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Portsdown Lodge School 1956/7

posted by wendy hasnip on 31 Mar 2012 at 11:00 pm

My friend Kathleen(then Dixon)who now lives in Teeside has asked me to put a message up to see if there are any former pupils /staff who would like to share memories ?Kathleen was P.E. teacher in 1956/7.

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Follow up messages

I Was At Portsdown Lodge School

posted by Caroline (Garnell) nee Bridgeman on 12 Sept 2012 at 5:08 pm

Hello Wendy/Kathleen,
I was a pupil at P L S for only 4 terms until it closed down in the 60's. I remember Miss Blewitt and Sheepy, but other names escape me!
I remember being bussed to the swimming baths in Hastings past the gasworks and also that I was in a history lesson when the news came through that JFK had been assassinated.
My favourite meal was the hotch potch (left overs?!) stew for Friday lunches.
I also remember walking along the lanes to church in a crocodile every Sunday and that in 4 terms we only went once to the beach and that was on a winters day!
I hope others will post replies to your message.
Best wishes,

Memories Of Portsdown Lodge School

posted by Susan Tribe on 16 Sept 2012 at 9:53 am

Hello Girls! I was at Portsdown Lodge School from 1956 to 1960 and have happy memories of the school building and grounds, not to mention my fellow pupils, one of whom, Caroline Richardson, followed me on to our next school in St. Albans and also to "Ranny's" in Eastbourne. She and I are still in touch now, after all those years! I can remember the smell of wax polish on the very shiney timber flooring to the ground floor coridors and the fun we had playing in the woods at the end of the garden. I used to dread playing Lacrosse and remember having extra tennis lessons


posted by Julia Palau on 20 May 2013 at 8:43 pm

Hi there, I remember you Susan, and Caroline - was she known as 'Cacky'? There is a group of us from your years at PLS that meet occasionally and there is a meeting coming up on June 10th if you get this message! I was known as 'Ju Ju'!!

Ports Down Lodge School

posted by Liz (Hurd) nee Moring on 21 May 2013 at 10:51 am

Hi to ex PLS girls. I was at PLS from 1959 to 1963 approx. The sights and smells the same, also remember the sound of the high jump bar falling, pouring a jug of water over Jean Maitland one tea time and having to go to junior teas for a week! Hope she forgave me. I don't remember going to the beach more than once. I have met up with a few 'girls' in my year but it would always be good to meet more. I do remember Susan and Caroline, all a bit hazy on the specifics. Loved, sport, not an academic! Was it Mrs Hicks who taught games?

Pre 65 Students

posted by tessa price on 12 Jun 2013 at 11:20 pm

Exactly where was Portsdown Lodge? I was there till about 65 and would like to visit the site but can't seem to locate it!

Site Of Portsdown

posted by Liz Hurd on 22 Jun 2013 at 7:36 am

Hi Tessa, the building doesn't exist any more it is a housing estate! At least that is what I found when I went down there to have a look. By the way the games mistress wasn't Mrs Hicks, think she was at my next school.

My Mother Was At PLS

posted by Ella Young on 11 May 2014 at 7:35 pm

My mother was at PLS in the late 1920s and early 1930s with her great friend Frances France.
I remember the names Miss Griesbach (the Head?) and Miss Blewitt.
They were wonderful mother-substitutes and friends to my mother who was gifted and got into Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford at a young age (16 maybe). I think I have her PLS diaries in my loft in Scotland but am living abroad at the moment, so can't access them.


posted by Virginia (Gemma) Wells (nee Wills) on 31 Oct 2014 at 8:20 pm

I was at PLS from about 1961 until it closed. Yes, I remember Sheepy (Matron) and Miss Blewitt headmistress, who had us all walking in two's down the main staircase in our best party dresses to receive a gift just before end of Christmas term. I remember Simone Hempel and Joanna Stacey Marks. I also remember Miss Probert (Maths teacher I think) Love to share memories with fellow former pupils.

