Starting school in 1958

Cottesmore St. Mary's Infants & Junior School
Photo by Peter Groves
Cottesmore St. Mary's class of 1965, with Mr Joyce
From the private collection of Peter Groves
Cottesmore St. Mary's north side, metal work and woodwork rooms on the right, science, needlework and cookery on the left!
Photo by Peter Groves
Cottesmore St. Mary's boys athletics team c.1969. I wont say which one is me, Beatles hair cuts were in fashion!
From the private collection of Peter Groves

Just as Jillian (who I have never met – except on the internet through My Brighton and Hove) was leaving school in 1958 I started at Cottesmore Infants School in the Upper Drive, Hove.  I can remember my mum taking me to see the school before the fateful starting day arrived.  I hid behind my mothers skirt as she stood speaking to the headmaster Mr Shearstone.

The old building
The building had a very old feel to it, I believe it was once a private boys school, probably built towards the end of the 19th century.  I remember the very high ceilings, particularly in the hall, creaky wooden floorboards, and of course who could forget the spooky enclosed cloisters which ran by the side of the dinner room, a dark cave like passageway, to frighten young children!!

First teachers
My first teacher was Miss Bell, others I remember were, Mrs Brain, Mr O’Neil and the music teacher Mrs Hobden, who seemed to favour children who sang in the choir.  No one could forget the loveable Mr Joyce, who it was rumoured (with no foundation) was mad because he had been an aircraft rear gunner in the war, and the bomb blasts had sent him crazy!

Football trip
The best school outing that I remember was the trip up to Wembley to see England school boys team against West Germany organised by Mr O’Neil.  This would have been around 1963/4 just before England won the World Cup.  There was singing and great excitement on the way up, “my eyes are dim I cannot see I have not brought my specs with me” etc… and tiredness on the way back.  We stopped at Chessington Zoo, which in those days was no World of Adventure, just a plain zoo!

School Chapel
As there was no chapel at Cottesmore, we were taken over the road to the Sacred Heart Convent for mass, through the big heavy front door.  I recall that it was then a convent, the school having closed.

Cottesmore St Mary’s – Randendin Manor Road, Hove
At the age of 11, having failed the 11 plus, I moved to the secondary modern school in Randendin Manor Road.  My sister was 2 years older than me and also went to Cottesmore, however my younger brother (the bright one) passed his 11 plus and went to the Xavarian College close to the Pepper Pot in Queens Park Road, it must have taken him ages by bus from Hangleton.  Anyway, after my brother being there only about 1 year the Xavarian College was relocated to the Sacred Heart building in The Upper Drive and was also renamed The De La Salle College (probably about 1968).  I couldn’t say what happened to the nuns!

The teachers
Back to Cottesmore, domestic science (cookery) was appropriately run by Mrs Cook in the late 1960’s.  The class was on the north side of the school overlooking the boy’s playground.  The building being 3-story, housed on that side, the boys toilets and undercover area for when it was raining. Above that was the metalwork shop, which was run by Mr Randle, and above him was the woodwork shop.  In 1965, when I started, Mr Bratley ran the woodwork class, however he died suddenly, possibly late 1965 or early 1966.  After some time the new woodwork teacher arrived, Mr “Woody” Harrison, who was a fantastic teacher, strict but patient and fair.  It’s almost hard to believe in this day and age, but he would set the class up, make sure all was running smoothly, and then have a cigarette in the adjacent stock room.  He would the watch the class, with his eye on the door in case any other teacher came in and caught him smoking!  He was ex-army and a very good teacher, who also taught technical drawing.  Between him and Mr Randle they gave me grounding for my future in engineering!

North side
Adjacent on the north side, on the ground floor was the science class run by Mr Valdez; still there many years after Jillian had left!  On the first and second floors above the science lab, I can only remember that the domestic science class was on one of these floors.  Was the other the needlework class?

South side
On the south side of the school was the girl’s playground, adjacent to the assembly hall.  So the boys and girls were separated at playtime, except in the summer when both came together on the playing field!  The assembly hall stage doubled up as the canteen at lunchtimes and below the stage were the sports changing rooms.  In my day Mr Tony Prior was the Sports Master, he was probably in his mid 30’s.  Although I was not very good at ball games, I didn’t have the co-ordination, I was very good at running, the longer the distance the better, and was in the athletics team.

Maths was not my favourite subject
I found the maths with Mr O’Burn, very difficult and was dropped down to the CSE class with Mr Prior, who seemed to have time to explain.  This worked out well for me as I got a grade 1, equivalent of a GCE, but without the pain of Mr O’Burn.  Mr O’Burn’s class was on the ground floor overlooking the playing field; adjacent on the other side was the boys cloak room.

The headmaster
The Headmaster in 1965 was Mr Smith, however he was not a well man, and was soon off sick.  The likeable deputy Mr Berry stood in his place.  Mr Berry taught history, one of my favourite subjects then, as it is now!  The RE teacher was Mr Gee, a very nice man, my mother still sees him at church on Sundays!

Changes of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s
In the late 1960’s a new member of staff joined the school, Mr Deverux, who taught English.  Soon after his arrival in June 1970 I left Cottesmore, however in the September of that year the school amalgamated with the De La Salle College over the road in the Upper Drive, in the old convent building.  It was renamed Cardinal Newman Comprehensive School.  On one side of the Upper Drive was the lower school, with the upper school on the other side.  Mr Deverux was the new Headmaster.  This arrangement continued for many years, although the name was changed to Newman.  More recently, within the past few years Newman centralised to the old Sacred Heart convent building and the Cottesmore Secondary Modern building became the Brighton & Hove High School for Girls.

A final thought
Cottesmore St Mary’s, Sacred Heart Convent, Xavarian College, De La Salle College and Cardinal Newman are all inextricably linked by their Roman Catholic faith.

Comments about this page

  • Does anyone have any information about the Catholic school that existed before Cottesmore? I was born in 1936, attending Ellen Street School, and clearly remember what we called the “Catholic School’, on what I believe was Coleridge Street? Across from St Barnabas Church, as I recall. I have been in Canada for almost 50 yrs, so I’m a bit hazy on names. I wonder if the school had any other name, or was just identified by denomination? My mother, Edith Melville, born in 1904 attended that school, and I still have the battered remains of a Rosary she used there. Never understood why as the family attended St Barnabas, and all the rest of the children went to council schools. I remember Cottesmore when it was a boy’s boarding school, and was surprised to find out that it had been taken over to replace the Catholic school. Does anyone know what became of the old building? I remember it as being quite small, built of dark-red brick I think, with gothic style pointed windows, and a very small schoolyard.

