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Mbeya School

Started by Valerie Dobson, 19 July, 2009, 06:37

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Valerie Dobson

19 July, 2009, 06:37 Last Edit: 19 July, 2009, 07:56 by Valerie Dobson
Valerie Dobson Mbeya 1953 to 1955. Burton House Green.
I must be a previous generation as staff members listed currently on the posts are new to me. Mr.Morgan rings a bell & I think he was the Art teacher when I was there. The Headmaster was Mr.Wallington,(Woffler) and his son Mark was a student with my brother(Jack Dobson) & I. In those days girls still got the cane and we were always proud to show our welts off to the whole dorm. Always felt as sick as a dog though, when your name was called out before lunch. Yes!Turnips and all, which I actually enjoyed when covered with salt and pepper.
Other staff members were;

Head Matron - Mrs.McBride (Boys Dorm)

Other Matrons -

Mrs. Bettison who used to give me 2 tablespoons of codliver oil twice a day. I really appreciate that now I am in "old age".

Mrs. Jamieson.

Nurse: Sister Van Geppard,( who always gave us horse injections of penicilin) and her assistant Joseph who was responsible for all the sterilising.

Miss White - Music Teacher

Mrs. Wallington - Drama and always kept the cricket scores on Sundays when we played an Mbeya team

Miss Grenchom (Spelling?)   I think she did art as well, but she actually got married to a handsome young man that did the maintenance.

Miss Brown   who also did Guides & Brownies.

Mr.Crowder - French and Maths.

Miss Walker - Sports and gym. The gym was built while I was there.

Kids that I remember.
Susan Allenby, Pamela Hitchens, Jane Kingdon, Alice and Elizabeth Brazier, Shiela Stacey, Jane McKenzie, Titsa Lagopolos.(Her mum & Dad owned a sweet shop in Mbeya and I regularly went home with her on Sundays. Litsa Psiloglu who lived in Kilosa, Jane McKenzie, Fanny Papadopoulos, Vasos Pouplos,(great cricketer), Ebba Castley,(Danish)
Martha Staub,(Swiss and had a farm around Mbeya somewhere. Suzette Fouche who lived on a goldmine somewhere and I went home with one half term.Rosemary Williams, Susan Nicholls, Brenda Watkins who got off at the same bus stop as the Townsings. Tony Speed, Peter Bradbury, Kenny Watt.
Love to hear from anyone.
Val.Sparshott Melbourne Australia

Letty Wessels

Hi Valerie,

Valerie, Your name definitely rings a bell. I was also in Burton and left in 1953.
I still have an Autograph book with some of the kids names. Do You remember
Barbara and Marjorie Sargant, Myra Gilliland, Helen Poupoula,  Stella  Pretorius, her sister Betty was a matron in the small girls dorm when I was there. Margaret Swift,
Penny Waddington, Then there was Dick Isemonger and Terrence Gunningham
Rose Davy, William Kent, Neville Watson, Cecilia Yeomans, Pippa Crowder, Bettie Louwrens, Sylvia Pinder and Margaret Merrit. Mr Gillham was one of our teachers.We struggled very hard to ever get a smile out of him, and what about Mr & Mrs McCreary. Mr McCreary always said grace in latin ! Mrs McCreary led the Sunday school classes. I would love to contact some of the old class mates. I am really hoping more of the older crowd who were in school with me also join Face Book. I especially would like to contact Barbara Sargant, who was my best friend and I am also looking for the whereabouts of Terrence Gunningham.
We are living in the Northern part of South Africa, the Limpopo Province very close to the Kruger National Park.
Would love to hear from you sometime.
Letty (Wessels)  Engelbrecht.

Valerie Dobson

Hi Letty,
Thankyou for your communication. I dont recollect yourself, but I certainly
knew Sylvia Pinder. I knew of Pippa Crowder, but did not really know her. But I do remember her Dad Mr.Crowder. Cant remember what subject he taught. Maths & French I think.
I am living in Melbourne Australia. I went to South Africa in January as my brother Jack, who also went to Mbeya lives in Durban. We also went to Dar es salaam in January. I did not recognise anything.

Please keep in touch. You never know who we can connect with.
Val. Sparshott.(Dobson)

Valeria Gatti

Hi Letty!  Are Hester and Peter Wessels your siblings?  I was in Mbeya school as a boarder when they were there.  My family knew the Wessels family.  When I attended Mbeya school we were living in Kigoma.  I was born in Kongwa.  I would love to know where Hester and Peter are.

Valeria (aka Valerie) Gatti.

Victoria Butler

I was interested in Valerie's reply.  I see that you were at Mbeya for the same dates I was.  I remember Peter Wessels.
I was in Stanley house, and remember Anita Mull who used to live in Dar es Salaam I think. I played netball and received colours for it. A white ribbon with a large red N. In 1963 all the girls that were left where put in the same Dorm. I think it was originally the Red house's Dorm. I had a younger sister, Judith, who was the smallest girl in the school. I have attached two photos. One of us leaving Morogoro Sept 1961, and the other was taken I think at the end of 1961, My sister and I dressed as Irish Colleens for the end of year fancy dress party.


