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School day memories

St Bartholomew's School, Providence Place
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

My best school

I would have to say St Bart’s was the best school I ever attended. I remember when I was about 9 yrs old and all the houses in Ann Street were being knocked down, it was so sad.  I remember we lived in a pink house in Ann Street with cottage style windows. It was such a pretty house and my mum was so happy when the council offered it to her. Once all the houses started to be pulled down there were so many rats and I remember the rat man coming to our house. It was horrible, but we loved that house.

Playing in the demolished houses

All the kids that lived around Ann Street used to all play out together. When some of the houses were being pulled down we all used to go and play in them. What fun we had, can you imagine doing that today? There was a fruit shop at the bottom of Ann Street, and my mum was always getting her fruit and veg there. Also they used to give my mum little cardboard boxes with handles on, and mum used to fill them with fruit for our harvest festival at St Bart’s school.

Remembering my teachers

I remember the long passage way we had to walk to go into church on a Friday morning. I went to Monday club and Thursday club and was in the Brownies. One of the teachers I recall was Miss Fittock. I also remember Miss Box and she seemed really old to me then, but I bet she was not that old at the time, she was a great lady. Does my memory serve me right and did we go into the school in the side entrance of the church and down a really winding stair case?

Do you remember?

Did you go to St Barts? Do you remember any of the teachers? Do you remember that ‘really winding staircase’? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • 1957-1962. Mrs Moy; Miss Jupp; Miss Porter (Head); Miss Nye (secretary, I think); Mr Brown ….. great people. Also Cannon Hutchinson, Fr Scott; too many memories to put in here!

    By John Barber (28/01/2014)
  • I attended St Barts in the 1950s. We lived in New England St. Brothers Tony and Ray. I remember Miss Porter, Miss Jupp, Mr Arzoney (not sure if spelling of his name is correct), Mrs Moy and Miss Beesley, infant classes – and Mrs Dyer, who I think was a Dinner Lady. I also remember going to church on a Thursday morning. The school hall was on the left-hand side as you went in the gates, often had our music lessons in there with Miss Duffield. Happy days!

    By Chris Halstead (nee Brindley) (14/03/2015)
  • Hi,

    I also went to St Bart’s during the 1950s as l wrote awhile ago and pleased to have read other comments. l have been trying to track any photos of the school and any links would be great plus to hear from any who went their during the 1950s. Thank you.

    By Dave Guildford (10/12/2015)
  • I went to this amazing school 50 years ago, also the best school I ever attended. We lived in London Street and my grandparents had the corner greengrocers. When the buildings were sold, we moved to Argyle Road and used to play in the broken smashed buildings. We had so much fun as children growing up in this area.

    By Julie (15/06/2016)
  • I attended St Barts School in Brighton in the 1970’s.  I remember attending the old School which was located on the side of Provedence Place, I remember going down the covered Passage that led into the Church.  Mrs Charwood was my Teacher there, a really Strict Teacher and I was quite scared of her. Then I attended the brand new School located in Ann Street,  and watched the old School being demolished from our new Playground,  I remember Mrs Phelan, Mrs Vickers, Mr Lee’s, Mr Head,  Mrs Collins, Mr Brown and Mr Grist.  We were always putting on shows, and we came tops in Gymnastics and Athletics. We had to wear Red Leotards during Gymnastics. We Used to sing on the bus going to Wilde Park to do our cross country runs or to play Rounders.  I remember when attending the new School a Car park was built in place of the old school where another Playground was built on top of the carpark. We used to play Hockey up there,  I also learned how to swim in the small Swimming pool that the School had built which was located at the back of the playground.  I also attended Brownies in the hall and the Penny Club. I loved this School. It was a competitive School later on when my daughter attended. Other members of my family attended the School too.

    By Ann (20/06/2016)
  • I attended the old school for a year before moving to the new one. I can’t remember any of the teachers but do remember the hall on the left hand side as you went in and the narrow stone stairs going up to one of the classrooms. I never liked the playground as I felt hemmed in but I did do my cycling proficiency there!  I also remember the passageway through to the church.  I was a milk monitor at the new school (possibly at the old one!).  I can remember a few names including: Ralph (Harrison?), Janet (?), Lee and his younger brother Tom Odell and James Hester.  I also remember having to walk up Islington Road to St Luke swimming baths once a week.

