School friends — 72 Comments

  1. I was there in the mid 60s it was the happiest time of my childhood no beatings i won a bible where you had to learn a verse from the bible beginning with in the beginning was the word and god was the word etc i am 65 now but i remember everything all i have to do is close my eyes and i’m back there. anyone with more info or who was there at that time can get in touch please. i am on facebook and live in birminghom i born in stourbridge West midlands now woustershire then.

  2. My older brother was there from 1980-1985 because of severe asthma. If you have any details/photos from that period that I can pass on, it would be appreciated. He is not on any social media so I will pass on.

  3. Never went further than Essex until getting sick and leaving Oldchurch Hospital. I was sent to Heathercombe to convalesce at 10 year old.

    I can recall walking everywhere. And Jay’s grave.

    The only person I can recall being there is Judith Wood.

  4. Coming from the archetypal ‘broken home’, I attended first the children’s home, ‘Heatherway’, in 1970, aged 10, and commenced the boarding school, itself, Heatree House, from January 1971 until I left in Winter, 1975. My best friends were Gary Brown (Devon boy) and Nigel Weston (Birmingham boy), myself Nottinghamshire-born, but brought up in Essex. Although the school was run along strict religious lines, in retrospect it instilled excellent social and moral codes, which remained for Life. It is very true that time spent there could be difficult, boys coming from troubled backgrounds, my own mainly centred on parents ceaselessly arguing, often violently. I personally valued walks on the moors, some of the local spots such as Mary Jay’s grave and Hound Tor being particular favourites. The school motto, FIDES OMNIA VINCIT, became for me a maxim for life, translated meaning ‘Faith Overcomes All’. My name there was Adrian Francis Dunham, but changed the surname at age 21, refusing to carry the name of my father. The presence at Heatree House did tend to isolate a child, in their own local area, losing touch with local friends etc, but in my own experience, being a boarding school boy did instil self-reliance and a spirit of independence. Adrian (1970-1975)

  5. I first attended Heatherway Children’s Home (nearby to Heatree House) in 1970, age 10, successfully got back to London, but, being a perpetual truant in my own area, was sent to Heatree House itself in late 1970, being there until Christmas Term 1975.Being at Heathercombe Brake shaped a person in positive ways, as in being an Independent person, situations of all kinds whilst at the school honing one’s personality and codes/values, even if we may not have strictly realised it, at the time. As a terminal cancer patient, I am glad to have experienced what life as a full-time Boarder was like, and being able to experience the wonderful Devonshire countryside and natural features/landmarks of the area. My name there was Adrian Francis Dunham, later changing the surname for personal reasons, my best two friends being Devon boy Gary Brown and Birmingham boy Nigel Weston. The school motto, FIDES OMNIA VINCIT (Faith Overcomes All) became a worthy credo to live by.

  6. My Brother Sean Rutter was here 1980 onwards , first attending at Teignmouth,,
    Would love to see any photos & hear from anybody who was with Sean at this time
    I remember “ Peter “ & Issy
    Sean sadly Passed 7 years ago due to his health condition

  7. Hi I was part of the Heathercombe Brake Trust from 1974-starting in Heathlands Rise Teignmouth,run by Miss Nora Batt,then subsequently moved to Heatree House,Manaton,where I stayed until 1979,whereupon I chose a career in Hotel & Catering,went to study @ Torquay Technical College,and took a job in a local cafe,situated in Trago Mills Liverton,off the A 38 Drumbridges Roundabout,then known as The Chuck Wagon.
    I was fostered during my time @ Heatree House,by Malcolm & his late wife Christine Ford,of Rora House Liver ton Devon,known as Rora Christian Fellowship.Miss Quantick principal of Heathercombe Brake Trust knew Rora Christian Fellowship,and invited the m to Heatree House to take a Sunday evening service,which is how I met Malcolm & Christine Ford.
    From the details I have given,I wonder if anyone reading this remembers me?Incidentally,if it helps,I was great friends with Robert Steel,the late Brian Webber from Chagford,and the late Graham Knight,from Somerset.

  8. Can anyone out there help me, dose anyone remember Denise Hitt who attended heathland rise and what became of her?????

