The latest Newsletter

Notes about the future of the OPA

The names of the Boys houses

The College Alumni page on Facebook


Feb 2024 - Updated names from Glyn Jones for people in photos by Paul King.

2023 - Some interesting documents from Bert French

2022 - A quiet year but keep looking, you never know what might turn up

June 2021 Greek Theatre Transformed

Thank you to all of the wonderful staff volunteers who worked hard to start the restoration of the 1950s Greek Theatre at our Palmer's Campus.

Suzanne Perry, Nickie Hillebrandt, Nichola Lowry, Liz Meachin, Leanne Jordan, Tracy Wingrove and Rob Clack did an amazing job clearing up the site ready for the next stage of the renovation. Leanne Jordan's fiancé Scott Churchill also came along to help with the project.

A special thank you goes to Liz Meachin who has been the project manager and has a real passion for returning the theatre to its former glory!

If you know of anyone who is a structural surveyor who would be willing to help out with some advice for the next stage of the project, please contact Liz Meachin.

Very many thanks

January 2021

Another video from David Bishop - Palmers Boys in the 50s

Eddie Hunt has identified some faces in Paul King's photos

December 2020

1950s cricketing photos from Paul King on behalf of his father Graham King..

January 2020

Updated links to David Bishop's film of Palmers in 1959.

And a video showing the demolition of Palmers' Boys School in 1980.

Terry Lewis identifed himself in Glyn Jones' photo 13

October 2019

David Rice, Sydney, Australia provided some additional names for Martin & Chris Bridge's photo #10.

August 2019

Ken Nicholls has been identified in the third row of photos by David Brigg's -
1964 Germany - In the Palmergarten, Frankfurt
by Nick Hudd.

July 2019

Glyn Jones sent in a series of photos.

Vic Cass has sent in some scans of the 1964 Macbeth Programme and a Calendar for the 1959 Michaelmas Term.

May 2019

Eddie Hunt has spent much time converting the book '250 Years On' into a PDF format.

The book was written in 1956 by J R Hayston to commerate 250 years of the Trust Deed by which William Palmer endowed in 1706 a school in Grays Thurrock.

The PDF can be viewed here.


April 2019

Information on Tony Hendry’s photo no. 24. From the daughter of Brian Chaplin.

February 2019

A typed version of the handwritten diaries of the Girls’ School trip to Hamburg in1955 that Miss Magnus, the German teacher at the Girls’ School, discovered during a sort out recently.
Click to read.

November 2018

The membership lists have been updated.

April 2018

Two pieces of news regarding the OPA magazines:

1. We have received a large box of past editions from David Chaplin (1947-53).

It is interesting to see the changes in format and size that have occured over time. A list of the editions appears on the 'Old Palmerian' page.

Two sets of old association rules were also in the box (1977, 1980)

2. We are planning a Palmer's School for Girls magazine section, with two editions (1960 and 1962) received from Eddie Hunt's wife Dot.

Dot also provided two Speech Day programmes.

If you have other Palmer's Girls magazines or related paperwork that could be either donated to the Association or loaned for a 'copy and publish' exercise, please contact the secretary with the relevant details.

February 2018

Mike Austin was going through his recently departed father's 'stuff' and found two Speech Day booklets from 1968 and 1970.
He thought that they would be good for the website.
His father probably kept them because they featured Mike's O'Level and A'Level results!

January 2018
David Bishop has made available a 47 minute video using the images from the Palmers 300 DVD set to music.

October 2017
Last 2 names for John Bird's cricket photo have been supplied by Andrew Wallach.

An additional name, Stewart Jubb, from Martin Reeves for photo 13 from Glyn Jones.

And some more names for Glyn's photo 13 from Eddie Hunt.

July 2017

A series of photos from GLYN LONES. If you can name the players please let us know.

January 2017

A 1960/61 cricket team photo from JOHN BIRD.

December 2016

Claire Hargrave advised us that, in some of Peter Smith's photos, references to Peter Redman should actually be for Micheal Readman. Claire is Mike's daughter.

Often when people submit photos their memories of names are a bit hazy and the boys were often only known by surnames in class, so the Christian names get muddled.

If you spot anything that needs amending please let us know.

November 2016

The programme for the 1968 production of G&S Sorcerer has been added, as provided by PAUL NICHOLSON.

The Audrey Leworthy Cabinet

JOHN SACH has refurbished the Audrey Leworthy Cabinet and, with the help of one of the caretaking staff, fixed the cabinet to a wall in the reception area.

Click to see John's note and some of his photos.

