Hove Grammar School old boys

We have a website which is run by the remnants of the old boys association (now defunct) – for your interest and as an online archive of the school as we remember it – may even find an image of yourself as you once were.

We are actively seeking more images and anecdotes about the school so why not roust around in your attic (you know you always meant to) and scan those images, then send them by email to web@hovegrammarschool.org.uk. Arrangements can be made for you to send them to us and we will do the scanning for you and return the photos.

Our school days at the “County” (as it was commonly known until about 1957) raise a variety of emotions. Some loved it and wish that things were like that again but others have mixed feelings or even have downright distaste for the old order. The Guest Book on the opening page of the website gives you an opportunity to let us know you’re still around and you may even like to let us know how you are getting on.

Many have used the site to tell all what they think about their “grammar school education” and some try to contact old friends. Website at: www.hovegrammarschool.org.uk

Comments about this page

  • Well done Bob! It’s about time some of the old boys came out of the woodwork and made contact with others.

    By Nick Pattenden (12/04/2012)
  • Hi Bob, Just found this page. I was at Hove County until 1955. I am now retired for the 3rd time and living in Berkshire.

    By Mel Davies (17/12/2012)
  • 1963 Boxing competition Knoll v Hove Grammar - I have passed some photos and information over to the Hove Grammar website so watch that space, Its also on my Knoll Boys facebook page.

    By Derek Mann (30/12/2013)
  • Hi Bob – thanks for keeping something to do with the old school going.  I was there from 1960-67.  Generally I have good memories of my time there and remember the names of several former class-mates.

    By Mike Stephens (03/04/2015)
  • Interested to know where my old muckers are now. I know there’s a book on the old school. Says there have been no poets or writers…not true! I for one. I attended HCGS(B) 1963-1970 under two headmasters Greatwood and Williamson.

    By Ivor Guild (16/12/2019)
  • It’s sad that so little has been written about HCGS. And it seems the old boys web site is no longer available. I was there from 1955 until 1960, when Mr Greatwood, or Bouncer as he was known was head.

    By Rodger Olive (17/12/2019)
  • If anyone stumbles on this site, there is now a history of the school: William H. Brock, “Looking Back: Hove Grammar School for Boys 1936-1979” (Grosvenor House Publishing: Tilworth, Surrey, 2018). Copies are available at Hove Library, and The Keep, Falmer.

    By William H. Brock (12/01/2020)
  • I was at the school from 1947 to 1952 and knew Bill Brock well. I was in form 5b. I enjoyed the music class very much.

    By John Humphreys (24/06/2020)
  • Nice to know there is still some interest in the old school. I was there from Sept 52 till Dec 57. I can remember most of the masters, Greatwood was head. Funnily, years later, when it had become co-Ed, my daughter attended in the late 70’s & took great delight in trying to spot me in the old school photos in the corridors.

    By Gordon Coleman (08/02/2021)
  • I have just finished reading William Brock’s book which was fascinating. I was at the school from 63 to 71 and it bought back so many memories. For instance, I was in Switzerland when Mr Playll was hit by the tram.
    Although not actually in the 1970 production of “Pirates” I recorded the show for selling copies to the families to help raise funds. If anyone is interested, I still have the recording and more than happy to share (at no cost)!
    As I say, a great book.

    By Laurence Edwin Leng (26/02/2021)
  • A friend of mine commented recently, when we were jokingly emailing each other in French for some reason, how good my French was – I said it was thanks to Mr Hogwood, an inspirational teacher, that I retained it after over 50 years. Similarly, my love for literature and language is down to Bill Lawrence, my fascination with landscape to Ned Land….I could go on, but the point is that, whatever shortcomings the school may have had ( and there were many) we had some brilliant, inspirational teachers, to whom I will feel forever grateful.

    By Ian Gates ( 1960- 68) (02/07/2021)
  • I was at the school from 1947 to 1952. Bill Lawrence was my english teacher for two or three years and Ned Land was my form master in 4a plus geography teacher. I agree that they, together with others, created inspirational and lifelong memories.
    Further to the point made by Roger Olive (17/12/19), a great deal was written about the “old school” on the old boys website. A few years ago, I can’t remember how many, the original (?) webmaster, who had done the job for many years, appealed for a successor. None was forthcoming so, eventually, the site was taken off line. It was an excellent record of HCGS(B) ex- pupils and staff memories. It also contained a good range of school photos and information about the staff who had served at the school since since its beginning plus further, relevant information. I very much hope it is archived somewhere. Otherwise its loss is significant to those who still have a soft spot for the old school.

