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Current Comments:
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21st of September 2014 05:55 PM by Tess Ting
finger trouble not gob
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21st of September 2014 12:11 PM by Ron Riches
David Langley lost for words!! What next?
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20th of September 2014 03:16 PM by David langley
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20th of September 2014 03:14 PM by David langley
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15th of September 2014 04:22 PM by David Langley
Agreed Bill, but I can state categorically that none of the 1948 intake were ever found to be expecting. That is the HCGS[B] intake of course.As for the others ..................
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15th of September 2014 03:52 PM by Bill Green
It is a relief that over six decades have passed since the "pudding vilification" has been raised. Had the subject been discussed at the time, so many classmates sitting expectantly at the tables in the dining hall with such happy smiling faeces could have been denied their culinary delights.
In "my year" the train boys may have been less fortunate in the educational skills and capabilities of their fellow commuters on the fabled 4.28 because I was never regaled with similar such exploits. Alternatively, perhaps earlier studies were mainly theoretical concepts by those earlier generations and which subsequently were developed by studious research and experimentation into more practical actions, calling for greater and more sensitive of protection of intellectual property and copyright.
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15th of September 2014 02:14 PM by David Langley
so you were not hard dung by?

Having never travelled on the 4.28, I had my fantasies fed by the likes of GMJ [Jim] Stevenson, Bill Matthews and Mick "Dobbler" Waller. The girls of our fellow HCGS featured prominently in their anecdotes.

White ankle socks and gymslips.

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15th of September 2014 11:02 AM by Bill Green
That's made me feel a little easier Ron, but I'm still coming to terms with David L's revelation that in my naivety I never appreciated that during my sweet toothed love of the puddings, they were subject of several unofficial "excremental" rankings. A variation of byre beware?
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15th of September 2014 09:38 AM by Ron Riches
Don't feel too short-changed Bill, the 4.28 out of Brighton was the only plus to being a train boy. Leaving home at 7.40am to catch the 8.00am to Brighton became a bit wearing by the fifth year and as the journey was usually taken up with the previous evenings' homework thoughts of the return on the infamous 4.28 were the only consolation.

The early start meant that I was only able to deliver papers on Sunday for which I received 2/0d which could only be stretched to twenty Weights. Count your blessings David G.
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14th of September 2014 06:29 PM by David Langley
That same newsagent also ran a private library, mostly romances and Agatha Christies. During the war those books were a staple for my mother [dad aware sorting out Hitler] and I. Apparently I was a precocious reader.
I was a paper boy in that same shop around 1949, and I looked after Holmes Avenue. Including in very deep snow IN SHORTS. And all this on a meagre diet of gruel and tapioca, seemingly.
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14th of September 2014 02:44 PM by David Gregory
Ron. All the time you were living off the fat of the land in rural mid Sussex, from late '46 I was getting up at 6 o'clock in the morning to start work at 6.45 in the Newsagent's and tobacconist's at the bottom of Holmes Avenue next to Harringtons the coach builder. You would have passed this shop on your way to school from Aldrington Halt. I finished at 8 o'clock. Wages 12/6d per week. The very best cigarettes and tobacco were always sold to favourite regular customers from "under the counter". I had access to all the very best. I had already become a 5 a day convert because it was the manly thing to do. (The pipe came later with the moustache). If only I had known you had access to copious amounts of quality food and with my cigarette connections something tells me, that between us, we missed the business opportunity of a lifetime.
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14th of September 2014 12:22 PM by Bill Green
Gosh Ron, I had always believed that HCGSB provided equal opportunities for all, but are you now shattering my childhood illusions, not only with the educational exploits on the 4.28 from Brighton to Haywards Heath which sadly I missed, being a townie, but now with the disparagement of my beloved school dinners and introducing the concept of "fat of the land". Me miserum!
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14th of September 2014 11:57 AM by David Langley
It WAS collected from the beach, rich in iodine etc.

My unfavourite was one of the "afters".

A luke-warm, off-white, semi-lumpy viscid mess into which a portion of dubious red jam was to be inserted and stirred.

