A brief history of Nonington College of Physical Education

Mrs. Ina Hammond, the widow of Captain Egerton Hammond, put the St. Alban’s Court estate up for sale in late 1937, the estate was divided into more than eighty individual lots to be sold by auction by John D. Wood and Co. of 23, Berkely Square, London, who published a catalogue of the property and land to be sold.

Miss Gladys Wright, founder and first principal of Nonington College.

The new St. Alban’s Court house built in the 1870’s plus two “Tudor cottages” that had previously been the old St. Alban’s Court house and some fifty acres of the surrounding land was purchased by the English Gymnastic Society (EGS) for use as both head-quarters and a training centre for women who wished to teach gymnastics. The EGS had been founded by Miss Gladys Wright, who had trained in Denmark and Sweden, and taught a modernized style of gymnastics evolved from the pioneering work in the early 19th century of Per Henrik Ling.

The college which was opened on 23rd July, 1938 by Cosmo Gordon Lang, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, with Miss Wright as Principal and Stena Kreuger, a Swede, as Vice-Principal. The links with Scandinavia were strengthened through the activities of the English and Scandinavian Summer School of Physical Education with Miss Wright visiting Scandinavia before and after the Second World War.

In the June of 1939 the Duke of Kent visited Nonington, Snowdown Colliery and Aylesham. He was shown around Nonington College by the Principal and Vice-Principal and watched some displays by the students.

During the War the establishment was evacuated to Bromsgrove in Worcestershire and the buildings were taken over to aid the war effort. During Miss Wright’s tenure a Swedish Gymnasium, later known as the Swedish Dance Theatre, was built. The theatre is now listed

Miss Wright retired as Principal in 1952, and the college was taken over by the Kent County Council’s (KCC) Education Department with Winnifred Whiting as principal. The college became one of the principle teacher training colleges in the U.K. providing training for students from all over the world to become physical education teachers. Until 1966 the college was a women only establishment and the students were easily recognizable by their blue capes with the college badge embroidered on it. Many of them were “in digs” in Nonington and the surrounding villages and this close relationship with the local population often led to marriage.

The KCC invested a lot of money in the college during Winnifred Whiting’s tenure as Principal and during that of her successor Miss Eleonor Hinks. A new gymnasium was opened in 1959 and a swimming pool was built soon afterwards. Many local children from the schools in the villages surrounding Nonington, including myself and my sisters, learnt to swim here under the guidance of Mr. Rogers.

Old Court House and St. Michael’s in Easole were used as annexes and some small hostel blocks had been built to the east of the main house during the early 1960’s but due to the demand for P.E. teachers in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s the number of students increased and on site and off-site accommodation proved inadequate and additional residential hostels (now converted into privately owned flats). A sports hall; performing arts centre and new kitchen and dining room facilities were also built and another forty plus acres of land adjoining the grounds to the west were purchased to provide additional playing fields.

This demand for PE teachers was short lived, apparently the then falling birth-rate meant that less PE teachers would be needed,  and in the late 1970’s teacher training came to an end and the college’s then principal Stanley Beaumont diversified the colleges activities into none teaching qualifications in partnership with Christ Church College. Sadly further cuts in Government spending saw the closure of the college in 1986 (along with the sale at premium prices of many school sports grounds for re-development).

However, to the everlasting shame of KCC, the college estate was left empty for nearly a decade at a time when property and land prices were booming (although for some reason the road lights were still turned on every night) with some occasional use for the training of the police and other services. Various alternative uses for the premises were put forward over the years, some more credible than others (at the time it seemed to the local population that the less credible the scheme, the more credence the KCC gave it) until it was sold very cheaply to property developers who re-developed the various buildings and sold them for a substantial profit. Some of the old college’s sports facilities were replaced by industrial units, something that the KCC had previously said was not possible. They also frequently stated that the estate was not suitable for housing development, even in part, as the local infrastructure (ie. sewage and water) could not cope with an increase in population, but the 1870’s mansion and other nearby buildings  now  house two hundred or so people of all ages, with frequent requests to the local authorities for more accommodation to be allowed.


  • Phil Castle

    My grandfather who was known as George Hopson was the chauffeur to the principle in 1968. He committed suicide in January 1969 at the college apparently by electrocuting himself. I would be very interested to hear any recollections of him that any readers might have.
    He was a former London Bus driver and had fought in WW2 in a specialised role as a dispatch rider for “Phantom” GHQ Liason Regiment.

