Photographed prior to demolition

Just before demolition

Just as the demolition team was about to start work tearing down the school, I was fortunate enough to be able to gain access and take these few pictures.

Do you have memories of Patcham Fawcett?

I believe they were taken in 1997 but I may be wrong about this. If anyone has memories of the school to share, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • I played basketball in that Gym hall and was worn out at the end. I was twice the size of the Gym at Secondary Tech.

    By Barry (21/08/2011)
  • Yes I certainly remember the school indeed and have been searching for pictures for some time. I was under the impression that the school was demolished by the 80s however. It was appallingly designed, arguably badly sighted and certainly badly constructed.When we moved into the school, construction was still going on and the school hall and entrance had buckets to receive the rain that was still coming through the roof. Hardly and impressive start. Later it was found that the mix between the bricks that been improperly mixed and at certain places could be scooped out with a forefinger when dry. I recall seeing boys do so. Whether this was true for all parts of the building I cannot of course say. Despite being overseen presumably by some committee no one apparently had noticed that a school had been designed without a main stock room (although classes had small stock cupboards).As a result of this part of the school library had to be sacrificed to become the main stock room. Other glaring errors included walkways between classrooms that despite being intended to keep you dry only worked if the rain obligingly fell straight down.Given the situation on top of a hill this was rarely the case and gusts of rain would be blown onto you by the wind. Obviously not very well thought out considering that an architectural degree is some seven years long? Finally whilst still settling into the still not completely finished building, the swimming pool that was still under construction at the time when completed could have become the site of a fatal accident. Whilst finally in use one of the concrete beams became loose and fell into the pool narrowly missing I was told, one of the teachers and several pupils. All in all I am amazed that this building stood as long as it did.

    By Edward Castle (22/08/2011)
  • As far as I can recall, the school was completely demolished by mid 1993. Patcham Fawcett didn’t reach its 30th birthday. What a waste.

    By Nick Phillips (22/08/2011)
  • That tree in the photo. It was planted in 1966 a few months after the school opened. I was twelve at the time and it was barely a tall as me! It is amazing how high it had grown!

    By Richard J. Szypulski (03/09/2011)
  • It is ironic that the York Place school is still in use. Yet the replacement building had such a short life span. Hindsight is always a cruel judge. But looking back it would have made sense if the expansion of Patcham school (which became girls only) had proceeded earlier. Perhaps the boy’s school could have merged with the old Margaret Hardy building which would have removed the need for a new school. York place is very for good public transport while the new school was comparatively poorly served. I worked at Hollingbury for five years in the eighties and watched the building decline it was sad! Who remembers ‘Jock’ Edmiston the caretaker? Sadly he died in 1984 but his wife, Aimi, used to be a member of the Brighton Trades and Labour club. She had a lot of photographs including the 1966 school photo. I assume she is no longer with us but her son, John, was in my year. Perhaps he still has them?. We were in the first new intake in 1965. John is well known in the local music scene.

    By Richard J. Szypulski (03/09/2011)
  • Yes indeed, there is considerable irony in the fact that the old school still stands albeit with an altered function. Evidently despite its old- fashionableness and what would have then have been referred to as unsuitability for purpose, it was soundly constructed which as I have already pointed out was a quality very much missing from its replacement. I suppose that in historical context the school was all part of the New Sixties Britain which whilst it saw some very impressive buildings, also saw some truly terrible ones in many spheres through education, commerce, public and private housing etc. I had never thought of merging as a solution before and evidently if it was ever considered at the time it must have been dismissed as the result was the short lived building. I do not remember that as you say the new school was well served  by buses either. Perhaps not very bad but certainly not as good as to the old location. I also remember quite often being rather wet in the winter months when I arrived at school to spend the rest of the day a bit damp. I do in fact recall Jock Edmiston and recall that he had a son although I did not remember his name. Somewhere in the back of my mind I recall {I hope accurately} Jock complaining that his house that was on the grounds of the school also leaked . Well at least there was a consistency of quality with regard to the structures? Thank you for your contributions Richard.

    By Edward Castle (05/09/2011)
  • Having started at the school at the same time as Mr Castle, I find some of his comments with disbelief. Both me and my younger brother went there and during our time the building structures were sound. And the store room was on the lower deck under the teachers tea room and the caretakers son name was Brian and was in my class, and like most new buildings snags will all ways be there.

    By Stephen Field (25/10/2011)
  • Are you the same Stephen Field who used to live in Tilgate Close with a brother Martin?

    By Barry (26/10/2011)
  • Yes that is correct.

    By Stephen Field (27/10/2011)
  • Amazing…. 42 years since I last saw pictures of the school… I was then the one and only “frenchy” student there amongst 700. These pictures bring back a lot of memories to me, and I can recall I could hardly speak any English then. However I learned fast! Back in 69/70 the school was brand new and rated as one of the best in Brighton. I wish I could find school mates from these days and find out how they are today….

    By Stephan Combet (02/11/2011)
  • I remember some of the boys would have a smoke in the bottom of the water tower!

    By Terry Marshall (06/11/2011)
  • It was both good and sad to see the old school again. I remember going to see the school when it was nearly completed and then being one of the first pupils. In comparison to the old Fawcett in York Place it was a world apart. I have vivid memories of the building particularly the white tiled plastic floors and being strapped for making marks with my shoes, great architectural design. But most of all was the great school meals. I moved away from Brighton for many years but now live in Patcham. I walk through what was the playing fields to Asda repeatedly telling my grandchildren this is where I played football and cricket lately. For some reason they do not want to share my nostalgia.

    By John Tulloch (11/11/2011)
  • This is pretty much the view I had on my first day at this school, ignoring the tree of course. It was equally deserted because I appeared to have been the only person who didn’t receive a letter stating that the opening had been delayed (for a second time, I believe).

    By David Scott (13/11/2011)
  • I remember a bookshelf falling out of the library window (top floor) and landing in the yard below during a break. Luckily it didn’t hit anybody. Sometime after that stops were fitted to all the windows (that used to swing wide open) to prevent them opening more than a few inches.