15 July, 2010, 09:57 #5 Last Edit: 15 July, 2010, 09:59 by uktruckie

This site brings back memories, some good, some not so good.
Mrs Mcbride making me eat porridge with salt, telling me that is the way scots eat it.
Miss Jamieson was the matron in our dorm.
Lady teacher marrying the maintenance man in the assembly hall, whole school went and I believe old woffler did the service. Could be wrong on that.
Making propellers, making boats from seed cases to float in the river garden, getting permission to climb the water tower (no H&S then), swapping sweets with a girl friend.
Our parents sent a supply of sweets to last the term, I think the sweets were issued on Saturdays.
Sunday evening, the seniors all sitting in wofflers house while he read to us.
In my mind I can still see the chair we were bent over for the cane. Trying to get rid of the tears before going back to the dorm to show the resulting welts.
I was in Miss Walkers class, then got moved to Mr Wrights, a man I always wanted to meet again when I had grown up. It was nothing for him to bash your head down onto the desk or lift you by a lock of hair and clout you.
Climbing the peak and drinking from a pipe stuck into a hillside, some sort of mineral water I think.
Dinky toys on string being pulled along our roads in a donga, damming it with stones and mud in the rains.
My last term there coincided with wofflers retirement, I would be grateful if anyone could put a date to it.
I could go on a bit now I have started, new memories keep coming up. Another time maybe. Alex Davidson

alec wight

Hi Valerie,
You probably don't remember me but I do you - you were the first girl I shyly exchanged cakes with in the desks, if you remember that? Slim with long dark hair as I remember. The names you quote were all familiar. I am in touch with Brian Townson. We would like to keep in contact with old firends. Brian is in touch with the Wallington boys.
Use my email if that suits.
Best Regards,
Alec (Pinky)


Amazing, I am the little boy looking out of the window of the bus just leaving Morogoro. I am Derek Bell (Wallington House) and went to Mbeya with my sister Susan between 1959 1961. We lived in Mwanza beforeMorogoro and Kigoma afterwards, leaving in 1963. I visited the school in 1985 and will put some photo's up on this site

pamela quennell

Hi Valerie,
I remember your name very well, and I also lived in Dodoma!  I and all my siblings went to Mbeya, Peter Quennell in 1949, Luise in 1952, I (Pamela Quennell) went there from 1954 until 1959, and my younger brother Julian from 1956 to 1959.
I remeber:
The German nurse who used to give you a penicillin jab on each side of your bottom on alternate days from even a minor cold(I ended up with a rash which was an allergy to penicillin, but the Headmaster thought I had measles and letters were sent home to all parents to say there was a threat of a measles epidemic!
Keeping chameleons in shoe boxes
The African drummer who told us to come and eat!  I remember chocolate blancmange, called "Tanganyika mud"
The river garden where there was a rope swing we used to swing over the rive on and there were giant dragonflies
The boy who ran away from the bus from Dodoma at one of our stops in the middle of nowhere. He apparently ran into a village and the villagers looked after him until he was returned to school, where he was severely beaten.
Having the strap for the first time on my second day at the school aged 8 because I had put my slippers neatly on the wrong side of my bed!
Playing amongst the fir trees and eating the kernels of the peach pips.
The long drive to school from Dodoma in a bus with wooden seats and green windows and being sick all the way.
Hearing little 6 year-olds crying into the night from homesickness.
The names of the staff I remember are Mrs Jamieson, Mr Mcqueary, Mr Morgan and Mr Wallington.
Having to learn italics writing which I found very hard and using an old fashioned writing pen with metal nibs which we dipped into the ink wells and the boys rolling up bits of blotting paper and dipping them in ink and then firing them around the classroom!
Singind in the choir in cassocks which were too hot and fainting.
The boy who fainted from having an injection and coming back into the hall, and fainting right through the glass doors! CRASH!
Saturday night, movie night seeing all the old black and white movies of Charlie Chaplin etc.
Our excitement when we got parcels from home.
I still have all my leeters I sent home so I shall put them on this site, watch this space!
I now live in New Zeland.


Hello Val,
Just a quick note to see if you are still in touch on this Site. Very interested in your postings about Mbeya. I remember you well and you brother also. I am in regular contact with Alec Wight. I expect you may remember my brother Keith who is a couple of years younger than I. We did, as you say, used to get off the school bus with Brenda & Diane Watkins, amongst others, at Ifunda (between Iringa and Sao Hill). Others were the Irvines, Maclachlans, Jones, & Ephgraves. You were the star of not only the Nativity play but also a production called Pere Marlot I believe! Hope you get this and others get to read it.