Downs County Primary School

School Choir: c1956-60

By Sue Harman nee Genin.

This is a photo of the choir at the Downs School I found.  I can’t remember the year but it must have been between 56 and 60. The two masters are Mr Taylor, the conductor, on the left and Mr Taylor, the pianist, on the right. As this choir contained children from all years I can’t remember many but those I do are:-

In the top row the first might be Hazel French & the second from the right might be Michelle Swain,

In the second row is ?, ?, Christine Storey, Margaret May, and I don’t know the rest

In the third row the third from the left is Rosemary Leach

And in the bottom row ?, Michael Stringe, ?, ?, Susan Genin, ?, maybe Judith Benyon, Margaret Cox, ?, ?.

Do you recognise yourself or anyone else? Please leave a comment below.

Click on the photo and a new window will open, click again to enlarge the image.

Photo:Downs Primary School Choir

Downs Primary School Choir

From the private collection of Sue Harman

This page was added on 16/03/2010.
Comments about this page

I was at the school at this time but was in the recorder group. The teacher on the right was Mr Foster.

By Terry Green (19/03/2010)

I played the recorder there as well, Terry. Good to see your name. Hope you're well.

By Sue harman (24/03/2010)

I've just remembered something about my time in the choir. I was understudy to Christine Storey in a musical called (I think), 'The Princess and the Woodcutter's son', when poor Christine got mumps or some such thing & I had to take her place. I must admit I enjoyed it, but was sorry for Christine. Does anybody else remember that musical?

By Sue Harman (24/03/2010)

3rd row from the back, boy at the far right is Christopher Mason, I think. Girl 3rd from right in same row is Margaret Syrett. In the row in front of that (4th row from back) 3rd from left is Rosemary Payne, and I think the 2nd on the left is Jane Baker. I can't see myself there, which suggests it's 1958 or later, when we moved to Portslade.

By Honor (28/03/2010)

Does anyone remember the choir winning an inter-school competition with a song that started "Land of the silver birch, home of the beaver.."? I think it was about Hiawatha. It must have been around 1957.

By Honor (13/07/2010)

Hi Honor, Yes the girl 3rd from the right, 3rd row from the back, is my lovely sister Margaret Syrett.

By Graham (05/06/2011)

Gosh, there's lots of faces I remember, some I know their names! I'm on the floor 4th from the left, behind me is Richard Mantell. Back row, 2nd from left, Peter Leach. 2nd row from the back, 5 from left, Margaret May and same row 7 from left Maureen Farley. 3rd row from back, 6th from left Peter Simkins? Same row on the end (right) Gareth Neeler and next to him, Angela Ferguson? 4th row from back, 7 from left Beverly? (can't think of her surname). Yes, I remember that song - am singing it in my head as we speak - but don't remember winning any competition. I wonder where everyone is now?

By Jennifer Parker (Keeble) (08/06/2011)

I moved to Brighton from London in 1951 aged 4+ and started at the Downs Infant's School in September 1951. My class teacher was Miss Webb. I left the Downs in July 1958 to go to Varndean. I remember the choir and the teachers in charge Mr Taylor and Mr Foster, who also at some time played the organ at St Matthias Church. Christine Storie (sic) actually Storry is my wife and we now live at Wilmington in East Sussex. The parties were true and the illness but it wasn't mumps as far as I know. We didn't know each other in those days as I was two years older. Some of my class mates I remember well, Richard Packham, Andrew Radford, Julie Hazelrigg, Brian West and many others including the mysterious and beautiful to my young eyes Arlette Harrington who came for a short time. but there are so far no pictures of the class of '58 - 4A with Mr Phillips.

By Martyn Bivand (03/07/2011)

Hi Jenny Keeble. Don't know if you remember me, but not only were we at the Downs School together, we also went to Margaret Hardy, and were in the same form. I also remember a lot of the faces that you can recall, including Phillip Marlow, Angela Thomas, and Jacquline(?). But it is hard to remember names now, you have done very well. I am not in the picture, as I probably sang out of tune, and wasn't allowed to join the choir (still do come to think of it). I remember at Margaret Hardy, that you were Mrs. Ellis-Barker's favourite pupil, she was our English teacher. Did you go to the reunion when all of us girls turned 50 that was organised by Angela Miller. I have lived in Australia for the last 30 years so couldn't go to that one, but sending a card allowed me to contact Linda Brookes and we still write to each other. Even the reunion was 13 years ago now, where have the years gone! All the best to you.

By Sandra Foster (nee Hagon) (05/07/2011)

The teacher on the right hand side is the wonderful Mr Foster!

By Anne Webb (05/07/2013)

Front row, third from right is me, Margaret Carpenter (now Joachim) - and I remember the choir very well! Mr Foster and Mr Taylor gave me a love of singing which has lasted for sixty years. We entered the Brighton Music Festivals and usually did pretty well - I certainly remember the 'Land of the silver birch' song, and another one which started 'Men of Morganwg' - we liked that because the headmaster at the time was Mr Morgan. Does anyone else remember two songs Mr Foster wrote: 'Doctor Foster went to Gloucester' and 'Moses supposes his toeses are roses'? Very early on the choir recorded a number of hymns and carols for the BBC which was going to broadcast them overseas (to Africa, I think), and Mr Foster wrote a descant to 'Away in a Manger' which two or three of us sang - I can still remember every note of it.
I played the recorder in the recorder group too. 'Air from Handel's Water Music' played in almost-unison by twenty inaccurately-tuned descant recorders is something that is etched into my brain.

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

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