Teacher recalls Lancing school characters

Lancing Primary School football team, 1958
Lancing Primary School football team, 1958

It was good to see references to South Lancing Junior School in the 1950s (Looking Back, February 27), when I was a young teacher there.

I well recall cheerful, athletic Ricky Cannons (above, back row, second from left) and his little girlfriend Jackie Tuck – both popular children.

Miss Cates was head teacher there at that time and yes, Mr Finch was indeed in charge of football.

He later went on to a headship at North Mundesley, in Norfolk, where his second wife was the singer at a nearby holiday camp.

Few people knew that Mr Finch was also “Mr X”, the football pools expert for a big national newspaper.

He told me he had been “all round the big money”!

His son later joined the diplomatic service and wed a clever Japanese girl. Very high fliers.

Another teacher, Miss Royal, said she had seen six monarchs on the throne in her lifetime.

In those days, the Steyning railway line was still operating and one teacher, Mr Willis, took the ‘Steyning Flyer’ to school every day.

Two very keen pupils, Robert and Diane Bacon, used to wait patiently outside the staff room every dinner time to actually ask for homework from the teacher who took the scholarship classes.

He always admired their desire to get on, though he was in a hurry to cycle off to Mill Road to get a home-cooked meal.

Few teachers then had cars.

In those halcyon days, strangely, more people worked abroad than today.

My mother and I actually rented a furnished three- bedroom bungalow in Greet Road, Lancing, for a mere three guineas a week, until 1960, while the owners worked abroad for an oil company.

Bel Bailey

Monks Court

North Road