Memories of a Seaford schoolboy

The main buildings at Seaford College Junior School, in Mill Road, Worthing
The main buildings at Seaford College Junior School, in Mill Road, Worthing

I read with great interest the recent article regarding Seaford College and, as I attended the school from 1951 to 1955, I would like to share some of my memories with you.

I was in Roosevelt House (yellow) and the others were Smuts (brown) and Churchill (blue).

Seeing the pictures brought back many memories – particularly the playing fields, now called College Gardens.

My last form room (6th) was on the corner in the main photograph and our form master was deputy head Mr Cook – affectionately known as ‘sniff’.

The headmaster was a very smartly dressed Reverend F. Roy Morgan.

All masters were addressed as ‘Sir’ and we raised our school caps when we saw masters outside school. How things have changed.

During Coronation Year (1953) all pupils were presented with a Coronation mug, which I still have, and we also enjoyed a day trip to Portsmouth to review The Fleet, at Spithead, aboard a paddle steamer.

We all shouted and waved when we saw HMS Belfast – our last remaining battleship at that time.

My friends then (we all used surnames) were Pugsley (from Rhodesia), Johnson, Baker, Challis, and Boudagian (from Persia), who was always most popular when his parents sent him a ‘goodies box’ each year, comprising of revolutionary plastic toys – remember it’s 1953 – plus a huge tin of salted pistachio nuts.

“What are these?” we asked in wonderment. We did enjoy them.

Other friends were Herd and Gibson, whose father ran a dental practice in Richmond Road – Westfield’s, I recall.

His partner was a Mr Woolgar, who was my dentist at the time.

In the dining hall, we were served by a master at the head of the table, with the plates passed down to each boy.

From memory, the food was always good and nothing was ever left.

We had two choices, ‘take it’ or ‘leave it and go hungry’.

There was no parental interference in those days.

The masters were: Maths, Mr Brownrigg; French, Mr Sauvain; Latin and Greek, Mr Cook (dep head); English, Mr Gooding; Drama, the only lady mistress, Miss Sale. There were others I know.

Autumn term we played football, Easter term hockey and summer term cricket and athletics.

I was reasonably successful at hockey and was one of three boys given a new style Indian hockey stick, as ‘I showed promise’.

To depart from the museum pieces called English hockey sticks was a quantum leap in those days.

I remember undercutting a ball with my new stick and nearly knocked out Herd’s front teeth.

Fortunately, there was a dentist next to the school, in Downview Road, so Herd was fixed up without any loss.

I do hope he did not suffer in later years.

In athletics I received the Victor Ludorum cup three years running, and I believe my name is still inscribed on it, wherever it is now.

The playing fields adjoined a quadrangle to the left of the picture and a Fives Court to the right.

Collation was eagerly awaited when playing cricket in the summer months, and if you were called upon to dispense lemonade and paste sandwiches, you were very popular.

We usually managed to snaffle a few extra sandwiches.

Simple fun. We were all healthy and enjoyed ourselves.

There were very few television sets, just radios in the form rooms if you were lucky.

Walkmans, smartphones, mobiles, iPads/tablets, yet to be invented.

What we didn’t have we didn’t miss. We used our initiative to entertain ourselves.

Where are we all now?

• Send your memories and photos to James Connaughton, via email to james.connaughton@jpress.co.uk, send them by post or pop into Cannon House, Chatsworth Road, Worthing, BN11 1NA. Telephone 01903 282351.