I recall several unofficial and scatological names by which it was known.
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14th of September 2014 09:37 AM by Ron Riches
Sorry chaps but as I missed the discussion on school dinners, please accept a late entry! Meaning no disrespect to Mrs March who bravely fought wartime and post war austerity shortages, I recall cabbage that might have been collected from the beach at low tide and ersatz potatoes of similar consistency to the gravy. Living in seriously rural Mid-Sussex with a large garden and my father's two allotments and a considerable number of chickens, we tended to live off the fat of the land and I was able occasionally to spend 2/4d of my dinner money on a twenty Players whilst maintaining a healthily balanced diet.
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12th of September 2014 03:36 PM by Bill Green
David L. - I submit; you win since I score a double zippo!

David M. - have looked at that very interesting site; thanks.
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12th of September 2014 02:50 PM by David Langley
Bill: can I count a total of six dogs and two guinea pigs?

Thought not!

David Morris: thank you for the sight of the site.
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12th of September 2014 10:15 AM by David Gregory
Ah!. The Rothbury. Quite correct, it was in Portslade and the venue for my elder brother and I to visit on a Sunday afternoon for a sixpenny seat. It was then one of the original "fleapits" and notable for the interval appearance of a well built man with a copper canister strapped to his back. He then proceeded to spray the audience with scented disinfectant.
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12th of September 2014 09:51 AM by Bill Green
Yes I remember the Odeon also, it is where I fell in love with Doris Day. The Rothbury was just over Boundary Road into Portslade, at the same level as New Church Road, and introduced me to the wonders of Roy Rogers and Trigger on those rare occasions when I was in funds.
On the matter of progeny, I did not disclose my full hand originally, and "kept up my sleeve" three great grandchildren with one more expected in April. This puts the record straight but in no way should be interpreted as displaying competitive intent - quite the reverse!
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12th of September 2014 09:40 AM by David Morris
Rothbury Cinema

The website "Hove, Portslade and Brighton in the past" will tell you a lot of what you want to know about almost anything including pubs, cinemas and schools. Well worth a visit.
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12th of September 2014 09:30 AM by David Langley
My peers [!] and I went to the Odeon Hove, right by Hove Railway Station ......... as the trains went in/out/through the whole place shook.
I think the Rothbury was Portslade?
Certainly there were any number of flea-pits to choose from if one only had the cash.

I have four feelers out to ex-pupils on "dinners" and will report back.

8 grandchildren? I can up that. Seven and a great-grand just edges in front?
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11th of September 2014 10:17 PM by Bill Green
On reflection David I think your wife, and indeed Geoffrey Christopher, were both right in remembering 2/6 for school dinners per week. In 1952 the average weekly wage for men, working 42 hours, was £9. Today, for working 32 hours, the average pay for a man is nearly £500 per week, so applying the same percentage, 2/6 then is equivalent to about £6.90 in today's money, which if our coalition government had not promised free hot meals for all, would have been a reasonable amount to pay. From my limited experience of 8 grandchildren, I believe the above "logic" of using the same percentages for 1952 and 2014 in respect of pocket money given to them fails by a wide margin!. My pocket money then, which had to be earned by doing a variety of chores, did not cover the sixpence cost of Saturday morning flicks at the local cinema - was it the Rothbury?
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11th of September 2014 04:16 PM by David Langley
Thank you Bill. My wife was at Luton High [a state grammar] at the same time and thinks 2/6- was her weekly going rate and that she took it to school every Monday.
It does seem a substantial amount, and I expect my parents were happy for me to cycle home in winter, rather than fork out.
I will ask around.
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10th of September 2014 11:20 PM by Bill Green
I can't remember when or how much we paid for the school dinners. Geoffrey Christopher who was a year or two ahead of me suggests in Post 846 that the weekly cost was 2/6. Way back in the 50s this seems a lot for hard pressed families to shell out. Perhaps even then there was some means testing because I have no recollection of ever having money in my pocket ( I either walked or cycled to school), nor of paying for the dinners. The charge could perhaps have been collected direct from the parents for each term? In spite of this uncertainty I am convinced that those who did not stay for the school dinners probably missed out both nutritionally and socially at our long daily-changing tables!
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10th of September 2014 10:20 PM by David Langley
I was fickle. Living five minutes from school I had choice. Usually, winter mid day I went home, summer I stayed. This reflects my preference for cricket!
But how did we pay? By the day? By the week? By the term.

