Formerly Brighton Junior Technical School for Building

Brighton Junior Technical School for Building badge | From the private collection of Peter Upton
Brighton Junior Technical School for Building badge
From the private collection of Peter Upton

The B.J.T.S.B

When I started at Hanover Terrace it was called the B.J.T.S.B. which I think stood for ‘Brighton Junior Technical School for Building’. I am 100% sure of this because I still have my original school blazer badge, and my ‘Old Boys’ tie. By 1955 when I left it had changed to the B.S.B.E. short for Brighton County Secondary School for Building and Engineering, as shown on my school leaving certificate.

Memorable masters

I recall that the brickwork master’s nickname was ‘Luke’ Hargreaves, from his northern pronunciation of “look here“. There was one master, who shall remain nameless, who had a nasty habit of carrying a heavy volume of the Works of Tennyson around the class and using it to hit students over the head for talking. Another was a chalk and black board rubber thrower at students during maths. I also remember a master who used a size 16 plimsole slipper to whack boys with. This person would pull boys along by their ear when they did not keep up on the cross country runs, around the hills on the Roedean side of East Brighton Park and Wilson’s Avenue.

A running reject

I was never selected for a team, so with the other rejects I used to climb the hill and play in the “bomb craters” in the golf course instead of going for a run. So of course when everyone had to go for a run, my ear took a hiding. I recall we were issued with free tickets for the 44 trolley bus to go to sports, and were all turned off the bus and reported for all whistling the same tune through our tickets. We were then told by Mr Downing we were a disgrace to the school and were all given detention. I was also in trouble at home, my father worked on the buses and heard about it.

Remember detentions?

Other memories are the 45 min detention for being caught not wearing a cap or school tie outside school. I also recall someone hiding in the vaulting box during gym and peering out through the hand slots, making us all giggle as we marched around the hall. I think he got away with the stunt. I do remember that there was a bakery in Islingword Rd we used, it was where I saw my first slicing and bread wrapping machine.

Still remember Brighton

I was a member of the Hove Sea Cadet Corps at the King Alfred with Killick, and some other boys from school who I went on camp with. After I left school I joined the ‘Old Boys Club’ at the school canteen with John Finch and teamed up with a group from the year before mine, you may know them. I am retired now and have lived in Melbourne Australia since 1969 but still think of my Brighton life.

Comments about this page

  • I was in 3x, 4x and 5x between ’50 and ’54. I recall Hargreaves slinging lumps of “pug” at offending pupils during brickwork lessons and hitting others with a board used for measuring courses of bricks – that hurt. A right bully was our Luke!

    By John Snelling (02/02/2013)
  • Looking for something else and came across BJTSB, what a surprise! I was there from from 1956 to 1960. Yes I remember all the masters mentioned – particularly Mr Pope who threw things at you! I remember a boy called David Hipling who I believe was the the first person to have a hole in the heart operation, if my memory serves me right. Also my friend called Rock Gibson. I stood out because I think I was the only Jewish boy at the school and took some stick in those days! Be great to hear from old boys, I guess the masters must all have died? Great days.

    By Joe Burchell (25/03/2013)
  • Talking of Jewish boys, there was a Geoff Gold at ‘The Buildings’ when I was there from ’52 to’54. I used to play with his cousin in Patcham.

    By John Snelling (01/06/2013)
  • I hold many happy memories of my time at this excellent school that taught so many useful life skills. I certainly recall Geoff Gold very well and some may remember too, Mick ‘Split’ Waterman who was also Jewish and a splendid chap. Some of the masters I recall were Hobden (Maths and football); Alex Hargreaves (Brickwork and football); Joe Hudson JP (Geography and Divinity); Bullock (Science); Pope (History, French and introductions to Tennyson!); from Bristol ‘Garse’ Parfitt (Plumbing Heating and Ventilating engineering and taking the prefects on industrial visits to Bristol); ‘Spud’ Taylor (Woodwork); ‘Tin’ Mitchell (Painting and decorating); Weddel (Rugby, gymnastics and boxing); ‘Willy’ Walsh (English and English Literature); Ben (Black belt) Chappel (Technical Drawing); Beyhar (French); Freyne (Maths) Colewell (Maths); McKinley (Art); and of course the man who knew every pupil by name, the affectionately named Headmaster ‘Goof’ Downing. Two of the School Captains I recall were Tregenza and Walker. The Parents’ Association also thrived and a school magazine entitled ‘The Scriber’ I believe. My brother David also benefited from attending the ‘Building School’ as it was coloquially referred to. The many other classmates and colleagues of the day remain scored in my memory, albeit sadly some have passed away – ‘Split’ Waterman amongst them.