    By Annie (04/06/2008)
  • I started at Cottesmore Primary in January 1960, I remember Miss Bell who was my first teacher, I also remember meeting Mr Shearstone on my first day. I went on to De La Salle and Cardinal Newman. Always please to hear from anyone who was in my year.

    By Peter Foulser (05/07/2008)
  • I attended Coleridge Street RC school in the war years. Miss Luck was the head mistress,  Mr Cain arrived later. Both my mother and uncle were taught there a generation earlier. I had moved on before transfer to Cottesmore. Often wonder what happened to school friends who would all be retired now.

    By Gordon Brooks (02/08/2008)
  • I started at cottesmore infants in the early 1960s; I too remember my first day, my mother leaving me in the hall and being taken to a classroom with Miss Coffin? Most other children seemed happy too but there were some who were upset. Those first few years seemed great fun too me, going on the No11 school bus, 3 to a seat. In class 3 the teacher was Miss (O’)Sullivan, I can remember sitting reciting our times tables parrot fashion for what seemed like hours, but by the time we reached the juniors in class 6 (Miss Senior) we all knew them off by heart. Other teachers included Miss Brain, Miss Valdes, Mr Joyce, of whom I was terrified; he once made me cry during a football match because I let a goal in! Mr Shearstone died at some point and Miss Hobden became temporary head, also in charge of discipline, if you were sent to her for the strap you knew about it, she lived for many years with her twin sister, who was organist at St. Peters in Portland Road, in ivy covered house on the corner of Frith Road and Sackville Road. Miss Garret who had a very severe limp was in charge of all things to do with natural history and used to take small groups of pupils back to her house in Southwick were she kept goats with her companion, in a very wild garden, or it seemed so at the time. After Miss Hobdens tenure came Mr Taylor, some of his family run the 3 Jolly butchers in North Street apparently he remembers me, not sure if that is good or bad.
    As more comes to me I’ll try and post it in the meantime if anyone remembers any of the people I’ve mentioned (or me) please leave a post.

    By Neil Underhill (31/08/2008)
  • I can go back further about the 50s. Miss Hanvey who taught me about Egypt. Mr Joyce, Mr Ezra, Miss Hobden, Miss Maguire. Mrs Brain and her two daughters Elizabeth and Caroline. Mr Solvey who tried so hard to teach me French and yes I too had the strap. My contemparies: Teddy Osbourne and Rusty Burns. I could go on.

    By Elizabeth Edwards nee Carole Newell (11/10/2008)
  • To Elizabeth (Carole): would you have a younger brother about my age (51 – though I don’t believe it), the name sounds familiar? Does anyone remember the Christmas party in the dining room, and the nativity plays, proper ones, not the modern ones my kids have at school now?

    By Neil Underhill (19/10/2008)
  • No, I only have a younger sister Mary Avril.

    By Elizabeth Edwardsnee Carole Newell (25/10/2008)
  • Thank you for remembering Miss O’Sullivan (I got into trouble with her.) Mr. Joyce let me off the hook (the Smith twins turned me in). Of  Mrs. Garret’s limp, I remember the way she could bellow “place your distances” after lunch in the school yard when it was time to march back in. The school anthem was “Help Us Oh Lord” and our saying was Domini Nobiscus Domini. I have no idea what that means.
    I was the one and only Canadian boy at the school between 1965 and 1966. I was quite a novelty to some. I did  have many friends, but there was Stephen Hammer my desk mate, as well as Peter. Both very nice boys. Mrs. Hobden was a classic disciplinarian. I remember her music lessons “for two marks who can tell me this song” and then she would tap out the beat with her fingers in her palm reciting “ta ta tattay ta ta”. It was usually ‘God Save the Queen’. I truly feared her. She had a wart on her forehead that changed colour before she lost her temper. I took a number 54 back to Seafield Road at the end of each day. Once I ran home and used the threepenny bit to buy some fruit gums. I am amazed to find this site mentioning the names of the teachers. It was all not just a dream after all.

    Thank you.

    By Anthony Jones (14/04/2009)
  • Anthony, I think the school motto was “mane nobiscum domini” (or similar), which meant “Help Us Oh Lord”. I hadnt thought about it in the 40 years since I left but it just came straight to me as soon as I saw your letter, but of course I will wait to be corrected.

    By Neil Underhill (26/04/2009)
  • I remember most of those teachers. I seemed to be good at metalwork and woodwork, under the instruction of Mr Randall and Mr Harrison. I left in April 1969 at the ripe old age of 15 to go to Brighton Technical College to train to become an electrician. Today, I am an electrical designer and I live in Weston s Mare, North Somerset.

    By Peter Mitchell (14/05/2009)
  • Right you are Neil regarding the school slogan. One other thing I remember is singing “Help Us Oh Lord” in the assembly hall each week. The words were on a big banner at the front. I always thought the words were elfosso lord, which of course meant nothing to me but I was happy enough singing them. I also want to correct my previous comment. I meant to say “I did not have many friends”. Not “I did have many friends”. Does anyone remember the school dinners at half a crown a week? I opted for the sandwich room.

    By Anthony Jones (18/05/2009)
  • School dinners, I loved them, does that say something about my mothers cooking? Some dishes I can recall now: mince and worms (must have been macaroni),always with mashed potato, occasionaly chips were a real treat. Awesome deserts (we only had a pudding at home on a Sunday) such as jam tart and custard, semolina with a dollop of jam in the middle, very occassionaly jelly and ice cream. Does anyone remember Miss Sullivan the dinner lady? One look from her was enough to make you clear your plate.

    By Neil Underhill (31/05/2009)
  • Some of the teachers I remember, and this was 1954/59. Mr. Lesser an excellent English Lit. teacher. Mr Valdez Science, his wife was also a teacher. Mr. Burns, Maths. Mr Bratley, Woodwork and Athletics. Mr.Harrison, Geography. Sister Immaculata, RI. Mrs Ochkoska (forgive the spelling), Art. Mr Isaacs, Mr.Harvey, and Mr Smith the Head.There also was an American exchange teacher Mr. Koch from St Louis Missouri. At this time there was only eight class rooms on the Radinden Manor Road site and we had to walk back and forth to the four class rooms in the old part of the Sacred Heart convent in the Upper Drive.

