The Silver Oak

Ifield Grammar School must have opened in 1955 as Ifield became a part of the new town of Crawley. My sister, born 1944, must have been amongst the first full intake to the school. I followed in 1959, a year after my brother.

For the most part I’d say none of the three of us served the school well. I didn’t think it served me all that well but these days I can accept that most of the problem was me. My sister, I think, was happier than I was there. She took more part in school life and at the end of that first year she purchased what looks to be a classy and stylish school magazine. It was called ‘The Silver Oak’.


An explanation for this name was given as the first item in a poem by a first year lad.

image004Yes, this was the first edition of this magazine proudly proclaimed on its title page.


Inside there are more than 50 pages of content, mostly written by the pupils but some by staff. There are some photos like this montage.image008We can see the building (which is now demolished) under construction. There’s an aerial view of the school which looks totally familiar to me and various views of activities.

Local businesses helped pay for the magazine by inserting adverts.image010I used to get my hair cut at Hayes and Browns was the favourite shop – a place where you could buy all those dreadful, childish sweets like ‘flying saucers’ at four for an old penny.

My sister got the staff to autograph her copy of the book.


By the time I was at the school it was much bigger and there were many more staff. Quite a few of these had left. G W Avery was the head and M H Lee was senior mistress. Mr Gooder was the music teacher.

We now have to remember that this magazine was published 50 years ago and that means even the youngest at the school are now 71.


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One Response to “The Silver Oak”

  1. Peter Baker Says:

    Amazing to see this after so long. I was born in 1944 too, like your sister, and went there from 1955-8, when we moved to the south coast. Thanks for the memory!

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