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Athletics Team 1959

Athletics team 1959: click on the photograph to open a larger image in a new window
From the private collection of Dave Crockatt of

Inter-schools athletic competition

This photograph shows the Woodingdean Primary School athletics team of 1959. It was taken I believe, just before the annual annual inter-schools athletic competition which was held at Withdean Stadium.

I am seated in the front row, middle. The tall girl at the centre back is Angela Birch who lived in Crescent Drive North. She was one of my sister’s best friends. The teacher in the photograph is Mr Collins.

Do you remember?

Did you attend Woodingdean Primary School? Do you recognise yourself or anyone else here? Please share your memories by posting a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • Dave, so good to see the photo of my sister Angela Birch. She won the 100yds championship that year and went on later to win the All-England and ran for GB in internationals as well as the World Student Games in Tokyo in 1967.

    By Barry Birch (27/08/2017)
  • Hi Barry, sorry I only just picked your comment up. How is your brother David, we were in the scouts together and very good friends? My sister and yours were also good friends what is she doing now?

    By Dave Crockatt (23/10/2017)
  • Hello Barry and David. I, (Bob Ward), am to Angela’s left and June Staley is to her right. Next to me is Chris Wells and  (I think), next to June is Mary Dinane. I remember that Angela was not only the fastest girl in our school she was the fastest person. None of the boys, including me and Chrissie could get anywhere near her.I did however win the sack-race that year!!!

    I think you turned out a very good athlete yourself Barry and recall you winning honours for Varndean in 440 yds and 220 (maybe), but you did keep me out of the school 2nd XI,  for football and I have never forgiven you for that! I was of course at least two years your junior and couldn’t (quite then) knock them over like you, nor was I a prefect with the ear of the masters. If that sounds like ‘sour grapes’ you are quite correct.

    By Bob Ward (26/11/2017)
  • A few more names to add: to my left is Trevor Grover, one of my best friends at the time, we both went on to Westlain, on his left is David Birch (brother of Angela) and directly behind me in the middle row, I believe is Christine (Stanger?), and to her right is possibly Erica Potts.

    By Dave Crockatt (01/12/2017)
  • Just stumbled upon this page so thank you Bob especially for mentioning so many names, a few of which you have clarified for me. Who can forget Angela Birch – what an athlete! I played in the netball team with her and your sister, Jane, Dave. June Staley, also a netballer, moved on to Westlain as did Jane at some point, I believe. I was never good enough for inter schools athletics until secondary school. Remember Mr Collins very well as my 4th year teacher. Happy days. Thanks for posting.

    By Linda Brooks (29/12/2020)
  • The teacher standing on the left was my father Mr Stanley Collins, who died aged 86 in2018. Myself and 2 sisters attended the school before we emigrated to Australia in the early 60’s. I returned to the school in 67 for my last year before starting at Crowborough Beacon School.

    By Jonathan Collins (28/12/2022)
  • Is that the Bob Ward who went to Varndean ?

    By Mike Winch (09/01/2023)

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