The late 1960s to early 1970s

Moulsecoomb Secondary Modern
Paul Clarkson
The girls entrance before the new hall was built
Paul Clarkson
School report 1968-73
Paul Clarkson

Original building in 1929

Moulsecoomb primary school was built in 1929 and then extended over the years. The entrance to the infants was from Hodshrove Lane and the juniors was from Hillside. The main building on the Lewes Road came next and was the secondary school for over fifty years before it became part of the primary school. My Mum and Dad both went to the school in the 1940s as they lived on the estate.

Some classes in ‘nissen huts’

While I attended a new hall was built which took up half of the girls’ playground. This unfortunately meant that the girls had to go through the boys’ playground every morning, and on snowy days had to run the risk of being pelted with snow. There were additional classes in buildings similar to nissen huts, which were situated behind the school going up towards the primary schools. 

My off white shirt

I went there from 1968-1973 when the Headmaster was Mr Evans, a rather fearsome chap nick-named by the pupils as ‘Streaky’ although we never knew why. The teachers were very strict and the cane and slipper were readily used to instill discipline. Detentions were given out for bad behaviour, lateness and poor work. We mostly did as we were told and if you didn’t then there was hell to pay, even worse was being sent to see Mr Evans. I once wore a slightly off white shirt and my teacher deliberately sent me down to the office with the register, so it would get noticed by Mr Evans. The relevant punishment was to be sent home to change and make up the time after school.

Did you attend Moulsecoomb Secondary School? Share your memories by posting a comment below.

Wide open spaces

We were very lucky to have the wide open spaces around the school for break-time and sports lessons. I loved playing football and we used to play on the field between Moulsecoomb Way and Hodshrove Lane. On a cold day the wind would cut you in half and as the ball was usually of the old style leather with laces you didn’t want to get in the way of it too often.

Remembering teachers

The teachers I can remember were Mr Widdup, Mr Bear, Mr Rex, Mr Drakeford, Mr Nix, Mr Leckie, Mr Catchpole, Mr Gregory, Mr Merritt, Mr Peskett, Mr Hindmarsh, Mr Stockbridge, Mr Homer, Mr Tiller, Mr Welch, Mr Hargreaves, Miss Cowl, Miss Dawson, Mrs Merryfield, Miss Mitchell and Miss Dixon. My Mum was taught cookery by Miss Neat in the 40’s who was still there in the 60’s to teach my sister. 

Comments about this page

  • I remember my first day at Moulsecoomb seniors in September 1968. My parents had been given a list of all the items I would need which included things like the blazer, tie, PE kit, football boots and gym shoes. It was the first day I had ever worn long trousers as well. It was quite scary because some of the teachers’ reputations had gone before them, especially Mr Evans, Mr Widdup and Mr Rex. Mr Widdup was the PE teacher who made our lives a misery in that first year, luckily I never had Mr Rex as a teacher but I did clash with Mr Evans on a couple of occasions. Added to this was the rivalry of the other pupils who had come from other primary schools in Brighton, some of them were friendly but some of the others wanted to make their mark on us ‘Scoomber’s’ as we were known then. I believe now that it was a good school and I’m glad I went there even though it was tough at times, it gave me a good basic education.

    By Paul Clarkson (11/09/2015)
  • I was there the same time as you Paul. I left in 1974, and we were the first year to have to stay on for the 5th year, depending on when your birthday was!…Happy days! 

    By Sandra Sibbald (Harris) (15/06/2016)
  • Hi Sandra, yes you’re right because I left in 1973 and we were the last year to have the option to leave in the 4th year. I enjoyed the 5th year as the teachers tended to treat you more like equals. I got the ‘O’ level I wanted which was Art with a top grade under Miss Dawson, she was very supportive and there were only two of us in the class for the whole year.