    By Dan O'Shaughnessy (02/07/2009)
  • Dan – Would Mr Burns be Mr Byrne with a daughter Joan and two sons Ian and Mark?

    By P. Abbott (16/07/2009)
  • You might be correct about the spelling. I am afraid I can’t help you regarding his offspring.

    By Dan O'Shaughnessy (21/07/2009)
  • Any old timers remember the youth club dances held in the late ’50s early ’60s in the old school hall? Fridays were for younger ones as I remember. I met my future wife at a Sunday do in 1961. Good old days.

    By Den King (03/09/2009)
  • I used to go to the sunday night youth club in the early 1960s. Listening to records, having a dance ,chatting up the girls, washed down with a bottle of Coca Cola, simple times but wonderful memories. Some of the people I remember there at that time were Tony Dube, Andre Raymond, Brian Goatcher, Vincent Harvey,Jenny and Maureen Macfarlane, Viviene Dach,Kathleen Farrow,Linda Purkis, Yvonne Kirwin, Carole Cooney, Cristabell Hogan and not forgetting Maureen Fairclough my wife. The last three where from Lourdes Convent, all the rest I think, had been or were going to Cottesmore.

    By Dan O'Shaughnessy (06/09/2009)
  • Marmaled and Biscuits Dominos-the school anthem amended. My recollections: Mrs Szeless (sp), Mr Mansfield, a Kiwi who threw my plimsolls (Keds) out of the first floor classroom window and Miss Senior – she too had a twin sister.

    By Nigel Morrison (05/11/2009)
  • I remember Miss Hanvey, she became Headmistress at Sacred Heart; she used the cane!

    By Jean Racko (nee Shepherd) (21/02/2010)
  • We moved down from Scotland early in 1961 when I was enrolled at Cottesmore. In Scotland, I was a year ahead, so I went to Miss Senior’s class. “Are you really only seven?” she asked me, so I nodded and she deposited me in Miss Gerraghty’s class for younger children. What an insult! I remember Mrs Brain teaching us French, aged about seven. I remember Miss Garret’s limp, and she was always arranging the May Procession (I was an attendant twice!) I was in Miss Hobden’s class, and she gave me the strap. She was fierce, but fair. Finally, I was in the handsome Mr O’Neill’s class, whose birthday I always remember was February 4th. He and Miss Senior liked each other. Say no more. I always liked Mr Shearstone, and I think he died just after I left, which was 1964. Mr Joyce was, well, nuts! Thankfully, I never had him as a teacher, but he used to command playground duty sometimes. Anyone remember the Tuck Shop?

    By Renia Simmonds (nee Lambor) (04/03/2010)
  • Yes I remember the “Tuck Shop”, just by that strange dip/depression round the end building at the back of the canteen. Rarely spent much in there, not that you could purchase much anyway! When I started Cottesmore I took sandwiches, and ate them in the large hall. Choice was very limited, jam, peanut butter, or even perhaps salad cream, I still love salad cream sandwiches today although they are even nicer with a slice of cheese. I was much later that I was introduced to “School Din-din’s, come from pig-bins, out of town……………” They weren’t that bad actually, and very healthy, with Mrs Sulliman forcing us to eat the veg. The puddings were scrummy, we didn’t get them at home, so I made the most of seconds!

    By Peter Groves (06/03/2010)
  • It is so fascinating to re-read all these comments from days of yore. Does anyone have a picture of the old Cottesmore? (era 1947-49)

    By Jean Racko (07/03/2010)
  • I was at Cottesmore with my elder brother Simon, he was in two classes above me and would have left in 1956. I left in March 1958 and joined the Royal Marines Band Service, retiring as a band colour Sergeant in 1983. I remember Mr Valdez the Science Master and in my class were Barbra Vye, Pamela Green, Graham Soames, Joan Pritchard, Paddy Byrne, Richard Harris and many others whose names escape me at this moment. I have just retired for the third time and will be 67 on 31st March

    By Jeremy Tugwood (24/03/2010)
  • Hi Jeremy I was in your class. If I remember right you played the clarinet. Also I think it was from you that I bought a yellow Dawes Bicycle. I remember the first three class members that you name, but not not the others. Some more names from that year that come to mind are Danny Mallet, Paul Collins, Paul Coleman, Sheila Brett, Brigit Denbigh, Ann Young, Carole Dane, Vincent Harvey. Brian Goatcher, Alan Alderton, Julian Mockford, are some I can remember. I didn’t leave until 1959 when I went into horticulture, I finished up working in Surrey involved in horticultural education from which I took early retirement when I was 55. I have since returned to live in Brighton.

    By Dan O'Shaughnessy (14/04/2010)
  • Hi Jeremy, you probably dont know me but I joined as a junior bugler May 1st 61. You would have been at Deal when David Clegg was boy RSM? I met up with him again on the Ark Royal 64-66. Did he ever become an NCO cos he didn’t seem too keen back then?

    By Pip Brand (30/04/2010)
  • Hi Pip, I passed out in the CG Squad in March 1961 so would have been in M Company when you joined, I then joined the draft band for HMS Blake which we joined in October ’61 sailing in August for a year in the Med and a couple of months in the West Indies for the independence of Trinidad and Jamaica. I was hoping some of my former class mates might make contact here on this site. I remember Dan O’Shaunessy and some of the people he mentions. Best wishes.

    By Jem Tugwood (07/05/2010)
  • I’m sure that I began at Cottesmore in 1958 too but do not remember Peter Groves (sorry, Peter, if I’ve just forgotten). I remember Miss Bell but my class teacher was Miss Macaulay. Were there two forms of entry because, certainly in the later years (when I went upstairs), I was in classes 6, 8, 10 and 12? I think that I recognise some of the faces in Peter’s class of ’65 photo but Mr Joyce’s class, I believe, was 11, of which I was never a member. Not that that ever stopped him shouting at me down the corridor along with everyone else! As an aside, Mane Nobiscum Domine means, Abide With Us O Lord. We used to sing the Latin version repeated by the English at the end of every verse of the school anthem. I can still remember the tune, which is a bit sad. I wonder if the current students still sing it?

