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Memories of the 1940s and 1950s

I went to Queen’s Park Infants School from about 1948 to 1951. The entrance was in Freshfield Place. I recall my first teacher, a kind lady called Miss Bullman. I believe the Head may have been a Miss Goldring although a Miss Dearing rings a bell as well. There were two air raid shelters in the playground.

Most children, including me, went on to St Mary’s Voluntary Primary School in Mount St; although some did go to St Luke’s. Although Kemp Town had a run down reputation I was always happy there and enjoyed the school, apart from the first day when I cried. I remember that well.

I do recall outings to Mr Box’s at Hassocks which was a play area with woods. We used to go by Southdown coach which took ages struggling up Clayton Hill.

I used to buy sweets at a newsagents in Edward Street just around the corner from Park Street. His name was Mr Beal and he was the only one who would sell loose sweets for a farthing.

We lived in a flat in Hereford Street.

Queen's Park Infants School
From the private collection of Dennis Parrett
This photo is taken in the School playground.You may just see the brick of the air raid shelter at the rear of the right side.The children are as follows:Back row L to R: n/k, Alan Johnson, Philip Cook, n/k, David Housego. 2nd Row; Brian Evans,Christine Goble, Pauline Robinson, Margaret Ratcliffe, Beverley Jarvis, Judy Bolton, n/k, Brenda Taylor, Susan Baker, Joy Chapman, Bob Ducharme. 3rd Row: n/k, Pamela Warburton, Evelyn Hawkes, George Beard, Clive Boyle, Dennis Parrett, Norman Farrar, n/k, Paul Holcombe, John Marchant, Pat Brain, Veronica, Pamela Betts. Front Row: Barbara Paine, Marion Tipple, Margaret Holden, n/k, n/k, Audrey?, Betty Ball, n/k, Rita Marsh, Carol?, Frank Heath.
From the private collection of Dennis Parrett

Comments about this page

  • I was amazed to see my face on the web and to see all my school friends from so many years ago. It brought back wonderful memories.

    By Alan Johnson (02/06/2007)
  • I remember you Alan. I used to live in Hereford Street. I have also put some thoughts in the section relating to St Mary’s School if you are interested.

    By Dennis Parrett (05/06/2007)
  • I too went to Queens Park Infants from 1944-47. Miss Goldring was the head mistress and I remember a class helper who we called Auntie Joan. In the afternoons we had to lie on oval-shaped rafia mats, listen to soothing music and rest. My worst memories was the treacle pudding. It had thick skin on it and made me sick. I put it in my hankie and threw it through the boiler house window. Dennis – do you remember the resevoir at the top Lavender Street and the end of your road? We used to swim in it until a brick fell off the wall and cut my sister’s head open. My mum banned us after that.

    By Harry Atkins (05/11/2007)
  • Hi Harry. I have seen your name many times. Thank you for confirming the name of the Head. I think Miss Dearing was a class teacher; my first teacher there in about 1948 was a Miss Bullman who was really nice. I was never in the Nursery class. I do not recall the reservoir at all. I lived in Hereford Street from about 1947 to 1954 when we moved to Lower Bevendean and I went on to Varndean (the OV’s have a website). At the corner of Hereford and Lavender was a gas mantle factory called something like Fulks I think. There were ledges at the windows that one could climb on. We used to play marbles in the gutter. Opposite Hereford Street in Lavender were some garages with an alley through to Mount Street. At the top of Lavender Street between Mount Street and Lavender Street was waste ground where cars and vans parked. On the opposite side of Lavender was Coles the greengrocers and I recall old dark ginger beer bottles and Hooper Struves fizzy drinks, especially green lemonade. Mrs Cole could talk for England. I have put information under All Souls Church about me being in the choir; did you have any connection with anybody there? In Hereford Street there were a few of your vintage. I do recall the Bell family. David and Bob Bell were quite well known Brighton amateur boxers; they were a few years older than me. There was the Leach family who were fishermen. I have many happy memories of that time and Kemp Town and schools served me very well. Best wishes Harry.

    By Dennis Parrett (13/11/2007)
  • My ancestors lived at No.1 Hereford Street at the time that the 1861 Census was taken. Their surname is MOON. Father Richard aged 50 (Labourer), his wife Roseina aged 51 (Charwoman), son George aged 18 (Labourer), daughter Frances – my Great Great Grandmother – aged 17 (Shoe Binder), son Feargus aged 10. Gosh, didn’t they all have a hard life back then!