    By Paul Harvey (01/10/2016)
  • I went to St Bartholemews from the age of 6 to 11 years (1960 – 1966). I remember the secret passage from the playground to the church which we filed down every Friday for Mass instead of Assembly. Father Scott and Father Chamberlain were the Fathers at the church.  Miss Porter was Headmistress and Mr Brown was my last year teacher who got me through the 11 plus to go on to Grammar school. He was very strict but it obviously worked. I remember the school hall on the left as you came in down the steep steps and the enclosed playground which was partially under covered. One day we were doing sport in the playground. Mr Brown was teaching the boys cricket and the ball hit one of my friends in the eye. She had a massive black eye for ages. Loved the church and school and have been back to see the church a few times over the years. Lovely memories, shame there are no photos to show. 

    By Ann Noble (was Sonya Thorpe ) (26/07/2017)
  • I went to this school from 1969 to 1973. I have a couple photos somewhere of the class 3 (first year juniors) and also the last year (year 1). All my cousins also attended St Bart’s, as did my mum and her brother and sisters.

    I remember Miss Porter the headmistress, her office was a little room on the top floor. When we were in our last year, Mr Morgan our teacher, organised a disco in the school hall with Mr Brown on the door. I went with Ruth Gregory and Jenny Bell. I remember the Taylor twins who lived in Providence Place and also Teresa and Mary Allen, who were the year above me. Our class in the last year was small but I can’t recall all their names: Gill Friend, Ruth Gregory, Andrew Loftus, Jeremy (?), Shaun Cheeseman, Julie Rae, Verity Gregory, Karen Timblin, Leslie Chapman, Gail (?), Curtis and Donna Brazier.

    The playground was small but we managed. I remember going to church every Friday with Father Chambers and also belonging to the Adventurers and the Thursday Club which were held in the meeting rooms opposite the school. Miss Box took these, she was a lovely lady who sadly died after being knocked over at Preston Circus.

    We also put on plays at the meeting rooms with the school and also with the Guides.

    By Amanda Tidey (Brewerton) (18/04/2019)
  • I went to St Bart’s from 1965 – 1967. We then moved to Horsham. I remember entering the school from the side and playing in a courtyard , I belonged to the brownies (I was a gnome) which was also at the school, at that time I lived in Cheltenham Place which backed onto the old cinema in London Road. I have always had very fond memories of my school time there and also how independent we all were too. I used to walk to school on my own summer and winter etc, and I do remember getting to the church along a passageway. My name at that time was Deborah Jackson and was changed to Deborah Ralphs. I do remember a pupil there had a bout of scarlet fever and she lived in Ann Street – she hung out of the window to talk to us because she couldn’t come to school.

    By Deborah Brookes (09/05/2019)
  • Does anyone know where I can find records relating to teachers at this school in and around 1913? Family history researching Charles Hague. Thanks.

    By Karen (18/08/2019)
  • ‘The Keep’ archive at Falmer is the place to start although not all records survive. The school may of course have their records in-house although correctly they should be in the archive.

    By Geoffrey Mead (19/08/2019)
  • I went to St Barts as did all my siblings, I was there 65-71. Miss Porter was head teacher and Mr Brown was deputy, I remember Miss Moyes who was my very first teacher. Loved the school and all the teachers, so many happy memories and friends some of which I still see.

    By Patricia Knapman (10/01/2020)
  • I went to this school in 1967 til 1973. I remember Mrs Charwood and was very scared of her. I remember the secret passage from church to school on a Friday morning for mass and in 2012 I was lucky enough to be able to go through the secret passageway from the church through to the infants’ school playground. I even peered inside the old school classroom. I believe the year that I left was when the foundation for the new school was laid dow. We had prayers on the foundations – and I passed out!

    By LESLEY Rowbotham (14/04/2020)
  • Thank you for such a great article. Keep it up.

    By sumrina (27/07/2020)

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