    By Bob Langridge (29/05/2010)
  • Just thought I’d leave another comment on the site, I guess this is one of those sites that we don’t go into every day and therefore visit infrequently when we might be lucky to hear from a friend of yesteryear. Perhaps we might meet up for a drink one day but, as a friend of mine recently said, make every day count because every day we lose someone who is or was close to us at some stage in our lives and that opportunity could be lost forever. I would love to hear from more schoolfriends from all those years ago and so I will endeavour to look at this site at least once a week - you never know who we might be able to meet. Best wishes to everyone I have yet to meet.

    By Jem Tugwood (31/05/2010)
  • I have recently met up with the previous contributor, Bob Langridge, with my brother Mervyn after 50 years on 22/5/10. We used to walk to Cottesmore RC School together. I started there in 1958 and my brother Merv started there in 1954. We all reminisced of the times we spent there. I can vividly remember Miss Macauley (as she was known them) in the Infants class, then went on to Miss Senior’s class then Miss Geraghty’s class, followed by Miss Hobden’s class and finally Paddy O’ Neill’s class. Robert Shearstone was the Head Teacher and the least said about him the better! I can particularly remember the time I played one of the three kings in one of those infamous Christmas plays when I was dying to go to the loo and the teacher’s concern about me getting the costume wet. Wow betide if I did! I also remember Mrs Solomon the dinner lady who insisted that I ate all my greens! But she did have a soft side as I managed to get some extra custard off her on many occasions. It’s funny the things you remember.

    By David Stedman (02/06/2010)
  • Great notes/memories from both Bob and David. I thought I started in 1958, but it could have been 1959. Having been born in Jan 1954, my best guess is that I started at 4+ in September 1958, but perhaps it was mid term in 1959. I don’t recall either of you, however we must have attended at the same time. There was a two-tier system, but it must have started, as Bob said, at some later stage – with me in the lower tier. Yes, the teachers were fearsome, but surely that’s better than the opposite that we have today!

    By Peter Groves (11/06/2010)
  • I have really enjoyed reading all of the above stories. I was at Cottesmore in the 70s with my brothers Stephen and Garry. The stories bought back fond memories. Miss Hobden I loved, yes firm - but fair. She was a twin I also remember her yellow house – it’s still yellow. The school anthem,  I still remember it word for word, does anyone else? Marmalada and biscuits always made me laugh !!!

    By Sonya Brindley (King) (08/07/2010)
  • @ David Stedman above, I sat in an office of a bank in Haywards Heath for several years staring across a desk at your brother Merv every day without realising that we went to the same school! I was there from ’65 to ’72, so my memories are different (and fading fast). Give Merv my regards and I hope he is enjoying his retirement.

    By Mark Sims (02/09/2010)
  • My brothers and sisters went to this school – the Tomsett family. Does any one remember Miss Northmore who was my first teacher in secondary, or if anybody knew my family, please send me an email.

    By David Tomsett (01/10/2010)
  • It is so refreshing reading all your comments about the Cottesmore schools. I started at the primary school in 1955 and believed pretty soon that the infant class teacher was an angel! I remember well the sand pit on stilts and after that its a bit hazy until I reach Mrs.Maquire’s class where she made you learn the times tables and your spellings from posters on the wall. From there I went into Mrs.Hanveys class (the Needlework teacher) who was a very large lady with heavy jowels who insisted on me threading her needles for her because her eyes were past their best. She had a very strong character and was someone I had great respect for. She called me ‘bold brass brazen Bickerton’ so I guess you can imagine what type of child I was. Sadly she died in the summer holidays and her class (me included) attended an requiem mass and the giggles were hard to surpress when we saw that her coffin was so narrow. The next class I remember was Miss Hobdens class – she and her sister (organist) managed the Choir for St. Peters in Hove and I was a member and sang at various weddings. I have fond memories of dropping bus tickets over the choir balcony onto the unsuspecting church goers below, and the 5 shilling coins we were each given sometimes for singing at weddings was much appreciated. I went from her class to Mr.O’Neils, where in spite of his excellent work I too failed my 11 plus (though passed the first part) and went on to Cottesmore Secondary School. I loved the way Mr.O’Neil interested his pupils in learning by the imaginative way he would hang information on the walls and get us to read and answer questions. The unabiding memory I have of C St.Mary’s was the amazing tree- lined field at the back of the school where we used to sit for many happy lunchtimes making daisy chains in the shade of the big sycamore trees. At the secondary school I too remember Mr.Berry (though his teaching style didn’t really gel with my learning style) he was short with very white grey hair. The best teacher at that school was Mr.Harvey – whom I believe went to Canada to live sometime after – he was the Art Teacher and was very pally with Mr.Gee who I thought was the Geography Teacher, but I guess he may have had to hats? I spent, for some reason, two glorious years in Mr.H’s class and he was the first person to see an aristic bent in me and would have been happy I’m sure to learn that though I left school at 15 without even one CSE, I did go to college in the evenings a few years later and achieved an A grade in Art for a GCE! I left school in 1966 and was sad when I heard that the name had been changed to Cardinal Newman. If at any time someone thinks to have a reunion of school children that attended those schools, I would be very interested. Best wishes to everyone who remembers me. I am now a Homeopath and live in Cheltenham and am considering moving back to Brighton later on when I retire because I really miss the sea and the energy of the place.

    By Lynne Bickerton (18/10/2010)
  • I wonder if anybody remembers 1950/5, when we moved from Sacred Heart to the new school?

    By Tony Waddington (22/10/2010)
  • Is there anyone out there who went to Sacred Heart Convent during l949-l951? If so, would love to chat.

    By Jean Racko (07/01/2011)
  • Unfortunately correspondence on this site has gone quiet and I must admit I am as guilty as the next, perhaps someone may send a line or two in the near future. It would be nice (not a word Mr Lesser liked I seem to recall) to make contact with friends from the past.

    By Jem Tugwood (23/05/2011)
  • Mr Deverux wasn’t the first Headmaster of Cardinal Newman- he was the 1st Deputy Head. The first Head Master was Mr Smith and I went to Cottesmore/Cardinal Newman from 1969/74. I also remember the woodwork teacher Woodie Harrison, a great teacher.

    By David Larkin (28/05/2011)
  • Hello, I wrote a comment about the school but I’am sorry I wrote about the wrong school. I meant to write about Cottesmore Secondary School not the junior school.

