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Mr Darby's class 1954

Mr Darby's class 1954: click on the photograph to open a large version in a new window.
From the private collection of Tom Paul

This group of twenty-seven children in the playground of St Joseph’s school were Mr Darby’s class of 1954.

Do you recognise yourself – or anyone else. Can you share your memories of this time with us?

If you can help, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • Hi Tom, me again! I’ve been rummaging around in my mind and I’ve come up with a few names for your latest photo. Back row:Tom Paul (at least I hope it’s you!). ?. Patrick Holingdale.?????. David Tarrant. ????? Front row: Mary McKeever (?).???. Carole Dickinson. Mary Gillon(?). Teresa Scott. Josephine Walsh. Brenda Mustard. Mary Byrne (?). Eileen Parkinson. ??. Sorry it’s not more but I did leave the school in 1953! Regards Kathy

    By Kathy Nichols (21/03/2012)
  • Hi Kathy. I can do better than you on this one. Yes, that is me on end of back row. So back row is Tom Paul, ?, Patrick Hollingdale, Harry Sargent, John Clarke, Raymond Cooke, Patrick Scrace, ?, David Tarrant, Robert Gillespie, Hugh Stubbs, Michael McKenna, Douglas Hodson, Sydney Tilling. Front row Mary McKeever, ?, ?, Rosemary King, Carol Dickinson, Mary Gillon, Teresa Scott, Josephine Walsh, Brenda Mustard, Mary Byrne, Eileen Parkinson, ?, Veronica Hitchins. I wish I could remember the remainder. We need to get a few more brains on this one. Are you in contact with any other ex St Joseph’s little angels? Unfortunately, I have lost contact with all those I knew so you will have to be my only friend from those days! Regards. Tom.

    By Tom Paul (21/03/2012)
  • In 1954 I went to Fitzherbert school in Woodingdean when it was known as St. John Baptist. It was the first year of SJB at Woodingdean. As a senior school other kids joined from different junior schools including St. Josephs. In this photo I straight away recognised Patrick Hollingdale as he was later to be in my class through Fitzherbert. In another part of this website I put forward a photo “class 3a Fitzherbert” where Patrick is sitting on the far right in the front row. What a small world. Thanks to Tom Paul and also to Kathy Nichols for adding another little snippet to our childhood puzzle. Mike Peirson

    By Mick Peirson (23/03/2012)
  • Hi Tom. Unfortunately I am not in contact with any of the other little darlings so it looks like it’s you and me against the world, which is fine by me! Looking at your updated list of names I was ashamed to see several that I should have known…Robert Gillespie, Hugh Stubbs and Veronica Hitchings. And how could I have missed Rosemary King? She was one of my best friends and I often used to go to her house in Woodingdean for tea. My ‘very best friend’ was Evelyn Tierney. I have found some more photos to upload – if I can remember how! I liked your tale about discovering girls but I can beat you in the timescale of things. My first boyfriend was Gerald Murphy, I was all of 5 years old. I thought we went around together for about two years but it probably wasn’t as long as that. Do you remember the magic lantern shows after school in the downstairs classroom that doubled as the dining room? Maybe it was before your time. Anyway, Gerald and I used to sit together with our arms entwined in the dark….ah bless. I don’t remember any kissing though! He left the school when we were about seven or eight and I never heard any more about him until I read in the Evening Argus that he had been killed on his motorbike at 17. More reminisces later. Don’t forget to look for my other photos. Regards Kathy

    By Kathy Nichols (23/03/2012)
  • Hi Kathy. So it’s you and me against the world which is fine by me also. I remember Evelyn Tierney who lived in May Road at the top of Elm Grove. We often used to catch the No.44 bus together, her to the top of Elm Grove and me to Manor Farm. I was surprised by your disclosure about you and Gerald Murphy, never realised you were so forward!! I came across your entry in Friends Reunited and you mentioned Valerie Allen. Is this the same Valerie whose name was Hope? Another name that came back to me was Audrey Walker. I remember her because she represented the school in a swimming tournament at North Road baths. You mentioned your other photos but the only ones I’ve seen are those currently on this site. Are there any more? I still have a couple more to publish. Regards. Tom

