Guest Book

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No DatePosted FirstName Surname Message Contact
52008/08/2009PeterRamseyI lived in Pawla Malta from 1960-62 and went to Verdala. I was only 5 or 6 at the time so memories are patchy but I remember it as the finest time of my childhood.
I have no photos to share as my mother hated the place and dad was always away with the "peas and gravy".
I have vivid pictures of the buses lined up with those quirky wheel hubs and I often lost mine in the chaos.
I remember telling a story to impress my classmates on the bus that I ate flies and fought tigers!
What a time it was!
51929/07/2009LesliePlattAt Verdala 1964-67. Lived at Falcon Flats initially then Egmont Close, Sliema. Dad (Ted Platt) worked at Dingli and some may remember my brother Peter who was two years older than me. Peter sadly passed away last year. I had two other older brothers both of whom were at Tal Handaq, John and Jim. Both are still going strong. I've never been back to Malta since those heady days but I'm sure I'll get back there one day soon.

I have hundreds of colour slides dad took in Malta in my possession now and aim to digitise these over the coming months. There are plenty with Verdala featured and I'll post some of them here when I can.
51823/07/2009MaxineHolmwoodI was at Verdala '71-'75 I remember the hairy scary bus rides too.commander Bond was the headmaster and I started in Mrs. Ferugia-Bells class. Anyone else HATE the milk pyramids they tried to make us drink?
51716/07/2009JaneCrealockI used to love the bus ride to school, the two buses always races and the oldest rickety one always won.
51630/06/2009IanBuckleyI was a Verdala pupil for two and a half years in the mid 50s, top infants with Miss Batty (I think) and the first two years of the juniors. I remember being in the same class as Ian Barratt, whom I caught up with later at Gillingham Grammar School. I was a sea urchin in one of the pantomimes (Robinson Crusoe?).
51523/06/2009RicSinclairI attended at Tal Handaq between 1962/63, my brother Stephen was at Verdala the same time. Had a friend from Verdala by the name of Patricia Cracknell who had a brother Paul there as well. Does anyone remember either Pat or Paul...
51421/06/2009Bro. MartinAzzopardi SdcI am the official archivist of the school and I've been doing this job for these last 10 years.So on behalf of our beloved Headmaster, Mr Stephen Cachia,I'd like to make an appeal to all those ex-teachers or ex-students of the Verdala Royal Navy School to send us a copy of wathever material they've got including mostly photos, certificates and megazines. We appreciate also a sample of the uniform weared in those times and desperatle looking for a super 8 film taken in those times. Saying all this I'd like to take the occasion to thank mostly Mrs Liz Mardel for her contribution to our Verdala School Archives and also to Miss Rita Debattista for encouraging me throughout all these years. Thanks in regards and hope to have a positive response. Peace be with everyone.
51307/05/2009RitaDebattistaDuring the reunion held in Malta I got to know that Professor Victor Griffiths was a student at the Royal Navy School Verdala. Therefore I invited him to the Open Day last March held to celebrate the official inauguration after the changes made to the site. Prof. Griffiths came to the school together with his wife. He was a student at Verdala between 1929 and 1932. Prof. Griffiths eventually made quite a name for himself in the medical field as he became an important surgeon. He passed on to me a photograph of a board that used to be hung in the school hall honouring those students who did well in the Oxford exams. I will be sending this photo to the webmaster together with a few photos taken together during the Open Day. There is a list of names clearly seen in this photograph so check whether you name is there if you happen to have been at Verdala in the early 30s.

Warm regards to all those I met during the reunion of 2005. Welcome to St Margaret College if you happen to be in Malta.
51213/04/2009SallyHallJust stumbled across this website which brought memories of Verdala flooding back ! I was in Mr Ross' class in '68-'69 and I lived in Lilac Flats in Sliema. I've never returned to Malta since then but would love to. I remember the swimming pool and the little enclosed garden that would sometimes be opened at playtimes. I would look for Ladybirds and insects. I was in St. Vincents 'cos I remember wearing a green sash. I also remember the school bus! It was great to see photos of others who attended and the playground.
51112/04/2009May RankinMahoodHi, I am trying to trace an old photo of a nativity scene which was about 1951, can anyone help,
May (Mahood) that was
51008/04/2009NathalieWildingI attended Verdala between 1980 and 1983. Lived in Mosta.
Its so nice to see the pictures of the schoolon here. Would be nice to see some stuff from the 1980s on here.
50927/03/2009SusanRookeI attended Verdala between 1954 and 1956/57 the last 12 months being at Tal Handaq. Lived at Sliema and Balutta Bay. My father was in the Maltese Dockyard would be interested to know if anyone remembers me. I was friendly with a Susan Masters who had a sister called Mary. My brother Philip went to Tal Handaq. Great site.
50814/03/2009WebmasterWebmaster**14th March 2009**
Someone (Joe Belgore?) is/was sending SPAM through the Roll Call contact link. Please ignore. DO NOT RESPOND - Email addresses have NOT been disclosed-they are hidden. Roll Call access has been suspended for a while. We have reported the messages to SOCA : Link: . You may continue to use this Guest Book.
50707/03/2009JudyRogers Nee WaltersJust had an email from someone who saw my previous entry in the guest book and I'd like access to see what I wrote! She also saw our Verdala Brownies photo I'd posted with herself in it.[refer to ID 47 in the Guestbook]
50607/03/2009CarlWoodJust wondrin' if anyone was in Miss Leslie's class in 1st Year Juniors in 1966. That makes you 50 or 51 now I guess.