    By David Scott (13/11/2011)
  • Not being a strong swimmer I was terrified of that slope and the deep end, and used to settle for “widths” rather than “lengths”.
    When the school first opened the pool was painted (a lovely ocean blue if I remember correctly) but it was tiled after a year or two. I wasn’t happy as the tiles felt a lot more slippery than the paint, though this didn’t bother me once I’d been taught to swim.

    By David Scott (13/11/2011)
  • Fascinated to find these photographs, they bring back fond memories as I particularly liked the open planned nature of the school buildings. Everything felt so light and airy compared to the Victorian schools elsewhere. Surprised to see that very little (if anything) had been changed during the life of the school.

    By David Scott (13/11/2011)
  • Fascinated to find these photographs, and to discover how little the school had changed during it’s brief existence. Thank you so much for posting them.
    Jock Edmiston’s son was called John. Maybe he had an older son as well, Brian?

    By David Scott (13/11/2011)
  • Player’s No 6, Woodbines, etc. All purchased quite readily from vending machines in those days.

    By David Scott (15/11/2011)
  • I had fond memories of Patcham Fawcett even though I was only there for a year and a half before emigrating to Cyprus and getting caught up in a war and coming back to live in Norfolk. I was there between 1971-1973 and came up from Stanford Road primary school. I had some great friends who I lost touch with, Andrew Burnett and Mark James. Does anyone remember them as I’d love to get back in touch?

    By Andrew Johnson (16/11/2011)
  • I was one of them boys…..lol

    By Tony White 80 - 84 (17/11/2011)
  • I have to say that Windmill View, the cul de sac of private houses which occupies the west of the site now looks like it was designed by a similarly inept architect. Only about 20 years old and largely looking like ruins already.

    By George Stroud (18/11/2011)
  • Patcham Fawcett was not an easy school but all we old boys who served our time there have at least some memories, some fond- others not so. Good days 

    By Craig Davis (20/11/2011)
  • Many “happyish ” days at Fawcett- loved playing football there ,especially when we got the chance to play against a teachers select team. Miss it really,so sad it’s gone.

    By Craig Davis (20/11/2011)
  • Thank you Derek Neal for these wonderful pictures of the rather strange sight of Fawcett School resembling a creepier land locked version of the Mary Celeste. In this picture it seems to send a shiver up your spine looking at the old house blocks and expecting Burt White, Frank Ingham, or even Jazz Bolton to burst forth at any minute brandishing a very painfully administered plimsoll or strap to any small boy who dared to let his presence be known.

    By Chris Groom (28/11/2011)
  • I went to Fawcett from 74 to 78 and I hated the place. If you have ever seen the film Kez, Fawcett was just like that. Wish they had flattened it prior to 74.

    By Andy (05/03/2012)
  • I attended the school from 1969 to 1974. Looking at the pics bring back good, and some bad, memories!

    By Stuart Morley (11/03/2012)
  • Hi Andy, it seems I left the year you first went to Patcham Fawcett, and as you say I was glad to leave. The one thing Fawcett seems to do to all of its past inmates is leave a very deep and lasting memory, with most glad to leave as soon as possible. And although there were funny and happy times, it mostly consisted of being, slippered, strapped, punched or similarly assaulted on a daily basis by certain teachers. It just goes to show that you can’t beat intelligence into small school boys.

    By Chris Groom (18/03/2012)
  • Left there in ’72, can’t believe where these photos took me when I saw them. Thank you for whoever did this. They are awesome! Thought the school was a good one and could never find out why it closed. I just thought it was worth more as a housing estate.

    By Russell Cox (16/04/2012)
  • Looking at this empty pool it is ironic in that I have just seen Mr ‘Pete’ Holland. I work at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. He has had a fall but seems okay. He is still with it and we chatted about old times. He was there in 1965 when the school opened. He took biology and swimming.

    By Richard J. Szypulski (31/07/2012)
  • Jock (John) Edmiston was my father, John his only son, is my brother. I left Brighton in 1965 when I got married but returned to the house at Patcham Fawcett many times during the summer holidays. Dad died in 1981 & my mum, Amy in 2000, they moved back down to the centre of Brighton after he retired. I live in Scotland but visit my brother and two nephews when I can. This is a great site!

    By Mandy Struthers (23/08/2012)
  • Pleased to see your comment Mandy, I have fond memories of your Mum, Dad, and John as I used to go into their house at lunchtime whilst at Patcham Fawcett school. John would do some guitar practice or we would play some records and your Mum would make me a cuppa. I kept in touch with John for a couple of years after leaving school.

    By David Scott (23/08/2012)
  • I actually went to Patcham High 1990-95 but for the first few years we used Fawcet for CDT and one week a year for a art project. I also played for the school footy team and we played our matches at Fawcet right up till I left in 1995 and used the changing rooms there so the previous comment that it was demolished in 1993 is incorrect. Having worked near by I remember the new houses being built about 97 so my guess is it was demolished between 96-97.

    By Michael Anscombe (24/10/2012)
  • I’ve said it before but a terrible building this was. Nothing was right about it.

    By Edward Castle-Herbert (05/12/2012)
  • What an inspiring vista.They don’t make them like that any more for sure.

    By Edward Castle-Herbert (05/12/2012)
  • Now here was for me one of the most hated parts of the building. Enforced group exercise. I hated sports as well as exercise classes. For some inexplicable reason I was bad at sport and hate it to this day but good at press-ups and such like and could do a hundred and twenty in one go. Even stranger despite my hatred of formal exercise, in later life I became a bodybuilder and weight training instructor and still am.

    By Edward Castle-Herbert (05/12/2012)
  • Yes great architectural design. So great that it leaked when we moved in and as far as I recall continued to do so. No one had bothered to notice that a central stock room had not been provided so part of the library had to be used instead. Covered ways allowed rain to be blown at you so you got wet going from one class room to another. Oh and in case I forget, part of the room to the swimming pool fell in narrowly missing a teacher and several pupils. Altogether a combination of poor design and poor build. Yes a masterly design and a period classic that brings a tear to my eye. Now just why did I decide against an architectural career?

