Friday, June 24, 2011

Newlands School Sports Days, 1937–1939

The website Geograph provides us the following information, along with the image above:

"With over 100 schools, Seaford once had one of the largest concentrations of schools in the UK. Today this school, Newlands, is the only independent school left in the town."

The mind reels when considering first, the sheer number of independent schools in Seaford, and second, the greater-than-99% drop in the number of Seaford's independent schools. Of course, woven in there were a couple of World Wars, a Great Depression, some nasty economic recessions, inexorable inflation, a pinch of unemployment, and a smattering of lesser-but-quite-deadly armed conflicts sprinkled about here and there.

My hunch is that it's a bit different today at Newlands School than it was back in that bygone era.

What exactly was it like to be in school at Seaford almost three quarters of a century ago? I'm glad you asked!

Here's a YouTube video posted by "berestede" called 1930s Newlands School, which is accompanied on-line by this note [my emphasis]: "Footage of sports days in 1937, 1938 and 1939 at Newlands School in Seaford East Sussex. The footage was shot by Cecil V Levesley… my grandfather and features my father who was a boy at the school in the late 1930s."

It must also feature Hugh Faithfull Chittenden, and perhaps the unknown E. A. Cooper—perhaps they are the two gentlemen in suits monitoring the firs drill at around the 1:55 mark. We see them again with the scouts at 4:04.

And one wonders about the identity of the gentleman seen at the 5:00 mark, and the quick glance at some gentlemen at 6:18!

Other interesting images, at least for me: Exterior of the school (in the first 0:30); Tending the garden (1:00); Rollerskating (2:23); Running hurdles (4:28); and some Dance & Marching drills (7:00).

Having read the trilogy of preparatory school books of George Mills (which focus to a great degree on sport and outdoor activities), as well as having studied as much as I can about schools like Warren Hill in Eastbourne, I still have only seen still images—archival photographs and illustrations from the books of George Mills. After viewing these films several times, much of what I've been reading has come startlingly to life for me!

This video is an invaluable time capsule, reliving some of the joys (well, they appear for the most part to be joys) of prep school boys of that era—at least those enjoyed out of doors!

Many thanks to "berestede" for posting 1930s Newlands School, and check out his other videos (especially 1940 Fairlight Farm) at:


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