12 January 2016

Hove's Old Schools Index H - I

Listed below:- Holland House, Hove College, Hove High School, Ivy Place Infants.
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Holland House
Judy Middleton
Published originally in Tales of the Old Hove Schools (1991) revised 2012

Famous Old Boy – Patrick Hamilton (1904-1962) author and playwright

 copyright © Brighton & Hove City Libraries
Headmaster Capt. W.B.C. Cawood and  Holland House Cadets with Drill Instructor Mr F. Davies at the County Ground.
 An 11 year old Patrick Hamilton would have been amongst these boys (Brighton Gazette 6 March 1915)
Holland House occupied two houses at 35 and 36 Cromwell Road, Hove. Mr William B. C. Cawood joined the school as a teacher in 1901, returning to the school where he once was a scholar. He was promoted to Headmaster in 1906 suceeding Mr Holland. It was one of the many schools in the area that prepared boys for Public Schools or the Royal Navy. No doubt Mr Cawood expected to head the school for many a fruitful year but as he had been serving as a captain in the Territorial Army since 1909 he was called up in 1915. Tragically, he died in June 1915 while serving in India.
copyright © J.Middleton
Holland House School was located at 35/36 Cromwell Road, Hove.








The new headmaster had an unusual name – it was CR de Lyons-Pike. Not surprisingly, people could never get it exactly right and it appeared variously as Mr Pike or Mr Lyons Pyke.

Patrick Hamilton, the famous writer, was once a pupil. Patrick was born in 1904 and his brother and biographer was four years his senior. Both boys attended Holland House. The Hamilton family came to live at Hove in 1908 and occupied a house at 12 First Avenue where in June 1988 a plaque was unveiled to commemorate Patrick Hamilton’s childhood home.
copyright © J.Middleton
Patrick Hamilton’s boyhood home was at 
12 First Avenue, Hove.
The house is in the centre of the photograph and you
can just see the blue plaque to the right of the door.

Patrick Hamilton boarded at the school and he was very happy there. This was a marked contrast to the two miserable terms he endured at Colet Court, the preparatory department of St Paul’s School, London.

Hamilton remembered de Lyons-Pike as being a young, bespectacled man who was extremely High Church. On one occasion he shocked the school assembly by saying to a boy ‘You’re the one who called Walker’s cousin a damned, bloody fool’. After he had doled out a thrashing, he commented ‘You didn’t expect me to repeat that, did you?’

Another master at the time Hamilton was a pupil was young Mr Hodgson who hoped to become a Unitarian minister.

In a similar fashion to Arnold House, the boys at Holland House were allowed free access to nearby Sussex County Cricket Ground but only if they were wearing a school cap.

When he grew up Patrick Hamilton became a playwright and author. As is often the case, his work today is more valued than it has been for many years. Two of his best-known novels are Hangover Square (1941) and The West Pier (1952). Two of his stage-plays were turned into films with Gaslight made in 1941 while Alfred Hitchcock directed Rope, a memorable film released in 1948 starring James Stewart. 

copyright © J.Middleton
Blue Plaque outside 12 First Avenue Hove.
In 1922 Mr de Lyons-Pike decided it was time to move his school to Burgess Hill. He was unable to continue to use the name Holland House because when he sold the business the ‘name’ was part of the goodwill. He called his new venture St Peter’s Court and it was still in existence in the early 1990s. Mr de Lyons-Pike retired in 1927 and the Revd C McDonald Hobley was the new headmaster. He was the father of the famous personality from the early days of television.

Meanwhile, back in Hove, there were joint headmasters for a year and then Mr Chubb held the position on his own for four years. It seems likely that the Chubbs with one different initial in the list of heads was one and the same person although the Directories could have been accurate and there really were two individuals. But these were really the dying days of Holland House because by 1930 the name had disappeared for good. Instead Grosvenor School occupied 35 and 36 Cromwell Road but after four years this was reduced to one house instead of two.