50507/03/2009WebmasterWebmasterREMINDER: A Guest Book is for visitors to express their thoughts about the site or its subject. It's just like leaving a comment in a vistors book at a guest house or at an exhibition. If visitors do not consider the differences, the Guest Book could get filled with personal chit chat. Please remember to use the Forum.
50407/03/2009JulieLambertMany thanks Alastair, for making this website possible for so many of us to communicate with each other from all corners of the globe and from many different walks of life. Good luck and God Bless
50302/03/2009HelenThompsonWould love to hear where two friends of mine are that used to come to birthday parties at my parents' house in Kalkara - Fiona Ure and Kyle Wallace. Also anyone who remembers me from 1963-1966 either from school or playing together. My sister Pat was at Tal Handaq.
50202/03/2009HelenThompsonI was at Verdala 1963-1966 (age 7-10) and we lived at Carmen House in Kalkara. My Dad was at Bighi and my sister Pat went to Tal Handaq. Loved the little bottles of flavoured milk we used to get - banana especially. Oh, and I am front row, number three in the Brownies 1965/65 photo from the gallery!! Would love to her from anyone else was in that???
50126/02/2009GregRobbGreg Robb (OS 1965 - 1967): seeing the new photographs prompts memories of the dining hall, with battered fish and shredded lettuce on Fridays; there was an option to buy a meal ticket (blue - 2/-) or a cheapo soup ticket (3d) via the NAAFI in Valletta! Commander Newbery's office was to the immediate left of the entrance door...
50021/02/2009DavidYoungI attended RNS Verdala 1956-1959 as a 9-11 year old. I remember the swimming, sailing and water sports and have a great love of the sea to this day.
My father had been in Malta 1941-42 and as a young Signalman had the job of raising the red flag over Valletta to signal an air raid.
He went back in 1950 and took me as a young 3 year old. He was away sweeping the Med of mines most of the time. One of my few memories is of falling and cutting my knee to the bone on the rocks at Manoel Island and Princess Elizabeth looking at it and almost passing out.
My memory of RNS Verdala was the Rabbit stews that put me off for life!
I have very few photos of my time in Malta after my Father inexplicably burnt most of them after my Mother died in the 60s.
Sorry I can't be at the reunion as I shall be in Madeira - funny how island life sticks with you!
49921/02/2009DavidYoungI attended RNS Verdala 1956-1959 as a 9-11 year old. I remember the swimming, sailing and water sports and have a great love of the sea to this day.

My father had been in Malta 1941-42 and as a young Signalman had the job of raising the red flag over Valletta to signal an air raid.

He went back in 1950 and took me as a young 3 year old. He was away sweeping the Med of mines most of the time. One of my few memories is of falling and cutting my knee to the bone on the rocks at Manoel Island and Princess Elizabeth looking at it and almost passing out.

My memory of RNS Verdala was the Rabbit stews that put me off for life!

I have very few photos of my time in Malta after my Father inexplicably burnt most of them after my Mother died in the 60s.

Sorry I can't be at the reunion as I shall be in Madeira - funny how island life sticks with you!

49812/02/2009RitaDebattistaDear friends,
In the name of the headmaster Mr Stephen Cachia of St. Margaret College Verdala I would like to invite you ex students and teachers of the Royal Navy School Verdala for the Open Sunday on 15th March at our college from 9.00am to 5.00pm. There will be a lot of activities being organised all over the school with class displays and presentations in the school hall.
Anyone interested in visiting the College can contact me before. Maybe we can also decide on a particular time so that we can sort of have a mini reunion and take you all around as one of our special groups.
I am sure those of you who manage to come over will enjoy especially visiting the archive section that Mr Martin Azzopardi has managed to set up.
Warm regards to all especially to all those that I met during the 2005 reunion. Good thing you came over before the big changes happened. I still have a bit of nostalgia for the school as it was but the FTS has gone to great efforts to integrate the old with the new.


