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The final days

I took these pictures in the last days of the school upon demolition. You can make out most of the buildings, except C-Block which had already gone.

Click on the images to open a large version in a new window.

View of Patcham Fawcett from Ladies Mile Road
Photo by David West
The interior of the pool (amalgamated images)
Photo by David West
View from H Block (Hall already demolished)
Photo by David West
Rear of H Block, gym and iconic water tower in shot
Photo by David West
Admin block and view of S block accross courtyard (from where C Block stood)
Photo by David West
Panorama of the school plot from the entrance on Ladies Mile Road
Photo by David West

Comments about this page

  • Mr ‘Pete’ Holland died on 14/2/13. Six months earlier he was in hospital where I work. We had a many a talk about the old school. One thing we agreed on was that it was a waste to demolish the swimming pool and gym. Both would have made a good community asset!

    By Ri (24/02/2013)
  • Very sad to hear about Mr Holland passing away. He was a smashing bloke, but you never messed around in his class. RIP Pete and your flying Blackboard Rubber 😉

    By Andy Mountford (25/02/2013)
  • Pete Holland was one of the best teachers at Fawcett. He was a good biology teacher and sports teacher. He always made you try and did not give up on anyone.

    By Jim Watson (23/06/2013)
  • Thank you David for these photos. Whenever I revisit Brighton to see my daughter I often drive past the housing that now occupies this site and remember my days at Fawcett. To be honest, most of them were not great days, however I do have some fond memories – completing a 24 hour volleyball game for charity in ’78 or ’79, awful French language taught by Mrs Branwood, in whose lessons I would always misbehave, (who I met again about 10 years after leaving Fawcett and she was such a sweet lady – did I feel guilty!), swimming lessons in the pool (it looks a lot smaller than I remember) and sliding down the hand-rails between the top and bottom courtyards. I need to get my thinking-head on now to remember some of the teachers names. Who was the tutor who we all called ‘the puppet’ because of the way he talked?

    By barry (29/06/2013)
  • Those buildings were up for less than 30 years. What an absolute waste of money!

    By Janet Beal (30/06/2013)
  • Jez Bolton was the one they called ‘the puppet’; my brother, Colin Bodle (1970-75) remembers him well as one of his form teachers. Shame about Pere Holland he was my form teacher for a term when I was there 1974-79 along with Mr Ashdown, science, Mr Lloyd, maths and Des Moore, English.

    By Malcolm Bodle (21/09/2013)
  • It’s nice to see the old place in rubble. Except for one or two good teachers, and my friends, my whole time there was a dread-filled horror. I would rue the saying: the best years of your life are your school years – thinking that nothing could be worse that this! 

    By Chaz Wyman (09/02/2014)
  • I agree with Chaz. It was a dreadful place.  I was there from 75 to 78 and I hated every minute. Nothing but bad memories for me and I am glad to see the place gone

    By Andy Mountford (20/02/2014)
  • Can understand that some hated the place but I loved it. Was there on the first day in 1965 and to me it will always be remembered with happy memories.

    By Barry Lindfield (18/09/2014)
  • Living almost on site. Some names I remember from 1971-76: Mr Hodder Head. Mr A Parker deputy head. Mr W Rex, maths. Mr C Ashdown science. Mr P Holland biology. Mr W Walker. Mrs Branwood french. Mr Richards music. Mr Seddon woodwork. Mr Sambrook woodwork. Mr Pollet, art. Mr Mitchell pottery. Mr Trustler metalwork. Mr M Packham history. Mr D Taylor technical drawing. Mr D Moore R.E. Mr Griffiths ? Mr Kenwick? Mr Wallington geography. Mr R Dyer. Mr C Cook, maths. Mr F Ingham maths. Mr A White (Bert) maths. Mrs Holkham typing. Mr G Wilcox. Mr G Scheveren. Mr A Diffy gym/games/ swimming, and Mr Walters woodwork. Mr Treagear also taught my 3 children.

    By A Potter (19/10/2014)
  • I found out today that Geoff Schaverien died three years back. Gutted.  He was one of the teachers that took us on a school ski trip to France back in 77. He was such a lovely guy.  Died of pancreatic cancer in 2012 aged 64.  Apologies if already posted.

    By Andy Mountford (18/11/2015)
  • Sad to see the place demolished. I spent a lot of time in that pool between 1965-70. It was a huge asset to the school and we had a lot of fun. I did all my Life Saving exams there and for the only time in my life played water polo. Jack Grass came down from Burwash to teach us how to canoe but  if I remember rightly I was the only one keen enough to learn how to roll a canoe. No doubt there was a lot of mucking about as well!!