    By David Larkin (28/05/2011)
  • Hello again. This is my 3rd time writing, I asked you not to enter my first email but please can you enter it as the man was also writing about Cardinal Newman school when it first opened. Kind Regards. (

    By David Larkin (28/05/2011)
  • Some slight confusion above. There was a Miss Garraty and a Miss Garret at the primary school at the same time. It was the former who had the limp.

    By Martin Sweetman (21/06/2011)
  • No, it was Miss Garret who had the limp. Miss Gerraghty lived over the road from us in the Lansdowne area. We knew her quite well out of school.

    By Renia (03/04/2012)
  • You may be right. It was a long time ago. Anyway, there were two teachers with similar name. What I do remember is that the one with the limp taught nature study and the one without geography.

    By Martin Sweetman (08/05/2012)
  • It was indeed Miss Garret who had the limp. Her class was in the school hall and she used to hit you with a ruler on the thighs as it hurt more. I found her a very friendly but strict teacher. How many of you remember gong to West Blatchington with the whole school for the final football match of the season which we had to win or draw to win the league? Had it not been for me missing an open goal against Southwick in the cup we might have won the double that year. I used to play left half as I was right handed and Mr O’Neal believed in players being put on the opposite side of the field from where they were used to using hand wise. Miss Kelly was another of our teachers and she is still alive and living in Cornwall. I live in Füssen,Germany with my wife and six children.

    By Myke Rosenthal-English (03/06/2012)
  • Is that Mike Rosenthal-English, Mike English front row LH side of the athletics photo?

    By Peter Groves (04/06/2012)
  • It’s just fantastic reading all the old school stories about Cottesmore. I remember Merv Steadman- I still have a photo of him and myself making our first communion at St Mary’s, Preston Park Parish. 

    By John Cates (07/06/2012)
  • Reading the comments has taken me back to my first day at junior school. The first person I met was Mr Bragg the caretaker, he was in the playground when I arrived with my Mother. I can then remember being in a classroom and I think the teacher was Miss Munro. Mr Shearstone was headmaster, Mrs Forest was the School Secretary and Nick was her son - I can’t remember if he was in my class or my Sister Anita’s year – memory is beginning to go at nearly 60! Where have the years gone? Miss Hobden was my dreaded teacher along with Mrs Soloman the dinner lady, being a fussy eater at the time the horrible friday meals didn’t go down well. I can remember anyone not eating their dinner having to stand on a bench or am I exaggerating and remembering a scene from Dickens? One of my best friends was Antonia Salvage, her birthday parties were great. The naughtiest boy was Michael Winter - he got the strap, I think, more than once!

    By Marilyn Rendle (nee Phillips) (09/07/2012)
  • I think I started at Cottesmore primary at the same time as Marilyn, but don’t remember a Miss Munro. Miss Bell was my first teacher (Class 1) followed by Miss Gordon (Class 2). All the other names seem to ring bells, didn’t enjoy school until I got to Cardinal Newman -they all put me off religion for life!

    By Peter Foulser (09/07/2012)
  • Yes Peter, your memory is better than mine. The teacher I think am recalling was Miss Gordon. I think I do vaguely recall a Miss Bell. I remember learning to read and struggling with the word ‘the’ for some reason. Funny how some memories stay with you.

    By Marilyn Rendle nee Phillips (13/07/2012)
  • ‘Is that Myke Rosenthal-English, Myke English, front row LH side of the athletics photo?’ By Peter Groves (05/06/2012).  YES, Peter it is! Remember you well. I copied your photo to show my wife and kids. When I joined the forces I always ended up in the RAF Station I was on cross country team! Also remember you took over one of my girlfriends! Long gone days. Great teachers we had apart from one who became a headmaster! He and I just never got on with each other.

    By Myke Rosenthal-English (24/07/2012)
  • Hi Mike, I don’t remember the girlfriend of yours that I took over?! I do remember sports and cross country events that we were both in, although I think you were 1 or 2 years above me. I also remember Bosco Boys camping together at Braintree in Essex summer 1966, Brother Barefoot made a big impression on us! Then the train back from London together without adults, I was 12 years old!

    By Peter Groves (25/07/2012)
  • Gosford Lake in Essex with hot coals underfoot, Peter. The girl was Mary Boomsba, her father was a policeman and she lived in the first house on Chichester Way. Remember I would never have done long distance running if not for Mr Harvey. Was just off to do my paper round when he said our house had no one running in the team for cross country. Told me to represent our house and not let it down. So I was in third place on the second lap and the two in front of me turned in to finish, I continued on and came first and everyone asked if I had really completed the race! After that I continued long distance running and ran for Sussex Wing ATC and also represented RAF Honnington, RAF Bicester in cross country races. At Bicester I was a nurse and the PTIs were next to the Medical Centre. They came each day to take me on a 6-12 mile run. Ran the Hendon 10 and also a real tough course at RAF Waddington. You ran 3 miles downhill on the road and then 3 miles uphill through muddy fields and under electric fences. So I just blame Mr Harvey for getting me running in the first place. We used to run as a team which also helped. Remember when the two of us had to come first and second in the 1500 metres to win for our house. Martin Tew had not run the 800 metres and was running the 1500, tactical running with us working together to set the pace saw us beat him. Our house won the cup, then for fun the steeplechase which we also won and got soaked in.

    By Myke Rosenthal-English (26/07/2012)
  • It’s wonderful reading all the stories about Cottesmore. I left in March of 1965 for Canada, as my older brother Alan Lubinski had tragically lost his life in a drowning accident in September of 1964. I have fond memories of Cottesmore and longed to return to Hove after our arrival in Canada. I remember Mr. Berry came to our house before the start of school. And who can forget Mr. Harvey. Also, Domestic Science, where I learned how to bake a potato, bake cakes and ice a Christmas cake, great memories. I remember I stayed for lunch, always something hot, hated the mutton. To this day I will not eat lamb! But loved the jam rolypoly with custard!

    By Alice (Christine) Hansen (nee Lubinski) (18/09/2012)
  • I have just finished at this school and I have gone to Cardinal Newman. They are planning to completely change the school’s shape. My headteachers were first Mrs O’Sullivan and now it’s Miss Holland. The best school ever.

    By Svetlana (28/09/2012)
  • I left Cottesmore in 1965, a victim of a very unplanned pregnancy! Nonetheless I remember some happy times and a great teacher in Mr. Harvey the art master. He used to do a Hail Mary for the “one amongst us who is the first to die”! Friends included Angela Green, Brenda Costello and Paula Mason. I was Deirdre Park then, now living in central Portugal.