    By Edward Castle-Herbert (05/12/2012)
  • In passing I worked in the library as a school boy librarian and I know for a fact that part of the library had to be used as a stockroom.

    By Edward Castle (05/12/2012)
  • Looking around Brighton and Hove- indeed nationally I suppose it was a typical sixties creation. When you look at some of the other monstrosities of that era. Whoever designed New England house, the multi storey car parks that litter this city and The Sussex heights have a lot to answer for! When one remembers the Attree villa (the former Xaverian college) which could have been re-furbished we should realise what was lost!

    By Richard J. Szypulski (14/12/2012)
  • I was at Patcham Fawcett between 1966 and 70. I emigrated to Australia in 1990 and couldn’t believe it had been demolished. I returned from Oz for a visit in 1998 – the school had already been replaced with a housing estate. I spent 4 years in the D stream. I wonder where all the guys I went to school with are doing now. I enjoyed my time at school and I must agree, Pete Holland was my favorite teacher. Bert White was my house master, and yes his cane could draw blood.

    By Geoff Fleet (17/12/2012)
  • I have just posted a photograph of 3C, Mr Wallington’s class, taken in 1967. It is on Friends Reunited.

    By Richard J. Szypulski (15/02/2013)
  • The room on the first floor is the old 3C classroom. Mr Wallington was the form master. It was also the Truleigh house room. Mr. Wallington was the housemaster. I have posted a photo of 3C in 1967/8 on Friends Re-united.

    By Richard J. Szypulski (16/02/2013)
  • I have just read in the Argus that Peter Holland passed away on February 14th. I saw him in hospital (where I work) last summer.

    By Richard J. Szypulski (19/02/2013)
  • RIP Mr Holland. One of the best teachers.

    By Geoff Fleet (01/03/2013)
  • Went to Fawcett between 1984-1988. Many memories come back when I see these pictures, some good but most not so good. Was in tutor group b2 all thorgh school time. Looking back the place did look a depressing place to learn; school nowadays are much better places than in my time.

    By Michael Bundock (24/06/2013)
  • With ref to Richard J Sypulski’s comment on it making sense to have merged the old Fawcett Shool with Margaret Hardy: I can only agree, however the Powers that Be would have looked at this as a retrograde step, as up until 1946 both schools were Brighton Intermediate School and following the abolition of Intermediate Schools the two buildings were both renamed after very promient Brighton citizens. As a pupil of Fawcett School in the fifties, I still remember the connecting corridor to Margaret Hardy School and sharing of the gym/dining Hall etc with the Girls’ school. If anyone remembers Bert White he was my teacher in the old School. John Wignall

    By John Wignall (28/06/2013)
  • Remember completing a 24-hour volleyball game for charity in the late seventies – though can’t recall what charity it was for!

    By Barry (29/06/2013)
  • Many great memories there. Always thought a reunion of some sort would emerge but never heard anything. I attended 74-77, Max 75-79. Let anyone interested in meeting up begin initiative using this vehicle and who knows? Come on lads.

    By Chris and Max Gargan (14/07/2013)
  • I have just heard that Kevin Dinmore (Patcham/Fawcett 1965-1969) has passed away.

    By Richard J. Szypulski (17/09/2013)
  • John Wignall’s comments brought so many memories flooding back about my old school Fawcett. I attended 55/59 and was in Mr Kenwick’s class. I remember the long passage that connected the boys’ and the girls’ schools. I also remember you could access it by going through the middle staircase then through a narrow passage past the secretary’s office – always banging on the partition as you went by. I remember in the corridor there used to be an impressive collection of silver trophies in a case. A group of three boys and myself went to the Evening Argus office off North Rd to complain about school dinners one day in our dinner break. It went out in that evening press, photos as well. We never believed we could be in so much trouble. The next morning we had to go the the headmaster’s office to explain ourselves, we all got six of the best. Would love to see that picture again. In those days I went by the name of Bill Olley, hated it so had it changed. Would be nice to hear from some of my old classmates to see how they have fared in life.

    By Bill Timson (03/12/2013)
  • No matter how dystopian the husk of the building appears. I still remember every door handle and join in the yard(s) paving slabs. Misbehaviour was met with a long wait outside of the Head’s office. The strap or cane was an almost certain result.
    Several as I know have “done well” from the educational investment of the period. Whilst happy, married and in great health, I would dearly have loved a more person-centred and individualistic education to look back on. I am diagnosed OCD Socially Phobic and Aspergers. Fawcett helped my “fight or flight” rather than my social growth!

    By Curt (1979) (06/01/2014)
  • I was there from 79-84 ish. The pictures brought back memories. A rubbish building but some interesting characters that taught us. They wouldn’t be allowed these days, but every cane, slipper, strap etc. I guess I deserved!

    By Adrian Wilton (13/01/2014)
  • Sadly, Joe Redborn, Patcham Fawcett 1967-71, died on 22/3/2014. He had an accident some years ago which left him crippled. But he was always quite a character. 

    By Richard J. Szypulski (27/03/2014)
  • Thinking about Mr Kent (Maths and Careers tutor) – he had a heart attack and died on this rear platform during Assembly one morning.

    By P. Galletly (08/07/2014)
  • Ok – Memories fleeting as they are at our age: Des Moore 3C semi bald, large build, wore tweed jackets. Decent bloke. Had a thing for model aeroplanes which he had boys construct (to his spefication) at lunch times. I remember some thugs broke into his classroom one day and smashed up the cabinets containing his models. This really upset him (empathy in a 13 year old is a very scarce commodity) but I felt he had really been let down and I think he left soon after. I feel sad for that. He was a good bloke.
    Pete Holland – awesome guy, awesome teacher. On the right as you went up the stairs in the science block. Thick-set, lots of hair. Commanding presence.

