Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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190                Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XIV.
friend was R. Pinnock, a son of the Vicar of East Dean. Another friend was E. Boys, the youngest son of the farmer who was the tenant of the Gildredge Farm. Boys's elder brother was in the Navy and occasionally visited us in his smart uniform. The younger brother always came to school in a white smock frock. Smock frocks were common in those days ; it was exceptional to see farm-labourers wearing any other garment. Old Mr. Hurst of the Star Brewery was amongst those who in the higher ranks sported smock frocks. Two other boys at the school were John and George Gosden, sons of the Rodmill farmer, who built Cornfield Terrace and did other things.
To go back to my school—Mr. Bown was great at the three R's. He insisted on boys writing a good hand ; and the progress made by them in writing and at the same time in arithmetic, was put to the test at stated intervals by their being required to write out in what were called " cyphering books," long sums, using fine steel pens and forming the figures with the utmost care. My writing during those years was very bad, and remained at a very low standard till I went to school at Brighton some years later. At Mr. Bown's Academy (to use the title then in vogue), there was much Latin and Greek (which I declined to patronise more than I could help) ; very little history, geography or French. My ideas of education in those days were of the "Modernist" type, and I concentrated my attention on French and dancing. The French master was a Swiss. I took a fancy to him, and he took a fancy to me, and between us there arose a great proficiency in French on my part which I have never regretted. I was only a day-boarder, which was in a sense satisfactory as minimising the evils of the commissariat system in vogue. I only dined there. Dinner consisted of two courses, pudding first and meat afterwards. I commend this system to all School-masters' wives who wish to do things on the cheap. The composition of most of the puddings ■ consisted, with much regularity, of flour, suet and water, with a fourth ingredient which might be currants or jam
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