    By David Robertson (03/07/2021)
  • I,too had Ned Land as form master and geography teacher in 4a, but this was in the year 1953/54. At the time we were referring to him as ‘Yography’ in recognition of his pronunciation of the subject. He was a good and inspirational man who must have influenced me to choose geography as one of my A levels. The esteem felt by the form for their teacher brought about a collection to buy him a Christmas present in 1953 – a large slab of Stilton carefully and decoratively wrapped. He often mentioned local cheeses in his lessons, hence the choice of gift. I remember he was quite moved and grateful for the thought. Our collection probably did not run to the extent of including a bottle of port.

    By Tony Betteridge (01/08/2021)
  • It looks like I am another old boy (1952-57) coming slowly out of the woodwork. I was part of what Bouncer and Mr Tabratt used to call “Train Boys” when they would ominously announce “Train Boys will stay behind after assembly”. We were trained in from Haywards Heath and all stations south along with our friends from Brighton Grammar and Brighton Tech and HCGS for girls and usually blamed for any misdemeanours, rightly or wrongly on the journey from Haywards Heath via Brighton Station and Aldrington Halt. We even made the front page of the Argus about
    allegations of female underwear being flown from the windows of the 4.28 from Brighton.
    That has always been a bit of a mystery as we were always gender segregated on the 4.28
    but not on the 7.58 am , but that’s another story. I suppose it was a case of journalistic licence on a quiet news day!
    David Simm. 1Z 2B 3B 4B M5

    By David Simm (12/09/2021)
  • I was a train boy too, travelling down from Hurstpierpoint, via Hassocks, every day – my journey to school would take the best part of 2 hours and not much fun in the winter! I don’t remember the story about female underwear, but I do remember the segregation on the train going home – for some of my time we had a special train laid on for us in the evening, which bypassed Brighton and went through Cliftonville tunnel , joining the mainline at Preston Park. It was usually a 4 car train ( ‘ 4- Lav’, for the trainspotting fraternity), with the boys strictly confined to the rear carriage- the Guard made sure of that! I remember one occasion when we all conspired to run from one side of the carriage to the other, causing it to sway alarmingly. I remember feeling, as a train boy, somewhat excluded from certain school activities because of the need to catch the train home, and on reflection it was asking a lot of an 11 year old to endure that journey every day, but I don’t regret it – as has been said, some great teachers, and not so much of that quasi- public school ethos that they had over at B,H,S Grammar.

    By Ian Gates (29/09/2021)
  • I was at the Grammar 1960-68 along with Ian Gates.
    I was mates with Bob Greed and Alan Hyde just to name a couple.
    Emigrated to Australia with another old boy Mike O’Dell in 1970 and still here!

    Just put in an order for the book, and looking forward to reading it.Many great memories and a great education and set of values, which have stood the test of time for me.

    By Ken Hailey (19/12/2021)
  • Gosh, there are some names from the past! I do wish I’d known about the old boys’ visit to the school a couple of years ago ( Tony Andrews got his picture in the paper! ). I ’emigrated ‘ too, to the North East of England in 69, and have been there ever since, apart from an interlude back in Sussex in the 80s – I retired after 49 years in social work a couple of years ago, and I think the values inculcated at Hove Grammar served me well. I have fond memories of school assemblies , and joining in the hearty singing of songs from Hymns Ancient and Modern ( Mr Reynolds on the piano? ) : I recall a real sense of belonging to a community, including my membership of Kent House. I also remember the ritual of boys considered to require caning after assembly- thankfully never me, though I think I sailed close to the wind at times, including the occasion the Argus published a letter from me which was highly critical of aspects of the school regime!

    By Ian Gates (01/02/2022)
  • Just started reading Bill Brock’s book, and it is bringing back heaps of great memories. I was also a train boy, coming from Lewes and the Bexhill for the last 3 years, as my dad was in the police force and kept moving areas.
    The assemblies always set you up for the day, as the sheer volume of 600 plus boys singing their hearts out has always left a lasting impression on me. I remember being in sheer disbelief being part of it all when I was in first form! I got sent for a canning to Tabby when I was caught chewing gum at prize giving night, but he must have been teaching, as after standing outside his office for 2 hours, I got put in detention and sent back to class.
    I also remember someone sending off 2 fireworks rockets down the west corridor from the top of the toilet steps, and the whole year had to sit in the assembly hall each Wednesday afternoon and forfeit sport, until someone exposed the culprits! Needless to say this never happened!
    I still have some school magazines and school photos on my walls, and often think back fondly on my schooling when I walk past.
    I am now retired, and spend most of my life now on Phillip Island in Victoria, and have always regretted that there is no longer an old boys association where I could keep in touch.
    Still follow Brighton and Hove Albion though!

    By Ken Hailey (13/02/2022)
  • I’ve just finished Bill Brock’s book which is a great work of research, an unenviable deep dive into the material. As a pupil from 1965-72, it is particularly interesting for me of the effect the changes in wider society were having on the relations between boys and staff. There was clearly a generational difference between staff: by and large the younger were sympathetic to loosening of rules on hair and uniform etc. and the older ones keen to “hold the line”.

