Hello, everyone! I hope the new year finds you healthy and happy! Here, it finds me a bit wiser, thanks to the recent kindness of Richard Ogden, grandson of G. W. D. Chittenden, headmaster of Newlands School in Seaford. Of one thing we are certain: Barbara Chittenden was a dear friend of the Mills family in post-war Budleigh Salterton. Is there, however, more to it than that?
I've included has missive in its entirety for your perusal. It was fascinating, informative, and provides greater depth of background for our research into Seaford, its preparatory schools, and their possible relationship to George Mills.
[Bold-faced font has been added to the text to ease information retrieval.]
I have recently been researching my family’s history and stumbled across your blog. My Grandfather was George William David Chittenden, former Headmaster of Newlands School in Seaford. He preferred to be called David which substantiates your correct assumption that ‘George Chittenden’ and ‘David Chittenden’ are indeed one and the same person.
Newlands is the last remaining preparatory school in Seaford – the girls school, Micklefield (where my mother, Jane, and her two siblings, Philippa and Angela, were educated – Newlands at the time being boys only) having disappeared under a housing development just over a decade ago in much the same fashion as Warren Hill. I have had many rambling conversations with my Grandmother, David’s wife Mavis, who was formerly Matron of the school and who still lives on the grounds. She is always very willing to part with interesting anecdotes about days gone by. She speaks of there being five separate preparatory schools strung along ‘Eastbourne Road’ alone (as you quite rightly asserted, there was a plethora of independent schools in Seaford at one time) all abutting one another. I know that upon the closure of Sutton Place School in 1968, the fourth domino to fall, its grounds were bought by my family and added to the Newlands holdings, becoming Newlands Manor (senior) School. We still have the documentation detailing the purchase of grounds for the original school site (as well as the acquisition of Sutton Place) and as I recall a charming map that illustrates the distribution of housing and schools in the region.
The Chittenden family has been with Newlands from its inception and all of us were saddened to witness its decline over the past two decades that culminated in it going into administration in 2006. It once proudly boasted the epithet ‘Miniature House of Lords’ (Prime Minister Lord Balfour [right], for instance, can be counted among its alumni), something that my Grandfather spoke of with pride. I doubt any of the staff there now would be aware of the school’s quite distinguished history (with, perhaps, the notable exception of Hugh Coplestone, son of the former Headmaster of Sutton Place). This legacy survived in the names of the Boys’ Houses (‘Balfour House’ being one) until very recently, when I believe they were superseded by more modern and generic names such as ‘Dragon House’. My Grandmother, I know, is thankful that my Grandfather at least was spared having to witness the nihilation of the values instilled by successive generations of Chittendens and the fingerprints that they left behind, including the displacement of the family crest on the website (a half Talbot). Given the exigencies of continuing to attract students to the school, perhaps this was deemed a necessary step in ‘rebranding’. Personally, and admittedly with a certain bias, I was surprised that the longevity of the school and its more illustrious past weren’t employed as marketing tools to help attract more students and indeed to encourage alumni to invest in the school’s future. As far as I can tell, the school makes no mention of its famous alumni on its website. Promisingly, the new Head teacher seems to be making some progress improving the fortunes of the school, and when my Grandmother has bumped into her on the grounds, she has remarked approvingly on the strong work ethic and efforts that she has brought to the table to right the floundering Newlands ship.
All of this leads me to the point that could be of interest to you:
Until the late 80’s my Grandfather was the Proprietary Headmaster of the school, becoming school Bursar upon his ‘retirement’. It was in ’86 (I think) that the school acquired Charitable Trust status, my Grandfather ceding financial responsibility for the school. A number of facets were responsible for its subsequent decline – too many to go into here – but when the school went into administration in 2006 my Grandmother (and indeed the whole family) were very concerned that articles belonging to the family (heirlooms and other things such as family photographs, etc) would be unknowingly sold off . To her and to us, the history of the school is synonymous with our family history. The upshot of this is that, contrary to the belief of Newlands’ Registrar, Lisa Sewell, that all records have been ‘lost or destroyed’, much has been preserved by either my Great Aunt (David’s sister, nee Anne Chittenden) or my Grandmother. This body of information and the recollections of both individuals could very well shed some further light on the life of George Mills. Given the close relationship that my Great grandmother Barbara (who died in 1987, the year after I was born) had with the Mills family it would be exciting to find out whether George was ever employed by my great grandfather. In the days when a drink and a cigar were all that was needed to secure employment (and given that they probably shared one or two of both) it doesn’t seem overly implausible. I think my Grandmother would also be very interested in the clips of the sports day events from the late ‘30s and may well be able to definitively identify some of the suit-wearing protagonists on the reel.
To help clarify a few further details:
1. Barbara [right] and Hugh Chittenden did indeed give birth to four children: Joan, Anne, David and Hugh (who died in North Africa in 1942). When my Grandfather died I acquired Hugh’s cufflinks and dress studs – apparently the total extent of his personal effects, untouched since the day he died. Anne is the only surviving sibling and she and I, with the help of my Grandmother, have spent a lot of time collating information on the family’s history.
