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Memories of the 1950s

Connaught Road/Hove Manor School
The Voice of Hassocks: Creative Commons

Learning to swim

I went to Hove Manor School (Formerly Connaught Road) from 1955-59. My memories started on the first day when you had to survive being crushed by the second year lads in the corner by the entrance gate. I could not swim when I started, and I remember being in the small pool, at the King Alfred when George Ely threw a half a crown into three foot of water. He said anybody who could pick up the coin by going head first into the water could keep it, none could, but within a few weeks we were all swimming. I also remember George Ely jumping on his Triumph 500 one day and chasing after one of the top swimmers in the school who decided he had enough of the training.

Joining the choir

Percy frost wanted me in the choir, so to encourage me to join gave me top place in the class for music, although I could not read music at all, needless to say I joined the choir. I also remember a teacher who was having some trouble with one of the class. He came up behind the guy and hit him so hard the boy fell off his seat onto the floor. The teacher then did not know what to do, so went up to him to see if he was alright. At which point the pupil looked at him and smiled, got up and sat down at his desk

Consideration of your fellows

In the last year some of us were doing evening classes to obtain a certificate which would prove to be useless; on this particular occasion it was bonfire night. The teacher, I think Mr Burniston, came into the class room in the afternoon and said if everybody turned up in the evening, then we could all leave 30 minutes early, but if one person did not come then everyone would have to stay to the end. Well we all turned up, and I have always used this as an example of how to behave to your fellow person.

Did you attend this school? Share your memories by posting below

Encouraged to participate

Football at Hove rec was another reminder of how to encourage you to participate. If you got into the better section, and stayed on an extra half hour playing, you did not have to take all the posts ball etc. back to the school in record time otherwise you would receive detention. One last thing, we had a clay oven installed outside, under the school on the corner. I think it was put there in around 1956 and to the day I left it was never used.

Comments about this page

  • Nice to read about my old school, which I was very proud of. Superb teachers…..Mr Griffin, Mr Mutton, Mr Lewis(peanut) Mr Langstone, Mr Eley, Mr Frost, in fact they were all excellent professionals. I managed to represent the school at high jump and running in 1954 at the Greyhound stadium, being only 4’9″ tall the nearby Hove County School boys were like giants. 

    By Harry Stone (24/01/2018)
  • Hi,  I stumbled on this Hove Manor memory and well remember the dred of the”Squasher”. You must have been in the same year as me. The incident with George Eley happened at Shiverers Swimming Club when he asked me to do lengths with a board I said this is my time now sir . He always insisted that I train just for the school, and this time I had enough. So I quit  and he did indeed chase me on his Triumph  ha ha. Enjoyed the Article, best Paul.

    By Paul Wilson (04/03/2018)
  • I have just found this site and wish could have found it 2 weeks ago as my beloved dad passed away. He would loved to look at these comments. He mentioned George Ely. My dad was also in the shiverers and in 1956 won the all England water polo championships .One of his proudest moments. His Name was Dennis Edwards. Would love to post the picture of the winning team.

    By Kevin Edwards (09/04/2018)
  • Nice to read about my old school, (1955-60). If anyone is interested I formed a Group on Facebook in January this year and have already found 30 Old Boys, we regularly reminisce and share memories on there.

    By Doug Banks (22/02/2019)
  • I attended Hove Manor School (1960s onwards ) what memories, in particular Percy Frost who I used to deliver his paper when on my rounds and of course Harry Slocombe PE teacher what a tyrant when it came to play Murder Ball,I was a milk moniter with Raymond Eaves we had great times at the school,some of my class mates were Brian Cox, Ken Freeman, Raymond Eaves and a few others who’s names escape me at the moment.
    I wish I could go and see the old School now but as I’m now in my 70’s and live in Dublin Ireland and unable to travel due to my health problems but hey I can remember the good times we all had there except for one time I got into a fight with a lad and ended up with a broken nose and still have it now.

    By Philip Dodman (Pip) (09/05/2020)
  • I was at home manor, 1954-56 a friend of mine who died about 9 years ago was one year above me. Geoff Hudspith. When ever George Ely was mentioned we used to chorus ” bloody bastard ” we were both in the swimming squad so never got to play sports. Even in the gym all we ever did was pull chest expanders hooked up to the wall for an hour at a time
    I moved to Aus in 66. Geoff about a year later. Best thing we did. Les Graham.