    The pupil who was suspended for rudeness to Mr Redford was Alex “Kipps” Maxey, who was a brilliant pianist and went on to be an excellent journalist for Reuters and the Independent, latterly in New York. Sadly he died of Aids in 1989. He was behind an alternative, but shortlived, school newspaper, the International Gremlin Tribune in 1969. Again a sign of the times. It was banned following a staff meeting where its only supporters were Bill Lawrence and Mr Balsden.

    The other initiative which is not mentioned in Brock’s book was the 1971 Outset Sponsored Community Work Week to raise money for the homeless. In collaboration with a full time Outset organiser Giles Pegram, a group of boys including myself, Martin Lerner, Andy Sutton, Bob Walder and others organised a series of community projects worked on by pupils from schools all over Brighton and Hove, including Roedean School. This was a great initiative for the school to have led on. My fondest memory is of recruiting Sussex and England fast bowler, John Snow, to give us some publicity which he did by putting in some work alongside the young women from Roedean.

    By Chris Mortimer (27/02/2022)
  • Yes, I also enjoyed Brock’s book. It is such a shame that the website had no one to take it over. I fear all the data and photos it contained from many pupils over the decades have been lost forever. Maybe this site could have housed the information.
    Being there at the same time as Chris (above), it was interesting to see the change in staff culture as younger more liberal staff started to replace the old guard but it was always going to be difficult budging those at the top of the tree who would still be there caning the backsides of kids today if they had half a chance. Overall it was a good experience and education – just a shame I didn’t have a role model at home to reinforce its values.

    By Mick Wright (28/02/2022)
  • The current awful situation in the Ukraine has reawakened memories for me of 1962, when I was in the 2nd form, and the Cuban crisis created a real fear that nuclear armageddon might be imminent. I recall that one of the masters ( can’t remember which one) gave some talks to the pupils about what to do in the event of a nuclear strike- he was a proper Civil Defence warden, with the uniform to go with it ( a bit like Fred in Call the Midwife! ), and I remember that his talk increased my already high level of anxiety. I think at that time the WW2 air raid shelters were still there, on the site latterly occupied by the squash courts, and I can imagine us boys having to troop in there if the balloon had gone up – I never went in there but I can’t imagine it being very pleasant.

    By Ian Gates (05/03/2022)
  • Referring to Chris Mortimer’s entry: “The pupil who was suspended for rudeness to Mr Redford was Alex “Kipps” Maxey, who was a brilliant pianist and went on to be an excellent journalist for Reuters and the Independent, latterly in New York. Sadly he died of Aids in 1989. He was behind an alternative, but shortlived, school newspaper, the International Gremlin Tribune in 1969. Again a sign of the times. It was banned following a staff meeting where its only supporters were Bill Lawrence and Mr Balsden.”
    It was Robert (nee Robin) Maxey not Alex. I still have a complete set of the International Gremlin Tribune xeroxed newspaper.
    I recall that wonderful Mathematics teacher Jack Liddell was also supportive of the newspaper initiative.
    I hope you are well Chris.

    By Martin Sinnock (19/03/2022)
  • Hi Martin, I’m well enough, thanks and I hope the same goes for you. I assume you are the same Martin Sinnock who wrote (writes?) music reviews for Songlines Magazine?
    Yes I still have some International Gremlin Tribunes myself – a true underground newspaper!
    “Kipps” Maxey was a man of many identities – his last (and his byline as a journalist) was Alex. But when you have a wonderful name like Robin Alexander Dylan Maxey you have names for several lifetimes!

    By Chris Mortimer (21/03/2022)
  • I never knew that he worked under the name Alex. I remember well that he hated the name Robin and therefore to us he was always Robert.
    Yes – I am retired now but still write a few reviews for Songlines magazine – just to keep my hand in journalistically.

    By Martin Sinnock (22/03/2022)
  • Looking at those recent posts, one is struck by the consistency of Bill Lawrence in taking a ‘liberal’ view of pupil activity ( and incidentally, I think there was an earlier attempt to produce an ‘alternative ‘ school mag which was suppressed) : another example of this was his support for the idea that, rather than force me to participate in games / sport, at which I was manifestly hopeless, I should be allowed to attend the Theatre Royal in Brighton one afternoon every couple of weeks to see the current production there, as a kind of extension to my Eng Lit studies. I recall that other members of staff ( Mr Lucas? ) were opposed to this : the first play I went to see was The Importance of Being Earnest, very appropriate for Brighton! Mind you , Bill and I didn’t always see eye to eye – he had an expectation that we would always have a book of our own on the go which wasn’t in the curriculum, and I remember his dismay/disapproval when I reported that I’d been reading a work by PG Wodehouse: I didn’t realise until later that this was based on his view , very common at the time, that Wodehouse had been disloyal during the war.

