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Wilton House School Bexhilll

posted by Brian Setchfield on 07 Aug 2009 at 10:24 pm


Does anyone remember me Brian Setchfield I was at Wilton House School from 1961 to 19665
I was good friends with Albert Ashun and many others.

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posted by Alan Taylor on 26 Aug 2009 at 7:47 pm


I was at Wilton House from 1956 to 1965 but I have to say your name does not ring a bell, sorry. I do rememebr people like Stephen Smedley and his sisters, Greg Fox, Robert Lehman, John Boyd etc but not Albert Ashun.



Wilton House, Hastings Rd

posted by Catherine Newton on 28 Aug 2009 at 12:48 pm

Hi Brian, you can find Albert Ashun on Friends Reunited
site, when you register go to Wilton House, there are
lots of other students you may remember.
Kind Regards, Cathy.


posted by Brian Setchfield on 28 Aug 2009 at 9:27 pm

Hi Alan

Yes I do remember you Alan and I believe that you were slightly older than me, You were quite tall and wore glasses please let me know if I am right, I also believe you were a great James Bond fan.

I also remember Kaye and John Boyd, also Junior Rodregause and Pamela Bankier, and also a Greek lad called Costus estertude.

Many Thanks

Brian setchfield

AH The Light Shines

posted by Alan Taylor on 01 Sept 2009 at 10:30 am

Yes Brian, I did (do) wear specs and yes, I was a James Bond fan - not so much nowadays though :-) Kay is on Friends Reunited, as I see you are, and she certainly responds to emails. I think I do remember the Greek Lad Costus (sp?), didn't he come from Cyprus? See you on Friends.

Regards and all the best

Party Piece

posted by Brian Setchfield on 01 Sept 2009 at 1:14 pm

Hi Alan

I learned as a young boy a spectacular defence move from no other but you.

You used to grab the lapels on my school blazer face to face and just drop yourself down on your back and raise one foot up on my chest and send me flying head over heels which would see me end up on the floor behind you, this defence move was received by many of the boys by both you and me as I found that this move worked every single time no matter how big the other kid was.

Alan, do you remember this because I still laugh at this every time I think of it.

Yours sincerely


posted by lisa gonnet on 04 Sept 2009 at 1:27 pm

Hello, I was at Wilton house for about 12 months in 1966 i think, i dont remember many names as i was 6 when i left. i remember Winnie an african girl and michelle and actually thats all. I had a car accident while there and ended up in hospital. i remember the headmaster used to put a dummy in his room window and the seniors would put plays on that we younger ones were woken up and made to go to. I have some very confsed strange memories. I still have all the letters i had to write home giving all my white and black marks for the week. i tried to find the school again years later but think it is now an old persons home.

I Use To Be At Wilton House School Must Have Been 1968-69

posted by jonathan williams on 06 Nov 2009 at 3:49 pm

I was a very shy boy, I always remember when i got lost in the woods with a friend and lost one of my shoes. late back for dinner.

Dose anyone remember the white dog?


posted by phil lewis on 25 Dec 2009 at 7:31 am

It was a bedlington terrier called Bundles. I hated that school worse than oliver twist. Glad you made it thru.

Wilton House School

posted by brian setchfield on 23 Jan 2010 at 5:29 pm

Hi to all WHS past students 1961 to 1965
Hastings road Bexhill-On-Sea.

I am just thinking about the old school and wondered does anyone remeber Mr Laing the gardner who used to cut the grass on his sit on lawn mower, he also drove the school mini bus and used to take us down to the shops at sunny Bexhill-On-Sea on saturday aftrnoons so we were able to spend our pocket money in shops like Woolworths and Gamleys toy shop.
We used to get half a crown or five shilling bag of fruit every week if we were lucky and maybe we were aloud to walk up to the sweet shop which was at Bexhill old town for a bottle of pop and some sweets, I think the shop was called geeries it was just under the old town clock.

I remember John Boyd coming back to the school after leaving to see his sister Kaye and showing us all what a five pound note looked like, I thought that guy had made it big time, Im not sure but I think he worked on a farm?

Many thanks
Brian Setchfield


Wilton House School

posted by Simon Sanders on 13 Mar 2010 at 10:19 am

Hi Brian & all past students
I was there 1963-1965 with my sister Cora-Ann

I too was just thinking about WHS that made me google it

I remember Mr laing I belive he married Mrs Auer the head mistress yes we did get half a crown if you were over 11 years of age before that is was one shilling.cant say i have any happy memories of WHS but still it is nice to look back and reminis. Ive not been back to Bexhill since 1975 I must drive down some time to how much has changed

Kind Regards

WHS 1962-63

posted by David Stearne on 04 Apr 2010 at 12:00 pm

Oh yes, I remember WHS!..and I remember you guys! Does anyone out there remember us? I was there with my sister (David aka "Dick" and Sharon aka "Sandy" Stearne). I was also there with a pal Stephen Smedley with whom I met up later at Officer Training School HMS Worcester before going to sea. I hated that school! To me it felt more like an orhphanage than a school and we'd been sent there from our colonial home: Belize, British Honduras, by our parents who'd only seen the brochure! But I guess it hardened us up for later life. I've been in touch with Kaye who (I think I'm right in saying) is/was a nurse in Helensburgh.

Best wishes, David Stearne

WHS Thanks Everyone For Adding Your Messages

posted by Brian Setchfield on 11 Apr 2010 at 6:48 pm

Dear all. WHS 1961 to 1965
I think that most of the guys at Wilton House School were there for their parents convenience, at least that is why I was left there. I have always thought that a large majority should not have necessary been there at all, but due to circumstances it seemed to be a place for young children to be left which really does still haunt me until this day. Sometimes when people are left in places like WHS you just have to make the most of the situation and just hope that things will get better over a period of time. I have struggled to understand why I was left at such a place as I should have never have been at that school in the first place. I also believe that once at that school you had to grow up pretty damn quick which should not have been the case, as young children should have been loved and allowed to grow and develop and enjoy their childhood and not have to worry about where they might end up next. Anyway I made some good friends there and just made the most of my stay there. I also thank the matron Mrs Banham her son John and her Daughter Sally for helping me through, along with all of the other friends that I made there.

Take care

Brian Setchfield

Wilton House School, Catsfield Place

posted by Richard Byrne on 12 Apr 2010 at 1:34 am

I attended Wilton House in Catsfield Place between 1979-1985. I still, to this day, have extremely fond memories about my stay there! I recall Mr and Mrs Eure; I was often tasked with travelling with Mr Eure to Hastings (cash and carry) to assist him in the purchase of school provisions et al. I, of course remember Mr.Moore of whom I was rather frightened; although he was a genuinely decent guy. My close friends, amoungst others, were Rudolph Noujaim, Ryan and Conray Powell, Tunde and Shola Adeko, Paul Thompson to name but six. I recall my room mates being utterly convinced that the school was haunted and that they had experienced 'spookydoo goings on'; but I sailed through my six years in that beautiful old building without so much as a solitary boooo! My best wishes to you all. Richard

2 WHS'!!

posted by David Stearne on 17 Apr 2010 at 10:20 am

The Catsfield Place that you recall, is not the WHS in Bexhill that we remember from the 50's and 60's. I also learned that things changed for the better and later they moved to a better establishment and I'm happy for you that things seemed to have improved. My only memories of that spartan regime was dozens of rather unhappy little children from all over the world (many of them very, very young), some of them not ebene able to speak English, a long way from their homes, little or no contact with their loved ones home (no e-mails, mobiles, texts, etc., in those days!) and on the whole a rather Dickensian and loveless place. ...and I think it was a Mrs. Auer who was in charge, but teachers came and went the whole time with little stability. I was glad to get out! I certainly remember Alan, weren't you also into the Ancient Greeks, I seem to remember that you loved the story of the 300 Spartans and got me interested in Xerxes and Leonidas (or have I got the wrong bloke - it was a long time ago!). Regards, David


posted by jim on 15 May 2010 at 10:27 am

cantelupe road

If my memory serves me correct was WHS on this road


posted by brian setchfield on 18 May 2010 at 6:47 pm

Hi Jim

No Wilton House School was most definatly in Hastings Road in Bexhill-On-Sea.

what year did you think it was in Cantelupe road.



posted by Alan Taylor on 20 May 2010 at 2:12 pm

I know we have spoken in the past Brian and I?ve recently swopped emails with you David as well. I have to say that I for one am sorry that your memories of WHS are so, grim is the word that comes to mind! Personally, and I was there a lot longer than both of you, most of my memories are happy ones, guess I was just lucky. Yeah, it could be tough but really the setup at Hastings Road was a LOT milder than that when the school was in Upper Sea Road. For what it?s worth I?m due to see Bill Farnfield (the games master in June) I?ll let him know the debates are still going on :-)

Fond Memories

posted by Janice McKenzie Weech on 28 May 2010 at 2:36 pm

I attended WHS and my memories were good ones. I made alot of friends then and remember a few names, Roscoe(I think from Jamaica) Junior and his Bro (cant remember his name) Theresa, Wendy & Mark Seabrook, Cleo, Martin & Clinton Steele and Sally Banham. I was from the Bahamas with my sister Donna. Being from the Bahamas the experience was good. Remember going to Ole Town on Saturdays eating chips and eggs :-)
Is anyone out there that remembers me. :-)


posted by jimbob on 29 May 2010 at 4:42 pm

Hello Brian

thanks for the info 163 cantelupe road does stick in my mind though.
I do remember the french teacher Mrs Eure (hour)
A boarding school of sorts
I think although not sure boy and girls were on different floors! seems so long ago

thanks jim

WHS 1961-1965

posted by Brian Setchfield on 23 Jun 2010 at 7:55 pm

Hi all.

Summer looks like its finally here at long last. Do you all remember the lovely swimming pool at Wilton House School, which we all used to enjoy swimming in, I know it was always cold in there but being as I loved swimming I thought it was the best part of the school in summer, that and the schools games day, I think Im right in saying that you Alan were a great runner?

I used to help out in the school kitchen every morning and serve up the breakfast to all you guy's, corn flakes, bacon and eggs with fried bread, tea or orange, yum, yum, with the corn flakes we used to have a strange type of milk, allbeit it was very tasty. Does anyone remember the old gym we used to train in and play football in when it was raining, Oh, and roller skating.

Keep the messages coming in and keep in touch, and enjoy the summer.

Many thanks

Brian Setchfield

Wilton House School

posted by Philomena on 29 Jun 2010 at 2:43 pm

I think I may remember Brian. I do remember Kaye Boyd and a really nice girl called Opal Grace. Two French kids used to come over in the summer - the girl I think was Isobel and I can't remember the name of the boy. There were two scottish sisters called Bernice and I think Alice Mahargh (which I've probably spelt incorrectly).

I started at this wretched school when I was 4 years old in 1957 and stayed there for around 10 years. It wasn't on Hastings Road to begin with but was on the main street coming up from the beach in a corner house on the right. I remember the move to Hastings Road very clearly as we were taken there for days out before the move.

They decided to install a swimming pool which was basically a square cement hole with no pump or filtration so the water was always green.

I remember in the early days there was a matron/housekeeper called Mrs Salter and the teacher of the second year was Mrs Moore. There was also a groundsman called Mr Farmfield.

Anyhow my name when I was there was Philomena Totten. Somebody may remember.

Many, many, many memories - most of them not good. Dickens would have had a field day.

WHS 1963-1965

posted by Simon Sanders on 29 Jun 2010 at 10:15 pm

Hi Philomena I do remember you I also remember Mrs Salter she was a thin gaunt lady I think she used to live in Sea Road.
It must have been hard for you being left there at such an early age I foud it bad enough and I was 13!you are right about the swimming pool It was filled up over night at the beginning of summer and that was it till autumn.All seems a long time ago now Hay-Ho!

Simon(now aged 58)

Wilton House School

posted by Philomena on 29 Jun 2010 at 11:15 pm

Hello Simon

It's wonderful to hear from you. I hope that you are keeping well and happy.

I think from the dates that you were there you were fortunate enough to miss the worst of the dreadful events that happened at that school. I can't really say anything too much in an open forum but anyone who was involved will know that some terrible, terrible abuses went on there in the late 50s and possibly into the early 60s - I can't really remember as I was so young and the years tend to meld together.

I think anyone who went later won't have such bad memories and might even think of the school fondly. I always had, and still have, a very high opinion of Mrs Auer. There was, however, a very, very dark side to that establishment which I'm sure she knew anything about until it was too late.

Towards the end of time I was there it did improve and we could even have some fun from time to time.

I must admit that finding this message board has been a big shock but also very therapeutic. I'll find some lighter memories to share with you later.

God bless to everyone.

Wilton House School

posted by Brian Setchfield on 30 Jun 2010 at 10:10 pm

Hi All WHS students 1961-1965

I also remember Mrs Moore and met up with her husband Sid Moore when I was around 18years old, in fact I worked with him for around 6 Months, he was a really nice guy just like Mrs Moore, who I got along with quite well.

Philomena, I think that I do remember you, and I'm just trying to think of the name of the girl you were friends with.

The old swimming pool did always have green in it, but once we started to splash around in there it soon disappeared to the edges, thank goodness.

Do you remember the old tree with the wooden seat that surrounded it.

I know it was a long time ago but I was only 7years old when I was dropped off and left at that school, and I must say that did frightened me as I had just spent two weeks previously staying with my mother, and that was the first time that I had ever stayed with her in my life, before that I had lived with my grandparents from 1yr old until I was 7yrs old, so to then end up at a boarding school was extremely alarming as I am sure you all know only to well.

I am so glad that you guy's have started using this site as it brings back a lot of memories, take care.

Yours sincerely

Brian Setchfield


posted by jimbob on 07 Jul 2010 at 5:53 pm

With reference to Philomena's message on the 29th June.

prior to hastings road would the school have been on cantelupe road number 163?
around 56/57
beginning to sound like a broken record.


posted by Philomena on 12 Jul 2010 at 2:05 pm

Not a clue jimbob. I could probably take you to it but as to the address I don't know. I don't think I was there very long - probably not more than 6 months before the school moved to Hastings Road - but as it was so long ago it might have been longer. It must have been in 1957 as I was four when I went there.

I've just looked on google maps. As I recall it was a big corner house and google shows the main road up from the prom called Sea Road and Cantelupe Road coming off it to the right - which is about where I remember it was located. So it could have been on the corner of Sea Road/Cantelupe Road and maybe had the address Cantelupe Road.


posted by Alan Taylor on 15 Jul 2010 at 9:29 pm

Philomena, I have to confess that your name is familiar but that's as far as it goes, sorry :-( The first WHS school I attended from about 55 was at Upper Sea Road though I believe that that was the 2nd location for the school. I don't know, or can't recall, the address of the very first one.

I also remember the tree and swing, I found an old shell at the bottom of that tree, Mrs Auer had a fit and called both the police and bomb squad - it turned out to be a practice round....though the machine gun bullets some of the lads found in the remains of some huts on the site which later became the swimming pool were real, wonder what happened to them.

Brian, you're right I was a runner, I even won the school sports shield 2 years on the trot, 2nd time with Beldora Dolphin, I even have a short 8mm movie of part of the sports day. I put a couple of clips on Friends if you?re interested. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to boast :-)

Kay Boyde is certainly still around, I often swop emails with her and Steve Smedley.