2. David Chittenden would best be characterized by the bottom left caricature of the snippet sent by Barry McAleenan – He founded the Seaford Seagulls Cricket Club and was chairman of the club until his death in 2001, my father assuming the chairmanship thereafter. An obsessive sportsman he is said to have been a very useful spin bowler (and a big fan of Bradman!)
3. The Warren Hill playing fields pictured elsewhere in your blog in front of Moira House (called the ‘Nuffield’ pitch) were unfortunate enough to have played witness to my paltry cricketing endeavours when I attended Eastbourne College (2000-2005). Refreshingly, the landscape doesn’t appear to have altered much in the past 75 years.
The information that you have gathered made for an extremely compelling read, a lot of it ashamedly being unfamiliar to me. I hope that some of the information above is of use and I apologize that I do not have more information immediately to hand - I’m in London and getting my technophobic older relatives to scan and email me documents is probably a bridge too far! If you are interested in finding out more, I would be more than willing to share any information with you that I can gather over Christmas. Many thanks for the fascinating read.
Many thanks, Richard, for the information, and for the marvelously engaging and colourful way you put it all in context! Your kindness and generosity is very much appreciated, and we'll look forward to hearing of anything you may discover about the school and George Mills. Cheers!
I had a generally miserable experience at Newlands from 1961 to 1967. I went there far too young, before my seventh birthday, from my family home in Nigeria. For me, it was a reign of terror. During my first term, when I was homesick and frightened by the unfamiliar environment, I was suddenly called to the headmaster's (HFC's) study. Somebody had heard me say, "Bloody hell". I had reacted to a wriggling nest of newborn spiders in my Sunday suit jacket. HFC made me stick my head under the top of his desk while he opened a long drawer and selected one of his flexible rattan canes. I was left in tears with vicious blue welts on my backside, some of which developed bloody scabs. Roald Dahl describes the incredible pain well in his autobiography 'Boy'. After this introduction, I was beaten twelve more times for trivial offenses by Captain Tommy Davis Manning (TDM) during my stay. TDM also supervised the early morning cold showers, making each semi-naked boy sit on his knee before showering.ReplyDelete
Most of the teachers were World War Two veterans who shouted and threatened a lot. Those who stood out as more humane characters included Mr Macdonald, who had, I think, been a prisoner of the Japanese, and a stereotypical old officer called Major Bulkley, whose voice was much imitated. The place had a postwar atmosphere, full of ptsd, if not shell shock. The only person who seemed both entirely normal and genuinely kind to me was the visiting art teacher, Miss Gaunt.
I spent a lot of time gazing at the beautiful surrounding countryside, wishing I could dive off Beachy Head and swim back to my family.
I was at Newlands at same time as you. And have similar miserable memories. Can you email: Richard.email@example.com. 1962-66.
come on Richard and Mike we lads always experienced problems and bulling at school.i was..but it makes you a stronger person?Contact me.Delete
I really dont think institutional bullying and violence makes you a better or stronger person. It dehumanises and terrifies peopleDelete
Hi Hawthorne, Mark Jackson here. I remember you well, having been at Newlands from 1961 to 1965. I remember how I hid behind a radiator and cried my eyes out the first day there, age 9. The only thing that got me through was that I erroneously assumed that everyone hated the school as much as I did. And with the hindsight of an even more miserable three years at Charterhouse, Newlands doesn’t seem too bad. My best memory is of playing bridge with HFC and Mr. Maflin on a Sunday afternoon.Delete
Remember you. I was Loraine (later Loraine major). Still in touch with Andrews and we sometimes talk of that hell hole.
I was at the school next door, Sutton Place, and most of these stories echo my miserable time I spent there between 1959 through 1962. I clearly remember that in my first two weeks I was given two of the best , lovingly administered by a one handed grim and frightening ( for a 9 year old ) teacher named Mr Galt. My punishment was for running down the corridor to my dormitory before "lights out" was called. The welts , on my upper thighs as Galt aim was compromised , as it was executed backhand , started to bleed on my return to the dorm with all the boys in the room eager to to witness my injuries. Matron , I seem to remember , was only called if the welts started to bleed.Delete
Wilf Kuhn - I attended Newlands Prep School, Seaford from 1979 till 1981. I remember Mr Chittenden as a very kind man and his wife too and their Great Danes. I saw a comment about one of the meals we were served regularly - Cheese and Egg macaroni, which till today I still have a craving for. If anyone remembers me they can contact me firstname.lastname@example.orgDelete
I remember The Chittenden's well. I started at the Prep school in 1984 and left the Manor in 1989. Mr Brian Underwood was headmaster then, but we would see Mr Chittenden frequently.ReplyDelete
John H Green - I went to Newlands Prep School from 1968-1971 before going on to Eastbourne College (Reeves House) I also remember Capt.Manning - what ever finally happened to him ? I also remeber the school rugby matches and names such as Jones (Major), Jones ( Minor) and Jones (Minimus) !! Drove past the old school last week and only just learnt that it has now closed.ReplyDelete
I was at Newlands between '67 and '72, and I don't remember a John Green, nor do I recall three contemporaneous Joneses, so I'm calling bluff.Delete
On a related matter, my experiences were similar to those of Messrs Hawthorne and Wachman, whose accounts seem all too believable.