  • Carolyn Shortland

    For those of you asking about Nonington 1938-86 Commemoration Books; they are still available through the Nonington College of Physical Education Facebook group (needs full title for correct group) or leave a message here.

  • Carolyn Shortland

    In 2016 Betty Waterman posted a comment about Nonington College. She mentioned friends Audrey Pearce, Joan Lee and Paddy Gardner all 1947-50. Betty said she went to the 1949 Lingiad Festival in Stockholm with the British team. I am doing a piece on the 1939 and 1949 Festivals for the Facebook Nonington College of Physical Education group. I would love to hear from anyone who has news of these students or events. NCPE Carolyn (was Lane) 1971-75

  • Elaine Caswell

    I was at nonington from 67 to 70. I now live on the south coast of NSW Australia.I am retired after 42 years of teaching and I believe that what the KCC did with that lovely place is a disgrace.Hope everybody from my intake is doing well.Cheers Elaine Caswell nee Galloway

  • Debbie Opie

    I was at Nonington College from
    1976-1979 and made some lovely friends with whom I am still in contact. I wish I had made more of my life there and wish I could do it all over again! I’d love to hear from
    Anyone who remembers me . [email protected]

  • Deborah Harrington

    I went to Nonington from 1976-1979.
    Anyone remember little Deb (hi me Deborah Howells from Wales) in same group as Big Deb from London, Jacquie and Jackie Grimes, Pam, Vera Skarky

  • Robin

    I attended Nonninigton for 3 years, what a lovely colledge. My education there was 1981-1983 approx. Anyone remember that time?

  • admin

    I’m sorry to hear of your Mum’s passing. Thanks you for your comments. A lot of local people, myself included, have happy memories of Nonington College and the its students.

  • Matthew Cross

    My Mum, Shirley Miles, was a student at Nonington PE College in the early 1950’s. She had fond memories of her time there and formed many great friendships. Sadly Mum passed away last week aged 87. Her love of drama and sport never faded. She had a big positive impact on so many people as a teacher, running teams, producing plays and playing so many sports. It is lovely to see Nonington living on in the memories of so many people.

  • Pat Tyler

    Hi….Just looking through the comments and saw Gavin Johns’ name. This is Pat Tyler who is now living in Madeira with Bob Parmenter. We were there 1976-80 If you want to say ‘hi’ we don’t do facebook. [email protected]

  • Carolyn Shortland

    To link up with old student friends, take a walk down memory lane with the photos and share old stories from college days, use this link https://www.facebook.com/groups/53763257820 to join the college Facebook group. It is for all ex students and others with college links, i.e. parents who were lecturers or who worked at the college. It is a private group so you have to explain your connections before being admitted. We know have over 400 members spanning 1938 to 1986. NCPE FB Admin Team. Carolyn Shortland nee Lane 1971-75

  • Denise Frost (Frosty)

    I was at Nonington 64-67. We were the largest intake of 64 students. I stayed in May 2 on Middle Corridor during the first year then in digs for years 2 and 3 at White House Farm. The 2nd year we had no games lecturer as Margaret Richardson fell down stairs in the staff cottages and fractured her skull. Made up for it in the 3rd year when the men arrived!

  • admin

    I would be very interested in any information about the college during the wars years for inclusion on the website.

  • John Wilkins

    My mother, Joyce Hunt was at the college during the war and was evacuated to Bromsgrove. She spent VE day in London (she was 19 and is now 94). Is there anyone else out there who remembers those years?

  • Steve Brew

    I was at Nonington 1973 to 1977. Great times! Glen Hayes and I still meet up on a regular basis. Would love to hear from anyone who remembers me. Have retired now so have plenty of time on my hands!!!

  • Paul Y

    Loved the complex of the college many good friends. Still meet Donny,Simon H and Simon M 44years later. Paul Y (Irish)

  • Karol Leeves nee Ashby

    I was at Nonington 1964 to 1967. During my first year I shared a room in the beautiful main building. My second year I was in digs at Old Court House staying in the house of an employee and his wife but have forgotten his name. My 3rd year I spent in one of the hostels.

