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School Photos 1949

Does anybody recognise themselves in these two pictures?

The first is of the cast of the school play, Easter 1949. I don’t remember what the play was but I am sixth from the left. Other names I can place are: Joseph Storrow, Robert(?) Hicks, Gerald Murphy, Peter Coomber, Evelyn Tierney, Maureen Grout, Vincent Brown, Michael Hellett and Valerie Hope.

The second one is “Our First Communion June 1949” – I am second on the left, next to my best friend Evelyn Tierney. Didn’t we all look angelic! If anyone out there remembers me, I was Kathleen Read.

The cast of the school play 1949
From the private collection of Kathy Nichols
First Communion 1949
From the private collection of Kathy Nichols

Comments about this page

  • I do not know the the age of the children in the photo, but if they were all born about 1941, it is quite possible I was in the same class at Varndean with the Peter Coomber you mention. Peter was the class clown, but unfortunately he died soon after completing his education. Incidentally, well over a decade ago I wrote the history of the old school. Did you know much of the initial finance in the 1870s came from the sale of shares in the Suez Canal? These were donated by the widow of a man who was killed when his horse shied in St James Street.

    By Roy Grant (27/07/2008)
  • I was born in May 1942 and I seem to remember that some of my classmates were older than me so that would make them born in 1941. You are right about Peter Coomber. I can’t remember how he died but I believe it was a tragic accident. Gerald Murphy also died at a young age.I didn’t know about the finance for the school so that was interesting. Is that where the original name of the school – St Joseph’s Voluntary Primary School came from?

    By Kathy Nichols (29/07/2008)
  • Hi Kathy, sorry, I don’t remember you but my sister Elizabeth (Lily) is in the first communion photo. I went to St. Joseph’s from 1948 to 1955. Teachers I remember are Miss Larna, Miss Beard, Mr Holland and Mr Darby. Miss Clark was the headmistress. Miss Clark was very strict. There were two sisters who lived on Lewes Road, next door to the Gaiety Cinema, where the petrol station is now. They were both off school sick and as I passed their house on my way home I was told to take their milk to them. I forgot the milk and for my pains I got two whacks of that black ebony ruler Miss Clark owned. I once fell over in our playground (Milton Road) and cut my knee badly (still have the scars) and Miss Beard had to take me to the General, or the Municipal as it was then. When I came back from the hospital I got an almighty telling off. No sympathy, just a good telling off from Miss Clark because I wouldn’t be able to play for the football team and had let my team mates down. Up until the last year I was at St. Joe’s, I don’t think there had been a football team, certainly not when I was there anyway. Mr Darby organised a team with the help of Mr Tarrant, Richard and David’s dad, he was a very nice man and had played football in Ireland; he also managed Worthing Football Club I believe. Another helper was Mr Hodson, Dougie’s dad, he used to tie my boots nice and tight before each match. Team members I remember were Richard Tarrant, Douglas Hodson and David Cheverton. Mr Patterson was the caretaker and his wife was one of the dinner ladies, she was a lovely lady, always gave me second helping of pudding. I think they were Mary and John Clark’s grandparents. I remember that funny little man who used to deliver letters to the school riding a motor bike and sidecar. I was page boy to the May Queen, Mary Storrow, in 1950 and have a photo of that occassion. I also have a photo of Mr Darby’s class taken in 1954.

    By Anthony Daly (03/09/2008)
  • I went to this school from 1971 to 1973, loved it. I remember a teacher called Mrs Macullta, she wore bright red lipstick. I was Bridget Dowds.

    By Bridget (17/12/2008)
  • Anthony, I think that the “sick sisters” you mentioned were mine! We lived at 98a Lewes Road, just where the petrol station is now. All my sisters went to St. Joseph’s, the older ones at Milton Road, and myself and one other to Hollingdean. My sisters were Jaqueline (Bobbie) Burns, Carol Burns, Geneva (Neva) Burns and Stephanie Burns. Given the year mentioned, I would think it was Bobbie and Carol who were sick! I was the youngest, and had to start school at the age of four, as I kept waking up Dad, who did nights! Miss Clark was always very nice to me, maybe because I was so young. Sister Carmel was my reception teacher, then Mrs Beard, then Madame Arzonie, followed by Mrs Parks, then Sister Margaret Mary, and finally Mr Beech. After Miss Clark retired, Mr Harris was Head; he drove me to my house after I fell and cut my forehead open on the entrance step. Then it was Mr Davies.

    By Penny Hajduk (06/01/2009)
  • I started at the school in 1965 after moving to Hollingdean in the early part of that year. The teachers that I remember well were Mrs Beard, Mrs Arzonie, Sister Lucy, Sister Margaret Mary, Mr Beech and Mr Palmer (my personal favourite). The headmaster was Mr Davey. I left in 1969 to go on to De La Salle College which then merged with Cottismore in 1970/1971 to become Cardinal Newman in the Upper Drive, Hove.