It now seems astonishing to me that Chittenden could have got away with running such an establishment without penalty. I don't believe it could happen now. Well, let's hope not.
I was at Newlands very happily in the late Sixties and early Seventies. Not everything was a bed of roses - rationing had only ended barely a decade before, and the food was pretty dreadful, Cheese Egg aside - and most barrels have a bad apple or two. But all things considered and by the standards of the day, Newlands was a tremendous overall success, both academically, on the sports field and in many other ways - art, music, drama, Scouts etc etc. Much of this can be attributed to David Chittenden's kind, wise and above all energetic leadership, ably supported by the ageing Captain TDM RN and the splendidly demanding (and volcanic) Peter Wragge-Morley, aided and abetted by a whole host of interesting (and admittedly sometimes eccentric) fellow staff - including the delightful and brilliant Henry Foxon (Classics, since the Twenties!), kind Colonel Tyrrell (History), clever Colonel Brooker (French), charming Captain Hamilton (Maths, and Billy Bunter), the entertaining Chris Hadfield, the amusing Mr Mafflyn (French)... Many were genuine war heroes, including David Chittenden, who flew numerous sorties as a very young man as a navigator in Lancasters, and the redoubtable Miss Le Lacheur of the Jersey Resistance, who had lost fingernails and no doubt much else to the Gestapo. Some of the matrons were a little fierce (come in, Mrs Pearce!) but Betty Hill and Mrs Baxter - among others - provided band aids and maternal solace to many hundreds over a decade or two, and as for the lovely young Carol ??? - phew!. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Newlands, and felt - then and now - profoundly grateful for my years there. A true measure of its strengths and success is that it carried on until 2014 - most other Seaford prep schools capitulated thirty, forty or even fifty years earlier. I suspect a case of embittered revisionist midlife sour grapes from many - like the "never any good anyway" view of the British Empire. Many would have been profoundly grateful for what we were lucky enough to benefit from then... and I suspect many would be still today.Delete
cheese egg.was delicious!i remember it well.Delete
67-71- i remember a similar regime as described by mike.it may have served its purpose during the days of the empire but hfc should have been booked for abh.ReplyDelete
I went to Normansal and well remember playing games against Newlands, sad that the last Prep school in Seaford has now closed.ReplyDelete
We were never beaten at Normansal, just sent to bed, if we behaved badly, thank god for Rex Hackett.
I returned to what remains of Normansal, with a former fellow pupil, Ben Gullum, on Tuesday 22nd September 2015, exactly fifty years to the day we both went there, its an old folks home now.
I went to Sutton Place and then Normansal. I left Normansal 69-70 to move to America. My Headmaster was Mr. Hackett. I have a brochure of the old Normansal school that my father got before we enrolled. I will try to put them on PhotoBucket or YouTube--Normansal on the Downs, Seaford Sussex.Delete
I had the pleasure of visitng Newlands School from 1975 to 1979. I cant complain and I look back upon these years as very positve and with fondness.. I can understand the comments made above in terms of a certain harshness as the School underwent a definite change around the year 1977 when (but not because) a certain deputy headmaster Mr. Morely (I hope I got it right) retired. He was a tough and strict deputy headmaster and to be told off by him was usually considered worse than a canning by Mr. Chittenden but he was very kind to the smallest of us and liked very much by the older pupils - which can be seen as deserved respect. In the early years I can remember a certain dormitory captain who took pleasure in hitting the soles of anyone whose foot was sticking out - it happened to me once - and I still have not forgotten it. The above mentioned harshness - for the largest part - was imposed by the pupils themselves, respectively the prefects and sub-prefects of the various houses (otter, volves etc.). One must not forget - these times were different to today - and many pupils had fathers whoose boarding-school experiences were even harsher and many probably thought Newlands was "rather" soft in comparison. I came to Newlands on the 16th of September 1975 - I can remeber the date because I had a properly broken nose on the 18th - unfortunately the war was not that far away - and I was the only German around. I know for a fact that Mr. Chittenden himself was not a friend of such bullying behaviour. I knew him better than some as I often had to visit him. As a matter of fact I think I hold two records - or three possibly. The most successful and longest escape by foot and night (the police caught me in Newhaven) - the fastet foreigner to learn english - and my number of acquaintances with the cane . which, with one exception, I usually deserved - therefore I will not complain. After all - it is your own fault - if you get caught. And Mr. Chittenden was a reasonable man - he collected me at the police in Newhaven at around 9 o`clock in the morning. I was watching everything from a cell in the police station. When he told the officers on duty that I had obviously walked from Seaford onwards they first refused to believe. His remark " You are forgetting two things Gentlemen: First of all - he is a Newlands boy - and secondly he is a German - they can march!" When we came back from Newhaven I did not get a caning - Mr Chittenden himself made me a breakfast. He also had a refreshing and sometimes cunning sense of humour - but I cant write a book right now. The phrase "common decency" - was often heard out of his mouth - and quite rightly it was - because if you have visited a british boarding school and do not know what common decency is - your parents have wasted money! I think that could have been his words - all the best michael
I was at Newlands Prep from 1976 to 1983 the first two years I was the youngest pupil there and then moved across to Newlands Manor which I left finally in 1986.Delete
You where a legend, your escape from the school was talked about years after you left.
