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The Staff 1951

The following photograph has been taken from The Bison 1951, the yearly magazine of the Fawcett school published in the 1940s & 1950s.

The magazine consisted of around 36 pages and recorded many events taken place during the past year, including lists of all the names of winners runners-up etc in exams and sporting activities.


From the private collection of Fred Hards

Comments about this page

  • I was a student at this school from 1956 to 1960. At that time we had a Maths master called Burt White and a wicked old *** called Podmore who took great delight in hitting you for nothing. The Biology master was Mr Griffiths. Hope this brings back a few memories.

    By John Grover (12/07/2009)
  • In the front row, left hand side, I see one of the masters named Tibble. I’m sure he went on to be headmaster at Queens Park C.S.S. in Park Street. I was at that school from 1967 till 1971; it was a tough school with not too many happy memories for me. I’m sure lots of the teachers in this photograph will be remembered by ex pupils around Brighton.

    By Michael Brittain (13/07/2009)
  • Seeing this photo the other night brought the memories flooding back. I was in Bert White’s class and can well remember getting slippered for misbehaving. Mr Griffiths took Biology, Mr Davis took Music. Bolton Ward and Shield were the teachers we tried to avoid the most. The mind goes a bit foggy now.

    By John Wignall (13/07/2009)
  • No women teachers in that staff line up. Was it because Fawcett was an all boys school and for that reason women teachers were barred? Yes and Mr. Tibble was also the Head at Queens Park.

    By Geoff Wells (old QP boy 1957/61) (18/07/2009)
  • With regard to women teachers at Fawcett School. It was a boys only school, but there was one woman teacher. Miss Yvonne Sutton gave music tuition to the more talented pupils, although it was only on a part time basis.

    By John Wignall (21/07/2009)
  • Hi, I just wondered if anyone remembers my Dad, David Vaughan. He was at the school in the late 1950s early 1960s.

    By Jenene Craven (02/08/2009)
  • I was a pupil, leaving the school in l959. I remember some of the teachers even now; Mr Bond who taught music and was interested in me as a violin pupil – now I am teaching the violin myself. The school was a tough place and for a boy like me from a fairly well-to-do family, I sort of stuck out like a sore thumb – but I survived

    By John Upfold (21/09/2009)
  • Does anyone remember Peter Stockbridge? Circa 1958/59 what an interesting work of art he was. Also Peter Holland who was a very nice person who made a point of looking out for the weaker boys at the school. Joe Vernerdi (art teacher) and his semi hippie style also comes to mind. A very mixed staff as I look back now.

    By Peter Miller (30/09/2009)
  • Barry, yes, I remember Peter Stockbridge. He was an actor of sorts. I think he left teaching to chase his dream. I saw him in a few television programmes years later. Also Peter Holland, as I remember he had been in the Marines, he used to take us for P E, always looked super fit. He was one of the best teachers there. He made a statement that I remember to this day, “I will be doing sex lessons in the new year, those of you leaving at Xmas will never know” As for Mr Podmore “what a happy little soul” God knows what he was doing there, I think he hated children. Then there was Mr Griffiths, if you dare upset him you were sent to the staffroom to get either Daddy bear -Mummy bear or Baby bear – these were three kinds of straps that he owned, it depended upon the severity of your offence as to which you were sent to ask for. It was a very tough school, the day you started you were called a “perk” and had your head stuck down the toilet, then when you reached the third year, you had to go to the senior playground at the other end of the school. The initiation test there was to be put down the “pit” ( rear entrance to the hall) and to be spat on with “Green Gilberts” by all and sundry from above. How anyone left that school without mental scars I shall never know.  The good old days?

    By Barry Plank (08/11/2009)
  • I have been reading more stories on this site today, which in turn jogged my memory on the other teachers’ names. Firstly Des Moore, I thought he was a good teacher but he had a strange sense of humour. He was quite good friends with my uncle, Reg Winter, who was five years older than me, and also a prefect. Whenever Des came into my classroom, the first thing he did was to come over to my desk and raise the lid, if he did not find “The honour of the family” written on the inside in very large chalk letters, then it was the slipper for me. Despite that I did like the man and it was all done with “tongue in cheek”. I think it was his input that encouraged my interest in English history, I am grateful to him for that. The other name I now recall was “Olly Beak” who was our music teacher, this of course was our nickname for him, I now see that his real name was Mr Davies. He was also a likeable guy who did his best to get us involved with music. He asked us all to bring records in, those that could afford to buy records in those days turned up with either Elvis or Cliff Richard 45’s. I took in my one and only record of Buddy Holly “it wasn’t his cup of tea” but he did let us play them. In trying to maintain our musical interests, he made us select friends to make up groups, myself, Arthur Slaughter and Guy Nicholls made up a skiffle group, as Arthur was a good banjo player, Guy played the guitar and I was on the washboard, we were not the best, but possibly not the worst. That acolade went to Paramount Stiff and his Jazz Band who had us rolling about in fits of laughter! The other thing I remember was myself, Arthur and Guy started up our own club “The Golden Horse Club” (mainly because I found three horse-shaped pin badges in a junk shop). We used to meet at Arthur’s house in Whitecross St? and get up to all sorts of antics, like smoking Black Russian or Passing Cloud cigarettes and drinking Brown ale. We even managed to set his mum’s fireplace alight with metholated spirit! It wasn’t all larking about, we had a semi serious side to our club and occasionally had chess competitions between us. That was the best side of going to Fawcett, the friends we made, it kind of compensated for the tough times.