Re the dark side of the school, yep tis true, I could tell some tales but it's all a long time ago and probably best left in the past.



posted by Philomena on 16 Jul 2010 at 12:08 pm

I don't remember most of the others at WHS either Alan - it was so long ago and I've blocked most of it from my memory to be honest. The Upper Sea Road school is the one I must have started at - that's where it looks to be on the map. I can remember my very first night - although not arriving there. The very small boys and girls shared a dormitory on the right at the top of the stairs. There was a small boy whose bed was at the foot of mine - old hospital beds I think they were. I remember saying (in a joke I think) I'm going to tell on you and he kept on insisting I shouldn't say "tell on you" I had to say "I'm going to report you". I wasn't from as "posh" a background as everyone else but I did pick up the accent because I so young - which led to a bit of bullying later when I went to state school and everyone said I was posh!!!

The girls used to pull their counterpanes down over their beds to make a kind of tent and crawl under them to get dressed - protecting our modesty even at that tender age. One boy managed to make a huge hole in his mattress and bedsprings underneath - probably from jumping on the bed - and we used to think it hilarious to watch him sliding down the bed and then disappearing through the mattress.

I can also remember lining up at the top of the stairs to get our hair brushed - all with the same brush. I'm sure we must all have caught lice although I don't remember.

You might recall my cousin Alan Burnett who was at Upper Sea Road and then at Hastings Road. Pulled out of school very quickly with a lot of others due to the dark side coming to light at last - mercifully. I did stumble across it one night when I was about six in a darkened classroom and fled when screamed at to get out - didn't understand of course until years later.

Alan passed away in 1984 sadly. He's buried at Niagara in Canada. He was great friends with Ruth Tobin.

God Bless

Memory Lane

posted by Miriam Picknett on 17 Jul 2010 at 6:00 pm

Hi, anyone remember me? I remember Alan Taylor, Annette Cartwright, teacher Tony Mora (from New Zealand), Teresa Seabrook (ballet star), and some of the names in the previous postings. Am actually staying over in Hastings in a couple of months as I want to go back down memory lane and see if the building in Hastings Road is still there.


posted by Alan Taylor on 17 Jul 2010 at 10:54 pm

Your post certainly brought back some memories Philomena, well that?s a little exaggeration... I think I can remember folks lining up to get their hair brushed but like you only odd things from those very early days seems to have stuck, most of my memories are from the Hastings Road days.

I do remember a lad called Alan Smith but not Alan Burnett, though I do think I remember a girl called Carole Burnett, tall girl if I recall correctly. Very sorry to hear about Alan all the same though.

I went down to Bexhill a few months ago for the first time in 30 odds years, it?s changed.....I could not locate the school in Upper Sea Road and all that seems to be left in Hastings Road is a small plaque saying ?Charter Towers? on a wall outside where I think that was.

I understand WHS moved from Bexhill in the late ?60?s to a place called Catsfield which I happened to drive through on my way home from Bexhill but I saw no sign of the place. It must still be going as I found some online school achievements reports, 152 pupils and not to many of them get GSCE?s. :-) Mind you that doesn?t surprise me as I left the place with zero qualifications at 15 and had to get my O?s and A?s at night school.

WHS Library - Or Not

posted by Philomena on 18 Jul 2010 at 6:49 pm

It would be astonishing Alan if anybody managed to get any academic qualifications from WHS. I don't recall any sign of a library or a school librarian. In later years there were some shelves in the staff room with some dusty books on them and they called that a library which shows the priority given to books and learning as access to the staff room was limited even if you wanted to go into it in the first place.

You might remember that Mrs Auer was dead set against the Beano and the Dandy and used to confiscate them if anyone was caught with them. This policy might have been a bit more impressive if she'd followed it up by making a wide range of books available for the kids to read. The only books I can recall reading there were the ones I brought with me from home.


posted by Alan Taylor on 20 Jul 2010 at 5:49 pm

Miriam I remember both you and your sister Susan very well. Trust you are both well and that life has been good to you. You?ll see from a previous post of mine that there is nothing to see of WHS in Hastings Road and only a small wooden sign on a wall that says 'Charter Towers', presumably placed on the wall somewhere near where the school was, so WHS should have been located somewhere nearby.

Actually, the old front wall of the school (WHS that is) might still be in place, when I was there some months ago I could not quite work out whether it was or wasn?t. If you go on Friends Reunited my page has a photo of me outside said wall taken sometime in the late ?50?s. If you do get to Hastings Road see whether you think it?s the same wall ? yeah I know, I must get a life!

Philomena, I recall the library, there were one or two books worth reading but not many as you say, at one point there was a record player in there and some folks used to dance in there as well!

It was Mrs Moore who taught me to read, books about William the motor mechanic and Chicken Licken with the acorn that fell on his head and sundry other treats. I've always been greatful to her for that.

Certainly right about the comics, the only ones deemed OK I believe were the Eagle and Swift for the boys, not sure quite what was permitted for the girls.

Wilton House School

posted by conray powell on 22 Jul 2010 at 10:04 am

Hi I was at wilton house with my brother ryan powell does any body remember the powell brothers? I was friends with paco, spiros,mosley,sheehan,tony omotoso, james williams, george pio, eli and rudolph and loads more those were the good days. teachers include Mr Rudd Mr Moore Mrs Moore who was in charge of scotney class and school secreatary Mrs Roberts. year attended 1976-1982 peace

Wilton House School

posted by Simon Sanders on 22 Jul 2010 at 11:20 am

Does any one know when the school finally closed?


Simon (attended 1963-65)

Wilton House School

posted by Alan Taylor on 22 Jul 2010 at 3:37 pm

Simon, if you mean finally close in Hastings Road there is a picture on Blas's page, Friends Re, which shows the last day at Hastings Road before the move to Catsfield. The picture is dated sometime in 1968. As far as I have been able to find out WHS still exists somewhere in Catsfield.

If anyone knows any differently I?d be grateful for any information you may have as I?m trying to track down information re the School Sports Shield.

Hi All

posted by Brian Setchfield on 22 Jul 2010 at 8:56 pm

Hi All

I Think its great that this site is being used and visited by so many of you.

Alan, I have had to go back in time and trace personal matters with regard to WHS in Hastings road, subsequently I met with Mrs Auer's son who lives in Catsfield near to where the Catsfield school used to be, and I can inform you and confirm that the Catsfield WHS has now closed down. I have even been to the site of the old Catsfield school, and it is now a private dwelling next to an old farm. I believe it has been closed now for quite a few years, I believe about 5/6 years to be precise.

The WHS Hastings road site is now a development of new buildings and has been so now for many years, I think the only part still standing is the old school front wall but I may be mistaken, I will have a look up there in a few day's time and have a look and report back to you all.

I have to tell you all that I was in Bexhill Library a little while ago and I bumped into Paul Decan, I don't know if any of you remember him,I used to get on quite well with him at the old Hastings road school back in 1961 to 1965 I can remember that old school as if it were yesterday, and I do so remember you Alan, so well with your running skills, you were fast old son, but if my memory serves me correctly you were quite tall. Anyway keep the message board busy and lets see how many people sign into the memories of WHS.

Yours sincerely

Brian Setchfield


posted by conray powell on 25 Jul 2010 at 2:54 pm

Alan im not sure when you attended but i took my family to see the place in 2001 and it was still open and full of 1st year chinise students. I think mrs Aure was still the owner and head. As far as i remember it was in a old Farm house near Catsfield place next to a clay pigoen shooting range. Down the road from Battle Abbey although i do remember taking horse riding lessons at Catsfield place were she lived with Mr Laing school caretaker.peace

Wilton House School

posted by Alan Taylor on 26 Jul 2010 at 11:34 am

Brian, nice to hear from you again and thank you for the update re WHS and Catsfield.

What through me was an Ofstead report that I came across some little time ago on line which gave GCSE results for WHS at Catsfield. Unfortunately, I had to go out shortly after I found it so didn?t copy it and stupidly didn?t save the page either. And..... now I can?t find it! Anyway I think I remember that it was dated 2005 or so and mentioned 150 odd pupils at the school; hence me thinking it was still going.

With regard to the old building thank you also for confirming that the wall is still there. I?m going down to see Bill Farnfield in Hastings this Wednesday and was going to drive back via Hastings Road to see if I could confirm that using the post box seen in an old 1958(?) picture of me. So that?s another cunning plan down the toilet :-) At least I can show Bill some photo?s of the old place as well as pictures of folk from Friends Re. As well as mention this site, for as you say this thread seems quite busy, although I don?t know how computer literate he might be.

I do remember Paul Decan, vaguely though I?m afraid, if you see him again say hello for me please.

I don?t know about tall Brian, both Steve Smedley and Alan Stevens were quite a bit taller than me, I?m only 5?8? but I like to think I was fast......

Can I take it the Mrs Auer?s son you refer to was Murinus (sp?) rather than Yancher(sp?). I?m still trying to track that school shield down.......So if you have an address for Murinus I?d be grateful Brian.

Thanks for chipping in Conray, I was at WHS from 1955 to 1965. As I understand it from others Mrs Auer married Mr Laing, both are still around I believe.


posted by Alias :) on 30 Jul 2010 at 8:11 pm

Conroy...wow good to hear from you. I just want to let you know that Mrs. Auer Mr. Laing are very old and living in Northern France.

I was a really a very young child, but I still remember how the school lacked good healthy meals and also with the exception of 1 or 2 teachers the rest of them were unqualified and time wasters.

Luckily now days inspection procedures by authorities are much strichtor and thankfully the likes of WHS wouldn't survive as long as this one did...before it went bust in early 2000.

I do believe one fo the sons still owns Broomham on the other side of Hastings but leases the establishment out to a proper school.


posted by Philomena on 31 Jul 2010 at 10:35 pm

Oh yes the meals Alias - they were something else.

The very small children were given bread and jam in their own small dining room before being packed off to bed. When you were older you graduated to the large dining room.

I can remember sitting at a long table and being confronted with some dismal grey matter with white lard around it - I think it was supposed to be meat. (I'm now a vegetarian). Havn't ever been able to eat custard since I was served a dish of yellow slimy lumps - still makes me ill to think about it.

For breakfast they had huge boxes filled with corn flakes or puffed wheat. I always went for the puffed wheat as the corn flakes degenerated into a congealed soggy mass as soon as the watered down milk hit them. The milk was so badly watered that the small bottles we got at break time used to freeze in winter - and milk, of course, is not supposed to freeze so there obviously wasn't much there to begin with.

Anyone remember the huge furore that was caused - it might just have been at the table I was sitting on and maybe didn't affect the whole school - when some poor soul took some marmalade with a knife that still had margarine on it. This was deemed to be a huge crime - leaving bits of margarine in the marmalade dish. I think we all had to stay behind for hours in the dining room until whoever was responsible owned up. Nobody did which resulted in the inevitable lines. I think Mrs Auer composed some special ones for the occasion.

Some of us really ought to get together and write a book about our experiences. It would probably be classed as fiction though as I don't expect many people would believe us.


posted by Alias on 29 Aug 2010 at 9:59 pm

Hello Philomena, nicely put by you. Its really funny what you said about writing a book has also been in my mind. If such a book is written well, it would be picked up by a director/producer and for sure made into a film.
I am glad to find another compatriot with such vivid memories of the awful conditions at that school. I have suffered from a bad back since I was in my 20's, always been sure that it was a direct result of the uncomfortably sunken beds we had to sleep in. I'd love to hear more thoughts from you.


posted by Philomena on 04 Sept 2010 at 2:12 pm

Hi Alias - good to hear from another "inmate" who has similar memories. Do you remember the weekly walk? We had to walk two by two holding hands and they always made us walk by the gasworks - now with all the really lovely walks around there they must have been the only school who would take a route via the gasworks.

There was a lane at the bottom of the field at Hastings Road and I remember woods where we sometimes went although not very often. There were loads of bluebells which we used to pick - almost sounds like a good memory doesn't it? Not too many of those but that's a nice one. Once came across a large, deep blue swimming pool in the woods - no idea who it belonged to. There must have been a house nearby. Didn't resemble the school swimming hole as I suspect it had a pump and filtration.

Winter was bad - I can remember getting dreadful chilblains and the dormitories had no heating that I can recall. We were allowed water bottles I think but had to fill them from the tap.

Bathtime was another performance. I think there were about four baths in different cubicles and we had to share a bath with about an inch of water in the bottom.

Almost forget the porridge which we occasionally had at breakfast - if you dug down deep enough you were likely to find a lovely, crunchy black crust. Unlike custard which I've never eaten since, I still like porridge.

Did they ever make a pretence of teaching science? Don't recall it and I don't think they had any kind of science lab.

I used to have a moth eaten teddy bear - which I still have. It's just behind me. He' over 60 now - a bit older than me as he belonged to my cousin before he was given to me. The matron - who was probably completely untrained and not very old - used to moan when I brought him back to school after the holidays. I also remember waiting to be hit - if we talked after lights out the matron used to come into the dormitory with a slipper and go round all the beds hitting us all in turn.

Lovely place wasn't it?


posted by Alias on 06 Sept 2010 at 2:02 pm

Hi Philomena, Interesting to hear what you say about the school in Bexhill because I actually attended the one in Catsfield Place and it was the same exactly there. However, some of the older pupils who previously were in Bexhill before the move to Catsfeild had already spread similar rumors confirming the astonishing conditions you encountered.
Once a week we had cross country runs in the freezing cold and when we got back we never had hot water to shower in. Oh yes and science...what science, the school had zero lab facilities.

I do remember one exceptionally [cool] sports tutor (mention no names) who was known for bending us pupils over and normally using his trainers to punish our little tender bottoms. Maybe his intentions were genuine since I do remember that in my own case the trousers was left on. I also remember we had a math teacher who was dating one of the matrons. As much as he was likeable he also had a habit of dangerously ?knuckling? pupil?s heads. He would creep behind us in the classroom and unexpectedly and often for little reason hit the top of the head with his very bony phalanges joints. He also spasmodically used to throw the blackboard erasers at us...lucky no one got seriously injured.

I am starting to remember too much it really hearts, or is therapeutic??I am not sure!

Happy Christmas

posted by Brian Setchfield on 23 Dec 2010 at 8:44 pm

Hi all

I would like to wish a Happy Christmas to all WHS students, and a peaceful new year.

Yours sincerely

Brian Setchfield

Christmas And New Year

posted by Alan Taylor on 31 Dec 2010 at 10:01 pm

Thank you Brian, and may I wish all ex WHS folk a brilliant New Year for 2011.



WHS Late 50's Cantelupe Road

posted by Nigel Young on 03 Jan 2011 at 11:49 pm

Hello ex inmates. I was at a Boarding School in Bexhill for a short period in the late 50's. Aged 6 or thereabouts Mrs. Aure rings. A bell and I visited the location some years ago but couldn't identify the building definitely, Google Earthing today the east End of Canteloupe Road is definite as the location.
I believe I was only there for a spring and summer term.
JimBob I'm sure you are right on the location for the late 50's.
Philomena your recollections are very similar to my own, anyone remember queing for cod liver oil and malt extract, I only got the cod liver oil and really felt left out.
Speaking what was then still referred to as Kings English, being taught French, Country Dancing, Scottish Dancing and Ballroom all soon forgotten unfortunately.
Walks 2 by 2 in the wet to the west via town and Sea Front, in the dry to the east past the convalescent home and along the path overlooking the sea with the cows in the fields inland. I have a photograph black and white of course of a group of 9 girls and 5 boys and a little black and white terrier (Jack Russell ?). I remember one boy called Gary and that the eldest girl was from the chalfonts in Buckinghamshire most were from family breakups. The boys were very mischievous, one night I remember we strained ourselves silly to fill the chamber pots in the dormitory with pee right to the brim, caused a right furore. We had to polish the floor for hours as punishment.
Anyone out there who may have been there at that time? Would love to hear from you.