We had another German that planned to run away, thankfully it all came to an early end once he was spotted on the drive dragging a canoe behind him.
I like you had a fairly good experience while attending the school, I spent my first year sleeping with Miss Young, the mother of the head Matron her daughter, who went on to marry Mr Hatfield.
All I can say is that the place taught me a great deal and I am thankful to the many wonderful people who taught me over the years.
It is true there where some teachers, especially the Prep school, who genuinely had psychological problems and we also had several teachers that where definitely pedophiles.
I am thankful that today such people would find it much harder to get jobs working with children, however, many fellow pupils suffered what where probably irreparable harm as a result of those teachers being literally given a free hand to do as they wished.
I like to think I was one of the lucky ones as I think I was relatively unharmed by teachers but as someone else pointed out the damage done was more the fault of my parents for sending me away at such an early age.
Hi Michael, I don't know if you recall me but I remember you very well. We had quite a good comedic friendship. I can even see your smile in my memory now! I do remember very well the number of times to went down to the Heads room. You always used to joke about it reach time.Delete
Having attended Sutton Place, next door, 1956-62 and come across no similarly barbaric behaviour as described above, I'm relieved my parents chose the right school. The food and beds weren't great, but certainly prepared us for the same lack of home comforts to be found in the Public Schools most of us then went off to.ReplyDelete
What I cannot forgive the Chittendens for was their attempt to erase the name Sutton Place (or Sutton Manor if you prefer) from the map of Seaford when they purchased it. True, the Coplestones failed to attempt to imbue in us any sense of the old manor-house's place in local history (unlike the Headmaster and staff of Ashampstead when it occupied the site before WWII). But surely a family which claimed relatively long establishment in Sutton-cum-Seaford should have had some respect for history?
As a badly behaved child at home I was sent to Sutton Place 1952-1967. I can't say that the atmosphere there was as bad as described in the later decade at Newlands, but pupils were beaten for relatively trivial offences leaving bruises but no blood as I recall. Only two of the masters were allowed to wield a cane or a riding crop. Despite this, the masters were well liked and respected by the pupils. Robert B Galt (for a brief period in 1956 he administered the riding crop if you made a mistake in Latin) instilled a genuine interest in classics and, together with Reg Evans, mathematics. Charles Edward Frith taught history with a fair degree of eccentricity and political bias. His geography lessons produced some mirth with his pronunciation of some place names, as I recall. But he was a popular teacher because the pupils knew exactly what to expect of him. It seems a little strange that there seems very little mention of this school on the Internet (apart from this message). Surely its ex-pupils can operate computers. Maybe Mr C "erasing" it has something to do with it, or maybe the education there seldom produced anyone with a desire to cultivate these skills. I was a rebel who hated school anyway :-)ReplyDelete
Robert B Galt.That guy is the Freddie Kruger( Nightmare On Elm Street) of my childhood. He most definitely did not nurture an interest in the classics and it's interesting to see Charles Edward Frith's name mentioned as I had forgotten him completely. I do remember having to write , supervised on a Sunday morning , letters to our parents. First time I became aware of the word redacted as my attempts to write about how unhappy I was not allowed. I was at Sutton Place between 1958 > 1962. Andrew Forrest is my name. What is your name. My memory of those days is selective but your name might ring a bellDelete
I was at Newlands from April to December 1978 and I can honestly say it was the worst 8 months of my life. I loathed every second of my time there and particularly remember the Deputy Head, Mr Burston, who made it his business to instill fear as a means of behavioral management. I am shocked to find out the school is closed but it is not a place I will miss and I certainly won't miss the cold showers at 0600.ReplyDelete
I AM ZAKER1 AND MY BROTHER ZAKER2 , WE BOTH STUDIED IN NEWLAND SCHOOL , FROM 1979 TO 1982 ...I USED TO BE RUGBY CHAMP , EVERY ANNUAL SPORT DAYS , I USED TO WIN WITH MEDALS ...........NOW I MISS MY PRINCIPLE , ALL MY TEACHERS AND ALL GOOD MEMORIES WE HAD ............ my email address : email@example.comReplyDelete
They clearly didnt teach you spelling...Delete
I AM ZAKER1 AND MY BROTHER ZAKER2 , WE BOTH STUDIED IN NEWLAND SCHOOL , FROM 1979 TO 1982 ...I USED TO BE RUGBY CHAMP , EVERY ANNUAL SPORT DAYS , I USED TO WIN WITH MEDALS ...........NOW I MISS MY PRINCIPLE , ALL MY TEACHERS AND ALL GOOD MEMORIES WE HAD ............ my email address : firstname.lastname@example.orgReplyDelete
hi babek.i think i remember you im 46 now you?i did well at sports aswell probably beat you aswell.Delete
I'm sure one of the house mistresses at Micklefield in the late 1980's was a Mrs Chittenden!ReplyDelete
I was at Newlands school between 1969 and 1974. A lot of what is said here resonates. I do not think it was a specially cruel place in itself, although I now believe that the main cruelty was sending boys away from home at such a young age.ReplyDelete
Although there was corporal punishment, this was not excessive, and the main cruelty was in the form of bullying, mainly verbal and pscychological. Some boys who were not good at sport, had unusual appearances /physical defects or just did not fit the norm had a terrible time.
