Barbara Green shares some memories from the past

When I started at BGS in the early 50s as the Junior School Art & Craft, Mabel Fairweather was the head of Junior School.

The Junior School Library fitted a single shelf in her office, every book covered with brown paper. When I left there were over 10,000 books in two converted classrooms.

The Headmaster, Canon Wilson, was a very hands-on person, and often turned up at unexpected moments. One day he appeared to find a class of Junior School boys standing on the seats keeping the cane clean as they wove their wastepaper baskets.

Art classes could go anywhere. Taking the Grade 3 boys, with pencils, paper, and drawing slates across New Street, and down Cramer Street to watch and draw the tram line being removed from outside Middle Brighton Baths was memorable.

The groundsman, Alex, had a wonderful German Shepherd, Betty, who sounded very ferocious, but before school and at the weekends could be seen playing with early arrivals, and during the Athletics season, completing a 100-yard hurdles on the oval. Alex also had a draught horse Nellie which pulled the cart which mowed the oval.

When the Memorial Hall was first opened, the senior boys put on a play for two nights, and it had to be censored. They had a very successful opening night, and the last night the complete uncensored version was played much to the concern of some staff.

Memorial Hall BGS Archives

When Charles Sligo became the Junior School Head, anything could happen. There was the time when all the parents were required to come to night classes, sit in their son’s seats, and be taught. Why I am not sure, but it was a great success and a very good PR exercise.

On one occasion when I told Charles there was a problem with the lock on the changing room door, Charles insisted that he show me that there was no problem.

The only problem was, we became locked in, and it was only that I carried a pair of pliers in my handbag that allowed Charles to remove some louvers from the window, climb through and unlock the door from the outside before the whole school returned from Chapel in the morning.

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