Photos of the school before demolition

I attended this school 1970 to 75, I was inspired to find some pictures of the old school from one of the previous pages about the school, I thought I should share them with you. 

Do you remember St Mary’s School? What do you remember about the old buildings?

If you can share some of your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • I remember jumping over the wall, Eastern road side. I did not realise how far down it was. I had grazes all over me. I had to ask an elderly gentleman to help me, he got hold of my hands and pulled me up. Who ever he was, I would like to thank him – if he is still with us.

    By j (03/08/2010)
  • Hi Peter. I went to St Mary’s in 1970 and looking at your pics from Hereford Court, is where I lived. Mr Gardner was my teacher. Brings back happy memories of growing up in Hereford Street.

    By Mick [Warnut] Warnett (11/12/2011)
  • I went to St Mary’s for 2 years around ’74 to ’76 which was at the top of my street (Hereford) before it was demolished and we all went over to Queen’s park middle school which had just changed from a senior school! I remember the play ground being brighly painted with fun cartoon drawings. I used to love the old alleyway (very Dickensian) behind the school leading down to St. Mary’s church which we attended each Thursday.

    By Layton Burbidge (20/07/2012)
  • It is so sweet to see these photos. I was happy at St Mary’s. I will always remembering racing out to the playground to go on the climbing bars and play with my friend Karen Hubbard and Angie Leach. I also remember the boys being in the top playground and them being banned from playing Boritish Bulldog. I was also good friends with the lovely sweet Beverly Burbridge.

    By Lisa Macrorie nee Watts (09/12/2012)
  • I attended the school upto the time it shut down and I helped move upto Queens Park. The headmaster was called Mr Gardener. I was one of the lads in the top play ground running around and having fun. These were happy days and we were lucky to be part of it all really, it helped shape our lives and make us the people we are today.

    By Neville Chambers (16/12/2012)
  • I attended St Mary’s from 1961-65 happy memories. The only person I remember was Linda Gillam my childhood sweetheart. And my God, do I remember Mr Gardiner.

    By Steve Humphrey (26/01/2013)
  • I remember St Mary’s – it was a great school. Mr Gardner was brill. I used to live down St Mary’s Place.

    By Pauline Levett (25/03/2013)
  • I went to St Mary’s when I was 7 and left when I was 10ish as we moved. I was their in 1953/4 till 1957/8. I do remover Mr Gardener but he was a teacher then and I think the headmaster was a Mr Cooper when I was there. I remember the smell of cooking doughnuts from the Clarks bakery that was at the top of the road. My dad worked there a we would enjoy the cakes when he brought them home. I lived in Park Street next to the old bus garage and the public baths. I remember a girl named Pat Kelly I think she lived in Lavender Street. I also remember going to the church especially at Christmas time to sing carols.

    By Mary Taylor nee davies (20/05/2013)
  • I remember you Steve – you were younger then me and had an older brother Pete. You lived near Rosie Howell, Pauline and Barbie Kelly and a girl lived opposite you called Isabel. I remember Mr Gardener’s ruler across the back of the legs for talking in assembly.

    By Carol Vardy nee Brown (27/10/2013)
  • I went to St Mary’s the same time as Steve Humphrey we are about the same age. I remember Mr Gardener`s ruler very well and I deserved it. Hi Steve hope you and your family are ok. I lived in Montague Place at the end of Somerset Street. 

    By Paul Briggs (30/12/2013)
  • Hello there. How nice to find the old school. I lived in Egremont Place and came to school late 53 to 1956-57. I knew Pat Kelly quite well but no idea what happen to her. Ran for school at Withdean with Heather Ruffle. Used to pop into the sweet shop to get 1p sweets. Still keep in touch with one of my old school friends.

    By Margaret Wwood ( Phillips ) (01/01/2014)
  • I am one of the churchwardens at St Mary’s Church. We are founding a Friends of St Mary’s Church to help raise funds for the building’s restoration and to improved facilities to support more use of the church for community and arts events. We would love to meet anyone who has memories, photos, etc. of the church and the old primary school. We are holding a launch party for the Friends on Tuesday, 25 February 2014, 5.30 – 7 pm. Entry is free and everybody is welcome.