Where should I post a copy of the photo?


WHS Late 50's

posted by Alan Taylor on 05 Jan 2011 at 11:27 am

I was at WHS from around 1956 to 1965 and I don?t remember the school ever being at a Cantaloupe Road. I know it was all a long time ago but I am absolutely certain that when I started at WHS the school was located in Upper Sea Road and it moved from there to Hastings Road.

So I guess, unless I?ve ?lost? a few years, you must have been at WHS prior to ?56.

While I would be the first to agree that the place was often less than wonderful I certainly don?t remember having to use ?potties? in the dorm?s at night, if memory serves there were always sufficient proper toilets available and no restriction on leaving the rooms at night to use them that I can remember.

From those very early days I can only recall a few people, an Alan Smith, two brothers, one of whom became an officer in the RAF and the other who when into the navy. They must have been there prior to ?56 as I seem to remember them leaving and coming back to visit in their uniforms some one or two terms later. I can still see some of the faces but the names have long gone, although I think a girl called Pamela Bankier was there then as well and she was certainly at Hastings Road as well.

While a lot of the pupils came from abroad there were quite a few from the UK as well. Hopefully someone will chip in and correct me if I?m wrong :-) All the best anyway for the new year.

Wilton House / Merrydays

posted by Nigel Young on 06 Jan 2011 at 7:51 pm

Was there a crossover between these two establishments in terms of ownership Linda Astore recollects in the Old Schools Thread:-

Remember Merrydays?
posted by Linda Astore on 05 June 2010 at 10:25 am
Does anyone remember Merrydays Preparatory boarding school in Cantelupe Rd.? I now have lived in Australia since 1967 and boarded there from 1958 to 1962 with many fond memories!

I should add to my original message that the principles were Miss Auer and Miss Warner and the two fellow boarders that I remember are Fleur Duval and Ettienne Patrice Keane and that the actual address that I remember is 63 Cantelupe Road, Bexhill on sea. also that Miss Auer could have been the same Mrs Auer whose name cropped up as being a principle at another school in Bexhill. Love to hear from someone!

Remember Merrydays ?
posted by linda Astore on 06 June 2010 at 2:46 pm
Reading all the wonderful and varied accounts of school days in Bexhill,brought back a flood of memories...some sad but mostly good. My mother went to a great deal of trouble to ensure that she would place my sister (age6)and myself(age8)into a caring environment as she had taken steps to seperate from our father and was trying to shield us from any further trauma.I remember the school was called 'Merrydays preparatory school for girls and boys'and remember it being a Tudor style house,softened by mauve Clematis flowers draped over the front awning.After enduring the train ride from London with my mother ensuring us that we would not be there for long..we were introduced to Miss Auer and Miss Warner and mum left us to these to rather stern looking women.The school from memory accomodated about 30 odd students of various nationalities and suddenly I recall the name of a Canadian boy called Keith Dyson! I have to say that these two women did their very best to run the school in a homely fashion and how quaint is this on rainy days I remember we would listen and sing AND dance to records of Oklahoma and The King and I. Summer memories of each student having our own little garden plot and the excitement of the first flower popping up AND Miss Warner's Hokey Pokey icecream with fresh fruit from their orchard! I remember Meekus their I think rather old Cocker Spaniel and going for walks along a stretch near the beach which we all called 'the bumps' So I hope that someone might remember me my name then was Linda Reid and my younger sister Sonia. linda.astore@optusnet.com.au

Philomena's recollection of the margarine in the marmalade incident also ring true with me I was the culprit who didn't own up as all the others said not to!! I also remember the lines as punishment.

My Father recollects Miss Warner Merrydays and a Purple School Cap but his memory at 81 years of age may not be that reliable.

Anyone out there with any similar memories?

Nigel Young


posted by Linda Astore on 13 Jan 2011 at 11:01 am

Hi Nigel,just got back from xmas holiday from Melbourne to Sydney Australia where I have lived for the past 44 years to find your email and what a nice surprise ! My sister Sonia and I boarded from 58 or 59ish to the best of my recollection to 62 so we may have been there at the same time but your name does not ring a bell. I now remember that there was a little dog besides Meekus the Golden Spaniel and that Miss Warner, the stouter of the two women always took the dogs for a walk. I also remember lining up for a spoonfull of cod liver oil but not receiving the malt either. The names that I remember are Ettienne Patrice Keene who obligingly ate my unwanted vegetables, Kieth Dyson from Canada, Fleur Duval from Mauritius and a very patriotic girl from County Cork,but can't remember her name..Anne rings a bell. Yes we learnt the King's English and still remember the French that we were taught including the song "Au claire de la lune" They even taught us tapestry and embroidery during the evening and served us cheese and Maree biscuits as a late night snack...just remembered that now ! Pretty impressive for a preparatory school. Anyway, hope you dig out the photo, I may have one too of my sister and I in the school uniform.


posted by Linda Astore on 18 Jan 2011 at 3:44 pm

Hi Nigel,in my previous message I mentioned a girl by the name of Anne and that I thought she was from County Cork...I think her name was Anne Todner but I actually think now that she was from County Durham.I think your father was spot on with the purple school cap as the photo of my sister and I shows us in our uniform and our berets were definitely purple. I remember that there were three storeys, middle floor was the large class room, Miss Auer and Miss Warner's bedroom and the bathroom and on the top floor there were stairs on both sides leading to the dormitories. I remember my bed was near the window looking across the road to a large brown brick building, perhaps another school? Regards, Linda

Memories And News

posted by Dorothy McClure on 02 Feb 2011 at 11:28 pm

Hi Alan, Philomena and Simon
I certainly remember all of you as well as Alice and Bernice Maharg and Miriam and David, but then I went to WHS in 1959 for 10 years; people serve lesser sentences for murder!

I remember my first meal in that dining room and the metal plates and mug. We had bread, dripping and a dodgy looking sausage. I have a vague memory of one team cooking supper once a week when the cook had her day off, thank god - very Doother Boys Hall

Certainly recall Mr Mora and that attic room that our class painted in lurid colours (left over paint) and spent time listening to Ravi Shankar.

I left at 16 with no qualifications and went on to college in London to take GCE's. Although I've had a varied career, I've been teaching for the best part of a decade now.

I've in touch with Blas and been over to see himand Concha, his wife, in Gran Canaria. We're also in touch with Terry Hunt and Phillipe Moeller.

Like Philomena, I remember quite a lot of the darker side, which I believe Mrs Auer only realised much later on.

Incidentally, Mrs Auer left Catsfield during the 1990's and Wilton House became a riding school of sorts. She had moved to Catsfield village and I visited her and Mr Laing who she had married. I had a great afternoon with her. They have now moved to France.

I didn't realise this website existsed and only found it by chance. It's great to see so many people are still around. I couldn't work out how on earth my mother could ever have left me there, but it had the net effect of toughening me up for later life and my classrooms now. Take care all and Happy New Year for 2011.

Wilton House 1965 - 1969

posted by Justin Steele on 04 Feb 2011 at 6:57 pm

I was there, with my two elder brothers Martin and Clinton, my elder sister Clio and my three cousins, Teresa, Wendy Jane and Mark Seabrook. I remember, Bascoe, Junior, Sally Banham, Donna and Janice Mckenzie. Not to forget Alex "Boozey". Poor soul had a hole in his heart didn't he? Another name I remember is Dean Clemence. I think of that place and I think of fried bread and baked beans in a rubber bowl and having to do the washing up!! My wife and I had a standard poodle for 16 years that was named Bundles (after Mrs Auer's dog). Swimming every morning in the outdoor pool (sometimes it was bloddy freezing) and a cross country run was such a laugh. What about our school plays "Dick Whittington", "King Arthur". Classic!!


posted by Alan Taylor on 04 Feb 2011 at 7:26 pm

Dorothy Hello, I certainly remember you, very glad things worked out for you. I too left WHS without any qualifications, took me years to get my GCE?s and a degree.

Re cooking, about the only thing I can remember is one time we had an ex army cook who burnt the porridge several mornings on the trot. We all complained and he left shortly afterward; he was Scottish I think.

With regard to being in touch with old WHS folk, I swop emails with Blas occasionally, chat a lot to Steve Smedley, remember him, Kay Boyd and Richard Stearn? And I saw Bill Farnfield last summer for the first time in 40 odd years ? he was the games master. Brian Setchfield is also a visitor here as well.

Are you aware that there is a WHS section on Friends Reunited? If not you may find that there are a lot more folk there that you remember.

A couple of people here had mentioned that Mrs Auer had married Mr Laing and now lived in France, I?m glad things turned out OK for her.

Speaking of Mrs Auer, the 'fog' in my title refers to the fact that as least I now know where Cantaloupe Road comes from. I had no idea that she had had a school before WHS, though I confess to some confusion re her sharing rooms with another lady as she certainly had a family in ?56 or so. One of my earliest memories of WHS is being tucked in to bed, sailor style, by her daughter, Elaine (?) who must have been at least 12 or 13 then ? I would be 6 or so.




posted by Blas Hernandez on 08 Feb 2011 at 1:45 pm

Hi all, I was in WHS, 1963 - 1969, mostly from may to october, each year.Came from the Canary Islands. Know many of you. Friend of Albert Ashun, Dorothy Maclure,Philippe Moeller, Leroy Bascoe, Alan Taylor,Teresa Hunt, Teresa and Clio Seabrook, Alice Maharg, Paul Dekan, John and Junior Rodriguez, Annette Cartwright, etc. I?ve put up, about 60 photos in Friends Reunited, of the time I was in WHS, and some after.

About remembering things I lived in the school, here goes some, hoping that some of you can also re.

- the run aways of some studens
- lifting up part of the wood floor on the upper dormitories, to find old things, some from WWII, when the school, I think was a kind of rest home.
- waiting all the week to watch Dr. Who, on tv, on saturdays, sitting on the floor, or a program: "ten of the tops".
- jumping contest, down the stairs, near the main entrance of the school. Untill someone broke his foot.
- Lifting down Thomas Beck, with the emergency fire line, from the upper dormitories, to the roof of the building.
- the cakes on bombfire night (I think this was the day).
- going for blackberries, at the far end of the field.
- boxing matches, with bare hands, between boys. I had this bad experience, with John Waine, one sunday after mass....
- school being alerted that someone of a prison nearby had scaped.
- the sound of the light house siren, time to time.
- eating all we could, when our group, was at kitchen. My record was 5 fried eggs, and ancaunted fried potatoes.
- the automatic potato pealing machine.
- waiting for the teachers to finish, their breakfast, to jump to take the Anchor butter, and toast. We had margarine, and plain bread.
- lining up by 2s, receiving 1 shiling as pocket money, on saturdays.
- being told not to go again to Woolworth, after, some of our school, stole a few things.
- the famous, Mrs Auer?s dog "boundles".
- a line of 2 or 3 boys, near mrs Auer?s office, to be punished, with up to 6 of the "best", by the gardener. I received this cained treatment twice, in both times, with "3". After, we had to say "thank you"...
- After the serial Batman, there was a boy,that liked so much this serial, that run to the fields, and made a dance, and as it was so strange, many of us, run after to watch him do the dance.

Hope some of you can remember, some of this.
Regards to all of u.

Cantaloupe Road

posted by Catherine Newton on 09 Feb 2011 at 8:37 pm

Hi Alan, I went to Wilton House Hastings Rd the same time as you, and remember you, the school in Cantaloupe Rd, was run by Mr Auers spinster sister, and not Mrs Auer of W/H hastings Rd, hope this has cleared the misunderstanding up, I was happy to hear Mrs Auer and Mr laing are o.k.
kind regards,Catherine Newton

WHS - Cantaloupe Road

posted by Alan Taylor on 11 Feb 2011 at 6:44 pm

Hi Catherine, lovely to hear from you after all this time.

Ah, the fog really clears now re Cantaloupe Road; so it was ?our? Mrs Auer?s sister who ran the place.

Did she have more than one, I see to vaguely recall seeing three rather stern old ladies at WHS Hastings Road one time and think I was told that they were all Mrs Auer?s sisters? Anyway I?m one happy bunny after all these years, the light, if not understanding, dawns :-)

Blas, Brilliant reminders, thank you.

Regards and all the best


The Sisters

posted by Catherine Newton on 16 Feb 2011 at 9:22 pm

Hi Alan, they were Mr Auer's sisters, and very stern looking, I remember them coming to the school in hastings rd, you may remember my brother Billy Trickett, he also remembers you, he was only six when he came to wilton house, and has never forgiven my mother for sending him there, I must say my time there was fantastic, although it was not good for the boy's, as you will understand I cant talk about as my brother had to go to court at that time. I hope everything worked out well for you Alan, It was nice too hear you are intouch with bill farmfield, he was a lovely man, he got my brother into sports, I still remember him mowing the grass at the back of the school. Do you remember Mrs Auers son Marinus, I heard he had been killed in a motor cycle accident, hope this is not true as we were great friends. My brother now lives in Bexhill, It's great when I go to visit him, it brings back so many memories. Godbless Alan will talk to you soon, `catherine.

The Sisters - WHS

posted by Alan Taylor on 17 Feb 2011 at 11:23 am

?Lo Catherine,

Yes I remember Billy well, I was down in Bexhill the other week, I could have met him in town for a coffee! My mum and your mum were in touch for quite a while, I think they even tea together a few times etc.

I to had a great time at WHS though I?m well aware that a lot of others didn?t. Mind you I had not realised just how bad it was for some people until I saw their comments here ? eye opening after all these years and quite sad too.

Are you sure about Marinus, I hadn?t heard that? I understood her son was running Catsfield for a while, I assumed that was Marinus but I guess I could have been the other one, Yanchier (sp?).

Things worked out fine, I went in the army for a number of years after WHS, then worked for various company?s in engineering as well as a stint at Heathrow, got married, and finished up in HR for a telecoms company. Took early rtd in 2007 and haven?t looked back :-)

I?ve put a short, poor quality video originally taken on an 8mm machine on my Flickr site, you may have to plough through some photos to find it but it?s there. There is no sound and it was taken by my brother-in-law so there?s a fair bit of me in it. If you have a spare 5 mins sometime I?d be grateful if you could let me know if you recognise anyone in it. I?ve (Steve Smedley, Kay Boyd, Blas Hernandez) have spotted, Steve, Opal Grace, I think the other girl at the start may be Jenny Kettle, Kay thinks it might be her, Greg Fox, John Boyd, both Mr Moore?s, Mrs Auer and Beldora Dolphin.


