Formerly Brighton Junior Technical School for Building

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)
  • I was in forms 3X, 4X and 5X as I had taken the 13 plus exam at Patcham “Senior” School and never climbed to a higher grade than “X”. I think that was the fate of most of the 13 + lads. Does anyone remember Albert Painter and Ray Fly (Royston)? All 3 of us ended up with 5 year apprenticeships at Vickers Armstrongs Aircraft Ltd at Brooklands, Weybridge. Albert and I did Aircraft Fitter Trade apprenticeships and Ray went into maintenance.
    Albert married a local (Surrey) girl (Shirley) and he moved in to Hove at the end of 5 years. He lived in Cowper St in Hove and I married and lived in Wordsworth St (up 1 block). I was Godfather to Al’s daughter but he died very suddenly in the mid 60’s. Don’t know what happened to Ray Royston. I now live in Dereham near Norwich but return to Brighton Annually to visit our parent’s graves.

    By John Snelling (08/10/2019)
  • Five of we ‘Old BSBE Boys’ have enjoyed meeting together mid-day at varying Sussex hostelries over the last few years, and all thanks to a Martin Pollins initiative. We are namely, Martin Pollins, Peter Mercer, Gary Forgham, Chris Shafer, John Hancock. How other names from our school days flow over a beer and lunch! Our particular era was approximately 1951 to 1955. Others Old Boys – or not so old even, are warmly welcome to join us.

    By John Hancock (09/12/2019)
  • I was at BJTSB from 1945 until 1948 when I was hospitalized at Brighton General Hospital with lead poisoning, never did get to take final exams. I was in Nash House and of the lads in my class I remember Michael Wire and Eric Steel. Some years later I met Peter Mercer and we are still good friends, meeting most Wednesdays at The Marina for coffee and chat. Of masters I remember Downing, Bullock, Huddart, Weeden, Hargreaves, McKinly, Taylor, Chappel, Parfitt, Hobden and Mitchell. For National Service I was in the Royal Army Pay Corps and on discharge joined the Met Police. Getting bored with that Peter Mercer got me a job with Wm Willet in Hove where I studied to be a Quantity Surveyor. I eventually worked in Canada, Nigeria, Germany, France, Netherlands, Norway and on North Sea platforms. Retirement from travelling saw me working for Railtrack until retirement in 2004. I have had a wonderful and fulfilling working life and now enjoy my hobbies of reading, gardening and wood turning at my home in Hove. Being almost deaf I prefer contact by email.

    By John Collins (27/06/2020)
  • I was at the school in the fifties and although my memory is a little poor some of the names brought back so many memories. Me and some of the other lads used to keep our dinner money and buy potatoe fritters for lunch at the chippy just round the corner and a metro cigarette. Remember the playground down the level where they had that metal see saw contraption, bloody dangerous it was and certainly would not pass health and safety today. Fred Mepham and Gary forgam I remember, I used to live near Fred and spent many a happy time at his house. His parents were so nice which made a change from mine who were always arguing and finally split up. Take care all of you, I am in good health apart from my knees but that comes with age. Gordon .

    By gordon crowhurst (15/10/2020)
  • I am certainly showing my age, I said that it was Fred Mepham whose house I used to live near and what nice parents he had, well I must apologise it was Barry Flahey . I used to call for Barry and walk up to Portslade station and catch the Horsham flyer to Brighton and then walk from there to school. I think Barry Eade used to come with us. Once again sorry Fred I am sure your parents were just as nice. Take care Gordon .

    By Gordon Crowhurst (15/10/2020)
  • I am still in contact with many of my old school chums from the 1949-1954 intake but would like to expand this to include the absent ones namely David Cottingham, David Burtenshaw and Brian Eade. Any contact points would be more than welcome.

    By alan (Lofty) scales (17/11/2020)
  • Oh, what a wonderful stroll down memory lane. Didn’t know this page existed. Was at the school 1950-53 and look back with fond memories. The school gave me a wonderful grounding for life, for which I am grateful. I shall put some thoughts together and will be back on this site soon.
    Paul Knight.

    By Paul Knight (11/12/2020)
  • What have you been doing with your knees Gordon? All those diabolical cross country runs across the race hill with a clip round the ear from Herr Weedel should have prepared them for later years. Thank you for the nice comments about my parents where we gathered with Kenneth Eade and Joe Osborn before setting out for Portslade station. About nine miles to Brighton wasn’t it ? Then a long walk down North Road to the Level (in all weathers) up Elm Grove to Hanover Terrace and do it all again after school. That’s what probably did your knees in Gordon, as it was uphill. Friday was games afternoon and on the way to East Brighton Park and if you were wise, you jumped off the bus and went to the French Film cinema instead. Bridget Bardot was guaranteed to give you sore knees…say no more.

    By barry flahey (20/12/2020)
  • Hi David Taylor, We were two of four from the Downs junior school to join BSBE, I lived in Gerard Street and I believe you lived in either Warleigh Road or Vere Road and your family were members of the Salvation Army.
    Somewhere I heard that you were a Station Master on the railway?
    A condition of entry to BSBE was to stay on until age 16, I left at 15 much to Mr Parfits disgust , he told me that I would regret it for the rest of my life. I got a job at H A Walker & Sons (metalworks) worked my way to Managing Director where Mr Parfit was a regular customer buying for the school!!
    Hope you get to read this and are keeping well.

    By Colin Wares (15/02/2021)
  • Since posting my comments, I realised that I neglected to thank Peter Upton for initiating this page. Many of his memories are mine too. I remember crouching in the bomb craters on the race hill in the most inclement of weathers to avoid participating in the cross country run that inevitably led to boxed ears. Peter, the boy who hid in the box during gym classes was Adrian (knocker) Ball. Quite a glorious feat. Not more than a few inches from Weedal, he remained there undetected until the end of class. Knocker seemed to have no fear and I remember several of his successful stunts. Both Peter and I were bullied constantly by Pug Wilson, who would pick his moment to deadleg our thighs. This would occur minutes before the end of Assembly, when upon dismissal, the headmaster would be confronted with several writhing boys whose legs would no longer work.

    By barry flahey (26/04/2021)
  • It has been some time since anyone posted to this excellent site and though I have mentioned several ex pupils before , I have neglected to mention William Bill White and John Smith. They were both in my class and after school we would all make our way to the Brighton public Library at the Corn Exchange and browse through their excellent collection of Janes all the World Aircraft. Both Bill and John were members of the Moulscombe Air Training corps, and I was a member of the Knoll School Squadron in Hove. Suffice to say we were all very interested in aircraft. My dad took us to Battle of Britain day at RAF Tangmere in 1953, and I wondered if anyone knows if either of them ended up in the RAF, or the aircraft industry as I did? I would love to know as time seems to be running out!

    By Barry Flahey (31/07/2021)

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