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Panoramic school photo (1957)

Don Mcbeth

Dorothy Stringer School opened in September 1955, as an ultra modern comprehensive school.

In 1957 a panoramic school photo was taken. It is surprisingly detailed showing the faces of about four hundred students, all born between 1940 and 1945.

Editor’s note: Don sent in four photos which I have stitched together to remake the original panoramic shot.  Apologies in advance – it is not perfect.  But it does show each of the students in enough detail that they could be recognised.  Click on the image which will then open in a new window.  If you then click it again you will see the full version.

Can we go for a website record on the number of people who can be named on this?  What fun – let’s try – so over to you.

Comments about this page

  • I was most interested in the photo above as my husband Ray Goodwin went to Dorothy Stringer School. When I enlarged the photo, Ray could be seen directly behind a form master who was a Billy Bunter look alike to me, but Ray thinks his name was Mr Mutter. Ray also remembers Don Mcbeth he said they were both in the same class. Ray lived at number 78 Loder Road until 1967 when we were married, so he didn’t have to travel far to get to school!

    By Marion Goodwin (12/08/2009)
  • I too, am on this photo and remember clearly when it was taken. Looking into the photograph my head is in front of the body of the female member of staff who is on the extreme right, and whose name escapes me. On my left is Carolyn Mills. I can recall many faces and even put names to them. Alas, there are many more that I recognise but cannot for the moment remember their names.

    By Linda Keet-Harris (nee Keats) (14/08/2009)
  • Ray has remembered a few of the staff members working from the right of Mr Mutter (Billy Bunter look alike) 2 Mr Stevens (biology) 7 Mr Summers (metalwork) 9 Mr Wooldridge 11 Mr Hodder (science) 13 Miss Corduroy 14 Mr Norman Carter (Head) 15 Mr Hood 19 Mr Varley? 24 Mr Shepherd.

    By Marion Goodwin (16/08/2009)
  • Very excited to see this photo. I have waited in hope that someone would have information on this school. Lo and behold, even better than I could have hoped for, this amazing photo. Many thanks to Don. I have already come up with about 23 names but wish there was a way to number the people in the line up. It takes a while to keep counting each row to see who is who especially if we are going for a record breaking event. Any ideas on how to number the kids in the picture? Will be sending in my list asap.

    By Sandra (18/08/2009)
  • Hi Don. I was in your class and remember dozens of the faces just as if it were yesterday. It is much harder to trace the girls as their married names confuse matters! My wife insists that the face I recall as that teenage stunner / future Miss Brighton is not Angela Norman. Can anyone else pick her out? I still resemble my image so look out for me next time you are in Rottingdean! Last time I saw John McEnery here some 6-8 years ago he looked over 100! (will he read this I wonder?!).

    By Brian Barnard (20/08/2009)
  • I also have a copy of this photo and also four years of the school magazine from Nov 1956 to March 1960. I think and hope the following names are right, but could quite easily be mistaken and would be glad to be given the correct names. I have numbered the staff from looking left to right at the photo: 1. Mr. Langridge? 2. Mr. Stevens 3. Mr. Mansfield. 4. Miss Sutton 5. ? 6. Mr. Robinson 7. Mr. Swain. 8. Mr. Summers 9. ? 10. Mr. Wooldridge 11. Mr. Baker 12. Mr. Hodder 13. Miss Lowrie 14. Miss Corderoy 15. Mr.Carter 16. Mr. Hood. 17. ? 18. ? 19. ? 20. Mr. Varey 21. ? 22. Miss Palmer? 23. Mr. Heaven. 24. ? 25. Mr. Shepherd 26. Miss Wholey 27. Mr.Lowe 28. Miss Nurse ? 29. ? 30.? I look forward to to seeing what others think.

    By Pat (Fox) (23/08/2009)
  • Sorry – number 18 is Mr. Down. My favourite math’s teacher.

    By Pat Fox (24/08/2009)
  • Hi, Sandra here, Loving the seach through this site. I can recall very many faces. Just a couple to start with. The Blonde Lady with glasses sitting on Mr Vary’s right is Miss logan. I remember her well, she was very quiet, sensitive person and I am sorry to admit we were clearly too much for her to handle. The small dark haired teacher, as yet unamed, I wonder if that was the wife of Mr Swain? I am sure there was a married couple and as I can’t recall her name maybe she is Mrs Swain? Will continue next time with some others. Thanks again for this photo Don.

    By Sandra Bohtlingk (02/09/2009)
  • Hallo B&H Fans, After a busy summer season plus a house move to Holland I now have space to share the names I remember. All the faces are as clear in my memory as if it were today but counting the faces along to give them a number begins to show my age. Here is the front line memory only; Left to right – 9 along Snowy ?, 28 Denise Noakes, 33 Beverly Macy, 35 Sylvia Styles, 39 Sandra Gamble, 45 Alan Clarke (boyfriend), 47 Courtney ?, 50 copper haired Glen ?, 54 Blonde haired Michael Whittaker (neighbour),and 55 Christopher York. Apologies for any misspellings or incorrect naming. Will follow up with next rows later on. Greetings, Sandra, my name then was Sandra Baldwin and I am in the back row no. 29 from the right where the photo is joined through my face.

    By Sandra (27/11/2009)
  • Sandra back again. Second row up as I recall it: Left to right: 10 David Claridge. 16 Robin ? 23 Michael Claridge, 40 Johnathan Smith, 44 Philip Keating, 47 Yvonne Fishe,. 53 possibly Penny Proser, 54Christine ? 58 Valerie Slade, 62 Linda Gearing, (we both later worked at Miss Selfridge), 65 Pamela? 69 Heather? (possibly Norman), 75 Angela Norman definitely, (sat next to her one term). I had a fight with her (you don’t forget that so easy), (not related to the last Heather). 85 Gillian? (her mum had the tuck shop at the bottom of the school drive in Loder Road. Went there every day for two pence worth of sweets which lasted all afternoon. The shop also sold lovely crispy cheese rolls for lunch when you couldn’t face any more school meals.) That’s it for today. Will start counting the lines again in search of next names. Have fun remembering.

    By Sandra (02/12/2009)
  • I have scanned the third row up and can only find one person I know here. The teachers are covered already. Second in from the left is Rodney MacBratney. We were in the same class and I remember his cheeky manner. Always had us laughing but not always the teachers. Back with more later

    By Sandra (03/12/2009)
  • Sandra back again with next line up. 4th row up from the bottom is a double row so have taken each person into my counting. This row is easier to go from right to left, so: 40- Pauline? (lost my boy friend to this pretty girl) she is the one with her head tipped on one side. Exactly as I remember her, lovely. 71- Angela (sister of Heather, row 2, whom I sat next to in class. Therefore possibly Norman as I said before but not related to Angela Norman, 2nd row. She is definite). 86- Susan Hayward (we both went to the Molly Ball School of Ballet). Continuing R to L into the male section. 3rd male in Micheal Harris. (blonde with big smile). ******** 5th row up, right to left again. 10 Trudy ? (she was cousin to a girlfriend of mine in junior school) **************** 6th and top row, right to left; ,2 Diane Hawkins (my best mate and girlfriend) won’t mention the trouble we made) 29 myself, Sandra Baldwin at that time. *********************** Well that is all I can contribute at this time. So many faces are clear but I can’t remember the names so well. I would love to hear comments from any of you on this page. More memories makes more fun. If anyone likes to make contact with me personally my private email address ; *********************

    By Sandra (06/12/2009)
  • I didn’t go to Dorothy Stringer; I was at Patcham, where Mr Alan Hodder took over as headmaster when Mr Budleigh retired. I was in touch with Mr Hodder in 2002 when organising a Patcham reunion, he lived at Streat but died in 2007 or 2008.

    By June Churchill nee Bates (25/01/2010)
  • Hi all, I left DS at Xmas 1959 to join the Royal Navy. I remember the chaos of the pupil arrangement for the famous panoramic pic and how we weren’t all doubled up with laughter surprises me to this day. That’s me, 2nd row from the back, 34th from the left or the 20th boy in from the right. I see guys like Vic Gates (went on to be a fireman I think) Peter Craig, Brian West and Michael Whittaker. The notable absence from the photograph was my best mate Douggie Beard. (Hmmmm, truant maybe, who knows?)

    By Ashley Hanmer (14/05/2010)
  • The more I look at the photo, the more faces I can put names to. Back row, 5th girl from the left I think is Dorothy Jamieson, again in the back row, 29th girl from the left I think is Iris Jenner. Both lived in Gordon Road as I did. My mother had the ladies hairdressers at No. 50. Dorothy went on to join the WRACS. There is also a row of girls (15) in the front then a further row of boys. Well reading left to right the 5th boy in from the girls is, I think, John Travis. Does anyone remember the format for the photo as my class (I think) and the ones I recognise seem to be spread all over the place?

    By Ashley Hanmer (18/05/2010)
  • I still see Mr Baker in the Preston Park area. The last time I saw him 2-3 weeks ago he was on foot, but normally he is riding his bike. I don’t think it is the same one as he rode to school, but it could be.

    By Ron James (29/08/2010)
  • I could not believe my eyes when I came across the photo. I will definitely add more info. I went for coffee with Diane Hawkins a couple of years ago. She was living abroad at the time and was over here for a short time. I can also add a few more names. Liz Harris, Gillian Tyrell, Gillian from the tuck shop, I believe her name was Ellis. Can someone tell me where Pat Fox is in Pic? Hope to hear from you soon.

    By Pamela Charles (nee Cund) (04/11/2010)
  • Hallo Pamela, How are you after all these years? Great you found this site. Isn’t it fun? I remember you very clearly from way back then. Diane Hawkins and I were buddies for a term or two and getting up to all manner of strange things. I have so many times wondered how she is and through finding this website in recent years hoped I may get in touch with Diane again. Would you be kind enough to ask her if she is happy for me to make contact with her. I will leave my email address here so you can pass it on to her if you will. My name then was Sandra Baldwin and, together with Yvonne Fisher, Diane and I would go to the local bop club at Carden School on Friday evenings and the Regent pop night on Thurdays after much preparation before hand regarding what to wear that week. How important it seemed to wear practically the same shoes or skirt or shirt as if there was comfort in the look alike style. Diane and I were often mistaken for sisters then and we did share very dark hair and similar features. Although still only 14  we had no difficulty in dressing up to pretend we were older and enjoyed the odd cigarette now and then which was very confusing for the conducter when we asked for half fare on the bus home. Contact me please: …….

    By Sandra (27/12/2010)
  • I being one of the three Curds attending this school, and loved it all. My favourites were Mr Mansfield/Music Mrs Biggs/Cookery, Mr Swain /Sport. Maybe a few of you visited Richard Curd. John departed to the Royal Navy. and I became the dreaded estate agent.

    By JennyShaw(Curd) (15/02/2011)
  • I went to Stringer around late 1970s and early 1980s. The cricket pitch you never walked on, Mr Hickman was God. Tuck shop was amazing – egg and mayo roll was the best .THE POND! If you went in it you went home (Stuart Christie lived in it but was told a few years after leaving school he passed away). My mates were Karl Pumfrey, Adrian O’ Brian, Robert (Nobby) Clarke. We lived in Compton Road, we had gone to Stamford Road School previously. I’m on Facebook and would like to hear from pupils from the schools. Look at Richard Shattock.

    By Richard Shattock (05/03/2011)
  • Thank you Don for adding the panoramic picture. It was so good to see all the past pupils and staff. I loved that school so much- what happy memories. I was Pam Martin in those days and lived in Waldegrave Road. Downs school, Ditchling Road, was my junior school.

    By Pam Barnes (24/04/2011)
  • Wonderful memories. Wonder what’s happened to my old friend Mac (Rodney McBratney) and to see my first girl friend Sandra Baldwin. How time flies.

    By Alan Clarke (12/12/2011)
  • Hey, Alan! What a treat to see your comment. Do you still have those cheeky dimples? Very touched you still remember me. It all feels like yesterday but even better really. Between you and Rodney we were never short of a laugh in class. I still remember your mother and brother. And some of the folks in your street. Handsome Roger Barnes and his lovely sister. Robert Clarke. Yvonne Fisher. How are you getting on? So curious where we have all come to and what paths we have chosen in life. Sending best wishes to you.

    By Sandra Bohtlingk (nee Baldwin) (14/12/2011)
  • Hi Sandra. Have looked at the photo again and can remember so many names (and after all these years still class as friends). I often still see Phil Keating; Roger Barnes was my next door neigbour. Yes, I still have the dimples amongst the wrinkles! I have now been married for 46 years and have two children, Lewis and Bonnie (both went to Stringer), three grandchildren. My brother Brian has been living in Tasmania for the last 40 odd years. As you say, where have we come to? Returning your best wishes to you and anybody that reads this and remembers those wonderful days.

    By Alan Clarke (14/12/2011)
  • Thanks, Alan. It all seems like yesterday, doesn’t it? I would like to submit my email address here and, if you feel drawn to chat a little in private, I would like to hear more from you. It has raised my spirits to make contact with other connections through this site already. And I have found people I would not have remembered if they had not written to share more things with me.The world really does get smaller and more close by each day. No pressure. Just a proposal.   All the best.

    By Sandra (16/12/2011)
  • Hi, great to see this photo. I was only at this school for 6 months – Nov ’57 – May ’58, when my parents then returned to Australia, but I loved it. My best friend was Jean Piper, who is in the 2nd row from the top, 15 in from the righthand side. Can anyone confirm if I am right with this? Jean went to live in South Africa after her marriage and I lost touch with her.

