St Margaret's School

School Photo 1950

By John Wignall

St Margaret's was a small school situated in Queensbury Mews. Referring to it as being small is no understatement; there were six classrooms, two for the infants/reception and four for the juniors.

Under Mr Mason the Headmaster there were six teachers who somehow managed to get the best out of the worst pupils. Mr Mason was very strict but very fair and understanding. He possessed that magic to be able to teach from the top right down to infant level. All of the teachers were very respected in the 1950s era.

Photo:Class Photo taken outside St Margarets Chuch 1950, with Mr Mason the Headmaster and Mrs Standing, Class teacher

Class Photo taken outside St Margarets Chuch 1950, with Mr Mason the Headmaster and Mrs Standing, Class teacher

From the private collection of John Wignall

This page was added on 26/07/2009.
Comments about this page

I attended St. Margaret's from 1956 to 1959. Mr.Mason retired during this time to be replaced by Mr. Bruce Avis. I remember Mrs. Gregory whom I hated, a Mr. Grace who was a lovely teacher and Miss Prescott. The school was Victorian with big draughty rooms heated by coal fires. The playground was tiny with only room for one class at a time to play. The desks were Victorian with ink wells and places where the writing slates were kept.

By Veronica Walton nee Chase (22/08/2010)

I was there from 1956 to 1962, when it closed. My last year there was in Mr Grace's class- his daughter, Wendy, was also in the same class. Like you, I hated Mrs Gregory who once told my mother: " I can't make Linda cry", when I had lost my coat in the cloakroom. I remember Miss Holland in reception year. Standard of education there was excellent and many passed their 11+.

By Linda Freedman (nee Heimann) (26/03/2011)

I went to St. Margaret’s round about 1949/1950 but was only there for perhaps a couple of years so I can’t remember any of the names of the other pupils. I lived in Norfolk buildings, at the rear of the Norfolk hotel, an area now much gentrified I am told, not having been there for quite a while. I am attaching an old school photo I dug out of the cupboard after discovering this site only recently. My scanner has packed up so I had to take a digital photo of it and resize it so please pardon both the quality and the tattiness of the photo.

By Michael Peacock (28/04/2011)

I was at St. Margaret's from 1960-63. I remember Mrs. Gregory but, at the age of 8, I hopefully can be forgiven for having the hots for Miss Prescott (Jackie Prescott). I also remember a lovely teacher there who was always so kind to everyone - Pamela Hollins. Any recollections anyone?

By Stuart Smith (20/04/2012)

My husband and his twin brother went to this school. He was quite surprised when he saw this photo and found himself and brother. His name is Roy and his brother is Alex.

By Jennifer Bainbridge (nee Bleach) (07/05/2012)

Hi Jenny, just saw your comment on this page. Your husband Roy is standing right next to me! I well remember both of them at St Margaret's, shows what a small world this is and after such a long gap. If you feel like getting in touch my email address is JOHN.WIGNALL@HOTMAIL.CO.UK  All of the best.

By John Wignall (15/05/2012)

I attended St Margaret's between 1942 and 1948. I was Head boy in my last year and was in Mr Cullin's top class for two years. Mr Mason was very strict, but very caring when you got to know him, he used the tawse (strap) on the naughty boys. The education was good for a small school & there was a high % success rate in the 11+ exams.

By Bryan Moody (26/11/2012)

I went to St. Margaret's from 1950 (although it must have been after the above photo as I can't see myself) until 1956 when I went on to Fawcett. I do have an old school photo, but no idea how to upload it.

Editor's note: Hi Rod - I have made a video that shows you step by step how to upload material to the site. You can see it here. If you have any problems, just mail me: jennifer@mybrightonandhove.org.uk

By Rod Tempest (20/01/2013)

I didn't like the headmaster, Mr Avis, he made us pratice Salad Days for a show, so much that I got a sore throat, so I mimed it. I didn't like Mrs Standing much or Mrs Gregory who was always going on about her wonderful son, Kim. Mr Grace was very nice.

By Kevin Theobald (18/03/2013)

My brother and myself attended St Margaret's from '54 to '56 when my father exiled the family unit to Canada of all places. My heart and soul was and is always in Brighton. I loved my parents dearly but I'll never forgive them for the Canadian move. FYI brother's name Keith Robin Beresford Leech, mine Ian Melvin Beresford Leech... clearly he got the better moniker.

By Ian Leech (29/03/2013)

I was at St Margaret's from 1952-1957 and  have three class photos, much like John Wignall's, above. I remember Miss Prescott, teacher for the first class, I think, where we had to take naps in the afternoon and sit on the floor around the radio for 'Listen with Mother'. In the second class, Mrs Standing, who seemed fierce but was not, made us recite our multiplication tables by rote, endlessly, but I still remember them. The only other teacher I really recall was Mr Venning who took the top class and gave us mental arithmetic and spelling lessons and very rudimentary science lessons involving a boiling kettle on his desk. The 'playground' was as I recall a dark damp basement with smelly lavatories for boys along one side. The boys loved to hold contests to see who could pee over the wall! PE lessons involved tossing bean bags about but we also were taken to Regency Square for field and track events. And did we walk to the old North Road Swimming baths for swimming lessons or am I confusing that with Varndean? (I was one of the lucky ones who St Margaret's successfully got through 11+).

One of my best friends was Hetty Heimann and I was delighted to see Linda Heimann's name on this site. I assume that's Hetty's younger sister? I'd love to hear from you.

By Diane Hughes (nee Stefani) (05/02/2014)

A message for Ian Leech

Dear Ian,   

This is your cousin Graham saying Hello. We are doing the family history thing which one does when you get to a certain age and looking on the internet found your connection with St Margaret’s School. We have done some work on the Geni.com site and also contacted Terry and Jo-Anne Smith (your other cousins) who are about to add further info to the family history.  Should you be interested in joining in, we would be delighted to hear from you, we would be really pleased to invite you into the Geni.com site and connect up the family history. We hope that you and yours are well, we send greetings and we would very much like to hear from you.

Best wishes - jane.graham@btinternet.com (Graham is Win and Bert Leech’s son and Terry is Stan and Edna Smith’s son).

By Graham Leech (25/03/2014)

I have noted some negative comments about Miss Gregory.  All I can remember is her dedication and professionalism. I was lucky enough to be taught maths by her brother Ronald Wilson in my senior school, who also gave his all.

By Michael Sayers (18/08/2014)

Hi, my name when I attended St Margaret's from 1955-62 was Susan Ferguson and I remember many of the names of contributors to this page.  I was never in Mrs Gregory's class but became very fond of her as I got older.  I actually went out with her son, Kim, around 1965/66 when we were all members of the New Venture Theatre Club in Bedford Place. I remember Mr Grace, Miss Hollins, Mrs Standing, Miss Prescott (yuk), Mr Mason and the bully headmaster, Bruce Avis.   I have lived in Australia for almost 40 years and would love to hear from anyone who attended St Margaret's during the time I was there.

By Susan Gray (18/02/2016)

I have read Michael Sayers comment about Mrs Gregory,there is a side of her that you did not see,Mrs Gregory took delight in belittling the not so brainy children and seem to have time only for the more intelligent children.

Editor's note: John your post has been edited because it contained opinions that could cause distress. Sorry and I hope you understand.

By John Wignall (09/05/2016)

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