  • Kim and Grant Leppard ( Williams)

    Thank you for posting this very interesting to read a concise Factual history of an amazing establishment so honoured to have been part of it. Also met my husband there and been married for 35years .A number of Our year group 1975- 1978 still meet up every year and the memories stream back for us all . There are various Facebook friends pages for anyone who is interested .

  • Gwynne Williams

    Gwynne Williams 1972-76. I really enjoyed reading the history. I would love yo hear from anyone that cares to reach out. Living in Virginia, USA now but have great memories of my days at Nonington. I can be reached at: [email protected]

  • Cyril Butler

    I use to visit your college from 1968 to 1971.I would journey down from London by train or car at the invitation of one of the students attending your college. I attended the many holiday and social events and really enjoyed much of what was going on there. Met and spoke to Ms Hinks at various times. In the winter I mainly arrived by train and walked in the snow to the College area. My friend , Lynette Lee, would show me around and and we attended the various dances etc.
    I remember the Woodpeckers bed and Breakfast inn and stayed there many times.
    I now live in AZ USA but would like to hear from anyone of that time. Lynette graduated summer 1971. Would also like to hear from her or anyone who knew her. My email address is [email protected] Cheers Cyril Butler.

  • Mike Sleap

    The year group 1966-69 are holding a 50-year reunion in September this year. If anyone from this group has not received details about it please email me – Mike Sleap – and I will pass them on. Over 30 from that year attending. [email protected]

  • sheila kitchener

    Thank you for this piece, as I sit in a hotel room with 3 former Nonnington students Liz Doole, Angie O’Neill, Lynda Bell and myself Sheila McQuitters we were reminiscing about the wonderful people who taught us at Nonnington College of PE. We have since been back to the site which is now owned by the Brudehof Community, they have bought many of the facilities back to their former glory .

  • Ingrid Stanton

    I too was at Nonington 67-70,happy days,loved every minute. I lodged with Mrs Ledner,the Housekeeper,still friends with Trish & Jane from our year.

  • R jenkins

    Hello Shirley, I was not at the College, but I was a Rocker, in the sixtys and have fond memories of the dances we used to go to a the College, I lived in Dover , just thought I would let you know that someone has memories of that great time, Kind Regards Ray Jenkins..

  • Barbara Sweeney (Stanney)

    Wendy Kirk. It’s Barbara Stanney (now Sweeney ) hopefully found you. Wondered where you had got too. I’ve been in contact with Faith Robinson and Pat Slater. Hope you receive this. Bx

  • Kathryn Wright

    Hi Helen
    Do not know if you remember me. I was at Nonington from 1974-78. I do remember you. I believe you came for Northern Ireland, I came from Wales. I was very friendly with Margaret Thornhill and Susan Jordan.

  • Barbara Sweeney ( Stanney )

    Hi Wendy. It’s Barbara Stanney Always wondered where you had got to. Met up with Faith Robinson a few years ago. She lives in London Pat Slater and I exchange Christmas cards still need to meet up with her at sometime. ( I m called Sweeney now. ) Hope you and Howard are keeping well Where are you living. Near Doncaster ?? We live near Rochdale just north of Manchester near M62 ( junction 21) My email. [email protected]. Hope you get this. Hope we can link up at sometime. Best wishes for the New Year. Bx

  • Helen Cousins. (Blakemore)

    I remember her very well. We were always called by our formal teaching names, ie Miss/Mr……until she became engaged, when all of a sudden we had first names! That was when we realised that something life changing had happened, and discovered her engagement.
    Always in her skirted leotard, she had a tough time with our mixed group. The rugby lads were not the most flexible/artistic….and ‘gathering and scattering’ often left us doubled up with giggles. Very fond memories indeed.

  • Helen Cousins (Blakemore)

    No idea if you will see this message, as it is over two years since you posted yours. I’ve only just come on this website.
    I was there 1974-78, and lost touch with you. Would be good to have a catch up 40 years on.

  • Peter Ewart

    I knew Nick Marshall well at Rye Grammar, which he left in 1967 to go to Nonington College. Only a few weeks ago I was chatting to him about that place at a Rye Old Scholars Reunion of the ’60s generation.

  • Peter Ewart

    I knew Nick Marshall well at Rye Grammar until he left school in 1967 to go to Nonington College. I was chatting to him about the place only a few weeks ago at a Rye Old Scholars Reunion of the ’60s generation.

