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Varndean and Balfour Schools

Education Week 1939

This photo is from my Education Week booklet of 1939 and shows both Varndean and Balfour Road Schools from the air.  Balfour Road School is in the foreground, while Surrenden Road and Varndean School can be seen behind.  The woods in the centre of the photo is where Dorothy Stringer School was constructed in the early 1950s, and the trees of Withdean Park can be seen in the far distance.

Well Done Janet and Alan

My Mystery Photo seen here showing girls folk dancing was quickly solved by Janet Beal.  Then Alan Hobden added more detail to further define the exact location; which I think this new photo shows he got exactly correct.  The girls are dancing in the front of Balfour Road School as seen in this “from the air” photo.

Varndean and Balfour Road Schools c. 1938
From the Education Week booklet owned by Peter Groves

Comments about this page

  • Hi Peter. Great photograph! The Varndean School building that you can see was once the boys’ school with Surrenden Road running alongside and behind. It is now Varndean College. My old school, Varndean Girls, would be to the right of the picture, out of range. A path runs from the school down to the old farm buildings which are still there (by the swimming pool). The gardens of the houses in Friar Crescent are visible in the middle right of the picture.  

    By Janet Beal (26/10/2017)
  • Great picture, but the original of the girls dancing shows Osborne Road before houses were built beyond the twitten / steps. In this shot they’ve been built. 

    By Peter Taylor (26/10/2017)
  • Hi Janet, there are a few photos of Varndean Girls School in the Booklet, I will put them on the site soon!

    By Peter Groves (26/10/2017)
  • I agree, what a great photograph! It brought back a lot of memories.

    I started at Varndean Boys school in 1952,  travelling in each day  from Bevendean.  The no 46 (trolley bus) stopped right outside the school gates, to the left of the school building. 

    Somtimes I would cycle, the final part of the journey being via the path from Varndean Girls School, seen clearly on the right of the photograph leading down to the wooded area.

    There was a small rifle range in the wooded area, used by the school’s CCF (Combined Cadet Force). 

    By John (27/10/2017)
  • I have just discovered the 2017 comments about Varndean Schools.  If any past or present pupil, of either school, wishes to join our Varndean chat group they can subscribe (free) and converse with others of their era. 


    By Ted Brooke (10/05/2018)
  • The football pitch behind Balfour School in the 50s used to be Fawcett’s.

    By Peter James Cooper (22/08/2018)

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