14 June 2020

Hove's Old Schools Index H - I

Listed below:- Holland House, Hoove Lea School, Hove College, Hove High School, Ivy Place Infants.

Holland House
Judy Middleton
Published originally in Tales of the Old Hove Schools (1991) revised 2021

Famous Old Boy – Patrick Hamilton (1904-1962) author and playwright

 copyright © Brighton & Hove City Libraries
Headmaster Capt. W.B.C. Cawood and  Holland House Cadets with Drill Instructor Mr F. Davies at the County Ground.
 An 11 year old Patrick Hamilton would have been amongst these boys (Brighton Gazette 6 March 1915)
Holland House occupied two houses at 35 and 36 Cromwell Road, Hove. Mr William B. C. Cawood joined the school as a teacher in 1901, returning to the school where he once was a scholar. He was promoted to Headmaster in 1906 suceeding Mr Holland. It was one of the many schools in the area that prepared boys for Public Schools or the Royal Navy. No doubt Mr Cawood expected to head the school for many a fruitful year but as he had been serving as a captain in the Territorial Army since 1909 he was called up in 1915. Tragically, he died in June 1915 while serving in India.
copyright © J.Middleton
Holland House School was located at 35/36 Cromwell Road, Hove.

The new headmaster had an unusual name – it was CR de Lyons-Pike. Not surprisingly, people could never get it exactly right and it appeared variously as Mr Pike or Mr Lyons Pyke.

Patrick Hamilton, the famous writer, was once a pupil. Patrick was born in 1904 and his brother and biographer was four years his senior. Both boys attended Holland House. The Hamilton family came to live at Hove in 1908 and occupied a house at 12 First Avenue where in June 1988 a plaque was unveiled to commemorate Patrick Hamilton’s childhood home.
copyright © J.Middleton
Patrick Hamilton’s boyhood home was at 
12 First Avenue, Hove.
The house is in the centre of the photograph and you
can just see the blue plaque to the right of the door.

Patrick Hamilton boarded at the school and he was very happy there. This was a marked contrast to the two miserable terms he endured at Colet Court, the preparatory department of St Paul’s School, London.

Hamilton remembered de Lyons-Pike as being a young, bespectacled man who was extremely High Church. On one occasion he shocked the school assembly by saying to a boy ‘You’re the one who called Walker’s cousin a damned, bloody fool’. After he had doled out a thrashing, he commented ‘You didn’t expect me to repeat that, did you?’

Another master at the time Hamilton was a pupil was young Mr Hodgson who hoped to become a Unitarian minister.

In a similar fashion to Arnold House, the boys at Holland House were allowed free access to nearby Sussex County Cricket Ground but only if they were wearing a school cap.

When he grew up Patrick Hamilton became a playwright and author. As is often the case, his work today is more valued than it has been for many years. Two of his best-known novels are Hangover Square (1941) and The West Pier (1952). Two of his stage-plays were turned into films with Gaslight made in 1941 while Alfred Hitchcock directed Rope, a memorable film released in 1948 starring James Stewart. 

copyright © J.Middleton
Blue Plaque outside 12 First Avenue Hove.
In 1922 Mr de Lyons-Pike decided it was time to move his school to Burgess Hill. He was unable to continue to use the name Holland House because when he sold the business the ‘name’ was part of the goodwill. He called his new venture St Peter’s Court and it was still in existence in the early 1990s. Mr de Lyons-Pike retired in 1927 and the Revd C McDonald Hobley was the new headmaster. He was the father of the famous personality from the early days of television.

Meanwhile, back in Hove, there were joint headmasters for a year and then Mr Chubb held the position on his own for four years. It seems likely that the Chubbs with one different initial in the list of heads was one and the same person although the Directories could have been accurate and there really were two individuals. But these were really the dying days of Holland House because by 1930 the name had disappeared for good. Instead Grosvenor School occupied 35 and 36 Cromwell Road but after four years this was reduced to one house instead of two.

New Information

copyright © F. Young

Out of the blue in March 2021 came a glimpse of rare little booklet issued by the school in April 1912. The title was Holland House: School News, which had already seen several issues in previous years. We learn that the boys played football and hockey during the winter, and the emphasis in scholarly matters was heavily based on mathematics, Latin, French, and English. It was remarked that there was a poor attendance at lectures in Science. There was also grave concern about the future of the Cadet Corps, and this was quite apart from ‘the lack of internal support’. It was not that the boys were uninterested in shooting either, because the report stated that shooting continued to improve.