Heads

      ?-1906 Mr Holland
1906-1915 WBC Cawood
1916-1922 Cr de Lyons-Pike
1923          CMJ Chubb and HED Townsend
1924-1928 CTJ Chubb
1929           CTJ Chubb and EP Parkes Davis

Sources
Directories
Hamilton (B) The Light Went Out (1972)

Copyright © J.Middleton 2012
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Hove College
Judy Middleton
Published originally in Tales of the Old Hove Schools (1991) revised 2014

copyright © J.Middleton
This postcard shows the south end of Hove Street as it was 100 years ago.
On the right is the Ship Inn (before it was rebuilt) and on the left is Hove College (Cliff House).
The school claimed a foundation date of 1796 but the name of the founder does not appear to have been recorded. The official oak plaque, which used to hang in the school hall, started with the name of Alexander Tate who became head in 1833. It is known that Mrs Elizabeth Norton was head in 1805 and her daughter helped her in later years. It seems probable that Mrs Norton founded the establishment but as it was a school for the sons of gentlemen, perhaps the fact of a female founder proved embarrassing enough to be quietly dropped. Alternatively, she could have been the widow of a possible founder. But if that were the case, surely his name would have been recorded.

It is fascinating that also in 1796 a Mrs Susannah Norton opened a seminary for young ladies in Brighton called Preston House. It is tempting to see a family connection between these two Mrs Nortons and their educational establishments.

Susannah Norton’s husband had met a violent death at Southwick the year before she embarked upon her enterprise. He was a Collector of His Majesty’s Customs at Shoreham and he was returning home in October 1795, when he was set upon in a field. John Young was apprehended and charged with robbery because there was insufficient evidence to lay a murder charge against him. He was convicted of stealing a cotton handkerchief, a knife and several keys and received a sentence of seven years’ transportation.

Susannah Norton ran an exclusive establishment for young ladies above the age of ten. Parents had to pay 22 guineas per annum for their daughter’s education (including French and geography) board and washing. But if the young ladies required their muslin frocks, caps or tippets to be washed as well, there would be an extra charge. 

When Alexander Tate arrived at Cliff House (Hove College’s former name) in 1833 to take over the reins from Mrs Norton, he had already been principal of an academy for young gentlemen at 2 Dorset Gardens, Brighton, for eleven years. He stayed at Cliff House for seventeen years before handing over to Robert Parish in 1850.

The next headmaster, William Grix, also gained experience locally by being head of a prep school at 12 Marlborough Place, Brighton, in 1843 and he moved the school to Kemp Town in 1848. The 1861 census records that William Grix, with the help of one assistant master, taught nineteen boys (three of whom were born in France) at the Hove school. Grix remained for thirteen years.
Mr WJ Jones became head in 1890. His wife had the special care of delicate and backward boys and an advertisement of 1899 states she made ‘the comfort of the pupils her constant study’.  The school was still known as Cliff House School but when their son AG Jones became head in 1904 he changed the name to Hove College. However, in old photographs the legend ‘Cliff House’ can still be discerned high up on the building at the south-west corner of Hove Street and both names continued to be used for some time. Perhaps Mr Jones was hoping to attract more custom for the 1891 census recorded only twelve boarders. But he only stayed until 1906.

The older boys were allowed the use of their own rowing and sailing boats, which were kept moored on the beach in front of the playing field. Apparently, it was quicker to take a trip to Brighton by rowing boat rather than by horse-drawn transport. The favoured landing place was at the bottom of West Street. Gordon Sherry who started at the school at the age of six in the 1890s, used to accompany Mrs Jones on shopping expeditions to Brighton by boat - ‘one of those stout clinker-built craft’.

One great event Sherry recalled was the funeral cortege of Charles Stewart Parnell, the great Irish leader, passing along Hove sea-front in 1891. Parnell was only aged 45 when he died on 6th October 1891 at Walsingham Terrace in nearby Aldrington. Parnell’s love affair with Mrs ‘Kitty’ O’Shea was one of the great scandals of the Victorian age. At last they managed to marry one another at Steyning but just four months later he was dead.

When Gordon Sherry grew up he became a writer and a play of his entitled The Bare Idea was produced in April 1940 at the Theatre Royal, Brighton.

