Coombe Road Primary

Class photos undated

By Vernon Stunt

This wonderful site was introduced to me last year. I have made contact with one of the girls who was in the same class as myself, and I have just come across these two photos which I hope will bring as much enjoyment and cherished memories (and questions) as I have.

It seems that my memory for faces is much better than remembering names.

From 1948 to 1958 we lived in Milner Road. My father worked for J B Bennet making the boxes for shop roller blinds. My grandfather ran his own gents outfitting business in Rottingdean and we used to walk there every Easter Sunday. 

Photo:Coombe Road Primary School: undated class photo

Coombe Road Primary School: undated class photo

From the private collection of Vernon Stunt

This page was added on 24/02/2010.
Comments about this page

Could the girl in the first, (top), picture, centre of third row from front, have been called Doreen?. She has a remarkable resemblance to the wife of someone I knew who lived in Lower Bevendean and then Coldean. Regards

By Jeremy Homeward (24/02/2010)

Jeremy, I don't think the girl in the photo is called Doreen although I can't remember her name for the moment. I do remember a lot of the other people though and they are, starting from top row, left; Dear old Mr Roberts, remember the face but not the name of the next two- then Roger Scrivens, Sidney (Jimmy) Hopper, Graham Cooper, John Williamson, Michael ? and Vernon Stunt (he who put this photo on the site). Next row down; Sheila Roddis, can't remember the next two, Jackie Fox, can't recall, Brenda Campbell (my best friend), Gillian Parsons, bNorma Hislam, then can't remember. Next row down is me, Lawrence Farey (his mum was lollipop lady), Terry Lawrence, don't know next two, Cynthia Duke, Marion? Seymour Mathews, Victor Marriot and Brian Fowler. Bottom row; Colin Montgomery (his mum put a grip in his hair), Ian ?, Roger ?, Kenneth White, David Redford, can't remember and Trevor Scrase. Not bad, considering I have to go through all my children's and grandchildren's names before I get the right one. I left Coombe Road School fifty odd years ago in 1957 and remember it well. So why can't I remember what I was doing yesterday.

By Linda Keet-Harris (nee Keats) (10/03/2010)

I tripped over this page and am grateful for the superior memory of Linda Keats for being able to recite most of the names and for Vernon who posted the two photos which I don't think I have seen before. I used to live in Canfield Road where my Mum had lived from 1928 when her Dad bought the place (£350) until she died in September 2006. My sister Geraldine and I eventually sold the place and Mum got her wish for it to stay in the family; it was sold, uncannily, to another Mr Cooper. When we checked some of Mum's documents we discovered she was a tailoress, and used to make suits for Radclyffe-Hall a famous lesbian and whose scandal rocked society in the 1930's. Dad was in charge of maintenance at Dentsply, I guess what one would now call the Works Engineer. He died in 1964 at St Thomass's following a second operation for the removal of a brain tumour. I ended up following Dad's footsteps as an Engineer, but in waste management and recycling, and now live in Harlington, Beds.

By Graham Cooper (06/01/2011)

Next to Vernon Stunt is Michael Roser with whom I was always having fights I recall. Subsequently (in the mid 60s) he and I met up through a friend as we shared a passion for motorbikes. He had got his Institute of Advanced Motorists Award for bikes by then. After that we lost touch.

By Graham Cooper (06/01/2011)

Hello, have just come across this site. Great.

By Michael Roser (31/01/2011)

In the photo with the male teacher I am in the back row, second from the right. Was recently told about this site by a friend who lives in Peacehaven and is a few years older than myself but a Coombe Road pupil too! Many thanks to Graham Cooper for reminding me of the fights! I remember them well and most of the names mentioned but not necessarily the faces. Yes, I recall that both Graham and myself were passionate about motorbikes in our teenage years particularly although I didn't have an I.A.M. for bikes but do now have one for cars for the last 16 odd years. My passion for bikes lasted until age and the climate went against me! I lived in Southall Avenue with my parents and older sister for many years and attended C.R. from there, moving onto Fawcett. I moved to Gloucester in 1976 with my wife and son and daughter and we now have five Grandchildren. Am now semi-retired (65 next month) and run my own fire consultancy business having been in engineering for the majority of my working life. Regards to those classmates in the photo, especially Vernon and Graham. Sorry, I can't date the photos either. Would love to hear from anyone else who remembers me.