In my working life I was fortunate in postings, and for long periods could pop home for lunch, a total spread over Cyprus, Guetersloh [in Germany], and Joint Headquarters Germany of 15 years. A rare privilege.
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10th of September 2014 08:19 PM by Geoff Stoner
School meals!
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10th of September 2014 06:08 PM by Peter Ballantine
In all my school years (primary and secondary) never had a school meal. what have I missed?
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9th of September 2014 06:18 PM by Bill Brock
Greetings from Philadelphia! In response to Geoff Christoper's Post 846, Blatchington Mill uses a large dining room cafeteria in what was the former Neville School. When I went round it looked fairly posh. I believe it can also be used as an assembly hall, though the school roll is so huge I doubt all pupils could be accommodated.
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8th of September 2014 07:13 PM by David Gregory
All this talk about school dinners is making me hungry. The food we received, mainly green vegetables, swede, turnip, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and small amounts of meat were a modern nutritionist's dream. I cannot recall a single pupil who was of "Bunteresque" proportions. I understand that in todays schools pupils are given taster pots to try out various dishes and if they are not good enough they can refuse to eat. I can always remember grace being said before sitting down for a meal " For what we are about to receive may we be truly grateful". Never was a truer word spoken.
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8th of September 2014 05:14 PM by David Langley
"School Dinners" as they were called unless one was posh!

Yes, Mrs March did a fine job. My recollection of table configuration is slightly different in that the master [on a freebie?] sat at the head, whereas a prefect sat at the foot. All pupils moved smartly down each day, and those next to/near to the prefect collected and dished the grub.

Thus all endured in turn the necessity of table manners and polite conversation, and all benefited in turn from serving. Mrs March, being the Scoutmaster's wife, had a beneficial soft spot when Scout older boys appeared at the serving hatch.

As for sex education, I missed the early one [third year?] and for many years after, if needs be, spelled penis as paenus, a sort of pseudo Latin. Not that we used the word in speech, but a huge variety of alternatives.
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7th of September 2014 07:16 PM by Bill Green
I'm so pleased to read the complimentary comments about the high quality and nutritious content of our school meals which prevailed during my time in the 1950s. I have always spoken to friends and family of my enjoyment of great food served up to us, but usually to amazed reactions of those listening to me, who apparently were much less fortunate and according to their memories had to endure some pretty dire meals. So Mrs March and her very attractive lady helpers in the kitchen, presumable with limited resources, worked wonders for those of us lucky enough to have the "school dinners" five days a week. How standards seem to have dropped so far from what I hear now from my grandchildren! But I guess this applies equally to other aspects of their education today?
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6th of September 2014 11:44 PM by John Pike
Andy Wilmont you revered goal scorer of the HGSB late 70s!! Good to hear from one of my era. How did you pick up this site? Happy days eh mate?????
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6th of September 2014 08:51 PM by Geoffrey Christopher
In response to Bob Kennett's message - Post Number 848.. With reference to your mention that the school meals we received helped to supplement the shortage of meat in our home-cooked meals during the forties and "well into the fifties" as you said, this was because meat did not come off ration until the 4th July 1954. Up until then each person's entitlement was very small per week - I know, because my father was a retail butcher, and was one of those who had to limit all his customers to the permitted quantity. After the above date, people could buy as much meat as they wanted, so you should have noticed the difference from then onwards.