I think the best part about Newlands was the general behavioural education -healthy mind and body, as someone said above, being generally decent. I think the academic education was mediocre if not bad. I was one of the brighter pupils and sat a scholarship to public school, and had no idea what most of the questions were about because we had never covered any of the topics.
Mr. Morley I remeber as described, harsh but mostly fair, and one of the few that was academically good (his son was a classmate)
Mr.Brookes a disaster as a French teacher and could not control the boys. Married Miss Brett, a matron.
Mr Hatfield, later Reverend, was another one with a good academic standard, and kind, interesting person.
Mr.Waddington, maths teacher, nice guy, also married a matron, a rather attractive one, whose name escapes me.
Colonel Tyrell, kind guy, not a particularly good history teacher, I suspected, as dis my brother and cousin whi were there in later years that he was a little bit too fond of little boys.
Mr (or Captain?) Mander. Music teacher, certainly too fond of little boys. Red faced from drink, he was dismissed during on of the terms, rumoured abuse of a boy.
TDM, died in my second year. I remeber the memorial service in the seaford church were we sang for those who peril on the sea.
Other memories. We were not allowed to listen to contemporary music. I remeber a boy called Travioli who decided to organise a "concert". There was a huge noise about the event before the date and eventually 30 or so boys crammed into a classroom at the designated hour. Mr Morley and Mr Chittenden arrived at the event. Travioli had a classical guitar I think and started to sing "one o'clock, two o'clock, three o'clock, rock ..." He did not get to six o'clock. Chittenden stopped the show when the boys started clapping and singing along.
Can not rember a Jones major, minor, minimus, but there was definitely a Mirchindani major, minor, minimus, and I myself was major and my brother minor.
I temeber the aura of stardom and eliteness created by handing out the school colours for sports achievements (scoring 50 or taking 5 wickets for the first team, o r for being outstanding in soccer and rugby). There was a boy called Gumm who won all the athletic events in the sports day. Also the elitism of the Fellows garden,
Looking back, and even taking into account that 45 years have passed, I think that the school was somewhat anachronistic. Some values it instilled in the boys were very good and Mr Chittenden himself was a kind and value-based person, but the academic standards were not as good as they should have been and I feel that the talent of many of the boys was not developed as it could have been.
Such fond memories, both good and bad! Well written and only a shame you do not put your name to it! I also started 1969 but only for 2 years...remembering the strict regimes and discipline and leadership of a great Headmaster, Mr Chittenden. I also attended the service for TDM.Delete
Peter Gumm..a legend on the sports field! I recall him being the only player on the rugby pitch to cut down the 6 foot monsters when, as a team member of the 1st XV, we lost 55-0 to Mowden!
As a foreign student with parents living in the Bahamas it certainly made me a stronger and more independent boy in preparation for other boarding schools later...Dover College!
I am sure our paths crossed (Drayson) Kohli.. (You played in Goal? lol)I never knew your first name.. We only ever knew each other by our surnames. I am Donnelly. Was very friendly with Baxter Minor (Matron Baxters youngest) Willies; Smart; Culver-Evans; Lambert; Mathani so many names come to mind so many old friends. I remember TDMs memorial. Memorable teachers:- Mr Bird; Hatfield; Morley; Hamilton (Billy Bunter fan) Colonel Tyrrell and of course HM. Sneaking out to purchase Traffic Light or Cats Eye lollies...Delete
Not for everybody, I mostly enjoyed it. Certainly an awful better than some of the schools I ended up in... Still have the school photos from 1970; 1971 & 1972..
