Downs County Primary School

Miss Park's class c1958/59

By Sue Harman

I think I can remember that this was Miss Parks class, which was the third year therefore 58-59.

The faces I think I remember are in the top row the third from the left Maureen something who had a brother join the school the year we left, next to her is Rosemary Leach, don’t know the next three but,  then it is Michelle Swain, Hazel French and I don’t know the next two.

On the second row it starts on the left with Francis Ward, ?, Michael Stringer, ?, ?, John W?,?, Dave Yates, David Kidd, ? ? ? Leonard Leichti

On the third row ?, ?, Angela Coleman, Christine Storey, Margaret May, ?, ?,    ?, Judith Benyon, ?, Susan Genin now Harman

On the bottom row Graham Starkey, ?, ?, ?, ?, Jnnifer Spells, Margaret Cox, ?, ?

I hope I have got these right and some other faces are familiar but I can’t put names to them. Can you fill in any gaps?

Click on the photo to open a new window and click again for full-size.

Photo:Miss Park's third year class

Miss Park's third year class

From the private collection of Sue Harman

This page was added on 23/02/2010.
Comments about this page

I think the one I called Margaret Cox is actually Margaret Carpenter - sorry Margaret

By Sue Harman (24/02/2010)

I think I can give some help with the back row, although I was not in that class. Sixth from the left was, I believe, Pat Smith, then seventh from the left my sister Maureen Hobden (who, like me, joined the school in March 1959). I remember Francis Ward (as I followed him to Brighton Hove and Sussex Grammar School) plus Michael Stringer and Hazel French (who went to Brighton High School for Girls). Alan Hobden.

By Alan Hobden (24/02/2010)

Another great pic from the 1950s Downs! A couple more and we'll have the full set from the Juniors 1956-1960. Anyone got a pic of Miss Cox's year, 1959-60? I can certainly put names to most of the boys and a few of the girls - will have a go when time permits. Nice to hear from you again, Sue. Are you still with RSA after all these years? Can't remember if I told you last time we communicated, but I left RSA in 1997 on a very early pension, and now work part time for the NHS as a pathology practitioner in Bath.

By Len Liechti (03/03/2010)

Hi again Len. I left RSA in 92 and got ill health early retirement - it was when they first needed to get rid of people. Since then I've had my own pc - with Barry of course - and loved using it for anything other than work. I bet your work is interesting - we love all the programs on TV like Waking The Dead with it's pathology stuff in it. How real they are I don't know. Think you're lucky being in Bath, we've got friends there and think it's a lovely place.

By Sue Harman (19/03/2010)

Ah, that's criminal pathology, Sue. Mine's the rather less glamorous health service version. I do see a lot of blood and small body parts, but they're invariably in plastic containers and related to living rather than dead subjects! And as far as possible we try to keep them that way!

By Len Liechti (11/04/2010)

Well it all sounds much more interesting than working for an insurance company in the computer area but well - getting paid is the main thing isn't it? Even though I'm retired now they still pay me luckily, but who knows what's going to happen in the current economic state? I'm sure we'll be all right though. It's good that you do keep them that way too!

By Sue Harman (16/05/2010)

Hi Sue, The girl in the back row 3rd from the left is Margaret Syrett, and I am the brother who joined the school when you all left. Good times!

By Graham (05/06/2011)

I am second from the right in the third row.

By Terry Green (03/12/2011)

I am 3rd from the left sitting on floor and Angela Coleman is on my left and Phyllis Benham on my right. My name then was Pat Richardson.

By Pat Robinson (13/10/2013)

Im 3rd from left sitting on floor and behind me are from left Jane Baker, Jennifer Austin, June Willett, Christine Storey. I can't remember all of the others except Madeleine Voller and Judith Beynon. I was Pat Richardson.

By Pat Robinson (13/10/2013)

I went to the Downs from 1956 - 1960. In the picture above, my sister Heather Kifford, is in the second row up, 4th from the right when looking at it. She did her nursing training at the Sussex County then went to Canada. I am also a nurse but went to live in Australia. We both lost touch with a lot of school friends when our dad suddenly died and we were sent to boarding school in Rickmansworth. I was in Mr Dibbins class - very scary but I think he had shell shock from the war, he shook all the time and really lost it if you played up. Miss Web I met again when I nursed her husband at the County - she is Mrs Fitzsimmons now, best thing was she recognised me!

By Judy Kifford (Burney) (28/05/2015)

Not sure if Sue Harman still contributes to this site.  But I was wondering if you have a relative called Francis Harman?

By Lis Hyett (12/03/2016)

Goodness - there I was wandering about the internet looking for Anthony Foster (because my church choir sang an anthem by an Anthony Foster a couple of weeks ago, and I wondered whether it was the same one - it probably is, particularly if anyone can confirm that at some point he moved to Chichester) - and here you all are! I'm Margaret Carpenter (now Joachim) - front row, third from right, and went on to Brighton and Hove High School with Hazel French. She went to LSE, read Sociology and got heavily involved in the student demos in the late 1960s; she became a specialist in remedial education, lectured at Oxford Brookes and became a professor at the University of Northumbria. She died suddenly in 2008 - the Guardian had an an excellent obituary (Google Hazel Bines).  I went to Oxford and read Geology, got married, did a few years' teaching, escaped into the IT industry and retired two years ago. As well as earning a living I've somehow managed to fight three general elections (unsuccessfully - one of them was against Margaret Thatcher), chair the Fawcett Society and become an Anglican priest - am now an honorary (and part-time) curate at a church in West London. Have gone back to college in retirement and am just doing my dissertation for an MA in the History of the Book.
The thing I most remember from Miss Parks' class was that she taught us a prayer: 'Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord...' which we said every afternoon immediately before going home. One day I put my books away in my desk and managed to slam the lid on my fingers immediately before we started the prayer - I'll never know how I managed not to yell until we finished.
I remember the school milk which always seemed to be slightly off (I've never liked drinking neat milk since then), and the playgrounds, and those wooden shelters and the outside loos - and playing netball in the winter in a vest and baggy blue knickers (surely we wore more than that??) - the rest of me was blue by the end of the game. Not that I was ever any good at any sort of sports.
I'll post a bit more on the choir page.

By Margaret Joachim (nee Carpenter) (11/04/2016)

Hello to all old school friends especially Margaret Carpenter and Heather Kifford. Sorry having trouble writing that makes any sense must be old age but my excuse is I was born same year as our future king.  Best wishes to all.

By David Kydd (12/07/2016)

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