|24 Feb 2023
Our programme of mid-week talks took on a different persepective on Thursday 23 February 2023: a bumper number of attendees meant a venue other than the Long Room, so the Jennifer Winn Auditorium was the order of the day.
With expert technician Joe Walsh in the techy box, we were in good hands as Chris Neighbour took a heartwarming stroll through the myriad private schools in Meads from the late 1800s up to the Second World War, and slightly beyond. It was an eye-opening tale of purpose-built schools and schools housed in already-built villas, with total pupil numbers ranging from as few as single figures to larger numbers which made you wonder where they were all accommodated. The lands around some of these schools allowed for tennis courts and other playing areas, and one even had a tunnel built to access an annexe across the road so that there would be no accidents as children crossed what would have been, presumably, roads with very little traffic.
This exemplified the care given by the owners to their charges, and highlighted the general ethos of dedication and professionalism shown by the staff. Meads must have been a very busy area of Eastbourne with all the to-ings and fro-ings but what an amazing place in which to be brought up.
The front page of Chris's book is shown in the photo, pictured with some of the audience (Chris is in middle of the front row in the grey jacket) who were treated beforehand to the catering department's speciality of tea, posh sandwiches and cookies.