R. B. Hatfield

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Derek Jempson
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Re: R. B. Hatfield

Postby Derek Jempson » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:30 am

northants1066 wrote:I was a Christian in Androcles and the Lion.


I returned to the Grove a year after leaving (would have been 1964) to see that production of Androcles and the Lion. The lion was played by the son of my ex-form teacher, Arthur Escott. I was a member of the cast in the 1963 production of HMS Pinafore.

northants1066
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Re: R. B. Hatfield

Postby northants1066 » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:20 pm

I remember Mr Escott well. My friend David Powell and I were the only two from our class at St Pauls to go to the Grove. On our very first day David was late and received the cane from Escott, needless to say his parents were none too impressed and made a formal complaint.

It may seem that my only memories were to do with punishments, but that is not the case. I had some really happy days there.

Regarding Androcles, I believe he was played by Jimmy House, whose father ran the Silverhill Tavern and at one time was in a very serious accident as he came off his bicycle as he descended Gillsmans Hill.

The only other production I was involved with was The Crimson Coconut, but I was behind the scenes rather than acting.

Peter E
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Re: R. B. Hatfield

Postby Peter E » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:46 pm

Mr. Horsefield, formerly teacher of chemistry at The Grove School, moved to Hertfordshire around the mid-sixties taking up a position as deputy head of St. Audrey`s School Hatfield, and then on to a comprehensive in Ipswich. I myself am a former grove pupil now living in Hertfordshire and used to meet up with him taking copies of The Observer ( pre online days!) which he eagerly awaited.
I`m not sure if he is still around, as we lost contact after about 1976.

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Derek Jempson
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Re: R. B. Hatfield

Postby Derek Jempson » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:47 pm

I had a great deal of respect for Mr. Horsefield. He was one of the few teachers at The Grove who could control a class without resorting to violence. In fact, it was a pleasure to attend his classes. He was head of science during the time I was there, teaching chemistry, physics and occasionally, mathematics.

Thanks for the information Peter E. - I often wondered what happened to him after I left. If he is still around, he would have to be 90 to 100 by now! Incidentally, I never knew his first name/s, did you?

Peter E
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Re: W. Horsefield- Chemistry Teacher Grove School.

Postby Peter E » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:45 pm

Derek- excuse delay in reply.
If I remember correctly his first name was Wilfred, not sure/can`t remember any middle names, and he originated from Lancashire ( Nelson area ?). His eldest son who I used to see on the bus each morning going to Monk`s Walk School in Welwyn Garden City would be around sixty or so now- he was twelve then- so W.H. would as you say be currently in his eighties or more - where does all the time go?
I daresay it would be possible to find out his middle name by looking in the old electoral roles- Hertfordshire Libraries keep copies going back well before that period- unfortunately I can`t remember or have retained his Ipswich address. After leaving The Grove he took up a deputy headship at St. Audrey`s Secondary Modern in Hatfield ( now Onslow-St Audrey`s) then a headship at a large comprehensive in Ipswich where I believe he stayed until retirement.

I certainly agree he could keep a large class under control without wielding the big stick- I remember his wife telling me that teaching was his passion.

Changing the subject, but still on a Hastings theme- being of the same vintage as me no doubt you remember the electric trolleybuses that served Hastings & St. Leonards so well until their replacement in May/June 1959. The East Anglia Transport Museum just outside Lowestoft have just restored one of the last Hastings trolleybus to be used- I believe it was run in the hand-over on June 1st `59 carrying the local great and good on a ceremonial last run, along with the preserved `Happy Harold` you no doubt still see around, and one of the then new diesel buses- well if all goes to plan this will take part working at the trolleybus weekend in September at the museum, all nicely renovated in Hastings and District livery. Incidentally, I have one of the old traction pole finials- cast iron and weighing around eight kilos- at home that were in place from the start of the trams in 1905, the poles being kept until some ten odd years ago for supporting street lights- the only ones remaining now I know of is one at the top of the High St, and another two in Silverhill Bus Depot.
Hope info. of use.

Min Standen
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Re: R. B. Hatfield

Postby Min Standen » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:55 pm

Reading all the teacher names brought back memories of my time at the Grove and the times that went on and Jim Adams the metalwork master with other starting the school cricket match after a lunch time trip to the Wishing Tree Pub, too much beer I think was consumed.
Matthews and Thorne liked the slipper and would take a run at it.... :>(

I felt the cane from Carter and Duly and I must have been a pain to them!

I remember the shoes or boots that Mr Hatfield used to wear as being open to question.

Was there a Mr French who held the French lessons?

The subject of the Trolley Buses in Hastings bring back memories of my Grandfather who was an electrician with Maidstone & District Buses and was heavly involve in the Silverhill overhead intersection, may be that's why I became a sparks !!!!!

Thanks for the memories of the Grove and it's a few years since there was a reunion of the school pupils.

Min Standen G0JMS

Peter E
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Re: R. B. Hatfield

Postby Peter E » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:28 pm

Hi Min,
Some of the names certainly ring bells- I can`t remember exactly all of them now, I was at The Grove 1961-66, deBeaumont was my form teacher until the fifth year, I believe he passed away only a year or two ago, Barlow and Carter from thence on.