The curriculum was varied and included scripture, reading, writing, arithmetic, algebra, Euclid, history, geography, grammar, analysis, Latin, composition, literature, drawing and science. Other subjects that could also to be studied (at extra cost naturally) were violin, piano, French, Greek, shorthand, drill, swimming, riding and games.

In the 19th century Hove Street was nothing more than a village street with farm buildings, a few houses and a pub. There was also the elegant Hove Manor House owned by the Vallance family. But Cliff House was not the only school in Hove Street. Mr Livesay ran Seafield House and one of his daughters married the young John Olliver Vallance, much to his mother’s chagrin. There was also Hove Lodge where Dr White had his academy. He sported a cap and flowing gown and was often to be seen visiting Mrs Knight’s shop. But the unfortunate man hanged himself at Hove Lodge. His memorial tablet has the not very flattering description ‘he was pious without enthusiasm’. Old Mrs Knight who ran a small general store dubbed the Tuck Shop by the Cliff House boys, was convinced she saw the ghost of dear Dr White now and again. The Knight family were striking figures in their own right. There were three daughters of exceptional height and the schoolboys labelled Mr Knight ‘JC’ because of his uncanny resemblance to the figure in Holman Hunt’s celebrated painting The Light of the World’.
  
copyright © J.Middleton
Hove Lodge was once home to Dr White’s Academy.
The school’s playing field was on the sea-front and there was another near by (on the site now occupied by the King Alfred belonging to Hove House School, which they later came to use as well. Passers-by used to enjoy leaning their arms on the low wall to watch the boys play cricket. Especially, one imagines the weary drover coming from the direction of Portslade, pausing to watch the cricket before drinking a welcome pint in the Traveller’s Joy Inn. The boys were not the only ones playing cricket close to the sea because the County Cricket Ground was situated a little further along the coast road and remained there until 1872 when it moved to its present site.

Although Hove College continued to own the playing field until the Cliff House site was sold, it became customary to hold large sports events elsewhere. For instance, in 1918 the annual Sports Day was held at West Blatchington and the prize giving took place in the barn attached to the windmill. During the 1930s the annual Athletic Sports were held at the Goldstone Ground and in latter years at Withdean Stadium. Another important fixture was the Father’s Cricket Match, which took place at the County Ground from 1953 to 1978.
Unusually for a long-established boys’ school in this area, there was only one clerical headmaster and he was the Revd AC Atkins, head from 1907 until 1912. News seeped through the grapevine that Mr Atkins was thinking of disposing of Hove College and Ernest Cecil Jackson was very pleased to hear about it because he had long dreamed of running a select school for the sons of gentlemen. He started off his career by opening Selwyn House, a junior school in Rutland Gardens, Hove, and now felt ready to move on. He jumped at the chance of acquiring Hove College. But the one stumbling block was that £200 was required straight away. Providentially, his grandmother had just died and left him £500.
copyright © Mrs Roberta Jackson
These boys boarded at Hove College in 1913. 
There were also negotiations to be undergone with the Vallance Estate, which owned the lease. One of the Vallances had attended Hove College and there was a Vallance Cup for sport. Mr Jackson then moved into Hove College with his wife Violet, two sons and three boarders. The staff consisted of the head, his brother Bertie Jackson and Francis Peters who had been with Mr Jackson at Selwyn House. Mr Peters provided the boys with some unintentional amusement because he was very tall and thin and when he spoke it sounded as though his nose was permanently blocked up. He was also very pious and gave the boys religious talks on Sunday evenings. 

