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Current Comments:
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4th of November 2015 11:48 AM by Rodger Olive
on the subject of meeting teachers after leaving the school. I often met Dave Bennet who lived quite close to me, he was always a gentleman. About 10 years after leaving I was in the Schooner pub in Shoreham with my first wife and Willy Pope came in, he looked across and said "I can remember the face and the handwriting, but not your name" my handwriting it not quite as memorable now - but thank goodness for computers.

Willy was always a class favourite, and he nearly always arrived at school on an old worn out bike!
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29th of October 2015 01:59 PM by Rodger Olive
This is a great site. I have fond memories of Hove County. I can't remember any bullying (apart from the flying board rubbers when Holy Joe Hebburn launched them.)

its a shame HCGS is not mentioned on the myBrightonandHove website.
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16th of October 2015 06:51 PM by Mike Stephens
Ref Peter Ballantine's question 'did we meet any staff after leaving school' - good question - at that time - 1986 - a good 18 years after I'd left the school - we lived in the Hove area and when our daughter was approaching 11 we checked out the local schools including Blatchington Mill - on open evening imagine my surprise when I found Willy Pope and Dave Bennett doing their stuff - I said I used to be pupil at HGSB so they retrieved some old school photos and we had a good nostalgic session - slightly emotional - you sensed they looked back on those days with real affection
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15th of October 2015 08:32 PM by David Hitchin
Peter Ballantine asked, "did folk ever meet the staff after leaving school?"
I went to evening classes, and, meeting a nice young lady, went with her to her church where I met Mr Lewis (English), chatted and was invited to his home. Those evening classes included Commercial Geography, where the teacher was Dick Playll who taught me geography at school. I hadn't been very interested at school and coasted along getting just enough marks to pass. At evening classes I was out for qualifications and and money, so I worked hard and stayed at the top of the class. There's a moral there, if only I can think what it is.
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14th of October 2015 04:10 PM by Peter Ballantine
did folk ever meet the staff after leaving school? Malcolm Krohne and I have been good friends since we were about 8 years old and when he was teaching at the school he once took me into the staff room. I bumped into Buddy Holley at the West London HE college where he was teaching - i was on a short course. Interesting to have his views on his time at the school. I also met up with Harry's ordained son when I was in training.
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5th of October 2015 09:46 AM by David Morris
Memories of Spike

