The countdown has begun!

It’s hard to believe but the Army really is leaving Herford this summer and Lister School really is closing down. The last day in school is the 17th July 2015 and no more students will ever walk through the doors ever again.  And that sad day is only 168 days away….

What’s going on you ask?

The 2010 Strategic Defence Review resulted in the decision to withdraw all 20,000 troops plus their families from Germany by 2020. Although some stations, such as Paderborn will remain open a little longer, Herford station is due to close by September 2015.

Lister on a wintry day.

Lister on a wintry day.



Bad Oeyenhausen

Englische Siedlung (Portastrasse, Gneisenaustraße, Schützenstraße (white Commander house)

Bad Oeyenhausen

The ‘White House’ was re-build after it burned down. In the beginning it had three tennis courts, two of which were handed over to the Oeynhausener Tennis club in 1961. The third court was sold in 1964 to its new owners with the provision that the ‘White House’ resident and his family will receive club membership.

White hse Bad Oeyenhausen

‘White House’ – Commander House Schützenstraße


School transport

Going on the school bus seemed like a real adventure in the olden days…. The white busses were also known as ‘white elephant’ and the green Army busses known as ‘green goblin bogey bus’.

“We had a pecking order on the school bus. Big boys at the back and all the youngsters in first year sat down the front. We used to have one crazy German driver on the ‘white elephants’ (bus) who, if you got him, enabled the hilarity of flicking the V’s at another bus as you overtook. He would also get you home around 5 minutes faster than other buses. Back to those green tin cans- no real suspension and bouncing up and down on the old cobbled streets around the estate at home.”

Bus   school bus


“I remember we had mad Mike on our bus (55 seater). We used to shout “schnell, schnell” and get home 20 minutes before the first green goblin bogey bus got back. We always got him a Christmas present and cards. He always used to play music through the stereo and turn the volume up. Most of the time it was the ‘Scorpions’”.

The green bogey bus? 1960s


After the BFES school in Bad Salzuflen closed down, children started to attend BFES Herford whilst still living in Bad Salzuflen.

“For a while I remember being taken every day from Bad Salzuflen with one of two other children in a khaki Volkswagen beetle” (Roger White).


These days the children get taken to school in red ‘Deutsche Bahn’ busses, typically staffed with two bus escorts. Health and Safety regulations mean that children must be dropped off and picked up from the bus stop.


1956-57                       Katie Lynch

1957-59                       Joe McClorry

1965-68                       Mr Hardman

1975-80                       Mr Budd

1980s                           Mrs Fairhurst

1987-91                       Mr Bridge

1992-93                       Ian Jones

1996                            Pat Borthwick

Jan 1996 – Jan 06      Alan Atkin

Alex Thorpe

2013-15                      Emma Scarisbrick



Again, we are still working on filling in the gaps. Please feel free to let us know if you have further information which may help us filling in the missing details.

BFES Bad Salzuflen, Enger and Bad Oeynhausen

This page intends to collate information relating to schools in close proximity to Lister School Herford. It is very much work in progress and will be updated as and when new information becomes available.

The towns of Bad Salzuflen, Enger and Bad Oeynhausen all had a school for British Army dependents.

Bad Salzuflen

The school was open from ca. 1953 – 1956. The location of the school is currently unknown. We know the names of two headteachers: S Oxenham (1955) and J H Boddy (1955 – 1956).

Enger – Fleming School

Appears to have been open from September 1969 to ca. 1993.

Bad Oyenhausen

Open until 1955.

Bad O school

BFES Blazer badge

(Blazer badge and Bad Salzuflen info courtesy of Roger White. Thanks Roger!)


Brief history on BFES

The British Government decided that within the British zone of Germany, families would accompany male civilian employees and armed forces personnel, and that an educational system similar to that in the UK would be provided for all children up to the age of 18 years .