Although the school had pretensions of being a high-class establishment, conditions at Hove College in 1913 were fairly basic with outside privies set in the stone courtyard. There was one bathroom and lavatory inside the house but boarders had to make do with the standard jug of cold water and basin in their dormitories; they went to bed by candlelight. When they got up on winter mornings, they often found ice had formed inside their water jugs. The kitchen was cavernous while the scullery looked out on to the courtyard; hissing gas mantles illuminated the rooms downstairs. But the three-storey building had at least six rooms that were spacious with large windows overlooking the sea.
 copyright © Mrs Roberta Jackson
Hove College Old Boys at Sports Day in 1927. Back row, left to right, B Cushman, J Cobley, CWA Cushman, L Cowley, Phillips, Bloom I, RLC Jackson, R Jackes, R Valesco, E Yolland, R Gibson. Seated, B Fisher, R Bloomfield, I Watson, Walker, R Hall, C Dennis, EC Jackson, Palmer, Bloom II, L Lister, GH Cobley, McKercher. 
The boys rose at 7am and took it in turns to sweep out the school-rooms, fill the ink-wells and light the coal fires. Often, against the rules, the boys would sneak out to a flooded gravel pit, which replaced Hove House’s playing field, and float their home-made rafts.  There were soon 50 boys on the register.
 copyright © Mrs Roberta Jackson
Hove College’s football team was photographed in 1934. RLC Jackson stands on the left sporting a splendid pair of plus fours while his obedient dog Peter sits on the right. The first XI played fourteen matches, won thirteen and drew one.
When the Jacksons first moved into Hove College, their son Alan was six and Raymond was five. It was Raymond Jackson who took over from his father as headmaster in 1934.He shared the headship with his lifelong friend John Dickson. The school colours were changed to claret and grey and the three houses previously called Kingsway, Cliff and School, were renamed Tate, Parish and Grix after earlier headmasters.

However, the greatest change was the decision to leave Cliff House after nearly 140 years and move to Langton House on the Kingsway not far from the old site. A London syndicate was prepared to pay a good price for a valuable corner site. The news was announced in the Lancing and Shoreham Times (19th October 1934) as follows ‘The London Syndicate who have acquired the site are to build a magnificent block of flats, in a style in keeping with the quiet dignity of Hove residences, a project which will give employment to many unemployed workmen’. Viceroy Lodge was built and it has to be admitted the flats have proved more durable than many erected in the 1960s.
copyright © J.Middleton
Langton House was situated on Kingsway and this photograph dates from 1909. It became home to Hove College in 1935.
The school moved in January 1935 and the old building was demolished. One part of Cliff House was saved and that was the original front door, which was installed at Langton House. Apparently, there were ‘several other replicas dear to the schoolboys’ heart’ that were saved from Cliff House but annoyingly the newspaper failed to give further details. Mr Jackson took his camera along to record the melancholy progress of destruction. It is an unhappy coincidence that Cliff House and Hove Manor, which were probably built at around the same time, plus the Well House in St Ann’s Well Gardens were demolished in the 1930s. In 1935 boys from Hove College’s gymnasium class displayed their skills for the last time at the Manor House Fete in aid of the Blind.
 copyright © Mrs Roberta Jackson
The hall of Langton House was taken after Hove College had moved in.  On the right of the door there is a panel listing past headmasters.
Langton House had been built 32 years previously and thus was a youngster when compared with the venerable Cliff House. Mr Jackson cheerfully expected the school to ‘thrive in an atmosphere of Edwardian splendour and nobility’. The Drawing Room was decorated in a lavish Versailles style while the Library was located in the former Billiard Room and had large plate-glass windows, reputed to be replicas of those installed in the Billiard Room of Windsor Castle. The Dining Room too was rather splendid with panelling on the walls and the original carved fireplace, decorated with green glazed tiles. Mr WM Caddy of Waterloo Street,  Hove was responsible for crafting the refectory tables and benches.

By 1938 the number of pupils had risen to 100. A new wing was added containing a recreation hall, a workshop, a reading room and a junior library. Just when everything was going so smoothly, international events intervened and the building was requisitioned when World War II broke out.  Canadian and South African officers, plus 2897 Squadron RAF Regiment (formed in February 1942) moved in. The RAF remained at least until November 1944. Meanwhile, the school moved down to Wedmore in Somerset for the duration. 
copyright © Mrs Roberta Jackson
Hove College’s library was created in the former billiard room of Langton House.
Fortunately, when the school was ready to return to Hove, it was found that Langton House had not been badly damaged and Hove College was able to resume residence. Mrs Jackson decided to leave the initials carved by the men in the red stone by the porch as a historic memento.

