Letter: Memories of Braybrooke in Hastings

Bray 8 SUS-180901-124209001
Bray 8 SUS-180901-124209001

Ion Castro’s nostalgia article, that took a look back at the Braybrooke Road area of Hastings, brought back memories for me, especially the 1940s photo of the area around Hastings Grammar School, an educational establishment that had its own, possibly unique, way of doing things.

As Ion said, it included a view of the building that contained the school’s additional classrooms.(Actually, there were form rooms, this being a Grammar).

See also - Braybrooke bridged the gap to town expansion

Although built in the year 1901 it was still referred to as the New Building and, looking at the masters of my day, you would have been excused in thinking that they were in post when it was under construction!

I spent many, not particularly happy, days in the New Building where I was most surprised to be told, on day one, that I was already in year two because the school didn’t have a year one!

For some unexplained reason they were numbered second, third, fourth, Remove, fifth and sixth.

Meanwhile the town’s Technical and Secondary Modern schools used the logical numbering system that goes from one to five.

But that was the Grammar for you, if it could do things in a different way it did.

For example, I was totally baffled when I discovered that, while I didn’t have school on Wednesday afternoons (great!), I did have to turn up for lessons on Saturday mornings (not so great!). I thought that was most unfair because I could no longer go to the Saturday morning film shows at the Ritz Cinema in Cambridge Road. If I had known of this before I sat the 11 plus entrance exam I would never have tried to pass it.

By the way, how is it that, over 60 years after having gone to my last Minors film show, I often can’t recall what I was doing yesterday but can still remember, so clearly, the song that we had to sing, to the tune of Blaze Away, before the curtain went up on the first film, which was usually a cartoon:

We are the boys and girls well known as Minors of the ABC,

And every Saturday we line up to sing the songs we like and shout aloud with glee.

We like to laugh and have a sing-song, just a happy crowd are we,

We’re all pals together, Minors of the ABC!

And it only cost six old pence to get in! Those were the days.

Eric Waters

Ingleside Crescent, Lancing