A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

Upfield Preparatory School for Boys, Stroud

To download the memories and photographs of Upfield compiled by Richard Barton, please press the link below:

To download the prospectus and details about the uniform:

To download the School Newsletters (1966-1969):

School Reunion 

There are plans for a School Reunion for all staff and pupils who attended Upfield Preparatory School for Boys between its opening in September 1949 and the departure of Jack and Sue Nelson in December 1973. If you are interested in further details please contact:

David Tate



Eric Berryman


If you have any memories that you would like to share on this website please contact Richard Barton:

or please leave a comment below.

8 comments on “Upfield Preparatory School for Boys, Stroud

  1. Steve Sobot
    May 26, 2017

    I remember Mr. Nelson explaining details of the carburettor and the internal combustion engine. Fantastic stuff, and brilliantly taught. I remember Mrs. Nelson showing us the donkeys, Jenny and Clover. I remember the peacocks, and the wonderful display made by the male. I remember the pride felt when the blue flag was on display. I remember “blobbing” the milk bottles and putting straws in just before the morning break. I remember walking to the Laurels, and the manager, Mr. Stairs. Lots of memories, thanks for the article!

    • Richard Barton
      May 26, 2017

      Thanks, Steve, any further memories and photos would be greatly appreciated. We were at Upfield at the same time. Kind regards Richard

      • Richard Barton
        September 19, 2019

        Hi Steve, I have recently updated my blog …

  2. Eric Berryman
    September 19, 2019

    I am hard-pressed to identify any particularity in my Upfield experience that carried over into adulthood. In hindsight, it is a blend of things that coalesced to shape and fit me to meet the world on its terms, not mine. Literacy, for certain. For reasons that can only be explained by a good psychiatrist or Deity, lessons on Joseph Conrad as taught by Mr. Chivers have stuck.

    Politeness: we tipped our caps to passing staff. We rose to our feet when a Master came into the room. Table manners. Determination: by sheer power of will Mr Nelson got me to learn to swim in the park pool across the street. Physical stoicism behind mullioned windows in cold classrooms because, as the Head warned, “warmth promotes germs.” Soccer in virtually any sort of weather. I played wing. Oddly, a life-long love of gardening and crafts. My large, fret-worked letter holder decorated Nelson’s desk for many years.

    It is a stretch to describe my Upfield tenure as being a happy time. Not because of the school, per se. My home life was a bit of a shambles from which I needed to escape, and did. After a couple of years taking GCEs at Gloucester Technical College, 17-years old, I emigrated to America. Seventeen being the minimum age for unaccompanied immigration. Upfield went with me. It was with me in a US Army infantry division in Germany, and in Vietnam where I was assigned to the Military Assistance Advisory Command with the job of helicopter door gunner. And Upfield was very definitely present ashore and afloat in the Pacific, the Atlantic and in the Pentagon when I made the US Navy a career.

    It is with me today, closing in on 80 birthdays. Four Upfield class photographs (1952, 1953, 1954, 1955) decorate the walls of four of our five children in New Mexico, California and Ohio. The fourth photo is with us here, on Cape Henry in Virginia.

    • Richard Barton
      September 19, 2019

      Thank you Eric for sharing these experiences and I look forward to meeting you in 2020.

    • Graham Shawley
      January 2, 2022

      Hi Eric,

      When researching my family history recently I came across your contribution, and that of others, about Upfield School. I too was a pupil there from circa 1949 to 1952, having been moved from St Georges School in Minchinhampton, Upfield was very much nicer I remember

      I was born in May 1943. In 1952 my parents moved to Bristol so I then had to change school to an excellent prep school there.

      You mention that you have a class photograph for 1952 which I may possibly be in. Would you be able to scan it and send it to me? Anything else you may have for the 1949-1952 era would also be gratefully received.

      It was interesting to learn that you had a long career in the military. I too enjoyed the service life and did over 42 years in the British Army, some being full time and some in a very active reserve role, alongside a career in banking.

      Kind regards,

      Graham Shawley

      • btsarnia
        January 2, 2022

        Thank you, Graham, for your contribution. Hopefully, Eric will eventually see your post. With kindest regards Richard

  3. Francis N Smith
    December 5, 2019

    Frank Smith pupil 1957 to 1961. I too, remember “chunky” Chivers; he told marvellous stories, and would only lose his temper about once a term. I was very scared of “Nelly” I did not want to be called up to the blackboard. Remember Nelly and boys skating on the lake in Stratford Park. My brother Robert also attended from 1955 to 1959. He became a local solicitor for many years, while I moved to California. Names I remember are Ben Petyan, Stuart Mclean, Richard Hook, Reza Kharazmie, Robert Noble, Robert Wheeler, ………………………um………………Words like Bun Fight, even guineas long out of use.

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