    By Barry Plank (08/11/2009)
  • Were it not for Mr Bowles taking the trouble of visiting my parents and persuading them that I should be allowed to take up my place in the School Cert class – my whole life would have suffered for the worse. A million times thank you Bowlsey!

    By David Blackford (14/11/2009)
  • I was at Fawcett from 1954 – 1959 and whilst I have nothing academic to show for my time there, it did encourage me to persue my interest in music. I well remember Mr Bond who, legend has it smashed a violin over a boys head in one of his “rages”. However, he was a good musician and voice coach and helped me a lot. Yvonne Sutton was the violin coach and I was fotunate to have private tuition, which of course amused many of my classmates and there were endless stories of what went on in “the house” in Trafalgar Street where, on the top floor I was taught. Mr Davies or Taffy Davies as he was affectionately known would ask me to sing for him as he played the piano and he was quite emotional as tears would roll down his cheeks and make me feel very embarrassed. I played in the school orchestra with guys like Bill Boxall and ? Payne (he went on to be head boy) and Victor Carrington who I believe played in the National Schools Orchestra – a great honour and achievement for any boy, let alone someone from Fawcett! After leaving, I was chairman of the BISON Club with Len Vallier (sadly now deceased) as secretary. We had great success with the various football teams both at eleven and five a side on the Level under floodlights. Many of the old football team meet regularly and we have over thirty on the mailing list for our get togethers in February and October each year. Should any old boy be interested in coming along please get in touch with me Our next reunion dinner is on Friday 12th February at the Rendezvous Casino Restaurant, Brighton Marina. All will be welcome even if you only pop in for a drink.

    By Chris Simms (01/02/2010)
  • I remember Bill(?) Benson. He was quite civilised in comparison to some of the other nightmares. I quite liked his calming influence. Well, until the day he took his old and battered driving license out of his jacket pocket and made this statement: “I dropped this in the Red Sea many years ago and would you believe after all this time it is still damp.” Well, there was uproar, mostly from the motley crew at the rear. “Cobblers”; “yer ‘avin’ a laugh ain’t yer”;  “wot a load of old tosh”, came the replies, just to mention a few. He just put the license away and it never appeared again!

    By Barry Plank (07/02/2010)
  • After all these years, don’t they all look so young!! Mr Ross, who commissioned me and two other boys to paint a mural on the art room wall, died quite suddenly not long after this photo was taken. After all this time can anybody confirm this? Of the teachers, they were a mixed bunch, but one who stood out for me was Mr Hood. We had him for fourth and fifth year(1954-5), and he could hold the rapt attention of the whole class (quite a achievement!), and had a very high success rate for those of us who took History for our GCE. Mr Fordham’s son died whilst I was in the second year (1951). Mr Tibbles went on to become Head of Queens Park School. He lived in Waldegrave Road quite near where I lived, so I saw him frequently but never plucked up courage to speak to him. He was another teacher who commanded great respect with the class going completely quiet as soon as he walked in. A great school.

    By John Boxell (12/05/2010)
  • I was at Fawcett school from 1956-59. Mr Benson (Bill) was my form master. In my opinion, he was the best teacher in the school and through him, I too learned to love reading. The above photo from the Bison club magazine is really wonderful and brings back so many memories of the school (good and bad, but mainly good). I remember Jock Paterson challenging one of the boys (a big lad) to a boxing match in the gym because the boy had got violent with another boy (and him when he intervened). Jock beat him hands down of course. Wouldn’t be allowed these days though, in our wonderful liberal, PC society! I truly believe however that, all things considered, Fawcett school was a force for good. I consider myself lucky to have been there.

    By Roy Davis (24/06/2010)
  • At Fawcett from 1955 to Xmas 59, I think that was the last time you could leave mid school year. Remember most of the teachers’ names but few of my classmates [1a to 4A] Preston Kerridge – Johnny Easterbrook [my friend]. Des Moore used a slipper not a strap. Jaz Bolton for Geography [my favourite subject] used to wind your brains up by twisting the hair above your ears. Silvermann caused an explosion in science, great fun as the fire brigade was called. Still got a Fawcett mug made in pottery club.

