Chyngton County Primary School

Monday 21 April 1958  - Chyngton County Primary School opened under the leadership of Peter Lilley with 160 pupils and 4 staff, including Mrs Simpson, Mrs Songhurst and Mrs White. It was the first new state primary built in Seaford since the opening of Church Street Primary in 1890, and many children living on the east side of Seaford transferred to it, some from the "overspill" classes held in the Steyne Road buildings, the original National School in Seaford, now part of the Seaford Head's 6th Form College. Designed to accomodate the increased demand arising from the eastward expansion of Seaford when the Chyngton and Golden Key estates were developed, the first post second world war social and affordable housing in the town. The school's catchment included East Dean village following the closure of its primary school. The school grew successfully and by 1959 had already outgrown its original buildings and began using the Methodist Church Hall at the top of Millberg Road as an extra classroom, Mr Godfrey's class. By 2008 the school had grown to some 430 pupils, 40 teaching and support staff, with spacious new facilities but still fronted by the original 1958 building. The school had only 4 head teachers in its first 40 years, with Alan Parkinson succeeding Peter Lilley in 1979 and Jon Amiss who joined the school in 1992.

The school log book notes on April 22nd 1958 that a large proportion of the supplies had yet to arrive and that exercise books were urgently needed. It also records that on December 8th 1967, Seaford experienced very heavy snowfall, the school closed early and the road to East Dean was closed, and the stranded childen had to spend the night in East Quinton School, now Cuckmere House on Eastbourne Road. Mr Lilley walked the East Dean children back to Friston in the morning. Wintry weather seemed to be a recurring theme, at the start of spring term January 1985, the East Dean children failed to get to school as the bus was cancelled, many staff arrived late and the school central heating boiler had to be temporarily repaired with "Radweld". The heating system broke down repeatedly 6 more times before February half term. Like much of the south east, Seaford suffered from the "great" storm of 16th October 1987, the school lost three quarters of the roof on the main  building and the roof of one of the hutted classrooms.

 Chyngton School 1958web

 

1958: The first pupils  gathered on Walmer Road Playing Field with Chyngton Shool in the background.