    By Kevin Cooke (18/03/2009)
  • Hello Penny. I haven’t looked at the site for a while so I’ve only just read your message. Many thanks for reminding me of your sisters names, how could I forget Geneva. I remember her well and I think the other sister was Carol. Is Carol aged around sixty six now or shouldn’t I ask that of a lady. if she is, I think she is in the school photo I have which was taken in 1954. If you would like a copy let me know.If you are in contact with the girls, give them my regards and tell them my hand still hurts.

    By Anthony Daly (21/04/2009)
  • I too went to this school and remember Carol Burns well, remembered that she went ‘abroad’ once.  The first person I knew other than the soldiers my dad was in the war with.  I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me or my sisters Mary and Ann.

    By Teresa Pither, Gillon (06/05/2009)
  • Hi Anthony. I would have replied to you sooner,but like you, I hadn’t looked at this part of the site for a while. I do look at the home page and the messages most days and my attention was grabbed by the school sports day picture as I have a very similar one.I was at the school from 1946-1953. I don’t remember you (sorry!) but Lily was in my class. Obviously I was one of the older girls! I do, however, remember Mary Storrow being the May Queen and I’ve got a photo of her with her page boy – I will be getting it out to have another look! Most of the names you mentioned bring the memories flooding back. Do you remember Mr Quinn? He was lovely, probably my first ‘crush’. Miss Larna married a Mr Cullen and we all went to the marriage service. Miss Beard was my first teacher, I thought she was old then, but when I saw her again many years later she looked exactly the same. I wasn’t too keen on Mr Darby because if memory serves me right he took over from Mr Quinn as my class teacher. I remember the Tarrant family and the football rings a bell. Mr Patterson, yes, his wife,no. I very rarely had school dinners because I used to go home for dinner. I lived in Totland Road and my mum would come and collect me and we’d walk up Elm Grove and then back again and probably think nothing of it. Looking at it now I realise how steep it was! Another thing to remember was the coal fires in every classroom. Lovely if you were the teacher or one of the favoured few at the front, otherwise it was quite often very cold at the back, where I always seemed to be.Well it’s been nice taking this trip down Memory Lane.

    By Kathy Nichols (23/05/2009)
  • Hi Kathy, lovely to read your comments. You seem to have quite a collection of photos from St. Joseph’s. I also have a photo of Sports Day taken at Preston Park circa 1946/7. My brother Danny is in the photo. When you dig out that photo of Mary Storrow as May Queen you’ll find the shy little six year old standing next to her is me. I remember during rehearsals for the May Queen ceremony that Miss Clark said to me, as you enter the back of the church, do not rush to pick up Mary’s train/veil. So on the day I took my time as told and blow me if Miss Clark didn’t jump out of the pew and dragged me along and made me pick up the veil. No pleasing Miss Clark.   I don’t remember Mr Quinn, he wasn’t there when I was there. Miss Larna, Miss Beard, she always had a bottle of Camp coffee on her desk, Mr Holland, he came from Lewes and eventually became Headteacher of a school in Lewes I believe and Mr Darby, a ruddy faced Yorkshireman whose favourite saying was, you’re a bright spark. Do you remember when Father Munns used to visit the school? He was an army chaplain in Germany at the time and always used to bring a toy of some sort to demonstrate to us, he was a nice man. A couple of other faces I recognise in the communion photo are Joe Storrow and Peter Simmonds.

    By Anthony Daly (05/06/2009)
  • Hi Anthony, I enjoyed your comments too. I haven’t got many more pics unfortunately, although I have got one of some of us girls walking down Elm Grove to Church which I could dig out. I found my picture of the May Queen and I realised it’s not Mary, it’s Margaret Canlin, so it was probably the year before you. I think the page boy was ? Scott. Yes I remember Mr Holland, I liked him and still have his autograph and his address in Lewes. I don’t think Mr Darby liked me very much-did he teach maths? If so that’s probably why because I hated maths. Do you remember Mrs Trunfall? I was her favourite because I was good at reading and writing. I remember Father Munns very well, I didn’t know he was an army chaplain though. Remember Father Leahy? I believe in later years he died in a house fire? And Father Pepper? Wonder what happened to him? Do you remember when the Franciscan Monks visited the church? Father Philip was the one for me-I’ve got a photo of the congregation coming out of the church after he’d taken Mass and there I am standing close by him-all of seven or eight years old. Perhaps I should dig out my church photos and start a new thread about the church, what do you think? And still the memories come flooding back.

