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At school in the 1950s

I grew up in Woodingdean in the late 1940/50s. When I started at Woodingdean Primary School, Mr Peach was Headmaster and I remember Miss Retchless very well, you crossed her at your peril!  I’m sure she had a very loud voice too. Pop Hemsley was there at the time and is on the Class 9 photo here, though I can’t place the teacher on the other one which is, I think, an earlier photo. Apologies if I have got any names wrong. It was a very long time ago.  I’m now 73, retired and live in Worthing.

Class 9 – Teacher Pop Hemsley

Top row L to R  3 – Arthur James;  5 – Michael (or David )Curd  7 – Sheila Price;    11- John Mann.
Middle row L to R  7: Myself; 10 – Ron Capstick.
Bottom Row L to R   2 – Anne Seymour;  5 – Joyce Howell;  6 – Dawn Shepherd; 9 – Barry Ashby.

Do you remember?

Can you identify what years these photographs were taken? Can you recognise yourself, or anyone else? Who is the teacher on the second phototgraph? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.


Woodingdean Primary School
From the private collection of Alan Drake
Woodingdean Primary School
From the private collection of Alan Drake

Comments about this page

  • Hi Allan
    This may be late on replying but my brother Ron Capstick is on the bottom row third one in on the left on the bottom row, we lived in Downs Valley Road and my father was the local coal merchant. Ron ran a successful building business in Charlwood which is a small village in Surrey for over 50 years and now enjoying his retirement. All the very best to you, May Attwater/ Capstick.

    By May Attwater (25/11/2019)
  • That is me Martyn Lewinton, top row far right.

    By Martyn Lewinton (07/02/2020)
  • Does anyone remember a Paul Fleet,who is 73 now?

    By Chrissie Fleet (27/04/2020)
  • Hello from Canada, I am Pat Barrett the second person in the second row. My friend , Sheila Killick is the fourth girl in the front row. Sheila died in a tragic Carbon-monoxide accident at Roedean. I have fond memories of Pop Helmsley reading to our class in the courtyard. Am glad that someone else has same memories of Miss Retchless… watch out for the ruler!
    I lived at 17 Farm Hill.
    I have lived in Canada for 63 years, married for 60 years. John Mann and I took music lessons together; visited with John three years ago.
    My husband and I spent the winter in Malta when Covid broke out, got last two seats to England on flight before Malta shut down. Spent an unexpected week in Horley during Coronavirus waiting to get flight back to Canada.
    When safe, hope to make another trip back to England; would like to connect wIth anyone from my school years.

    By Pat Qually (Barrett) (16/07/2020)
  • I lived at 14 Farm hill!!!! Miss Pyner was on one side and Mr and Mrs Sachs on the other – she taught piano!!!!

    By Linda Smith (17/07/2020)
  • Hi Pat. Just wondering if you remember me! I lived with my nana and grandpa at 14 and he was an insurance agent for the Coop!

    By Linda (nee Carney) Smith (01/09/2020)
  • I haven’t looked at this page since returning to Canada during Covid crisis.

    This is a response to Linda Carney… I do remember your grandparents; they lived across from our house. Do you have a brother, Ken?

    Today, I received an email and video that John Mann made for me on May 8th, 2021 (VE Anniverary). Brought back a lot of happy memories.

    By Pat Qually (Barrett) (22/05/2021)
  • Can you please tell me if Alan drake is still alive as I remember Alan through my brother the Capstick’sm
    Kind Regards,
    May / Mabel Capstick.

    By May Attwater (27/06/2021)

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