DOWN MEMORY LANE Dedicated staff deserve to be remembered fondly

The old photos of Lancastrian Boys' Secondary School continue to rekindle memories.

Thursday, 6th January 2011, 10:36 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:51 pm

R McCutchion, who now lives in Sea Road, Felpham, writes: It was a very poignant moment to discover in the Observer a photograph of the then staff of the Lancastrian Boys’ Secondary School at the Basin Road site in Chichester, some years before it was amalgamated with the Boys’ High as a comprehensive.

Several of the staff have been incorrectly identified.

The back row from left are: Andrew McCutchion (maths) who was indisputably my husband; next, unknown (wearing glasses); Mr Jermy; Mr Heather; Mr O’Brien; Len Stubbs.

Middle row: Ron Sutcliffe (art); Pat Mitchell; Mr Methold: Douglas Harmsworth (head of English); Mr John (science); Mr Metcalf.

Front row: Mr Pullen; Peter Simmons; Mr Perrot (woodwork); unknown; RE Lewis (headmaster); Don Hanson; Mr Ponting Mr Watts.

I deprecate the use of nicknames. The staff were gentlemen in those days, including the ones like my husband, who had been taken from college in the middle of courses to join the forces during the second world war with, in his case, ending up in Singapore with the war crimes investigation. The staff were of high calibre and deserve to be remembered.

The students could be inspirational in their own right. In 1957 I introduced them to hockey. The head boy, Geoff Collett, became a county player. Colin King, the next head boy, got a place at Exeter University and subsequently became a lecturer, I believe.

Staff in those days gave freely of their time for out-of-hours activities. Mr Mitchell was long associated with the Martlet Morris Dancers, my husband taught ballroom dancing and I was mad on hockey.

Among activities offered were canoeing on the partly-reclaimed canal, and the Goodwood professional gave coaching to golfing aspirants.

We even had a staff cricket match against the police stationed opposite the school.I went into bat with Mr. Harmsworth.

What could be more idyllic than spending one’s life on the playing fields? The Lancastrian Boys’ School was no less memorable than Eton!

The teaching staff may largely be gone, but will not be forgotten: The happy highways where I went

And cannot come again (Housman’s words).

On the same theme, Malcolm May from Felpham got in touch. He says: The photo of the teachers must have been taken in 1953, as I left school in 1955 after two years at Kingsham Road when the Old Lancs was in Orchard Street.

I lived in Orchard Gardens and would wait by my front door, and when the school bell rang I could run over the road, jump the fence and still be in class on time. The teachers I remember at Kingsham Road were Mr Charriet, Mr Ash and Mr Chess.

I know Dave Coombe sadly died some years ago. But where are the rest of you? he asks.

Over to you...