  • Maggie Freeman nee Lawes

    Hello Lynda,
    I’m sitting here with Bonny and we are looking through the Nonington site and low and behold, there is your reply to me (one year ago). Sorry.
    Yes, we would love to meet up. I’m still in Surrey and Bon lives in Essex. She visits regularly (godmother to both my girls), so maybe in early 2019. What do you think?

  • Diana Prentice

    I am trying to get hold of a copy of the book written by Judith Chapman and printed by Mickle Print Ltd, Canterbury, Kent. Title – Nonington College Kent, England 1938-1986. Can you please help

  • Mark Cowey

    I remember going on the coach to watch the game great achievement for a College the size of Nonington. I played for the rugby team at that time we had a decent side we lost narrowly to St. Mary’s in the Colleges cup that year I seem to remember.

  • Trevor Brighton

    Hi Dennis, a blast from the past. Trevor Brighton (always known as Tich) Seems so long ago driving to football in Rog Peedle’s mini playing 461 Ocean Boulevard and others. I always thought that you and Pam had gone to Australia. Good to hear that you are still about and best wishes. Do you ever here from any others?

  • Marlon McGready

    Looking to get together with the Football Team that won British Colleges in Spring of 1979

  • Carol Gillen

    Anita’s maiden name was Fursey, loving known as Fuzz by her peers. 1963-66 (or maybe 67. Not sure if she did a B Ed)

  • Carol Gillen

    Hi Shirley – me again. You knew me as Peasa (Carol) Green. If you’d like to contact me via email, I can tell you a good way of finding many of our year. I’m in Colorado, USA now. Hope all is good with you.

  • Mark Cowey

    Time rolls on I was 60 last month. I drop the odd email to Tony Hall be great if anyone else from those years was about 1977-1980. I never really kept in touch with people guess we all move on and get on with our lives. I worked with a bloke called John Cooper he attended the College he was a few years older than myself.

  • Dennis Read

    I remember terry Harris at nonington. Fine fellow..we were in the same year. I married a nonington girl from the year below…Pamela garner. Still married and retired to the west Country.
    best wishes
    Dennis read

  • Mick, Teddybear, Thumb, fatty Ross

    Hi Wendy
    I went to Nonington 1967 – 70, spent my first year in east One room 2 with Nick (the king) Marshall).
    We played rugby v Wye. All I remember are those after-match dinners there, and the heavy drinking that was compulsory.
    I had a great time in mu 3 years and did very well, got to the rank of headteacher by the time I was 30. I ran an outdoor education centre in Wareham, Dorset for 16 years.
    I married a Nonington girl – Pookie Wines. We live in Dorset near Lulworth Cove.

  • Wendy Kirk

    I was a student at Nonington 1965 to 1968 and have very fond memories of my time there. I would love to make contact with anyone else who was there during that time. My name is Wendy Kirk and I met my husband Howard Kirk when I was a student at Nonington. He was studying agriculture at Wye. Perhaps someone else can remember the many social events organised between the two colleges. Yesterday we both had a most enjoyable and nostalgic trip around the two colleges. It was heart warming to see Nonington looking so beautiful. In contrast, unfortunately Wye College looks very delapidated.

  • Shirley Underwood- was Wallace

    Hi- just on the off chance that there is someone out there who was at Nonington CPE from 1963- 1966. My name then was Shirley Underwood (married Geoff Wallace- he who had the motor bike!)
    I have been reading with interest the posts written by people who were at the college in the 40’s, 50’s and 70’s but have never seen anything from those who were there from this era. I am hoping that although the site does not appear to be used regularly, someone will pick this up and respond.

  • Lucy edlin

    I’m trying to find out if anyone knew my parents they met here between 1972/1975 Terry harris and Susan ward they are amazing parents and are celebrating the Ruby wedding anniversary this August!

  • Simon Place

    Hello everyone. My mother was at Nonnington from 1950 to 1953 Joan Richardson. She died this week of MND and as is often the case it has stemmed an interest from me in her time here, which she always said were very happy days. Might anyone remember her? All the best Simon

  • Rosemary King

    Hello Pauline, long time no hear. Hope you’re keeping well. Would love to hear from you again. Rosemary King

  • Kath

    Thank you for putting this information on the web. I am Barbara Jones’ daughter who was at Nonington from1946 – 49, and was one of the Elite Team that went to Stockholm for the 1949 Lingiad – which you can now find on YouTube! She is now living in Devon and we are planning to visit Nonington in 2018.