I recall Spike playing Holst's Mars - the Bringer of War - in the early 1950s. It had been used as the signature tune of " The Quatermass Experiment" a chiller that kept most of the nation glued to the box for weeks
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1st of October 2015 10:13 AM by David Hitchin
Who could forget Mossolov's "Steel Foundry" and the ostinato from Sibelius' Second Symphony. For a while Spike played them at every lesson, and in a form-room under the music room they could be heard all day.
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25th of September 2015 03:30 PM by Alan Pratt pp
Who remembers the Cecil Sharp collection of English folk songs, so beloved by Spike Reynolds? I wonder whether the singing of them lasted the life of the school, and whether they survive in other schools.
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14th of September 2015 09:12 PM by Mike Stephens
ref post 1249 - Hi Rob - good to see you on here - if you fancy meeting up for a pint or two let me know - contact Webmaster for my email address
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10th of September 2015 10:41 PM by Robert Watts
Was a pupil from 1961 to 1967
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15th of August 2015 02:31 PM by DEL
I had a reunion with Jim Harwood yesterday, class of '48
62 years rolled away in a flash over a beer.
Unfortunately he remembered more or less the same lads and incidents as I do, so the memory banks have had little additional material.
"Better not leave it another 62 years!"
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10th of August 2015 09:18 AM by Peter Ballantine
I am told 'A' level results out this week. I remember the post cards we received (2 and half old pence!). For my A levels i was at work (Sainsbury's in Kemp Town) before the car arrived. I rang my mother who had picked it up before going to work (W H Smith's) to get the results. Phew!
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1st of August 2015 01:08 PM by David Hitchin
I am sad that the Weblog has not taken off; there seemed to be plenty of opportunities for discussion. As the Webmaster wrote, "You are invited ... to suggest new topics for discussion." I would like to suggest (or as the purists will say, I am actually suggesting, "The most memorable classroom incident". There must be such a moment for everyone, so who will be first?
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20th of July 2015 11:32 AM by Bill Green
Not having made a post on this impressive site for some time, I must record my admiration for those, especially Bill Brock and David Morris, for the clear recollections they have. Not only of the examination marks received but of the circumstances by which they came to follow their 6th form education at our great school. It is of concern to me that being of the same generation, I believe I was in the same class as Bill, that my "progression" after the fifth form seemed to have no input from me and was determined solely by the excellent teachers I had examining the comparative miserly results I obtained in the "O" levels. It is perhaps of relevance that my limited sporting achievements of those years stick more vividly in my mind, to the apparent exclusion of the more important academic aspects of my school life. Where I agree so wholeheartedly with Bill, whose play acting performance as Richard III in the school play remains a highlight of my final year, is the appreciation of the high quality teachers who were so successful in creating from a shy teenager lacking in confidence, an ability to carve out a living which has enabled me to raise a family and now to retire in financial security and comfort. I hope our "successor" school is similarly able to provide such a fantastic impetus to many other young lives.
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20th of July 2015 10:00 AM by Peter Ballantine
When the school set up the idea of the Junior sixth (I think mine was the second year of it) we went automatically into arts or science so i was not allowed to do additional maths because I was on the arts side. It would have helped me with my university geography course. The Junior sixth was a good idea but with its flaws with some wasted space for the humanities. We started A level work and i did a year of French before dropping it for the lower sixth. i am sure we could have done an extra A level or at least done one in our lower sixth year - there were lots of free periods. Most schools at the time were very rigid about arts and science subjects and i am glad that now students can do a mixture.
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19th of July 2015 04:55 PM by Bill Brock
Thanks David for Post 1241. You're right, I did do Additional Maths in order to get into the Science Sixth, and I see I got a decent 60 percent. The hurdle was put up because those of us in 5B were not taught the calculus in its symbolic form, but only in graphical form. This meant I virtually wasted a year in what became known as the Upper Fifth. since I otherwise had all the necessary O-levels to go into the Sixth Form. I recall Robert Hawksworth and Neville Withnell were in the same boat. The three of us spent a lot of time together since we had so much free time. Once in the Lower Sixth, I tried desperately to get Cyril Baxter to release me from Applied Maths, at which I was hopeless, in order to do A-level English. But he would not have it and forced me to continue. Needless to say, I failed A-level Applied Maths, though the Board gave me an O-level. I did work privately for a term at A-level English (for which I'm grateful) but it proved too much with the other four science A-levels and getting involved in play-acting as well. That's my sole grudge against the school's curriculum, which was no doubt altered after 1956 to allow mixed Arts and Science A-levels. Anyone know? Otherwise, I'm eternally grateful for the education I received and the worlds the School opened up for me.
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13th of July 2015 09:29 PM by David Morris
Re Post 1239

Thank you Bill for confirming my thoughts about the pass mark for 0 levels.

I think you also passed Additional Maths in 1954. What did you study to get Additional Maths ?
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12th of July 2015 08:49 AM by Peter Ballantine
I did 7 of my 0 levels in 1962 in my forth year along with the rest of the A stream and indeed we were the last to get a percentage. When we finished off some more O levels in what was called the Junior Sixth we got grades. Indeed 45% was the pass mark (which i just got in physics!). Ned was chuffed because i got 90% for geography and Baxter jnr. got 90% for his geography A level. One guy in our class got 90% for his history which he promptly dropped because he went into the science sixth!
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10th of July 2015 05:27 PM by Bill Brock
David Morris was correct, the pass mark for O-level when it was introduced in 1951 was 45 percent. That lasted until 1963 when entrants were just graded 1-6 (for passes) and 7-9 for failures. When the actual Certificates were posted, they simply stated that "So and So" had passed in the following subjects and no marks were recorded. All a bit different from now when pupils return to School to collect their results in August. I recall failing both French and Geography in 1953 and passing in a resit the following year. I recall too that English Literature demanded a detailed understanding of Milton's Paradise Lost (Part 1), Kipling's Kim, and Shakespeare's Macbeth, plus other books. Got through thanks to Bill Lawrence's stimulating teaching.
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7th of July 2015 01:40 PM by peter ballantine
It was indeed 45% as pass mark. I still have my card as well. We were the last year to have a percentage when we did most of our O levels in our fourth year before going onto what was the Junior sixth when we completed 3 more and started some A level work.My best moment in school was getting 90% in that fourth year for my Geography. Baxter junior got 90% at A level. Ned was chuffed to say the least.
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5th of July 2015 11:39 AM by David Morris
O level marking