    By Bevis Eyre (02/09/2018)
  • I didn’t realise they had an indoor swimming pool; not many schools had that.


    By Philip Wood (08/10/2018)
  • I realised that Pete had died, he sort of gave up a bit after the death of his daughter. He was an amazing teacher and a mentor to me. I cannot express how his loss has affected me. He was a legend in teaching.

    By steve (27/05/2019)
  • I’m in the ‘hated it’ camp. It was a depressing, wind-swept place, miles from anywhere. The featureless architectural design and poor construction, meant even in the 70s – a little over 10 years after it was built – it looked tatty and was badly in need of repair. Prisons have been built with greater consideration for the people who are housed in them than this Godforsaken pile. Glad to see it has been erased from the map. I do have a question though, was it demolished purely for economics ie housing land? Or did it have a problem?

    By Jon (03/01/2020)
  • I’m with you there John, it was a horrible place. Miserable little gloom pit, most of the rooms never got any decent light and it loomed over the hill like some sort of prison. It was so badly built, I don’t suppose it would have been much use for anything else afterwards.

    By Paul Stapleton (23/05/2020)
  • Utterly hated every minute of that school. Those who say they loved it are probably the bullies that took their insecurities out on others just to make up for what they lacked mentally and physically (and probably still do). There was the occasional teacher of note, Maurice Packam springs to mind, but many had their authority undermined by their colleagues. An example of this being the sport teacher taking a pupil out of class detention “because they have a match to play” whilst the rest of us were kept behind, and the detaining teacher just letting it happen.

    By Dave (08/12/2020)
  • Yes, Mr Treagear was he nicked named spit? I seem to remember. most of my days were filled with horror but there were some great teachers Mr Holland was one I remember.

    By stuart (26/01/2021)
  • The school was built for the baby boom of the 50s with a 30 year life span , simple as it was its original population was for 600 pupils not the 900 plus it became. I was there from day one after York, place a breath of fresh air in more ways than one .I am still surprised of some of the comments on how good some certain of the teachers were . Let me remind and tell many of those post corporal punishment days were 2nd class teachers , many ex service men after leaving the services did a 6 months teachers course , bringing very poor standards to what was the beginning of the comprehensive education system .Having conversations with pupils post corporal punishment days it would seem some of the teachers changed for the good , I find this the only explanation for the compliments paid to them on this site!

    By John Tulloch (07/03/2021)
  • In 1966 a panoramic school photo was taken. I wonder if anyone has a copy? If they have perhaps they can put it on this site!

    By Richard Szypulski (23/08/2021)
  • I went to Patcham Infants / Juniors and 2 years of Seniors from 1943, When was that demolished and Fawcett Built?

    By John Snelling (18/09/2021)
  • Patcham Fawcett school opened in 1965. The girls from Margaret Hardy and Patcham merged about three years later when the Patcham school was extended. Patcham school, now known as Patcham High still stands!

    By Richard J. Szypulski (27/09/2021)
  • Going To Fawcett in 1972. It wasn’t the best school but it was better than most today. Ok we had corporal punishment but at least we learnt to behave and get on with it. Unlike the bunch of soft bellied kids we have today. I still remember when most of the 5th grade “Bunked off” on a summer afternoon and we were all lined up to get caned on the Stage.
    Good Memories probably because the bad ones get lost in time.

    By Roger Hughes (01/05/2022)
  • Anyone out there got Bevis Eyres contact details ? The lads from the football team are having a get together in the summer.
    Haven’t seen you for a while Richard Szypulski, can you forward your details too?
    A few of us were from the first years when the school opened! Mornings only for 6 weeks, then afternoons only for 6 weeks, great !!!
    School wasn’t finished.
    Hope all old pals well.

    By Alan Pook (27/01/2023)
  • Alan,

    I hope you are well. What sort of a get together are you planning?

    By Richard J. Szypulski (31/01/2023)
  • I was born in April 1938, so must have started in Patcham Infants c 1943. I recall the infant’s haedmistress was a Miss Honysett and the infants was at The Ladies Mile Road end just above the Library. I can’t recall the head of the Juniors when I was there after the war. I then went up to the seniors having failed the 11 plus. I retook that later and passed going to the Brighton Junior Tech housed in a Brighton “slum” area known as Hanover Terrace. The next 3 years were a total waste of time. I enjoyed most of Patcham seniors and hated the “Junior Tech where those that had passed the 13 plus never got out of the X stream at the Junior Tech to boot was the cost of 2 trolley bus rides (4 to get there and back). The Head – a Mr Downing was a weak man. The PE teacher was a sadist who had joined straight from the Navy. We did PE in bare feet!!!

    By John C Snelling (03/08/2023)

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