  • Lesley Malone

    Just reading this. Joyce was my wonderful lecturer at noningtonians . Great memories . Kind regards Lesley Malone MBE

  • Mick (fatty) Ross, also known as teddybear, thumb, and other rude bits

    I’ve just come across your email about Nonington PE College. I went, 1967 – 70, the second intake of men. I remember the Dell, thats where I composed all my essays about movement and stuff like that.
    Our year group have two reunions every year. 1: the first Saturday in december meet and eat/drink at Covent Garden, London; 2: 4 day before the easter break at The Leam Hotel in Weymouth, Dorset. usually about 40 old sods turn up – great fun though. Join us next time.

  • Rev. John-Henry Bowden

    I’m impressed by the very happy memoires you all have of the College. Some of your readers will have known Joy Bridger-Rye, née Joy Howard, who was, I understand, a teacher at Nonington College for some years in, I guess, 1960s-70s, prior to her marriage to Henry Charles Bridger-Rye. You will want to know that she died recently, on 16th December 2017, and her funeral is to be held at St. Mary’s Westerham on 18th January 2018, 3 days after this post, and I am to give the address. Although not directly related, she was connected with my wife’s family by marriage, and we tried to keep up with her. She suffered dementia in her final years but that never dimmed her lovely spirit. I would be glad to hear from any reader who knew her at the College. I know she loved her work there.

  • Helen Henderson ( knight)

    I was a lab assistant for Miss Everett( Biology Teacher) at Nonington college. 1956- 58.
    I lived in Dover, and caught the train to Nonington Staton. I picked up my bike, and cycled through the country lanes to work- then hitched my bike onto the old horse hitching post. The lab was a little bit away from the main building, the old manor house. In the summer, I would be given free range of the college. I would walk around as though I was lady of the manor!
    I am 60 years older now, but have never forgotten my time there. I have been living in California since 1967.

  • Katy Springett

    I am one of Stan Beaumont’s daughters (Principal in the 70s and 80s); I have a painting of the college main building and wondering what to do with it! It was painted by Effie West (a student in the early 1970s I think) and presented to mum and dad. Anyone got any thoughts?!

  • Lynda Bell

    Hi Maggie, Yes of course I remember you and Bonny and Mary. I have been trying to look for you so perhaps we could meet again after all these years. Are you on facebook??? I am so perhaps we could link up through that?

  • John Hansell

    Could this web site administrator please advise Elizabeth Showan that I have posted news of Tim Showan’s passing away on the NCPE Facebook site today and there a several posts there from ex students with fond memories of Tim when he was lecturing at Nonington College.

    “Thanks for this link. It is a lovely digital book to flip through. I have put a copy of these posts on the Nonington College of Physical Education Facebook site.
    Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/53763257820/ to see it – You may need to ask for permission to see it as it’s a closed site, but there’s lots of NCPE content on this site and lots of names that people might / should remember. I hope his family know that some of us remember Tim.”

  • John Hansell

    More stuff cut and pasted here from the NCPE Facebook page.

    Dave Anderson
    Dave Anderson : Did a great job, notably with those “jocks” who knew little or nothing of the artistic life, very kind man.
    LikeShow More Reactions · Reply · 36 mins

    John Hansell
    John Hansell 16 November 08:42
    As has been pointed out, Tim’s car was a Lagonda, Facebook predictive Yankee spelling again screws up the English Language.

    John Hansell 16 November 08:50
    Tim even managed to get Malkie “Football Crazy” Cook through main level Art – although all Malkie ever painted were football matches. Malkie even submitted an oil painting of a football crowd and an empty pitch for his finals. Tim said “How can that be still life?’ Malkie said “Aye, it’s half time fitba at Ibrox!”

    Alison O’Connor 16 November 08:56
    Lovely man . I didn’t do art but the music block was down there where Peter Wastall taught me to play the flute . I’m a bit rusty now tho . X
    Original post

  • John Hansell

    Thanks for this link. It is a lovely digital book to flip through. I have put a copy of these posts on the Nonington College of Physical Education Facebook site.
    Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/53763257820/ to see it – You may need to ask for permission to see it as it’s a closed site, but there’s lots of NCPE content on this site and lots of names that people might / should remember.
    I hope his family know that some of us remember Tim.

