A BRIEF HISTORY OF ST PETERS SCHOOL SEAFORD.
Back Copyright © 2010 The St Peter's Old Boys Association. All rights reserved.
Seaford played host to St Peters as early as 1903 as an Edwardian Prep school when it was founded by a Miss Taylor in Crouch Lane.
In 1907 it moved to a purpose built house designed and built by a Mr Morling and there it remained until 1982 when the school closed.
In 1914 Rolf Henderson became the Headmaster whose portrait painted by his brother, Keith, an illustrious Scottish artist used to hang in the school dining room.
In many ways Rolf was the first true Headmaster of St Peters as we knew it and it was in 1934 that Pat Knox-Shaw, who had joined the school in 1919 as second master, took over the reins as Headmaster on Rolf Hendersonís retirement.
With the support of Marjorie, his wife, mother of Margaret Farebrother, Pat steered St Peters through the 30ís, 40ís and on until 1956. During the War St Peters evacuated to The Nare Hotel in Veryan near Falmouth in early 1940.
It soon moved to Castle Hill, home of Lord and Lady Fortescue at Filleigh in North Devon until the end of the war, when in 1945 St Peters moved back to its old home in Seaford, now vacated by the Army, and resumed normal service.
In 1956 Pat and Marjorie retired and Basil Talbot, an assistant Headmaster, and a long and outstanding member of the team from the 30s briefly took over but he himself had to retire through ill health.
It was then that Mike Farebrother, another assistant Headmaster, bravely took the helm and shortly after (1956 or 1957?) was joined by an old boy, Harry Browell who together with Serena his wife, kept St Peters flourishing until 1967 when Harry and Serena retired to Australia.
Their gap was filled by Mikeís brother and sister-in-law, John and Margaret Farebrother who moved down from Malvern College where John was a senior housemaster.
As times changed and boarders began to be fewer the age of the traditional prep schoolís days were numbered and that coupled with the age of the Farebrothers left no alternative but to close St Peters with honour and grace on 13th July 1982.
There was a massive auction and many of the contents were purchased by friends of the school and the buildings and grounds sadly disappeared under a housing estate.
Old Boys wishing to see anything left of St Peterís will be disappointed. Little remains apart from bits of boundary wall and trees surrounding the site and some other trees that formed part of Little St Peterís garden mainly visible from Sandore Road but accessible from Millfield Close off Bromley Road. As has been said in the past, our memories of St Peterís must be held in our minds and in our hearts. The War Memorial, one of the chapel windows and a few pieces of memorabilia however can be viewed at the Seaford Museum in the Martello Tower on the sea front.
What remains of the school are the large number of old boys many of whom meet at reunions in London held regularly since 1990.
For the record, Mike Farebrother (MHF) died in 1987, John Farebrother (HJF) died in 1996 and his widow, Margaret Farebrother, died in 2006.
The Early Years booklet - gives an in-depth history of St Peters from its start to the end of World War II. Click on:
The Early Years in Word format or
The Early Years in PDF format
This booklet was produced some years ago and tells the story of St Peter's from the start in 1903 through to World War II. Fascinating reading if you are unaware of the School's history.
Click here for list of Headmasters and Family Trees
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Copyright © 2010 The St Peter's Old Boys Association. All rights reserved.