    By Tom Paul (24/03/2012)
  • My thanks to Tom Paul for putting me right about the lad that is seventh from the left in the back row. I studied the photo this morning and I realised that the lad is Pat Scrace. Later on in the day Tom left a message that confirmed this. Pat Scrase lived in Coldean when I knew him and attended Fitzherbert. He was a scream when we were in Mr. Liddel’s class 5 at the school. I had to hide my head behind the lid of the desk and just fall about at something he had said. He was a desk down from me and to the left so I could not miss what he was up to. Really lovely days. The last time that I saw him was on Brighton seafront about a year after we left school and I think that he was going into the RAF. Mike Peirson

    By Mick Peirson (24/03/2012)
  • Hi Tom. I wasn’t really a forward hussey and after that romance finished there wasn’t anyone else until I left school forever. I was quite shy really! At least I wasn’t playing kiss chase like some! I too have come across you on Friends Reunited – wonderful thing the internet! The Valerie Allen I refer to was my friend when I went to senior school, but because I’ve got two other schools on there (Margaret Hardy and Westlain Grammar) my profile appears on all of them and I can’t seem to put it right. Yes I remember Audrey, I think she lived in the the Islingwood Road area. I’ve been wondering why I never got on the 44 bus with you and Evelyn. I know my mum used to walk down to meet me me twice a day and we’d walk back up the hill but I can’t believe she was still doing that when I was 10 or 11. We lived in Totland Road so it was quite a climb. I don’t know how many of my photos you’ve seen, perhaps you could count them and I’ll see if you’ve missed any. They don’t always seem easy to find. I’ve got two more pending so they should be published soon. I’ve got a lovely one of the congregation coming out of church when the Fransican monks visited us. It’s got several people you know including me (with Fr Philip!) and Josie Walsh! I’ll put that on next. A correction: the pilgrimage we went on wasn’t to Aylesbury, it was Aylesford, Kent. I Googled St Simon to check! Best regards Kathy.

    By Kathy Nichols (26/03/2012)
  • Hi Kathy. I obviously had the wrong image of you all these years! I must stress that I only played kiss chase under duress, so as not to dissappoint the girls! I remember you living in Totland Road and often saw you walking up Elm Grove when I was on the bus. I’ve seen 6 of your photos which are, The May Queen 1949, Crowning the Virgin Mary, Procession out of the church, Sports day 1951/52, The cast of the school play 1949 and 1st Communion 1949. Were there any more? I’ve been on Friends reunited for years but only came across you quite recently. I’m also on facebook including a picture of me with one of our dogs, if you would like a laugh! Regards. Tom

    By Tom Paul (26/03/2012)
  • Hi Tom. Yes I think you have seen all the photos so far. I’ve now got three pending publication. I’m glad you felt you couldn’t disappoint the girls all those years ago! Fancy you remembering where I lived! Your memory is quite amazing. I can’t find you on Facebook. I’m on it, but I don’t do much with it. I would love to see your picture (promise I won’t laugh) and would even be your friend if you ask me to. I’m also on Twitter but I’ve only used it to send congratulations and good luck to Matthew Wolfenden on ‘Dancing On Ice’. It’s quite entertaining seeing what other people have to say though. Best regards Kathy.

    By Kathy Nichols (27/03/2012)
  • Hi Tom, can’t help you on this one very much, you seem to have identified everyone that I recognise except that the boy second from right is not my old mate Dougie Hodson, it’s his brother Paul. The big lad next to Patrick Scrase looks so familiar but I can’t dig up his name. I along with half a dozen others joined this class in January 1954 and as none of those pupils feature in the above photograph I would guess that your photo was probably taken in 1953.

    By Anthony Daly (02/06/2012)
  • Hello Anthony You are right about Paul Hodson. I always get the two brothers muddled.The guy standing next to Patrick Scrase was called Palmer but I don’t recall his christian name.

    By Tom Paul (05/06/2012)
  • Hello Tom and Kathy, it’s so lovely to make contact with you both. I was Evelyn Tierney and am now Eve Miller. It has been lovely to hear about the old days and it has raised a lot of memories. 

    By Eve Miller (28/11/2016)
  • Well, well, well. Fancy finding little Evelyn Tierney here. You lived at the top of Elm Grove, May Road if my memory serves me correctly. I often used to travel on the same bus as you – the 3, 43A or 44, you to the top of Elm Grove, me to Manor Farm.

    By Thomas Paul (03/12/2016)
  • Hello Eve, I remember we were inseparable during our years at St Josephs. I still think of you on your birthday May 2nd.

    By Kathy Nichols (05/12/2016)

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