  • John Hansell

    Very sorry to hear that. I went to Tim’s Art Lectures and got Main Level Art at Nonners. I learned a lot from him – especially working in oils. Tim also introduced me to landscape photography and developing and printing photos in dark rooms. A very nice, if a bit of an absent minded sort of bloke, who had a lot of patience – often with students who didn’t have a clue about Art. I was also be grateful that he got me some extra money doing Saturday morning teaching at Dover School of Art, (when it didn’t clash with College football away fixtures.)
    He used to drive vintage car (I think it was a Lagonda) around with a Light Ale bottle label on as road tax. One of the nicer, more human lecturers there, I have very fond memories of him.

  • John Hansell

    Is that Dave “Magnet Hands” Adams, from North Harrow? The fearless goalkeeper of the fantastic world beating 1970 NCPE football team? This is the left sided mid-field dynamo, (Number 8) replying – also known as NBGZ. Of course, I’m ignoring our loss to Waverley FC in the Kent Junior Cup Final, which I blame on the snowstorm that cancelled the original fixture at Snowdown Colliery. Remember that?? Send your email address to me at [email protected] and I’ll get you up to date,

  • elizabeth showan

    perhaps some of his students would like to know that Tim Showan died in 1014
    He was appointed in 1963 to run the art department , then only offering only painting .
    He developed the disciplines including sculpture ,pottery ,siversmithing and graphics until the closure of the college

  • Mick Ross

    I live in Dorset, near Lulworth Cove. I married Pookie Wines. Now a retired head teacher I’m enjoying the grandkids, gardening and still drinking beer.

  • Dave Adams

    Hi Mick,
    Would very much like to hear what some of our year have been doing & where they are now.

  • Pauline Pope (nee Fretwell)

    I was a student at Nonington from1958_61.The best 3 years of my life.Great colleagues and wonderful surroundings.We were in Kent 8 years ago and took a memory trip into the village and drove past the college was very upset at the state of “The Dell”.It was my quiet place for thinking.I still think fondly of my time at Nonington.

  • Fraser Thomson

    Hi Lesley I do remember you, you prob don’t remember me. Fraser Thomson. I know Pam well and as she lived around here I saw her a few times to do some aerobics with my rugby squad.

  • susanna serlachius

    Would you happen to remember the Finnish sauna and maybe bathed in it?


  • Betty Dell

    My good friend, Audrey Pearce, and I (Betty Waterman), maiden names, were at Nonington from 1947-1950 and are still good friends.We have wonderful memories of our time at college and especially our trip to Stockholm as part of the British gymnastic team.
    We would love to hear news about others of our time. It would be good to hear news of our friends Joan Lee and Paddy Gardner as we sadly lost touch after we left.
    Betty Dell

  • Guy R Wilson

    Do you remember Miss Smythe who was a teacher there in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.
    I often wondered what became of her?

  • Guy R Wilson

    I visited what was Nonington College yesterday evening and had a meal with the Bruderhof Community people as they open up Saturday evenings to visitors.
    I had never been before but was very impressed by what they do making furniture mainly for children’s bedrooms.
    I knew a lecturer called Miss Smythe in the 1960’s at the college. She was probably in her fifties then when I was about 24. Quite a character and a member of the Plymouth Brethren. I was as well at that time.
    The Bruderhof folk are very similar to the Brethren who keep themselves to themselves.
    By the way it is now called Beech Grove. Also the gymnasium has gone but the swimming pool is still there and actively used.

  • Mark Cowey

    This is for Tony Hall. Can you please let me have your email details it would be great to get back in touch after all these years. I don’t do Facebook or any of those accounts. Look forward to hearing from you perhaps??

  • Mick Ross

    I went to Nonington 1967-70. I’m holding a 50th reunion next year at The Leam Hotel, Weymouth. Have a look on Facebook as we have our own site and you may find someone from your years.

  • Tony Hall

    Hiya Geord (Mark),

    Many of us are still going. It would be good to catch up. How do we do this? Happy if admin can facilitate this.

  • Maggie

    Hi Lynda,
    Maggie (Lawes) here, in Surrey. Remember me?

    Great times, great friends still with Bonny (Atherton) Keep in touch with Mary (Barton) and one or two others.