Rita DeBattista
49712/02/2009PhilipTantiHi, i did not go to Verdala school. I was born in Malta and joined the Navy in 1970 at HMS St Angelo as a young junior naval air mechanic.Did visit Malta several times and detached to Hal Far and Luqa as well with 809 Nas operating Buccaneers.I do like the website,brings back warm memories of my childhood.Thank you
49611/02/2009SueAdamsWith all these new entries in the Guest book I am hopeful that the word is buzzing round far and wide about the Verdala reunion in March.Please do pass the word on and find out more on the website.
49510/02/2009CaroleEdwardsHi I was in Malta from around 1967 to about 1969 and went to Verdala School. I lived in River View Flats, Cuchcurie Street, Gzira. One of my brothers attended Verdala as well (Richard) at the same time. I remeber one time I made my first cake at home and bought it in to school for my teacher (cant remember her name but know that when we came back to England and I wrote to her I got a letter back from her husband to say she had died). My dad was on HMS Leyburn and he was CPO Don Edwards. My husband and I visit Malata every year and stay at the same place in St Julians every October to celebrate my birthday. Would like to communicate with anybody who can remember me. Have uploaded a photo of me on the 1960s photo gallery.
49410/02/2009JoMogridge Now WoodallI went to Verdala from 1956-59 and now live in Malta. Any other ex-Verdalans here too? Please contact me
49309/02/2009RobTaylorI attended Verdala 1955 - 57, aged 6-8. Will be visiting Malta in June this year and wondering if anyone from my era will be there. We lived in Princess Flats, Msida, and whilst I have few memories of my schooling, I can clearly remember the bus trips - the sound of the diesel motors, and the whoop whoop whoop of the warships in the docks. I think the handsome transport ship the Forth was in dock most of the time I was there. Currently living in Australia as I became addicted to the outdoor lifestyle of beaches while in Malta
49209/02/2009GeoffreyCulbertsonI was at Verdala between 1958 & 1960 when aged 7 to 9. My father was a FAA officer based at Hal Far. I remember very little of the school apart from a memory of a vast flat square in the middle of the school buildings & the buses held together with string! I have only just found this site and have been searching the old photographs to see if I am in any of them, sadly not so, so far!
49104/02/2009SallySkeltonI have just told my sister Judy Skelton about the website and she has found it as totally addictive as I have - AND she alerted me to the fact that Barry Fenton could only remember my name!! - I had seen the photo and failed even to recognise myself (but I suppose it is a bit small and indistinct) I am now going on a mad hunt turning everything upside down to find more pictures!
49003/02/2009JudySkeltonI've only just heard about this website. I'm in one of the class photos (1BJ 1954) but sadly the only name I remember was that of our class teacher, Miss Farrugia. I would be happy to have my memory jogged by anyone else in the same class.
48928/01/2009WebmasterWebmasterVerdala March 2009 Reunion: Go to
48824/01/2009GaryMifsudHi i am a present student at the Verdala School (now named "St. Margaret's College Boys' Secondary School" but we still call it Verdala).

When i was browsing through the internet i found this interesting site about the history of my school and i was very pleased to see those old photos of ex-students. The school is still the same and there are still many things and buildings left as you can see in the pictures of the new refurbished school.

I am writing also the presennt site of the school --

Thanks for this interesting site
Gary Mifsud
48716/01/2009SusanHickmanDoes anyone remember me? I was at Verdala from 1956-57. I was in the school netball team and house/vice captain for Nelson.After leaving Verdala I then went on to Tal-Handaq.
48611/01/2009LizMardel (Miss McMeeking)Well done, Julie! I keep going to the Forum hoping that someone will have knocked my name out of the 'Last Posts' column but no luck! Why are OVs so shy I wonder! - they never were 50 years ago!

Karen Knight - have you been to the 'New Style Gallery' 50s section? Lots of pictures of your contemporaries there but with about 1200 children at that time perhaps it's not surprising that you've not found pictures of any friends yet! But they keep being added so keep looking! Whose class were you in I wonder?

