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)

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