Rodney Mann was a pupil at Hove College in the 1950s and today he lives in Australia. Before he joined the school, a famous conversation took place between his mother and Mr John Dickson, one of the joint headmasters at the time, which would make his parents chuckle years afterwards. Mrs Mann commented on how smart she thought the school colours of maroon and grey were and Mr Dickson replied 'Claret and silver please Mrs Mann'. Mr Dickson was associated with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and Rodney Mann particularly remembers his sleek MG saloon car.

Raymond Jackson died on 14th May 1976 and the school carried on under the headship of his former partner, John Dickson. In 1979 news leaked out that Hove College was to be sold. Mrs Jackson and Mr Dickson were getting on in years and they tried to sell it as a going concern. In 1979 the sale price was put at around £250,000 while the rates for 1979-1980 came to £2,669. By August 1980 the price had dropped to £200,000 but the actual sale price in October 1981 was £150,000.  
copyright © J.Middleton
Viceroy Lodge was built in the 1930s on the site formerly occupied by Hove College. 
A group of parents also endeavoured to save the school without success. The purchaser was Canadian Dr Lingaray Bahinipaty who said he was going to convert it into a nursing home. It was said the renovations cost in the region of £500,000 and the exterior certainly looked very fine but on 21st December 1981 the building was gutted by fire and it was demolished in August 1983. Hove Council gave permission for a new private hospital to be built on the site. It was named the Kingsway Nursing Home and opened in March 1986 with the promise that private patients would be able to enjoy all sorts of luxury food. The charges were around £130 a day. Less than a month later the place was empty and there was no sign of the doctor either. In November 1989 the building was officially reopened as the Princes Marine Hotel. 

Mr Dickson died in 2004 and Mrs Roberta Jackson died on 4 December 2008.

1805-1833 Mrs Elizabeth Norton
1833-1850 Alexander Tate
1850-1859 Robert Parish
1859-1872 William Grix
1873-1889 Richard Avery
1890-1904 WJ Jones
1904-1906 AG Jones
1907-1912 Revd AC Atkins
1913-1934 EC Jackson
1934-1976 RLC Jackson
1934-1980 John Dickson

School Colours – Claret and silver

Copyright © J.Middleton 2012
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Hove High School
Judy Middleton
Published originally in Tales of the Old Hove Schools (1991) revised 2015

copyright © J.Middleton
Hove High School was situated at 49 Clarendon Villas, Hove.
There seems to have been a school at 49 Clarendon Villas as soon as the building was erected in the 1880s. It is still there and just as imposing with its yellow brick and red brick dressings rising to four storeys. Above the front entrance there is a curious female torso jutting out like an old ship’s figurehead. In October 2012 the building looked somewhat forlorn as it was swathed in scaffolding and plastic sheeting while yellow leaves scudded about the steps.

Thomas Hales was the first headmaster. He named the establishment for boys Gloucester House and so it remained until 1908 when it became Hove High School. As sometimes happened, this private school was kept in the family, so to speak. For example, the Genners were in charge from 1890 to 1911 and the Kingstons from 1914 to 1951. The Kingston family connection did not end there because the Revd HJ Kingston’s daughter, who also taught at the school, married fellow teacher Mr Hoyle and they became the subsequent and last heads of Hove High School.
copyright © J.Middleton
First World War Memorial

Charles Whitsed Kingston took over in 1914 and it was he who superintended the erection of a stone tablet to the memory of 27 Old Boys killed in World War I. The tablet is still there on the east side of the front door and it is especially sad to see some families lost two sons, such as the Andrews, the Bakers and the Scotts. The school motto appears on the left of the tablet and on the right there is a shield bearing a lion rampant with the legend d ‘Old Hoverians’. This is an unusual derivation from the name Hove whose inhabitants usually called themselves Hoveites. However, the school magazine was also called The Hoverian.