Yes, Happy New Year everyone and I look forward to seeing you at the reunion in March!
48508/01/2009JulieLambertHappy New Year to all ex Verdalans and please dont forget to look at messages and photos in the Forum and Gallery and add your comments especially if you recognise yourself or fellow schoolmates. And a special thankyou to Alastair, our Webmaster, a hard job,and he has had some stick, especially from me!, Thanks Alastair
48431/12/2008SusanEdmundsAt Verdala 1958-62. Remember singing "And Did Those Feet", as we called it, led by Mr Jenkins; sitting outside Mrs Farrugia's classroom up beside the bastion wall; singing on the bus back to Paceville after Brownies, indluding "Goodbye Cruel World" and "Walking Back to Happiness". Bliss.
48328/12/2008ChrisJenkinsMemories of toasting our lunchtime bread rolls on the fire in Mrs Murley's office!!
48222/12/2008BettyMurleyI was school secretary with Ken Sumnall as Head from about 1961 to 1964, and found them such wonderfully happy years I was deluded into going into teaching on return to UK. If that's not the hardest job in the world, it certainly was for me.... My husband was in the RAF at Floriana and we lived in Birzebbugia in paradise. Daughters went to Luqa and have been practising medicine for nearly thirty years now.
48121/12/2008KarenKnightI have enjoyed looking at the website. I only wish there were more photos of the pupils - I attended Verdala 1958-1959. When we left Malta I was 8yrs old and remember the happy time spent there very well.
48020/12/2008BrucePriorI googled "Malta St Andrews Army School" and found this site. You seemed to want information about other (st andrews) military children's schools.
I attended St Andrews 1954/1955. My father was in the Navy (sub lieutenant on HMS Trenchant t-class submarine). I lived in Sliema and bussed daily to St Andrews. As far as I could tell The RN School was for "big kids" and "dockyard kids" whereas St Andrews was for "infants/little kids" and Army kids.
I do have some (only personal) scanned in photos if you wish me to upload them.
Best wishes
47919/11/2008LizMardelRoger, someone else is looking for Daphne Cleeve as well! I've put a suggestion in the Forum - Questions and Answers section, Daphne Cleeve thread. Good hunting!
47817/11/2008RogerLewisI'm trying to renew aquaintance with Daphne Cleeve. We grew up together, but lost touch when I joined the Navy and she became a teacher - I thought with the Army in Germany, however as confirmed by your excellent website she taught navy children in Malta in the mid 60's while I was serving in the Far East.
If any of your readers are in touch with her I would be most grateful if they would forward my e address with a request that she contacts me. I believe she may possibly have returned to the Bristol area where we originally knew each other. I've tried friends united without success. Hope somebody can assist with my enquiry. Thank you. Roger.
47703/11/2008LesleyHarveyI attended Verdala in the early 50s from the age of 6 and we lived at 38 Marshall Court.Unfortunately I cannot remember names however I do remember the coronation party,the jelly fish along sliema front,watching my father playing waterpolo,sports days etc.My parents are no longer alive but I do have a photo album of our time in Malta.My fathers name was Arthur Harvey he was CPO.
47603/11/2008EileenAtkinsMy family arrived in Malta Feb. 1950 to join my father. Master at Arms Tommy Atkins, he was serving on H M S Liverpool. I was 10 years old and joined Verdala school, I dont remember much about it. Except Mr Benson joining the school.And making friends with Mavis Jones and Mabel Davies. I went on to Tal Handak in 1952.
We lived in Tarxien as it was called then.
47525/09/2008IanMauleVerdala class 4BJ 1962/63. Thanks for a wonderful web site.
47418/09/2008JimWoodhamsI've heard today from Richard King that his father Graham King, who taught for many years at Verdala, died this morning (18 September 2008) after a short illness. He was 89. Richard wanted to let all Graham's former pupils know. Please contact me if you would like more information.
47304/09/2008WebmasterWebmasterThe Guest Book is receiving a lot of "conversational" material. Please kindly use the Forum. A Guest Book is not intended to be a place for discussion/s. The "Email" facility is also there to communicate directly with specific individuals.
47204/09/2008JulieLambertSorry Alistair, conversational material is better for people who are new to the website than using nothing at all.First point of contact and all that. A lot of people are not familiar with websites, and I would rather people communicated in volume and migrated to individual people by contact with sites like this than not have contact at all. Also not many people are happy to be contacted directly by e mail. Also not everyone will understand that they have to go thru Forum or even where it is to be located to get a reply, in reality being very happy to hear from people that they have known in the past, but not really sure what to do about it. Are you trying to ay that what you require from the Guest Book is..? - "Hello I was at Verdala 1959-64 with information that nobody should respond to apart from e mail? Other people also love to look at the replies and the happy memories given. Brilliant website Alistair but give us a bit of lee way, it wouldnt be a website without us! Relax the rules or I wont be back. Bet u dont print this!
47104/09/2008WebmasterWebmasterThe final response to Julie Lambert's comment. A Forum function is for all to read and discussion ensues.
A Guest Book is for visitors to express their thoughts about the site or its subject. It's just like leaving a comment in a vistors book at a guest house or at an exhibition. If visitors do not consider the differences, the Guest Book could get filled with personal chit chat. My prior comments stand. If you don't like it - don't come back! [13 Sept 08:The last sentence has been reinserted at the request of Julie-the webmasters original comment was edited and toned down but Julie wishes the original statement to remain. It does not alter what should be placed in the Forum]
47004/09/2008LizMardelPlease just give us a nice big obvious 'Forum' button Alastair and we'll be off there to bandy the stories and reminiscences and leave the Guest Book for its proper function!