There is an amusing note that the ‘Hairdresser’ attended the school at regular intervals, and day-boys could avail themselves of this service, as well as the boarders. It was indeed a far cry from a regimental sergeant-major shouting ‘Get your hair cut!’ because the final sentence runs ‘Long hair although it may add to beauty, nevertheless detracts from neatness when left untended’.

The following are extracts from the booklet, and it is interesting to note, in these days of pandemic, that they were quite used to epidemics.

copyright © F. Young
'Old Boy' - Lt John Cecil Stollery was killed at Ypres in 1915
(Print error in the above school news, should read 'J.C. Stollery')

This booklet belonged to young William Richard Harris, born in 1897, who was at the school. No doubt he was inspired by patriotism because in 1914, when still only seventeen years old, he volunteered for the Army, and joined the North Lancashire Regiment. He acquitted himself well, and his family were happy to frame his ‘Mentioned in Despatches’ citation. This was awarded for an action on 26 October 1917 at Poelkapelle, during the Second Battle of Ypres when he lobbed a grenade into a German machine-gun post.

It was soon after this deed that he was wounded, but he lived to tell the tale. One leg, from thigh to knee, was a mass of stitches, and it left him somewhat lame. But it was not all bad news for him because while he was being treated at Wimbledon Gap Hospital, he met a young lady who was a nurse there, and married her. The family think he lived at Hove, but either they moved before the war, or he lived there afterwards because his name does not appear in Hove’s Roll of Honour under the List of Distinctions. 

copyright © F. Young
This photograph of William Richard Harris was taken when he was aged 23, and hopefully his leg had healed by then, The certificate issued to Lance-Corporal W. A. Harris recording his Mentioned in Despatches citation was carefully framed by his proud family.


      ?-1906 Mr Holland
1906-1915 WBC Cawood
1916-1922 Cr de Lyons-Pike
1923          CMJ Chubb and HED Townsend
1924-1928 CTJ Chubb
1929           CTJ Chubb and EP Parkes Davis

Hamilton (B) The Light Went Out (1972)
F. Young

Copyright © J.Middleton 2012
Hoove Lea School
Judy Middleton (2020)

copyright © D.Sharp
The exclusive Hoove Lea School, which charged fees of 
30 guineas a term, was situated in this building from 
around 1916 until it closed in 1936.
In 1871 Miss Patrick established the school at 15 Norfolk Terrace, Brighton, and by 1895 it had expanded into number 16. Ellen and Mary Winterbottom, who were sisters, were on the staff, and when Miss Patrick retired, the two sisters, plus a third sister, took over the running of the school.

In 1909 the school moved to Hoove Lea, an old house on Hove sea-front, and there were two new ladies in charge of the establishment, namely Miss Lilian Blake MA and Miss Constance Mortimer. The dining room had ecclesiastical-style windows, while the drawing room had an enormous chandelier although the round glass globes looked somewhat incongruous amidst festoons of crystal droplets. There was a conservatory, and a verandah commanding a magnificent view over the grass tennis court to the sea. There were marble fireplaces in the downstairs rooms. The girls produced their own magazine, a hand-written and illustrated effort called the Hoovelean; In June 1911 when George V and Queen Mary were crowned, it was deemed to be such an important occasion that a special coronation edition was produced.

In around 1916 the school moved to 56 The Drive, three houses north of All Saints Church. In 1928 Miss Blake died suddenly while under anaesthetic, and Miss Mortimer took the helm.
copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Brighton Herald 4 August 1917
A brochure advertising the school while it was situated in The Drive, advised that the fees for boarders was 30 guineas a term, while for day-girls it was twelve guineas. Among the distinguished parents who patronised the establishment were the following:

Bishop of Lewes
Major General W. D. Bird
Sir George Casson-Walker
Captain A. H, Fanshawe
Colonel C. J. Bruce Hay
Lady Parsons
Colonel J. W. Sherrard

In 1934 there was more artistic work for the girls in preparation for Sports Day on 23 June. Form III girls embellished the front of the programme by painting the school badge in the shape of a shield with the intertwined monogram ‘HLS’ being light blue against a dark blue background. The result looked quite professional, especially since Miss Lindsay had traced the design for them – Miss Lindsay was usually to be found teaching the younger girls the art of writing.