IVOR RICHARDSON came across Tony Hendry's photos and two of his emails have been added to 'Tuff's page.

Ivor also sent two of his own photos that can be seen here.

August 2016

Did you spot the mistake in Peter Smith's photos ?
We had Peter Redman on the RH side of the back row - instead of the front row!
So, who is the 'unknown' on the RH side of the back row?
Answers on a postcard (or email) to the secretary please.

May 2016

MIKE AUSTIN provided details for Richard Lehman's photos.

March 2016

STEVE NEWLYN provided some more names for Peter Smith's photos.

If you recognise anyone in a photo for whom we do not have a name, please email the details to the secretary so that we can continue to expand the site's information.

February 2016

Some layouts of the Boy's school have been added and it is hoped to annotate them with classroom details. Also, conext links will be added to some of the many photos supplied by members.

December 2015

Scans of 1960 and 61 Speech Day Programmes and the 1980 OPA magazine that were received from David Mooring

May 2015

Old school photo from Geoffrey H Wood and menu for 1963 school cricket XI dinner from John (Billy) Bird

March 2015

Note regarding John Francis Iffland in the Colin Peplow's photo, from his son Clifford.

February 2015

ROGER PEEK (1956 - 1963) has supplied scans of the 1963 programme for the play Arms and the Man by Bernard Shaw.

January 2015

RICHARD LEHMAN has supplied photos of the Boys School, that he was given by Juliet & Jane Smetham (as were) - the last headmaster's daughters.

October 2014

Some updates to a Stephen Newlyn skiing photo and another Gibert and Sullivan entry (Mikado 61) from Geoff Kempton.

Apologies once again for the delay to those who provided updated names and notes for the photo galleries over the Summer but they have now been applied.
The galleries changed include Tony Hendry, Michael John Hendry and Peter Smith.
Thanks to Graham Montgomery, Glyn Jarvis and Mervin Ward for their input.

Also thanks to Geoff Kempton for the many additions to the Gibert and Sullivan section.

June 2014

Postcards of Palmer's in the early 1900s and 1960s provided by Leigh Everingham.

March 2014

We have had a request for news of three Old Palmerians who are not members of the Association. If anyone can help will they please contact Ruth Hunwick.

David John Newman 1957 – 1964
BSc in Maths at Southampton, MSc at Manchester
Used to live in Basildon

David John Hodgson 1957 – 1964
Had a place to study Metallurgy
Used to live in Laindon

John Hodgson 1954 – 1961
David’s brother.

February 2014

Some photos sent in by Stephen Newlyn showing some of the staff and boys on the 1966 skiing trip to Fieberbrunn, Austria

October 2013

Some photos sent in by Stephen Rushbrook showing the demolition of the boys school in 1980.

June 2013

Website updates

The members listings have all been updated and names have been added for the front row of the 1963 1st Eleven football team photo supplied by Martin & Chris Bridge.

March 2013

Old Palmerians Lodge

The Old Palmerians Lodge is a Freemasons Lodge exclusively for Old Palmerians.
Many members of the Old Palmerian Association are already Masons, including a number of past Chairmen.Freemasonry combines charity and good morals into an enjoyable and rewarding fraternity of likeminded individuals who meet regularly at formal and informal events.
This particular Lodge has the added common interest of all members being past pupils of the School and College – an exclusive combination.
Why not consider becoming a member?
If you are interested or just want to find out more, please visit

January 2013

A fact sheet on Gordon Charles Steele VC which Jonathan Catton produced for the unveiling of the Plaque in the Library at Palmer's College on 14th December 2012 can be found here.

November 2012

The Grays Parish Church Council is intending to renovate and restore the former south chapel, which currently contains the redundant pipe organ, and rename it ‘The Palmer Chapel’.
Further information, and a request for donations, can be found here.

August 2012

Names added to photo 8 from Peter Smith by Ray Williams

March 2012

Ernie Couchman (1950 - 1957) has supplied photos of two more of the G & S productions, Princess Ida (1952) and Patience (1953).

January 2012

1st Jan - off to an early start!

Names added by Anthony Benjamin to the 63-64 football team photos from Martin & Chris Bridge and Peter Smith

December 2011

Some photos sent in by Michael John Hendry's daughter Sue Wonnacott.

Names added to photos from Tony Reeve and Peter Collins by Mick Mancer

October 2011

Apologies for the delay to those who provided updated names and notes for the photo galleries over the Summer but they have now been applied.
The galleries changed include Tony Hendry, Peter Collins, Martin & Chris Bridge and Peter Smith.
Thanks to Peter Reid, Roger Peek, Peter Fenner, James Hocking and Tim Cheyne.