    By Brian Wood (30/10/2010)
  • Nice to hear Barry Plank’s comments about Des Moore - he was a very nice chap. I also was a prefect and a pal of your Uncle, Reg Winter, who I have not seen since leaving Fawcett in 1958. Please give him my regards, Pat Tullett

    By patrick tullett (17/11/2010)
  • We are having our annual BISON dinner at the Rendezvous Casino on Friday 4th March 2011 cost £22.50. I am happy to send an invite to anyone who is intersted. We usually get between 25-28 attending. All past Fawcett Boys will be most welcome.

    By Chris Simms (08/01/2011)
  • Roy Davis I think your comments are very true – it was a great school.

    By Patrick Kite (22/04/2011)
  • My introduction to Mr Hodder occured when he taught us physics at Fawcett. I came across him again in his other role as a Magistrate on the Juvenile Bench. I hasten to add this was after I became a Brighton Bobby. I remember on one occasion, it was patently obvious that the young miscreant in question was heading for Detention Centre and that the defendant and his dad would kick off as soon as sentence was passed. Prior to the sentencing, Mr Hodder and his collegues on the bench gathered all their papers together and stood up. As sentence was passed they beat a most hasty retreat from the courtroom, leaving the by now reinforced police officers to restore order.

    By Raymond (Dickie) Bird (24/04/2011)
  • I was a member of Fawcett school from 1947 -1952 and remember all of these teachers with mixed feelings, particularly Mr Podmor’s famous strap ouch. I now live in Australia and have done since 1973 and loving every minute of it but will never forget my time at Fawcett.

    By Brian Davis (02/12/2011)
  • I’ve studied the photograph and the faces of the teachers. I was at Fawcett between 1956 and 1961 and these faces were the faces of some of my nightmare tormentors. They bring back many memories to me as they do with others that have commented. It is however the comments that I find most interesting as some of the names really do stir memories – ‘Dickie’ Bird – weren’t you in my class?  ‘A’ stream? The first class I was in was 1a with Bill Benson who as others have said was one of the nicer teachers. Roy Davis – were you the really tall guy who played water polo at the King Alfred? Good guy to be friends with as the school yard bullies were a bit afraid of you as you were so tall. I remember David Vaughn and taking violin lessons in the little house in the Junior playground with the woman teacher – also took Biology in that house.  I still have the long school photo taken in 1956 which I will post to this site in the next few days.

    By Chris Kisko (10/01/2014)
  • Hi Chris, I attended Fawcett 1955/1959 – have you posted the long school photo yet? Would love to see it. If you have posted it, I can’t find it…

    By Bill Timson (10/04/2014)
  • I attended Fawcett 1955/1959, I was in Mr Shields and Mr Boltons  classes. Does anyone remember the day Fawcett boys invaded the Margaret Hardy playground. Dep Head Mr Coxhead spent 2 hours caning all the culprits (there were many) in year 1 and 2 playground.

    By Peter Dray (14/04/2014)
  • I remember mister Bond the music teacher as a good man, and one day he had a piano standing out in front and as he went to move it it fell over he tried to stop it and crushed his fingers between it and the desk. This wasn’t the end of it as the boy who was sitting at the desk had his feet beyond the desk and the piano finished up injuring his feet.

    By John Hilton (19/01/2017)
  • I attended Fawcett from 1958 to 1961 (I was that rare creature then, a 3rd year leaver). I was in the ‘A’ stream throughout, Mr Shields, Charlie Rogers and Mr. Silverman. All of these were really good guys. Did I learn much? Well not really as quite a lot of the boys were massive bullies. But the joke was that at junior school I had been Brighton champion at boxing, plus in my first and second year the same and even better. So most of my memories are of try trying to avoid the bullies of that world. What the more sensitive boys made of it God only knows. I could not wait to leave and get a job, which I did December 1961 (just 15). Did any parent put Fawcett down as their 1st choice for their child? Unlikely. Am I being harsh? Well, tell me…

    By Kenneth Ankers (13/03/2020)
  • I was at Fawcett from 1950/1954,it was the worst years of my life,unless you were one of the favourite few you didn’t count for anything.
    The day I left not one teacher said goodbye just packed anything I had left and went.

    By G White (05/07/2020)
  • I remember many of the teachers in the photograph went on to teach at the newly opened Dorothy Stringer Secondary School that opened in 1955. I was there 56-61.
    My sisters were also pupils at Stringer. One of my sisters went on to be chairman of the board of governors!
    I went to the Fawcett school building to do an HNC course

    By Edmund Jackson (03/10/2020)

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