    By Dee Hawa (27/10/2012)
  • Haven’t been in touch with recent comments for two years, but still wonder if there is anyone out there who went to Sacred Heart Convent School from 1949-51….or am I the only survivor from that era?

    By Jean Racko (nee Shepherd) (27/11/2012)
  • It was September 1960 that I started atCottesmore Primary. Miss Bell was my first Teacher and I also remember  Miss Cripps, Miss Maguire, Miss Senior, Miss French, Mr Harvey, Mr Joyce, Miss Hobden, Mr Coleman. People in my class included Adrian Milaski, Brian Power, Tim Groves, Lindsay Brennan, Susan Hyde, Geraldine ? Babara? Steve Cootes, Francis Thurmer.

    By Peter Brown (03/08/2013)
  • Great reading, brings back memories. I left Cottesmore in 1966 when we came to Canada. I have memories of Miss Fitzgerald’s home room, and Mrs. Hurst the music teacher. I have a photo of our 3rd form class, and looking back we looked a very “scruffy” lot. I often wonder what became of us all including Colin Carter, Victoria Taylor etc. Well done Peter for starting this. Cheers

    By Roy Hynd (30/08/2013)
  • I went to Cottesmore St Mary’s from the age of 9 in 1971, my 3rd year teacher was Miss Senior, she had a twin sister, then Miss Hobden who also had a twin sister. I went to Cardinal Newman in 1972 and was there until 1978.

    By Dominique Adam (nee Betts) (14/12/2013)
  • A most notable old boy of Cottesmore School, Hove was ‘Sir Thomas Sopwith’  born 1888; famous pioneer aviator and aircraft engineer whose company designed and built fighter aircraft, most famously the WWI Sopwith Camel and later on the Hawker Hurricane. This aircraft was to become a decisive element during the early years of WWII in the defeat of the Luftwaffe in the epic contest for control of the skies over Southern England. In June 1935 Sopwith formed the Hawker Siddeley Group. The revolutionary Harrier “jump jet” was produced whilst he was still at the helm of the industrial empire he had created.  ’Sir Thomas’ retired in 1963.                  

    Sir Thomas Sopwith’s remarkable life spanned aviation history. He was a contemporary of the Wright Brothers and a forefather of the jet age, a restless energetic man whose sporting interests included ice hockey, car racing, ballooning, yachting and hunting.Thomas Sopwith  died in January 1989 aged 101 years.  His grave and that of his wife Phyllis Brodie Sopwith can be found in the grounds of All Saints Church, Little Somborne near Winchester.                                                     

    He was survived by his son Tommy, born 1933, who in the early 1960s established Endeavour Motor Company, Preston Road, Brighton. With justification Thomas Sopwith can be classed as among the most influential non-political figures of the 20th century.      

    By Chris Wrapson (17/12/2013)
  • Peter Groves says that there was no chapel at Cottesmore. There was certainly one in 1936 when I went there. It was at the end of the corridor which ran past the hall and some classrooms. I was a chorister and read the lesson on several occasions. It must have been de-consecrated when the building was sold after the war.

    Incidentally, the name derives from the school motto: Cotis More which translates as “By the custom of a whetstone”. Since this was never explained to us I am afraid that I cannot say what this actually means.

    We were certainly told about Tom Sopwith who was somewhat of a hero to us youngsters.

    By John Hart (28/12/2013)
  • Marilyn (Phillips), I remember you, Antonia Salvage and Mike Winter. You were all in my class but I was known as Teresa, then. Peter Brown, I think you must have been in my brother, Andy’s class, because he was friends with most of the boys you mention.

    By Renia (30/12/2013)
  • Hi there, just looked at this site and remembering some of the names being mentioned! I was Zoe Fake 1965-1970 (my brother is Peter – younger than me). Peter Groves – you were in the same year as me! Yes, there was the needlework classroom above the cookery. They were good days – a whole afternoon of cookery or needlework; wouldn’t happen now!  If we hadn’t remembered our ingredients for cooking, we’d have to read a book, so one of us would sneak out at lunchtime to the shop up the road to purchase missing items for us all. When my four children went to Cardinal Newman School, it was lovely looking around again and recalling my memories. Back then we could leave our belongings in the cloakroom and they would be safe. Although I was pleased to leave school, I have great memories of my time there. Does anyone remember Mr White, our French teacher who was Scottish? I can’t remember learning much French, as he often sang to us! One day, whilst our Secretarial/Business Studies teacher Miss Fox was supposed to be looking after the exams in the hall, myself and Marilyn McCullough went to get the record player from Mr Randall, as we thought it a great idea to listen to music whilst doing our studies!  Having said to the group “we’re all in this together, just as the arm of the player was going over to play the first record, who should walk in – yes, Miss Fox! I shall always remember her high voice “Zoe!, Marilyn!, what are you doing!!”  I was House Captain one year and had to get all the sport events covered, not being very ‘sporty’ I thought I ought to do something and thought discus and javelin would be okay as there was no running involved. Well, how funny – I was hopeless! Having thrown the javelin, the chaps taking the measurements had to walk ‘in’ quite a bit to measure mine! So no record made there. However I have a photo of the moment I threw it – which makes me look quite sporty!  Great fun! Sue Denbigh was my bridesmaid and I’m still in contact with her, she looks – and is – great!  Mike Winters I saw quite regularly until I moved away about 5 years ago, he’s married with a child.  Does anyone remember Mr McKenzie, Miss Branston or Miss Kelly?  I really liked them all, but especially – Mr Burns, Mr Gee (we had some great heated discussions in RE) and Mr Devereux was a super Headteacher!  He advised me that if I kept my skirt the correct length and not too short (which I don’t think was that short by today’s standards!) I would be made a Prefect, and low and behold I was!  The best thing about being a Prefect was not having to go outside when it was cold! It’s hard to believe for us all I’m sure, that so much time has passed since our days at school. To all who remember me I hope life has been kind to you and send fond wishes!

    By Zoe Whitmore (02/08/2014)
  • Hi Zoe, I remember you well, and also those days long gone!  You are correct we did not learn much French with Jock White!  He could be a nice guy, but also also “flip” very easily. I was in trouble quite a lot, but I still don’t regret it; turned out ok (ish) in the end!  I still see Tony Power every week and play golf with him quite a lot.  I have bumped into Marilyn McCullough in Tesco’s or M&S a few times, easy to still recognise after 44 years.  I now live just along the road from the school, and pass it mostly every day, still have fond memories! Take care, Pete!!!

