Generations – The Glayshers

William Wickens
Collyer’s 1884-1886

William Wickens was born in the St Leonards area of Horsham on the 12th of April 1872.

We do not know the total number of years he spent at Collyer’s but from his books we have we know he was there from 1884 to 1886, when the school was in the Normandy adjacent to St. Mary’s Church in the Causeway, near to where St Mary’s school is now.

From the books we have the education seemed to consist of copperplate handwriting and complex arithmetic sums, which were presumably worked on in rough and then neatly written out, sometimes over several pages in books of squared paper. He was awarded prizes as ‘a reward of merit’ in Midsummer and Christmas 1886.

He was married at West Grinstead Church in 1894 and lived most of his married life in Springfield Road Horsham and was the father of 8 children including Robert, whose son Tony was at Collyer’s in the 1940’s and ethel may who married Ronald Glaysher. Their two sons John and Ron attended Collyer’s from 1946 to 1954.

He spent most of his working life as a gardener and was at one time the head gardener at The Vicarage in the Causeway, when the gardens for that building extended probably over several acres through to Denne Road.

Right up to the time of his death in 1962 he could still write with a neat copper plate hand and would proudly, on request, write out a list of those who were with him at his time at Collyer’s-a list which included many well-known business names of Horsham at that time.

Ronald Glaysher
Collyer’s 1947-1953

My name is Ronald Glaysher, and I was born on the 15th of June 1937 at 22 Wellington Road in Horsham, and I lived there until I was married in 1963.

I was the son of Ronald Glaysher and Ethel May (nee Wickens) and the grandson of William Wickens, who attended Collyer’s in the 1880’s. I married Sheila Sturt, sister of Brain and Derek Sturt and their family will appear in this project also, whose father Samuel Sturt was at Collyer’s in the 1920’s. My three daughters Sandra, Carole and Diane all attended the college, and my youngest granddaughter Megan has just started Collyer’s.

I attended Clarence Road Infants School from 1941 and moved on to Denne Road Boy’s School in 1944. At Denne Road, some boys were put in early for the 11 plus and I sat mine whilst under 10, passed and went to Collyer’s in 1947, soon after my 10th birthday into the A stream. This was fine until we got to the 5th form to take O levels. At that time, the Government had brought in a rule that you could not sit O levels until you were 16 so I and a few others had to sit the papers and have them marked by the teachers. I was told I would have passed all 9 subjects but had nothing to show for it. I decided to stay back in the 5th form and sit the exam the next year which was fairly boring as we were going over old ground, except for set books, but I achieved my 9 O levels and went on to the 6th form to study Maths and Science. My Maths teacher was not in my view the best and I was not really with it in studying Pure and Applied Maths. A friend of the family who was a solicitor in a rough part of South London, offered me a job with the prospect of articles and qualification as a Solicitor and so after 3 months in the 6th form at Christmas 1953 I decided to leave and go to work in London and eventually I qualified as a Solicitor and finally came back to practice locally here in Horsham.

I enjoyed my time at Collyer’s, both on the academic and the sporting side as with the competition between forms and the 8 houses at every age level in many sports we were kept very active. It was rare indeed not to be involved in some activity after lessons had finished. All pupils received a good, rounded education and were prepared well for life in the wider world.

Diane Carlin (nee Glaysher)
Collyer’s 1986-1988

My name is Diane Carlin (nee Glaysher), and I attended Collyer’s from 1986-1988. We lived in Horsham, and I went to Chesworth Primary School, now Kingslea, and then Millais.

I choose Collyer’s as I lived within the catchment area and studied French, History and German A levels. I remember sitting in the quad and enjoying ‘free periods’ for the first time and also studying in the library and study wing. I participated in the German exchange in lower 6th and enjoyed my time in Schondorf, before welcoming my student back the following Easter. We also went on a trip to the Camargue and Avignon for French which was really good fun. I also remember being picked up for driving lessons, which I hated, in Richmond Road and nearly colliding with the pedestrian crossing in Hurst Road. