An ex-pat remembers

Fawcett School viewed from Pelham Street
Photo by Ian Brook

I went to Fawcett School from 1969 to 1973. The teachers I remember were Harry Silverman, Des Moore, Bill Shields, Mr Ingham and Ron Pavey.  I think that Mr Polite was head, with Mr Hodder as deputy.

The canes had names
I was in Clayton House and swam for the school, being trained by Des Moore. I also remember doing the cross country course up the awful goat track. I remember getting the slipper from Bert White and the cane from Des Moore, who if I remember correctly, used to have names for his canes.

Remembering mates
School mates I can remember were Graham Coliver, Julian Muzlelewski (Muzz), Lee Caron and a small lad whose surname was Hardy. I also remember a mate whose nickname was ‘Woody’, and he was the best swimmer in the school. At the time I hated the school, but now I have such fond memories. I would love to catch up with anyone who remembers me at school.

Married childhood sweetheart after 35years
I went out with a girl called Gloria Parkes who attended Margeret Hardy.  She emigrated to Australia in 1972 and some 35yrs later, we met up when she was in England for a holiday. We married in Brighton and them went to Adelaide where I now live and work.  If anyone does remember me, leave a comment below. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Comments about this page

  • Hi Tim, I was at Fawcett from ’69 to ’73 too, your name rings a bell. I remember Muzz, he was in my form – 2C10 – Pavey was form master. I remember Des Moore and his canes and Charlie Griffiths who took French had a selection of canes on a par with Des. After Griffiths caned you you had to say thank you or else you got it again. Pollitt was Head and when he retired Hodder took his place. All of those I remember for various reasons, and some more too. Silverman always sounded as if he was half-drunk, Bill Shields, Flycatcher we called him (not to his face of course) and ribbed him about his Reliant Robin which he more often than not took in good part. I was in Truleigh House incidentally.

    By Nick Phillips (12/09/2009)
  • Hi Tim it’s woody and I remember Gloria too. She used to get the same bus as us. Short girl with freckles? Big up top lol. Will have to catch up mate

    By Derek Woods (13/09/2009)
  • Hi Tim, you must be quite a bit younger then my husband and myself, so we don’t remember you, but just coincidentally I went to Margaret Hardy School, and my husband (Barry) went to Fawcett, although we didn’t meet one another until a couple of years after we had left school. We married in 1969, and emigrated to Australia in 1970, (but we came back for after a couple of years, and stayed in Brighton until 1981 when we came out to Australia to live. We have lived in Australia (Qld.) for 28 years now. Was yours and Glorias a chance meeting, or did you know one another before she went back to Brighton for a holiday? If it was a coincidence what an amazing chance of fate. By the way, Barry says that your first impressions of Fawcett were correct, (especially when he went there 1960 -1964). We are going back to the UK for the first time, next year, so will have a look at the old school. Anyway I bet there were a lot of Margaret Hardy and Fawcett marriages, so glad that you married your Margaret Hardy girl eventually.

    By Sandra Foster (13/09/2009)
  • Hi Tim, I also remember Des Moor and his canes which were named after naval warships. Do you remember me? I was in Clayton House as well and my form teacher was Mr Ingham. Weren’t you the one who fell out of the science room window? I also recall the pupil power strikes we had when we all marched to Preston Park. Halcyon days, eh?  I also remember our favourite haunts after school – the park at the Level and the good old Palace Pier. And do you remember the Newmarket Diner on the Lewis Road and how the truant officer would come and round us all up?  I’m not sure if I recall Gloria or not but some names for you to think of are: Sally, Ginny, Deborah, Paul Jenner, Bruce Verral. We used to go to Sally’s house and sometimes to Ginny’s. Hey – just thinking - didn’t Gloria work at the Newmarket? Was she the girl who used to play the pinball and didn’t she have strict parents? You and her were inseperable for a while and it’s so nice that you got it together and married. If Gloria remembers me (if I’m thinking of the right girl), say ‘hi’ to her for me. I kissed her once lol. I’m going to write my memories on here too now. It’s great.

    By Don Davies (14/09/2009)
  • Has anybody got any photos of Patcham Fawcett?  It was such a shame when they pulled it down for a few houses. I thought the school facilities were far better than Margaret Hardy. When the schools combined to Patcham High we had to do some lessons at Fawcett and then some back at MH for about 2 years. The red gravel playground is still at the site though, only thing left sadly.

    By Gavin Cherriman (14/09/2009)
  • I was one of the millions of kids who failed the iniquitous 11 Plus in 1960 and went to Fawcett for a couple of years. Wow, what school of hard knocks that was! I had Mr Tolhurst as a form master (1A), Shields for maths, Servelle for french and form master in 2A and of course Silverman for Physics. I can still write down the gravitational formulae for falling bodies and trajectories to this day that Silverman drilled into us. I found the educational quality at Fawcett was easily the equal of anything Varndean was doing for the two years I was at Fawcett. I had very little if any catch up to do in any subjects. The only thing I’d missed was Latin. I was among the few kids who got to take 13 Plus. I was successful and went to Varndean after which I went to University and – long story short – ended up emigrating to the US in 1980 after doing a masters in Public Health at Columbia University in New York. Thanks to this great web site, my cousin, Roger Sturt (Stamford Rd School and Brighton Tech on Hanover St), and I have reconnected after 57 years!! He too had emigrated to the US but later than I did. Why so long? Don’t ask. There had been some weird family rift of some kind when we were both very young – go figure! Phil Allsopp, Scottsdale, Arizona

    By Phil Allsopp (16/05/2010)
  • Hi Tim, Just read your blog, very interesting. So you married Gloria – if it’s the Gloria I’m thinking of, she had a friend called Sue and they both liked Chinese spring rolls they used to get from the Chinese on the Lewes Road opposite what was Preston Barracks. In fact the first time I had one was with them. Please remember me to her, she was a lovely girl and you are a very lucky man.

    By John Whitehead (12/10/2014)
  • I attended the original Fawcett from 1958 to Dec 1961.
    What a rough place it was….. I couldn’t wait to leave….
    I was in the ‘A’ stream during my incarceration there, form masters Mr Shields, Charlie (dopey donkey ) Rogers and Mr. Silverman, found them to be decent men… but the bullies at the school were legendary for their antics, I remember having sleepless nights when I found out I was going there as some of the older kids in my street were already pupils and loved to tell us younger ones that “you are going to have your head put down the toilet” and more scare stories, which were mostly true…. My only claim the fame there was Boxing, I was lucky enough to get through to the quarter finals of Great Britain when I was 13, having been boxing since I was a Stanford Road Junior School from the tender age of 10.
    Sadly I lost contact with almost all my old school friends, although I still see a couple of them plus a group I met at Brighton YMCA, we try to meet up 4 or 5 times a year and have a few drinks and a meal in the lanes.
    Time Flies…..

    By Kenneth Ankers. (31/08/2020)

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