    By Kathy Nichols (11/06/2009)
  • Hi Kathy. As you say, Mr Holland was very nice although I did get the cane from him once, can’t remember what for though. I believe he died some time ago. I think Father Leahy died from an illness but there was a priest who died in a fire at the priests house at St. Joseph’s, I think he had drunk too much communion wine. ( Are you still in Brighton?) I don’t remember Father Pepper, he must have been hot stuff, sorry, I couldn’t resist that. I do remember Father Simmonds and of course when the Franciscans, the Jesuits and the Carmerlite nuns used to visit.

    I don’t remember Miss Trunfall. Mr. Holland’s class was on the ground floor and was seperated by a partition from the class next door.I can’t remember the teacher in that class, was that Miss Trunfall? Funny you should mention starting a new thread with church photos, I’ve just sent in a picture of some altar boys which includes my brother Barry, watch out for it.

    By Anthony Daly. 12/6/09

    By Anthony Daly (12/06/2009)
  • Hi Anthony, more memories! I think Mrs Trunfall’s class could have been next door to Mr Holland. I remember the partition…and also the Christmas parties with the big (to me) Christmas tree with a present for everyone on it. Do you remember the annual nativity plays? I was only ever an angel. One year Brenda Mustard was the narrator. Another teacher’s just popped into my head, Miss Gregory, remember her? I think she was quite ‘stylish’ and wore lots of make up. I thought the priest in the fire was Father Leahy but maybe not. I did know about the over- indulgence of the communion wine but didn’t like to say! I’ve got a photo of Father (as you say hot stuff) Pepper with Father Munns (I think) and Archbishop Peter Amigo walking down Wellington Road to church which I shall have to dig out—and hope I’ve got the names right! I haven’t lived in Brighton since 1964 when I married and moved along the coast to Worthing where I still am. How about you? How is your sister Lily? I wonder if she remembers me? Kathleen Read? I definitely remember her and also she is on my Communion picture.I will be looking out for your photos and will have to see what else I can find. Looking forward to more of your memories.

    By Kathy Nichols (15/06/2009)
  • Hi Teresa! I don’t think my sister Carol Burns went abroad – I know that she went to live with my Aunt Kit in Newcastle for a while – don’t know why. Could that be what you remember? I can’t ask her as she passed away a few years ago.

    By Penny Hajduk (09/07/2009)
  • Hi Teresa, remember me – Kathleen Read? We were in the same class at St Joseph’s and we also belonged to the 11th Company (St Joseph’s) Girl Guides together. I’ve got a delightful (!) photo of us with some of the other guides and the Captain (Miss Brookes) outside her front door in Fishersgate. I hope you do remember me – I’m sure we would have some memories to share.

    By Kathy Nichols (11/07/2009)
  • Hi Kathy, sorry about the delay in replying to you. No, I don’t remember Miss Gregory at all and as for Archbishop Peter Amigo, he sounds like something out of a spaghetti western. I was confirmed the same year as you although I am four years younger than you. I have a photo of me and Lily on our confirmation day. I made my first communion in the same year, a month before the Archbishop was due to carry out the confirmations at St. Joseph’s church and it was decided that those of us who had made our first communion that year should also be confirmed as the Archbishop was due at the church anyway. Would this have been Archbishop Peter Amigo? That would have been in 1951. Yes Lily remembers you and sends her regards to you. As for me, I moved to Uckfield in 1999 and am still living there. I also have a photo of Father Munns, must dig it out sometime.

    By Anthony Daly (16/07/2009)
  • Hi Kathy – I do remember you. She was a great old lady and I remember her with affection. My husband and I went to her funeral. That was when we lived in Hove. We sold our big house and moved into a smaller one.  Where have the years gone? Would love to hear more from you.

    By Teresa Pither (12/08/2009)
  • Hi Anthony and anyone else who may remember me. I knew several people in these photos as they ended up in the school in Woodingdean with me. Love to hear a comment from Pat Taylor, Christine Archibold, Sherrie Farmiloe, or Geneva Burns. I also remember several boys: Anthony, Gerald, etc.

    By Jacqueline Soutar (nee Gladwell) (08/12/2009)
  • First Communion picture, second row from top, last girl on the right is myself. One that I have never seen before it’s made my day.

    By Mary Smith (nee Gillespie) (29/12/2009)
  • Hello Kathy Nichols, I’m in the top row, second from left. The lad next to me (third from left) is Patrick Dunkliffe. I also have fond memories of Mr Quinn and Miss Larner. Then there was Miss Gregory (who would teach one of my sons much later in her career) and, of course, Miss Clark the Headmistress. I left St Joseph’s in 1951 when I was eleven and attended SJB secondary school until 1955. Kathy, I would love to get a copy of this photo if possible.

