to his disability were actually sustained before the war when he fell from a horse; his spine just deteriorated after that. I have a box of his, just full of clock hands. Fred the dog was an absolute hoot - he had the end of his tail caught and snapped off in a door slamming incident and kept on wagging it; Linda and Ivy had to clean the blood splashes off the kitchen walls. The first time I ever had "real" spaghetti was at their house one Saturday lunchtime.
Added by Elaine Harburn on 09 September 2019
Gosh there's a name to bring back memories .. LYNN Bickers. (1958 ish) ... Another prepubesant love.!
As you can see my spelling has not improved!
Added by John Sealey on 09 September 2019
Does anyone have the long photo showing the whole school. I have plus many more which I can show but what site and I need people's permission to do so
Added by Stephen Gilbert on 10 September 2019
Thanks Elaine for filling me in on that tragic story. Linda and I were really good friends. I lived at 46 Torrington Park just up the road and nearly opposite Welbeck Close.........and yes, I remember you John although not well. I think you had black hair then? If it’s anything like mine now it’s much thinner and grey! I was wondering how many of our old classmates are still alive. The only sad news I heard of a few years ago was the death of Mollie Powell (real name Valerie).

Added by Richard Testar on 10 September 2019
I am so pleased to see this ongoing thread. I was at Comrie House following in my brothers' footsteps - Paul and Jeremy STONE. I go by our original grandparental name of Cohen, but wasat school as GERALD STONE, Started 1965(?) Left in 1970,went on to Woodhouse. Absolutely loved Mrs Rogers (talking about her to my own students yesterday). Classmates included Nigel Foster, Tim Cole, Diana Wilson, Susan Bebb, Amanda Hatt to name a few. Think I can find photos. Will try to put up. We lived at 82 Torrington Park. Loved climbing the Friary Park Statue.
Added by Gerry Cohen (Gerald Stone) on 18 September 2019
Friends with Martin Tetaris, Demos, and others - at CH from 1967 till it closed. I particularly remember Mrs Rodgers, and I think - the Bay City Rollers tartan cover d by books !?
Added by Guy Rapson on 18 October 2019
There only seems to be one photo of Comrie House - the one at the start of this feature. It was taken by Karl Ruge. Does anybody have any more?
Added by Richard Testar on 19 October 2019
I started in the Kindergarden around 1963 and stayed until 65, when we moved to Watford. My mother was a sometime PE teacher there, and I remember Mrs Madora (arithmetic?), Mrs Rodgers, Miss Hawkins. There was a games master who lived in Muswell Hill and would sometimes give a lift in his Singer Gazelle convertible. I was overawed when I saw a massive train set in the attic, and was there not a connection to the Postmaster General? I used to get 2 buses, changing at Muswell Hill them on to Crouch End. Without bus fare once, aged 6 or perhaps 7, I walked home. It's about 4.5 miles and must have taken about 1.5 hours. My mother passed away last October, but we both had fond memories of CH. Because the uniform was black and gold, my scarf matched Watford FC, which impressed my new school mates when we moved.

Added by Adrian Purdy on 11 May 2020
Great memories of a lovely school. Mrs Rodgers even then was inspirational. I was there till 1970. Even the blue painted outdoor toilets!
Added by Gerry COHEN on 12 May 2020
As I said earlier, I was at Comrie from 1949-1955. Does anyone remember Mr. Strutt? He had a withered leg but it didn’t stop him being games master. He was a really good bloke and at weekends he would take a whole group of us on a cycle ride up into Hertfordshire (up the old A1, riding two by two). Could you imagine a bunch of primary school kids being allowed to do that now!?
Added by Richard Testar on 12 May 2020
I was at Comrie from 1959-66 (?) I remember Ms Harnden, Ms Powell (ballet teacher), Valerie Holiday, Estelle Lew, Melanie Lewis, Marcia Vanner, Lynn Durant, Caroline Schenk. Wonderful ballet lessons helped me to revover from my father's death. I remember Ms Rodgers' class helped too, and also started my love of literature. I remember going to a party at Paul Stone's house?

Added by Deborah Hacker on 30 November 2020
I remember Deborah The Gilbert Twins
Added by Stephen Gilbert on 02 December 2020
I was at Comrie House between 1952 and 1957. I remember Mrs. Harnden and her mother Mrs. Winterburn. Also the teachers Mrs. Biddle and Miss Cleveland (who used to tell us she was descended from Hereward the Wake), as well as Mr. Strutt. And the donkey too.
Added by Jenifer Horlent (Phillips) on 03 February 2021
My mother, Mary Paine, was at Comrie House until about 1949 when she went on to Henrietta Barnet. She lived at 135 Torrington Park. Her memory is going now but she just had a lovely time reading through the posts here. Thank you all.
Added by Anne Berry on 12 September 2021
Deborah Hacker, I'm Paul Stone youngest brother, (Gerald) aka Gerry. I've been a teacher since the 1980s and I owe my love of learning & teaching to dear Mrs Rodgers. Resilience was learned from Mrs Harnden. Lovely memories
Added by Gerry COHEN (formerly STONE) on 12 September 2021
Hi Gerry. I'm so glad to hear that you guys are doing well. I don't remember Paul's party but I have a Kodak picture in my head of your old house!
Added by Deborah Somerville on 13 September 2021
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