    By Nicola Hayek (04/03/2008)
  • I was at Queens Park Infants from about 1935 till I moved to St Mary’s in Mount Street in the normal way of things. I remember Miss Goldring whom I loved, also a wonderful woman called Mrs Mence (we all called her Mrs Mince of course). She used to call us “Chickie” and “Duckie” which was wonderfully comforting at that age and stayed as a beacon to me during my own teaching career.

    By Dorothy Green Nee Stevens (13/03/2008)
  • I too went to Queens Park Infants and then to St Lukes and on to Queens Park Seniors. I am amazed that, given the big Brighton families that went there, this is the first time I have seen it mentioned on this site.

    By Laine (22/03/2008)
  • I went to QueensParkInfantsSchool from the age of 3. I can remember being made to sleep in the afternoons; I hated it. I also remember taking a bunch of flowers to school to give to the headmistress on her last day. Her name was Ms Clutterbuck. I think Ms Goldring replaced her as head. I also recall a teacher named Ms Dival and a Ms Mosell.

    By Bob Dainty (02/08/2008)
  • Dennis, the person two along from you whose name you have forgotten, looks remarkably like Brian Southon who lived at 22 Park Street. I used to lodge at his parent’s house, and I am almost positive it’s him.

    By Barry Broomfield (23/03/2009)
  • My mum Marion Eileen Dabson, and my dad Reggie Laycock both went to Queen’s Park school from the mid 1930s. I’m sure they also went to Senior school there too. My dad lived in Park Street, then Tilstone Street; his ‘best mates’ were Brian Bonner and Frank Lewry. Anyone remember them?

    By Christina Mitchell (nee Laycock) (06/08/2009)
  • Browsing, I found this page. My cousin is Christine Goble second line.

    By P Howard (01/09/2009)
  • I suppose I was about five when I went to this lovely school. My favourite teacher was Miss Williams. Then there was Miss Macklen.The head was Miss Wallace. Once I arrived in tears for something or other. I said I had toothache and Miss W. wrote a card for the dentist. My toothache disappeared. Shame they knocked it down.

    By Maurice Packham (09/02/2010)
  • Maurice, I do not live in Brighton now but I thought the building was still there. According to the School website, its history can be traced back to 1827 and it is thought to be the second oldest school in Brighton and Hove still open as a school. The school has apparently served as a primary school, secondary school, first and middle school and is now a primary and nursery school. In 1980 the school celebrated its centenary. If you find the school website you can see some old pictures taken over the years. There is nothing to suggest it has been knocked down but you might be able to say more. St Mary’s Voluntary Primary School (where I went after Queens Park Infants) was demolished, do you mean that one?

    By Dennis Parrett (10/02/2010)
  • As you remark, Dennis, St. Mary’s Mount Street was knocked down. The head, Albert Gardener was a friend since infant days in Park Street and we went to the sane training college. Miss Smithers was a frail, religious person who went to St. Anne’s with her old mother. For tuppence a week I carried her case home to Bloomsbury Place. I lived, then, in Marine Terrace Mews, Bristol Road. It’s still there only rebuilt with new flats. At the end of the service at St. Anne’s she turned round and smiled. One day I committed some heinous crime which I don’t remember and she said “if the people at St. Anne’s knew what a wicked boy you are they wouldn’t come to church” Just me and my mum alone, then. Queen’s Park Infants was indeed a lovely school. The first teacher I had was Miss Ray. She gave me a sweet for telling a story to the class. Very good wishes Dennis. From Maurice.

    By Maurice Packam (03/03/2010)
  • Maurice thank you for that. I remember Mr Gardener coming to St Mary’s in about 1954. He was an excellent teacher and I still have my old scool reports from him. Have you looked at the section on St Mary’s? What happened to him?

    By Dennis Parrett (04/03/2010)
  • I go to Queen’s Park School now. I started the school in nursery. The school has really changed from the photos. In the dinner mall there is a trapped door in the floor- me and my class mates thinks it is an air raid shelter. My class and I are learning about World War 2 .