    By Ian Gates (27/03/2022)
  • Hmmm, Bill Lawrence and I didn’t see eye to eye much either. One classic was him going bananas at my refusal to run for the House in the annual cross country around Waterhall gold course. My reason was that in the previous week’s heats, his house captain and vice hid behind a hedge and counted 10 Gloucester boys as they went past so they didn’t get selected. I never told him my reason but I think it cost me the house captaincy for the following year.

    By Mick Wright (28/03/2022)
  • I must admit I used to hide during the cross country heats somewhere up near the Devil’s Dyke.
    I liked sport but found running very boring, but one year miscounted and ran 6th for York!
    Only year I had to run in the house final!

    By Ken Hailey (17/04/2022)
  • My pal Steve Howell lived adjacent to the cross country route, somewhere up near the top of Goldstone Valley, and I’m ashamed to admit that there was more than one occasion when we nipped into his house and rejoined the throng on their way back. Don’t think we ever got found out!

    By Ian Gates (23/04/2022)
  • The imminent national rail strike reminds me of a similar event in, I think, the mid 60s, when us train boys were prevented from getting to school by the normal means. I lived in Hurstpierpoint, and so did an R.E. teacher whose name I quite forget, but I remember him as being quite young, fairly tall, and with a beard ( unusual in those days) : for the duration of the strike, he offered to give me a lift in.his large black car, to and from Hove, and I recall feeling very privileged as he drove us over the Downs to Hangleton. I don’t think he was in the job for very long, because I remember another R.E. teacher of very different appearance, who was tasked with giving us 4th/5th formers a rudimentary form of sex education, which he clearly found incredibly embarrassing- I felt very sorry for him, poor chap!

    By Ian Gates (19/06/2022)
  • I think the RE teacher with the beard was a Mr Holley, nicknamed Buddy for obvious reasons. Got me through my RE O level.

    By Nick Burdett (20/06/2022)
  • I well remember Buddy Holly!
    If we were disruptive he would force the class to write out Psalm 119 – the longest in the Bible, and hand it in the next week.
    It used to take ages, and he used to check that all your pages were genuine.
    I seem to remember that he sent some boys to The Bouncer for the cane!
    I think we were all relieved when RI wasn’t scheduled later in our school lives.

    By Ken Hailey (09/07/2022)
  • I also remember Buddy [Raymond] Holley. Whilst he was strict, I felt he was a good teacher. Sadly he passed away in 2013 in Sudbury, Suffolk, where he’d lived for a number of years.

    By Dudley Whittaker (09/07/2022)
  • Mention has been made of the School Website. I was the co-founder of this with Bob Kennett – he did all the work, I shouted encouragement from the sidelines. The information has not been completely lost, it is now lodged with the British Library. We did ask whether it could be incorporated on the My Brighton & Hove website, but apparently it was too large for this to be practical.

    By Geoff Stoner (20/07/2022)
  • For some reason, the name Willy Pope came into my mind the other day, and I remember him as being quite an unconventional character who didn’t really fit in with the ethos of the school – a bit of a rogue, one might say, but very likeable, and his teaching of English could be quite entertaining! I wondered at the time, and wonder now, how he got on with other members of the staff group, because I feel fairly sure he would have been impatient with some of the trappings which came with being a “Grammar School “. On which point, it makes me smile now to think that most of the masters used to walk around in their academic robes, presumably to emphasise the point that this was an institution dedicated to serious scholarship.

    By Ian Gates (03/10/2022)
  • Willie Pope was was one the few masters that I quite liked. Usually had a smile on his face and wasn’t one of those who thought the cane cured the world’s ills. Good winger for the staff XI. Went on one school camp with him to Norfolk Broads in ‘65 that was a washout. I think he and Duster Bennett got on OK. Sad to think they’ve both passed now.

    By Mick Wright (05/10/2022)
  • I remember Willy Pope. He kicked me in the back of the calf during Masters v Prefects football game in 1963/63. I still feel it when the weather turns cold!

    By Chris Welsh (28/10/2022)
  • Oh my word…Norfolk Broads camping trip.
    Three decent days weather, the drive up there, the day our tent was on cook duty and the day we got the coach back. It rained on every other day. I credit that week for giving me my life long aversion to camping.
    Like yourself Mick I really liked and respected Willy Pope who fired up in me a love of reading and a respect for the works of Shakespeare.
    I was trying to recall the name of the Irish teacher who taught English…turned up for a school play one night totally pissed , loudly laughing at all the rude parts that no one else had got.