    By Katherine Prior (06/02/2014)
  • Yes, remember going to the church regularly – it was Reverend Bacon at the time – and I was friendly with his daughter, Charlotte.

    By Carol Vardy (nee Brown) (08/02/2014)
  • I was born in Brighton n 1923 and lived in Eastern Road between Park Street and Freshfield Road. I first went to Park Street Infants School, and then to St Mary’s Junior School and eventually to the Brighton Intermediate School. My name was Ruby Maynard. The head mistress was Miss Apthorpe and the deputy was Mr Cooper at St Mary’s and some others remembered are: Miss Dawson, Miss Mullins and Miss Smithers. I also remember a few classmates, especially Donald Fadden, George Cooper, and Lesley Boxall. Another girl comes to mind – Iris Kennet. I moved when I was about twelve to Toronto Terrace and was there until the end of the war. Sometime later our houses in Eastern Road were demolished to widen the road. St Mary’s was a happy school and we used to go to St Luke’s School and the North Road Baths for swimming, so we learned to swim quite early. We also used to go to St Mary’s Church once a week. The strap and the cane were seen a few times but not by me! Only good memories of those years. Ruby Maynard (nee Young)


    By Ruby Maynard (08/06/2014)
  • I was at this school 1945/1949. I didn’t like any of the teachers and they didn’t like me. I had to go church once a week. I was accused of things i did not do. I was told I would never do well in life. I went on to Queens Park and ended up a successful builder. I proved them all wrong.

    By John Teale (22/10/2014)
  • I went to the school and was friends with Terry Burbidge, Alison Field, Patricia Sivelle (can’t remember the spelling!), Maxine Clarke, Tina Offord. I remember we had a great netball team, and remember I was in a relay race at Withdean with Alison and Patricia, and we had our picture put into the Evening Argus. The caretaker was Mr Izzard I think, and Mr Gardiner the Head was absolutely terrifying. How he carried on – it wouldn’t be allowed today! Mrs Hoyle was the music teacher and played the piano in our morning assembleys. Ar, lovely times.

    By Amanda Marks (29/01/2015)
  • I went to St. Mary’s in the fifties which was just at the time Mr Gardner arrived. He started teaching the top form. The Headmaster then was a Mr Cooper. I also remember a Miss Pace, a classic elderly spinster lady Teacher who was often challenged by some of the rowdy kids, she taught the third form. We played football on the hard playgrounds and got pretty good with tennis balls and the like but any time we played on grass against some of the newer schools we usually got slaughtered. It was the same way with cricket.

    By Robert Ducharme (02/06/2015)
  • Bob, that brings back memories of playing cricket against Woodingdean. Most of us were facing a hard cricket ball for the first time and someone had to be wicket keeper, poor bloke. We never practiced. The same applied trying to kick the old hard leather football; our football boots with the hard toe caps were lethal weapons too. Our best chance to do well was to play against a school with similar playgrounds, but successes were so rare I cannot recall any! I suppose we enjoyed it especially when it was freezing cold and wet.

    By Dennis Parrett (03/06/2015)
  • So interested to read the above comments.  I attended St Mary’s from 1943 to 1945 then on to Park Street, leaving in Dec. 1950. In my day the headmaster was Mr Cooper. I recall the potent fumes of Guinness from a bottling plant just down from the school. Reverend Kingston was the vicar of St Mary’s where I was in the choir. Our home was 8 Upper St James’s Street, looking down Wyndam Street, which is now a block of flats.

    By Brian Payne (05/06/2016)
  • I was there in the late 50s although  too old to remember which years. Mr Cooper was headmaster and Mr Gardner in charge of the top form. I think thu morning we had to go to St. Mary’s church and listen to Reverend Bacon. There was the brewery to the south of Mount Street and Platts joinery, Fyffes banana warehouse opposite, and Ogdens bakery at the top of the road. Happy days

    By John Sims (08/06/2016)
  • Hi all. Went to St. Marys in the fifties and was in the same class as Margaret Phillips and Mary Davies – hope you are both well?  Played football for the school and still wince when I remember that leather ball. Had a few wacks from Mr. Gardener, probably made me a better person.  When I eventually left school I went in the army for nine years, so schooling and school friends gave me a good career. Best teacher: Miss Miles (wow).

