Girls Blazer Badge Boys Blazer Badge

School Caps and Uniforms

Early Cap and Badge loaned by Peter Walder 1932-36
Colours Badge by Bill Day 1950-55
Blazer Badges by Peter Morgan 1963-69 and Chris Lonsbrough

PRIOR TO the opening of the School, Mr Bradshaw had decided that his pupils would wear plain light grey flannel jackets and trousers with a distinctive coloured flannel cap with a badge. This was the traditional school uniform of the day -- relatively cheap and easily obtained anywhere.

When the School opened in September 1930, most of the older boys were from Uckfield Grammar School which had recently been closed. Several others came from schools in Eastbourne and Brighton. Some of these boys, with parents of slender means, continued to wear their old school uniforms but new boys were expected to conform to the new dress code. An examination of the June 1931 School Photo shows a preponderence of light grey flannel. The ties seem to be quite a mixture -- which is surprising -- they would have been easy to standardise.

The 1932 cap The 1932 cap badge (x2 scale)

Luckily, Peter Walder, who was at School from 1932 to 1936, kept his old school cap as a souvenir and he has lent it to us for examination.

The cap, seen to the right, was quartered in oxford blue and navy blue, with a navy blue peak and lined in black cotton with a white name tag. There is no makers name. The badge, seen left, is a small enamelled and gilded brass badge from Fattorini Ltd of Regent Street, Birmingham. The badge shows Lewes castle and six Sussex martlets in gilt on a deep blue enamelled ground. These badges must have been made to order for the School.

An examination of School photos of the thirties shows a mix of outfits. Presumably Mr Bradshaw had to accommodate to the reality of the Depression years; that many of the boys came from poorer families who were unable to afford the full rig-out. In that period there were many fee-paying establishments, both preparatory schools, private grammar schools and minor public schools, to cater for the better off, where dress codes were rigorously enforced. One can imagine the mixed feeling that NRB must have had when he watched his boys streaming out of the gates at the end of school. They must have looked a motley crew compared with those from, say, the private "Lewes Grammar School". One presumes that he was wise enough to know that quality was not to be judged by external appearances.

The New Blazers

On the 1937 School Photo photo quite a large number of pupils are wearing dark single breasted blazers with tapes on the edges, a large embroidered badge and brass buttons. They look quite dashing. Presumably this was the new school uniform to replace the dowdy grey flannel outfit.

Gerry Sutton (36-41) comments:-
"I read the latest update and would like to clarify a few things regarding school colours. The colours were Oxford and Cambridge blues, reflecting the universities from which most of the masters graduated. Oxford predominated because that is where the head went The caps adopted in 1937 were Oxford blue with Cambridge blue rings. The blazers were Oxford blue with Cambridge blue trim, The ties (I still have mine) were Oxford blue with Cambridge blue diagonal stripes. Similarly the rugger shirts were alternating dark and light blue stripes. Prefects wore a different cap [and blazer] - all Cambridge Blue.

There was also an old boys' blazer, a startling affair of alternating vertical stripes of Oxford and Cambridge blues and gold. Goodness knows where you would wear it - tennis and cricket perhaps - but not many old boys bought them and I suppose they were dropped during the war.

The blazers of 1944, being of "utility" quality due to the war, were not so fetching as those of the pre-war period, having been shorn of the fancy ribbon edging. This ribbon was never reintroduced - perhaps it was seen as an unnecessary expense and a little too gaudy and ostentatious for the sombre post-war period.

Peter Morgan's 1963-69 badge OLO version of original Blazer Badge

Peter Morgan has sent us his blazer badge from the 1963-69 period. Note that the name is still "Lewes County School". Presumably it was thought to be not worth the effort to add the word Grammar which appeared in the name around 1950. Perhaps there was not enough space. Peter thinks there were two qualities of badge; the original Horne Bros. badge and a cheaper copy. He is not sure which this one is but believes that the two badges differ in the castle crenelation.