  9. I am in Year 4 of terminal cancer (Prostate * METS – bone cancer), and resolved to make use of my remaining time in the most positive ways, whilst I am in a condition able to do so. Consequently, I have completed my fourth book, set to be published by a recognised Publisher, THROUGH ONYX VOIDS, containing a mixture of Chapter text, photographs and poetry, on the one hand a life story, on the other taking the reader through the Journey of a terminal cancer patient. My time as a pupil at Heatree House are dealt with, in Chapter One. Adrian Francis Fox (nee Dunham); I am presently working on what will be my final Work, MESSAGES FROM THE ETHER, which will doubtless be published posthumously, containing a selection of short horror stories and poetry.

  10. Adrian,

    I am truly sorry to hear your news.

    I only knew you for a short time at Heatree but you always seemed to be one of the world’s good guys, someone who was kind and friendly to a skinny, undersized newcomer who was terrified by the place into which he had come.

    I hope that whatever time remains is filled with quality and that you achieve all that you desire.

  11. Thank you very much indeed, Ian Poulton, as that means more to me than you can ever know. You were far from alone in being scared, on first arriving at Heatree, as anyone brave enough would freely admit to it, and I certainly was, in my first term. I have been very lucky to have reached Year 4, but partly due to an excellent set of medical people in my corner, and also the willingness throughout to work with them hand in hand, doing everything expected of me, which I would advise others to do, too. I know the time is shorter, at the very most 5 years left, perhaps, but my condition is declining, now more than ever reliant on morphine, but you look back and think of the good things, and consider that the time you have had has been well worth it, especially for the decent, good people encountered, along the way. Death has no fear, in fact in some ways will be something of a relief, to leave the stuff of the world of the wrong kind firmly behind, without a backward glance. When my book comes out, you will much of positivity, there, as in one sense I have written it almost as though I have already gone; Many thanks to you, and really pleased I made something of a difference, and did not know it; Sincerely, Adrian.

  12. Hi I was at Heathercombe Break Childrens convalescent home Manaton Devon during the 1950s after my mother passed away in 1953 any help from anyone who was there at that time many thanks Mick Jeskins

  13. I was at Heatherway from around 1969 until 1971. I have very vague memories but happy ones. I remember the faces of other boys but only a few names such as Keith and Gary. Hanni and Peter ran Heatherway and they had a a child named Heidi. I went to Mortonhampstead school.

  14. I was there for sometime during the 70’s in my early teens. I have adjusted to the regimen I experienced there during this time. I now have a successful career, a beautiful wife and two extremely talented children. No thanks to this outrageous institution. On the off chance that Peter Sherman, or his bitch Boner, see this, please get in touch. Let me know know where you are. If you want to know more, please provide your addresses. I’ll be happy to enlighten either one of you. Anytime. Anyplace.

  15. Hello all

    I lived in the house known as Heather way in 1977 and only lasted 7 mouths i came from London East end to live facing bowman’s noise well that’s what I called it. Eric And Audrey ran the house and they were fantastic people most difficult when all you want to do is return to London.l lasted that long as my behaviour was shocking local school Ashburton would not have me back.great memories. we would go to haytree House for Sunday evening Mass.

  16. I was at heathercombe in 1962 ,I loved it ,l also won a bible for reciting John chapter 3 verse 16 ,we called the staff (who were all lovely people) aunty and uncle ,l lived in Fulham l think it may have been the first time l saw a cow ,l remember playing football against the school about a mile or two away and walking back with my mates and a herd of horses came down the lane towards us ,we climbed on a stone wall because we were scare ! The food was lovely there. Beautiful place

  17. I was there for as while in about 1958, but remember very little other than walks on the moors and clambering over the nearby tors. Having said that, a few memories are coming back now, though. I recall sledging down the snow covered surroundings using a large piece of thick cardboard. I also being introduced to Demerara sugar for the first time when we put it on our morning porridge, but, best of all, the few occasions when the cook would bring out a couple of baking trays with juicy pork sausages in them. They were cold and congealed in fat, but my God they were tasty ! I always wondered why they were cold, certainly we never got them hot :
    I wonder who did ?

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