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As A Pupil at Stubbington House School.

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.

Written by Peter Madden. To send Peter Madden a private message, click here.

A memory of Stubbington in Hampshire shared on Tuesday, 8th June 2010.

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RE: As A Pupil at Stubbington House School.

I have just been trawling through my past. I was at Stubbbington House from about 1952-1954, along with my brother Saul, and my older brother Selwyn. My eldest brother Simon had left by the time I got there. We were Catholics and on a Sunday morning were taxied to the church in Lee on Solent. I remember planting a tree to mark the Queen's Coronation. Whilst I was doing my second job a Mike Barnes came into the garage where I worked. He was wearing an old Stubbingtonian tie and as a Catholic knew both my elder brothers. He offered me a job with Mercantile Credit which I accepted. All a long time ago! I can remember a Mr Sara who I think was the Geography teacher. Happy days!

Comment from Sam Salter on Tuesday, 1st March 2011.

RE: As A Pupil at Stubbington House School.

I arrived at Stubbington as a rather timid 8 year old in the Autumn of 1948. My father was in the navy and I had declared my interest to follow suit from an early age, hence Stubbington. In those days one went to Dartmouth at the age of 13 but that changed to 18 during my time at Stubbington, so I then went on to Stowe, changed my mind about the navy at 15 and went on to Trinity College Dublin. Quite a contrast to the navy but hugely enjoyable. I remember my days at Stubbington vividly to this day and in fact still have a school photo (circa 1950) and amazingly I can still name 50 of the boys in it. If anybody would like a copy please email me and I will gladly send one. The staff I remember well. One started being taught by two terrifying mistresses - Miss Critten and Miss Stapleton. Punishment from them was a severe rapping of the knuckles with a ruler. Then there was the headmaster Hugh Foster, geography and cane beatings! Mr Sara, second master, maths. Mr Dyer also geography and games coach along with Mr Hobson. Mr Dyer had 2 boys at the school. Mr Bawtree who's wife came to Stowe as a house matron. Mr Crump and then 2 others, one about 6 ft 10 ins with a glass eye and the other with a wooden leg - both quite terrifying to young boys. By some miracle I ended up as head boy which a mixed blessing but did wonders for my confidence. I had a lot of friends at Stubbington but alas one loses touch. If anybody remembers me please get in touch. Robert Sutcliffe, Hugh Mack, Michael Leigh, Alan Dyer and many more where are you all? Peter Rudland

Comment from Peter Rudland on Friday, 29th March 2013.

RE: As A Pupil at Stubbington House School.

I was at Stubbinton House from 1952 to 1956. My father was in the Navy and until now I had never realised that it was a prep school of choice for Naval officers. I remember particularly the teacher who taught French, Mr Williams, and I recall coming across him many years later. I also remember the one-eyed master whom we called Hosh Roy. I also remember the teacher with a false leg but his name escapes me. I have fond memories of playing cricket in the 2nd XI (occasionally promoted to the 1st XI for the odd match) and travelling all over Hampshire for away fixtures. I don't recall the conditions as being severe but the Head, Hugh Foster, was a fair man even if he did mete out punishment on a couple of occasions.

Comment from Richard Proctor on Tuesday, 3rd December 2013.


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