    By Steve Lawrence (21/11/2022)
  • Hi Steve. Yes, the Broads trip was when Bert Bucket famously steered a launch into a yacht and tried to explain to the owner that it was only a “small hole”.
    The teacher was Malcolm J Kennedy. I remember the first day he turned up, second year I think, with his spotted bow tie and flowing cape and breezed into the classroom. Seem to recall his nickname was Sweaty ********. He became head of English at Hove Park. Despite being quite strict I think most people liked the guy.

    By Mick Wright (22/11/2022)
  • Yes, Willy Pope was certainly a likeable character. The popular opinion when I was at the school (53/58) was that his nickname derived from being an aircraft rear gunner (tail end willy) during WW2 although I don’t remember coming across this usage of the term. He certainly wore an RAF greatcoat at times.

    By Geoff Stoner (24/11/2022)
  • I was always led to believe that the rear gunner on a wartime aircraft was known as, ‘Tail end Charlie’. And I did do several years in the ATC in the 1950s.
    Did that not count for anything I ask?

    By Tim Sargeant (26/11/2022)
  • Wow – looks like there is still a lot of fond memories of the old school. I attended from 1965-72 . I briefly discovered the website but when I returned to it a few months later it was gone, just as I found a bunch of photos to upload. If Dudley Whittaker or Bob Kennett are still on this thread, leave me a message I would be willing to host it if it is possible to be reloaded from the archive. I read Brock’s book last year. He had some very fine details, it took me back to summer of 66 on the school trip to Interlaken. Like someone earlier, I too was present as Bert Playll was lying bleeding on the road having been struck by a tram in Basle. I had forgotten about it until I read Brock’s book.

    By Graham Hayes (31/12/2022)
  • Anyone remember playing hand tennis on the top of the old air raid shelters in the backfield circa 56/57?

    By Gordon Coleman (19/01/2023)
  • Well remember Willie Pope. He and Dave Bennett were by far my favourite teachers. Always honest and a great sense of humour!
    I played up during English, and Willie made me kneel on the wooden floor with my nose on the blackboard for the rest of the lesson.
    Didn’t do it again needless to say!
    He and his wife were great fun at the school camps, which I went on three times as both student and helper.
    Dave Bennett used to drive us there in the old bus which my father thought was unroadworthy with a big trailer behind with all the bell tents and cooking gear.
    Willie was always dressed in baggy army shorts and did a lot of the cooking.
    Also played against him in the staff v prefects games, and he was pretty quick along the wing.
    Dave was always the referee, and called my second game off as it got too rough in the second half!
    Great memories!

    By Ken Hailey (20/01/2023)
  • Earlier references to Bert Playll and his argument with a tram stirs a few memories- I wasn’t involved with the trip where the accident occurred, but I do remember he wasn’t in very good shape when he returned to work. And of course he was quite a big name in the Morris Dancing world (Chanctonbury Ring Morris Men), but I’m guessing his injuries must have cramped his style somewhat.

    By Ian Gates (21/01/2023)
  • I believe that I have the complete old school website intact ……… downloaded it just before it closed down.

    By David Langley (15/02/2023)
  • I think my dad Rod Eyte (aka Lawrence Eyte) used to go to this school probably from the mid 1950s until early 1960s.

    By Christopher Eyte (28/02/2023)
  • Christopher Eyte. Yes we knew him as Rodney, we were there from 1955.

    By Rodger Olive (01/03/2023)
  • Dave Langley,
    Would this be available to others, or at least sections of it? Shame it was closed down.

    By Geoff Stoner (01/03/2023)
  • I downloaded it to this site and the Mods are aware. I haven’t a clue how to access it!

    Happy to send it to anybody …. “public domain!”

    By David Langley (13/03/2023)
  • How do I download the old school website ?

    By Gordon Coleman (07/05/2023)
  • Hi, I didn’t attend Hove Grammar School. I attended Blatchington Mill which absorbed your school. Lots of your great teachers clearly moved on to other teaching posts, but Willie Pope became assistant Head at Blatchington Mill and continued to organise camping trips. I have so many fond memories of Mr Pope. He was outstanding and much more popular than the headmaster at that time. I remember him breaking up a vicious game of rugby which had got out of hand. Also disciplining an unruly student who used to climb out of the window when she got bored. When she returned to class the following day, he let her stand outside the door begging to come in. It was hilarious. He loved reading Chaucer to us, especially the saucy ‘Wife of Bath’. He gave me a greater understanding and appreciation for Shakespeare. And, to my shock and delight, invited me on an all boys camping trip. Unforgettable! He boasted to us that he was so thrifty that he wore to school the same jacket for 20 years. Great teacher. Great comedian. Great disciplinarian, but never cruel. I seem to remember on the camping trip not only meeting his wife but five daughters! Sorry to hear he passed away, and wish I had revisited the school one last time to thank him.

