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  Contributor: John ScadgellView/Add comments

The following article was first published in the West Sussex Gazette on 22/4/93

How many of you managed to work out from which Sussex church tower the puzzler picture published in Remember When on 1st April was photographed? No it was not an April fool's joke, it was in fact a north-west view from the top of St Mary's at Shoreham snapped in 1928. One of the first to spot this was John Scadgell who runs the long-established family furnishing store in Montague Street, Worthing.

'It shows clearly the school I went to as a lad, Shoreham Grammar,' he told me, 'I was delighted to see the picture which features the main school building in Pond Road and the old school chapel opposite.'
John explained that the school's main buildings were in the centre of the picture and he later duly delivered to me a hardbound copy of the story of his old school.

Founded more than 150 years ago in 1842 by a Mr W H Harper the school slowly developed, until by 1880 the building known as the school chapel was used as a gymnasium.

A school prospectus of around 1880 was designed to attract the sons of the well-to-do from the age of six and offered them a fairly comprehensive education (in the literal sense): --
'At this establishment young gentlemen are liberally boarded and carefully educated.
The course of instruction comprises reading, writing, arithmetic, composition, history, geography, algebra, land surveying, and all the essentials of a thorough English education. Latin, French, drilling, dancing, vocal and instrumental music.'

The basic educational package to include board, drill, laundry expenses and just three subjects, namely general English instruction, French and class singing, cost 30 guineas (£31.50) a year. All other subjects were charged extra. With such low wages in those far off days it is plain to see how only the middle to upper classes could afford the luxury of a good education for their sons.

That early prospectus was clearly aimed at posh London dwellers who could afford to send their sons to a hygienic seaside venue: --
'The premises, conveniently situated close to the railway station, sea and church are in every way adapted to accommodate the pupils and promote their health and comfort. There is an abundant supply of the purest water, and the drainage is excellent. Shoreham is drained into the sea.'

'Shoreham has an excellent service of trains both from London Bridge and Victoria. The Principal (at that time Mr G F Denman) meets his pupils in London at the commencement of each term, and accompanies them to Victoria at its close. The fare for a pupil from London to Shoreham is 2/6d.' (12.5p)

During the First World War, troops camped on the Downs nearby suffered an outbreak of flu and were moved temporarily to huts and tents rapidly erected in the school playing field.

It was during the inter war period that a cadet corps was formed and called the Officers' Training Corps, and continued until the school had to leave the Shoreham site in 1965.

For the duration of World War II, boarders were evacuated to Milland House, Liphook while day pupils remained at the Shoreham premises that they shared with Canadian troops billeted there and fire engines of the National Fire Service who established a local base there. At this time the school's cadet corps was transformed into an efficient force capable of fighting the enemy. Provided with the latest equipment and armaments by Canadian military authorities, night exercises were established and some of the cadets even went away on official training courses.

In the two post war decades, as affluence in the country as a whole increased, a big step forward was taken with an addition to the school breakfast menu: cereals were introduced, usually taking the form of corn flakes! And the ceiling for pocket money was raised to three shillings (15p) a week.

'In its heyday in the 1950s, I was one of a total of nearly 400 pupils,' said John Scadgell, 'The school playing field, although half a mile away in Connaught Avenue, was an ample 11 acres, providing many football pitches in the winter and sufficient cricket facilities in the summer.'

School life at Pond Lane, Shoreham came to an end in 1965 when the school buildings were sold for redevelopment, and the playing field was developed into housing (Greenacres).

It was then that the school moved to Worthing, taking over the recently vacated St Andrew's Boys School in Clifton Road, while boarders were housed at two properties in Chesswood Road --- Rosemary Mount and Sutton Lodge.

Then three years later Shoreham Grammar was able to move back to Shoreham, probably the only school in this part of the world to move twice in three years, this time to a larger and more suitable site where previously an old manor house stood. Stables and an old barn were extended and converted to accommodate the school's needs, all surrounded by extensive playing fields.

Today, that school has been renamed Shoreham College and is situated next to the centuries-old parish church of St Julian's in St Julian's Lane, Shoreham (in the parish of Kingston Buci). Yet it still retains its original values and aims for the education and training of youngsters, for it has been stated that on numerous occasions the percentage of examination passes at Shoreham Grammar was as high as any in the country and in a number of cases scholars had the highest marks in the land.

This photo was published in the West Sussex Gazette on 1st April 1993 with the following caption - A bird's eye view of a leafy Sussex town sent in by Worthing reader John Pierce. The year is thought to be 1928, but where in West Sussex was it taken? To give you a clue, the photographer was on a church tower with his camera facing north-west.


The school chapel opposite Shoreham Grammar in Pond Road, Shoreham. Demolished in the 1960s, it has now been replaced by a health centre and library.

'Remember When? --- Indeed I do,' wrote Wisborough Green reader Norman Coker, 'I was a boarder at Shoreham Grammar and left at the end of the summer term in 1928, the same year, coincidentally, that your picture from the church tower was taken.

'It brought back many memories of Mr Gregory-Taylor the headmaster, Mr Potts who taught the 6th form, Mr McConagley who took the 5th form, 'Buzz' Jones 4A and Miss Dora Owens, 4B.

'The school had a good scholastic record --- aided by one and three quarter hours prep before supper and a further 3/4 hour before breakfast!

'Sport was not neglected, our cricket and soccer elevens playing in local leagues.

'The railway arch seen in the middle of the previously published picture beyond the roof of the gym, spanned the road to the Downs overlooking Lancing College and to Upper Beeding, route of many a Sunday afternoon walk.

Norman concluded, 'Thanks for the memory.'

Shoreham Grammar School in Pond Road, Shoreham. Now demolished, the building has been replaced by Shoreham Community Centre.

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20 Feb 2012
By ceriksson
I entered this school from St. Christopher's Prep School Hove and was there until 1962 when I went to Imperial College in London to study Physics, gaining a PhD in 1969.

Christopher Eriksson
E Mail:
St. Christopher's &
02 Jan 2013
By johnbartlett
I also entered this school as a boarder in 1963 from St. Christopher's at Hove and then moved over to the new site at Worthing - I think in 1964. I was and still am, profoundly dyslexic and hated every moment of my school days. I was no stranger to Mr. Saunders office at St. Christopher's or Mr. Bruder’s study at Shoreham Grammar. Strangely, despite my dyslexia, I have managed to have 2 books published (Dark Horse and Chequered Justice). The latter, Dark Horse, recreates life at St. Christopher's and Shoreham Grammar School, although I don’t refer to the schools or any students by their real name... If you were at either school at that time, have a read (available from most book shops or Amazon), you may even find you’re featured!
john bartlett, hi th
13 Mar 2014
By denniscogman
hi im dennis cogman I attended shoreham grammar with you in 63, 64, I can be reached at I would love to hear back from you I currently reside in Vancouver Canada. My phone number is 604 300 3696.I hope you rememr me as I remember you.
Im dennis cogman
13 Mar 2014
By denniscogman
When I was at shoreham grammar in63 64, Snellings was the head boy, anybody know where he is now let me know.
dennis cogman
13 Mar 2014
By denniscogman
Im also looking for nick or nicky tetlow from this period in the school, and Robert smail.
08 May 2020
By chriseriksson
I have a new e-mail address

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