By Michael Roser (04/02/2011)

It was good to see Michael Roser's comments. Best Wishes Mike. I have had a think about the year in which the photo with Mr Roberts was taken. I reckon it was 1954 or 1955, because I had as teachers from 1951 (age 6) to 1957 when I left aged 12, Miss Rigby (or was she headmistress?), Miss Connolly, Miss Goldsmith, Mr Roberts (all in Infants) and Mr Bear and Miss Yorke (both in Juniors). If someone else who has given up the aluminium saucepans can refine my estimate, please do so...

By Graham Cooper (13/04/2011)

Hi Michael, I used to live next door to you in Southall Avenue with my 2 brothers and 1 sister, David, Trevor and Elaine, and of course we all went to Coombe Road.

By Jenny Maskell (nee Jones) (05/06/2011)

Jenny, lovely to hear from you! Fond memories of those years long ago and you and your family on our one side and Mr. Pousland and his son Bill on the other side of us. I particularly remember you in your smart, new M &S uniform going off to work with my Mother - who died at the end of 2009, aged 97. Best wishes, Mike Roser.

By Michael Roser (18/06/2011)

I and my two brothers went to Coombe Road School in the 1930s but none of us can remember the school clock. Has anybody any idea when it was installed?

By Viv Webb (20/06/2011)

Hi Graham - I would say you are right about the date of the photo being around about 1954 - I left Coombe Road at the age of 11years. Miss Walters was my teacher in the top class, Miss York in the third class and Mr Roberts in class two (he was a junior teacher, not an infant teacher as you thought), Miss Goldsmith in class one. Before that it was Miss Page in the infants and Mrs Ridley in the first two classes. She wasn't headmistress and the name of the person who was escapes me at the moment - it will come back randomly in the middle of one night when I least expect it. Best wishes all

By Linda Keet-Harris (nee Keats) (23/06/2011)

I've just remembered the name of the Headmistress; it was Miss Maids/Maydes? Can't remember the spelling though.

By Linda Keet-Harris (25/06/2011)

I was born in 1946 and attended several schools as my father was a soldier. We lived at Preston Barracks during some of the 1950s and I remember Mr Roberts as a favourite teacher and really enjoyed my time at Coombe Road. I seem to remember an eclipse of the sun whilst I was at school there. I passed the 11plus whilst in Hereford and then came back to Hove Grammar. My mum was a local girl.

By Lynn Whelan (08/07/2011)

So many names, remembered or half-remembered. I lived at 92 Milner Road and must have been at Coombe Road from '55 to '63. Was it Mr Yardley that used to have a wristwatch with a stretch bracelet that he used to hold around his hand throughout the whole lesson? Miss York was lovely. My perception was that Miss Connolly was quite old but I bet she wasn't. Air-raid shelters in the playground; (red?) tiled verandas; Assembly in the massive (I bet it's tiny) hall; Carol services (next door) at St Alban's Church; home to dinner (lunch) - I only had to cross Milner Road; Grout's the baker, Colin's grocers on the corner of Nesbit Road; four fruit salad or blackjack chew for 1d in the sweet shop; steam trains sounding their whistles at 11:59 on New Years Eve; the 'hooter' (Dentsply) sounding to call the workers; the air-raid siren being sounded occasionally as a civil defence test; and the occasional boom-boom of an aeroplane breaking the sound barrier. Because we lived in Milner Road and I used that entrance to go in to school, I remember thinking that anything the other side of Coombe Road was a foreign country! It was another world - not all good but one that those under 40 could learn a useful lesson from.

By Ashley Leaney (22/12/2011)

Are you all coming to our 100th birthday reunion in May? Please get in touch and come along - call on 01273 707878 or contact Janice Dykes on coomberoad@hotmail.com

By Janice Dykes (22/04/2012)

I remember you Michael Roser. We lived across the street from you at number 48 Southall. I remember more your sister Jean. I am still in touch with Frances Duncliffe now Parsons. Would love to hear from you. I now live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Many memories of Moulsecoomb. Ask Jean if she remembers me. Do you remember Tony Rolf?

By Sylvia Watts (now Stickel) (27/06/2012)

Hello, Sylvia Stickell (nee Watts) Good to hear from you. Was No: 48 one of the flats? I can't quite recall now. However, I am sorry to say that I don't remember you but I do clearly remember Tony Rolf.!! If you remember Jean I am wondering if you were more her age? (now 73). I think that Tony was my age 966).