The other day I came across a postcard sent to me on 26 August 1956 - yes the dreaded O level results information. It didn't tell me what I had passed only the marks. Later we were told the subjects that we had passed in.

Would anybody know what the pass level was and whether the pass level was the same for each subject ? My guess, from my results, was that the pass mark was 45% so I just avoided coming back for the Autumn term.
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29th of June 2015 03:30 PM by Webmaster
Thank you for your help David - the link to the correct page on the Blatchington Mill School website has been re-established. No need to worry Ron "All's well ................
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29th of June 2015 03:01 PM by David Morris
Re post 1235

I don't think all is lost yet. A few minutes ago I looked at the Blatchington Mill website and found references to the school as we knew it. Certainly a photo from 1947 and pictures of the mural. Please look at the section "History of the School".
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29th of June 2015 08:59 AM by Ron Riches
The school motto, the mural, the severed link, the school photos that once adorned the corridor wall and my unacknowledged letter sent to the head mistress, am I alone in thinking that Blatchingdon Mill are attempting to airbrush Hove County Grammar School for Boys from history. Shame!!
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28th of June 2015 07:31 PM by Richard (aka Rick) B G Inwood
1960 - 1969 (U 6 Tech Maths, Physics)
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27th of June 2015 11:27 AM by Webmaster
LINKS : the link to Blatchington Mill school website has been removed - the link was to a page that gave details of the staircase Mural (painted by A.Harrison in 1956) which no longer appears on the Blatch. website. We are trying to gather information to generate our own page about the school buildings and contents (including the Mural so if you have any useful information please let us know via the Email Webmaster tab . We have contacted the school with a view to using their original information but have not had a reply yet (our original contact may have moved on).
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24th of June 2015 02:53 PM by Ron Riches
Many thanks David for your kind thought. I will belatedly raise a glass to all of 1944 intake.
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22nd of June 2015 12:08 PM by David Gregory
Happy 82nd birthday to my "old" contemporary Ron Riches.
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15th of June 2015 11:26 AM by David Morris
Re post 1227 and Mr Grant's end of term event

The description is similar to a popular game that we played at Scouts on a Friday night in the mid 50s. It was probably called "Boomswinging" and we had to obey the naval officer's commands on ship. "Boomswinging" involved being flat on the floor and "Clear the decks" off the gym floor. "Fore" and "Aft" spoke for themselves as did "Freeze". "Officer on deck" had you saluting. "Port" and "Starboard" were self explanatory and there were probably one or two other commands.The slowest to obey the command was eliminated so leaving the fittest sailor. In my time Fred Teague was the champion.
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11th of June 2015 03:16 PM by Peter Ballantine
I also remember Mr Grant's end of term layout in the gym - good fun.
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10th of June 2015 03:30 PM by DAY Simon
1969 to 1974
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7th of June 2015 09:09 AM by Mike Stephens
with reference to the recent post by Clive Gibbs - do you remember me Clive ? we worked together briefly after school at British Railways (as it was then) LM Region at Euston

hope you're well and would love to hear your news - potted version obviously - it's over 45 years since we were last in touch !