    By Becca (21/04/2010)
  • Well Becca I hope you are finding WW11 interesting. There were certainly at least two air raid shelters in the playground. One was to the left of the back row of children in the playground photo and one a little to the right of where the photographer must have been standing.There may have been a third. Usually they were outside the actual building. Perhaps your teacher or caretaker could tell you what the trapdoor leads to- perhaps a secret passage to a shelter. How exciting. I hope you enjoy the school as much as I did. It was a good place to be at.

    By Dennis Parrett (24/04/2010)
  • The memories came flooding back looking at the two pictures. When I went the school in 1961-63 we had the same wooden boxes on the tables to keep our writing and drawings in. Also the rain shelter in the playground brings back memories of the sports day; I remember selecting my beanbag from a big box under that shelter, before lining up for the beanbag throw. Those were happy days, like many pupils from the infants, I moved up to St Mary’s Primary then Queens Park Secondary schools.

    By Michael Brittain (11/07/2010)
  • I went to Queen’s Park Infants. I remember the air raid shelter – awful loos, a magicia. Seeing a V bomber fly high over us one day, sticky penny buns and the most lovely teachers. I think I even remember Christina (& Joy).

    By Susan Wellman (08/08/2010)
  • Susan Wellman (red curly hair?) – did you used to live up Freshfield Road and go to St Lukes juniors?

    By Christina (Tina) Mitchell nee Laycock (21/08/2010)
  • I went to Queens Park from about 1943. I too remember taking afternoon naps on floor mats in the main auditorium and just like Bob Dainty said, I did not like taking them. Does anyone remember wearing gas masks while doing drill in the air raid shelters in the playground? I remember we had to leave our classroom and walk briskly to the playground where the teacher would blow a whistle and we proceeded down to the shelter and all sat in a line. I remember calling my mask a “mickey mouse mask”.

    By Gwen Healy (27/07/2011)
  • Hi to Harry Atkins and Bob Dainty, e-mail me at Let’s try to find others from our classes in school. All must be seventy years old by now, but plenty of us are still with it and computer savvy. Nice to catch up on old times. I also have a blog if you are interested with lots of family photos – e-mail me for details.

    By Gwen Healy (04/09/2011)
  • Hi my name is Bob I went to Queen’s Park school from 1950 to1951/2 before being moved to Whitehawk. I can remember having an afternoon sleep in a cot bed at this school but not at Whitehawk. The class room over looked the playground as I remember. I also remember there were some nice teachers at this school but not at Whitehawk. I did run away from Whitehawk School at the age of five because I did not like the school and the teachers. I made my way from Whitehawk over the race hill down Elm Grove to Lewes Road where my grand parants lived. No one at Whitehawk missed me all day until my mother came to pick me up at the end of the school day.

    By R H Scott-Spencer (18/02/2012)
  • What wonderful memories from this site and I remember so many faces and names from the school playground photo and I remember Miss Goldring so well, what a lovely lady she was but I did hate those afternoon naps we had to have in the nursery class! I went on to St. Mary’s in Mount Street where they had a wonderful headmaster, Mr. Cooper and in fact when he passed on a good few years ago, he had flowers sent from all over the world from ex pupils. I then went on to Westlain but couldn’t wait to leave school and go out in to the big wide world and in fact have lived in Australia for the past 45 years but have never forgotten those early, happy days so as they say “Thanks for the memory”.

    By Pam Malekin (nee warburton) (28/03/2012)
  • I went to Queens Park Nursery school and infants. My 5th birthday was in May 1943. There was an air raid over Brighton. Do not remember many children from that time except my cousin Sheila. I do remember the gas masks, the smelly shelters, the canvas cots for nap time and the mug of milk every morning. I went from there to Finsbury Road.

    By Iris Gilman (29/03/2012)
  • Does any one know, while attending Queens Park Infants around 1937 to 1944, my mother Joyce Emery and her family? My mother’s mum was Lottie, my mother had 3 sisters who were older than her: Charlotte who took the name Joan, Mary Ann and Grace also known as Amelia; and brothers Bill, Charles and John Emery. They lived in Leicester Street and Upper Park Crescent. I would love to hear from anyone who may have known them.