    By Paul Clarkson (17/06/2016)
  • I attended this school and loved it.  I left in the summer of 1972 at age 14+ and worked at Woolworths on Western Road until I was old enough to join the Navy.  I can remember Mr. Homer’s predictions of the yellow peril coming over the hills at Wild Park, Mr. Drakeford and the cane, changing the words to some songs in his class as we sang them made him lose it.  I spent hours learning about manners from the Tech Drawing teacher who we would distract with questions about boxing and watch him wander off into the subject.  I remember being in the school plays. I remember Mrs. Merryfield – Oh how I loved that woman.  I once stopped at her very beautiful house during a cross country run.  I think she was my first love as an infatuated young boy.  Remember putting iron filings in the furnace in the metalwork shop to make sparks and will never forget the glue pots in woodwork.  Mr. Leckie made me love literature and have a tolerance for cricket.

    By Andrew Deacon (04/07/2016)
  • We moved from Boston Street, Brighton in the mid 50s to Moulscoomb and went to the Moulscoomb infants/ juniors and seniors from 1956/ 66. l remember all the teachers from the seniors, and it’s true the cane/slipper came out if you as much were to run along the corridor. We had Mr Widdup as class teacher also he took PE which l hated, l left school in 1966 and straight into work and for me l learned more than l did at school but that was my fault. The only thing l enjoyed was the art class, the only thing l was any good at.

    By Dave Guildford (24/07/2016)
  • I went to Moulscoomb School in 1972. My teachers were Miss Thompson, Mr Holmer, Miss Cow, Mr Hargraves was my form teacher, Mr Tiller was my art teacher and Mr Bear, Mr Merit and Miss Mitchell. I hated going to school so when I was in the fourth year Mr Homer told me I looked too old to be in school so I used to bunk of with Sue Southern. We would go over to the shop opposite the school, Woolvens, get a quarter of sweets, go back to Sue’s house in Southall Ave, stay there till 3.30 then I’d go home. Bless him I loved that teacher! Mr Catchpole was deputy head, Mr Evans was headteacher, Miss Dixon was cookery teacher and I still see her now up at Asda bless her heart. Don’t see anyone from my class now. I remember Linda Ockenden, Tayna Jackson, Sue Barcock, Lisa and Jackie Gibbs, Amanda Lord, Lorraine Chambers, Beverley Dawson, Kevin Beard, Paul Chippendale, Ian Sinclair, Steve Bean. I wonder where these people are now.

    By Lesley Shortman (nee Hope) (07/08/2016)
  • I also went to Moulsecoomb School. I took sewing classes at the school and borrowed £25.00 off my dad to buy a sewing machine and paid back out of my paper round money. I then worked in a factory making under wear for M&S. Have my own business now.

    By Kim petts (21/08/2016)
  • Thank you Paul for the intriguing article. It brought back vivid memories.I taught English 69-74. Would be privileged if anyone would like contact me. I certainly remember Andrew Deacon and Sandra Harris. Pls use my email…..

    Cheers All

    Jon Leckey


    By Jon Leckey (23/03/2017)
  • To Jon Leckey, first of all many apologies for spelling your name wrong, it was a long time ago. You were my form teacher in 1971-2 when I was in my 4th year. I am very pleased that you have seen my page on this site and I will email you very shortly with some more memories about my days at Moulsecoomb School, after which you may remember me!

    By Paul Clarkson (24/03/2017)
  • Hi, I was at this school from 1965 through 1970; I stayed on for the extra year to get my O levels. 

    By Tony Wright (06/11/2017)
  • I remember the school with fondness, I used to do the late book, but never booked anyone more than once or they got detention. I hated assembly and refused to go hence getting the job from Mr Rex. I remember Widdup who regularly left a Dunlop imprint from a trainer he used to whack me with every time I had a shower, don’t think he liked me. Highlight for me was when Johnny Banks called him out on the cricket pitch and they got into a scrap on the grass outside Tillers room out of sight of pupils. Guess who won! Mr Merritt was a great teacher and I had a soft spot for our French teacher Miss Merryfield, bit of a schoolboy crush I think. Mr Hargreaves, boxing mad, and Mr Gregory our woodwork teacher, a great shot with a lump of wood if you misbehaved. And Mr Drakeford RI teacher, I was a regular to his cane, probably because I kept looking after his KitKats for him, couldn’t afford one out of my pocket money. And oh for those broken biscuits we used to buy in the shop opposite the school near Bates Estate. So many memories to share, get in touch if you remember me.