Peter says :
"Cheaper jackets were of course sold by the outfitters in Friars Walk in Lewes -- the one with the "horsey" displays in the window. I was always alarmed by the way the proprietor referred to boys' short trousers as knickers. The jackets from this shop seemed to wear very quickly at the elbow and in the end my parents had to journey into Brighton to get the more expensive version at Hornes."

Chris Lonsbrough'sChris Lonsbrough has now found his old blazer badge from the same period. He says :
"My Badge is slightly different to that illustrated [Peter Morgan's], the crenellations and the windows of the castle differ and the castle is larger within the frame of the Badge. The background also seems to be a darker (almost Navy) blue. These differences may just be due to variations between separate production runs on the embroidery machine, however as it is noted that there were possibly two versions of the badge I do wonder whether mine is of the other version. I believe, from distant memory, that mine is the version from 'Daltons' in Friars Walk in Lewes. I understand that this shop finally closed only recently ! "

These two badges are certainly different and so, being contemporary, presumably they are from different suppliers. Slight variations in the colours may be due to different scanning and processing of the images for the website.

The New Caps

Webmaster 1944 The design of the school cap when the new blazer was introduced was probably the cap with light blue bands on a navy background with a small woven badge. This was the style of cap worn by your webmaster in 1944. Fred Palmer's Cap 1958 This later design of cap was still in use in 1958, by which time caps were about to go completely out of fashion, together with the short-back-and-sides hair-style. Caps had been worn with some reluctance by older boys for many years and it was only the insistence of Mr Bradshaw that kept the cap. In many cases they were worn only when turning into the School gate just in case "Plonk" was looking out of his study window! I suspect that when he retired the wearing of the cap disappeared without any regrets. No self-respecting teenager in the sixties would have been seen dead wearing such a thing! Surely?

But Simon Pettitt writes :-
" I was at Lewes from 1961 until 1968. Although we were exempt from wearing caps in the sixth form they were then worn right up to the fifth form - long hair and all. I lived in Seaford and the wearing of caps was carefully controlled by the prefects. The interesting thing was that the fashion for wearing them changed as you went up the school. In the first year you would wear it full on but as you went up the school it travelled further and further to the back of the head. How we managed to keep them on in the fifth year I have no idea ! "

" I said long hair and all -- but that was carefully controlled by the then head, Mr Fanner. He would constantly remind me to get my hair cut -- I quite often had the longest in the school. My retort was always that I was growing it for the school play -- I always had to take a trip to the barbers soon after the last night ! My parts in the school play were always chosen so that I might grow my hair long. In the last play I was in, 'Tiger at the Gates', I played an old man so I had to grey my hair with starch or some such thing - very effective until Chris Beal had to hit me around the face - sending clouds of dust into the air ! "

Peter Morgan (see above) adds
"On the subject of caps, I remember giving a ritual disposal to mine on the last day on which it had to be worn (I think the 5th year still). On my way home it was folded up on itself crecent-shape and spun out of the upstairs window of a number 16 bus heading towards Golden Cross (change there for a 92 to Hailsham) to a watery grave in the River Ouse as the bus went over the hump back bridge in Cliffe High Street."

Bill Day's colours badge for cricket

Sporting colours badge c.1955 Bill Day (1950-55) has provided us with his "sporting colours" badge for his performances in the school First XI Cricket team of 1955. These were worn on the school blazer in place of the standard school badge showing Lewes castle. These "colours" badges were highly regarded and conferred a status similar to that of prefect. It was quite common, especially in rugby, that the two were seen together -- a colours badge on a prefects light blue blazer.

As far as I can remember, colours were only awarded for rugby and cricket, they being the only team games played by the school against other schools. Too bad if you were a champion swimmer or athlete -- I don't recall colours being awarded for those.

As one can see, the badges were very colourful showing the original school intials LCS, and various other armorial devices including the words "Floreat Lewesia" on a banner and the Sussex martlets. No distinction was made between cricket and rugby.

Incidently, Bill Day and others have sent in a few Rugby Football Fixtures cards from the middle 50's, which I don't recollect.