    By Flavia Brilli (21/05/2023)
  • Oh Flavia, that’s so lovely to read – I had no idea that Mr Pope made that transition, but the way you describe him sums him up beautifully, and fits exactly with my memories of him. He was a real one-off, and as you say his unconventional teaching style, and his genuine enthusiasm, were an inspiration to me and to many others, I am sure. He actually made learning fun, and made me want more. Thankyou again for those memories!

    By Ian Gates (27/05/2023)
  • The recent post by the lady with the wonderfully Romanesque name of Flavia has reminded me of an issue that I’ve been contemplating commenting on before – ie, the teaching of Latin at Hove Grammar. Clearly, it was one manifestation of the school’s aspiration to be seen as just as good as a public school, but my memory of it is that it was seen as something of an elite thing, provided to boys who fitted certain criteria, which I certainly didn’t as I was booted off after one year. But according to what criteria, I’ve often wondered- I was good at French, so why not Latin: did my face , or my voice, not fit?

    By Ian Gates (27/05/2023)
  • Ian, you are not alone. I’m not even sure if I lasted the whole of the first year watching a tweed jacketed Ross, eyes closed, hands behind his back hugging the radiator, reciting paragraphs from the text book word for word. I do remember though some of the verb conjugations which have stuck like glue all these years.

    By Mick Wright (29/05/2023)
  • Strange there seems no mention here of Harry Barker, the woodwork teacher and everybody’s favourite eccentric.

    By Geoff Stoner (07/06/2023)
  • “Face side, face edge, width, thickness, cut to length”.
    Harry must have said this to my class a million times for me to remember it!
    Year 1- make a ruler
    Year 2- make a plant label
    Year 3 – make a pencil box
    Why did I only take art after year 3 I wonder?

    By Ken Hailey (08/06/2023)
  • I never got beyond the boot scraper stage! The thing that I most remember about Harry was him reminiscing about his younger days, in particular following the horses around the streets of York with a bucket, picking up the manure – maybe to sell, or for his dad’s allotment. I never pass through York without thinking of that!

    By Ian Gates (09/06/2023)
  • Another little-mentioned teacher was Mr Reynolds , the music teacher ( think I’ve got the name right!) – the ‘music room’, upstairs at the far end, was clearly constructed with a view to facilitating performance of one kind or another, but I have no recollection of anything of that sort, or indeed of anything resembling instruction in the rudiments of music : my main memory is of sitting there listening to music being played on that big old gramophone through the large wooden speakers, mostly classical stuff ( Heidegger’s “Pacific 231” comes to mind) but also occasions, somewhat embarrassing, when we were encouraged to bring our own discs in, and the room rang to the sound of Tamla Motown!

    By Ian Gates (09/06/2023)
  • Ken,
    Seems to be no variation since my days (53-58). I fell at the 3rd. (pencil case). No doubt it was also the same glue-pot.

    By Geoffrey Stoner (12/06/2023)
  • Geoffrey,
    After reading Ian’s comments I checked with my older brother.
    I made a boot scraper in year 3, but my brother Tim made the pencil box in year 4, as he continued with woodwork, but I switched to art.
    Most of the lessons were lectures from Harry about “life” gathered around his bench, trying not to fall asleep!
    My years were 1961-67.

    By Ken Hailey (13/06/2023)
  • Bill Laurence gave me an inspiration for chess which has lasted all my life.
    I was a C former but became a head master some years later.
    I’m still in touch with Fred Stone in Australia and Peter Ford in Haywards Heath.
    Interesting days.

    By Tony Buckfield (14/06/2023)
  • Blimey, this is quite a curious spur of the moment find! I was there at the end of the grammar years and beginning of the comp years, I remember when they took the fence down between the two schools and the ‘big boys’ squared off against each other! Both of my brothers attended before me. I have decidedly mixed memories of the place but it’s a shame the website is no longer live and the history-of book is no longer available. And I remember Flavia who is famous for being in The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover!

    By Chris Clow (28/06/2023)
  • Having got out of the shower this morning, and not a pretty sight these days, I was drying myself and I suddenly got a voice in my head saying “ dry your head first, water travels downhill “. It threw me back to, I think Wednesday morning, swimming sessions at The King Alfred. Can’t for the life of me remember the name, so who was the teacher who exhorted everyone to dry themselves from the top down .
    Also remembered the rush to get dried quickly to get a chance of a lift back to avoid having to trek to the bus stop. It always seemed to be raining and cold when we had the lessons.

    By Steve Lawrence (03/07/2023)
  • I do remember Henderson the PE master taking us for swimming. He did a perfect swallow dive in the shallow end and came up with blood dripping from his forehead. A master class.

