In this Photo Gallery, I plan a collection of photographs that I have taken of the school over the years. They will not appear in chronological order.

Should any ex-pupils have some photographs of the school and/or themselves with or without classmates, I would be happy to post them here. I am sure other readers would be interested by them.



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  1. Michael Allen

    Nostalgic stuff. I too attended Sir John Cass Foundation School and received my middle and senior school education there from 1956 to 1965. In general I remember it and my fellow pupils fondly. Geoffrey Barrel was the Headmaster whilst I attended and particular teachers that I remember were, among others, Mr Spanswick, form teacher of the final junior school class i.e. about 10 years of age, Mr Owen or Owens, a slightly disabled gentleman. I guess he had suffered a stroke or somesuch as he dragged one leg and his arm and hand were fairly useless. He was a retired army officer who told me once that ‘his’ Gurkhas in the First World War collected ears as a tally of enemy killed. He was an absolute gentleman and I had great respect for him and his manners. There was Miss Judeny (believe that name is correct) who stood out as being American or Canadian. She was ex RADA I believe and taught drama and eventually became Deputy Head Mistress. However, I think that the one who probably made the most impact on us all and certainly on myself was Terence Casey, a dynamic, fairly young (I would guess late 20’s) man who I remember as being the only teacher to go on strike when the union that he was a member of called everybody out. This was not the Terence Casey who later became the Teacher’s Union head guy by the way. He used to play football with us in the gym sometimes during the lunch-hour and called us by our first names. He had opinions that he was happy to discuss with us regarding politics and the more serious aspects of life which I think produced a more mature attitude on our voyage into adulthood. His was not bland, tasteless, anodyne fact pushing but interesting and engaging teaching. If a person is lucky they have one such teacher in their school careers. He was mine.
    I actually got itchy feet and left school before I took my GCE’s and joined the RAF as an apprentice Telegraphist in 1966. This was just before the senior school moved to join with Red Coat’s school. I am pleased that I never had to do the move. By the way, my trip to school was either Old Street tube via Moorgate to Aldgate tube or a 665 trolleybus to Gardner’s Corner and then the walk up past Aldgate tube to the school.
    I had been born in the Northamptonshire countryside and had attended a private kindergarten and, when that closed, a state school for a short time before moving to London’s Finsbury area (Ironmonger Row police flats, off Old Street, EC1) where my father was a police officer (City Road, Commercial Street and then finally Bethnal Green nick for some years prior to retirement in 1982). I had attended one school in London, close to home, prior to becoming a pupil at Sir John Cass. That however, lasted one day only. It was awful and I was removed by my parents immediately they realised what it was like. I never kept in touch with any of my classmates except one who contacted me some years later from Australia and I still speak to occasionally. This was primarily because I didn’t live near them i.e. most were from Whitechapel or Stepney way whereas I was from Finsbury.
    As I am coming up to retirement age this year I remember with fondness my time at Sir John Cass and wish one and all who went there all the very best. Good memories!

    1. Linda Pownall

      Well Michael, I also came from your side, I lived behind Finsbury Square and either walked or used the tube from Moorgate. I moved with the seniors to the new school and left in 1969. It’s strange when I read about Mr Casey, he certainly was a love or hate kind of guy, such mixed stories I hear about him.

  2. Doris Harrison nee Proctor

    I have some interesting photos of Founders Day in the late 50s. It is strange how one teacher can make or break you. I had Mr Owens as my teacher. I did well under him and excelled at English. I decided to stay on to take more exams and Mr Casey arrived. He took six of us for English and made me look an idiot in front of everyone. It happened every time he took us. I eventually stood up to him and he sent me outside. Never in my life had I been sent outside of the class. Mr Owens came along and wanted to report him to the head, who was Mr Barrel. But I said no and decided to leave school and go to work.
    So one person loved his teaching and excelled with him and I just lost confidence and left school.

  3. Linda Pownall

    Doris, I remember after moving to the new school in Stepney a woman teacher called Mr Casey a misogynist! As I said in the above comment, I have heard so many differing comments about him. Some admired the man, some thought less of him as you did. I had a couple of run ins with him, but thought him a good teacher.