    By Peter Groves (03/08/2014)
  • Great reading, especially my old classmates Mike English (St Peters, ATC) and Roy Hind. I must have left a lasting impression, to be remembered after 48 yrs! I googled Jack Whyte recently, (Mr Whyte) – he too emigrated to Canada, now a best selling author (check out u tube). I still see Tony Power at golf. Peter Groves doesn’t remember me! His sister Theresa is the only classmate I’ve seen in over 30 years, I saw Tom Emsley recently, his sister Veronica was in our form, and great to hear Mr Harvey was enjoying his retirement in Oz, l remember Mr Gee calling him Batman, (the gown he used to wear!)

    By Colin Carter (08/08/2014)
  • Hi Colin, that’s not strictly true, I do remember you, but I did not recognise you when Tony re-introduced us after a gap of 45 years. If you want to meet up the golf course for a few holes one evening just email me;  Interesting about Mr Whyte, I didn’t know about him being a best selling author, and I did check him out on Youtube and just about recognised him; I now wonder about the other younger teachers, Mr Prior, Mr Randall etc.

    By Peter Groves (10/08/2014)
  • Great to read that Colin Carter is still going strong. Yep remember 176 ATC very well. I ended up in the RAF a year after leaving school. Stayed 9 years and became a nurse. Eventually moved to Cornwall living near Father Bryan Storey, who was a curate at St Peter’s Hove who regulaly visited both the Junior & Senior Cottesmore schools. The senoir school did have a chapel in the hall behind the closed doors the opposite end from the canteen. I remember also Zoe Fake, she was very much like Maxine Willetts, dressed and looked a bit older than she actually was. I disagree with her about Mr Devereaux. That guy and I could never see eye to eye. He hated me and I was the only one in the 6th form who was never made a prefect! You might like to know that John Mosqato who was in the  6th form with me and Annette Sullivan. He married her and they moved all over the world and settled in Texas. They have two girls and been married over 34 years. He changed his surname to Green on the death of his step-father. I am now married and living in Germany with my German wife and 6 children. Like me they all serve at the altar. I used to get to school late everyday for over a year as I had special permission to serve Father Touhy’s 0900hrs Mass before attending school. Also remember Roy Hind and many years ago met Kevin Bourne working on what was then British Rail. Still pray for all my former teachers and classmates. Not into golf Peter Groves, but if you like walking and climbing mountains and swimming in ice cold lakes,where we live is the place to be. Can see the world famous Neuschwanstein Castle from our bedroom window!



    By Myke Rosenthal-English (21/08/2014)
  • Hi all, my comment regarding no chapel at Cottesmore, should have stated “no chapel at Cottesmore Junior School” and we were taken over the road to the Sacred Heart Convent; yes there was one at the senior school.  I agree with you Myke, I also disliked Mr Devereaux, but best to say no more!

    By Peter Groves (22/08/2014)
  • Good heavens! Alice, nee Lubinski, how are you? I remember the tragedy,50 years ago, as if were yesterday. Amazing to see some long forgotten names such as Brenda Costello, Angela Green Paula Mason et al. Funny, it’s the girls I remember more. A portent of things to come, perhaps. Mr O’Neil was a great teacher, but the scary Mr Joyce was the most interesting. Who could forget Mrs Brains elocution classes? I now live in the SW France conducting experiments on the long term effects of the multicoloured water they use here. So far I find the red more palatable than the rose or white. All three still have the effect on my balance when consumed excessively.  

    By Tad Piotrowski (22/08/2014)
  • Nice to see some names I remember, I do remember Mike English and Colin Carter. I have some photos of Form 3, and we were a very scruffy looking lot at that time.  I just looked up Jack Whyte who lives in Kelowna about a four hour drive from Vancouver. I recall he gave the plimsoll one time for not bothering to learn something and  I didn’t have any idea what he was talking about when he asked me the questions.   Mike – my son a history teacher had his class at Neuschwanstein earlier this year on a school trip.

    By Roy Hynd (02/09/2014)
  • Nice to see (read) about Cottesmore, brings back memories. As you know Peter, I still have a great class photo of 3A (67/68) with Zoe in it. I’m not quite sure if Marilyn McCullough is in it on not. Was at the Amex for the Wigan match, missed the goal due to ticket problems.

    By Eddie Lecleir (05/12/2014)
  • Hello Zoe, do you remember the visit to Cottesmore by the guys who taught motorcycle and motor scooter lessons at the Hove Council refuse depot (near Sackville Road)? One guy was a policeman and the other was something to do with the Auto Cycle Union.  I remember you there in an old fashioned motor scooter helmet.  

    By John Senders (21/12/2014)
  • Gosh what an interesting site to find in 2015. I started Cottesmore Infants in Sept 1951 and left Cottesmore Secondary in July 1963 having gained just two G.C.Es. A small child without a lot of confidence I loved Miss Hobden and was terrified of Miss Hanvey in equal measures. I have one very clear memory of Miss Hanvey. We were making shopping bags made out of sacking and had to design and embroider the front with basic chain stitch – the boys as well! We were 8 or 9. I remember trembling when it was my turn to go up to her desk to discuss (interrogation is probably a better word) my pattern. I remember the pewter ashtray filled with dog ends on her desk and the stained tea cup. I was sent to the Staff Toilet next door to wash a saucer from her cup of tea to use as an out line. I remember the fear – if I was caught by another member of Staff in the toilet and would have to explain. She was well aware of this. I  dropped the saucer from my trembling hands on the stone floor and it broke in half. I wanted my mum and I wanted to run away, but I went back. All the eyes of the class were on me. Miss Hanvey boomed “well”. Very frightened I said in a small voice, “I am so sorry I dropped the saucer”. Then she crooked her finger at me and I started to walk the length of the room to three lashes of the strap on one hand and three on the other. It wasn’t the strap that hurt so much but it  the belittling and the cruelty. Miss Hobden  was so different. I didn’t have a dress for my Confirmation. The Bishop payed a visit to St Peter’s and although I was in another Parish I was quickly put in that group with my parents permission with only days to spare. Miss Hobden  went to her cupboard and found me a dress, veil and shoes. Gentle and caring as she made sure they fitted. Such a kind and musically talented lady and her lovely twin, the two Miss Hobdens. I wish I could remember all the teachers’ names. Senior school Mr Byrne, Mr Isaacs. I think he found me my first job as a Dental nurse. Mr Gee. Mr Berry, Mr Harvey. I had my first Communion Photo taken at the Lourdes Convent, no longer in existence, and class photos in Senior School . A cherished one of 1962/1963. I went into teaching in my 40s and taught For ten years at a Private Girls School until retirement. I always encouraged the shy and the timid and those girls who lacked confidence. Miss Hanvey would not have lasted long in today’s teaching world. Another era but may she rest in peace. 