    By Roger Heath (01/03/2018)
  • I moved down to Brighton from Essex with my Dad in 1966, but didn’t go to school until about 3 weeks before the summer holidays, I must say, I thought my dad had sent me to a school for problem kids at first, as everyone in my class seemed very strange, but after the holidays I did start to make friends like John Alexander, David Prodger, Barry Pledge, to name a few, as I was fairly small for my age, I was bullied along with some of my friends, almost on a daily basis, & it wasn’t until I left school, that I started to stick up for myself.  I have met some of the bullies over the years since leaving Moulsecoomb & they all seemed apologetic & lonely, (Karma). I do remember Mr Stockbridge,( what a gentleman) & Mr Widdup ( what an arse), because I had Asthma quite badly, I obviously wasn’t very good at PE & sports, but that didn’t deter him from making my life hell. I do look back on my school days, & unlike a lot of older men who often say ” I would love to be back at school” I have never wished this, I have obviously learned something, but I have learned a hell of a lot more since leaving school.  


    By Ron Porter (22/03/2018)
  • Blimey this brought back loads of memories, I left in 1974. Mrs Merryfield was so lovely, I actually bumped into Mr Homer a few years ago and had a lovely chat with him and he remembered me and my brother (who was always in trouble). Mr Leckey taught me English and it was always the highlight of the day as all the girls adored him. Mr Rex used to terrify me and his wife taught there also and was totally the opposite. I remember learning the violin with Miss Cowell and playing in the orchestra and singing in the choir, I was always put in the front as I was quite short along with good friend Julie Hewett. My other friends were Sandra Harris and Karen Bonwick. 

    By Toni Stevens (Villiers) (07/08/2018)
  • I taught there from 1974 until the merger with Dorothy Stringer. I have some photos particularly of the staff, if you are interested email me. When I joined the staff I was Miss Hawke … I left as Mrs Merrett. 

    By Sally Merrett (14/11/2018)
  • So many memories for you all. You may wish to know and help us fight against Moulsecoomb Primary School being forced into an academy after a visit from Ofsted, who rated our school as ” inadequate ” which is complete BS. The report is marked completely different to every report done previously ( 14/3/17 required improvement. 17/1/13 Good 27/4/10 satisfactory) You know that it’s the land they want. Please help us fight this. Like you I went to this school and now my kids do.

    By Dyan Pepper (21/06/2019)
  • I went to Moulsecoomb juniors from 1970-1974. Remember being made to stand on veranda facing the wall many times. If you washed up the staff room tea cups you got extra milk.

    By Chris Morgan (03/11/2019)
  • To all who attended Moulsecoomb Secondary 1969-74:
    I taught English at the school. I have received and read some very nice things ex pupils have said about me. Thanks especially to Paul Clarkson, Sandra Harris, Andrew Deacon and John Summers and Toni Villiers. Sandra and John kindly sent me some old photos. Unfortunately I lost them due to a serious malfunction of my iPad. Any chance you could resend them? Any further info from anyone else reading this would be most welcome. Please use my email: Kind regards to all.

    By Jon Leckey (15/11/2019)
  • Hi, just read some amazing comments from Paul Clarkson, Andrew Deacon and Mr Leckie, yes I remember you all. So, Andrew you were always the star of the school plays and I have to admit to having a very big crush on you and Paul and Mr Leckie, do you remember when you instructed us to write our own version of Lord of the Flies, I still have a copy of my story, I believe Robert Fogden featured heavily in it. Mr Leckie, you inspired my love of writing and poetry, even though my punctuation was a bit suspect.

    I am now an Insurance Broker for a large global company (the careers convention had a lot to answer for). It would be very interesting to see what career paths you all took after school, maybe we could form a whatsapp group. Anyway for now, it would be lovely to hear from you, my e mail address is Janie 5724 @
    Oh you will remember me as Diane Price

    By Diane Stevens (28/11/2019)
  • Thank you Diane for your comments, yes it would be great to hear what career paths our fellow class mates chose. From the people I have been in contact with we all did pretty well from a secondary modern. I have emailed you, but don’t know if you’ve received it. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing other comments from our contemporaries.

