As A Pupil At Stubbington House School

A Memory of Stubbington

I was a boarder at Stubbington House School from 1954 to 1956. My father was a Naval officer, as were so many other fathers. I believe the school was sponsored by the Royal Navy, and I recall that a number of Victoria Crosses were awarded over the long history of the school, perhaps as many as eleven, to former Stubbington boys.
Robert Falcon Scott was perhaps Stubbington`s most famous Old Boy, but there were many other well-known names, like Sandy Woodward, C-in-C during the Falklands War I believe.
The headmaster was a Mr Hugh Foster, a keen shooting and fishing man. There was a master called Mr Crump, a mistress called Miss Critten, and a number of others whose names I regret I do not remember. Also, a sports master/ general assistant nicknamed "The Sergeant", a very kindly man as I recall.
The school was a huge, rambling place, with boys as young as seven, like myself, sleeping in dormitories accomodating up to thirty. There was no heating as I recall, and our toothbrush mugs were frozen to the windowsills on winter mornings. Definitely not a school for sissies.
At mealtimes, we would form into groups of around a dozen, and march crocodile fashion down the long corridor to the dining room, a very large Baronial hall, with huge fireplaces and oil paintings hanging on the panelled walls.
The grounds were extensive, and I recall a magnificent pavillion overlooking the cricket pitch with a large kidney shaped boating lake behind it. Legend had it there was a tunnel which connected the pavillion to the school buildings, and there was a cellar under the pavillion although if a tunnel existed, it had been bricked up. The school itself was riddled with secret panels and tunnels, but those we knew of were strictly out of bounds.
I recall a large gravelled area at the front of the school, with a Naval style flagstaff, and a large gymnasium which was built while I was there. a succession of long Brick built "wings", built many years previously housed the old Gym and the rifle range. At a certain time of the year, the masters and some senior boys went Rook shooting in the trees by the school building. I recall it was to cull the young ones (Rooks, not boys).
On Sunday mornings we would march through the front gate to the little church I remember as being opposite and to the right of the front entrance.
In the summer, we would have an occasional trip to Leigh -On-Solent or some similar shingle beach where we would swim. I recall it being very cold at times.
These are my potted memories of Stubbington School. I find it quite sad that I can find no reference to it having looked through a number of internet pages under "Stubbington School". The school did, I know, have a long and glorious history, and it would be nice to know that memories of it are preserved somewhere as part of Stubbington's heritage.

A memory shared by Peter Madden , on Jun 8th, 2010.

Comments & feedback

Tue Dec 1st 2015, at 2:31 am

rsch1 commented:

I was intrigued to read Peter Madden's memory of Stubbington. I was a contemporary of Peter's and recall that his school number was 50. Mine was 83. I seem to remember that he had a connection with Malta, but could be wrong. In addition to the characters that he mentions, there was Hugh Sarah (spelling?) the second master, a jovial character who proudly tended his roses in the garden outside the Library. Also Miss Stapleton, known as Stablebum, a large lady teaching arithmetic to the juniors, Mr Fry, my piano teacher, Mr Bawtree. (Geography), Miss Moncrieff (San sister), Mr D.C. Williams (much loved history master).
It is a sad experience to visit the site of the school now. The original Georgian building with its conservatory and tennis court have long since gone. The church, mentioned by Peter, was burned down and partially rebuilt on the cheap; the whole village has lost its identity, swamped by housing and modern local authority anonymity - but at least the same 10 acre grounds are being used for recreational activity. I'd like to hear from Peter if he reads this. Richard Harrison.

Wed Dec 2nd 2015, at 9:29 pm

rsch1 commented:

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