Take care. Alan

WHS - Mrs Moore

posted by Alan Taylor on 23 Feb 2011 at 2:54 pm

Just by way of a heads up for those who may remember her, I'm really pleased to say I have made contact with Mrs Moore (she taught English and Reading). She's a hale and hearty 81 now and I'm sure would be more than happy to chat to folk who remember but she has no access to a computer.



posted by Nick Burrows on 08 Mar 2011 at 10:47 am

finding this site has sparked many memories. my brother Jason and I were at Merrydays prep school in the mid 1960's. I have mixed feelings about it - as far as I recall I spent most of my nights in the dorm plotting how to escape. It was 'basic' to say the least, particularly if I compare my own kids schools nowadays, and I remember refusing to eat the cheese and the marmite sandwiches we always had for tea on a Monday - so they were served again Tuesday morning and Tuesday luchtime - until they had been eaten (or until I could convince another pupil to eat them) - I still dislike Cheese and marmite! However I passed for Grammar School from Merrydays so it cant have been all bad. I wont list all the pupils I remember - it seemed mostly to be dominated by girls who were always older and treated better than the boys. One other thing since I found this site and then inserted 'Miss Auer' into a search engine - there is a school in India that was started by a Miss Iris Cynthia Auer in 1980 and it seems to have gone on to be a raging success - is this the same lady, does anyone know? she was made an MBE for her services to the school 'after she retired from a career in english education' and the description of her loving music etc seems to match her - I hope it was. I did visit Merrydays some years back - the house was in an awful state and Miss Warner still lived there in 'reduced circumstances'. I hope there are others who were there at the time and get in touch. regards Nick Burrows

Merrydays - Mrs Auer

posted by Alan Taylor on 11 Mar 2011 at 1:17 pm

Can?t speak for Merrydays as I never went there, however, I would be very surprised if the Mrs Auer who I understand was involved with that school and the Mrs Auer who then ran WHS were the same as the lady in India you mention.

I believe that the WHS Mrs Auer?s first name was Fliss (sp?) and her daughter was called Elaine or Eleanor, if memory serves.

Mrs F Auer now lives in France, not sure where her daughter lives.

I certainly remember the marmite sandwiches......


posted by Nick Burrows on 17 Mar 2011 at 1:28 pm

To Alan Taylor - thanks your response Alan - they were two different women - sisters in law I suspect - MISS Auer ran Merrydays and eventually (I think ) went to India to start a school - MRS Auer ran WHS and ended up in France

Wilton House School Picture

posted by Brian Setchfield on 27 Apr 2011 at 7:36 am

Hi All

I have today just placed a picture of Wilton House School on Friends Reunited, I do hope that this picture will bring back some happy memories for some of you.

Alan, I believe that you will like this picture as I know you have fond memories of the old school.

Take care everyone and lets hope that we have a great summer.

Yours sincerely

Brian Setchfiels

WHS Picture

posted by Alan Taylor on 01 May 2011 at 10:31 am

Many thanks Brian, excellent, the old place really looks something.

These Days They Would Be Closed Down!!

posted by Sue Martin on 02 May 2011 at 5:47 pm

Hi-I went to Merrydays and WHS-late 50s /early 60s-what memories the comments bring back! I remember Merrydays as a lovely homely place with the two ladies doing their best to make it a home-2 bathrooms everyone bathed in the same water! the "sick room " at the back of the house and the new orchard when it opened with our own flower area-God what a shock WHS was after that-It was worse than a borstal and our parents paid for the privelage!! Mrs Auers suspect husband was Miss Auer`s brother and she disliked him intensely!! Does any body remember the matron Mrs Reece-South African I think-I used to be friends with her daughter Anna-Mrs Reece was the only person who could communicate with a young Zulu who I`m pretty sure was some sort of Royalty-also a Persian girl some sort of Princess maybe? Did I in my young mind invent all this to make the awful place more bearable or does anyone else remember anything?

WHS And Mrs Reece

posted by Alan Taylor on 05 May 2011 at 1:50 pm

I remember Mrs Reece and her son Alan, but not her daughter. If memory serves they left WHS ?unexpectedly? a few days before Ian Smith declared UDI in Rhodesia (as it was then). In fact Steve Smedley and I played tennis on the grounds behind the school with Mrs Reece and Alan the shortly before they left, I remember because Steve hit Mrs Reece in the chest with a ball and she maintained it was on purpose. It must have hurt but at no time was he ever that good to have done it on purpose!

I think they went to Rhodesia because Mrs Reece was from there and didn?t want to end up stuck in the UK, I?ve often wondered what happened to them.

?Fraid I can?t help with Zulu royalty or the Persian princess, the only Persian I remember was a chap called DJ who always seemed less than happy.

WHS 1965 TO 1968

posted by Christopher Cooper on 24 May 2011 at 8:35 am

Hi to All.
Oh joy... What a world we live in. Since I did not see my name amongst the few mention. I thought I would jog some memories. I had just arrived from the States after living there for about eight months having just left Jamaica. Althought I was born in England, but lived some years with my grandmother there. Now, lets see who I can remember. Mrs Auer of course, the Headmistress, Mr Johnson, who had a Citroen car, (it had a hydraulic suspension) Mr. Moore who wore glasses and loved his butter on toast a least three servings. I remember Martin Steele, Clinton Steele, and Justin Steele I believe it was Clinton or justin who was a fanatic for football and taught me to play well.(Chelsea or United was his team). Martin was the cool guy and way ahead of us with the ladies. I shared a room with martin and a few others. I believe we were three or four. And the student teacher made her rounds out to turn off the lights. I remember lovely Wendy Jane Seabrook. I have always wondered what happened to her. She wanted to be a model like twiggy. She had mailed me a picture. We used to write each other until 1970/1. My mother used to intercept my letters from her. Old fashion Jamaican crap. I remember The Cartwright sisters, Annette and Yvonne. Philippe Moeller, a blond guy who always combed his hair. The Chinese fellowwho cooked his Chinese meals in the room. The rodriguez brothers, from Trinidad. John and junior and the older brother made me fight the younger brother. I guess to fit in the ranking of the boys group. I was still from the hills of Jamaica and tough and strong for my age. So I won the fight. I remember Blas because of his name but could not remember his last name. There was a french guy named
Alan cannot recall his last name now. But he had invited me to dinner when his parents came to visit one time, never forgot that. Yes, I too remember Dr. Who. the cross country runs. the forest walks. Going to the shops on weekends, caps, blazers, ties, etc, the beach. A girl from Africa named Zelma and another one not quite right in the head. One big thing, My first winter I was convinced to ice skate in shoes. Its easy, run and jump on the ice, first one was a great slide. the second jump had me on my back, head banged up and seeing stars. Within a year I started wearing glasses. But, seriously. WHS taught me a lot. How to be self sufficient and can do by myself to this day. cook for the kids who stayed back on holidays and when the cook was on holiday. Oh, yes the auto spuds peeler. Crazy fry bread. Beans and bangers, Mackerel, tea and milk. I would love to exchange emails with one and all. If Martin remembers some of the crazy things he got me into I would love to talk with him. Wendy Jane Seabrook, imagine she is married and doing quite well, as she had set her goals. I imagine every one is doing quite well. I live in South Florida. PLEASE feel free to contact me, one and all. WHS was a good exerience for me. So much to write. Good memories.

Christopher Cooper.

I Remember Too

posted by lawrence spiers on 27 May 2011 at 4:51 pm

yes i was at wilton house school in about 1958-1960. mr farnfield i remember,of course us kids used to call him mr farmfield.quite well built and atheletic as i recall. i remember mrs aeure but i didnt realise she spelled it like that, but then i was only 5 or 6.mrs aure was quite an attractive and mysterious looking woman almost gothic. didnt her first husband die or something....i remember a girl we called marjorie broomstick. i remember a piano in the large living room ,i think... i recall a sandpit in the huge playing field and next door was a girls boarding school.. at the back of the playing field was an alley. one way lead to a couple of old castles that the big giant and the fairies lived in..honest!! and the other direction lead to the site of the huge battle between harold and williams forces. i also remember going to see cliff richards ' Summer Holiday, at the cinema. I planted a cherry tree one day in the playing field, not far from the house, i often wondered if it grew. this was fifty years ago . hard to believe, where did it go. how are you, lawrence spiers


posted by Christopher Cooper on 10 Jun 2011 at 6:15 am


Richard Byrne And Conray Powell

posted by michelle collins on 10 Jun 2011 at 10:25 pm

Hi I remember you both. By the way I was there 82-84. I had a right laugh we were so naughty at Hye House, and my first serious boyfriend Stephen Sheehan, anyone remember the good times, cos we had loads.

WHS - Hastings Road - 1962-1963

posted by Jacki Zuest on 11 Jun 2011 at 4:40 am

I attended WHS from September 1962 until December 1963. From September '62 until October '63 I was a day student, taking the bus each day from Hurstmonceux to Bexhill, and then walking what seemed to be miles to the actual school on Hastings Road. I clearly remember the SNOW that started Boxing Day 1962 and lasted through March of '63! In those days the buses did not have doors and it was a freezing ride each way!
I hated that school from day one and no matter how much I begged and pleaded, I was never allowed to leave. There was NO discipline/no organization/no library/little sports....amazing how one could recognize that at such an early age.
No surprise that I did not pass my 11+ at that school. Discipline and education were not priorities. Actually, not sure what the priorities were?
In October 1963 until December 1963 I was a boarder as my family moved. ......the most traumatic event in my life!! Not only did I feel totally abandoned, in a school I hated to start off with, but the boarding school experience could not have been worse. There was absolutely NOTHING that made that a homely or comforting experience, and I cried every single day and night to go home. Mrs. Auer told me to grow up and be a "big girl" ....at 11 years old, feeling totally abandoned....not an option! I do remember her as being kindly..but the rest of the staff NOT! No recognition of trauma/abandonment whatsoever. And I was not the only one ..many kids had families in far more distant lands. In retrospect that was the closest thing to Jane Eyre's orphanage that I could imagine.
I clearly remember only three people from that time.
One was an American boy called "Greg" or "Gregory".
I remember that our classroom was across from the "Common Room" and the TV was on...during our "prep" time. Both doors were open, and it happened that John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas that night, and reported live during our prep period. Greg went ballistic, but I don't think anyone else in the room figured the importance of the event at that time.
Second, was a local girl, Linda Durrant, and a day student, who I think was in my class. (Think she also had a sister who was a student there). She and her family were just one of my saviours during my incarceration and I spent many happy weekends with them.
Third was local girl from Hurstmoneux, one of my all time best friends, Carol Wood....between she and Linda, they made my life bearable during 3 months of misery.
There was also a "Persian" girl. I do not remember anything about her, except that she sat behind me in class....taught me how to write her name in "Persian" and was beautiful!
All in all, I believe that this was one of my darkest periods. Reading the posts....I think I have blocked so much I have nothing good to say about that school, the teachers, or the principals. Misery is all I remember.
Thank God for amnesia!!!

WHS - Hastings Road

posted by Alan Taylor on 24 Jun 2011 at 8:58 pm

I for one am very sorry to hear you had such a tough time at WHS, unfortunately I don?t remember you, my memory is not what it was.

But, I think yours is playing you false re some of the statements you make. There was a fair amount of games played, and at least one games teacher, Bill Farnfield for the boys, don?t remember the girls teachers names. But they certainly had them as I recall on more than one occasion being ?drafted? into the rounder?s team to make up the numbers by them. Regarding sport, I played both football and cricket as well as took part in various running events ? at football we played against other schools and at cricket against Pendragon on more than one occasion.

There was a library, not brilliant I grant you but there was one, last room at the end of the corridor (furthest from the dining room) end the ?new? part of the school.

With regard to education, I think you were probably right but no one was thicker than me, spent most of my time in the Remove class but I managed to get O? and A? Levels as well as a degree (after I left :-)

I started there when I was 5 going on 6 in 1956 and was there until 1965 and your comment re abandoned certainly were true for some, I won?t mention names but I recall with some distress how some of the boys used to cry themselves to sleep night after night and the occasional bullying that went on. Having said that, mostly I really enjoyed my time there although I?d be the first to agree it was far from perfect.

The American boy you remember was Greg Fox (there?s a short video on Friends Re. Showing him doing his ?flop over? at high jump), he had a sister at school called Theodora, couple of years younger than him I think, again there is a pic of her on Brian Setchfields page on Friends I think.

I too remember Linda Durrant and her pig-tails, how I envied the fact that she went home to nice teas! I have to say Linda and I never saw eye to eye though.

Wilton House

posted by keith sadler on 28 Jun 2011 at 8:41 pm

hi just come across this site for wilton house school.my mum dad and my sister worked there in the evenings cleaning from 1960 till 1964. i remember gregory fox and his sister, mr and mrs aure who divorced and i believed married albert lang who wa smy neighbour in bexhill,also chris brown and paddy fairy worked there as mainrenance workers chris then transfered to catfeild school for many years.

A Few More Memories

posted by Philomena on 04 Aug 2011 at 9:57 pm

Havn't dropped by here for a while. Brilliant to hear from Dorothy - I think she was at WHS longer than I was - and lived to tell the tale.

I had the dubious distinction of going to WHS twice. I went at 4 and left when I was about 10 - very luckily as I was able to go to a "proper" school and take the 11 plus and creep into a grammar school and get a little education. I can remember in Form 2 (Mrs Moore's class I believe) trying to draw a picture of Table Mountain and spending hours pushing wool through round cardboard circles in a attempt to make fluffy balls - I don't recall ever completing a fluffy ball successfully though.

For some unaccountable reason I returned when I was about 14 - no idea why. The girls slept in a different house from the main school across the road. I can remember Clio Steele and Razia Fazal Jetha (not sure of the spelling) and there was a poor soul called June who had learning difficulties who was in the top class with the rest of us - and obviously shouldn't have been there at all. After a bust up with the delightfully conceited Richard Johnson (who claimed to be a teacher) I ran away, got caught by a policeman on Bexhill Station and got taken back. At the end of the term I refused to return ever again and ended up in a proper school again.

My main memory of Richard Johnson was of him making Clio draw a map over and over again - telling her it was wrong and refusing to let her trace it. In the end he went out of the classroom, she did trace it and when he came back he told her it was wrong again - even pointing out where the borders differed from the original!!!! I do have another story about the erstwhile Mr Johnson although I dare not repeat that on an open message board.

I spend a lot of time researching my ancesty and ran a quick search on the Auers. It seems that Marinus passed away in 1993. Mrs Auer started life as Felicia M Thomson who married Leo Auer in 1945. Interestingly the name Felicia M Thomson appears on a passenger list from Indonesia arriving in Southampton in April 1928 when she was just a baby. Marinus was born in 1946, Elaine came along in 1948 and Jan (I remember the excitement when he was born) was the baby of the family not arriving until 1961.

Sadly Bundles doesn't get a mention in the genealogy data bases. Shame as he was the best thing about that school.

WHS 1956-1957 And 1958ish-1959

posted by Lorna Coles (then) on 23 Oct 2011 at 6:18 am

I first went to WHS when I was 5 just after my parents split up. I remember the house had a staircase as you went into it, just slightly to the left in front of me. It seemed huge, and the garden with a swing. I wasn't there very long, but returned to it after it had moved to another large house, it was up a hill, on the left hand side. I believe it became a hotel for a while with Grange Holidays, that would have been about 1967. I was working in a travel agency and opened a catalogue and saw the house in it. I remmber the hall as you walked in, with classrooms on the left, three or four I think. I was in the last classroom at the bottom on the left. There was a coal/wood burning stove in the back right hand corner, and I was accidentally pushed into it and have the scar on my left leg even now.
My best friend was Alice Maharg. Her father was in the army. I have been searching for her for years, and didn't know how to spell her name.

I do remember Philomena as well.