    By P. Galletly (08/07/2014)
  • I was at the school between 1965-1970. When I started the school, as has been posted before, was still being built. The first three years used to go in the mornings and the fourth and fifth years went in the afternoon. Some teachers at that time: Harry Bradford, Bill Shields, Chalky White, Des Moore, Kenwick, Maurice Packham, Alan Hodder, Jas Bolton, Stan Silverman and the Head was Pollitt. I left with a few BSEs and a handful of CSEs. I lived near the Seven Dials then and enjoyed the walk home from school. 

    By Nigel Short (10/07/2014)
  • My last year at school was at Patcham Fawcett as one of the fifth year at the newly opened school. We were all asked to attend early and after introductions in the hall we spent the next few days moving books and equipment to the various classrooms ready for all the rest of the school to start. My form teacher for that year was Jas Bolton and the other teacher I recall was Charlie Cook the maths teacher who lived just two doors away from me. My brother Ken who was two years younger than me also attended the school and was a member of the school football team run by Nick Schildkamp. Somewhere I have a photo of the football team which I must try and add to the site.

    By Ian Lamb (20/07/2014)
  • Pupil from Sept 1979 to May 1983 – learnt life skills:

    1. Racism 2. Avoiding bullies 3. Making friends – who I still think of 30 years on! I left Fawcett with an O level in Art and drove past today with the kids and thanked God other kids don’t have to endure the same. I was caned twice for going down to Maggie Aggi’s! Good to see the back of it .  

    By Shah Amin (07/09/2014)
  • I remember you Max Gargan, after me in the register 2S8 (Ashdown), 3C3 (Brandwood) etc 75-79. Have tracked down Ian Powell via the PF Facebook site, and am in touch with 1 or 2 others from our class.

    By Leo Eyles (08/09/2014)
  • Ian: I was in form 3A when the school opened in 65. That was Charlie Cook’s class. I remember Kenny very well. He was a very good footballer and I believe he played for Brighton Boys as well. Would love to see a pic of the football team. Unfortunately I was never good enough to get into the excellent team that it was.

    By Barry Lindfield (17/09/2014)
  • I was at Patcham Fawcett from its opening in 1965 to 1970. It was great sporting school but the academic teaching was mostly dreadful or nonexistent. In five years I don’t recall ever being given any homework! In the fifth year the school refused to allow me to take all the ‘O’ levels I wanted to take so I had to send away to various examination boards for details of syllabi and pay out of my own pocket to sit additional ‘O’ levels. I made the mistake of using more than one examination board (Cambridge & AEB) and ended up having to sit three ‘O’ level papers in a single day. During the third paper of the day, which I sat on my own, I was constantly harangued throughout the exam by the reluctant student teacher invigilator for taking up his time after school had finished for the day.  In those days, if you failed the 11+ and had aspirations of further education, you had to be very determined to get a decent set of qualifications. Not all the teachers were hopeless at Patcham Fawcett; a few gave me good advice and encouraged me, namely Jaz Bolton (geography and English), who used to talk fondly of growing ground nuts in Africa and reminisce about his boyhood Lancashire home near the R. Ribble, Charlie Cook (Maths) who was a good maths teacher and took us all sailing at Piddinghoe Pond and Pete Holland (Biology) who could control a class without resorting to violence and was happy to engage with his pupils in ‘normal’ conversation. 

    By Keith Wilson (16/03/2015)
  • I attended Fawcett from 1986-1989. Looking back at these photos brings back some good memories, but at the time I didn’t realise how shabby the school really was. That said, I meet some great people during my time at Fawcett and wouldn’t have changed it for a second. I remember some of the teachers: Mr Holland, Mr Ashdown, Mr Ratty Nicholls, Mr “Four ” Shakespeare. Who can ever forget those freezing winters doing swimming lessons in the school pool and coming out of the pool only to get into a towel whipping fight – it was tradition back then, glory days. Shame we never got the chance to amalgamate with Margaret Hardy during my time, bloody typical. For all its problems, it was a good era and happy times.

    By Darren Stenning (27/04/2015)
  • I took part in that volleyball game too! I remember taking my Boots cassette recorder and listening to the new Steel Pulse album, Handsworth Revolution, throughout the night.

    By David Allan (06/07/2015)
  • Reading all this brings back so much, like my sister Linda went out with John for a few years. We were always at his father’s house. Happy times. 

    By Bernard Volk (04/08/2015)
  • I was lucky enough to attend this school as one of the new intake in 1965. As Nigel Short has said, our first 6 weeks were morning only, the next 6 weeks afternoon only. There was a bit of a power struggle going on in this first period, with two schools combining, Patcham and Faucet, therefore there were two teams into one in every sport, football, cricket, etc. competition had already begun. Our football team lost our first two games and then were undefeated for three years. Keith Wilson and Nigel Short, who was captain, both played in our great team, managed by Harry Bradford,a marvelous man and teacher. I attended his funeral and felt I was representing our team. Apart from the sport, the best education I received at the school was to make me streetwise. Our year was made up from kids from all over town, an all boys school without a playground, just courtyards, encouraging survival of the fittest. Our teachers were mainly guys fast-tracked into teaching direct after the Second World War. Bert White for example had been a major in the territorials, Harry Bradford a sergeant in the RAF, Pete Holland in the commandos . Most teachers ruled with a rod of iron, the cane, the strap, and sometimes a fist! But discipline was needed in a school full of boys. Can you imagine a school nowadays with 800 boys and not any secret weapon, as Bert White called it? Poor old Richard Szypolski has now passed away, a kind guy who educated himself when he left school, often writing articles in the local evening Argus. Is John fleet your brother, Geoff? Anyone remember Bob Nillingsbey, PE teacher? How about Mr Benson, Mr Wellington, Jock Patterson, Mr Sambrook, Dick Pavey, Haydn Passant, Bill Dyer, Geoff Schavron to name a few. Bill Shields was another one! Paul Heath, Steve Biencowski, Malcolm Brown, Nigel Short, Geoff Medhurst, Keith Wilson, John Gayford, Cliff Woolley, George Georgiou, Gary Hazel Grove, and of course yours truly, what a team! Of course Steve Dove, Frank Noviski, Ian Stapleton, Ian Muir, Brent Dartnell and Paul Brockwell played. A school to toughen you up and prepare you for what the real world was like, the university of life! As Frank Ingram said to us, who wants any homework hands up? Not one hand was raised, good, he said, I don’t want to mark any either! That was it. Good to see some familiar names commenting, different generations, Chris and Max Gargan over to you for reunion organising! Maybe Tony Tredegar, deputy head at Patcham could help?