  • Mick Ross

    Gosh! I’ve just found this as I was looking for the College badge.
    I went 1967 – 1970, the second set of 24 men – wonderful times. I’m running a reunion and 22 ex-students are coming to The Leam Hotel, Weymouth from Tuesday 15 March to Friday 18 March. we are all retired now so we usually meet up before Easter when its much cheaper to stay in a hotel.
    Check out my email.

  • Lesley Searson( nee Burrows)

    I was a student at Nonington 1975-1978 and they were very happy days. I kept in touch with a few students particularly Pam Peters. I still visit Nonington and kept in touch with the retired couple in the village who provided ‘ digs’ in my 2nd year until they died in 2004. The old house still remains and the Swedish dance studio, but sadly the playing fields have been put to allotments and small holdings.
    Going to Nonington completely transformed my life and those happy times will always stay with me. The Royal Oak is still open and serves great meals. I was there last week!! Happy Days.

  • Susanna Serlachius

    Does your mother happen to remember the sauna on the premises or maybe she even bathed in it?


  • Nina Balloch

    My mother, Dorothy Newell , was at the college from 1945 to 1948. It is even possible she is in the dance photo. She thinks it is a Greek dancing class. She had the honour in her first year of holding the college flag and finished with the highest marks for gymnastics in the college history.

  • Jenny Crighton (nee Wright)

    Hi, Susanna, that would be great. I’d love to chat more. The admin have my email too, how do we proceed?

  • Susanna

    Hello Jenny! My great-grandfather donated a Finnish sauna to The Gymnastics School in 1939. He had quite a lot of correspondence with Gladys Wright and I have all those letters. It would be interesting to talk to you more. Could we be in e-mail contact, the admin has my e-mail? I’d love to hear more about her!

  • Jenny Crighton (nee Wright)

    I wonder if our mothers remember each other. My mother was there at the same time. She was called Thea May then. She married Gladys’s nephew Leslie Wright.

  • Jenny Crighton (nee Wright)

    I am Gladys Wright’s great niece. My father, Leslie Wright, was her nephew. My mother, Thea May, was a student at the college from 1947-1950 and she met my father when he came to visit Gladys once. He was in the Royal Navy. They married and I was born in 1961. I remember Gladys, and visited her in her flat in Canterbury when she retired. My father died in 2007, but my mother is still going strong. After she graduated she taught PE in Plymouth all her life.

  • Mark Cowey

    I was at the college in the late 1970s. I often wonder what happened to all those folks I knew all those years ago. I can remember the facilities for P.E. were superb. Happy days well most of the time anyway as far as I remember.

  • Elizabeth

    My mother was at Nonington from 1949-1952. She has great memories of it. Thank you for this. I was delighted to be able yo show it to her.

  • Ester

    Thank you, very interesting. Is the Swedish Dance Theatre -building still there or is it also one of the demolished ones?

  • Fraser Thomson

    I was luckily enough to attend Nonington during the 70s and am so grateful for all the friends I made and still have.The best years of my life !
    If you’d like to get in touch I’d like to hear from you,
    [email protected]
    Happy days indeed!!!

  • Judith Barton (nee Allen)

    I was at Nonongton college 1980-1983. Sorry to hear that the facilities came to a sad end. I did visit in 1985 for the final gym display and have good memories of being a student there.

  • admin

    Thanks for the comments. If you fill in the box on the right hand side of the page you will receive updates by email.

  • Lynda Bell

    I was very interested to find this site of information regarding Nonington College. I would like to receive further information -thanks. I was at Nonington from 1972-75 and I had a long career teaching PE.

  • Gavin Johns

    What a sad end to such a beautiful campus. I have so many memories from my time 1976-79.

  • admin

    Thanks for the enquiry. You could try looking on Friends Reunited or Facebook, I believe there are some old Nonington students on them.

  • Eilish MacBean

    On behalf of the England Hockey Museum at Woking Surrey, I am undertaking research into the influence of Women’s P.E. colleges on the development of women’s Hockey. I would be very interested to hear from anybody who has any information.

    Thank you

  • admin

    Many thanks for your kind comments, I’m glad you like the site. Hopefully there is more of interest to be discovered.

  • carolyn shortland (nee Lane)

    Very pleased to have found this information and web site. I was at Nonington college 1971 to 1975. Back then I was not very interested in the history but I did love the place. Now 40 years on and almost retired the history of Nonington is so interesting and reawakening long lost memories. Thank you

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