What Memories

posted by Martha Macdonald on 27 Jan 2015 at 7:21 am

I was at PDL from about 57 -62. I can remember Jean Maitland and Sarah whose father taught French at Seaford. I can remember Miss Griesback and waiting to brush my teeth next to Sheepy, I loved playing in the woods at the back and my crocodile wallks near the Cooden Beach Hotel and walking along the coast and in the Bluebell Woods. Sports Day on the front lawn and packing day and laying out my stuff to be checked before.Going swimming at the baths in Hastingswas fun and of course my rationed 6oz.of chocolates (for the week) during the siesta.
I would love to hear from any student from that time.

Sweet Memories

posted by Martha Macdonald on 27 Jan 2015 at 5:51 pm

Can anyone remember the morning assemble and prayers in the gym and having to sit crossed leg on the wooden floor. Miss Griesbach would make us lie down and relax as she used her calm voice in a relaxing technique. She was ahead of her time in Education. I can still see and hear the willow trees just outside the huge gym windows. Standing in line for baths...not a daily event... and filling up my laundry bag. The food was not bad and my brothers called it a hotel as I had a choice of desserts and a mat by my bed. They were off in Fettes and suffering the trials of a less gentle boarding school. The uniform was green and the summer dresses were green and white. As much as I would like to I am unable to remember peoples´names but then my memory is awful.


posted by sarah evans on 13 Apr 2015 at 11:33 pm

I have very happy memories of portsdown lodge school, Cooden beach. Miss Griesbach was the headmistress and Miss Blewitt taught elocution.
We had midnight feasts in cupboards and sports days when parents visited. I remember the egg and spoon race. My mother used to stay at the Cooden Beach Hotel when she came . Life was
unhurried and there was a happy atmosphere for a little girl of 9 and a half when I first came in 1947. Very far from home.

for the exeats.

Trying To Remember!

posted by Janette Simmonds Gailey on 09 Jun 2015 at 5:51 pm

I was at PDL, probably around 43-47. It is so aggravating not to be more sure of dates. I remember crocodiles, the balance beam and the climbing rope in the gym. I think I remember climbing bars on the wall at the end. I remember having to sit in the dining hall, by myself, to finish eating black pudding. I got sick :-) . I remember my dorm room. I think there were seven of us. I recall being in a top bunk and wetting my bed (THAT WAS A BIG NO,NO!!!). I wish I could remember names. I only remember the name of the girl who was so mean to me about wetting the bed. How wonderful memory is! Somehow, now you mention Miss Griesbach and Miss Blewitt-- the names sound familiar but I'm not sure. Yes, I remember sitting cross legged on the floor and egg and spoon races and visiting day. Mmmmm.......???

Games Mistress 1963 To 1964

posted by Angie Arthurs (Kidd) on 23 Jun 2015 at 6:24 am

Very interested to hear memories of Portsdown Lodge School.. I was games mistress from Sept 63 until it closed in July 64. I remember Miss Blewitt and keep in touch with Miss Edwards (music). Also, Simone Hempel, Chris Bailey, Sarah Maflin, Kate Ritchie and Virginia Wills and often wonder what they're doing now.

Sorry No Happy Memeories

posted by christina knight on 13 Sept 2015 at 1:51 pm

I was ' Portsdown lodge school 1956/57 and have no happy memories. I found the regime harsh and stifling and Sheepy and Miss Blewett & the staff had their favourites. I was strictly brought up so was no softie. It was a nightmare from start to finish! Sorry I cant remember on happy day there. I left to go to a school in Herefordshire where I was very happy

No Happy Memories

posted by Christina Knight on 17 Sept 2015 at 1:57 pm

Amazing that my last comment didn't get posted! I don't have any happy memories of PLS I found the regime restrictive and every day was a nightmare there. The staff were very fond of having favourites and I definitely was not one of those!. I subsequently went to a boarding school in Herefordshire where I was very happy. I imagine that on this site one is not allowed to agree with the glowing reports of PLS days!