I remember the grounds, the gardener was very nice and didn't he have a nephew at the school who wasn't very bright. For his birthday he had a party in the refectory.

The food was dreadful, I didn't eat much. For breakfast we had oats with milk and sugar. And one Easter I had an egg, which was amazing, the only one I ever had. I didn't go home in the holidays very much as there was no one to look after me.

I was in a dorm on the first floor, and the end of the corridor on the left. I used to tell stories at night. I never had a bath all the time I was there, nor brush my teeth, which didn't help them much as life has gone on.

My father came to see me with his new wife and the school had to put me into clean clothes. He took me to see relatives in Eastbourne and was horrified how dirty I was.

I don't remember the swimming pool with any water, but there were swings at the middle left of the garden, which seemed huge then, with a sandpit in front of them. I used to swing myself until I could see over the top of the swing and then let go into the sandpit. Such vivid memories. Then there was the incident with the headmaster, and a lot of people left. My mother decided that as he had gone to prison I was OK!

There was a goldfish in a tank in a room with a sink just before the refectory, and Alice and I decided to clean him out and give him fresh water. We got into trouble for that. My impression of the school is one of a lot of freedom, lots of time in the garden.

I cut my right leg on barbed wire at the bottom of the garden which was wooded, yet another accident, for which I have another scar.

We used to go down to Woolies with a shilling (might have been six pence?) and buy sweets. We were taken to the front and there were lots of jellyfish on the beach. I can't believe how reading the messages has brought it all back. Does anyone know where Alice is? We promised to meet at the bridge at Loch Lomond when we were 16, and I have often wondered about her. There was a day girl, as well, can't remember her name. She invited me back to her house for a weekend visit. I had toothache and was probably like a wild child to her parents.

Happy Christmas.

posted by Brian Setchfield on 17 Dec 2011 at 9:27 pm

Hi all.

Its that time of year again and I really don't know where the year has gone.

I would like to wish all Wilton House School members a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Please keep the messages coming in as it really is nice to see everyones views and comments.

I also hope your ok Alan and keeping well.

Take care everyone.

Brian Setchfield.

WHS Christmas

posted by Alan Taylor on 30 Dec 2011 at 6:32 am

Hi Brian, thank you for the Christmas wishes, happy New Year to you and all (that sounds like something from Dickens!). I'm fine, thanks, first time I've looked in here for a while, some interesting posts I see. Funny how folks remember different things, most of which I'd long forgotten .


posted by Alan Taylor on 03 Jan 2012 at 9:38 am

Hi All,

I?d heard earlier in the year that Mr Clive Moore had passed away. Thinking that others who visit here might have heard the same thing I thought it worth posting to say ?not true?. I heard from Blas the other day that Mr Moore had sent both a Christmas card and letter to someone saying he was in good health. Nice news to start the New Year with!



posted by Essien Charles Udo on 04 Jan 2012 at 12:04 am

Hello All,
I was thrilled to read from all of you. I was at WHS from about 1964 to 1967. Yes I clearly remember Mrs Auer. I left there when I was 6 years old. I am wondering if anybody remembers me!
I live in Canada and am planning to return to Engand. I have applied for a passport. One of the requirements is a report from this school confirming where I was in those early years. Can anyone help me with information as to how I can contact someone who can give me the testimony I need?
Thank you, and a Happy New Year to you all.
Essien Udo

To Brian Setchfield, Well Done!

posted by Essien Charles Udo on 05 Jan 2012 at 4:17 am

Hi Brian,
Thank you for posting this page. It was a big surprise to see it. I would really love to see the pictures and videos you have. Please tell me how I can view them. I was at WHS from 1964 to 1967 and was only 6 years old when I left. I do remember a few names , but I remember Mrs. Auer very clearly, Do you know how I can contact the school? I am applying for a British Passport and I need a report on where I was in those years. I would very much appreciate a response.
Thank you.
Essien Charles Udo


posted by Alan Taylor on 06 Jan 2012 at 8:54 pm


There are lots of photo?s on the Friends Reunited site, just search for WHS (if I remember correctly).

As you will have seen Mrs Auer is living in France now though I understand is moving back to Bexhill later this year, she maybe able to help re your early schooling requirements or Mrs Moore is down in Bexhill already :-)

Blas is in touch with both of them so if you drop him a line via the Friends site I?m sure he will reply. I?m not sure if he visits here very often so that might be a quicker route though I'm sure Brian will help if he can.

Good luck

Alan Taylor

Wilton House School

posted by Antrim Tettonis on 10 Jan 2012 at 8:52 am

It's interesting to find this site. My uncle's house wasn't far from the school and I used to talk to kids from there - the persian girls Kiann Hakeemi and fatima I can remember, and the NZ teacher Tony Moora who ran past our place. He gave me a track suit when he knew i could run. I think he went out with Kiann and to the pub with Richard, a skinny art teacher. I knew bascoe and junior from the west indies and remember some of the girls, Alice and Razia, Joy from Africa and Teresa the dancer. There were a lot of French kids. The cook knew my aunt at church. i wonder where they all are now. The school has gone, they all have.

Hello, All!

posted by Steve Smedley on 10 Jan 2012 at 5:46 pm

And a happy new year to everyone. This note to confirm that I'm alive and well and living in Canada. I've been cyber-lurking (which is to say, visiting this site without contributing to it) for some time and it's been a very interesting experience. I have, like Alan, mostly fond memories of my several years at WHS, although I don't deny that there were some episodes that may be best forgotten. That's life, eh?
Inspired in part by David (Dick) Stearne, I left Wilton House in 1966 to pursue nautical studies but my naval career was short-lived. In 1970, I became a policeman and enjoyed a forty-one year career as such in the UK, Bermuda and Canada until I retired in June, 2011.
Most of my WHS memories involve my best mate Alan Taylor, of the girls (Jennifer Kettle, Alice Maharg, Pamela Bankier, Kay Boyde, Rebecca Durrant, Opal Grace, Philomena Totten, Dorothy McLure and others) and lads such as Leroy Bascoe, Emmanuel Junior Rodriguez, John Wayne Rodriguez, Elton Critchelow, Tommy Beck, Robert Lehmann, Maurice Tobin, Gregory Fox, Paul Dehkan, Philippe Moeller and Alan Reese.
Of course, there are many others buried deep somewhere in my subconscious and I daresay that they might emerge at some point as we continue to share our reminiscences.
Of the staff, I remember very few names: The late and unlamented Mr Auer, Mrs Auer, Mr Farnfield and Mr Lang. Mr Lang left a particular impression, quite literally, as it was he so famously wielded the cane to which I was frequently introduced!
Several of you have already described the somewhat Dickensian conditions at WHS so I needn't go further than to say that, for all its shortcomings (and there were many), the school did its best, as far as I can tell. I wasn't particularly good at the sciences when I left and I had some catching-up to do at the naval schools, but my reading, writing, knowledge of literature, history and geography were as good as - or better than - those of my peers. So? Roundabouts and swings, I suppose.
One thing that Wilton House did teach me, perforce, was self-sufficiency; it stood me in good stead at the naval schools and for the rest of my life.

Hello Everyone!

posted by Simon Sanders on 17 Jan 2012 at 8:15 pm

A Happy new year. Has been a while since I posted on here my sister Cora and I were at WHS between 1963 to 1965. As I am reaching my 60th birthday has prompted me to look back to these days long ago. Good to see you have joined the message board Steve,I remember you well, we were in the same dorm for a while around the last term or two before I left. I remember being a bit scared of Greg Fox but I cannot remember why. I wonder what became of Pam Bankier as she seemed to live at the school. I still have a Parents Day programe from '64 or '65 there are quite a few names on there I cannot remember! Steve you are quite right about self-sufficiency I think that was the best thing I learnt at WHS. I did look on Google Street view at the old school site and it is all new flats now called Charters Towers which as we all know was the name of the girls school next door. Remember when we all used to cram in the TV room to watch Dr who on Saturday nights, the Daleks used to scare me LOL. well enough ramblings from for now take care all of you!

Best Wishes



posted by Alan Taylor on 26 Jan 2012 at 6:16 pm

Not sure why you?d be scared of Greg Fox Simon. Mind you for quite a small chap he could be very fierce. I remember him taking on Robert Leaman (the other American boy at the school) on the playing field one time and Robert was nearly 6 feet tall.

Or maybe it was the live spiders he used to put in his mouth!!!!! Don?t know about anyone else but watching him do that nearly wiped me out. When he did it I couldn?t take my eyes off him, must have been like a mesmerised rabbit in headlights, I was terrified he?d spit the thing at me; even after all these years just thinking about it makes my flesh crawl. Have to say for all that I liked him and Steve and I often included him in our games.




posted by Robert Newson on 31 Jan 2012 at 7:21 pm

Hello All.
My sister asked me to see if I could find anything on the net about Wliton House. I was there with my sister Ursula and my brother Kenneth,twins, round about 1964 give or take.Im amazed to see all the posts and some memories they bring back.I can remember names like, Sandy,Sharon,Smedley,Rodrigus,he thought he looked like superman.I can remember times of getting caned and saying thank you, having fights in the dorm with rubber bands and paper pellets.Does anyone remember us? Will be nice to hear back.

Ah, Bexhill-on-Sea

posted by Steve Smedley on 14 Feb 2012 at 4:38 pm

I have never forgotten the conversation that I had with one of the teachers, perhaps Mr Farnfield, which went something like this:

Me: "Why are there so many old people in Bexhill, sir?"

Him: "Well, lad, it's like this: When people retire, they like to come to a place like Bexhill for the sea air and the peace and quiet. In fact, it's so peaceful and quiet that they enjoy themselves so much, they forget to die!"

A lasting impression.


posted by Alan Taylor on 17 Feb 2012 at 12:14 am

I remember that conversation! It had something to do with not getting into the De la Ware pavillion on a very cold day, must have been a Sat or Sun I guess.

Does Anyone Know Where Alice McHarg Is

posted by Lorna on 28 Feb 2012 at 10:48 pm

Alice was my best friend, she had a sister, Bernice (I think). I don't know how to spell her surname. Her dad was in the army. I was at the school with her in 1958/9. I was in the ballet the school put on, Swan Lake, as the Black Swan and sang with two other girls, dressed in pink, called the Three Pigtails, kiss me honey honey kiss me. Does anyone remember this time at the school, and Alice.

WHS - Alice Marharg

posted by Alan Taylor on 11 Mar 2012 at 9:49 pm

At some point after I left WHS in 1965 Steve Smedley and I visited Alice and her sister in Eastbourne (I?m sure it was).

It may have been about ?67 or ?68, anyway if memory serves both the girls had left WHS by then and were living with either their mum or aunt, I think Alice was training to be a nurse(?) anyway I do remember that she was late back and we spent most of the time chatting to Bernice with really only enough time left after Alice came home for her to walk us to the railway station.

While I very much doubt that she?d still be in Eastbourne after all this time a relative might be and you maybe able to track her down that way using the electoral roles etc. Good luck.

Wilton House School

posted by kay boyde on 14 Mar 2012 at 3:58 pm

first time I have sat down and read through the comments on the old school and people who were there at the same time as John and I, memories. a few more names to throw into the ring Mr Ty Guller, Chris Smith both teachers also Mrs Nina Kinnaston who was matron.ReTy Guller I can remember myself ad another girl conning him into buying us one of the Beatles records "I want to hold your hand" does anyone remember this.Alice McHarg I met her a number of years back at RCN conference in Brighton but unfortunately lost her number. John did not become a farmer but works in the whisky industry and is taking early retirement this year to go into business with his son. Re education standards at the school I think we all had to go back to the basics and start again on leaving, memories!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi All

posted by Simon Sanders on 15 Mar 2012 at 8:38 pm

Ah... Mr guller I had forgotten about him still it was a long time ago! I recall a young woman who I think was Matrons assistant,she had a beehive hairdo I remember she had slitup from her boyfriend and kept playing that record 'Terry' sung by Twinkle I c'ant remember her name though.funny how these things spring to mind.

Kaye about education standards, I ended up in state secondary school in B2 stream i think they were being kind to me I really should have been in C... not good, ah well I have done alright in life really I cannot complain.

Bye for now



posted by Alan Taylor on 18 Mar 2012 at 6:51 pm


I think the assistant matron you mean was called Angela and it was her fiancee who had walked out on her. Mrs Kniston (sp?) had a very young child and was seperated from her husband if I recall correctly, lovely lady.

Re Mr Guller I would love to know if he ever managed to get to America as a script-writer, which is what he once told me he wanted to be :-)


Kay Boyde

posted by Yvonne Hemmingsley on 17 Jun 2012 at 10:27 pm

David Hemmingsley`s sister Yvonne was at WHS in 1961-1964.
I know your brother John was in touch with my brother David, Just wondered if you have heard from Jennifer Kettle and Sonia Montgomary? I would like to get in touch with them as Jennifer was my best frend at WHS.I can remember your name but i just cant recall the face.Do you remember me?

Yvonne( Hemmingsley)

Yvonne Hemmingsley

posted by kay boyde on 21 Jun 2012 at 7:54 pm

Yvonne, I do remember you also your brother David, I had been in touch with Sylvia Montgomery, if you go on to the friends reunited website and put in Wilton House school Sonia is listed there also a lot of other names which will be familiar to you also a lot of pictures from our school days and if I can recall there is a picture of you on my picture site taken in the dining room and Jennifer is also there. It was Alan Taylor who alerted me to your message. keep in touch Kay

To Conray Powell

posted by Adrienne on 20 Jul 2012 at 2:12 am

Hi Conray, to say i am estatic to find anyone at all that i used to know at Wilton House is an understatement. I am Adrienne, usually referred to as Addy and i was at Wilton House with my brothers, Tope and Wale. I was also friends with your brother Ryan as well as Joanna Mosley, Stephen Sheehan, Dilis Omotoso, Sola Adeko, Eli and Rudolph, Donna Frazer and many others
Some of the teachers then were Mr Moore, Mr Unett, Mr Good etc. Those were indeed good days. Do you by any chance remember me? year attended 1979-1981

I Was There 1962-65

posted by Sue McConnell on 22 Sept 2012 at 9:18 pm

I remember those Sunday walks down to the beach - some of us used to try and hide to get out of them. I remember the pampas grass. I don't remember it with any particular feelings, but I do believe it toughened me up I was 4-7 so I can't remember many names but there was a girl, surname Matthews, who helped me through it all. There was a Louise, too and wasn't there a boy with a "hole" in his heart?