46903/09/2008JulieLambertFor the few of us visiting Malta in the next few weeks, it seems like a meeting may well be set up for Sunday 5th Ocober, obviously at the "Magic Kiosk"! So far, there will be myself, Phill Rose and Tony Clark. Hope to hear from Heather Bauchope who appears to be there at the same time and maybe also Jo Moggridge. ...And Liz, give me a mobile number so that we can take a photo and send it to you!
46802/09/2008DavidGerrardFor Andrew Rennie. If you are still having trouble finding Verdala on Friends Reunited,
search for Verdala Royal Naval School which is listed under UK Overseas.There are 517 members.
We Tal Handaqians had problems with our FR listing but persistent nagging at the Administrators by a certain baggy shorted ex Verdalian finally sorted it.
46701/09/2008PhillRoseRemember the Kiosk very well, and the 7up floats.
There is a very good picture of it around, not sure if it is on this site or the Tal Handaq one, must try and find it again.
Roll on October 4th, though hope the Windsor Hotel is not as bad as some of the write ups I have seen since booking the holiday.
46601/09/2008JulieLambertAs the Magic Kiosk seems to play a large part of the last few e mails, how about meeting here,say Monday 29th Sept or any date to suit yourselves. Time and date to be agreed and raise a glass to ex Verdalans and of course our Liz!I know Heather, Tony and Phill and myself are there so let me know
46531/08/2008HeatherBauchope Now ParkerThanks Jo, didn't know that about the Magic Kiosk, although I preferred it as it was with the tables under the trees. When I was a regular visitor to the Kiosk 66-69 my favorite drink then was also 7up or Coke floats. In fact my friend and I would make our own, one of us would buy a 7up and ask for a glass, then the other would buy an ice cream then we would sit at the back and hope not to be seen and mix our own, that was as far as the pocket money stretched. I'll be in Malta from 22nd Sept till 7th Oct.
46430/08/2008LizMardel (Miss McMeeking)Ho ho! What?s going on here, then, behind Miss?s back?! Yes Tony, there seem to be a whole lot of returnees making for the island next month don?t there! Are you going to pick a place and a couple of dates and times when anyone can turn up? (Would it be good if we could have little copies of the school badge made as lapel pins for recognition?) I?d love to be there but we?ve another mini-reunion in UK next month. Now it?s (Miss) Vera North?s turn to have a 90th birthday and she?s taking Ivy Jackson (Mrs Eaton) and me out for lunch! (And it's in the staff room so you can't come!!) Between them they were the Infants? Head for over a third of the life of the school!
(Perhaps this conversation should migrate to the 'Reunion' thread in the Forum?!)
46329/08/2008TonyClarkThere would appear to be a mass exodus of ex Verdalans to Malta next month. I am also going over for the next two months.I wonder if this is a secret reunion in competition to Sue Adams beano next year? Trouble is a reunion would not be PUKKA with out Liz would it. Has anyone told her about it yet?
46228/08/2008JoMogridge Now WoodallFor all those returning to the Magic Kiosk - be aware, it's closing in December apparently(in its present state) and reopening as a little kiosk with lots of tables & chairs under the trees(as it was in the 50s/60s). My favourite was 7up float. Look forward to going back in September. What dates are you there Heather?
46127/08/2008TimWottonHello. I attended Verdala in 1968/69; my Father was a member of the Australian Trade Mission and we had American and British naval families among our friends. I can't recall any class mate names, but I was in Mr John Why's class. Looking at the aerial photos brought back fond(?) memories of scarred knees from playing soccer on that gravel sports field! My brothers (Gerard & Bernard) both attended Tal Handaq. I was reminiscing using Google Earth tonight, and found both the school ,and the house we lived in, in St Julians. Best wishes to all.
46027/08/2008HeatherBauchope Now ParkerI first discovered and wrote in the guest book back in April 05. I regularly read all the entries but unfortunately don't recognise any of the names, have just found and old school report from March 67 class 4C my form teacher was D A Ager, I only know that because of the signature not from memory. As I mentioned before my best friend was Eleanor Ross, (her father was deputy head) who sadly I lost contact with in 1975/6, the only other names I remember were a Danny Clarke and Angela Carter who came to my birthday party in 1967. I am going to Malta again this September with my husband as we do most years, still can't beat a cheese cake washed down with a fresh banana milkshake at the magic kiosk Sliema, can't wait!!
45926/08/2008AilsaAnnis (Laurie)I was very interested to see the photos of Stephanie and Barry Freake in the new photo gallery, they were the first family we met on arrival in Malta in 1956. My parents were very friendly with theirs, and we all spent a lot of time together.
45821/08/2008JoMogridgeHello Andrew - glad you've found this wonderful site. I too was in the same class as Anne Mintoff, along with Ann Grigg, Russell Winterbourne,& Peter Mulvaney/Mulvanah. Like you,I have very fond memories of my time at Verdala (& later Tal-Handaq)
I was there from 1956-59 and the rope climbing frames were my favourite and also playing Donkey against the classroom walls. You must go back!!
45720/08/2008PhillRoseVery nicely said Julie, in particular about your father, think most on this site feel the same way. You girls have a way with words.
I returned for the re union bash in 2005, for the first time since 59, and really enjoyed it, so much so am going back again in October.
Andrew, couple of other comments about Ms. Rowe on the site, I was in her bad books a couple of times and sampled "the bat", & was at Verdala the same time as you
45620/08/2008LizMardelHello Julie - AAaahh just because a message doesn't show on here doesn't mean one hasn't gone!! Recently I've taken to clicking the 'E-mail' button and sending a little off-site message when people sign in. I put my oar in much too often on here and everyone must get fed up with it!