When Miss Mortimer retired in 1936, the school closed for good. The last school magazine (number 82) was produced in the same year. Among the contributions was the following poem entitled   Crocodile Tears:

Beside the Nile
The crocodile
Lies waiting for his dinner
Whatever may
Stray round his way
Will serve to stay
His fear of growing thinner

On either hand
Are miles of sand
An outlook far from cheerful
Perhaps that’s why
The ‘crocs all lie
About and sigh
And sometimes get quite tearful

However, the Old Girls Association continued to flourish until 1956. A famous old girl was Veronica Burleigh (1909-1999), artist and decorated WAAF veteran. Other Old Girls were Priscilla Kennedy (Stoner) who gave a recital at The Dome, Sidney Hay, who married into the Ralli family, and Eveline Dryden, sister of Sir Noel Dryden, and descendant of John Dryden. Eveline married an army man who later became Brigadier Thubron. They had two children – Colin Thubron, the distinguished travel writer, and Carol who was educated at Farlington, Haywards Heath, and died at the age of twenty-two under an avalanche in Switzerland.

Monica Spear (n√©e White) attended Hoove Lea from 1922 to 1933. She remembered the freezing cold classrooms, learning Greek dancing and music, and trying to master embroidery; on one day a week, only French was permitted to be spoken. In 1996 Monica Spear donated all her documents and old school photographs to East Sussex Record Office (now in The Keep). Co-incidentally, at around the same time the Record Office received a request from St Hilda’s College, Oxford, for information about Lilian Blake who died in 1928. Lilian’s death led Hoove Lea Old Girls to bestow an endowment at St Hilda’s in her memory. St Hilda’s was also in possession of a water-colour painting of Lilian Blake presented by Monica Spear in 1933. Monica Spear died in 2002.

Argus (10/5/12)
Encyclopaedia of Hove and Portslade

Copyright © J.Middleton 2020

See the separate Hove College page

See the separate Hove High School page


Ivy Place Infants
Judy Middleton (2001 revised 2012)

In 1861 there were two laundresses, a pot-man, a fly-man and a labourer living here. It is surprising some of the old houses remain as in the early 1980s they were threatened by demolition under plans to re-develop the Golden Lane area. Hove planners stated one of their reasons for rejecting the proposals was that Ivy Place would be lost. The decision did not please everybody especially some residents who claimed the houses were cramped, damp and never saw the sun. One man had hoped to sell his home to property developers in return for a modern house. School House (now numbered number 6) was embellished with a classical pediment and it was the house occupied by the headmistress of Ivy Place Infants’ School. Through an archway linked to the old cottages there is a new development called Cavenish Mews. On the south side of Ivy Place at the house on the corner of Waterloo Street, there is rather a grand doorway (now blocked up) decorated above with four wreaths. On the opposite corner there used to be a business run by Mr Urbach, a Jewish baker, whose shop was open at all hours so that his customers could buy fresh bread and rolls even on Sundays and Christmas Day.        


Miss Rooper founded the school and it was built in the 1840s. By the 1860s it appears the standard of education the children received was open to question. In 1863 when the HMI visited Farman Street Schools, he found all the classes well advanced with the exception of the lowest class, which he believed must be attributed in a great measure to the Infant School from where they were drawn. In 1864 the headmaster of the senior school noted in the Log that the boys lately received from the Infant School knew very little more than their letters but they could write and knew some arithmetic.
copyright © D.Sharp
Ivy Place School 
In 1898 the National Educational Department made a grant of £193-3s for repairs and improvements and by December of the same year a new classroom was in use. The school was managed in conjunction with the George Street Schools, all of them being Church of England schools. The managers included some lay foundation managers but the chairman was always the current vicar of Hove. For example, in the early years of the 20th century, the Revd Canon Peacey, vicar of All Saints, was chairman, but amongst the other managers was the Revd A Spong of the Congregational Church who was appointed by the education committee.

The Diocesan reports (made by a church official on the standards of religious education) were uniformly sunny and there were frequent comments about what a happy little place the school was and that the children were carefully taught. The only mild criticism was voiced in 1909 when the report stated that repetition, though accurate and expressive, seemed to be rather high-pitched and loud for sacred subjects. Even this was modified next time around.

