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Mr R.B.Bessant -Headmaster 1836-61

Embroidered arithmetic from 1844

The Middle Street side of the school - 1905
There are more drawings and photos of the school pre-1920

Staff and pupils in the school 1895

Susan Back (seated on floor on left) was a student teacher at Middle Street in the 1890s). Thanks to her grand-daughter Patricia Fleming for the photograph.

An Infant class around 1902


Champion Boy Swimmers 1903


Class 3 in 1909

and Class 3A in 1909 (thanks to Steven Samuels)


Empire Day 1909

A class c.1910 courtesy Peter Guy whose father Charlie is second from right in front row

Patricia Fleming (who was at Middle Street until 1939) has provided us with her mother's school report from 1913

A Swimming Certificate from 1915


A Junior Scholarship certificate from 1917 (thanks to Ninka Willcock). Interesting to see that the same design of certificate was still in use in 1944 (here).


School report for Alfred William Denman (1908-1967) - 1917. Thanks to his daughter Tina Brittain.


In 1918, John Cowper Powys (the author of Wolf Solent, A Glastonbury Romance and many other works) visited Middle Street School for a medical examination to determine if he was fit to be conscripted into the First World War.

' Many a time had I passed that particular infants' school without a suspicion that a day would come when I should skip about naked as a frog within these walls while I was tested for serving my Sovereign...but I was treated with extraordinary tenderness by the military examiners at that Brighton infants' school.'

According to the 'John Cowper Powys in Sussex' website - "Powys's account of his treatment is confirmed by contemporary press reports which refer to the comfortable furnishings and carpets provided and mention the many letters received praising the courtesy and kindness of the staff."

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