I Was There 1970

posted by Sunnie De Pass on 04 Oct 2012 at 11:51 pm

wonderful to come across this message board! (I hope I'm on the right message board for the right school)

I too went to Wilton House with my sister & brother. We arrived in April 1970...Can anyone remember us 3 little Jamaican children? Pierre, Michelle & Marlyn De Pass. We didn't stay long, 18 months or so...I have memories of bonfire night, hot chocolate, sloping green fields boarded with trees, a dark cellar where children's suitcases were stored. There was a dramatic staircase..
I can't remember the swimming pool but I do recall a wonderful mystery bus trip out into the country. Food was gruel, I remember the strap made a regular appearance for naughty children..also other strange things went on. I felt lonely there and was glad to leave to go to Jamaica. :)x

Hello Christopher Cooper And Everyone Years Ago From WHS

posted by Clinton Steele on 12 Nov 2012 at 3:06 pm

Hi Christopher Cooper, I remember you, we used to play football together and chase Bundles the dog around if we were hungry ! What a school that was. Although I think that I was protected a little from it all, as I was there with my sister Clio and my 2 brothers Martin and Justin, as well as Theresa, Wendy and Mark Seabrook our cousins. 7 of us in total, safety in numbers !
The food was a joke, fruit night was on Thursdays if you parents had paid 2 shillings extra. I remember being chosen to take a dinner over to Charter Towers once a week for a teacher, with a metal cover over the plate to keep it warm. I could never resist nicking a chip or two, it was the only decent food I ever saw in over 4 years.
I also remember Albert Ashan who I think got the slipper once or twice a week for mucking about. Phillip Moeller the German boy who was constantly combing his blonde slicked back hair. Alan Dunard from France, Bascoe, Boozy, Smedley, Janice Mackenzie and many others.
Not forgetting the old teacher who used to play the piano along with his dog whining along to the tune. I used to hate swimming in the `pool` along with the frogs and lining up at dinner time to eat a shrivelled up burnt sausage with fried bread in a bright orange plastic bowl 3 times a week.
You couldn`t make it up. Wendy my cousin ran away when she got nits !
It`s certainly given me a sense of humour in life. Best wishes from Clinton Steele

Happy Christmas.

posted by Brian Setchfield on 21 Dec 2012 at 5:54 pm

Hi all WHS Friends.

I would like to wish all WHS Friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Yours sincerely

Brian Setchfield.

Alice Maharg

posted by Lorna on 27 Dec 2012 at 12:08 pm

Alan sorry to have taken so long to respond. I think about Alice a lot. I'm not sure how to contact her. she will be retired I would think by now. do you know if I have her surname spelt correctly.

also does anyone remember the school production of swan lake in about 1958/9? I danced in that and was also one of the three pigtails. we sang kiss me honey hone kiss me. some what inappropriate for a 7 year old!
is there anyone who was at the school when I was? I was at the old school _ not sure where that was but the garden had a large tree. I was 5 when I went there in 1956. I left in 1957 and when I came back the school had moved. I loved the playing field. mumps went round the school and I got Alice to breath on me so I would get it also but have never had mumps then or since.


posted by kay boyde on 31 Dec 2012 at 1:19 pm

wishing all people who went to wilton House School a Guid New Year and hope thy all prosper in 2013 Kay Boyde Glasgow


posted by Alan Taylor on 08 Jan 2013 at 8:17 pm

Hi Lorna. Afraid I have no idea about Alice’s whereabouts, though I know quite a few people have said they would like to contact her. I think the last time I saw her was on Eastbourne train station in about 1967. As far as I have been able to check ‘Maharg’ seems to be the correct spelling. Not sure how you might go about finding her as I’m sure she will have married and as nobody has any idea of her married name I don’t think we will get very far searching under that. I think you will just have to hope that either she or, someone who knows her now, happens across this notice board.

I have a vague memory of the play you mention but like you in 56/57 I was very young so can't remember much about it.

The old school you recall from ’56 would be that in Upper Sea Road and the next one was in Hastings Road. I was in Bexhill recently and as far as I could tell (though don’t quote me) the Upper Sea Road house is still there though no longer a school. Hastings Road has changed a great deal since we were there and the school building was demolished, sometime in the ’80’s I understand. Lots of housing estates there now.

I also recall the outbreak of mumps, which unlike you, I did get! All the best. Alan

Alice Maharg.

posted by Brian Setchfield. on 13 Jan 2013 at 12:10 pm

Hi Lorna and Alan.

I made a quick search for Alice Maharg and found that an Alice B Maharg did Marry a Man called "CRUMBIE" in Eastbourne during the month of December 1975. Don't know if this is the same Alice, but, the coincidence that Alan said he believes that the last time he saw her was on Eastbourne Railway Station in 1967 could mean that it could be the same Alice?

Keep me posted.

Many thank

Brian Setchfield.

Wilton House School 1961/65

posted by Mark Pearman on 20 Jan 2013 at 1:33 am

I remember my time here lucidly,it put me in good stead for adult life but it was hard at the time. My best friend was Albert Ashan and his sister Christine. Other students I knew - Leroy Bascoe, Costus, John Wayne, Bernice and Alice Maharg, Sonia Montgomery, the Smedley sisters, John Boyd and Jenny.

April fools day was feared by the staff – the cook's wifes' slippers went missing, Mrs. Aure called the school to assembly to announce they had been found in a large tin of marmalade in the store room, a target for midnight raids! Another time Mr. English of camembert fame, had his room flooded. Some time later the plaster fell off the ceiling below which unfortunately was the nursery bedroom. Yes,it sounds like St. Trinnians and not too dissimilar - the older girls were in charge, I was aware of their clandestine nightly activities.

Tuck went missing from The Tuck Cupboard. The mystery was solved when we found it had no back and could be slid away from the wall! Tuck parcels, eagerly awaited from home, kept me going. Do you remember tinned tomatoes on toast, beans on soggy oily fried bread,sardines on toast and hard roasted sausages and rare cooked lamb with cabbage, some hid the cabbage in their socks to avoid eating it, however we were searched on leaving the dinning room.

The cane was liberally administered by a system of blacks and double blacks, I got caned often, you got used to it. I can remember the fear waiting outside the reception room. Once I got four of the best for something I was not guilty of. This has made me a champion for the innocent, especially children. Another time I didn't turn-up for the cane and wasn't missed!

Having since taught hard to reach adolecent boys and girls from inner city London schools, I now realise Mrs. Aure had to have a strict disipline.

I have a group photo of our nativity play c.1962, when Bernice Maharg was Mary.John Wayne was Joseph and Albert Ashun was a shepherd. I may post this on friends reunited.

Alice Maharg

posted by Alan Taylor on 22 Jan 2013 at 11:41 am

Hi Brian and Laura,

After my comments re Alice Kay Boyd sent me an email saying that she was sure the spelling of Alice’s surname was “McHarg” and not how I/we thought i.e. Maharg!

Anyway, Kay also said that Alice had gone into nursing, apparently Kay had met her some years ago and she was sure that Alice was still single then. Unfortunately, she didn’t mention the date of this meeting, so it may have been before 1975.

Re your detective work Brian, well done, but the mystery appears to go on. :-)

All the best


Alice Maharg

posted by Alan Taylor on 06 Feb 2013 at 10:20 pm

Hi Laura, Brian,

Thanks to Brian’s detective work I have found that there is/was an Alice Crumbie living in Eastbourne in post code BN22.

However, that person seems not to be on the electoral roll any more so presumably they have moved. Unfortunately, to get the full details, i.e. street and full post code means signing on to a premium service......under the circumstances I’m not too sure how to take this forward.



To All Of You - 'Hello!'

posted by Jenny Rasen (Kettle) on 07 Feb 2013 at 12:29 am

Just finished listening to the 'Doors' (remember them?) and decided to have a ramble on the old laptop, to find more WHS survivors alive and well!

Yes, you guessed, I like Steve, have been a 'lurker' but with a reticence to put fingers to keys in case my memories of WHS were too mixed to cope with, but if you guys can do it then I can too!

Alan, you as ever, are in the fore-front of contact (I remember the James Bond throw too!) When I think back and read everyone's comments and memories, I realise those of you I knew at WHS became a part of my life and I have never forgotten any of you. WHS was an experience we all shared, some good and some not so good. All I know is that when I left, I left people who I cared for and was not sure I would ever hear from again. Ain't technology great!

Happy Days Everyone!



posted by Alan Taylor on 08 Feb 2013 at 9:02 am

Jennifer Francis, isn’t life funny, Steve and I were just reminiscing about you the other day and here you are.

If you would like to email chat I can be reached via the WHS page on Friends Reunited : http://www.friendsreunited.co.uk/the-new-friends-reunited-home-page-2012/Memory/06845497-e3d6-4b08-90de-a01d00faf40f , if not then may I wish you all the very best for the future you are certainly part of my life long memories, in the nicest possible way :-)



Wilton House School Facebook Page

posted by Edmund Wai on 05 Mar 2013 at 11:39 am


Anyone Remember Me?

posted by Billy Mobberley on 07 May 2013 at 10:38 pm

I was at Wilton house with my sister Gilly in I think 1964 or 1965.
I would have been four at the time.

Philomena, I would love to get in touch privately. I remember a dark side to WH too but as you say it was so long ago and no point stirring up a public notice board. Still I would like to compare notes in private, cross a few tees and dot a few Iys before discarding it.

I can be contacted easily as I am on Facebook under William Mobberley.

My cousins were John and Sally Banham. Perhaps you remember them?

Matron Joan Turner

posted by Kay Turner on 20 Jul 2013 at 4:16 pm

Hello everyone, my mum Joan Turner and i were at Wilton House school in 1976 apprx.My mum was employed as a tempory matron/ housemother to look after the students that came over to learn English in the summer holidays.That summer there were lots of Italian students. I think there had been a mistake in numbers as double the figure that was orginally expected turmed up chaperoned by a lady calling herself Countess Setty. Apologies in advance for poor name spellings.I can remember the french headmistree and her interesting relationship with the gardener!! They lived in luxury down the road in another big house.I know as i used to go there once a week with my mother who was given the task of cleaning it.I can also remember a Mr Moore, A mRS Roberts the secretary, she had two ginger haired little girls. There was a housemother who used to do alot of cooking her name i believe was Shirley. She lived with her son i cant remember his name it was either Alan or David. They lived in a tumble down caravan in the grounds.A persian girl called Tarhere, and her cousin a girl with ginger hair and their little boy cousin a boy of about 8 Alidot.There was a german girl called Renata and a french boy called Bertrand.There was a very athletic teacher who held court round the pool wearing tight swimming trunks. Not sure of his name. But he had several close relationships with the girls! The staircase was magnificent and also very hsunted apparently although we nver saw anything. My mum used to say it was a fib given to students to persuade them against using it Would be very interested to know if anyone remembers my mum and i and can share some more memories.Mum felt very sorry for some of the children and did feel they were unfairly treated.She never thought they had enough to eat etc.Please reply if you remember.

Hello Jenny

posted by Steve Smedley on 29 Jul 2013 at 4:47 pm

I haven't dropped-in on the site for a while and was delighted to see your note, Jennifer. Alan and I often speak of you - only nice things, mind! - and would be very happy to re-establish contact for a more personal chat and general catch-up.
Alan has already given you coordinates at which he may be reached.
Of course, sometimes it's simply best to let sleeping dogs lie and if that's the case here, so be it.
All the very best of wishes for your good health and happiness.

Wilton House 1959

posted by Paul Loader on 28 Sept 2013 at 3:32 pm

I went to WHS with my sister Rosalind
We met up with John and Linda Taylor
Does anyone remember me?

Canteloupe Road

posted by Lesley phipps on 03 Oct 2013 at 2:43 pm

The school on Canteloupe road was Merrydays, run by the Misses Auer and Warner. Attended there in the 60's.

Merrydays Prep School

posted by Lesley Phipps (Turner) on 03 Oct 2013 at 3:25 pm

It was Merrydays that was on Cantelupe Road, opposite the police station.
Was there in the mid 60's. It was run by the Misses Auer and Warner. Anyone remember the 2 Jack Russell dogs, Toby and Towser?


posted by Nick Burrows on 08 Oct 2013 at 12:51 pm

To Lesley Phipps I haven't look at this site in months so was pleasantly surprised to see your posting. Yes I remember Merrydays and posted my memories on this site in March 2011 and I got a reply one time from the 'other' Lesley - Lesley Gee ( as was) cant recall it all now but she was a friend of yours back then. I hope life has been good to you in the subsequent 45-48 year?


posted by Ann Leigh on 21 Dec 2013 at 11:58 pm

did you have a brother Allen

Wilton House The 50's

posted by Ann Leigh on 22 Dec 2013 at 1:12 pm

Hello Billy M
Saw your post above, my brother David and I were at Wilton House during the 50,s , not a good experience for my brother would like to talk privately , please email me. Ann

Seasons Greetings

posted by Kay Boyde on 23 Dec 2013 at 1:28 pm

Wilton House SChool 1960/67
A Merry christmas and AW RA BEST for 2014 from Scotland

John & Kay Boyde

WHS 1954-1957

posted by Ann Leigh on 23 Dec 2013 at 9:28 pm

Just stumbled across this board,the school was located on Upper Sea Road when I was there. I think it was some other place when my brother David and I were first sent there.I remember Brian Salter and a couple of other boys who were brothers. Would be very interested in catching up on what happen after my brother and I left.
Anybody that remember either my brother David or me please please contact me.


posted by paula sofowora on 17 Jan 2014 at 10:17 pm

Hi everyone
I was at WHS from about 1970 -74/5. My maiden name was Onigbinde and I had a younger brother John. I remember my brother jumping into the swimming pool even though he couldn't swim but don't recall who rescued him. I also remember Matron Anne who also I think taught horse riding. Listening to the radio for some lessons la cuckoo racha or something with Mr Moore or Mr Johnson and my main teacher was Mrs Moore with the mohair jumpers.
I also remember believing that the house was haunted by Marie Antoinette and the banshee woman who took the milk left on our window sill. Someone used to tell really good ghost stories and I swallowed them all!
I had really good memories overall. I remember the 3 dogs Trixie the mum, Sukie and another one. They were Labradors I think. Mrs Cowan may have been the cook and I thought mince meat was made out of Bulls eyes and would eat it. I loved the walks on the farm and playing in the haystacks and remember visits to town to buy provisions.
There were quite a few kids from Nasssau while I was there, Vernon and Joan Collie, Karen and Cecil Ian Young, Fred and Terry Luun come to mind. Fay Dellimore was my best friend and she had a brother Paul. Would love to get in touch with her. I remember someone called Kelly and think he went out with Dale and Mark Wheaton and his sister Lindsay.
Uniform was a grey skirt with green jumper and cardigan. Gosh , I ve just had a flashback of painting jam jars and doing embroidery with Mrs Moore. Wow, I cant believe I remember so much. Paula

Reply To Ann Leigh

posted by Billy Mobberley on 23 Jan 2014 at 9:08 am

Hello Ann,
Yes I wold love to chat privately. I do not have your email. Mine is w.mobberley[AT]sky.com Please send yours and I will respond.

WHS 1954-57

posted by Alan Taylor on 24 Jan 2014 at 1:12 pm

Ann, I was at WHS in Upper Sea Road from about 55 till we moved to Hastings Road (whenever that was) and finally left WHS in '65. I remember Brian Salter and also remember two brothers. If we are speaking of the same two one went in to the RAF and the other into the RN. Think the RAF one came back to visit once. Unfortunately, I was very young and apart from the above I can only remember one other person, an Alan Smith, sorry but I don't remember either you or your brother. Regards in any event :-)

Wilton House School

posted by martin whomes on 02 Feb 2014 at 10:38 pm

I attended WHS from '55 to '60 & was one of those involved in the court case of Mr Auer, can anybody remember the outcome of the case?

Obituary Notice

posted by Ruth Harding on 22 Feb 2014 at 7:35 pm

It is with much sadness that I announce the passing of my Aunt, Mrs Teresa Moore, who taught at Wilton House School (Bexhill and Catsfield)and also at Broomham School Guestling, for many years. I do hope most of her past pupils have happy memories of her. Should any of you wish to attend her funeral, to be held in 3 weeks time, please contact me via my e-mail address, trudeharding[AT]aol.com. Thank you.