    By Paul Clarkson (02/12/2019)
  • Hello everyone, Happy New Year to all! I was delighted I stumbled upon this thread a few months ago, some great memories came flooding back. I went to Moulescoomb School from 1970-1975 and have some really fond memories of my time there. I remember a lot of my class mates, some of whom I’m still in contact with now. Here are a few: Terry Grayer, Peter Lincoln, Anthony Miller, Anthony Brown, Lorraine Murray, Carol Jellicoe, Nigel Odey, Anthony Fogden, Robert Dickman. Stevie Windsor, Paul Moss, Martin Maskell, Tony Lake, Gary Aston (who has sadly just passed away), Mikey Roddis, Andy Taylor and many more.
    I remember all the teachers mentioned in these posts very fondly, especially Jon Leckey (I will resend the photos Jon) thanks to these teachers we had there, although it wasn’t always plain sailing, in the end we all left school pretty well equipped for what life was to throw at us. I often refer to my education and time at the school to my own children as good grounding (I’m not sure if they really believe some of the stories I have told them over the years). However from what I have seen around our city, it seems to me there are a lot of pretty successful people in all fields out there who went to our school, so that speaks volumes. I would love to see some kind of WhatsApp Group set up as Dianne has suggested. My email address is I would love to hear from anyone who was at the school both teachers and pupils, our school needs to be remembered, documented and put firmly on the map.

    By John Summers (05/01/2020)
  • Hi all, I attended Moulsecoomb primary and juniors. Must have been from 1978 to 85, a little later than most of you it seems.

    I have very few memories of the infants. I remember my favourite teacher being Mrs. King (perhaps Miss) and I still have a photo of myself on her lap on her last day. I remember being devastated she was leaving haha! But I think I was happy in the infants in general. Weirdly what I remember mostly are the walks to school in all weathers from 150 Moulsecoomb Way. They always seemed like an adventure and it often included a stop at the sweet shop opposite Hodshrove road.

    After that the only teacher I can vaguely remember was a Mrs. Lawrence (Laurence?) who I hated. I hated being in the juniors in general really which is why I have very few recollections. I must have blocked them out. I’m trying to remember the head teacher’s name as it was unusual, maybe even of French origin but I can’t. I remember my desk being next to a girl called Beverley. My next door neighbours, the Matheson’s (best mate at the time Scot) all went there. I vaguely remember lads called Stacy and Stephen. We had Wayne Emmin (sp?) who was meant to be the school hard nut and who I also met a few years back. He was fine 🙂 I know I bunked off a lot as I hated school. Being the smallest I got picked on a lot. My mum was a dinner lady in the infants so I’d often fake illness to be allowed to go up and sit with her where I’d be fed leftover butterscotch tart or cornflake tart!

    In a way I’m glad I didn’t have to go on to Falmer as everyone else did because nothing would have changed I dare say.

    By Gary Mason (11/02/2020)
  • Hi everyone, I went through infants, juniors and seniors at Moulscoomb and left in 1976. My last experience was with Mr Harvey the English teacher at the time. Mr Catchpole was head if my memory serves me correctly?

    By Mark Bayley (16/02/2020)
  • Hi ,I am setting up a watts app group for the ‘ Coomer Boomers,” if you are interested in joining , in the first instance contact me at my e mail address
    Let’s share some memories….photos…and fun

    Diane xx

    By Diane Stevens (25/02/2020)
  • I went to the senior school there from 1970-74. I remember well all the teachers mentioned and got caned or the slipper by most of them. I’m sure there was a PE teacher called Mr Turner there at some point. I was most scared of Tiller who I was told took a run up and caned your backside. I was never witness to this but it did enough to make me very nervous around him. Luckily I had Miss Dawson most of the time for art. My favourite teacher was Mr Homer who taught history. He’d walk around the class as he was talking and hit you on the head with a leg from a stool if you were not paying attention. Gosh, how we were spoilt. I was in the top grade throughout and the classmates I can remember were Stephen Barnes, Graham Martin, Christopher Beaney,Gary Richards,Simon Eden who was brilliant at art, Graham Verral,
    Julie Hewitt, Susan Prince, the Brackenridge twins, Lem Kwok who appeared at some point having emigrated from the east somewhere, and John Garret, who was a scouser who had a memorable fight over bates estate green with Lem. I remember the infamous school strike when all the kids walked out and met up with Patcham fawcett school, the teachers just stood by and let it happen. Can’t remember what it was all about. It seems funny now looking back, if a teacher physically abused a child in the way we were treated today he would be locked up.