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6th of September 2014 08:07 PM by Bob Kennett
I recall that the system of school meals so accurately described by DG prevailed through the fifties - much to my delight as the school meal represented a more than adequate stand-in for home cooking which was often short on meat (yes - way into the fifties). I can see the delicious stewed meat ,greens and mashed potato and even the liver and bacon with green beans , followed by treacle pudding even now . This is where my appreciation of good food was developed and honed to the cordon blue standard I enjoy today. Seriously - the school meals were really nutritious - mind you - I have to say this as my mother in law to be worked in the school kitchen . Did anyone else notice that Joe Allen had a mysterious relationship with the female staff that often resulted on extras at the table he presided over?
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6th of September 2014 06:59 PM by David Gregory
Ah!. School dinners. What a wonderful memory. During the war, when food was obviously difficult to get, I was privileged to have free school meals. Plenty of mashed potatoes and some rather delicious dubious looking meat and always a stodgy pud with lashings of watery custard. There was a marvellous system which ensured all pupils got a fare share. There were several tables each with approx. 12 to 15 pupils on either side of the table with a master at the top assisted by two prefects or senior boys who were responsible for dishing out the grub as fairly as possible. At the end of the first course all the plates were passed down the table and the two lads at the bottom collected them and took the kitchen for washing. Ditto for the second course. If there were any firsts or seconds left over after the food had been dished out those at the top of the table shared out the extra. The cunning plan was that each day every pupil moved up one space so that you eventually reached the top and had your fare share. The trick was that when the first course was ropey you were generous with the helpings for those at the bottom of the table but if the seconds were something you fancied you made certain there was plenty left for your seconds. If memory serves me correct there was a special table reserved for the head and assistant head master plus privileged teachers. I think their food was already plated and served to them silver service. Ah! School dinners.
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5th of September 2014 09:22 PM by Geoffrey Christopher
To Bill Brock - Re Post 817. You said that the stage is no longer used as a dining hall, and that the kitchens have been turned into drama studios. Does this mean that school meals are no longer supplied by the school? When I was there I remember we got a two-course dinner for five days a week for two and sixpence - and cooked on the premises.
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5th of September 2014 08:41 PM by Andy Willmont
Interesting reading. Would like to see any pictures, memories from 1975 - 1980 when I attended a GREAT school although I did not know it at the time like so many others probably. Ken Garland, Sid Elling and David King all sports teachers and Rusty Reynolds , Willy Pope all great teachers !
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3rd of September 2014 06:23 PM by David Hitchin
Woods! He was certainly shorter than many of us, and possibly less well endowed intellectually, so perhaps his style arose from over-compensation.