    By Les Graham (17/11/2020)
  • There was a big purple shield up on the wall. In a corridor called the Barker shield? I think.How the hell I can remember that? I don’t know.
    I have trouble remembering what I walked into the room for let alone finding the car keys.
    Anyway what was the shield for?

    Les Graham

    By Les Graham (17/11/2020)
  • I still live in Hove and remember my old school very well, I have read a lot of the comments but no mention of Jack Langstone I have never forgotten the model planes we made and flew with him on the South downs Also Mr Beteridge the sports teacher who gave up his Saturday mornings to encourage the pupils interested in athletics in Hove Rec and of course I must agree with all the other comments Re Mr Frost I owe him so much he was one in a million.

    By Nevill Witten (06/02/2021)
  • Hi Nevill,
    I went to Hove Manor from Goldstone Jnr and was there before it finished and some went to the Knoll and some to the Neill.
    I am coming up 67 in June but I do remember your name? Was it some kind of out of school thing like the scouts or church or something like that you were involved in?
    Lots to talk about with Hove Manor.

    By Dave Sanders (19/03/2021)
  • Went to Hove Manor in 1961. After 5th form the school shut and the kids went to Neville or the Knoll along with the teachers – they weren’t happy about it!
    I remember the headmaster being a Mr Ralph – he was keen on the headmistress in the infants school on the ground floor. Mr Noonan the history teacher, Percy Frost music and RE, Mr Slocombe PE and swimming, Mr Harrison woodwork ? Science teacher really got mad if you rocked on the stools. Mr Austin metalwork.
    2 classes per year- 1A and 1B etc plus remove until 4th year then they had a 4c plus 5th and the prefects.

    Ah the old days, lol.

    By Alan Mullen (24/10/2021)
  • Alan Mullen, your comment “Mr Harrison for woodwork?” is correct, he moved to Cottesmore St Mary’s about 1967 which I guess is when Hove Manor closed, he was a great teacher!

    By Peter Groves (25/10/2021)
  • Just come across this site I found it very interesting as I was at Hove Manor from 1954/58. Les Graham asked about the Barker shield. This was for the schoolboy team swimming championship of England. Hove Manor swimmers won it for three consecutive years in the early 1950s. The shield may now be found at Millfield School. They regularly win it. Over the years my business has taken me to Millfield and a few years ago I photographed the shield. The name of Hove Manor can still be seen. The extraordinary success of Hove Manor was down to the efforts of George Ely who seemed to live swimming. I have many memories of my time at Hove Manor.

    By GORDON RUSSELL (13/02/2022)
  • Millfield School at Street in Somerset, mentioned above, is famous for it’s sports facilities and my Gt nephew was in their swimming team.
    My daughter teaches swimming and lifesaving all over the UK and as far afield as Jamaica.
    Beside me as I write is the medal presented to my grandmother for swimming at Kingston upon Thames in 1904. She was a Brighton resident for many years.
    I only got as far as the defunct Black Rock pool!

    By Tim Sargeant (13/02/2022)
  • Further to my old pal Gordon Russell’s (Rusty) comment about George Eley, with Rusty’s brother’s experience at Hove Manor, Rusty knew a lot about the teachers there before we both started in 1954, and funnily it was Rusty who told me how to spell the name Eley, so back at yer Rusty!

    By Richard White (08/03/2022)
  • Nevill Witten, Andre and I have been trying to get in touch with you to no avail. Do let us know how you are getting on. I am now working in Hove again, would be great to grab a pint, been donkeys.

    Hopefully you will see this post. 😊

    By Conan Hall (21/08/2022)
  • My name is Alan Baxter I went to Hove Manor from 1959 to 1963 ended up in special swimming group with Bill Redden, Chris Hollingdale and Gary Inkpen. Representing Sussex, many thanks to Charlie Burgener and Mr Slocombe for the many hours they committed to us in our training.

    By Alan Baxter (11/08/2023)
  • My late dad Chris Beardsmore went to this school, always talked about the teachers there, I think he was in one of the Swimming teams, I know he swam for the Boys Brigade in Stoneham Rd.

    By John Beardsmore (18/11/2023)

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