No masters in shot
I entered St Christopher’s in 1949 aged five and the photograph was taken the following summer. My father very astutely sent me to school on photo day with a white handkerchief in my top pocket so he could easily find me in the serried ranks of boys in the resulting photograph. So, there I am, easily spotted today in the front row; but who is that beside me with two big red bows in the plaits wrapped around the head? Yes, it’s Sarina Saunders. We ended up in the same class for my three years at the school. The school photo is unusual in that there are no masters in the picture. Were they all smoking in the staff room? Or were they standing behind the photographer, daring any of us to so much as twitch a muscle?
Unsupervised adventure outings
Somewhere in the photograph should be Peter Sexton who was my best friend at that time in my three years there. We shared many adventures, aged six, seven and eight, in Hove Park, still with air raid shelters in, the Three Cornered Copse and the old Dyke Railway ground where Hangleton Library now is. Often, it seems, our outings were without adult supervision in those innocent days. I can recall the school being lined up on the pavement of New Church Road to cheer Princess Elizabeth as she passed in a gleaming limousine in May 1951, following her visit to Brighton.
House colours for sports?
We had Sports Days at the school field in Glebe Villas. My P.E. shorts had a red ribbon stripe sewn down the sides. Was this my school house Howe colour, or was it just the school colour? I remember going to John Cobbold’s Gymnasium in the basement of 38 Holland Road, just round the corner from Palmeira Square. I never could spring up to the full size box or horse. I have a confused memory of going along the road to a big house/hotel for lunches, or was it just on one occasion?