Campbell, who taught Latin, was very different, and I can't remember a critical word about him, nor any failure of his to keep perfect order. His style was to speak very quietly; if you didn't listen carefully, you couldn't hear, so his classes were always hushed. After a really pathetic performance with one exercise, he could have sentenced me to a "B" or tried threats, but he just said, "Will you promise me that you will learn this by next week?" Who could resist an approach like that?
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3rd of September 2014 06:06 AM by Mike Peacock
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2nd of September 2014 05:39 PM by Peter Ballantine
The Gym master - wasn't he Johnny woods? He was fierce but I don't remember any problems but my recollection was that all the gym masters were aggressive. I was one of those who missed gym for two year because we were doing German 'O' level - didn't miss it!
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1st of September 2014 07:18 PM by Colin Washer
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1st of September 2014 05:03 PM by Bob Kennett
Remember Woods ? late 1950s gymnastycs master. Discipline gone mad. My refusal to commit to acquiring white shorts cost me a caning (whilst wearing my blue shorts) for "insolence". But in some perverse way it was worth it just to see him seethe. Basher on the other hand was a disciplinarian of a different and superior sort - a real gentleman who commanded respect and who managed to get even the least athletic of us to try our best.
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1st of September 2014 12:06 PM by Mick Wright
When I joined in 1964 we had a PE guy called Grant. Now he really was one to be feared as he thought nothing of using a plimsole or the leather end of one of those climbing ropes in the gym to whack you with. Henderson was a pleasure after him, although once established, was thought a bit too cocky - evidenced by his swallow dive into the shallow end at the King Alfred one Tuesday morning, for him to rise from the water with blood streaming from a cut in his receding forehead.
We had the same experience as David Watts re Kennedy who ghosted into his first lesson with us in his flowing gown and spotted bow tie. He had a bit of an accent but also sounded a bit posh. We had never seen or heard anything quite like it. Yes, he turned out to be one of the nicer guys. Always had time for Barney Balsdon but I fell out with Bill Lawrence over my refusal to run cross country for the house. The house head and deputy had secreted themselves behind a bush in the qualifying run to count 10 house members through so they wouldn't have to do the run the following week. Point of principle really, but I never let on to old Bill, despite him having a screaming fit at me in the follow up.
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30th of August 2014 03:06 PM by David Watts
I again concur with you entirely Dave, and also your earlier reflections on how daunting some of those teachers were when we first joined, though perceptions did of course alter as the years went by. Jack Liddell was as you rightly say a classic example. In the words of the song,"at first I was afraid I was just petrified" - though by the upper school I had already realised that it took a certain skill to keep a class of boys under total command just by sheer force of personality and so I was applauding as keenly as anyone during Jack's memorable send-off in the school hall.
I can also recall "Paddy" Kennedy storming into class 1A for his first ever lesson with us and giving us a very tough and stroppy time as he clearly set out to win our respect and show us all that he meant business. Afterwards I thought that he was 'orrible, whilst PE-master Henderson had soon become a big favourite, mainly because I strangely preferred playing football to attending proper lessons?! Again by the upper school though these perceptions had changed, with Henderson at the very foot of my personal staff popularity list whilst Kennedy had become my favourite of them all and remains so to this very day. And if Mr Kennedy was around now I would certainly buy him a Guinness!
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29th of August 2014 11:01 PM by WEBMASTER
The Guest Book Registry is updated to include those who submit a post on the Welcome Page (Front Page) by using the Sign Guest Book tab. Please note that correspondents that only use the Contact Us tab merely send an email to the webmaster and would therefore not be included in Guest Book Registry.
Please remember to give your starting year and leaving year in your first entry so that the registry can put you in the correct era (colour coded).
Thanks to all of you who are making this website a success.
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29th of August 2014 08:16 PM by David Groves
I remember being in 3b and room 24 on the first floor. In that room, the door when opened to the wall created a triangular space behind it. On some occasions just immediately prior to a lesson starting and whilst we were waiting for the teacher to arrive...someone would grab Peter Hamilton, push him behind the door and then wedge a chair under the handle so that he was effectively imprisoned behind the glass door . Brief cases would then be chucked over the top of the door landing on top of him. And then the teacher would arrive....and always the teacher would actually blame Peter! and say 'Hamilton you idiot why do you always do this? - release him from his prison and send him back to his seat as a nuisance. All the time Peter was trying to explain that the class bullies had done this and it wasn't his own initiative!!!
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29th of August 2014 08:08 PM by David Groves
Hey Dave I remember that very well! I also remember Mr Viney. He was a very thin wiry emaciated white almost gaunt figure who taught physics. He was deeply religious and used to say grace or recite prayers whilst screwing up his face as though it actually hurt him to speak! One day he invited a gospel singer to morning assembly and this American guy appeared and did the usual gospel 'I was lost but now I'm saved' nonsense...but then he started playing on an accordion that was round his nexk. He played, sang , stepping from one foot to another - it was hilarious - but funnier than that was the expression on all the teachers faces as they suppressed their laughter - Tabby almost gave it away - Looby Jones covered his face, Reynolds went bright red like he always did and Balsdon just looked like he was going to explode. I think Williamson just thought WTF!
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29th of August 2014 09:46 AM by Ron Riches
I simply can't get my head around the idea of Nobby Clark delivering a sex talk. He may have addressed the train boys along the lines of "You know what you get up to on the 4.28, well, the birds and bees do it too".
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29th of August 2014 08:35 AM by David Hitchin
Gary Gardner and I were paid £1 between us for a morning's work each Saturday on Greatwood's garden. As we went into the back garden, a bikini-clad young lady jumped to her feet, and was advised by her father to "Cache-toi, mon enfant".

After filling a wheelbarrow with dead plants we were told to take it down the road, to where a sign said "Tip no rubbish" and leave it there.
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28th of August 2014 06:01 PM by Peter Ballantine
Can't say I have any recollection of a sex talk in my time. Perhaps they assumed by the early 1960s we would have known it all!