    By Gerald Jellicoe (06/01/2017)
  • I was there! 1944 to 1948.  Mr Cooper was the headmaster and Miss Watts was 2/IC.  Miss Pace was there – a typical spinster teacher who could have come from pages in the Beano. We had church on Thursday morning.  Rev. Kingston was the vicar.  I lived in Tillstone Street just five minutes away.  Happy days.  I fell in love there for the first time.  Ann Gruscelle.  A pretty girl with blonde hair.  She probably married a millionaire, which wasn’t me.  I passed the scholarship exam and went to Varndean.

    By Alan Hillman (17/03/2017)
  • I must have been there at the same time as John Teale but, although your name does ring a faint bell, I don’t recall you. I was only physically punished once at St Mary’s by a woman teacher called Miss Wilkins. Don’t recall my crime, but she made me pull down my socks and in front of the class she smacked the backs of by legs twice – and, yes, it hurt.

    By Alan Hillman (18/03/2017)
  • Hi Peter,
    I remember this lovely school very well. We were in the same classes in 1973-1976 as Steve Rosthorn, Julie Butler, Paul Jago, Russell Hill, Mark Weston. Our teacher was Jan Simms. In the early classes was Mrs Lily Hoile class and music teacher. The french teacher was Mrs Rippingale. Rev. Bacon was the vicar at the church and he taught us RE at the school on friday mornings. I still have a photo cutting of James Hynd on a penny farthing bike during our centenary year. Other classmates included , Susan Wilson, Vanessa Hornby, Raj Zuha, Peter Barnes, Wayne Chester, Tanya Byard nee Allen, Martin Boxall, Pauline and Angela Mulliner. Mr Matt Patterson was a teacher as well and invited Steve Ovett to do a talk to us in assembly. Wonderful photos Peter. Great memories our best times.

    By David Finlay (07/10/2019)
  • I have remembered a few more classmates at the school, Danny Owen, Ricky Gunn and Aaron Groves. We went to a school outing to Drusillas in Alfriston once. I remember having a crush on Vanessa Hornby and Julie Butler.

    By David Finlay (07/10/2019)
  • To answer John Sims about the brewery at the bottom of Mount Street. It was the Brickwood Arms pub. I have remembered a few more pupils Suzanne Cottrell, Julie Townsend. Mr AA Gardiner was our headmaster.

    By David Finlay (07/10/2019)
  • Best teacher had to be Miss Preece. The most creative teacher was Mrs Hoile who taught me to handwrite. Thank you so much.

    By David Finlay (07/10/2019)
  • I remember a teacher called Mrs Parker, I was in her class and we did drama which meant nothing to me then but now I look back and I think it was a marvelous way to spot young actors. The school was closed in my last year and I helped move the school up to Queens Park with Mr Gardener. Every Thursday morning we would be shipped off down to church with Rev Bacon. My parents were married at the church and I was christened there so I’m going to visit the church this Christmas eve for the midnight service the first time I have been back for 43 years. I remember going back to the school and being able to walk around the demolition site not much health and safety then just a pile of rubble and the large window from the science lab in pieces at the end of the rubble.

    By Neville Chambers (20/12/2019)
  • I went to this school, but only for a short time,as me and my brother and sister moved to a childrens home in Surrey for a short while.
    So only remember the playground,but not any teachers. 🙄
    But glad to see some great photos, especially the alley way,as I do remember that,as I’m sure I went to Brownies down there somewhere. 😀
    We use to live in Sloane Street, off park Street, I remember the public baths too.
    And playing in the park ( Queens park) beautiful park,and still is.
    Happy memories, this area holds for me.

    By Tonia poore (09/07/2021)

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