    By Andrew Angel (11/04/2020)
  • Hi John Summers,
    I too was at Moulsecoomb Juniors from 70-75 and remember a lot of those names:

    Peter Lincoln, Anthony Miller, Anthony Fogden, Robert Dickman. Stevie Windsor, Paul Moss, Martin Maskell, Tony Lake, Gary Aston (who has sadly just passed away), Mikey Roddis, it’s more tricky finding the girls because we often take another man’s name, again.
    I’ve just lost hundreds of photos so it has been great coming here and wandering down memory lane.

    By Lisa Elford (05/05/2020)
  • Hi everyone.
    I was at Moulsecoombe secondary before heading off to Falmer High School 6th Form. Yes Lisa Elford, us gals do tend to change our surnames. Do you remember Joyce Thompson, Barbara McNee, Hazel Sweetman and Annette Taylor? These were my partners in crime lol.

    By Christine Chenery (Knight) (08/10/2020)
  • Hi, left summer 1976 and joined the Royal Navy.

    By steve smith (04/11/2020)
  • Just found this page, really enjoyed reading through all the notes and messages! Jim Tiller is still going strong and racing his Allard J2. I attended from 1968 – 1973 and remember many of those teachers mentioned. I was also in Paul Clarksons class.

    By Steve Jennings (27/04/2021)
  • I research old cars and was chatting to Jim Tiller and his wife about Brighton Speed Trials and a particular Allard Special only the other day! TCS.

    By Tim Sargeant (28/04/2021)
  • Steven Jennings! I remember you very well. I walked home with you a couple of times as you lived in the area around Coombe Road if my memory serves me well. You were also in Balcombe house with me and we had the notorious Mr Bear as the house master, he was a bit fearsome especially if you didn’t get any house points or your shoes weren’t clean!

    By Paul Clarkson (29/07/2021)
  • Anyone went to Switzerland for school trip in 1968 me and my brother went and had a great time I was at school 67 for 3 months then went to Spain. I came back 68 left in 69 at 15.

    By Derek evans (28/11/2021)
  • Long shot! but I am trying to contact Paul Bryant or his siblings who attended Moulscombe Secondary from 1970 to 1975 as part of my family research. If you are able to help please contact me

    By Russ Davies (09/12/2021)
  • I went to Moulsecoomb school in 1969 till 1973,
    and went around with Sue Chessell, Pauline Heath, Geraldean Jenkins, Kathy Core, Jenny Cole and Pauline Fleet.My best teacher ever was
    Mr Clive Adam Nicks, loved him so much at school. That was the good old days from Kathy Wallace now Taylor 🎉🎉

    By Kathleen Taylor (02/02/2022)
  • Just found this page !!! – I went to Moulsecoomb School 1970-75 and have some very happy memories. Remember classmates Sheila Baskwell, Kim Williams, Mary Phillips, Christine Knight, Joyce Thompson, Nigel Odey, Andrew Taylor, Anthony Fogden to name a few. Happy days……………..Carol Jellicoe…… Conway.

    By Carol Conway (31/05/2022)
  • Hey Carol, I remember you very well as Carol Jellicoe, you were in my class right through from 1X until we all left in the 5th year in 1975.
    Really great memories of the school and all our class mates.
    Are you in touch with anyone still ?

    By John Summers (20/07/2022)
  • My wife & I were reminiscing about our experiences at school and this prompted me to google my old Secondary school and was pleasantly surprised to find this stream of articles.
    I was also a pupil in Paul’s class from 68 to 73. The various accounts recorded brought back many memories. Therefore, I will not repeat them but thought I would add some others which have stuck in my memory:
    • Tuesday lunchtimes all tuning into the Radio 1 top 40 to see who was number 1. The Top 40 was diligently recorded by a group of girls each picking off a certain section so as not to miss any. God help anyone who interrupted them!!
    • The skin on the custard pot. Fortunately, quite often no other person on the dinner table would like it so I would have it to myself. I was a bit of a piggy porker in those days.
    • The various lunch time clubs including chess & stamps.
    • Saturday trips to Gatwick airport organised by Mr Catchpole.
    • Easter holidays in Ostend. Again, organised by Mr Catchpole.

