Tideway Nostalgia / ttarticle
Paul M Smith

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Tideway Times


A while ago, before "friends reunited" ( September 2000) I found that Tideway had an on line Newspaper, the "Tideway Times". I contacted them in an effort to trace anyone from my years at the school. For a while I was in contact with someone, and wrote a short article. However, for some reason, the Tideway Times web site disappeared, and all contact was lost. So here's what I wrote, aiming at the current pupils - I assume it was never printed.

Tideway 1970 -73 The first day was quite an experience. My first shock was the change from Telscombe junior school, low buildings, close to home, short trousers and subdued green uniform. Then Tideway: bus to school, multi-storey buildings all brick and glass, long trousers and that orange uniform. Is anything left of it now? We wore an orange pullover or cardigan and orange tie. I'm sure a telephone company would sponsor it today! We wore the herringbone jacket too, the boys carried brief cases and the girls had wicker baskets. Well some did, and we all had the option of wearing the unisex cape, too but that didn't prove very popular. (Patrick)

After registration on the first morning, and the first classes, came the first break, but a group of us were completely lost and couldn't find our way out of the building. We followed one of the teachers, hoping to escape from the maze, but we were lead pied-piper like down one flight of stairs after another, until we ended up in the smoke filled staff room! At last a sympathetic teacher took us outside (and told us not to venture near the staff room again except in the direst emergency.) So I was now a first year. We started afresh at each school, so going from the 4th year at Telscombe, one of the seniors, to the most junior at Tideway was another shock. All those tall frightening people, and they were just the teachers. I was in form 1KA, from the teacher's initials, Mr Aldred. Monday's lesson started at 9:30 with art and craft, right through to 11:35, with a break at 10:40. French before lunch, -- I always found it was more fun watching the cross channel ferries than learning the language. (But I do know the names of the ferries: Falaise, Valencay, Villandry. So I learnt some French. C'est la vie)

Lunch for the first years was in the older part of the school, known as the lower school. School dinners were not fabulous. Very traditional, very few chips. Liver and bacon; green curry with sultanas (I still don't know how they made it green), sausages burnt black on the outside, watery over-boiled cabbage, and mixed veg. Rice pudding and jam, something pink with a meringue, but worst of all by far was boiled ham (all fat and salt) boiled potatoes (floury and dry) and tinned carrots (I can't say). The only consolation was chocolate pudding and chocolate sauce, which came round every few weeks.

After lunch it was "games" I never was too sure why compulsory TORTURE was called games. British Bulldog in the gym, or trying to jump over large wooded boxes. Outside was far worse. Cross-country running I shall never forget, mile after mile in the rain, cold and wind, over the fields, under the TV mast, and back along the cliff top. All in (orange) shorts and PE vest. While the teacher (Mr Davies?) was in a warm fleecy tracksuit. I seem to remember he stopped for a cup of tea half way round. I'm sure it was meant to be character building, but it just made me cold! Last lesson of the day, 2:50 - 4:00 was maths, can't remember much of that, more ferry watching no doubt, and thinking of going home. So after the final bell, chairs on desks and "file out, girls first (clear discrimination) don't run"- out of the door and RUN to get the first bus to home to Peacehaven.

What did we do at home? No videos, no computers, no play-station, CDs not yet invented, cassettes just on the market, and 7" singles ruled the world. Top of the Pops was essential viewing, who would be number one? I still have copies of the school newspaper "Inform" In December '72 the "Tideway Top 10" was 10) My Ding a Ling (Chuch Berry) 9) Ben (Michael Jackson) 8) Clair ( Gilbert O'Sullivan) 7) Why (Donny Osmond) 6)Gudbye T'Jane 5)Let's Dance (Chris Montez) 4)Crocodile Rock (Elton John) 3)Looking through the Window (Jackson 5) 2)Leader of the Pack (Shangri-Las) 1) Crazy Horses (The Osmonds) Other stars of the day were Wizard, Sweet, Gary Glitter (The star shaped guitar on Top of the Pops really caused a stir) David Cassidy, Cat Stephens and Alice Cooper. Most households had one television, probably black and white, and we could all rejoice in Crossroads, Coronation street (!) the Goodies, Blue Peter (!!) and on Saturday- Match of the Day. Who could forget Chelsea with Peter Osgood, David Webb, Charlie Cooke, Alan Hudson Ron Harris etc. I saw them play Brighton at the Goldstone Ground in the FA Cup, (Brighton lost). I had a paper round to help pay for visits to matches. Up at 6:00 every weekday, an hour for the round, (32 papers- I think I was paid 1 a week) then a quick breakfast and off to the bus.

Other things have changed too. The A259 went straight through the centre of Newhaven, past lots of shops, to the old, wooden, manually opened swing bridge. There was no fly-over, no swimming pool, no one-way system. There were 3 or 4 ferry sailings a day. One of the first outings I went on from Tideway was a day drip to Dieppe, and late I took part in the excellent exchange visits to Bad Sachsa in Germany. I managed to learn a little more German than French I'm sure I've left lots out, (the 2nd year club after school), evening power cuts,-- memories return bit by bit. I would be quite happy to answer any questions, and would welcome views on the school now. Perhaps there may be students who had parents at the school at the same time as me, who may even remember me, or who might simply like to reminisce. I would particularly like to get in touch with a friend I've not seen since 1973 Douglas E Jones, any info most appreciated: Mail me!