By Mike Roser (08/10/2012)

Who has spotted the "deliberate mistake"? Needless to say I am most certainly not 966 but I do own up to being 66!

By Mike Roser (17/10/2012)

Have just come across the above photographs and comments and it bought back many fond memories of my six years at Coombe Road school. I remember most of the faces but had forgotten many of the names, particularly the surnames. Thank you Linda for putting so many names forward.

By John Williamson (19/02/2013)

Hello John, how lovely to hear from another former pupil of Coombe Road. I might be doing you a great injustice, but I seem to remember you being a bit of a naughty boy. I apologise in advance if I'm wrong. I also remember you as being blonde when you were young I trust this is no longer the case! Those were truly happy years for my sisters and me, a proper little community existed in the school at that time. Both sisters and I went to the 100 year celebrations in 2012, it was interesting to look through the old paperwork and particularly the book where misdemeanors were logged. I didn't have an entry - I'm not sure whether to be disappointed or relieved about that. I've yet to meet anyone who didn't enjoy their time there and judging by the lovely pupils who took us round the classrooms at the centenary celebrations, this is true today. Are you still local to Brighton? So many have moved away. It was a new world opening for us post war babies - so many opportunities that weren't available for most of our parents. Happy memories!

By Linda Keet-Harris (nee Keats) (16/05/2013)

Hello Michael Roser. Sorry for delay in replying. Yes I was closer to your sister's age, I am now 75, and clearly remember Jean. Where is she living now?

By Sylvia Stickel (01/11/2013)

Sylvia, Jean lives in Burgess Hill. Our Mum and Dad moved from Southall Avenue in about 1990. They moved to a sheltered flats complex in Carden Avenue, Patcham. A big move at the time but very successful and they were very happy there as a great many people of their age were doing the same thing after finding the larger houses and gardens getting harder to cope with. Lovely, too, as they met up with many old friends from the area all having done the same thing! Dad died in 1992 and Mum in 2010. 

By Mike Roser (09/12/2013)

I must have started Coombe Rd School around 1945/46 and have very strong memory of when King George died. We were all assembled in the playground for the announcement and when it came a great pile of leaves blew across the ground near to the air raid shelters. That stays strong in my memory to this day at the age of 74. The other strong memory was of a wooden toy train that linked together with carriages and the afternoon naps we had to take on camp beds in the classroom. Was there also a teacher called Mrs Deacon there at that time?

By Tony Stevens (27/11/2015)

Hi Mike Roser, I am Jenny Maskell's (nee Jones) husband - re your conversation with Sylvia Stickel about Number 48 being one of the flats: I have looked on Google Maps and 48 is a house which was next door to the flats, numbers of which were 50-64. Jenny has forgotten her password so I am writing her messages for her. Hope you are well.

By Graham Maskell (09/04/2016)

Graham, sorry for the delay in replying. It's my wife, Rosie, who does the looking at the site and admits to not having done so for ages! Thank you for putting me right about No: 48 etc: I am assuming that your wife is the Jenny who lived next door to us? Am I correct in thinking that she is in local government/ politics? Thanks, I am well,  now 70 and fully retired in March of this year. Happy memories of 57 and the area. Best wishes to you and Jenny, Mike.

By Mike Roser (21/06/2016)

Does anyone remember my dad and his twin brother? Dad was Ernest Hilton, known as John, and his twin was Stuart Hilton, known as Bill. They were born in December 1924 so I guess they started school in 1929. My sister Janice Hilton started there in 1957 I think (born 1952) and I, Karen Hilton, would have started there in 1962 (born 1957). But I'm especially interested in anyone who remembers the Hilton twins.

By Karen Kilshaw (15/05/2017)

I started school at Coombe Road at the age of five in 1943, in the middle of WW2. Living in The Avenue, Lower Bevendean, I had to negotiate Jacob's Ladder. If the air-raid sirens sounded on my way, I had to run to the gun emplacement in the corner of Eastbourne Road. The soldiers there would place us in the ammunition bay to protect us from falling shrapnel. If the sirens went whilst at school, we would retreat to the playground shelters where our teacher Miss York would read a story to us. I do remember the afternoon nap time, often in the playground. Unfortunately I regularly used to faint during morning assembly! I remember our timpani band of triangles, cymbals etc in the hall. I left the juniors to join the senior school at Moulsecoomb.  

By Frank Edwards (13/10/2017)

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