    By John Hancock (03/09/2013)
  • Hi John Snelling. I was in the same class as you and remember you, Albert Painter and Ray Royston, although Ray’s surname was Fly when he was at school. Others in the class were John Tree, Dave Court, Chris Beard, Dave Warne, Vic Bath, David Pierce, Dave Short and there was also Tobias, who was Jewish. I later worked for several years with Dave Royston, brother of Ray, Dave lost his leg in a motorcycle accident.

    By Dave Brazier (03/10/2013)
  • John Hancock misspelt two master’s names and I felt this should be corrected: Joe ‘Hudson’ was ‘Huddart’, and ‘Weddel’ was ‘Weeden’.

    By John Starley (09/10/2014)
  • The correct spelling of the sports master is “Roy Weedall”.

    By Michael Morley 1951-1957 (27/01/2015)
  • I was there from 1951 until 1956. I was convinced that it was called B.S.B.E. – Brighton School for Building and Engineering – and am sure my blazer and cap badge was BSBE. I think it changed around 1953 as I missed most of the spring and summer of that year and came back and several boys were displaying the BJTSB badge. I remember most of the teachers mentioned here M. Behar started about 1953 as we had Mr Chapel (Tech Drawing) for French in the first year. I don’t remember the X suffix. We had to decide on Building or Engineering at the 4th form.

    By Mike Rolf (03/06/2016)
  • I left in 71 (15 years old) and when we had our first year we were either 1E (Engineering) or 1T (Technical) – never really worked out how that was decided, but I was “E” for the whole time. And a Lutyens boy – it was that or Wren or… can’t remember the other two. Anyone else?

    By Barry (15/07/2016)
  • The houses were Adam, Lutyens, Nash and Wren. I was in Nash.

    By Mike Rolf (02/11/2016)
  • Just found my school leaving certificate dated 1956. It reads: Brighton County Secondary School for Building and Engineering, with the passes typed on the back. E. Downing was Headmaster.

    By Mike Rolf (03/01/2017)
  • Dreaming last night of the school hymn “When through the whirl of wheels and engines humming” thought I would ‘google’ Brighton School of Building and Engineering and found this site. I was in Nash House from 1952/3 to 1957/8 ended up in Form 5E. Friends remembered: twins David and Derick Fish, Alan Roche, Chris “Kit” Carter, “Sammy” Seal …. many more whose faces I see in my mind but, with passing years, names elude me. Thanks Peter for creating this page – brought back many memories. Have only recently disposed of all my copies of the “Scriber” in house move!

    By Chris "Charlie" Old (14/01/2017)
  • I have some sad news, I have recently learnt that Dave Brazier passed away on the 4th of January, this year, 2017, in Australia where he has been living since the early 60’s. I have been in touch with Dave for several years, sending aviation, Brighton and funny emails to each other. In response to one of my emails, his daughter sent me the news about Dave passing away, I did know that he was not in good health for the last couple of years. RIP Dave.

    By Vic Bath (26/01/2017)
  • Just enjoyed a re-read and sincere thanks to those who have put up the correct spellings of masters’ names – it’s the age you know. I guess back then ( for me 1952 – 55) we had little if any idea of how much we would later come to appreciate our time at this gem of a school, nor the camaraderie for life it engendered – we have been the lucky ones I feel. Charlie Goldsmith returning from a job interview with the GPO Telephones suggested I applied for an interview with them. It proved to be a job for life and I loved it all, but it would never have happened without the education the BSBE school afforded me.

    By John Hancock (01/07/2017)
  • Although not a former pupil of the Building School, I can remember a Jewish boy by the name of Harry Ferner. He would have started in 1953 and I was at St Margarets School with him until we all left to go to separate schools.

    By JOhn Wignall (24/07/2017)
  • Left the good old BSBE in January 1956 to migrate to Australia with my family. I had just turned 14 at that time and not sure what year I was in but I think a 3rd class.I have very fond memories of Brighton and BSBE,but have never returned to England,and have unfortunately had no contact with any of my old school friends,but if any of you read this I wish you all the very best.

    By David taylor (10/05/2018)
  • Hi David. Are you the son of the woodwork teacher whilst I was there, 1949 to 1953, who we called ‘Spud’? I left when I was 15, to start an electrical engineering apprenticeship the following Monday from leaving the school at the end of July 1953….. Vic Bath, Oxfordshire.

    By Vic Bath (04/04/2019)

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