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Infants Class photograph 1956

Rottingdean Infants School 1955
From the private collection of Andy Sloggett

Click on the image to open a large version in a new window. Click again to further enlarge.

Back row L-R: Andrew Carter, Vincent Busk, David Harris, Peter Harrow,  David Sutton, Andrew Sloggett (me), Neil Haywood, Robin Taylor, Philip Wady, John Downer, David Howes, Graham Openshaw, Roger Moores.

Middle row L-R:  Lesley Revel, Jean Fearnes, Noreen Dudeney, Jennifer Wilson, Barbara Phibbs, Linda Holmwood, Sarah Donald, Sharon Westlake,  Nicole Bacher, Carol Collier, Linda Turner, Elizabeth Olten, Jill Bowden.

Front row L-R: Howard Leathleen peering around Andrew Grant, Steven ?,  Terry Ashdown, John Denby, Peter Coombes, Timothy Shadbolt, Valerie Price, Linda Evans, Elizabeth Blaine, Andrew Guppy, Philip Sidney,  character peering around from the side – unknown, Christopher Sherin.
With thanks to Phillip Sidney whose mother wrote all the names on the back of the photograph.

Second year

The class photographed here is the 1955 school intake cohort, just starting their second year of school. It was a very happy school with Miss Wanda taking the junior class. She was Polish, and after leaving the school went to work with Eskimo communities in Greenland or Newfoundland. Mrs Newton (pictured) was in charge of the senior class.  Both were very nice, as was the headmistress Miss Reeve, who later became headmistress at a Saltdean school. As for us children, after leaving this school, we nearly all went to Rottingdean Junior School in Whiteways Lane, headed by the ferocious Mr Darlow.

Rottingdean Infants was a very happy start to our school lives. Most of us learnt to read there. 

A very basic building

The school was basic but none of us minded that.The outside toilets were primitive. The main classroom was heated by a central stove, with fireguards around it. Two classes were taught in that large room – one at each end. On cold days we huddled around the stove.  We shrieked and laughed and fell over and skinned our knees playing cowboys in the playground – at least the boys did – we didn’t allow girls to join in. What the girls played I have no idea, but a fair amount of skipping went on. We walked in a crocodile down the High Street, past Cruse’s Stores, to the Village Hall for our lunch.

Do you remember?

Do you recognise yourself or someone else here? Did you attend Rottingdean Infants School? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • What an interesting photo, Andrew. It’s great to see boys like Andrew Carter and John Denby (both sadly deceased), Peter Harrow and Robin Taylor, who were all known to me later at Brighton Hove & Sussex Grammar School, like yourself. The name Graham Openshaw seems to ring a bell. Was he also a BH&S Grammarian?
    I believe this school was pictured in the background of the “mystery photo”, posted on this site in June 2012, the main subject being the Brown Teapot cafe (in Nevill Road, Rottingdean) – see here.

    By Alan Hobden (26/04/2014)
  • Yes, Graham Openshaw did go to BH&S. If I remember correctly he lived in a police house in Beacon Hill in Ovingdean. I think he had a brother. I also went to Rottingdean Infants as did my sister Elizabeth, and Miss Wanda was also my teacher at some stage. I still see Dave Sutton regularly as we are both involved in the British Legion at Rottingdean.

    By Ian Smith (27/04/2014)
  • Thanks Ian.  The sign in the background appears to be for C Moppett, House Remover, whose business was at No 18 Nevill Road on the western side of the school. I wonder if any ex-pupils remember this?

    By Alan Hobden (28/04/2014)
  • My grandmother’s sister on my mum’s side was married to Alf Moppett who in turn was related to the removal company owners. When I was 11 I went to summer camp with the 15th Brighton Scouts, based in Kemp Town and Moppetts took most of the equipment and a number of boys as well in the back of the removal van. Would not pass health and safety regulations these days!

    Did you live in Woodingdean at one stage Alan?

    By Ian Smith (15/05/2014)
  • I went to this school, travelling every day from Cliff Road, Roedean on the number 7 bus, not bad for a six year old.  I remember Andrew Grant as he lived close to me in Rifle Butt Road. I had moved up to Mr. Darlows, Whiteways Lane, just before Coronation Day June 2nd 1953. I have still got the prayer book and beaker that was presented to all of us by the headmaster. I am suspicious that this picture might have been taken earlier than stated as Andrew was in my class later on. He was also at the Xaverian College in 1962 when I was there for a short time before going to Brighton Technical College.

    By Julian Saul (26/02/2015)
  • Sorry Ian. I have only just seen your question from 16/05/2014. No, I have never lived in Woodingdean.

    Andy, I didn’t notice Howard Leathleen earlier on, but of course he was yet another BH&SGS pupil. I make that seven boys who came from this Class of 1955. Were there any others?

    By Alan Hobden (04/03/2016)
  • I’ve only just discovered this and it has certainly brought back a few memories. Lots of familiar names that I also knew at BH&SGS – Ian Smith (hi Ian), Andy Sloggett, Pete Harrow (lived just up the road from me), Robin Taylor (still in touch) and Andy Carter. Noreen Dudeney lived over the road from me and I was great friends with Graham Openshaw (yes he did live in the police house in Beacon Hill in Ovingdean) who I think is now living in the USA. I’m sure I’ve got another school photo from this era, which I’ll try to dig out.

    By Chris Dawson (01/11/2016)
  • … I was also at both Rottingdean Infant and Junior schools in the 50’s. Strange thing about Graham Openshaw. I went through most of my schooling with him and knew him very well for years and saw him on a daily basis. I discovered he has been living in the US for a number of years, as have I, so I sent him an email a while ago. He oddly claimed to have virtually no memory of me or his time at school in Rottingdean. He had a younger brother Ralph and his father was in the Brighton Police. I remember them all well and went to their house in Ovingdean more than once…

    By Richard Wheeler (26/11/2016)
  • A great set of comments.  I remember the photo being taken very well – by a professional photographer with a tripod camera with a black cloth at the back.  The quality of the photo is a tribute to his skill. Although I have a copy of the photo, credit must go to Philip Sidney’s mum who wrote the names of all present on the back of his copy.  Many of the names I can vouch for as correct but I must admit that the one face I’m not sure is correct is that of Graham Openshaw (back row, 2nd from right).  I don’t remember him looking like this and the other photo on this web page, from Chris Dawson, also has Graham pictured.  However I think the other picture is correct and this one is doubtful.  I knew Graham fairly well and I remember him as being in the year lower than me – he did indeed go on to BHS Grammar and amazingly enough he was in the year behind me there as well. The other picture has a number of names I remember, including Chris Dawson, Andrew Henbest, Simon Spalding (sadly deceased as a teenager), and all were a year behind me – so Graham fits well with that photo and not with this photo. Graham’s dad was indeed in the police and rose quite high – in the late 50s or early 60s they were no longer in police accommodation but in a very nice detached house in Gorham Avenue Rottingdean, just down the road from our house.

    By Andy Sloggett (24/09/2017)
  • This picture is much earlier than 1955, if Andrew Grant is in the front row, because he is roughly the same age as me and by this date he was in my class at Mr. Darlow’s Junior School.

    By Julian Saul (01/11/2018)
  • Andrew Sloggett did you have a sister called Hilary?

    By Paul Craig (13/12/2023)

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