    By Alan Pook (09/10/2015)
  • Alan! To quote Ronald Reagan ‘Reports of my death are slightly exaggerated’. I am still alive and working at the Royal Sussex County Hospital! Frank Norwicki passed away so your confusion may arise from that! I still write a lot and also speak at Brighton and Hove debating society. Besides Frank Norwicki, Gary Chanona, Phil Stanislas, Dave Perrin, Roland Luer and Kevin Dinmore are no longer with us. Anyway it is good to hear from you Alan and I hope you are well!

    By Richard J. Szypulski (10/10/2015)
  • Glad to hear your still with us, Richard. A memorial service was posted in the Evening Argus at the church at the bottom of Elm Grove for a Szpolski, were they a family member? Moving on, every time I drive down Carden Ave it is with sadness that I glance over to where the school used to be, and that cross country track, including the goats’ track that ran up from Deeside. It is a chapter of our lives just wiped off the face of the earth, I am sure the school could have been saved, Brighton schools could do with those facilities now. I had breakfast the other day with Geoff Medhurst, a lifelong friend and ex head-boy of the school. (Talking of ex head-boys, Rod Lynn is an independent insurance broker and Scullard and Prosser, they are brilliant). Geoff and I talked over old times, as said before great sporting memories. The house system is making a comeback, good idea too. I was in Beacon house, Geoff was in Dyke plus Truleigh, Windover, Clayton and Firle all bought competition and pride. It also included everybody in the house, a good system – inclusive for all. I also see Cliff Woolley, who runs a landscape gardening business and Steve Dove who is a bricklaying contractor. Geoff Med ran an airline – not bad for secondary modern boys. Peter Felsing runs a carpentry company and Ian Muir became a qualified surveyor, top jolly in Bath. Glad to hear you are still about Richard! Good to hear from you. lan Pook 1965/70. [Hello Ian, I hope that we have edited your comment correctly; we were not always clear and may have interpreted it incorrectly. If you wish anything to be amended/corrected, just let us know with another post. Cheers, the Editing Team] 

    By Alan Pook (16/10/2015)
  • Alan: That was my elder brother Stephen who died suddenly last year. Coming from Coldean he went to Moulsecoomb school. My parents would not let me go there so I ended up at Patcham Fawcett. Talking about former Head Boys, the last time I saw Nick Paine was more then thirty years ago! He and his brother ran a disco.

    By Richard J. Szypulski (18/10/2015)
  • Pupil there from 1985-1989. Can honestly say it was a bleak depressing dump and was memorable for all the wrong reasons! I would have loved to have been the one with the crane and wrecking ball!

    By Nik Stroud (03/11/2015)
  • I had double swimming first thing every Monday morning; hated it ! 

    By Paul Thompson (12/11/2015)
  • I remember this used to be the canteen on the top floor. My friend kicked a basketball through one of those windows. Funny now, but not at the time!

    By Paul Thompson (12/11/2015)
  • I attended this school from 1985-1990 and was in form BG, I had a great time at this school and so sad to see it gone now, I hope all my mates from here are doing well. Rest in Peace Mr Holland – great guy, great teacher but hated people whistling! I remember Mr Curry and his crew going off to the Snipe pub at lunchtimes!

    By Paul Thompson (12/11/2015)
  • I have remembered some names from my form so here goes: Stephen Huggins (Huggy Bear), Jon Goodsall, Daryl Coleman, Richard Wood, Terry Green, Shakir Mustafa, Troy Purselove, Chris Hammond (Snake), Sean Morris, Shane Bryant, and my good friend Dave Weir, who I’m still in contact with today. Sorry I can’t remember you all! Does anyone still have any contact with these guys, will all be in early 40s now? Oh and not forgetting me, Paul Thompson aka Jaffa, which is ironic as I now have 6 lovely kids! 

    By Paul Thompson (12/11/2015)
  • Have also remembered some of my teachers’ names: Mr Gillard – Headmaster, Mr Curry – CDT, Mr Leet – CDT, Mr Gillard – French/German, Mr Thompson – Geography, Mr Atkinson – English, Mr Nicholls – History, Mrs Jarvis – Art, Mr Atkins – PE, Mr Tregear – PE, Mr Wilcox – PE, Mr Shakespeare – Geography, Mr Moore – RE, Mr Murray – Music and of course Mr Holland – Biology. Sorry I can’t remember you all but it’s been a while. 1985-1990. Can anyone remember anymore from this period?

    By Paul Thompson (17/11/2015)
  • Andrew Johnson, I have just seen your posting of November 2011, asking about your school friends and you mention Mark James. The dates are right for this to be Mark who lived near the 7 Dials. One day, on the bus to school, his friend, Mark Moorhouse, had some kind of fit or seizure. It was Mark James’ prompt actions in dealing with the situation and alerting the driver that probably saved Mark Moorhouse’s life or certainly lessening the effects of the seizure. Mark James went on to join the army in the Royal Irish Hussars. In 1981 he was driving a Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicle [light tank] on manoeuvres in Wiltshire when barbed wire caught in the tank tracks, whipped up, caught and ripped his neck, killing him. His funeral was at the Downs Crematorium in April 1981 with full military honours. 

    By Roger Wilson (09/02/2016)
  • I think it was known as H block. Mr Ingham’s room was on upper left hand side that was a dining room as well.