Wilton House School

posted by Alan Taylor on 25 Feb 2014 at 6:36 pm

Re Mr Auer, he was found guilty so my parents told me.

Wilton House School

posted by martin whomes on 04 May 2014 at 6:26 pm

Thanks for that Alan, I remember a few of the truly international children at the school & your name sounds familiar. I can only imagine the fees were the cheapest available anywhere, for my parents to have sent myself & my other two very inconvenient & equally unfortunate siblings aswell, although I was there twice as long as they were, I seem to remember my brother was only two & a half when he went there. I was only eleven when I had to go through the trial as a witness, I found it terrifing, wigs, gowns, how to address the Judge as "my lud" quite an ordeal. Nobody considered I was worth informing of the result! I am happy to talk with anybody from WHS who feels they would like to communicate, via email.

Mr Auer

posted by Lorna Downing on 10 Jun 2014 at 12:50 am

Martin. I was at the school in 1956 for a short while before it moved and then in 1958 to 1959. I have vivid memories of the school including the Mr Auer arrest. My Mother told me that all parents got a letter informing them that the head master had been arrested for molesting boys. I never knew the outcome so it was interesting to know that it went to trial. I was told that a boy sent a letter to his parents from the post box outside the school.
No one remembers me, but I think I was good at fading into the background. Alice mcharg was my best friend. My time there had left a deep impression on me. Please email me on l.ldd[AT]btopenworld.com.

Mark Pearman

posted by Lorna Downing on 10 Jun 2014 at 1:33 am

I can't find the photo you mentioned of the nativity with Bernice mcharg in. Did you post on friends reunited? Can you send The link. Thanks

Wilton House

posted by Vivienne White on 14 Sept 2014 at 2:21 pm

I remember being in the smaller house first and the people that ran it were quite nice. I went and saw Bambi with the family and cried because the mother died and refused to eat popcorn!! I went there 1967 & 68. I had a friend named Peter and a friend named Marie. I recall being left there over the Christmas holiday. I also recall being molested by one of the "students" I believe. All I know is I was scared and constantly on guard. If I was told this person was looking for me I went running for fear that it would be worse if I did not show up. There are some good memories, but mostly scared and alone memories!!!

Mr Auer - WHS

posted by Alan Taylor on 21 Sept 2014 at 7:26 pm

Recently, and stirred by curiosity I tried to find out exactly what happened to Mr Auer . Unfortunately, Lewes Crown Court only keep records going back 7 years. They referred me to local news papers, however, as far as I have been able to find out non of the current ones were around in the late '50's early 60's. I haven't given up but suspect that it might take considerably more detective work yet.


posted by Lynsey Sullivan nee wheaton on 26 Sept 2014 at 11:29 pm

Hi guys my name is Lynsey (Wheaton) reading these posts are quite shocking I never knew Mrs ayers husband was taken to court !! Bit before I went to the school though . How awful for the children at that time .

Wilton House 1957--1960

posted by Haydn Vignes on 11 Nov 2014 at 6:03 pm

Hi everyone from those days at WHS, I don't remember any of the names iv'e read on these posts but I do remember many of the memories of the terrible food we were served up but struggled to eat in what seemed to be a huge dining room. Hot chocolate, Guy Falks night with the huge bonfire and the guys on top of the fire, the lane at the bottom of the field, the sand pit and the pool with lots of frogs and many more memories that have come back after finding this message board. Especially of being in a dark classroom after school with Mr Auer doing things to me that I did'nt tell my Mother about for almost 30 years later and being totally terrified. Now I am reading he was eventually caught, so obviously this was happening regularly. Thanks for the news of him going to prison. My name is Haydn Vignes and my Brother and I were at the school from 1958 to 1959.


posted by Haydn Vignes on 14 Nov 2014 at 6:45 am

sorry but i put the wrong dates on my message Nov11 2014, should have been 'were at the school from 1957 - 1960. thanks Haydn

WHS 1961-65

posted by Donald Howard on 12 Mar 2015 at 10:51 pm

Came across this and have memories of the school which my mother sent me to from the age of 4 (!). I wasn't happy there. A couple of think stick in my memory: In the classroom one day, teacher Mrs Moore, I was sitting next to a dark haired girl and was very naughty. I moved my hand under her skirt repeatedly! She wore a smile for a while and suddenly Mrs Moore addressed her -

"What do you find so amusing ___(name)?"
"Well, Miss, he keeps putting his hand up my skirt!"

The class was a mix of dismay and giggles, but the teacher was furious and sent me outside the door for the remainder of the lesson.

One summery day myself and a few boys were in the field near the alley where some older lads from elsewhere were shooting air guns at us. One pellet hit me in the leg. Just the the burly figure of Mr Farmfield was seen hurtling towards the lads, hopping over the fence and pursuing them. I think they were eventually caught.

Other memories include having to play rugby against older, much bigger boys! I usually sneaked away! Mr Auer was annoyed when he had to keep telling me a field position to adopt at football because I kept sloping off to the sidelines.

However, as time went by I was pretty fit and usually won races. However, when it mattered on a sports day I came second to Timothy Smith. Others I recall was Alan Gurr (with whom I had a scrap in the dormitory one morning) and a rather fetching young lady by the name of Pavarny Anderson (spelling?). I didn't know her but recollect an older boy trying to get her to be his girlfriend.

There was a French brother and sister (Isobel) who came in summer and she had a push bike with a number plate on it. I asked her if I could try it but found it much too big. Someone suggested I try a nearby little bike and I did, only to fall off it 2-3 times. After that I tried again and suddenly I found I could ride a bike fore the first time. I cycled around the field for ages!

Later I took a fancy to (even at this tender age!) a classmate called Sarah, but soon afterwards I was taken away from WH. I can vaguely remember Brian Setchfield - at least the surname rings a bell.

School Dates

posted by Donald Howard on 13 Mar 2015 at 10:57 am

I made an error in my dates (above), should have read 1956-1963/4.

I was not surprised to read that Mr Auer was hauled away for abusing boys. Did the Auers have a son and daughter who worked at the school, or maybe they just visited? Many of my memories are hazy as for me personally there was a lot to forget because in general I had an unhappy time.

In later life when talking over formative years people have been appalled that I was left at a school for the age of 4, but it seems in those days it wasn't that uncommon.

Incidentally, I came across an interesting page extracted from a book advertising the school (on Ebay):- http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1964-School-Wilton-House-Bexhill-on-sea-Auer-Mrs-F-/331500574884?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item4d2ef958a4

I haven't seen any photographs of the school or pupils until a recent search on the internet - but have never seen a photo of the principal, Felicia Auer.

School Dates

posted by Alan Taylor on 16 Mar 2015 at 8:18 pm

Donald, there is a brief shot of Mrs Auer in a short video I posted of one of the school sports days, I think on Friends Reunited (if it's not there let me know and I'll provide another link). Completely flummoxed re your comment about Rugby, I don't ever remember it being played at WHS let alone training for it! Perhaps I've just tuned it out .


posted by peter nelson on 06 Apr 2015 at 7:29 pm

My name is Peter Nelson and attended WHS from 1955 to 1958,does anyone know what happened to Mr.Aur,I've heard some conflicting stories,he was the most evil person that I have had the most unfortunate misfortune to have met in my life.I would like to think he was made to pay for his crimes,

Merrydays Preparatory School

posted by Pauline Fuller(Coleshill) on 14 May 2015 at 3:26 pm

My name was Pauline Coleshill and my sister Sally and I attended Merrydays in the early 1906's. Yes it was on 63 Cantelupe Road opposite the police station. It was run by Miss Auer and Miss Warner and I remember the 2 dogs Toby and Towser. It was set in 3 floors and the large garden and orchard at the back. Not sure if anyone posts on here anymore?


posted by Nick Burrows on 22 May 2015 at 1:54 pm

To Pauline Fuller - I remember you and your sister Sally. Hope all is well with both of you? My brother Jason and I were sent to Merrydays as young lads - and as far as I recall, it was awful. Mostly because of the home-sickness - and we stayed at the school through most of the holidays! I was passing by some years ago on business and knocked at the door. The house was in a terrible state - most of the top floor had windows missing and pigeons seem to be living there. Unfortunately, this poor state was also matched by Miss Warner. She was a mess and so was the inside of the house, I felt very sorry for her. I think Miss Auer had cleared off years before but she was evidently reluctant to talk about that - but she remembered me and Jase and listed a whole load of previous pupils. Please get in touch and let me know how things worked out for you and Sally over the years.

Attended WHS 61/ 62

posted by David Slater on 28 May 2015 at 7:37 pm

Hi all I was at WHS for only a while, but long enough I was expelled for stealing a scooter and wrecking it in the garden. And for lighting fires in the dorm, some lads would twirl toilet paper up attach it to the springs under the bed and set light to it.I was the only idiot caught. I stress I'm not a maniac.
I remember a fight with shoes in the dark of night in the dorm I got one on my eye brow and stiches followed.
I remember being in love with Somia Montgomery. I must have been 12 13. She had blonde hair.
I remember Payl Dehkan.
I'm not that good with names, but good at faces.
I remember having to stand on stage at breakfast and smoke because I had written home for permission after being caught. The lady auer said if I got permission I could smoke. I got permission and ridiculed.
I hated the place left over from Victorian full of dark secrets.
I was really quite a loner so won't be surprised if I'm not remembered. But hi to all. Dave


posted by David slater on 28 May 2015 at 8:13 pm

Hi this is David slater I just came across an old autograph book with the following names. Sonia Montgomery Stephen smelled Stephen Mann. Koorosh Akhione.
Junior. Sylvia.dorothy Mcquure. Anthony redgrave. John Wayne aka Rodreze.Alan Taylor aka James bond.henry ford.angela Mulroney . There's more too. Memories like the corners of my mind ???????? one love.


posted by Pauline Fuller on 31 May 2015 at 4:32 pm

To Nick Burrows
Hi Nick, I remember you both. I went back to Bexhill a couple of times and spoke to Miss Warner just once. The house was in a bad way and she did remember me. The last time I went there the builders were renovating the house into retirement flats and I asked if I could have a memento from the house and asked for the Victorian call bell box that was in the dining room. The builder initially didn't want to part with it. But I was quite emotional as it was part of our childhood and gave it to me. It was hard for all of us being there and lots of homesickness. Hope this message finds you and your brother well. I never thought I would ever be in touch with anyone from Merrydays. It's great to hear from you.


posted by Nick Burrows on 08 Jun 2015 at 2:06 pm

to Pauline Fuller. Great to hear from you also. It would be nice to know what you remember from those far off days - and how you are nowadays. How is Sally? please drop me a line at nick at midlandsmarine.com. Both Jase and I live in the midlands - both married with kids. I'll tell him I heard from you. take care -Nick

David Slater

posted by Simon Sanders on 13 Aug 2015 at 9:10 pm

I remember you David and that fires incident in the dorm.

We all had to go down to the gym that night till someone owned up! I think we were all threatened with being expelled, what a night!

I remember you smoking too. I was there1963 to 65. I didnt like the place much either.

Dont think many people remember me either but it is now half a century ago!!!

Cheers all.

Wilton House

posted by David Miller on 05 Sept 2015 at 4:25 am

Hey Everyone,

It's been very therapeutic for me to read through all of your notes and stories.

I don't think anyone would remember me, I was at Wilton House from 1966 - 1968. A small, skinny black kid from South London, left at this strange, cold and souless establishment, full of lost, lonely, sad kids (including myself) who didn't want to be there, devoid of love and care.

I went back home after my stay there but ended up living in foster and children's homes throughout my teenage years. All fine now, I live in New York, have had a great adult life and enjoyable working career, wishing you all the best in life.

I'll keep reading, thanks for sharing the memories...

Old Memories

posted by Daniel-Sédar Senghor on 08 Oct 2015 at 4:03 pm

Hi everyone
I was at WHS only two months on July/August 1964, as part of this French group trying to learn dickens language during summer holidays.
I came with my sister Lena and my cousins Yasmine and Sidney Thiam only this summer of 1964, in the time of the second Hastings battle i.e. Mods v/ Rockers and the first Beatles movies Hard Day’s Night.
No swimming pool in WHS by that time, but Mrs Auer use to take us to Hastings public swimming pool with a 8.00 m diving spot, before coming back at Hastings road and watching ‘Top of the Pops’ program..
I do remember David and Sandy Stearne, Pamela Bankier, Dennis from Bahamas and a couple of Italian fellows Luis and his sister, but it’s hard to say more after 51 years.
Never experienced any ‘double black’ or ‘six on the best’ after running through the muddy lane.
I’ll try to find the place next week while in pilgrimage in the area.


posted by Sylvia Fella on 26 Oct 2015 at 5:40 pm

I don't know if many people will remember me. I was at W.H.S for about 18 months with my sisters Sonia and Susan. I'm Sylvia (Montgomery). I remember lots of the people that have posted messages - and some who haven't. David Slater I remember you and I think it was me not Sonia (she had dark hair). You lived in Stretham London as I recall. Many people have mentioned Alice McHarg - she was a very popular girl. Some of the teachers I remember - mrs Moore. Mr. England. Mr Guller. Mr Camac. Mr Berkovitch and several others. Pupils Kay and John Boyd. Jennifer Kettle. Dorothy McClure. Pamela Bankier. Alan Taylor. Leroy Bascoe. Alan and Anna Rees. And numerous others. I have found all the messages on here very interesting and I'm surprised that so many people have written so much. I'll keep looking. Sylvia

Wilton House Boarding School

posted by S Dass on 29 Oct 2015 at 2:56 pm

I am trying to find out about the boarding school, which may have been Wilton House, my late brother attended for a very short time around 1953-1955. Was the school uniform a purple colour?

More Memories

posted by Simon Sanders on 02 Nov 2015 at 7:55 pm

Hi Sylvia,
I have just read your post but I am afraid sadly I don't remember you.

I do have an open day programme at WHS from 1964 or 65 where you and your sisters where involved in a production of Aladin along with my sister Cora plus a few others.

Cannot say it was the best time in my life but it is good to look back and remanis for a while.

Take care Sylvia


Wilton House

posted by Sylvia Fella nee Montgomery on 03 Nov 2015 at 6:12 am

Hi Simon, I do remember your name and that of your sister Cora Ann. I also remember the production of Alladin that the school put on... I remember it as being quite good fun. My memories of WHS were happy for me... I know that's not true for others. Not only was I at pupil at Hastings road - I returned to Wilton house at Catsfield Place with my three children employed by Mrs Auer as a matron. I will always be very grateful to Mrs Auer as she employed me when I was having a bad time in my life. Hope life has been kind to you Simon. Take care sylvia


posted by Alan Taylor on 30 Nov 2015 at 2:20 am

'Lo Sylvia, Saw your comment re Aladdin and wonder if that was the same school play I was in? I played Widow Twanky and had some wonderful coloured stockings that Mrs Moore lent me for the performance. Sadly, having been word perfect during the rehearsals I fluffed my lines in the actual performance.


posted by Sylvia fella on 30 Nov 2015 at 6:09 am

Hi Alan. Yes it was the very same performance of Aladdin when you were widow twanky... I was an insignificant member of the 'chorus'. My sister Sonia was one of the genies not sure which one... Happy days - such a long time ago!!