going back to old masters - does anyone remember Grant the PE teacher ? - not an otherwise remarkable guy but often as an end of term treat he had the gym filled with every bit of kit he could find including the ropes and we had to navigate round the room 'tarzan' like to avoid being caught ! - good fun
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5th of June 2015 11:46 AM by Geoff Stoner
Does anybody know the name of the insouciant batsman described in the magazine jottings as written by A.L. (1947-51), or remember the incident?
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2nd of June 2015 04:19 PM by Clive Gibbs
1961 - 67
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22nd of May 2015 04:57 PM by Bill Brock
Today's Times carries an interesting obituary of the Italian scholar Barbara Reynolds (1915-2015). She was the first wife of the School's first French teacher, Lewis Thorpe. He was called up in 1940 and did not return to school teaching. Instead he became a lecturer (and later Professor) of French at the University of Nottingham where he published research on Arthurian legends. He died in 1977. His career illustrates what scholarly and first-class teachers headmaster Norden recruited in 1936.
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22nd of May 2015 04:10 PM by David Morris
Welcome to the club Les and hope that you have enjoyed the posts for the 1950s. I think I last saw you at the Hastings office of the Motor Union in the early sixties. If you would like to give your email address to the webmaster I'm sure he will send it on and we can reminisce online.
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21st of May 2015 08:50 PM by Les Green
Only just discovered this site and amazed at the memories. I was at the school between 1952 to 58. One of your main members is David Morris who I worked with at M.U. Insurance Co. when I first left school. Also worked with another old-boy at same place -Nick Garbutt. Remember Les Hamilton quite well as we were the only Les's in our year. If you have David Morris's contact address please pass on my regards.
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15th of May 2015 01:29 PM by James Harwood website: http://jamesharwood2004@yahoo.com
I would like to make contact with any guys in the 1948 to 1953 period,especially Ted Keeper.David Langley was going to put me in touch but haven't heard from him recently. Has been interesting reading past web discussions concerning Bill Lawrence,he was my English teacher and comments in my *Termly Reports* book covering my 5 years written by him would not now dare be written by any teacher,they did in fact have a great effect on me,mostly trying to,prove him wrong. I now live in retirement near Estepona in Spain.............
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12th of May 2015 01:58 PM by peter ballantine
Glad Anton mentioned Paddy Roberts -his lower sixth year on British history was most interesting and a really nice guy.
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7th of May 2015 10:00 PM by Anton Green
I was at HCGS(B) from 1960-68 and I note comments below from train boy Ian Gates who I encountered later when we were both Social Work Team Leaders….hope you still agree Ian that Rise LIke the Sun (Albion Band) is one of the best folk rock albums ever. As to school well my cheek (and natural sense of justice) quite often got me into trouble so I had the cane from both bouncer and the harder hitting tabby. However the teachers I respected were Bill Lawrence (bless him because he truly loved good literature, Ned Land, Ken Garland, Paddy Roberts, Baldy Farrand, Buddy Holly, and I felt pretty positive about Mr Playll as well despite the learn it like a parrot technique. Yes Colin Pope was ok although given to the odd outburst. I'm still in touch with some guys from the old place…sometimes go to re-unions of the elite A stream via my friend Dave Standing and its great when some of my compatriots from the "other" streams like Chris Fosbury, Dave Messeter, Des Vine, Trev Male or Rich Inwood show up. ALso in touch with Peter Ballantine and Malcolm Krohne who were a few years ahead of me through the school….I never deserved those canings of course!!!
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4th of May 2015 01:32 AM by Malcolm Bell (1968 - 1975)
I was never taught by AFW, but did encounter him away from the classroom both on the stage (he was the Pirate King) and at school camp, and I have fond memories of both occasions. The only real violence I recall is a history teacher using his knuckles on a pupil's head.

Jack Liddell and his famous "you 'orrible little boy" made me laugh from a recalled memory - but oh boy, what a fantastic maths teacher. Probably single-handedly responsible for my understanding of basic mathematical processes - leading on to Les Hamilton and the gentle Dave Bennett in 6th form maths, and a resounding Grade B at A level. Peggy Braund's reverent passion for Physics at 6th form was also magnificent. It felt like I was persoanally tutored in the subject, yet I know I was just one of many in his class.

I was a 'star pupil' when it came to summer camp. I went every year from 1968 to 1975, and then was invited back to join the staff right up to 1979 when of course the school as we know it closed its doors. I have a number of photos which I will scan in due course.