PLS Reunion

posted by Elizabeth Roberts nee Gough-Cooper on 09 Nov 2015 at 4:07 pm

I was at PLS 1951-56. A group of us in the same year as me, and in the year above with my elder sister Jenny GC still meet once a year for lunch!! Can anyway help us find Serena Poole and Nicola Laird from our cohort? Nicola was keen on ballet, and I think her parents lived in Kuala Lumpur.


posted by Angela Tyser (Burley) on 23 Nov 2015 at 3:31 pm

I started at PLS in 1950 with Tish Davenport and Sally Tuke. I hated all boarding schools but having said that PLS was not too bad and I met so many nice people there. I remember Miss G and Miss B very well and can almost feel now being enveloped in Miss G's ample frontage. rather like burying your head into a feather pillow! I remember the Blue room and the Grey room. Also the sweet rationing which was still on and being allowed sweets from a large bowl if anyone had contributed to it for the school. Very messy overalls that had to be worn to eat in. Great excitement when we went from winter pyjamas to summer pyjamas. So many trivial things. Miss G playing the piano with great force when we sang the school hymn Praise my soul.....and the wonderfully decorated cards that were given out at the end of term if you had done well. The white Rock baths, and a lady called Madame Engelund (spelling?) who came to sing to us. Sheepy came and had dinner with my parents my husband and I after she married.Her husband had a boy's school in Kent. Sadly she died too young, so anyway enough wittering on from me !
Angela x

A Memorable Year

posted by Puff Redrup nee Vyvyan on 20 Mar 2016 at 7:20 pm

After leaving school in Devon and Berkshire in 1951 I spent a year at PLS before starting my nursing training in London. I worked as an under matron with Sheepy (Eve Sharp) and two other under matrons one called Rom Vint. The girls nicknamed me Pin. I remember Miss Griesbach and Miss Blewitt very well. It was a very happy school. Lovely food cooked by Mrs Duckering from Yorkshire. Lovely Swiss girls did all the domestic work. Miss G went to Switzerland every summer to recruit them. I remember Laura Nicholson who played the piano very well although only 11 or 12. Her sister Emma who went on to be a very well known politician. It was a year full of happy memories I have always cherished.

Memories Of PLS

posted by Juliet Cornwall (née Lindsay) on 04 May 2016 at 5:05 pm

I think Angela Tyser (née Burley) is a year out and agree with Elizabeth Roberts (née Gough Cooper) that we were at PLS 1951-56. Enjoyed reading so many memories similar to mine. Can add that I remember the houses we made in the wood, the walks along Herbrand in our grey Harris tweed coats battling the wind, listening to fog horns out at sea (and sometimes Miss Osborne playing Chopin) after lights out. I also remember Miss Vyvyan (Pin) of previous message, uour gym teacher, Kleo, from Sweden and Miss Carter (Carty) who took Form 1. Still looking for our contempories, Nichola Laird and Serena Poole. Can anyone put us in touch with them?

Cir Smart Says Hello To Her PLS Friends!

posted by Carolyn Smart on 17 May 2016 at 11:04 pm

Hello all, you might remember me as the Canadian who came for one year (1962-63). I remember much harsh treatment on behalf of the matrons but some very warm friendships within my classmates, the houses in the rhododendrons, the walk to Church, the view from the windows, the lizards in the ivy. I began writing stories at PLS and am now a professional writer.

I Was There 62-65!

posted by Serena Cowell on 22 Apr 2017 at 1:19 pm

I remember the beautiful staircase and coming down in pairs in our party frocks. There was one big dorm and a bat got in one night..I still have to go to sleep with my ears covered! I remember the swimming classes and playing in the woods. I remember Simone Hempel as she came on to Buckswood Grange in Uckfield when it closed. I loved the school and was not happy at Uckfield with headmistress Mrs Fox

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