April 2011

A new menu item has been added - G&S Operas.

This section will be used to present photos and information about the many Gilbert and Sullivan operas that were performed by the boys at Palmers.

The first set, for the Mikado, has been supplied by Geoff Tyler (1951-58).

Should you have any other photos or information that you would like to be included, please contact the with your details.

Howard Rider identified himself in photos supplied by Peter Smith and Martin & Chris Bridge

March 2011

Steve Saint provided updates for the photos supplied by David Bannister.

Trevor Layzell recognised John Marshall - an Old Boy in one of Brian Ross's photos.

Richard Lehman added names to one of Peter Smith's pictures.

If you can supply any names, dates etc., for our photographs section, please contact the secretary by email.

February 2011

A football flyer for the 1965 Hicks Cup has been received from Richard Lehman.

The match was played at the Clacton Town football club.

January 2011

Alan Reynolds provided further updates to the names of the people in the photos supplied by
Martin & Chris Bridge.
If you recognise any others please contact the secretary by email.

December 2010

3 photos added to Brian Ross's page.
Perhaps you can identify the teacher for him.

Updates have been made to the names of the people in the photos supplied by
Martin & Chris Bridge.
If you recognise any others please contact the secretary by email.

Names have been added to one of Tony Hendry's photos by Wendy Ditcham, Roger Noble's sister.

November 2010

The September 2010 Newsletter and the 2010 Magazine have been distributed to
Members by post and by email as appropriate.

The September 2010 Newsletter can be seen by clicking here.
If you have not received your copy, please contact the secretary by email.

August 2010

A new page "Members Letters" has been added to the website to enable members to post their own notes.

Letters can be sent to the secretary and the commitee will manage the transfers to the website.

June 2010

Various updates have been made to the names of people in the photos supplied by:
Martin & Chris Bridge, Colin Peplow, Peter Smith and Peter Colins.

A scan of a Girl's School Magazine from 1934 has been received from Margaret Nathan.

February 2010

The members lists have been updated. Click to take a look.

A scan of the programme for the Order of Ceremony of the Opening of the Girls' School in 1931 has been received from Margaret Nathan.

January 2010

Various updates have been made to the names of the people in the photos supplied by:
Colin Peplow, Peter Smith, Steve Wood and Tony Reeve and to Tony Hendry's pic 27

We can always do with some more - if you can put names to any of the faces please contact us with the details.

November 2009

Palmer's Founder's Day Service
1st November 2009
St Peter & St Paul Parish Church, Grays
Old Palmerians Choir
Rehearsal and Group Photos can be seen here

April 2009

Photo contributions have been received from Peter Smith.
If you can supply any of the missing names please email us your information

February 2009

Photo contributions have been received from Tony Reeve and Peter Collins.
If you can supply any of the missing names please email your information for Tony's or Peter's pictures.

November 2008

The Association's new rules were agreed at the AGM on the 11th.

Also ..

Photo contributions from Steve Wood of the 1963 Cricket Tour.
If you can supply any of the missing names please email your information.


March 2008

Tony 'Tuff' Hendry was 80 and met up with some 'Old boys' in Whitam.

Further notes and pics here.

Tony also brought along his photo album covering the period he boarded at Palmers Boys.

A selection of his photos, and some initial descriptions can be viewed here.
If anyone can add to the names etc please let us know.

February 2008

We are sad to announce the death of John Moore, who was History master and Conductor of the Boys’ School Choir for a number of years.

A Memorial Service for John was held on Monday March 10th 2008 at 1 pm at St Bartholomew's Church, Wickham Bishops.

Many 'old boys' and past masters attended.


May 2007

Photo contributions from David Bannister and David Briggs
If you can identify any unnamed people in the pictures please email us your information.

November 2006

300th Anniversary write up and photos.

More Information

April 2006

300th Anniversary Old Boys Reunion Football Match held on the 8th April 2006.

More Information

300th Anniversary Celebrations (2006) - “A very successful occasion, with great numbers of Old Palmerians enjoying both the Open Day/Garden Party and the Celebration Evening Buffet."
A write up by Trevor Bond and some photographs are now on the site.



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Boys School House Names

Copies of The Palmerian articles from 1947, describing how the
Boys' School Houses obtained their names, are now available to view.

The pages are scans of the magazine pages, so some 'electronic typos' may be encountered.
Click to see the introduction.

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The College has an Alumni page on Facebook and would like all Old Palmerians who use Facebook to join their Alumni page at

Please help to make it a really excellent resource.

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