Anyway, very nicely expressed Julie,as Phill said (hi Phill!)
45519/08/2008LizMardelHello Sue, I'll be glad of some company in the staffroom, I'm very outnumbered on here!
Have you seen the photo of Josephine among the reunion pictures?
Images from the 1970s era are very thin on the site - have you got any you could post?
45419/08/2008AndrewWestMy goodness! Time is a healer for many things but it doesn't do any favours for the memory! Can't recall my class details except that I was there 1957 - 60 (then Tal Handaq till 61). I fell in love (briefly) with one young and very nice English teacher who liked my stories and improved my handwriting but I feel I must have rubbed most others up the wrong way. Badly. Constantly. Miss Rowe once tried to pick me up by my ear (Ow!) and Miss Horton's view of me - well provoked - was dimmer than a very dim glimmer: "West, you will never amount to more than a common labourer!!" (Some memories do not desert us, clearly)! I also fondly recall dropping large boulders over the wall to watch them tumble down the slope towards the goats below (my first caning, that) and learning to whistle with my fingers while waiting over successive days in the lunch queue. By the end of the week I had it off pat - can still do it .... Reading others' reminiscinces, more tidbits come back to me: the climbing frames; marbles games; drama productions; dockyard riots (we knew when they were likely to happen, since Anne Mintoff was also in our class) and those wheezing, shuddering school buses; Wolf Cubs ... I wasn't the most biddable pupil, I guess, but I do remember my time at Verdala pretty warmly. I just wish I could remember more of my fellow pupils - I'm sure they (you?) were all fine characters. :-)
45319/08/2008JulieLambertHello Emma, I am sorry that no one seems to have answered your questions, very unusual for the stalwarts on this site! However I do remember you and your brother, and I have many photos on HMS Surprise where I had a certificate for meeting King Neptune! I hope you enjoy your holiday, the first time you have returned - I was a long time returning, being very afraid to spoil my memories, but to my surprise it enhanced all that had gone before. I return again in September and visit all my old haunts, as I am compelled to do each time, and find a different memory at each visit. I hope you find the same. My Father, who gave me this wonderful opportunity has now passed away, but I bless him for giving me the chance to be part of this wonderful island and to take it with me for the rest of my life. Enjoy your return Emma and never forget your part in this island.
45210/08/2008SueRoyds (Nee Grimes)I taught at Verdala from Sept 1973-July 1976 when the school closed. Have recently been back to Malta but unfortunately didn't get to see Verdala although I did meet up with Josephine who was secretary there in my time.
I attended Verdala in the early fifties.
Couple of questions please: I am having trouble getting Friends Reunited to admit there was such a place as Verdala RNS, how do you input Verdala in Friends Reiunited?
They say they need the full address, does anyone know it?
45026/07/2008LizMardel/Miss McMeekingHello Andrew, just blame whoever was the first to register the school on Friendsre..! They registered it as "Verdala Royal Naval School" (fine!)"Verdala, VALLETTA (NOT!), Malta." Hope you have better luck than I had trying to register as a teacher! They would only add me as a pupil - eventually I gave up!
44921/07/2008EmmaHolland-MartinI am about to come back to Malta having not returned since our father was C in C of the Med from 1961-64. We lived at Villa Portelli, and our father's ship was H.M.S. Surprise. Hence why I came across this website as I am trying to compile as much info as poss for when I come with my children in August. My brother Ben attended this school from Sept 61 aged 6-8 left April 64. Sadly I did not attend this school immediately as was sent to start with to the girls convent. I arrived probably around Sept 62 or early 63 when I was 9 and would have left same time as brother. I was in Nelson house and my brother was in Drake. I remember performing as a sugar plum fairy in the Nutcracker production you held probably Christmas 1963.
44816/07/2008JohnThompsonI attended Verdala on two occasions; started school about 1950 returned to Doncaster late 52 then back to Verdala in 1954 ? 1956. Migrated to Australia in December 1956. Have never forgotten my days at Verdala. Discovering the site last week, keep returning to look at pictures and day dreaming about my early childhood. I will write down my recollections and forward them.
44705/07/2008LizMardelAlastair's splendid new Forum has now got its first posts. It's a bit hard on the eyes, but if this Old Bat can find out how it works, then anyone can! So post away and let's get some lively exchanges going before we all meet again at the reunion next year!
44602/07/2008LizMardelThat would be brilliant, Sue, you're a star!
44502/07/2008SueAdamsThings are slowly beginning to move on the proposed reunion - have been in touch with Chris jenkins and Alastair to ask some basic questions. So watch this space for further developments!
44402/07/2008AlastairNewman [Webmaster]A new website section will be set up for the proposed reunion to avoid the Guest Book being populated with Reunion information. Sue Adams is very brave to volunteer and to take the lead role in organising the event. Christiane and Lin organised the last 2 brilliant gatherings - the webmaster simply arranged and published information via the website. Liz Mardell did some sterling work on the staff side for both events and promoted the event across the South Coast area. All feedback and requests for information regarding the proposed reunion should be directed to Sue and the webmaster will support Sue with the information flows.
44330/06/2008SueAdamsHaving read the pleas for another reunion, I would be willing to organize one next year.As I live in Wellington Somerset it is highly likely that it would be held in the Taunton area and possibly at a local golf club in the summer.
44210/06/2008NickLambertI was at Verdala from 69-71 (the final 2 years before moving up to Tal Handaq). Nice to see a photo of Mr Sanderson he was my form teacher and i still have a signed book from him which he gave to me when i returned to England.
44107/06/2008AlastairNewman [Webmaster]To UPLOAD Pictures please select "New Gallery" on the Main Page [top left] and select the appropriate UPLOAD section. A Verdala Tranformation section has been created which should be used to cover the recent development and upgrades to the school. After you have uploaded the pictures; you may View the pictures and add comments.
44006/06/2008ChrisJenkinsI have just returned from a business trip to Malta. I was able to visit Verdala, where I met Mr Vella, the Project Manager.
He told me the plan is for students to be back in the school in October. He also mentioned this site and was pleased we are all taking such an interest in the alma mater!
I took some photos, which I will upload asap
43906/06/2008LizMardelI look forward to seeing them, Chris. Jane Banks took some excellent ones recently, I thought she was going to put them on here. (Weren't you Jane?!)
43820/05/2008KateCondieI would also be interested in a reunion, my recolections of fellow school chums are not as vivid as some but the place itself holds memories that still make me smile.
43720/05/2008AlastairNewman [Webmaster]If someone wishes to organise a reunion they will be given the full support of the Verdala site. For the organiser, it is quite a commitment. Christiane Morris and Lin Holdsworth organised the last official reunions-the first UK and the return to Malta gathering. Both were excellent and very successful events. Let Alastair Newman know should you wish to make this commitment. Just select the Email link and inform your interest in becomming the Organiser.
43616/05/2008LizMardelMany thanks, Julie! Must remember to get my elderly passengers to wave their hankies out of the car windows for you next Wednesday!!