    I have fond memories of my time at Moulsecoomb. I remember Paul (who if my memory serves me right was involved in a pop group with friends outside of school) also Andrew (again I think he was in the Sea Cadets with myself) and Diane (who was in competition with Kenny Bass to be top of the class).
    Coming from a small junior school outside of the catchment area I found the rich tapestry of attitudes, abilities & backgrounds in both staff & pupils difficult in my first year. However, to survive I was forced to develop life and personal skills that served me well in my career.
    Academically, I always regret not engaging more with the subjects I did not like nor taking risks outside of my comfort zone. However, I soon learnt another life lesson when on leaving school I had not attained sufficiently high grades in English & Science to be accepted onto the OND Engineering course at Brighton Tech. This was a big disappointment and ‘kick up the rear’.
    The stand out teachers for me were Mr Catchpole, Mr Hargreaves, Mr Leckey, Mr Merit, Miss Mitchell & The metal work teacher whose name I have forgotten.
    I note Mr Leckey’s email address & will write to him.
    I wish all my fellow classmates well as we all turn 65/ 66. Hooray state pension & bus passes arriving shortly!!!
    A brief update on me. I moved to Milton Keynes in 78, married in 79, had 2 children by 84 and now have 2 preschool grandchildren. I qualified in Construction and worked most of my life in property & service management. The last 22 years for Abbey National (later Santander) responsible for a group of their Head Office buildings before retiring in 2009.

    Mike Bailey.

    By Michael Bailey (28/07/2022)
  • Micky Roddis here.Well cor blimey I lernd evryfing I know from me time at Mowlskoom and I avent looked bak..I fownd speling quite easy ..fanks Mrs Robinson…Jokes apart Moulsecoomb School was brilliant, it taught me how to nick,smoke and have fun. Now this will blow your minds. Talk about wierd I can still remember the school register up to my name we go ..BROWN..DEACON ..DICKMAN..ELLWELL..FOGDEN..GRAYER..McNEIL MARTIN..MILLER ..MOSS ..ODEY..RODDIS..after that there is no alpherbetical order but there was Stevie Windsor,Andy Taylor, Christine Knight, Kim Williams, Barbara McNee, Sheila Baskwell, Lynn Elsie(where are you Lynn) John Summers, hi John, Peter Lincoln, Trevor Braden, Carol Jellicoe, Mary Phillips, Joyce Thompson, Annette Taylor, Hazel Sweetman, good at piano and hundreds more OK teachers.firstly Miss Cowl music, in our first singing lesson she told 5 of us boys to bring a book to read, absolutely true and she went on to win many awards and still to this day I think I can’t sing. Well thank you Miss Cowl, Mr Rex maths oooohh Strict

    Mr Drakeford taught religion and was the cane king doesn’t quite seem to go together religion and caning. Mrs Thompson, Mr Catchpole, Mr Leckey, Miss Cinnamon, who was only there a short time I wonder why? Miss Merryfield Bonjour, and countless others…Listen this is a fantastic site and I encourage everyone to keep posting every time new memories turn up. I wish you all good luck and happiness I have so many memories that I might have to post a few more times yet take care everyone Micky Roddis.P.S. Hands up who’s got false teeth.

    By Michael Roddis (30/08/2022)
  • Hey Micky Roddis , how are you mate? Ive just noticed your hilarious post, I absolutely cracked up (especially the Miss Cinnamon comment) I see you haven’t lost that legendary sense of humour 😂
    Are you still living in Finland? I was with Shaun and Pete Lincoln yesterday alls well.
    Look forward to speaking again soon.