    By Lee Richardson (15/05/2016)
  • The worst school I ever attended back in the early 70s. Fights in the grounds, the students went on strike, teachers hiding behind blackboards having dusters thrown at them by the students and the teachers refusing to teach. Utter chaos and good riddance to the school.

    By Mark Brown (01/07/2016)
  • I left in ’84 – best day of my life…. hated that place, apart from Davies, best teacher ever.

    By John (12/08/2016)
  • Good to see the pictures even though I didn’t like the school.

    By John (12/08/2016)
  • I totally agree with Andy’s, Chris Groom’s and Shah Amin’s comments – I couldn’t have put it better myself.  Time served 1980-84  (caned 5 times); 1980-82 mostly truanted.

    By John (12/08/2016)
  • It was the best time of my life at that place in the early 80’s! The school was spot on with everything – it set me up for everything in life!

    By Patrick Lineham (03/10/2016)
  • I attended Patcham Fawcett from 77-81 – brilliant school and some good teachers: Mr Pilcher, Pete Holland, Mr Eastwood (Maths), Mrs Dockrell (English), Mr Curry (Woodwork). Can’t remember what form I was in but not that bright! My brother Garry went from 67-71. As luck would have it we only lived in Denton Drive 5 min walk.

    By Jeff Tucknott (17/10/2016)
  • Patcham Fawcett was a dustbin school where those who failed the 11+ ended up.  Some good teachers – Pete Holland, Bert Ingham – who were no nonsense and guys you could respect.  But Mr Polliot (BA) the head was a totally uninspiring non-entity, striding across the courtyard in his academic gown (we called him Batman) and leaving not a trace of personality behind.
    There were five streams in that school. The ‘elite A stream’ and the also-rans in streams B, C, D and E.  I was in B, my brother Richard (RIP) in C.  Both of us went on to get MSc degrees so not as stupid as the system made out.
    Reasonably tough – the annual, ‘beat up the first years on the playing fields’ was part of the induction.  All good character forming stuff!  A lot of us would have achieved a lot more with better teachers who had higher expectations of us.  But some good memories on the whole, and some people I’d like to catch up with again.

    By Brian Hunt (17/10/2016)
  • Was there in the 1970’s, a truly grotesque secondary school, one or two good teachers but generally an atrocious place to have to spend 5 years in. It really was like a prison and seemed like most of the pupils were sent there because there was something wrong with them. Well, considering the number of bullies I came across I think some of them were unhinged. Compound that with a dreary building, especially in the autumn and winter months, and you get a dreadful combination. I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there after school and when I finally left the dump I was in heaven! I never could work out how I ended up in a low form and learnt nothing. But after a few years in work I went back to college, went onto University and got a decent engineering qualification. Five years of my childhood there was wasted and I felt robbed!

    By John Brandon (18/10/2016)
  • I attended this school from 1971 to 1976. I started off in the C stream, Mr Griffess was my form teacher, he the had a club foot as I remember and used a cane on a regular basis even had a name for it. The school was big on corporal punishment. I worked my way up to the A stream, Jaz Bolton was my form teacher he was always reminiscing about his time in Nigeria during the war. The teacher who had the biggest impression on me was Mr Ingham, my maths tutor. He used to come into class with an apple in one hand and a roll up in the other – yes he actually smoked during lessons. He had a great sense of humour and was a very, very good maths teacher; all of the pupils were scared stiff of him, he commanded absolute respect in the classroom he had no favourites. Looking back he was rather like a ‘Jack Nicholson character’.  However, my overall time at this school was not a particularly happy one. I left with a CSE GRADE 1 and one O level. I went to Varndean for a year afterwards and subsequently achieved 3 O Levels in one year – I wish i had gone there in the beginning but I failed the 11+!

    Other teachers of whom I remember are Des Moore (and his air fix models); Mr Holland and Mr Wilcox.

    By Neal Boughton (21/03/2017)
  • Further to my last comment I would like to add more memories of my time at Fawcett 1971 -1976. Double PE on Thursday afternoons. Standing on the top pitch in the winter, freezing cold, waiting to be picked for the football team, always being picked last. Just like a scene from the film “Kes”. The metalwork and woodwork departments off the lower quad, the woodwork teacher, a Mr Sandown I think, always grumpy, had a Morris 1000 estate car with wood down the back! ”Plant a tree in 73″, its still there just off the path on the north side. The day the school went on strike. Becoming a prefect and playing table tennis and learning to smoke in the prefects‘ room at break times. Going to Burwash on a school trip for a week. All seems such a long time ago now.

    By Neal Boughton (21/03/2017)
  • H Block was horrible. It doubled up as the dining rooms, so first lesson after lunch used to stink, usually of cabbage. I was there bottom right at the back for 2 years 77-79. Mr Atkinson was our form and English teacher.

    By Leo (24/03/2017)
  • I went to Patcham Fawcett in 75-79/80. My main memory of any of the teachers was Ms Jarvis the art teacher and Mr Steer who used to have a grey Volvo. I was a bit of a little shit when I was in school and any trouble  was probably caused by me. My brother also used to go to Patcham Fawcett. He was five years older than me – Mark Adrian Watson. He passed away suddenly of an aneurysm in March 14th 1999. You may remember him as he had curly ginger hair and lived in Carden Avenue by the shops.  

    By Neil Watson (18/01/2018)
  • Was saddened to read of Richard Szypulski’s passing but then delighted to read of his resurrection and in his own hand telling us he was as still alive and kicking. Glad to hear it Mr Szypulski. Also saddened to read of Pete Holland’s passing a few years ago. The only teacher I stayed in contact with over the many years while I was out of the country and always found time to visit when I came back to the UK on business. But when I moved back you then lose contact. Having been a military man himself, he was keen to learn about my exploits in the bush wars in Africa and later about my business career. Always got a warm welcome into his home providing he wasn’t away playing golf and we still retained our love of skiing which he got me into on the winter school trips to Austria and Poland.