CW Kingston died in 1930 while still in office. All the boys marched in a crocodile to his funeral, which was held at St Mary’s Church, Upper Rock Gardens, Brighton. His son the Revd HJ Kingston was vicar of this church from 1944 to 1957 – in fact it became the joint parish of St James and St Mary during his tenure. He combined his role as vicar with being head of Hove High School. He was also chaplain to the celebrated Bishop Bell who often looked in upon the school. The headmaster was popularly known as the Revd Jack Kingston and according to one Old Boy his favourite dictum was ‘Smut, won’t have it’.  
copyright © G Renshawe
Form IV of Hove High School in around 1933 with their teacher Samuel Watson.
Two notable Old Boys were Captain AB Wales, later Mayor of Hove, and Peter Jackson who ran an illustrated series called Strange Facts of London in the Evening Standard.  
copyright ©  J Broomfield
Form III of Hove High School in 1935.
Back row, left to right, 2nd from left Peter Goldsmith, 3rd, Roy Hatcher, 4th John Goldsmith. Middle row, Maurice Wilmer is on the far right. Front row, John Broomfield 2nd from left.
Greville Redford was a pupil at the school from 1929 to 1934. He remembered the French master was named very aptly Mr French. There were around 200 boys at the school and classes held between 20 and 30 pupils each. There were no sports facilities to speak of although the yard at the back was asphalted and used for physical jerks under the direction of an ex-sergeant-major type. But for anything more exacting, such as cricket or football, the boys had to toil up to the sports field at Holmes Avenue, lugging their equipment with them.
copyright ©  J Broomfield
Peter Broomfield wears his
Hove High School uniform.

Two of Greville Redford’s contemporaries went on to join the RAF and were killed in World War II. Another boy’s parents ran a large double-fronted vegetable shop in Blatchington Road; while young John Broomfield’s father owned a great deal of farmland in the Mile Oak area of Portslade. Altogether, there was a good cross-section of the local community.
 
Another contemporary, John Barter, became the Mayor of Hove’s secretary for many years. It was Mr Barter who acted decisively on the memorable occasion when Hove Town Hall went up in flames on 9th January 1966. He made a quick dash through the heat to the mayor’s parlour on the first floor and rescued the beautiful, historic chain of office from destruction. This chain of office was older and more valuable than the one belonging to the Mayor of Brighton. But to the chagrin of the people of Hove, since the amalgamation of the two, it is only the Brighton chain of office that is seen in public on important occasions.
copyright © J.Middleton
Hove Town Hall suffered a disastrous fire in 1966.
The Revd HJ Kingston remained head until the end of 1951 when he disposed of the school to his daughter and son-in-law. He stayed on as vicar of St Mary’s but left in 1957 to become rector of Fishbourne. The school did not survive for much longer.
The school magazine of 1938 was called The Hoverian.


Aldrington High School

copyright © Vanessa M. Dent
Sylvia Camps with her many athletics trophie
When Charles Whitsed Kingston established his separate school for girls in around 1929 it was called Aldrington High School. It was rather a grandiose title because it was located at 10 Glebe Villas, which was in fact the church hall belonging to St Leonard’s Church. Aldrington.

In 1936 15-year old Sylvia Camps, who attended Aldrington High School, was made Prefect and House Captain. She also excelled in sports and athletics and won many cups and awards. At school the girls played tennis, netball and stoolball. Years later, Sylvia kept fit by having a dip in the sea off Hove beach almost every day. It must have done her a power of good because she lived to a grand old age and died in 2015. Her parents were probably influenced in their choice of school because Sylvia’s two older brothers, Rex born 1911 and Bernard born 1916, attended Hove High School. They too were sports-minded and they continued to enjoy taking part at sporting events arranged by the Old Hoverian Association.  
copyright © Vanessa M. Dent
Aldrington High School Form I 1927
copyright © Vanessa M. Dent
Aldrington High School Form II 1929
copyright © Vanessa M. Dent
Aldrington High School Form V & VI 1935
C.W. Kingston died in 1930 and so his son Revd H.J. Kingston became the next head of Aldrington High School. It was obvious that life would be easier for the management if the two schools were in closer proximity. Indeed it seemed that the amalgamation of the two had already been completed by May 1936 although boys and girls continued to be taught separately. The new establishment was called Hove and Aldrington High School. The school was divided into eight houses four for boys and four for girls but confusingly the same names were used. Thus there was a Genner House (one for boys, the other for girls) and the other three names used were Aldrington, Bolton and Genner. 
copyright © Vanessa M. Dent
School Prefects of Aldrington High School 1936
But Aldrington High School still appeared at 10 Glebe Villas in the local directories. There were no directories published during the war years and then by 1949 the girls department had moved to 47 Clarendon Villas with the boys next door at number 49.