    By Mavis Gaudion (nee Sexton) (29/12/2011)
  • Hello Alan, Hope you still read this page….great isn’t it? Wow 46yrs, and you such a little Romeo when you were 13/15yrs old. You once attributed to your wife, the fact that your life took a straight and narrow road and I remember thinking how well you spoke of her. Lovely. No wonder you’re celebrating 46 yrs of marriage. You were indeed a natural comic and had us all in stitches…. I also remember you getting the slipper at school and ‘tho’ it must have hurt like hell, you wouldn’t show it. It’s brilliant to be able to share snippets on these pages.

    By Linda Keet-Harris (nee Keats) (12/06/2012)
  • Hi Linda, great to hear from you. Yours was one of the first faces I recognised. Yes I had the strap and slipper a few times – I probably deserved it. I remember Mr Lowe clouting me around the ear when he walked past me for something he said he had not caught me for! I met him some years later – we had a good laugh. They were great years to be young in.

    By alan clarke (11/07/2012)
  • Looking through the photograph again, I was struck by the lack of overweight pupils at the School. Was it because we had good diets or was it because we had sport as part of school activities? I wouldn’t be able to pose with former pupils and have someone say the same about me these days. We all look very smart in our uniforms, however, and looking at the uniforms of Stringer and Varndean today, I have to say the kids still look pretty good to me. Happy days! Good to talk to you Alan and read your comments Sandra. I too used to go the Regent on Thursdays and dress up to look older ‘tho I never managed to look other than my real age, despite stuffing a borrowed bra with socks!

    By Linda Keet-Harris (nee Keats) (19/09/2012)
  • Ian Hall. 55-59. Last saw everyone at end of term party with teacher Mr Heaven. I lived in the pub Cuthbert Hotel, Freshfield Rd, then moved to Lancing, went into newspapers, got married, joined army and served 22 years all over the place. Now retired and living in Scotland, Nigg Ferry near Inverness. Looking forward to hearing from anyone who remember me. Regards to all ex d.s.pers.

    By Ian Hall (06/05/2014)
  • Just interested to know if there will be a 60th reunion celebration this year. My wife and I have lived in Western Australia for 47 years now, but travel back to UK regularly, and look forward to our next visit, which hopefully would coincide with any reunion celebrations.

    By Peter Stewart (10/01/2015)
  • I can remember Mr Swain (Basil). Mr Robinson was our Maths Master, and I have always been thankful that he taught us Geometry so well; being in the Marine fabrication trade all over the world it has got me and my team out of trouble many times.

    I was a member of the cross country team that won the very first trophy for D.S. Among the team members were Burt Sheldon, Jonny Rumble and Ian MacDermet. I can’t remember the rest, so after 60 years I am claiming a senior moment.

    By Alastair Duncan (08/12/2016)
  • On Sat 20th May 2017, the school held an Open Day and Reunion. Eight of us from the 1st year intake of 1955 went. They had a history area with lots of old photos and documents. The head Richard Bradford very kindly offered to take us on a tour of the buildings. I think we must have visited most of the classrooms, halls, and the gym. He was most helpful and the tour took over an hour. A very enjoyable few hours.

    By Ron James (22/05/2017)
  • Hi Sandra

    I just found this page, the Pauline you are thinking of was Pauline Papillon. I can also name Valarie Groom, Barbara Housego, Sheila Bignall, Maurice Alfred. Great school, sorry to hear Mr Hodder passed although when you think they were probably 20 years older than us it isnt surprising, I would think Miss Wholey was near retirement back then.

    By Carol Marten (30/03/2018)
  • Hello there. I was at Stringer from 1956 to 1961. I remember the photo being taken. I cannot open the one shown above. If anyone has a copy that is clear enough to identify individuals I love to see a copy. I remember so many good times there and remember loads of classmates names.

    By Edmund Jackson ( Eddie jacko) (26/03/2019)
  • I read recently that Mrs Smithers had passed away.
    She was deputy head in the late 50s.

    By Ron (13/07/2019)
  • I have a copy Eddie. Ask Ann and I’ll pass it on.

    By Avril Dean (21/08/2019)
  • Hi just found this site..interested to have long picture I remember a few on here. I’m Michael Whittaker.

    By Michael whittaker (18/01/2021)
  • I’m so glad to have found this site and remember lots of names like it was yesterday.
    I have the panoramic photograph hanging up in a frame on my study wall at home.
    I lived at 5,Buxted Rise Hollingbury and used to catch the number 26 trolley bus to school.
    Would like very much to hear from others who knew me.

    By David Hurford (18/01/2021)

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