I keep in contact with Chris and Martin Ellis, who still reside in the locality and guess we shall meet up at the EA Transport Museum for the working public debut of the Hastings Trolleybus in Sept.

Interesting that your Grandfather worked on the T.Bus overhead as an electrician- the Hastings T B system was unique ( except for a short extension added just after the war from The Vic pub to the turning circle at the top of Battle Rd), along with Rotherham if I remember right, in as much the spacing between the positive and negative running wires was eighteen inches, whereas the other systems were two foot. Also the current supplied was five hundred volts dc, the rest six hundred.

It`s interesting to think had Hastings Corporation taken up their right to purchase the undertaking in 1955 or so which they almost did, how long the system would have lasted given the high standard of upkeep- my guess is given that Maidstone Corporation went on to 1967, Bournemouth`68, well into the mid sixties. There were plans to wire up both Hollington and Bromesgrove Estates, and an extension to Bexhill Rd. from Silverhill via Filsham/Pevensey ? Rd.

Once M & D took over the undertaking in Sept. `57 the die was cast - it was an operating anomaly as far as the bigger picture and they were concerned - the original intention was to replace them in the summer of `58 but delays in delivery of the diesel replacements meant they lasted until May/June `59.

I attended the Grove reunion at the school some years ago, met up with Bernard and Greg ?East , I believe the third East brother emigrated to Canada. Shame it`s all demolished now.

northants1066
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Re: R. B. Hatfield

Postby northants1066 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:47 pm

I remember Bernard and Gregory East, they are twins and same age as me. We attended St Pauls before The Grove. I believe their elder brother was Roger.

I was rather shocked to see that The Grove has been demolished as it was only built in the 50's.Any developments on what is happening to the site?

The only teacher that I did not like was the Art teacher. I once did a very good poster, well I thought it was, advertising a football match. He rubbished it and tore it up!!!

One thing that I never understood was why so many boys who were clearly clever enough to have gone to the Grammar school did not. The year that we would have taken our 11 Plus (1958) it was suspended for some reason. Whilst I was at the Grove at least three boys were "demoted" from the Grammar but not one Grove boy was "promoted".

As so many of my classmates went on to greater things including one College Lecturer I suppose it just goes to show what a bad idea the 11 Plus was. Although I would dearly have loved to have gone to the Grammar I dont think my Mum could have afforded the uniform and as things turned out I enjoyed my time at The Grove.

I did however miss any end of term celebrations after taking our GCE's as I went into hospital for six weeks the day after the exams finished.

I am not sure this would happen now, but in June 1964 I got a job offer with the Borough Treasurers Office in Wellington Square and when I told them that I would be needing an operation that would keep me sidelined for 4-5 months they just held the job open for me.


Does anyone remember my class: Len Benton, Kevin Clarke, Charlie Cochrane, Frank Cox, Mark Cropper, Barry Davis, Nigel Davies (sadly deceased) Clive Douglas, Phillip Elms,Patrick Galbally, Michael Goodall,Michael Hancock, John Histed (sadly deceased) Colin Hodd, James House,Peter Kemble, Alfie Kurse,Steve Mallion, Brian Mc Sweeney, Brian Martin, ? Mitchell, Kevin McQuillan, Phillip Oak, Richard Overfield, Douglas Palmer, Clive Parish, Nigel Pearson, David Powell, Lionel Pringle, Steve Redford, Alan Spears, Michael Walsgrove, Phillip Warner.

Peter E.
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Re: R. B. Hatfield

Postby Peter E. » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:42 pm

Those names certainly ring bells, although I cannot put a face to them all.
I knew a Derek Walsgrove, we used to help out at the Hastings Miniature Railway in the holidays and weekends - the locomotives used then were proper steam scaled down replicas of the real thing : Royal Scot, Hampton Court and Firefly. All of these are still working on miniature (10 &1/4" gauge) lines around the country. I last saw Derek quite by chance some twenty odd years ago, he had left the Navy and was based in Shrewsbury on rail maintenance/ breakdown work.

Clive Parish lived down the road in Mildenhall Drive, I remember a great song and dance being made by Hatfield in The Observer local paper around 1971-2 as he was the first or one of the first ex-Grove students to get a degree/post graduate degree.

Re. the art teacher you mention- Howard? - somebody, and I can go along with this, has suggested in this forum that like so many of his generation, he was war damaged which could explain his odd traits at times. Don`t forget, when we were at The Grove, WW2 hadn`t even, or had only, just finished twenty years before.

As to the old Grove site, I understand this will become a housing development- nothing new there!

As mentioned before, where has all that time gone?

Peter E.
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Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:02 pm

Re: R. B. Hatfield

Postby Peter E. » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:36 pm

Northants1066- I meant to include this in my previous post but forgot: you also mention a ? Mitchell- could this be Ian who lived at the Ironlatch end of Blackman Ave? I understand he sadly died a few years ago with a heart attack.


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