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.

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