    By John Summers (26/11/2022)
  • Hi Everyone, Stephen Simmonds here.
    I went to Moulsecoomb Seniors from 1968 – 1973 I seem to remember (memory and eyesight failing!)
    Teachers I remember:
    Mr Homer – History teacher and my favourite.
    One minute he would be teaching us about The War of the Roses, then describing how he fought his way off the beaches at Dunkirk! In later life I did some plumbing work for him in his bungalow in Woodingdean. We did have a laugh!
    Mr Rex – Hated him. Remember him trying to teach ‘New Maths’ to me – I was not interested and would rather play football in the playground. Copied all my homework from ‘borrowed’ Mark Vincent’s maths book on a Monday morning in the changing room. Went to Switzerland twice in my forth and fifth year with Rex. Stayed in Caux the first time where he nearly let me drown in a lake swimming back from a wooden deck after being attacked by enormous horse flies. Second time in Einsiedeln we bought a few beers and hid them in the horse trough in front of the hotel. That evening we drank them just up the road watching the swiss version of ‘Its a Knockout’ through the door of a local bar. Rex found out and made us walk up into the mountains the next day without our belts and braces to keep our ‘Stay Press’ trousers up!
    He used to throw the blackboard rubber at your head when not paying attention. It rarely hit the right person. Anyway enough of him.
    Mr Tiller – I was good at art so had some good times with him. I remember Michael Slade finished his O Level Exam painting an hour early. Mr tiller took one look at it, threw it on the ground and walked over it! He recently had a car crash in one of his racing cars!
    Mr Gregory – I remember a couple of times someone setting light to the wood shavings at the back of the classroom – what fun! I liked woodwork and it came in handy in my working years. I spent eighteen months as a cabinet maker at Bevan Funnell before joining my dad as a self employed plumbing and heating engineer.
    Miss Merryfield – le pong ! She used to spray the room with air freshener after a class had left. I remember writing Wee instead of Oui on the blackboard. I couldn’t work out why everyone was laughing.
    ‘Daddy’ Drakeford – He wore his 2nd World War ‘Demob’ suit I seem to remember .
    We called getting the cane ‘The Juice’
    Needless to say I got it regularly from him.
    Mr Widdup – Got the white tennis shoe across my legs and backside plenty of times. That is all I remember of him – didn’t teach me anything really.
    Mr Catchpole – Geography teacher? He was ok.
    Mr Evans, Headmaster – Got the cane from him for fighting in the playground – twice across each hand. I was not guilty m’lud. Played bowls with him years later he said ‘You probably deserved it’
    Mr Merit – Taught English ? I liked him because I liked English lessons.
    Miss Cowl – Prim and proper, taught music.
    Mr Hargreaves – Did he teach science up in one of the nissen huts? He was nice.
    Lots of other memories obviously.
    I live in Widdicombe Way a few minutes walkaway from the school. Anyone want to contact me:

    By Stephen Simmonds (06/01/2023)
  • Well there’s a blast from the past, hello Michael Bailey and I’m so pleased you posted your memories. My first memory of you is in our first year in Miss Cowls class and I distinctly remember that a few of us thought you and Graham Pentecost were brothers as you lived in the same area and you turned up with identical brown briefcases.
    You’re right about the girls in our class especially when we were in the 5th form recording the top 40. I was involved with some other amateur musicians outside of school and we used to get together in a friends basement but unfortunately it didn’t come to anything as life, jobs and girls took over!! I remember our paths crossed a couple of times as you told me you were giving up your Saturday job at Woolworths in London Road so I replaced you and you also worked at Red Ball Catering during the summer holidays in 1972.
    It was a good school and gave us all the basics we needed to go into the world of work. The metalwork teacher was Mr Welch, I met Mr Catchpole a couple of times after I’d left and still called him ‘Sir’ which was a good sign that some of us had respect instilled into us. You probably remember the cold winter days when we congregated at the bottom of Moulsecoomb Way in nothing more than our gym gear and Mr Widdup who we all feared made us run up Moulsecoomb Way, along Hodshrove Road and down to the football pitch which we were made to run around twice and not to mention the annual cross country run.
    I never went on the extra curricular activities outside of school as I found the 5 days we had to attend enough for me.
    I actually found the first 2 years quite tough but from the 3rd year I began to enjoy my time at the school and made some good friends. Most of us from that tough Council Estate Secondary Modern went out into the world and did well for ourselves and yes soon it will be retirement, bus passes and pension but where did the time go?
    I’m in touch with Diane Stevens (Price) and Robert Fogden and I have had a couple of emails from Mr Leckie.
    Good to hear from you Michael and thank you for joining in on my post.