  4. chriss woods nee morgan

    well undoubtably great memories from my school years spent in Cass Aldgate, from the scottish dance team with Mr Owen yes the perfect gentleman mentioned to whom i was known as Blodwen, to angel Gabriel in the Christmas productions in St Botophs with Mr Strevens.Mr Casey yes he got the job done athough i do remember the blackboard rubber flying across the room regularly,at the boys in A 1 .He was strict but gained respect and i did like him.
    I do remember in later years the 3b boys giving the french and geography teacher a bad time indeed 3b gave all the teachers a bad time but the likes of Reardon and Plumber great guys.
    Year 4 school trip to Switzerland somehow a group of us were locked out of the hotel i definately thought Mr Barrels office was the first port of call on our return.Yes it was but not for the reason i suspected.The years selection for prefects had been made and i was one of them.

  5. Connie Sandamas

    Hi I was at Cass, 1951- 62 headmasters. There were 3. Mr Hawes, mr Pearson and the mr Barrell .i thought it a great school still keep
    In touch with some friends . Miss Masterton was strict but nice actually all strict. Think mr Casey hated my friends & I
    Told us once to jump off the platform at Aldgate East, Could have him up for that now! Still different times then, fond memories

  6. Stephen Owens

    Does anyone know if Mr Owens christian name was Oswald Frederic , if so he was my 1st cousin 2x removed and I would love to hear more about him and a photo if possible. For the past 10 years or so I have been researching my family tree and I know that he was a teacher in the City of London and also an officer in the Indian Army , also he married in 1972 . He was born in 1908.

  7. Martin bellis

    I went to cass between 1960-66 does anyone remember having to move to Coleman street school when our classroom was deemed unsafe. Remember having an underground playground there.

  8. Ricky Kelley

    I was in Mr Owens class back in 1972.
    Remember him well, was a great charcter, although you respected him.
    I do not have a photograph, before the age of mobiles.
    I do remember that there was a photograph of him in the school magazine.
    Ricky Kelley
    Class 1A – 1972

  9. Stephen Owens

    Thanks for your information Ricky , I wrote to the school for some information just before the schools summer holidays , but I have had no reply from them , would seem that manners are not high on their priorities.
    Thanks once again

  10. Andrew Chapman

    I attended Cass from 1957 to 1970 (My only school). Geoffrey Barrel was my headmaster for this entire period. Terry Casey was my form master from 1965-68 and Owens taught me RE. The latter was definitely ex-Indian army.

    I subsequently was lucky enough to go to university and have now retired after a career in the City .

    I remember Linda P well.

    Andrew Chapman

  11. Bruce Mackay

    Hi All…. I attended Sir John Cass from around 1958-1961 as a junior pupil. All I can really remember was that my class teacher for the first year was a Miss Rumble ? (I think) Miss Masterton was the second one for two years. From memory Miss Masterton’s classroom was close to the entrance, Miss Rumble’s was about half way down the hallway, and somewhere near the end was Mr Spanswick’s or “Spanners” as he was known (behind his back of course !) I took my 11+ in 1961 and that was it.

  12. Margaret Stark

    I went to John Cass 1949-1959. Starting in Primary had Miss Johns, seemed to be about 90. remember Miss Brussels telling us the King had died and we had to go in the hall and sing God Save the QUEEN – very odd. Mr Pearson was head then. He was still head when I was in the seniors and we went off to Brunnen in Switzerland .Had a fabulous time . If I remember correctly those who went were Pat Dawson,Kathrine Cowley, Valerie Bevis, Jimmy Tarant, Bruce Campbell, Ann Olsen. I was in S1A with the lovely Mr Phillips (he wore jackets with leather patches on the sleeves) when I came top of the class by a few points beating a boy whose name I have forgotten. Miss Rees was a terror as was Mr Hunt. Mr Boyce could also be. Mr McMahon was ok. Mr Storey was nice. He was young! He also became famous. Think Mr Barrell was head by then. Anyone remember Miss Neale. And Miss Dawson who married in St Botolphs. She wore a black suit.

  13. Charles Post author

    I am grateful to you all for leaving comments here.

    If any of you have some photographs of yourselves and your classmates and perhaps of the school, perhaps you would consider letting me have copies to post here.

    I am sure that we would all like to see them.


    Charles S.P. Jenkins


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