    By Mick Wright (03/07/2023)
  • Re St Alfred swimming lessons, was it Mr Grant? My main memory is of turning up there without fail early in the morning and over a long period never once letting go of the side – I never did learn to swim!

    By Ian Gates (04/07/2023)
  • Yes, Grant was there in my first year. Ex army I think who was handy with a plimsoll and or leather end of the climbing ropes. Not the best introduction to secondary education for 11 year olds. I do remember running through and dodging the water jets in the ice cold showers.

    By Mick Wright (04/07/2023)
  • Further thoughts about the King Alfred – I remember that a group of us ( Eddie Hyde being one, and maybe Steve Howell) used to go down there after school , usually on a Friday, for a session of ten-pin bowling ( an essentially 1960s activity). I was never any good at that either! I do recall the excitement because Ringo Starr spent his honeymoon in a house just over the road. I didn’t realise until recently that the King Alfred played quite an important role in WW2, as a base for training naval personnel: living as I do in the North of England I’ve no idea if it’s still there. But some happy memories.

    By Ian Gates (04/07/2023)
  • Definitely not Henderson. This would have been circa 1965. Could well have been Grant and I think it was the same Master who used to get annoyed at anyone appealing for throw-ins during football games.
    Similarly, like Ian, I spent most of the swimming lessons pretending to be swimming and ended up being able to swim like a brick.

    By Steve Lawrence (05/07/2023)
  • King Alfred is still there Ian, but is now The King Alfred Leisure Centre. Multi activity centre with swimming, sports hall, gym etc
    Drive past it regularly as my mother is in a nursing home nearby.

    By Steve Lawrence (17/07/2023)
  • Grant was definitely the PE teacher.
    To be fair he did improve my swimming mainly by yelling I seem to remember!
    Having lived in Australia since 1970 being able to swim well has been a big plus for me!
    Never did enjoy the cold showers though!

    By Ken Hailey (10/08/2023)
  • I was at Hove Grammar from 1955 to 1960. My memories are of being caned by Mr Greatwood for running in the corridor, in spite of having been pushed down the stairs! Waiting to go into a lesson in 1959 on the day the music died. I don’t remember much about the music lessons other than the students requesting Holst’s Planet Suite – Mars because it was the theme tune for The Quatermass Experiment. I also remember a physics lesson when there was an enormous explosion from the chemistry lab next door. There was also a time when two lads were having a fight before a lesson and Mr Hepburn the RE teacher walked in, in those days boxing tournaments were held in the hall, Holy Joe marched the boys to the hall and made them have a gloves on fight to Queensbury Rules. Actually it was a good school!

    By Rodger Olive (11/08/2023)
  • A great thread. I was there from 65-72 and remember many events described above. Hard to forget Hitchman’s geography crosswords at the end of each term; Jack Liddell’s military demeanour; Ross introducing the class to Liar Dice; terrorising Miss Cottle the French teacher (for which we all paid a price); Mr Braun’s jelly mould car; being hit by flying blackboard rubbers and chalk for minor misdemeanours and even whacked by Joe Allen’s metre rule; but Bill Lawrence was inspirational and even Tabby was an excellent maths teacher; Mr Jones’s squeaky shoes (German); Willy Pope suffixing every miscreant boy’s name by “you horror” and of course the Prefects’ Record Show. I could go on :-).. Hi Chris M – well remember Outset activities and Gyles Pergram (now CBE)

    By Barry Potter (27/08/2023)
  • How wonderful to find this history of memories from the old school. So many things spring to mind……God was the new head when I arrived in ’66……taught us Latin in year 1……it was a toss up as to which I disliked more! Trev Corrall got 100%in his latin exam that year…..I wonder if he became a doctor…..I played one game of cricket for the school’s first eleven, scoring one run, at Thomas Beckett in Crawley as the last person available and in year 3 or 4 I snapped the crossbar on Andy Henderson’s first xi pitch….he wasn’t a happy bunny. His team talks were often, ‘tight at the back, early ball in midfield and bags of running up front’, whilst bending his fingers back as he gave those instructions.
    Jack Liddell, Colin Pope, Nick Allen, Looby Jones, Bill Lawrence, Stanbrook, Stansbury, O’Hara and Paul Pibworth…..so many others and so many memories…..
    I often wonder where the Hopkins Shield and the Honours Boards are……I hope they are safe somewhere.
    Still close to Geoff Garland, Rob Silver, Bobby Beaken, Gordon Westcott but sad that many others are no longer with us……
    Mick Wright, not seen you in Tesco’s for a while ?

    By GARRY NEWTON (07/09/2023)
  • Garry – I have moved to Henfield but Sainsbury’s have opened a local! Phil Helyar is organising a reunion and Bob Beaken is on the contact list. Perhaps you can contact him.