I was there in 79' never noticed anything weird about Colonel Tyrell, just very old traditional military methods, Burston the deputy was a horrendous individual, I never really had much to do with Chittenden himself, used to see him at the top table at breakfast privileged with toast, where the rest of us had fried bread. Mr Clarke, (English and religious studies) I think was a bit odd and Mr Brachi thought he was still in the services. Weird music teacher (the younger one) who used to bring a flask with tea every day. Mr Blackman was a gentle guy and Mr Copperstone was reasonable although he had a temper at times. Mr Hadfield's wife was a Matron if I recall correctly. Only other individual I recall was the Scottish chef, who only had one eye I think. Overall, glad I was only there briefly.Delete
I was at Sutton PLace 1959-1966 my name is Richard Bascombe, was called Bascombe 3 as had 2 elder brothers there, like to hear from school mates of that time Peter Cooke Hugh Coplestone or anyone else, good see whose still alive.....ReplyDelete
I was at Sutton Place at that time, my name is Trevor Way, I was Way 2 as my brother was there as well. I remember Peter Cooke.Delete
I left in 1968 when it closed and went on to Stonyhurst College in Lancashire.
We were at Sutton Place at the same time. Andrew Forrest.Do you remember me ?Delete
Hi Richard. Yes I'm still alive. I was known as Charles Cann. Broke my leg in the gym in 1965 and spent 6 months at Eastbourne hospital. Funnily enough, I've recently contacted Charles Frowd and Peter Thomas who are both doing well.Delete
It was interesting reading your blog about your family and the people who actually went there and further became pretty good and active members of society.
I was there between 86-91 and though we did not have such a colorful atmosphere as most of you have described I can tell you that reading about one o'clock above was incredibly amusing.
We had some good teachers such as Mr. Pounds and Mrs. Goodman who taught mathematics and Mr Hayes and Mrs Smith who taught English lit for instance.
All those years and we still refer to them as Mr and Mrs. For that I have to say there must have been something positive done at the school.
Many of those who came from the prep scho then onto the manor were different from those who joined the manor school but this is what happens I guess when people bond together like that.
Academically I think it was fine and people like Mr Brian Underwood did a good job in taking the school forward. I was young then so it would be hard to tell what went on except what I saw.
In contrast to many of the schools around then many kids were sent to Newlands because it was seen as a pretty good place to go and study.
When you have such vivid memories of your school good and bad it has to be said that the school must have made an impression on some all though judging by those who had to put ten fingers on the head masters office, 'Boy' was a bit more far fetched.
I had an excellent time there with classmates such as Patrick Wooloff, Andrew Duncan, Andrew Alan, Adegunwas, Mansfield, Foote, Nicola Brown, Niki Sayers, Justin Tucker and so on to talk to or see walking around and having a chat with once in a while what could go wrong;)?
If it was still open I'd send my kids there now but alas such is life.
I'm sorry to hear it had closed and also sadened to see that it was part of your family heirloom and perhaps sometime in the not so distant future...
Thanks for sharing.
Edward exon anyone remember 1982 at prep school and 1987 at the manorReplyDelete
I was at Sutton Place from 1973-1975 and my sister remained there for another year. It wasn't a boarding school then but it certainly was separate from Newlands, so I think the reference to it closing in 1968 is incorrect. It was run by Mrs Davidson-Houston who was Mrs Copplestone's daughter. I loved it there. My favourite school.ReplyDelete
Childhood trauma lasts a lifetime, eats at the soul and causes chronic physical and mental health issues. If these are not even recognised, but suppressed as shameful secrets, the outlook for the sufferers, and others near to them, is bleak. To those who can honestly claim to have had a wonderful childhood at schools like Newlands, I can only say, "You were the lucky ones. You were not singled out for special treatment by criminal schoolmasters." To understand why most victims of abuse at such establishments remain silent, I recommend viewing CHOSEN (Selected Groomed Abused), the acclaimed Channel 4 Documentary directed by Brian Woods and available from True Vision Productions. To catch a fascinating glimpse of TDM (Captain Thomas Davys Manning RNVR CBE), and how he appeared as an Anti-Submarine Instructor during World War 2, simply google "Derrick Breen 'First Time At Seahawk'", on the HMS Seahawk Webpage, for an eyewitness account of TDM's characteristic behaviour before he established himself as the main enforcer of discipline at Newlands.ReplyDelete
This letter from JA Coplestone came to light the other day. It may be of interest to those on this blog about Seaford boarding Schools. [by OCR]ReplyDelete
A good many Old Boys will, of course, have already heard of my decision in July to close Sutton Place as a preparatory School at the end of this year.
I had, in fact, been wondering for quite an appreciable time just how Sutton Place could remain as a prep. school when my time came to retire. It is virtually impossible nowadays to find a purchaser for a school. The only possible thing is to convert it from private ownership into a Charitable Trust. That can be done for an establishment of at least 90, preferably 100 or more, boarders but Sutton Place is not large enough. The day of the comparatively small, personal school has come to an end, or is very rapidly doing so.