    By Jean Wells, nee Turvey (21/01/2015)
  • Can’t say I liked the place one bit.

    By Denis Lucey (17/04/2015)
  • I agree Denis, the school and most of the teachers were hopeless. I taught myself more in the first year I left Cottesmore than I had learned in the previous 10.

    By Ramon Dube (02/10/2015)
  • I had a close friend at Cottesmore, Shelagh McAtamney. I was only in the school as an infant, moving to the Sacred Heart Convent in 1963. The convent was across the road from Cottesmore, so I am not sure why my parents moved me! I remember Miss O’Sullivan who encouraged my love of reading and writing.

    By Judith Millard (07/03/2016)
  • Does anyone know the closing date of Coleridge Street Roman Catholic School. ESCC on the web seems to say 1945 but I am pretty sure it was more like 1949.

    By David Daniels (06/05/2016)
  • A special hello to Marilyn Rendle, (Philips), David Stedman and John Senders. Remember you all well. Was I really the naughtiest boy in the school, Marilyn? I do hope you are all well and if you read this drop me a line ( My, did Mrs Soloman put the fear of God into me at times. Such a different world we knew. Best wishes to all.

    By Michael Winter (19/11/2016)
  • Hello Michael Winter, I do remember you well. I send you my best wishes. Do you remeber Kevin Murphy, Italo Amato, David Dasey Phillip Quinlan and Michael Nagle. We also had some pretty good looking girls in our class too, remember Jane Stenton and Janet Wright? I wonder where they are all now?


    By David Stedman (16/07/2017)
  • Hi David, Nice to ‘hear’ you. I remember all the people you mention, though David Dasey was older than us, his brother, Robert, was in our class. I’ve recently met Eleanor Lustig and been in touch Norah Buckley, now Fitch, also Mark Divall. We were ‘talking’ of meeting up. Let me know if you’re interested. (I too rather fancied Janet Wright!)

    Best wishes, Michael Winter (

    By Michael Winter (02/11/2017)
  • Well Mike, you were definitely one of the naughtiest but I think Chris Wright was actually the naughtiest. Good to see you’re still going strong. I’ll drop you an email.

    By John Senders (24/05/2018)
  • Can anyone remember which year Miss Hanvey of Cottesmore School died and how? She was a friend of my family I would really like to know. Thanks.

    By Iain Jackson (15/09/2018)
  • Well, I remember the Hobson sisters. I went to piano lessons in their big cold bleak house. They drove a baby Austin, I also sang in the choir at St Peter’s Hove – our priest then was Father Touhy who didn’t understand children at all. I enjoyed singing there in those days. It was in Latin -I loved the high mass on Sunday.

    By Christine Constable (24/08/2019)
  • I remember a number of people who have commented above. I went to Cottesmore Secondary around 1964, the same year as Annette, Michael Winter, Peter Groves, etc. I remember a joke from the time in an English class – ‘Winter came and Snow lay down’. ‘Snow’ of course referred to Charlotte Snow. I left at 15 with one qualification, RSA Stage 1 typing, which proved extremely useful.

    I have a photo somewhere, I think it’s year 2B when our class teacher was Mr Prior. He was quite newly trained and would blush at times, but he was really nice.

    I still see Maria Whelan and sometimes Kathleen Flaherty. We should have a reunion of our year.

    I remember Chris Carter, he was in an older year group. Did we go on a date years later?

    I was from a large family, you might know some of my siblings.

    Kathleen McCabe

    By Kathleen McCabe (30/11/2019)
  • Hi Kathy, I thought you were in the year above me, but not quite sure. Mike Winter was 1 year above me and Colin Carter was 2 years above me. It would be interesting to have a reunion, if only to try and establish the class forms/years. It’s so long ago.

    By Mr Peter Groves (02/12/2019)
  • Hi Peter, Eddie and John,
    It’s some while since I looked on the site, oops!
    I remember all of you! I have a couple of school form photos too! it’s great remembering everyone. Yes!! John I remember the scooter training so well!! it was at the Hove tip I believe. I remember not rushing to take my turn riding as I was a little self conscious and I remember toppling to the side with the scooter on doing my emergency stop.
    Best wishes to all that remember me! Zoe.

    By Zoe Whitmore (nee Fake) (11/05/2020)
  • Couple of familiar names here, and it’s great to read all these stories. It seems postings on different pages reach different people, so apologies for repeating myself but I’m trying to revive the somewhat dormant Cottesmore Facebook page, so if anyone here wants to get back in touch with old friends, please join us at:
    Look forward to hearing from you! (You’ll find me in Facebook under the name of my ol’ dog, “Fearless LeChien”.)

    By Phil Graham (22/09/2020)
  • I started at Cottesmore when I was four and went through all the grades until I was sixteen. So many wonderful teachers 🙂 I remember, Mr. Lesser, Mr. Harvey he used to throw the chalk board eraser at you if you talked too much. Mr. Issacs, Ms. Hanvey, she frightened me and made me stand outside her door for talking too much. I really didn’t like her. Mr. Cain, he was the headmaster and smoked like a chimney.
    Miss Hobdon, I loved her and her music lessons. We sang at St Peter’s, the catholic Church, in Latin, she was awesome.
    Sister Immaculata – she told us stories about her youth before she became a nun.
    Looking back we had every thing that was needed to educate a child. Structure, discipline, Science Lab, Cooking room, lots of PE. Great dedicated teachers. I loved school.
    Went on to service in the Royal Navy and now live in America. Working as a Librarian in Louisiana.
    Many, many happy memories of teachers and students.

    Kay Boys.

    I don’t do face book

    By Kathleen Boys (Redd) (26/03/2021)

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