    I have many bittersweet memories of the school arriving as I did with many others on the first days of opening and spending the next 5 odd years trying to keep away playing truancy or getting out of study. I failed my 11+ deliberately because my brother went to Westlain Grammar and that was the last place I wanted to go to school. Loved Pete Holland’s biology class and Silverman’s Science, but for the rest … Actually managed to avoid maths for an entire term with Mr Shield, as he never knew I was supposed to be in his class. Got caught out by my mum at the parents evening, damn! Never actually had Packham for English had White instead and think I would have loved it. White and I always clashed as you were never allowed to discuss anything, just had to read Moby Dick in silence, and I must have got caned every other class. Having said that I did get a distinction in English when in those days it was split into Lang, Lit and Oral. Guess this was because of my love of dramatics and was not only in the school plays written by Packham but directed by him as well. I also did amateur dramatics outside school and won several awards. I’ve also gone on to write and publish 4 books. 

    Having left the UK shortly after leaving school in ’69. I lost contact with all of my school friends. Tried to see Nick and Roger Paine on one of my visits back but only got to see their mum. Last I heard Roger was a taxi driver and Nick was running a bar in Greece, or something. I remember a friend called Vincent, and or course Richard who I go back even further than school.

    I started off saying it was bittersweet reading these comments as there were some good times – skiving off and dodging sports, PT, cross country, smoking in Mr Bears music class and avoiding maths, but taking part in part in the school plays, doing art, etc was fun. However, I can’t say I have or had any loyalty to the school. I was never proud to say I went there and still can’t say I was. It was a sausage factory and most of the teachers were there to collect a pay cheque. The few that saw teaching as a profession or a calling were soon worn down and often left to teach elsewhere. We got bullied by the older boys that came from Fawcett in town, and many of us made a point when we reached 5th form to cut it out. We also never took any notice of the prefects in 5th form and we all used the prefects room anyway in our little group.

    But having said that, on a trip back to the UK with my three children was saddened to see that the school had been demolished and there was nothing to show of my high school years except a few houses and the thought that someone had made some money out of that deal.

    So the class of ’69 is about to reach a 50 year milestone. Like me, many will be nearing retirement and some may have sadly passed away. It would be nice to see some old school chums at a class of ’69 leavers’ 50 year reunion and compare where we are now and what we do and what life after Patcham Fawcett has given us.

    By Andrew Strange (09/02/2018)
  • I was there 82-85. We used to take mini bottles of vodka & whisky to enjoy with our fags at lunch time over the Deeside fields!

    Memories of Ratty, Miss Dockerell, the cane & fights with Falmer & Stringer…aaahhh happy days!

    By keiron (22/03/2018)
  • S1 was to the left of the entrance to the Science block. It was my classroom and my form was 2S1. That was in 1971/2. I taught woodwork with Dave Seddon and Jack Sambrook. An interesting and enjoyable time for my first two years of teaching.

    By David Taylor (17/04/2018)
  • Further to the comment by Roger Wilson 02/2016, my brother Mark Moorhouse certainly did suffer a seizure. It was actually a berry aneurysm that caused the issue, brought about by playing the bugle in the sea cadets and having a weakness in a vein. He was very sick for nearly a year and spent many months in Great Ormond Street Hospital. When he eventually went back to Fawcett his personality had changed and he struggled to fit in. He unfortunately suffered another aneurysm aged 56 and passed away. Incidentally Roger, are you the same Roger Wilson who was in 10th Brighton Scouts?

    By Scott Moorhouse (14/08/2018)
  • Scott Moorhouse, So sorry to hear about the death of your brother, Mark.  Yes, I am indeed the same Roger that was in the 10th Brighton Scouts. So many memories. We need to get in touch. 

    By Roger Wilson (22/08/2018)
  • This pool was a massive plus point for the school. I completed all my Life Saving tests in there and even learnt to canoe with Jack Grass who came down from Burwash Outdoor Pursuit Centre.

    By Bevis Eyre (01/09/2018)
  • I was the class of 1971 and spent many enjoyable hours in that hall – basketball, trampolining, gymnastics etc. The school was great for sports.

    By Bevis Eyre (01/09/2018)
  • Hi to all the class of 1970. I have some pretty mixed memories of the school and it’s great to see some of the names of the guys. Alan Pook, Keith Wilson, Nigel Short, Geoff Medhurst, Steve Bienkowski, Gordon West etc, etc. By some of the posts it seems things went downhill in the ’70s.

    Sharing time in the sports teams was a highlight, especially cricket and basketball. I was between the sticks for the football team and Centre in the rugby team. Heaven knows why as I wasn’t that quick. Alan: if I remember rightly you opened the batting but I can’t recall the guy you usually opened with? I went in No. 3 or 4 and had a spell with Brighton Boys until they insisted on putting me behind the stumps. Mr Billingsby was not a happy bunny at my decision and gave me some serious earache. Anyway, I was beginning to get into surfing, which still keeps me fit now.

    Discipline was pretty full on compared to these days with no negative effect despite being strapped, slippered, caned and verbally abused. Geoff Medhurst and myself were having a right laugh at the back of one of Mr Cooks maths classes and got a good caning in the process. Mrs Brandwood(?) must have been pretty good as she got me though French ‘O’ Level.

    I’ve had a few different careers. Wine trade after college and a spell with the Savoy Hotel Group. Then golf course management until I met my second wife and moved down to Christchurch to live and work in 1999. Ruth sadly passed away in 2015 and I currently work for a large American Corp., and will until retirement next year. More time for golf, paddle boarding and photography.

    To all I knew: “live long and prosper”

    By Bevis Eyre (01/09/2018)
  • Sadly, the Argus announced on Tuesday 9/10/18 that Mr. Maurice Packham has died. He was a very likeable teacher. He taught History, English -both literature and oral -  and ran the school plays. From 1968 onwards he ran the library.

    By Richard J. Szypulski (09/10/2018)
  • Hi Bevis. Plug Short. Good times.

