Memories of Banovallum school

Doug Shaw has been sharing his memories of being a pupil at Banovallum School. (Photo: Rachel)
Doug Shaw has been sharing his memories of being a pupil at Banovallum School. (Photo: Rachel)

​Banovallum School is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and its trustees and staff are arranging a special celebration.

Doug Shaw works in IT for Banovallum, and ahead of the school’s 60th anniversary, is sharing his memories of being a pupil at the school.

Banovallum was opened in November 1963, and Doug was a pupil there from 1970 to 1975.

"I wasn’t particularly academic,” he said, “But I enjoyed school life and it was a good place to go to school."

He credits his woodwork teacher, Mr Frank Taylor, as being inspirational and the school’s expertise in woodwork was down to his dedication, he said.

The four houses at Banovallum during this period were Harewood, Tennyson, Franklin, and Newton, and Doug was captain of Harewood house, and his son Tom who attended the school from 2001 to 2006 was also deputy head boy.

Doug also remembers the first headteacher of his time at the school – Mr Forster – who he remembered as a strict disciplinarian:

"He was a fan of corporal punishment,” he said, “I wasn’t caned but I know lots of people who were!”

Luckily, his successor, Mr Eric Howarth, was more liberal, he said.

Doug came to work at the school in the IT department in September 2019 after he was made redundant from Morton’s publishing after 39 years there.

"It felt quite strange to walk in through the doors as staff not as a pupil," he said, “It was quite comforting and although I was not a fan of school as I wasn’t that academic, I liked coming here very much.”

As the school’s 60th anniversary will be celebrated on October 21, former staff and pupils are now being urged to share their memories of their time at the school.

Headteacher Grant Edgar said: “Our school is a harmonious place in the community, and the school is an integral part of the town.

"We are asking for people to share their old photos of their time at the school, memories, and if they have any memorabilia or uniform to get in touch.”

The school is also looking for a volunteer archivist to sort through the school’s archives. Anyone who would be interested in taking this one should call the school on