John Trevelyan the Director of Education for Westmorland was appointed Director of BFES (British Families Education Service). He and the Foreign Office recruited administrators and teachers late in 1946

School buildings were established in Germany with the help of the Royal Engineers. Soon there were schools throughout the British Zone, with two large Boarding Schools at Plön, in Schleswig Holstein, and in Wilhelmshaven, and a Primary Boarding School near Brunswick for children from isolated and small units.

BFES staff members were given navy blue uniforms. The uniforms were never worn in classrooms because John Trevelyan obtained permission for his staff to wear civilian clothes. He felt it was important that children were not confronted by uniformed staff.

In the winter of 1951/52 the BFES was combined with Army Education/Air Force Education and became BFES/SCE (Service Children’s Education)

‘Never in the history of education endeavour have people chosen so bad a time and so bad a place to begin an entirely new venture with so little to meet so many possibilities.’

Statement by John Trevelyan, the founding Director of BFES (1946) on the establishment of the British Families Education Service, BFES, Germany, in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War (Source:

Famous visitors

Princess Anne

Princess Anne has visited Herford and Enger on numerous occasions: 1974, 1982, 1993 and 2012.


The Virgin Islands Daily News: “Armed security guards mingled with school children yesterday as Britain’s Princess Anne officially opened a new school in Enger for British Military dependents. She was in the final day of her first trip abroad since escaped a hail of bullets in an abortive kidnaping attempt one week ago. The Princess unveiled a commemorative plaque at Fleming Primary School in the North German Garrison town”.

During her stay in Herford she also visited her regiment, the 14/20 King’s Hussars, where she learned how to drive a 7 ton Scorpion light tank. It is not yet confirmed whether she also visited Herford Primary during her stay, however a former student has reported that she visited the youth club. A photo of her leaving Heathrow to fly to Germany can be found here, also click on the other highlighted words for extra newspaper articles and photos.

Princess Anne in Herford – 1974


Whilst she visited Lister Primary school, the choir sang for Princess Anne and she met some of the children at Youth Club. Later on, a picnic was held in her honour.

Princess Anne at Lister school – 1982

Waiting for Princess Anne – 1982

Picnic after Princess Anne visit – 1982

Princess Anne visit Lister School – 1982


During her visit in 1982, Princess Anne open the Bradley Centre in Hammersmith Barracks. There was also a bomb scare during her visit.

Princess Anne opens Bradley Centre


Princess Anne visited Herford again in 2012 where she signed the Golden Book of Herford town in the mayor’s office and later decorated soldiers returning from Afghanistan with their well-deserved medals. Although she did not visit Lister School on this occasion, pupils lined the streets to try and catch a glimpse of her passing car.

Signing the Golden Book of Herford Town – 2012

Princess Anne 310512

Medal parade in Hammersmith Barracks – 2012

Anthony Jinman

The polar explorer visited Lister School in 2012 to spend a day with pupils, completing various activites relating to his solo trip to the South Pole. The children carried out activities based around insulation and survival in low temperatures. Video here.

Antony Jinman Polar Explorer – 2013

Antony Jinman Polar Explorer – 2013

Jeremy Strong

Another famous visitor to come to Lister School was Jeremy Strong in 2014. As a bonus, all children received a signed book copy from Jeremy, paid for by PALS (Parents at Lister School).

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School trips


The wild trip to Denmark with Mr Jones as the head at the time. Along for the ride were other teachers such as Mrs Soughton and Mrs Mitchill and a host full of soldiers. The one who sticks to my mind Was Curly haired Shawn (Chris Talbot).

I went in 1993… with curly haired Shawn…. Id love to know his surname and track him down and marry him! Shame I’m now living in NZ! I went with Mr Perkins and Mrs Soughton! We went twice in the year once staying with a host family and the second time in a lodge (Linsay Sunderland).

I went on the first trip to Denmark (1991) when we went with another school and we had one of those large group photos taken (Kerry Pidgeon).