It was most unfortunate that we had, in 1965, by far the largest number of boys due to leave the School, for one reason or another, that we have ever had. The south east coastal area, from being for generations perhaps the most popular prep school part of England, is now out of favour. I could see an indefinitely long period ahead, trying to build up numbers again and all the time running at a considerable loss. I decided therefore to bring forward my retirement, and do most regretfully what anyhow would have had to have been done in, say, five years' time, i.e., close the School.
It is sad indeed to have to bring to an end something that we started from scratch with such eagerness and high hopes almost exactly 20 years ago. However it has all been most thoroughly worth while, even if conditions now make it impossible to continue.
During this time the School has attained a Scholarship, Common Entrance and Games record that we can be proud of but, most of all, it has been the greatest of privileges to have had a guiding hand in the shaping of the education, in its widest sense, of so many boys.
My daughter, Ann Davidson-Houston, is running an incredibly flourishing Kindergarten, which has its own buildings in the grounds. It is Mrs Coplestone's and my intention to stay on here and, amongst other things, keep a watching brief on that. Some of the outlying Sutton Place land is in process of being sold. We shall, as ever, be most happy to see Old Boys if and when they can find the time to call in and visit us.
When Mr Galt retired in July, 1964, and Mr Frith a year later, the School on each occasion expressed its respect, gratitude and affection for those splendid men in the form of an extremely handsome and generous leaving present. On this occasion most of our boys have already been taken away so that they could start at their new schools in September, at the beginning of the school year; so this term we only have 16 boarders and 4 day boys who could subscribe. I am therefore taking the liberty of contacting you, as only with the help of Old Boys will it be possible to do the same sort of thing for Mr Evans as for Mr Galt and Mr Frith. Mr Evans, in fact, has been here longer than either of the others . . . indeed he helped me open the School in January, 1947, and has scarcely missed a week since, let alone a term. I feel that it would be most unfair his missing an immensely well deserved tribute such as the other I’ve received, just because I have had to decide to close the School. If, when you left, you gave Mr Evans a personal present, you may indeed well feel that you have already played your part, and that would be most understandable. I do hope, however, that enough Old Boys will feel able to help, even if only in a small way, so that it will be possible to make a really worth while presentation to him on the last day of this term, which will be Thursday, 15th December at about 3 p.m.
If, therefore, you would like to make a donation, please send it to Miss D.J. Barwell who has kindly consented to act as Treasurer in this matter.
I was at Chesterton School, just down the road from Newlands, 1956-61. We used to play football, rugby or cricket against Newlands at least once a term. Was it Mr Chittenden who drove a 1920s Rolls-Royce or was it the head of Sutton Place? Chesterton was pretty informal by 1950s prep school standards. The headmaster Roger Hayes was young & friendly but the former head, Mr Turner, still owned the school and in 1961 he abruptly sold the site and the school closed and was demolished. The masters drove us quite hard, especially Mr 'Stringy' Roper but when I got to my next school I found I was well ahead of most pupils and that Chesterton had been pretty good academically.ReplyDelete
I remember you well, John, and Chesterton in general. If you happen to read this (a mere 4 years after your comment!) feel free to get in touch - email@example.comDelete
I can perhaps share one story of interest to any who wish to remember George Chittenden. I was at Newlands between '67 and '72. I too remember many of the teachers remembered above and have always thought of Morley as the teacher who impressed me the most with his absolutely no nonsense approach. I was once caned by GWDC for stealing back a confiscated radio from the Matron's office. George did not revel in the corporal punishment. It was administered swiftly and without drama. A year later, my father was suddenly killed. I acted up dreadfully for a short while. Ofter an atrocious incident (on my part) I hid away in the dormitory instead of going to assembly/roll-call. GWDC came to find me. He did'n't shout or tell me off, he just asked me if I had done it. I admitted to the act and burst into howls of tears. George Chittenden just took hold of my hand and held it until I had calmed down. He then got me a glass of milk and let me come down whenever I felt like it. A year later I passed my CE exam and won a scholarship to Public School, I was proud that the other boys were given half a day off to celebrate my success.ReplyDelete
It's good to see that this site has been recovered. As far as your claims of attending the school between '67 and '72 are concerned, I fear you must have mis-remembered. I, too, attended Newlands from September 1967 to June 1972, and George Chittenden's son, David, was HM throughout those years. George had retired just before I started at the school. Do you recall D.C.'s wife, Mavis? Their three daughters (Phillippa, Angela, and Jane)? The great dane dog, Sultan? The paedophile TDM, and his predilection for photographing naked boys during "penguin bathing"? Oh, and I agree with your assessment of Peter Morley, who was indeed impressive, if slightly bonkers. Did you have the misfortune to be taught by the alcoholic maths master (and ex-Gurkha army officer), Hamilton? His knowledge of mathematics was practically non-existent, and so he would fill the time in maths lessons by reading Billy Bunter stories to the class, whilst drinking the contents of a quarter-bottle of Bell's whisky, and clanging off Player's Navy Cut cigarettes.Delete
Newlands crosses my mind every day. I was a student there from 83 thru 86.ReplyDelete
I've often thought about writing memoirs of my time there. My experiences can only be described as terrible.