    By Maria Seabourne (16/11/2012)
  • How wonderful to see these photos of QP Infants. I started at this school in 1959. My first class teacher was Ms Gillingham, then Ms Bullman. Was there also a Ms Osbourne? The head was Ms Goldring (secretary Ms Crockett?). I recall the annual sports day including a dressing-up race. I left QP in 1961, when my family were moved to Whitehawk (we’d lived in Somerset Street). I’m very glad I started out at QP. Whitehawk Infants was huge and bewildering by comparison.

    By Gill Wales (17/11/2012)
  • Just seen this and I am shocked to see my old school chums. I am sitting next to Norman Farrar shown as n/k in photo, remember a lot of them in photo and was the other day talking to George Beard’s brother Stan. Clive Boyle lived around the corner from me and John Marchant lived along Colbrooke Rd, close to a wood yard. Great times.

    By Tony Dearing (24/04/2013)
  • Went to Queens Park in the 40/50s. Name was Guidi then. I lived over dad’s shop in Edward St, anyone remember me?

    By Jean Martyn (11/06/2014)
  • Sorry it was about 1955. I was there, silly me.

    By Jean Martyn (11/06/2014)
  • I was there from 1951 to around 1955, before going to St Mary’s. The head teacher was Mrs Goldring and there was a Mrs Hoyle who had a son John who went there as well. We did used to have a sleep in the afternoon, supervised by a lovely lady called Sister Mary.

    By John Sims (30/03/2015)
  • I went to the school from 1947 (I remember walking in deep snow in the playground in that bad winter) to around 1951. I then went on to St Mary’s, being in the same year as Dennis Parret. We were the only two boys who then went on to Varndean. At the time I lived on St. George’s Road, #13, which was my grandmother’s grocery store. Good times – although I hated it when we had to drink the morning milk.

    By Robert Ducharme (21/05/2015)
  • Hello Robert, this is your second cousin here! Your mother Lorna and my late father Denis Hammond were first cousins. I was at Varndean with your sister Elaine (although she was a few years older than me). I’ve been in touch with your son Nick regarding our family tree and have managed to go quite a long way back in our ancestry. Take care.

    By Janet Beal (23/05/2015)
  • Yes I hated the milk but managed to dispose of it usually. QP and St Mary’s were good schools. Although we were the only two boys to go to Varndean then, a guy called Watson went to Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar School. There were also several girls who went to Varndean Girls or eventually the new Grammar School Westlaine. It was a good result for such small schools. That is not to say that Grammar Schools were good for everyone but the system still exists in Kent. Our grandchildren did not take the 11+.

    I used to watch Brighton at the Goldstone Ground with Edgar Hughes (from the year above) and for some reason we were amazed to see Josephine Todd (who went to Varndean) there with her father.

    By Dennis Parrett (25/05/2015)
  • I went to St Mary’s VP School in Mount Street in 1966 and was only there for one year. Mr Gardner was our teacher and Mr Owen was the head. I had a best friend Angela who lived in Burlington Street. I lived at the Kingsbrook Hotel which my parents owned on Marine Parade. I remember Josephine Campbell, Tina Brown and Theresa Green. There was also David Lowrie, Kenneth Marsh and Martin Beaumont.

    By Beverley Munton (22/10/2015)
  • Hi, I went to Queen’s Park infants between 1956 and 1960 and my name back then was Janet Seabourne. I lived at 8 Park Street. Does anyone remember me back then? We moved to Whitehawk after then.

    By Janet Chapman (18/01/2016)
  • My parents, David Teale and Doris Steadman, were at Queens Park Seniors from 1948 to 1951. If you remember them and you would like to get in touch with them please email me, their son, at

    Many thanks.

    By Simon Teale (10/09/2019)
  • Lovely to come across this page! I only went to Harvest Road Infants for a short time 1953/54! I lived in Salisbury Court, Harvest road before moving to Aldermaston Berks. Remember Tony Cook and Philip not sure of his surname but was born on same day as me 23rd March 1949. Remember my first day walking about with my name on a large sheet of paper on sting round my neck!!

    By Christina Anderson ( now Bambury) (11/04/2020)
  • Having lived in B&H for 70 years, I have never come across ‘Harvest Rd’ [above]! Where is it, please?

    By Dr Geoffrey Mead (12/04/2020)
  • Does anyone remember Colin Pattenden? he went to Queens Park around 1944. I am trying to find a picture of Dad as a child, as my family have none at all, until he met my mum.
    He lived in Jersey street.

    By Jeannie Gardner (06/12/2020)

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