16 January 2020

We love hearing from our alumni - both recent and not-so-recent.

Victoria Gilkes attended Wentworth College (which merged with Uplands to form BCS) from 1956-1958 and recently wrote to us with some recollections of her time at School. We especially enjoyed this account of weekends at Wentworth; whilst our pupils are more likely to be found exploring London or shooting lasers at each other than darning stockings, there are certainly some things which never change - BCS pupils still maintain a strong affection for Southbourne and all its shops and eateries!

Saturday morning always included a mending session with a sewing kit. We sewed on buttons and darned our stockings - tights had not yet been invented. While we were doing these repairs we were allowed to listen to the radio and I think there was a programme called Children’s Favourites and the tunes of Nellie the Elephant and the Chipmunks singing Three Wheels on my Wagon still echo in my ears. YouTube allows me to sing along as I write this!

Some Saturday afternoons were spent playing matches – I was in teams for lacrosse, netball and tennis – so we escaped the confines of school to travel on a coach and compete against different schools.

Another escape came with shopping trips to Southbourne. The shops were in a road called Fisherman’s Walk which we nicknamed Fishy Dubs. What a wonderful sense of freedom to wander in and out of the shops where the mission was to buy some food which we would cook for Sunday supper.

This was when I lived out of the main school building in a separate house. The school owned two of these, one was called School Close and the other was called Hylton – this was years before the name was associated with a smart hotel in London. The house was right on the front, overlooking the sea from the cliff – what a wonderful view to have from our bedroom window. I remember one night watching lightening streak onto the horizon during a thunderstorm and often seeing seagulls swooping over a muddy coloured patch of water which we all believed was where the sewers flowed into the sea!

It was in this house that I remember listening to the Top Twenty which was broadcast weekly on Sunday nights on Radio Luxemburg. This programme was brought to us by the famous Horace Bachelor from Keynsham, Bristol. We listened under the bedclothes after lights out.

Bright Scholar (BCS) Management Limited. Registered Office: Bournemouth Collegiate School, College Road, Bournemouth Dorset BH5 2DY. Registered in England No: 11494533