    By James Jeffery (20/04/2010)
  • Holy Communion photo. Top row, fourth from left. I’m wondering if the boy with the shock of fair curly hair is Tony Hillman? He also went on to SJB at Bedford Street/Woodingdean and I remember Tony well in that context. He was skilled at drawing the Walt Disney cartoon characters. Bottom Row, dead centre: Peter Simmons.

    By James Jeffery (22/04/2010)
  • Hi James. Nice to hear from you, although I’m sorry I don’t remember you. I left St Joseph’s in 1953 and went on to Margaret Hardy and then Westlain Grammar for my final year in 1957. If you send me your email address I’ll send you a copy of the photo. Hope to hear from you soon. Regards

    By Kathy Nichols (22/04/2010)
  • Re the Holy Communion photo, I’ve dug around in my memory and I’ve come up with these names: Top row left to right: Vincent Brown, James Jeffery, Patrick Duncliffe, Tony Hillman (thanks to James for those three), Maurice Hoadley, Michael Hellett. Middle row: Ann Parker, Kathleen Read, Evelyn Tierney, Teresa Gillon,? Parkinson, Bernadette or Moira O’Farrell, Lily Daly, Margaret Ellis, Brenda ?, Mary Gillespie. Bottom row: Peter Coomber, Melvin Brown, Joseph Storrow, Peter Simmons, Peter Campball, Gerald Murphy, Terry Hicks.

    By Kathy Nichols (23/04/2010)
  • Nice to get your response Kathy, and I’m afraid I don’t remember you either. But gradually, through the fog of many years, I did recall certain names and you’ve filled the gap; I’m very much better on my school years at SJB and have posted messages accordingly. Actually, I don’t need a copy of the photo now because I successfully downloaded it, but thanks anyway. Obtaining that photo means a lot to me as I am still a practising Catholic – and still worshipping at SJB! So I am very grateful. wishes.

    By James Jeffery (23/04/2010)
  • Hi James, thanks for your response. I’m always happy to help and I’m glad you successfully downloaded my picture. Warm regards, Kathy.

    By Kathy Nichols (28/04/2010)
  • I found this site after googling my late father’s name – Vincent Brown! He passed away in May 1997. His cousin was Melvin Brown. Thanks for putting these pictures up here, they are very interesting. Kind regards.

    By Lawrence Brown (29/11/2010)
  • I typed my brother’s name, Joe Storrow, in the Google search and up came this web page at the top! What fun to see the pix and read all the names of his classmates. My sister Mary died five years ago; the rest of us Storrows are still alive and kicking, just about. We have lots of photos of St Joseph’s, trouble is, Mary was the only one who remembered who everyone was.

    By Angela Storrow (01/03/2011)
  • School play,3 & 4 are Bob & Michael Hicks.

    By Michael Hicks (27/03/2011)
  • My sister Brenda just introduced me to this. What a lovely surprise… really got the wheels turning. I was at SJ from 1949 to 1952. Memories include wearing my father’s yellow kimono as the black king in the nativity play, and singing ‘Zadoc the Priest’ as a boy tenor in the St. Joseph’s choir. Also, walking across The Level, proudly carrying Mr. Quinn’s briefcase, and watching the milk bottles on the conveyor belts in the dairy at the foot of Elm Grove. Several of the names are familiar! Including Miss Trunfall and Father Leahy. Does anyone else remember the surname Rolf? He was the son of the local fishmonger, and always had way more pocket money than me. If memory serves, only three of us passed the ’11plus’. I went on to Varndean, and remember Peter Coomber. 

    By Leonard (Len) Mustard (11/04/2015)
  • Hello Len. As you say, finding this site really starts the wheels turning. I was in the same class as your sister Brenda. With help from others I managed to name most of the people in the photo of Mr Darby’s class of 1954. I remember the boy Rolf, son of the fishmonger but don’t recall the christian name. I also remember Peter Coomber who was a member of St Joseph’s scout troop, as we can both be seen on this site under St. Joseph’s Church. As you may know Peter died in a tragic accident in his late teens. In 1954 I believe we had 6 passes in the 11 plus and I was scheduled to go to Varndean however, Fr Munns interceded with my parents and I finished up at Xaverian College with two others from St Joseph’s, Joe Storrow and Richard Black. I would love to hear how the Mustard family ended up in Canada or any other memories you have from those days at St Josephs.

    By Thomas Paul (13/04/2015)
  • Hi Kathy, really enjoyed seeing the photos from our time at St. Joseph’s; brings back lots of happy memories and a wonderful friendship (Evelyn Tierney). 

    By Eve Miller (08/03/2018)

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