The HMI reports were rather more down to earth. The outlook in 1894 was good ‘the young scholars here are bright and happy. They are judiciously and successfully taught’. The 1899 report was good as well and reading earned special commendation. In 1905 the HMI reported the children were making satisfactory progress although new desks with back rests were much needed for older children. In 1910 one of the school’s disadvantages was underlined ‘The school draws from a shifting population with the result that many of the children are backward for their age’. In the second class the Inspector noted ‘the teaching is patient and sympathetic but rather wanting in animation’. In the drawing and modelling lessons he concluded that a few children showed dexterity but a good many were rather unobservant. The problem of a shifting population is reflected in the fluctuation of numbers recorded on the school roll. For example, in April 1898 there were around 82 pupils while in January 1908 the number was around 70; in January 1911 there were 85 while in January 1924 there were just 47 children.

In March 1907 Doris Salvage began lessons and although she was nearly seven years old, it was her first time at school. This was not an isolated case. At the other end of the scale, some parents tried to send their children to school when they were too young. In 1905 Hove Borough Education Committee passed a resolution that no child under four years of age should be allowed in public elementary schools in Hove. In September 1907 Robert Tyler’s parents removed him from school because his three-year old sister was not allowed to accompany him. But there were other children who stayed at Ivy Place too long and in 1912 the HMI reported some had been there as long as four years. He considered that delaying their admission to senior school meant their chances of reaching the highest classes was reduced.
Some classes were held in the gallery, a practice to maximize space sometimes resorted to in old schools. In 1899 the gallery was fitted up with desks for the first time but by 1912 the gallery was under fire from the HMI who disliked the ‘heavy ill-constructed and resonant gallery with high steps and inconvenient desks’. During the Christmas holidays of 1912 the gallery was removed.

From time to time Ivy Place Infants’ School suffered from epidemics of illness. The school was closed from 6th July to 31st August 1896 because of an outbreak of measles; in March 1897 many scholars were away with mumps or whooping cough while in 1898 the school was shut for nine weeks due to diphtheria. One unfortunate child called Daisy was absent for almost two years with ringworm but was allowed back in 1911.
The weather was another factor in attendance and a heavy downpour often meant not many children turned up at school. In February 1900 there was a fall of snow and the few children who did manage to struggle to school, need not have bothered, as they were sent home again.

There were other days necessitating school closure such as celebrations of a royal event, church treats, or the arrival of a circus in town. In March 1900 it was shut to celebrate the Relief of Mafeking, and in April 1918 for Canon Peacey’s funeral while at other times the building was required for duty as a polling station. On 16th September 1918 it was noted in the Log that 22 children were absent because of the Jewish fast and holiday. As there were only around 83 children on the books at the time, it shows Jewish scholars were quite a high proportion and there were known to be several Jewish families in the Waterloo Street area.
Her Majesty’s Inspector, Mr C Boutflower, wrote the most serious report, dated 7th March 1919. ‘There is much room for improvement… the Head Teacher’s standard is too low and the vague scheme and records kept for the top class indicate the need for much more energetic and purposeful teaching on her part… The children are seriously backward in their attainments’.

It appears that another HMI, Miss Cook, had visited Ivy Place in 1917 and 1918 and had not found fault or suggested improvements and so Miss Green, the headmistress, concluded all was satisfactory. The school managers felt that Miss Green had been hard done by, and that she should have been warned if her teaching methods were not satisfactory because such a report was a slur on her character.
Poor Miss Green was refused the automatic increase in her salary in 1920 because of the adverse report and obviously she pulled out all the stops, knowing her job was on the line. The next HMI report dated 13th April 1920 was better. ‘The Head Mistress has evidently tried to raise the standard of work to a higher level. The attainments in fundamental subjects are more satisfactory than formerly though still not up to normal level’.

In 1923 the HMI wrote the school was very generously staffed with three teachers for less than 50 scholars but throughout most of the school’s life the staff consisted of the head teacher and two pupil teachers. Miss Green received another body blow in 1923 when she had to accept a reduction in the number of staff. Not surprisingly there was a dip in standards that year but by 1924 it had improved and the managers wrote to Miss Green to congratulate her.

In 1927 the school managers were again seeking ways to reduce the number of teachers in Hove and the prospect was worse for Ivy Place than the other schools. Finally in February 1927 the managers agreed that Ivy Place School should be closed down and it shut on 31st March 1927.

Head Teachers
1894-1897 Miss Alice R Mobsy
1897-1901 Miss Evelyn Mary Freeman
1901-1910 Miss Elizabeth Bright
1910-1913 Miss Bessie Bradish
1913-1927 Miss Edith Mathilda Green

Copyright © J.Middleton 2012
page layout by D.Sharp