Happy Birthday, Brighton College! The 24th November is our birthday, and our Archivist, James Harrison explains what happened in 1845...
In September, we invited Patrick Hicks (BCJS/Le. 1967-74) and Jeremy Charles (BCJS/Sc. 1964-74) back to Brighton College to be interviewed by current pupils, Dan Kimber (Ry. Upper Sixth) and Ella Ticktin-Smith (Ch. Upper Sixth). Their reminiscences will soon be made available in a short podcast on the Old Brightonian website. Here, Patrick reflects on his experience of returning to Brighton College after 50 years.
Andrew Potter (Br. 1957-62) recently got in touch with a set of photographs. Dating between 1952 and 1957, the images show Brighton College Junior School.
Su Wijeratna (née Cook) studied geography at Birmingham University after leaving Brighton College. She began her teaching career at Epsom College before moving to Eastbourne College where she became a regular visitor to Brighton, finding herself as Elizabeth Cody’s opposite number at several fixtures.
Malcolm McVittie recently wrote a letter to the Head Master, describing his father’s experiences after leaving school. This letter recounted a story of bravery and perseverance.
Much of the pleasure found in an archive is making connections and understanding histories, but the membership card for the Brighton College Elephant Club (BCEC) has had me flummoxed for weeks.
Many names have strong associations with Brighton College. They are woven into the fabric of the school through plaques, memorials and the names of buildings. One example is Williams, from which our second-oldest girl’s house takes its name. Peggy Williams was born in Chichester House in 1896, and, rather amazingly, was able to attend the opening of ‘her’ house in 1990. Much of Peggy’s long life was connected to the school, as she married Reverend A J Williams, College Chaplain and Housemaster of Wilsons (a now extinct house).
About six months ago, our maintenance team asked me to take a look at a large sign stored in their workshop.
Ian Bateson is an independent correspondent based in Kiev, Ukraine and has written for Reuters, the Daily Beast, the New Statesman, VICE, Al Jazeera and Die Zeit Online. He is a graduate of Columbia University and was a Fulbright grantee at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. He is currently working on a book on Ukrainian identity after the Maidan Revolution. We got in touch with him recently to find out about his time at Brighton College and what he's up to at the moment...
This week being National Gardening Week, I thought it would be nice to consider how the school’s gardens have changed over the years.
Many of you may remember Martin Jones as the College's Head of History. Others may also recollect him as our Librarian, our Honorary Archivist, and author of the brilliant school history - Brighton College: 1845-1995. As an expert on all things Brighton College, he has been a wonderful help since I started this time last year. He regularly keeps in touch, and recently sent me some fascinating observations from his travels in India …
This week's post was written by Karen Scanlon, who volunteers at the archive. She was helping to catalogue our collection of uniform, when a picture on the wall caught her attention...
While searching through the Brightonians this week, I stumbled across a short, but fascinating, article written by the Jazz Appreciation Society, in 1962.
Philip came to Brighton College from a childhood spent in Normandy, after attending the Junior School and the College, Philip went on to study at Cambridge before attending art school. Now settled in California, we caught up with Philip to look back on his time at school and highlights since...
As part of History challenge week, a fascinating exhibition entitled ‘the History of Brighton College in 50 Objects’ has been displayed in the library. Based on the popular BBC series, ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’ presented by the Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, the exhibition provided an intriguing insight, not only into the history of the College, but also into the wider context of social and political changes that have taken place between the mid-19th Century and the present day.
Nick Toksvig (Br. 1973-75) was born a long time ago in something called the 1950s. His father Claus was a Danish journalist who met his mother Julie when they both were at the BBC.
Can you guess what the last boy played!? This image is taken from Dorothy Isabella Fenwick’s notebook. From 1929 to 1948, she was a matron at Brighton College: in Stenning House, School House, the Junior School and finally Bristol House. She retired in 1948 and lived in Walpole Terrace, Brighton.
Jeromé began his Brighton College career in the Junior school amidst the chaos of the second World War, over seventy years on he is celebrating his 80th birthday this month and we could think of no better way to join in the celebrations than to make Jeromé this December's OB of the month.
We are sad to report the death of Robert Wilmot on Monday 23rd November after his long struggle with cancer. He taught English at the college for 19 years and did much else besides, most notably coaching teams and directing plays. He was the embodiment of a traditional schoolmaster: naturally courteous, multi-talented, kind and encouraging. The funeral is on Monday 30th Nov at 3pm at Selmeston.
Earlier this month, I gave a short talk to our 4th Form Academic Society. Deciding on a theme was tricky, but since I’d recently worked on the school’s roll of honour – ensuring it was ready for our new memorial statue – the theme of ‘conflict’ seemed fitting.
Rev. Canon William Dawson remains Brighton College’s longest serving Headmaster, having lead the school between 1906 and 1933. He supported the College through the First World War and instigated a significant rise in pupil numbers – so significant that we were apparently bursting at the seams! It was a great pleasure to welcome Rosemary Sidwell and her husband Richard back to the College
Last Saturday saw the return of our 2005 leavers to the College, a decade on since they graduated as pupils. The group were welcomed back in Scott’s Café (or Café de Paris in 2005) with a glass of bubbles and some familiar faces in the form of Mr Grocott, Assistant Headmaster and Mr Smith (Common Room 1973-2011).