The big NAAFI was in Castille Square, up a long flight of shallow steps inside the walls of St James' Cavallier. It's now a splendid Arts Centre! Is that the one you mean?
43516/05/2008JoMogridge Now WoodallThe old NAAFI was housed in a building that is now an Arts Centre, called St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, in Castille Square next to the Post Office. My husband Graham had an exhibition there last April/May. Nearby in Castille Place, is the Central Bank of Malta, which we knew as the Vernon Club in the 50s. I also return regularly and my husband is also amazed at my memory of the streets/shortcuts.
Great website!
43416/05/2008JulieLambertMany thanks Liz and Jo for the info on the NAAFI, as a child I just knew it was somewhere there but my Mum thought it was further away. What is it Jo about the place that is so imprinted in our memories? About time for another reunion I think!
43316/05/2008LizMardelSnap, Jo! - We must have been writing those at the same moment! And I nearly mentioned Graham's exhibition!

Yes it is Julie (time for another reunion!) All we need is someone to organize it! I'm happy to add support and backup but am not efficient enough or young enough to take it on! Any volunteers??!!
43215/05/2008JulieLambertFor Liz, Only comments well deserved, I have looked at the Portsmouth webcam and will look for you next week when I am away from work. In spite of the disrupted childhood I can honestly say that this school(Verdala) gave me far more than the secondary school I returned to in the UK. I return regularly to Malta in eager pursuit of my childhood haunts, my husband is constantly amazed how much I remember but enjoys the memoriesI have, and he will even put up with my numerous car journeys that occur over both good and bad terrain to reach my objective! I would appreciate a definite location for the old NAAFI, I cant remember and my Mother is also unsure.
Also, sad to hear of Ken Radford's death, he was a lovely teacher, so condolences to Jo. X
43111/05/2008LizMardelGoodness, Julie, that?s a nice little bouquet!! I just think that this site is such a brilliant idea of Alastair?s. You service children had such disrupted childhoods I?m sure this must restore a bit of continuity! (And I?m a very quizzy old bat and enjoy putting a spoke in!) Thanks for the link to the Visit Malta webcam (having trouble with the Flash Player but can?t wait to download it and see Grand Harbour!) Have you seen Portsmouth Harbour Eye, two views looking up from the harbour mouth? I?ll wave from the car at the Spinnaker Tower camera around 3.30 on Wednesdays!!
43002/05/2008JoMogridge Now WoodallSadly Ken Radford died just over 4 years ago - a good teacher and grandfather to my daughter
42901/05/2008Catherine (Kate)CondieThanks Jo and Steve, you have helped me greatly in my quest for the ultimate cheese cake, the search goes on! I will go to Sliema and check them out, and I will have to order them too, for a fair comparison : )
42801/05/2008JulieLambertFor all of you who watch this site, and to Liz Mardel as a unique example of dedication,log on to and click on the webcam where you will see different views of Grand Harbour, and if you are lucky you will see the noonday gun fire, followed by the Captain Morgan harbour tour passing the Barracca, and if very lucky you will see the flying boat take off. Regards to all classmates with Ken Radford 4AJ 1963/64 and I thank this school for giving me the best education and the best ethic in life I could ever have possibly had!
42727/04/2008RichardCurtisLiz, it's a privilege to contact you after all these years, particularly since you were one of the few teachers other than Mr Ross that I remember both as a name and a face - I'm sure my sister, Philippa, was in your class in 1958/59; fair-haired, with pigtails? We both live with our families in Johannesburg, South Africa. Sorry to hear that my old teacher has passed away - he was one of two teachers that really had a strong influence on me during my formative years (the other one much later when I was in my teens). And I did find the photos: my wife says I've filled out a bit since then!
42627/04/2008LizMardelPhilippa Curtis - yes of course, her name emerges through the mists of time! But the image that comes to mind is of a little girl with SHORT straight hair! Did she really have pigtails - they were too hot in Malta for most little girls! She must be in one of those pictures of the children on the climbing frame (were they really as miserable as they look, or was it just the sun in their eyes?!) You'll have to remind me which she is!