    By Paul Clarkson (12/02/2023)
  • Hello to Stephen Simmonds who I’m afraid I don’t remember, but your story of your Moulsecoomb school days was great to read. It seems we had the same teachers although I never had Mr Rex which was a blessing. I did have Mr Widdup for PE and Games in the 1st year followed by Mr Turner in the 2nd then Mr Best for the last 3 years. I had Miss Dawson instead of Mr Tiller for Art and she was one of my favourite teachers as I got my only ‘o’ level with her and she was very encouraging. Mr Merrit was a maths teacher and used to shout a lot as I remember, he was my 2nd year form teacher. Poor old Mr Drakeford, all those bolts and padlocks on his door for security, looking back he was great because we used to have a good sing song and he played records for us at the end of each lesson. Mr Homer was brilliant, I loved History but you’re right about getting him on another subject. Mr Hargreaves taught Technical Drawing and I remember he used to tell us he played professional football for Burnley back in the 40s and 50s, I found this to be correct in later years because I knew someone who had an old match programme and there he was!

    By Paul Clarkson (13/02/2023)
  • What an interesting history site. My name is Keith Packham and I attended Moulsecoomb infants , Juniors and seniors, leaving in 1976, just in time for Moulsecoombe secondary to be called Dorothy Stringer annex !!! I lived in Bear rd, but spent most of my time at my nans, (Mrs Fieldus) at 22 Moulsecoomb way as my mother worked at Allen West.
    I have a lot of fond memories of the area from about the age of five, sitting on my nans step on a Sunday afternoon listening to the next door neighbours radio playing 60’s music, to helping to break down bushes to start off the adventure playground, around 1964 / 65 (anyone remember that?). Sunday afternoons on Hodgshrove field playing football, just after the Big Match on ITV. I was always asked to play; I was rubbish but the only one with a leather football.
    Infants school memory mid 60’s, girls and boys separated at playtime by a white mark on the playground, if a boy wandered over the mark he had to have a bow tied on his hair !!! and I remember a girl who used to fidget too much !!! and was tied to the chair she was in. Being tied to the chair was something that used to happen, I am not sure why, thankfully times have moved on.
    The Junior school memory is one of NOT RUNNING along the corridor and mass games of football in the playground. A teacher, can’t remember his name who was insistent that I should be good at the high jump, I was rubbish, he kept pursuing this, but got nowhere. A few years ago I attended some training courses to do with my work and found myself sitting in one of my old classrooms, it still had the same cupboards and radiators!!!!! Funny what you remember.
    Moulsecoomb senior school was interesting, I was in 1x 2x 3x 4x, all with Ms Cowl, who loved music and spent a lot of time encouraging her pupils to be musical, (I am tone deaf), but I was in the choir for three years and it was three years before they found out I was miming. My last form teacher was Mr Merrit in 5x. I recognise some of the teachers’ names mentioned before, but my favourite was Mr Homer who taught history. I can still remember some of his anecdotes about the 2nd world war and some of his sayings, as I get older I realise how right he could be. I could not take history as an exam at school, it did not fit in. But now I am retired I have loads of history books.
    I left Moulsecoomb school in 1976 and stopped going to visit my grandparents at No. 22 in 1982. I still have fond memories of Moulsecoomb.

    By Keith Packham (19/06/2023)
  • Hi,I was there early 70’s, great bunch of people, my funniest memories were history with Mr Homer,20mins of mayhem ,then FIVE mins of lessons! And the scary maths lessons with the even scarier MR REX !!!!!!!!!! I’M PAUL MOSS.

    By Paul moss (14/02/2024)
  • Hi Micky Roddis, Paul Moss, did yr uncle or a relative of some sort live next to me at HILLSIDE, I remember you n me always acting like clowns….and one particular (home made) joke you came out with….something like this…/ WHAT GOES, SUPER,FANTASTIC, COOL, BRILLIANT, MARVELOUS, AMAZING ??? ANSWER = PEOPLE AT A BUS STOP TALKING ABOUT ME !!! HA HA VERY FUNNY GUY MIKE 🤣

    By Paul moss (14/02/2024)

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