Sisters take a trip back in time at Worthing school

Sheila, Jill and Betty during their visit to Davison High School

Sheila, Jill and Betty during their visit to Davison High School

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Three sisters were transported back to the 1940s in October when they paid their old school a visit.

Jill, Sheila and Betty – three of seven Harris sisters who attended Davison High School between 1944 and 1960 – were treated to a tour of the school, where they watched lessons and met staff and students.

The Harris sisters at a party: Jill, Pat, Sheila, Molly, Carole, Betty and Lesley

The Harris sisters at a party: Jill, Pat, Sheila, Molly, Carole, Betty and Lesley

The visit was organised by Ray Oxenbridge, a retired teacher and chair of governors at Davison High School.

Jill Barnett (née Harris) attended Davison High School from 1944 to 1949, when the school was very small and situated next to the post office in Chapel Road, Worthing.

She said: “Our playground was just big enough for a netball pitch and the toilets were outside. The teachers were wonderful and there were 30 students in each class. Miss Tate, the headmistress, was kind and very strict and we had to go to school in full uniform, including our berets.

“There were four houses: Highdown (yellow); Salvington (blue); Cissbury (green) and Steepdown (red) of which I was captain.

The Harris sisters at Jills wedding, from left to right: Lesley, Betty, a cousin, Molly, Carole, Sheila, Lesley and Jill (bride)

The Harris sisters at Jills wedding, from left to right: Lesley, Betty, a cousin, Molly, Carole, Sheila, Lesley and Jill (bride)

“In 1948, my form, IVA, won the All England handwriting competition. The prize was £5 and 5 shillings, which went towards new books for the library.

“On August 16 that year, as part of a contingent from West Sussex schools, Edna Canon and I were chosen to attend the Olympic Games.

“It poured with rain but it was a fantastic, inspirational experience.

“Music was very successful at Davison High and many of our girls participated in the Worthing Odeon choir competition.

“The final was held at the Royal Albert Hall and we were so excited when we won the competition.

“I was very sad when our class attended our farewell service at St Paul’s Church though, and looking back, I would love to do it all again.”

All three sisters thoroughly enjoyed a perfect morning comparing their experiences with those of the students today.

They said: “The building is amazing, with state-of-the-art facilities and a canteen that serves fantastic food. How things have changed!”

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