Have you found the old school magazines on the 'talhandaqnostalgia' website? David the webmaster has uploaded all the Verdala pages as well as Tal Handaq's and there's a bit about The Pied Piper to give your family a laugh!
42522/04/2008LizMardel (Miss McMeeking)Yes, indeed I remember the Admiral Rat! Have you found your picture on here, Richard, both on stage and round behind the hall during the dress rehearsal?

Have a great holiday. Ignore all the new building covering the island and just enjoy all those old bastions!

(Mr) Peter Ross spent several years in Nepal but sadly died some time ago.
42421/04/2008RichardCurtisI'm thinking about returning to Malta for a short holiday (after 50 years) and was amazed to find this intriguing site while browsing around. Well done, Webmaster! I was at Verdala 1957-1959, and finished off my primary school education in 4A1 with the incomparable Mr Ross. I remember names and faces quite well from those days: anyone who may be wondering who I was may remember me better as - the Admiral Rat!
42319/04/2008SteveFrostif anyone is interested you can buy cheesecakes frozen and bake them yourself you can get them from the maltese movement in london just type in maltese culture to access their website you can also buy kinnie and cisk lager from them
42218/04/2008JoMogridge Now WoodallRe cheesecakes - the BEST ones are in a tiny shop near the Strand end of Prince of Wales Rd (now called Manuel Dimech St) in Sliema. Yummy!
42117/04/2008GeoffreyBamberI remember the cheesecakes but in the 1950s the only place we ever had them was at Maltese weddings. They were superb.

Anyone got the recipe?

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