Finally, for now, I recall Ned Land getting crimson with anger when he didn't see what was funny about asking - "hands up if you can't hear me at the back" during one assembly when there was (presumably) building works noise outside. I can remember some of the staff seated at the sides of the hall trying hard not to laugh too.

It will be nice to see some comments from younger members in due course - full marks to those of you who have kicked this site off and who have contributed some wonderful memories and sparked excellent debates here.

Hove CGS(B) (as we had to write on the exam scripts) was a special place for all of us, and lets hope these memories and tributes to staff stand the test of time and can be appreciated by families of those named.
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4th of May 2015 01:14 AM by Malcolm Bell (1968 - 1975)
Having caught up with this website I've now found myself reading through all the comments! 3 hours later I'm left with the impression that very little of substance changed during the life of HGS(B) - though I never experienced boxing. Its fascinating how certain staff names appear again and again. To a relative youngster like me many of the names were engrained in school folk-law as they were depicted on that magnificent mural.

I'm pleased that somebody did eventually recall the hair cutting incident which got into the papers. This was in the summer of 1968, a few months before I was due to start there and it filled my mother with horror. Between 1968 and about 1973 a new batch of 'train boys' from Burgess Hill and Hassocks appeared as Haywards Heath Grammar School was 'full up'. The thought of having to travel to school on 2 trains, leaving home at 7.40am AND a school where the headteacher forcibly cut pupils hair filled our collective parents with dread. As it was, their fears were unfounded, and at least for me the 7 years of education at Hove were some of the most formative of my life. I have 3 younger brothers - 2 of us attended Grammar Schools and the other 2 a Secondary Mod. All these years later I don't think you can tell much difference between our achievements in adult life!
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3rd of May 2015 12:43 PM by Malcolm Bell (1968 - 1975)
OK - the 1975 picture of the Barbershop Harmony Group, whichy was the front cover of the school magazine. Left to right, standiing. PC George Beer, Malcolm Bell (me!), Neil Brand, Nick Brewin (head boy 75 yo 76), ONe of the next two is Chris Karley, last one Geoff Pinney. Kneeling, Derek Barton on the right.

The Windmill Barbershop group was promoted by music teacher Mr Brooks and met for about 2 terms to have fun singing in close harmony. We had just one concert - the annual school concert in 1975, which included many of the same character singing G&S excepts.

Not seen him since university but I know Derek went on to do a lot of barbershop singing and I once saw him on telly in a national choir contest!
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3rd of May 2015 12:35 PM by Malcolm Bell
Hi guys - As a 'scientific' 6th former I first encountered Bill Lawrence in his role of teaching the heathens a bit of culture once a week. He was brilliant, and he extolled the virtues of the classics to society. I recall vividly how he set us homework to write an essay entitled "What's your dog's name? I don't know, but we call him Fido". Well, I just sat on the train home and wrote the usual load of old b++++ks and handed it in as required. The next thing I get is Bill Lawrence tracking me down in the corridor saying it was a brilliant essay and he had shown it to all the othe staff. To this day I have no idea what I wrote, but I can always remember that feedback - what a fantastic way to inspire a young 17 year old!
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1st of May 2015 11:42 PM by John Pike
Certainly not in my era 75 on Geoff. We all had the latest branded craze. Adidas, Gola ET al...
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25th of April 2015 04:52 PM by Geoff Stoner
Does anybody know when the provision of service type kitbags ceased to be a requirement for new boys? Or did this carry on until the demise of the school?
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23rd of April 2015 06:27 PM by Webmaster
Hello Phil - we normally scan them to jpeg files - most long photos take at least three scans - our scanner has a platen cover that can be released from its hinge so the photos can be fed through manually . Alternatively we can do the job if you wish - you would have to send them to us and give a return address.
Please use the Email Webmaster tab 4th down on the left panel to reply.
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22nd of April 2015 04:05 PM by Phil Howard
I have the school photos from 1971 and 1974. They are still tightly rolled up and show some signs of age and can share them with the site if someone lets me know the best way of doing it.
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21st of April 2015 05:44 PM by John Pike
Sorry,no. I will ask if I see anyone.