    By Nigel Short (19/10/2018)
  • I attended this school but am not totally sure of the years. I think probably 1979/80 to 1983/84 and I was 15 when left as i was born in late August so I had to stay on after all the exams. The oldest kids were meant to revise at home and come back in just for the exams. The second term kids left after doing all their exams in May/June. The youngest had to stay at school and do nothing as they had done all the exams. A really stupid system so I am glad that it has changed for my children. I had two older brothers that went before me Jason and Spencer(sadly passed away around four years ago). They both set a bad president for me as teachers would moan “Not another Caulfield, how many are there of you lot?” as they both were in the A band but misbehaved terribly. The teachers I remember are:Mr Revel – Art, Mrs Jarvis – Art, Mrs Dockrill – English (was my form tutor twice in a row), Mr Gillard (I think) – German (tutor), Mr Blowit – Pottery (tutor), Mr Eastman – Maths ( always in a brown suit and painfully talked so slowly with about four sums per lesson. I still managed to move up a class from 2B2 to 2B1 in Maths. Mr Sponge – French, came as a supply teacher but stuck around a few years, ???? Chemistry teacher (cannot remember his name) was my form tutor and a friend of my mothers. He came around our house one day – very embarrassing, Mr Denyer – Physics, Mr Holland – Biology and Mr Wilcox – PE.
    Holland and Wilcox had a fight at the bottom school field one day. Heard it was over Mrs Jarvis for some reason. Wilcox and Jarvis got together even though they were married to different people. I liked them both and Holland. Came across Wilcox and Jarvis years later still together in a pub near the floral clock in Hove. I bought them both a drink and had a chat. They both had left the school as it was probably demolished by then. I never used to do the swimming as I needed an ear plug as my ear drum is perforated. I would go down and buy him 10 cigs and smoke one on the way back. He would never say anything about having only 9. He was called G Wilcox and he would never tell anyone his first name but I eventually found out – it was Granville There was also Mr Davis – English he had D shaped half glasses. I heard that he drove his car off a beach head a year or so after we left. It was not a great school looking backwards on reflection. Times were different- it was more of a job than a vocation. There were some good teachers as well as bad ones. It is a stressfull job and I take my hat off to all of them. Had some good times and made some friends at this school. If anyone remembers me and wants to get in touch please feel free to. It would be strange but a fun trip down memory lane. I have been over to the old school site a few times as I know someone who lives close to there still. It was strange, eerie and silent when walking around the place as there used to be 800 boys running about with lots of noise. Makes you feel old thinking back to teenage years.

    By Stephen Caulfield (18/05/2019)
  • The info is slightly wrong. If I remember it was Patcham Fawcett High School when all my brothers and I attended not just Patcham Fawcett School. I joined in either 1979/1980 to 1984/5. My oldest brother was five years older than me and I think that it was still a high school even when he was attending. But most definitely it had High in the name when I was there and on all the books and school reports that I received each year.
    The date of it changing to a high school is wrong I think.
    It amalgamated in to one school according to a family friend (Darrin Collins- passed away around 4 years ago under 50) who told me, as he was in the Fawcett School and moved to Patcham Fawcett High School. A lot of the kids moved to Patcham Fawcett High after what I was told was an explosion in the science room that closed the building. I never read this anywhere in papers etc so I’m not sure if it is right. He had said it was something to do with him. Not sure if true or trying to look big as he exaggerated and did not always tell the truth. That’s why the schools joined. It was in the last two years of being there that this happened. If anyone was at the Fawcett School and moved to Patcham High School at this time it would be fantastic to know if what I was told really happened to Fawcett. He used to call the old school Fawcett annex? He was around 2/3 years older than me. My memory is not great with dates that’s why I took French instead of History.

    By Stephen Caulfield (18/05/2019)
  • I look back with fondness when thinking about Fawcett but probably hated it at the time. I left in 1982. Teachers I remember are Mr Trussler, happy Jack Sandbrook, Mr Steer, Mr Carter and the devil incarnate headmaster and masochist Mr Gillard. I also remember Liz Jarvis and legendary gran Wilcox who you can both find together at the Horsdean allotment site every day. I Uued to walk to school with my cousin Shaun Gunn who sadly left us three years ago today. I also remember Tony Yeates, Lee Ancell, Sean Taylor, Mark Clowser and the Frimpongs. Happy days

    By Lee Woolven (20/06/2019)
  • I was in Brighton visiting relatives and wanted to find out more about our old school. it has been great to read all the comments and recognise names from the past. I was there from the start till Sept 69 then joined the RAF and moved away. I didn’t realise how bad the buildings were. I only discovered the school was gone when showing my Wife my old haunts on a visit south from Yorkshire where we now live. I am now retired and visiting my brother, Andy Self, who came to PF as I was leaving. I am now looking out across the valley at the site of the school from his lounge. I was a Self at the time before changing my name to Gunn when I married. Hello to all here that I knew.
    Regards

    By Steve Gunn (25/08/2019)
  • Is that the same Steve Self who lived in Hawkhurst Road on the corner of the lane that led into Selham Close? If it was we were schoolmates throughout most of our school career.

    By Richard J. Szypulski (30/08/2019)
  • Hi Richard.. the very same.. Yes we were along with Steve Mann I recall. Glad to see you are well. So strange to see and remember all the names in these posts from our era! Time usually makes the memory get foggy lol. Especially when people move away and move on. I am retired now and living in north east although I do get south sometimes to see my brother Andy. I never realised the school had so many problems but then I always had a hard time learning so was pre-occupied with trying to do well apart from break times when we would sometimes sneak under the water tower for a ciggy lol.
    Not sure if numbers or email allowed in these posts as I discovered this post by accident looking up the school to find out where it went after taking my wife up the road to see it a few years back and realising it was gone. Amazed at the pics, thanks to Derek for taking and posting. Would be nice to catch up a bit. No mobiles back in those days so easy to lose contact.
    regards

    By Steve Gunn (02/09/2019)
  • In 1966 a panoramic school photo was taken. The late Mrs. Edmiston had a copy. I wonder if anyone has a copy which could be shown here? I have reached retirement now and looking back with my memories!

    By Richard J. Szypulski (14/09/2019)

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