Heads

1884-1887 Thomas Hales
1889           W Demeeres
1890-1907 Benjamin Genner
1908-1911 B Genner and HL Genner
1912-1913 PM Percival
1914-1930 Charles Whitsed Kingston
1931-1951 Revd Herbert John Kingston
1952-1959 JG Hoyle and RH Hoyle

School colours red and yellow

School motto Deus Fortitudo Mea

Sources
Directories
Hoverian November 1936
Information from the family of Sylvia Maud Linney (née Camps, formerly Hawtin) 
Recolllections of Greville Redford and John Broomfield
Recollections of Gordon Renshawe

Copyright © J.Middleton 2015
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Ivy Place Infants
Judy Middleton (2001 revised 2012)

In 1861 there were two laundresses, a pot-man, a fly-man and a labourer living here. It is surprising some of the old houses remain as in the early 1980s they were threatened by demolition under plans to re-develop the Golden Lane area. Hove planners stated one of their reasons for rejecting the proposals was that Ivy Place would be lost. The decision did not please everybody especially some residents who claimed the houses were cramped, damp and never saw the sun. One man had hoped to sell his home to property developers in return for a modern house. School House (now numbered number 6) was embellished with a classical pediment and it was the house occupied by the headmistress of Ivy Place Infants’ School. Through an archway linked to the old cottages there is a new development called Cavenish Mews. On the south side of Ivy Place at the house on the corner of Waterloo Street, there is rather a grand doorway (now blocked up) decorated above with four wreaths. On the opposite corner there used to be a business run by Mr Urbach, a Jewish baker, whose shop was open at all hours so that his customers could buy fresh bread and rolls even on Sundays and Christmas Day.        

IVY PLACE INFANTS’ SCHOOL

Miss Rooper founded the school and it was built in the 1840s. By the 1860s it appears the standard of education the children received was open to question. In 1863 when the HMI visited Farman Street Schools, he found all the classes well advanced with the exception of the lowest class, which he believed must be attributed in a great measure to the Infant School from where they were drawn. In 1864 the headmaster of the senior school noted in the Log that the boys lately received from the Infant School knew very little more than their letters but they could write and knew some arithmetic.
copyright © D.Sharp 
Ivy Place School 
In 1898 the National Educational Department made a grant of £193-3s for repairs and improvements and by December of the same year a new classroom was in use. The school was managed in conjunction with the George Street Schools, all of them being Church of England schools. The managers included some lay foundation managers but the chairman was always the current vicar of Hove. For example, in the early years of the 20th century, the Revd Canon Peacey, vicar of All Saints, was chairman, but amongst the other managers was the Revd A Spong of the Congregational Church who was appointed by the education committee.

The Diocesan reports (made by a church official on the standards of religious education) were uniformly sunny and there were frequent comments about what a happy little place the school was and that the children were carefully taught. The only mild criticism was voiced in 1909 when the report stated that repetition, though accurate and expressive, seemed to be rather high-pitched and loud for sacred subjects. Even this was modified next time around.

The HMI reports were rather more down to earth. The outlook in 1894 was good ‘the young scholars here are bright and happy. They are judiciously and successfully taught’. The 1899 report was good as well and reading earned special commendation. In 1905 the HMI reported the children were making satisfactory progress although new desks with back rests were much needed for older children. In 1910 one of the school’s disadvantages was underlined ‘The school draws from a shifting population with the result that many of the children are backward for their age’. In the second class the Inspector noted ‘the teaching is patient and sympathetic but rather wanting in animation’. In the drawing and modelling lessons he concluded that a few children showed dexterity but a good many were rather unobservant. The problem of a shifting population is reflected in the fluctuation of numbers recorded on the school roll. For example, in April 1898 there were around 82 pupils while in January 1908 the number was around 70; in January 1911 there were 85 while in January 1924 there were just 47 children.