Aladdin Cast

posted by Simon Sanders on 08 Dec 2015 at 1:41 pm

Hi Sylvia and Alan

Maybe the production was performed more than once the cast list I have are,

Aladdin,Pam Bankier. Buldrubedour,Linda Durrant. Widow Twankey,Jennifer Kettle. The magician,Beatrice Ashun. Sing Sing,Greg Fox.
The Emperor,Conor Farmer. Mustapha,Mahmood Fatouretchi. Esmerelda,Jean Scott.

Attendants,P dehkan, H.Fatouretchi. M Grace,

Slaves of the lamp,Yvonne Hemmingsley, Sonya Mongomery.

Chorus, T Harris, G Clayton, S Montgomery, S Baxter, S montgomery, G Veronidou, D Mc'lure
A Rees, C Sanders, T Durrant.

Introduction, Opal Grace.

Hope this brings back some fond memories 50 years on!

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas

Bye for now


posted by Sylvia fella on 09 Dec 2015 at 10:35 am

Hi Simon.. Thanks for that. Fancy you having all that information - I remember the Fatouretchi brothers very well. Can't believe it was so long ago!!!
Hope that you also have a very happy Christmas. Take care. Sylvia


posted by Alan Taylor on 20 Dec 2015 at 8:03 pm

Wow, what a memory, thank you :-) The names really take me back. Sounds like the same play maybe Jenny dropped out or it was performed twice, I think I was in it about '62 or perhaps '63 but it could have been a little earlier, anyway I was certainly Widow Twanky in one of them - and no doubt the best Widow Twanky ever :-)


posted by kay Boyde on 23 Dec 2015 at 2:46 pm

first time back on the site for several months, names from the past throwing up lots of memories. Sylvia I was in contact through email with Sonya till the hard drive on my last computor packed in and lost all info please say hi to her and susan. email address c.boyde@ntlworld.com. Merry Xmas and Guid Nerde to all from Scotland


posted by Lynsey Wheaton on 14 Feb 2016 at 11:27 pm

Hi Sylvia I remember you very well . I was there 66-74 . With my brother .

Halloween 19623

posted by mark pearman .1961/64 Hastings rd. on 28 Feb 2016 at 10:57 pm

Hi all.for 2016.
Do you remember our Halloween parties when every in the school dressed up in fancy dress, including the teachers and staff. The cooks wife made a dress out of news papers, Dutch national dress, amazing! Some one else went as a red post box! Ha! At the last minute, lacking a costume, I moistened some crepe paper, coloured my face yellow, combed my hair back wet, turned my rain coat inside out showing its red lining and went as Dracular wining a prize. What did you go as? can you remember?
Any one remember Mr. English and his delight in eating ripe camembert cheese to our disgust. Bought with his pocket money from the corner shop on a Saturday. He was very popular with the teenage pupils, in the summer on his birthday I remember them throwing him in the swimming pool! were you there? Then they flooded his bedroom. The plaster fell off the children nursery ceiling a while later,blown and dried out. You couldn't make it up, HA!
next week I will recollect Guy Fawkes night .

Now that friends reunited has gone let's keep this site going. All the best to you all. Mark.

Halloween 1963/5

posted by Simon Sanders on 02 Mar 2016 at 8:54 pm

Hi Mark,

Yes I remember one of the parties I borrowed a long dress wore a wig had a beauty spot and won a Mars bar!!!

If I remember right it all went on in the dining room.

I agree Mark lets keep the memories going now Friends Reunited has gone.

Cheers all


Still Here...

posted by Steve Smedley on 22 Mar 2016 at 11:46 pm

...although it's been a couple of years since I last dropped in for a peek.
I've seen a few more names that I remember but not, alas, the faces that go with them.
Some of the reminiscences here have sparked dim memories of my own. Ah, it was all so long ago - and there are days now when I can't remember what I had for breakfast (where DID I put my keys?...)
Best wishes, everyone!

Firework Night 1962

posted by mark pearman .1961/64 Hastings rd. on 10 Apr 2016 at 9:13 pm

Hi all, back again for another festive memory of Wilton House School Hastings road. I had not experienced a large country bonfire before. All dressed in our winter coats, I can still see the black black sky behind the red and gold flames , heating my whole body. The warm feeling, the delight and excitement of catherine wheels and rockets culminating in hot roast potatoes dragged from the burning embers, a lovely happy memory. Mr fox the gardener managed the fire and fire works. Heat was a rare thing at Wilton House! in the winter months. the next morning we would go and collect the rocket sticks and burnt out boxes as trophies of the battle, some even from other schools/homes. If you were really lucky an over cooked potato with an edible core could be swept from the ashes HA! But the real magic was to blow on the embers and start the fire, a small phoenix giving us warmth again..
Thats all for now. next time Christmas. Mark P

Firework Night

posted by Alan Taylor on 04 Jul 2016 at 2:01 pm

Hi Mark,

I was at WHS before, during and after your time there and while I remember the Bonfire Nights well, hot potatoes et al, I don't recall a Mr Fox. Can you give a few more details please to help this old mind remember :-) I remember Mr Farnfield well and lots of the other teachers/Matrons but not a Mr Fox.




posted by Robin Smitten on 11 Sept 2016 at 8:31 am

Both I and my sister were at WHS for a few months in early 1961 whilst parents were house hunting.We had come in from Uganda.Very oddly the only name I remember was a Jamaican lad called Leroy Basco, I remember him as he used to beat me up regularly!!I often recall the food , very iffy at times plus the peas I was encouraged to eat - forced to be accurate - always made me sick.We were there at the time when detonators from old WW2 mines were being found on the beach and we had talks from the police about it.It was also the time when the mods and rockers were causing havoc on the sea fronts.The WHS I remember was within walking distance of the beach as we used to be marched down there in twos.We also ether walked or were transported to watch Cliff in Summer Holiday - whenever it comes on it always brings back memories of WHS.We were not there long enough to get a sense of , or see any dark side stuff but I certainly do remember plenty of unhappy children who would probably be labelled 'disturbed' these days
Whether anyone remembers me or my sister Lynda or not is not important but I wish all ex WHS people the very best for now and the future

Michelle And Andrew - Moss Or Melamid

posted by John Williams on 03 Nov 2016 at 3:06 pm

When these two were children, they attended Wilton House School in Bexhill around 1964-1968. It seems that they went to Australia sometime later and all track has been lost. Someone in Australia is trying to learn about their time at the school but, as you can see, the data available is rather sketchy.

Does anyone have any knowledge of these two, please? Perhaps someone may have a school photo of the class they were in - that would be terrific.

Any help appreciated!

A Long Time Ago

posted by richard vine on 23 Apr 2017 at 11:06 pm

That skinny art teacher Richard 1966-67 ( surname Vine) along with clive moore, tony mora, catherine mclaughlan... so many memories !


posted by Alan on 16 Jun 2017 at 1:30 pm

Anyone know what happened to Mr Tyrone Guller? He was a master at WHS I think 64/65. I know he wanted to be a scriptwriter in Hollywood, didn't we all, but he was still at the school when I left in 65. Any info appreciated.

Well I Never

posted by Elizabeth Webb on 05 Jul 2017 at 7:03 pm

Wow, what a lot of memories (admittedly a bit vague now)!
Was at WHS sometime in the 1960s, first as a boarder then as a day pupil. I think it was Kay Boyde who mothered some of us smaller ones (for which I was grateful). I do remember going off to see Cliff Richard films. Remember bonfire nights too. Was very pally with a certain Linda and Teresa and remember a few other names mentioned on this site too. And, thank goodness for dear Ms Moore’s class which was a sort of lovely refuge.
WHS is definitely registered in my mind as a very wacky sort of place; but personally, I don’t have unhappy memories. Sorry to hear some of the boys went through a bad time though. Remember Ms Auer and her poodle-like dog trotting about.
Anyway, take care old WHS people wherever you may be.

Reply To Well I Never

posted by Kay Boyde on 28 Jul 2017 at 12:45 pm

Hi Elizabeth, I vaguely remember looking after the younger ones and pleased to say that helped me in my career in Nursing. WHS was wacky to say the least.
Alan Mr Guller, did go to America but if he became a script writer I am not sure

Tyrone - Kay

posted by Alan Taylor on 25 Aug 2017 at 12:20 pm

Thanks Kay, So at least he got to the States :-) I occasionally look at the names of the scriptwriters when I see a film from the late 60's or 70's but have never seen his name. Of course, with Hollywood he may have changed his name to something more memorable, Bert Smith for instance. :-) PS. Would the Linda of Linda and Teresa have been Linda Durrant I wonder?

Mr Guller

posted by Sylvia Montgomery on 29 Sept 2017 at 5:55 pm

Hi Alan and Kay... if my memory serves me correctly and as you get older you can never be sure!! Tyrone Guller did go to America and I know he met up with Luana (not sure if you remember her). She shared a room with a girl called Beatrice. Luana wrote to me from America- she lived in New York and I think she said that Tyrone was thinking of joining the American Air Force... he was such a nice guy. Fond memories.

Mr Guller

posted by Alan Taylor on 07 Oct 2017 at 4:58 pm

Hi Sylvia, Thanks for the information re Tyrone, the US Air Force, wow! 'Fraid I don't remember a Luana but I may do better with Beatrice if she was a coloured Lady who spent a lot of time laughing. I can see it as if it were yesterday walking down the hall with her burbling on happily about I know not what now. At least that's my fondest memory, if we are speaking of the same Beatrice that is.


posted by Sylvia Mongomery on 09 Oct 2017 at 5:42 am

Hi Alan. I remember the Beatrice that you mentioned but she is not the one that shared a room with Luana. I think Luana and Beatrice were older (maybe 17/18). Things are a bit fuzzy in my memory bank! I believe they both went to a college in Hastings or Bexhill for education. Again I’m not 100% sure but I believe the Beatrice I’m talking about was French.


posted by Alan Taylor on 13 Oct 2017 at 11:56 am

'Lo Sylvia, I think I know who you may mean now. If the memory banks are to be believed, one summer, or maybe two, we did have some French students at WHS. They were older than us, 5 or 6 of them I think. The one I'm thinking of had shoulder length brown hair and usually wore a flared skirt - I must have had a crush on her to recall that bit :-) - Anyway, I think they were there to improve their English, but still no memory of a Luna. Nothing surprising in that I struggle to remember last week sometimes never mind 50 odd years ago!!!!

Wilton House

posted by Lorna Downing (Coles) on 17 Oct 2017 at 12:19 pm

Wilton House School 1958-59

I haven't been looking at the messages for a couple of years and it's good to catch up. Does anyone remember the production of Swan Lake in which I was the black swan, (aged 9) and I was one of the three Pigtails, all dressed in a home made pink pinafore, hair in bunches and we sang, Kiss me Honey Honey, Kiss me; which in retrospect seems very inappropriate. My best friend was Alice McHarg(? spelling) who had a sister Beatrice. Their Dad was in the Army. My overriding memory is the cold, the terrible food and lack of healthcare. When I was there was an epidemic of eye infections and mumps. I caught the eye infection and Alice mumps. We never had a bath all the time I was there, neither brushed our teeth, which plague me still.


posted by Kay on 07 Nov 2017 at 9:35 pm

Sylvia /Alan just sen messages, luanaJade Joe, she went to college also help out with the young ones, a very pretty girl oriental looks jet black hair brilliant singer also in New York was in a backing group. Strange seeing her name mentioned as looking through things to bin I came across autograph book from WHS luana had written in it


posted by Sylvia on 08 Nov 2017 at 8:07 pm

Hi Kay. Hope all is well with you and John. I remember Luana very well, as you say she was a very pretty girl and believe she was half Chinese half American. She shared a room with Beatrice ( I believe she was French). I’m sure Luana had a massive crush on Tyrone Guller - I know she saw him in America..


posted by Alan on 10 Nov 2017 at 3:09 pm

Hi Sylvia, Kay, Did Luana happen to come to WHS with another 'Chinese' student, a boy? I do remember a 'Chinese' chap who showed me how to make ink from a solid block and then paint Chinese characters with said ink. I found that fascinating and quite magical.

If so I vaguely remember that the 'Chinese' girl was quite a bit older than him and very attractive, she may have been his sister or just a fellow traveller. As for Mr Guller, I liked him a lot and got to know him quite well, even to him giving me his 'Chelsea' boots and trying to knock me out with a rabbit punch (if J Bond could do it so could he, he couldn't but it did hurt!). Mind you he was quite struck on a lot of the older girls not least of all SDP, so Lunana would not be a surprise :-)



posted by Kay on 11 Nov 2017 at 4:40 am

Hi Sylvia/Alan, hope you are both well, as we are. Luana I think came on her own, how she came to be at WHS I can not remember, she was in a backing group and new a lot of soul singers. I still have the Beatles single that Mr Guller bought for me but I cannot remember the name of the other girl who also got the same record, we conned him into buying it. He was an asset to the school after Mr I'll give you a fourpence one Johnson.


posted by Alan on 19 Dec 2017 at 8:25 pm

'Lo Kay/Sylvia,

Nah, I really can't recall Luana and I'm pretty certain I never knew anyone who was in a backing group. As for records, the only two I can remember were Pretty Women by Roy Orbison and one called Toy Soldier that SDP ask me to get for her :-) Shame really as Luana sounds like an interesting person and, while I've met some actors and actresses along the way and over the years I've never met anyone who was in a backing group.

Anyway, it's that time of year again so a Happy Christmas and may 2018 be the best year anyone can remember.


posted by Sylvia on 21 Dec 2017 at 4:55 pm

Hi Alan/Kaye... yes you are right Alan, Luana was very interesting and very likeable.. Records. I remember quite a lot of music that was around in those days. Do you or anyone else remember that one of the teachers (can’t remember which one) would always be playing The Horn Concerto by Dennis Brain? I think I remember it because one of my team duties was cleaning the staff room. I really can’t believe that it is over 50 years since we were all at WHS bet we wouldn’t recognise each other!! Wishing you both and any one else who remembers me a very happy Christmas and a very healthy and happy 2018...


posted by Alan on 28 Dec 2017 at 2:17 pm

'Lo Sylvia,

Yes I'm sure you are right re recognising one another after all this time.
I know Blas was nothing like I remembered him when I met him a couple of years or so ago :-) Steve Smedley doesn't seemed to have changed much though judging by the photos he has sent me, I'll see for myself when he comes to stay with me next year though. I know I certainly did not recognise Mrs Moore when I saw her some years ago but then perhaps I'm not very good with faces! Some years ago I took my mother, wife and sister to Durham cathedral. My mother did not want to walk around so we left her having a cuppa in the Refectory. When we got back for her she was deep in conversation with another lady none of us knew. Long story short, they had recognised each other from Sunday school 75 years earlier!!!! You tell me.

Just Stopped By!

posted by Simon Sanders on 17 Jan 2018 at 11:06 pm

To say Happy new year!

It has been so long since we were at WHS I dought I would recognise any now either Sylvia!

Hope everyone's keeping safe and well.




posted by Kay on 30 Jan 2018 at 10:45 pm

Hi Sylvia /Alan, A happy New Year to you and your all, late as usual, in my messaging.It's 51 years since I left WHS to become a cadet Nurse in Hastings how time flies by. Having seen some pictures on friends reunited a few years back I am sure people have not changed that much and their would be some recognition. Thats me being hopeful that I still look young!!!!!.John is much the same but silver white hair plus a few extra pounds. Cheers Kay

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