Alex is celebrating the birth of his new son Teddy this week, we thought we could take the momentous opportunity to catch up with Alex to look back on his time at the College and where life has taken him so far...
Sarah Mann (Fe. 1985-87) is performing at the Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT) later this month. Having achieved her dream of becoming an actress, we caught up with Sarah to find out just where her career has taken her since leaving the College...
It is 10 years since Hannah (Fe. 2000-05) graduated from Brighton College, now 'grown-up' and helping us to organise a reunion for her yeargroup this September, we caught up with Hannah to see what has happened in the decade since leaving the College...
Roderick Essery (Du. 1951-55) has settled down now on the other side of the world in Adelaide, South Australia, but he remembers his time at Brighton College fondly with certian elements that became a large part of his life starting off here - rugby in particular! Rod was recently the oldest Graduand at Flinders University of South Australia, achieving a Ph.D Doctorate. We thought this accomplishment deserved some recognition and so he is this May's OB of the month!
Ron arrived at Brighton College in the Early 1960's as a day pupil in Leconfield, since graduating he has ended up on the other side of the world. He will be flying over from his home in Australia to join us at this year's Pioneers Club, so we are looking forward to hearing all the news from down under.
The last time we were together at the Bristol, on our last day of school, the Channel Tunnel had just opened, Nelson Mandela was two months into his Presidency, and the Apple that had fired Steve Jobs was failing to convince the world that it needed a portable digital assistant known as the Newton.
What wonderful weather and what wonderful company we all enjoyed at the Pioneers Club on Thursday 15th May.
Following the recent death of Flt Lt Walker (G. 1927-31) Christopher Chave (BCJS 1954-56, D. 1956-60) kindly got in touch with the OB office and sent us some rather wonderful newspaper cuttings and photographs of his father, Flt Lt Owen Cecil Chave (C. 1926-1931) who was killed in action in WWII.
I enclose a picture of my form in the Junior School, about 1946. Recognisable boys are Acker, Woodthorpe, Seagull, Drayson, Little, Hill I and Hill II, Goldstein.
Richard Thornburgh sent us this wonderful postcard of the Junior School when it was in Lewes Crescent.
Malcolm Jenkins (H. 1951-55) writes reading the August newsletter about Sir John Chilcot, O.B. President, prompted me to revisit an old photograph taken circa 1954, of some of the inhabitants of Hampden House, including John Chilcot. The photo was taken at the top of the bank, which was out of bounds to all but prefects’ feet, with the old tin sheds which housed Hampden at the time, in the background!
Chris Terleski (H.1965-71), quoted in The Brightonian of 1971 as the "(in)famous Head of School who will be remembered by everyone - but for entirely different reasons" popped in to see us recently and had a tour of the College on a beautiful sunny August morning.
"I was at Brighton College Junior School 1948-52 and Brighton College 1952-57 (Leconfield House). I qualified in Medicine at Guys Hospital, London University 1963. I then worked in Hospitals in Brighton London and Paris and in 1969 moved to Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa to further train in Internal Medicine and returned to London in 1972. In 1973 I moved to Tokyo to join the Tokyo Medical and Surgical Clinic where I still practice (http://www.tmsc.jp/).
I think I was the first OB to be married in the College Chapel, Saturday 30th 1961. I remember I had to spend three weekends in Bristol House to claim residential qualification. In fact our Marriage certificate gives my address as Brighton College. People think my wife Angela married a school boy! We’ve been married now for 50 years, and celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary this coming September.
With preparations underway for the World Cup in New Zealand this year, it is with an inflated ego and a great deal of national pride that I humbly submit that we have a new contender this year: The United States of America. That's right: the Eagles will go all the way this year, and no one will see it coming.
Having not been back to school for many years, I decided it was time to pay a visit and see for myself all the many changes I have read about in various newsletters. I also wanted to catch up with my old House Master Simon Smith, before his retirement in the summer. From the moment I first made contact, the OBA office were extremely welcoming and helpful, happy to make all the arrangements to enable the visit to take place.
In 1969 the Old Brightonians were invited to take part in the Public Schools knockout competition run by the Cricketer and sponsored by Mercier Champagne. Nobody expected very much from us. We had a good side but not a great one, but we did have self belief and enthusiasm. The first match was against the favourites, the Old Tonbridgians. This was the closest game we played. With the scores equal we won through to the next round, having lost fewer wickets.
Although not a member of the Common Room as such, Chris O’Connell became in his thirty year career at the College a truly legendary figure and, as one previous Headmaster has said, ‘simply the best Housemaster that convention prevented me from appointing’.
The recent great successes enjoyed by the College – surely a source of joy to all of us who love the place – have caused the Press to suggest that it was previously a ‘backwater’. So it seems right to refer to the work done in the last fifty years, that work itself laid on earlier foundations. After all, the decade before then produced Lord Alexander, Lord Skidelsky and Bishop Bavin (to say nothing of Sir John Chilcot) among others! And these last fifty years began with a visit from the Queen. Backwater...?!?
"I visited my Dad in Christchurch New Zealand this last Christmas and ran into an OB in Akaroa, NZ. I didn't write his name down and haven't a clue how to get in touch with him. Are there any Old Brightonians out there that might be able to help me contact him?