A few of the masters were alright, some just plain mean.
Rampant bullying and physical abuse were routine
I remember one bastard maths teacher in vivid detail. Mr. Day. He used to stand behind you at your desk whilst asking you questions. He'd punch us in the back of the head for each incorrect answer. He also used to throw his blackboard eraser at you if he thought you weren't paying attention. Remember those heavy wooden things?
Burston, Gillham, Breakus, Hadfield the matron.. the damage you caused is permanent.
Burn in hell.
Breakus defo should burnDelete
I don't know who this is, but this is when I was there, hated the bloody place, I was Allison Haynes way back thenDelete
I attended around the same time. Only now, as a parent myself, do I realise the severity of abuse the likes of Breakus, White, etc.. carried out on a daily basis.Delete
White & Clarke were both sexual predators.. I experienced it myself.
Breakus & Day just like bullying and throwing boys around. I remember Day smashing one boys head repeatedly down on a desk.
Headmaster DC must have know as I know my parents complained about Breakus. I never had the nerve to tell them of the abuse from White (at 7 years old) I thought I’d get in more trouble.
I’m glad the school has now shut. Occasionally I bump into old boys and my experience wasn’t extraordinary. One can only hope the abusive bastards got caught or died lonely and can no longer cause harm.
There is an interesting article about boarding schools in The Guardian a few years back. It doesn't mentioned the schools covered here by name, but the points made are extremely relevant. I would urge everyone on this list to read it.ReplyDelete
This web pageReplyDelete
New Information: The Chittendens of Seaford and Newlands School
has been hacked and anyone using it gets sent to a page of advertisements.
You need to load it back in notepad, (type the web address into notepad) find widgetserver.com and delete references to it and load it back into the server.
I went to Normansal between 71 and 73; we were lucky to have him as headmaster as his kind nature permeated the school. A lot of the teaching staff were ex. WW2, potential careers destroyed by that period, so only left with teaching as an option. The structured environment aligning to their military backgrounds. We walked to our away fixtures - i remember Ladycross and their fearsome looking teacher at fixtures.....Sport was essential; how else do you occupy a bunch of schoolkids 24/7!ReplyDelete
I was there from about 1972 - 1977Delete
Yes I remember the cold showers in the morning.
Colonel Tyrrell having little boys sit on his lap during History classes
The little lady reading Enid Blyton books.
Mr Hadfield Latin teacher who married the Matron.
Mr Mander who was the maths and Scouts teacher. Never molested me!!!!
Mr Waddington the fat maths teacher. he was good.
Mr Cafre the PE teacher
followed by the young Mr Coppleston PE teacher who possibly married the Spanish matron.
Mrs Brett matron married Mr Brookes the French teacher.
Mr Morley the strict English teacher.
Newlands is now gone and is a housing development.
If you know me call me 07742 659999 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
I was at Sutton Place around 1958 or 1959 (born in 1951) for a couple of very unhappy years. My father was serving in the army in Germany at the time so I was sent by plane with my details on a luggage label to London. A stewardess accompanied me to Victoria to catch the school train. On some occasions I was met at the airport by my grandmother and we took a taxi from the airport to Victoria. I remember crying all the way at the thought of returning to school. Some boys made the great escape and ran away. They were always caught of course and returned to the school where they were locked in the basement with the baskets of dirty laundry to get their heads right! I never ran away as my parents were abroad, too long an escape route! I was beaten regularly. As has been said in previous posts beatings were metered our for quite trivial offences. I remember being beaten by the Headmaster in his study. He kept the cane behind the drinks cabinet in the corner of the room. I also remember a rare occasion when my grandparents took me out one Sunday. We went to Brighton and sat in the cafe on the pier with me drinking 7 up with it raining and blowing out side. My grandmother bought me a bag of sweets to take back to school. When I got back I went to my dorm and spread the sweets out on my bed to show my friends. Just then a master came in and confiscated the lot! I was terribly upset, not really at the loss of the sweets but they were a link with home. Another miserable day at the school ended! I only remember 2 boys at the school. They were Welham and Coles. I think their parents were also abroad as we stayed at the school together for some holidays. I would love to get in touch with them again. In later life I remember flying to Vancouver for business and sat next to a very nice Canadian woman. Somehow we got on the subject of boarding schools when I recounted my experiences. By the time we landed she was in floods of tears! School could be cruel and the frequent use of corporal punishment was appalling I have never returned to the school but I gather it is now a housing estate.Delete
I was briefly a boarder at the end of the 70’s, I recall Mrs Chittenden, she used to listen in on my once a week phone calls from my parents and would also open any mail I received. Best teacher was the physics teacher who also taught sport, can’t remember his name, the rest, Burston, Blackman, Brachi,Tyrell, et all were mediocre at best.ReplyDelete
If anyone was abused by predatory teachers at Newlands please send me an email at kavehsemailatgmaildotcomeReplyDelete