In March 1907 Doris Salvage began lessons and although she was nearly seven years old, it was her first time at school. This was not an isolated case. At the other end of the scale, some parents tried to send their children to school when they were too young. In 1905 Hove Borough Education Committee passed a resolution that no child under four years of age should be allowed in public elementary schools in Hove. In September 1907 Robert Tyler’s parents removed him from school because his three-year old sister was not allowed to accompany him. But there were other children who stayed at Ivy Place too long and in 1912 the HMI reported some had been there as long as four years. He considered that delaying their admission to senior school meant their chances of reaching the highest classes was reduced.
Some classes were held in the gallery, a practice to maximize space sometimes resorted to in old schools. In 1899 the gallery was fitted up with desks for the first time but by 1912 the gallery was under fire from the HMI who disliked the ‘heavy ill-constructed and resonant gallery with high steps and inconvenient desks’. During the Christmas holidays of 1912 the gallery was removed.

From time to time Ivy Place Infants’ School suffered from epidemics of illness. The school was closed from 6th July to 31st August 1896 because of an outbreak of measles; in March 1897 many scholars were away with mumps or whooping cough while in 1898 the school was shut for nine weeks due to diphtheria. One unfortunate child called Daisy was absent for almost two years with ringworm but was allowed back in 1911.
The weather was another factor in attendance and a heavy downpour often meant not many children turned up at school. In February 1900 there was a fall of snow and the few children who did manage to struggle to school, need not have bothered, as they were sent home again.

There were other days necessitating school closure such as celebrations of a royal event, church treats, or the arrival of a circus in town. In March 1900 it was shut to celebrate the Relief of Mafeking, and in April 1918 for Canon Peacey’s funeral while at other times the building was required for duty as a polling station. On 16th September 1918 it was noted in the Log that 22 children were absent because of the Jewish fast and holiday. As there were only around 83 children on the books at the time, it shows Jewish scholars were quite a high proportion and there were known to be several Jewish families in the Waterloo Street area.
Her Majesty’s Inspector, Mr C Boutflower, wrote the most serious report, dated 7th March 1919. ‘There is much room for improvement… the Head Teacher’s standard is too low and the vague scheme and records kept for the top class indicate the need for much more energetic and purposeful teaching on her part… The children are seriously backward in their attainments’.

It appears that another HMI, Miss Cook, had visited Ivy Place in 1917 and 1918 and had not found fault or suggested improvements and so Miss Green, the headmistress, concluded all was satisfactory. The school managers felt that Miss Green had been hard done by, and that she should have been warned if her teaching methods were not satisfactory because such a report was a slur on her character.
Poor Miss Green was refused the automatic increase in her salary in 1920 because of the adverse report and obviously she pulled out all the stops, knowing her job was on the line. The next HMI report dated 13th April 1920 was better. ‘The Head Mistress has evidently tried to raise the standard of work to a higher level. The attainments in fundamental subjects are more satisfactory than formerly though still not up to normal level’.

In 1923 the HMI wrote the school was very generously staffed with three teachers for less than 50 scholars but throughout most of the school’s life the staff consisted of the head teacher and two pupil teachers. Miss Green received another body blow in 1923 when she had to accept a reduction in the number of staff. Not surprisingly there was a dip in standards that year but by 1924 it had improved and the managers wrote to Miss Green to congratulate her.

In 1927 the school managers were again seeking ways to reduce the number of teachers in Hove and the prospect was worse for Ivy Place than the other schools. Finally in February 1927 the managers agreed that Ivy Place School should be closed down and it shut on 31st March 1927.

Head Teachers
1894-1897 Miss Alice R Mobsy
1897-1901 Miss Evelyn Mary Freeman
1901-1910 Miss Elizabeth Bright
1910-1913 Miss Bessie Bradish
1913-1927 Miss Edith Mathilda Green


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