    By Mick Wright (07/09/2023)
  • Attended 1970 -72, moved to Exeter. Great memories of a classic grammar ie boys only ! Would love to hear from similar aged old gits ! Got too many pupils and teachers in my mind . Amo, Amas, Amat, etc , headmaster said we’d never forget ..!

    By Kevin Orpin (11/09/2023)
  • Re Gary Newton’s comment (7/9/23) the Honour Boards mysteriously disappeared, probably destroyed. No idea about the Hopkins Shield.

    By Geoff Stoner (15/09/2023)
  • Phil Helyar who was a governor there in a later life reckons they were all stored somewhere in the attic of the school. Who knows what’s up there?

    By Mick Wright (15/09/2023)
  • Although I was born in south London, I grew up in Hove during the 2nd Word War. My home in High Park Ave., from 1940 until 1951 was in the Hangleton area. Having now lived mostly overseas since doing “National Service ,“ my memories of the town are mainly restricted to those of my childhood. What I would like to know, is whether the Hove Grammar School, which is so often mentioned, is really the same as we used to call the Hove County School ( That is where my late brother Norman spent some years), or has a rebuilding taken place?

    By Ken Ingle (19/09/2023)
  • Ken, the answer is yes. The full name was Hove County Grammar School for Boys (HCGSB). Your brother wouldn’t have had far to travel from Hangleton.

    By Mick Wright (20/09/2023)
  • Thank you for your quick answer Mick!

    By Ken Ingle (21/09/2023)
  • I spend a fair bit of time , probably rather too much, posting stuff on a Facebook page about the history of Hurstpierpoint ( and also one about Hassocks), and a few people recently have made kind comments about how well I express myself, and also about my grasp of History, and I think, “yeah, well, I’ve got Hove County Grammar to thank for that” . Interestingly, a few female contributors have said how much they disliked attending the girls’ Grammar down the road, which is rather sad – we were so lucky!

    By Ian Gates (09/10/2023)
  • Mick Wright, if Phil Helyar is organising a reunion, I’d be interested….saw him earlier this year at Jim Bishop’s funeral but have no contact details for Phil…I am still in close touch with a number of the old School gang who still lurk around Hove and Brighton….

    By Andy Dean (10/10/2023)
  • I met up with Rob Silver at a friend’s funeral at the end of last year and we then met for lunch this year at the West Hove Golf Club. A number of names from the past came up in the conversation but I find reading through some of the comments on this site more of a jolt down memory lane.
    Glad to see you are alive and kicking Mr Newton

    By Steve Lawrence (11/10/2023)
  • Andy, email me at mick.d.wright@gmail.com

    By Mick Wright (11/10/2023)
  • Nice to hear that Harry Barker the woodwork teacher is remembered. I remember his favourite punishment for misdemeanours was recruiting
    said persons to his sunshine club. This involved running round the front playing field until told to stop. Also ,my first attempt at woodwork was to make a 6in ruler, which Harry took great delight in snapping and throwing in the bin. I never did complete it. I was there 52-57 , Bill Laurence was my form teacher in 52.

    By Gordon Coleman (16/11/2023)
  • I’m somehow taken aback that both Harry Barker and Bill Lawrence were already teaching at the school in the early 50s, but in their different ways they were both really committed to their jobs and made a huge impression on generations of students ( even if , as that anecdote about the ruler illustrates, Barker could be a bit harsh at times, quite the opposite of Bill Lawrence). I count myself so fortunate to have attended a school where such individuals could flourish, and where we all respected the common values, and things felt safe and predictable- unlike many schools today, I suspect!

    By Ian Gates (17/11/2023)
  • Harry Barker’s squad of reluctant athletes was known as Harry’s Harriers. Numerous failed attempts at making a ruler and a bootscraper resulted in my being given a free transfer to the Art class, possibly because Harry was running out of wood. I managed to avoid the involuntary exercise.

    By Nick burdett (18/11/2023)
  • Have just seen on the news about the serious fire at Blatchington Mill school, started by a female pupil apparently – not clear to me which of the buildings are involved, but would be sad if was any part of the old Hove County complex.

    By Ian Gates (26/02/2024)
  • Ian Gates – looking at the photos it would appear that the fire was in the Nevill school buildings not HCGS campus.

    By Rodger Olive (27/02/2024)
  • I stumbled across this site and read all the amazing memories. I too was lucky to have attended 1960-1967 (I think). I benefited from some great teaching and had a great time. I would love to get hold of a copy of William Brock’s book but it seems to be out of stock everywhere. if anyone wants to sell their copy then please contact me. Likewise anyone who remembers me then please send me an email : ericskilton22@outlook.com

    By Eric Skilton (10/04/2024)

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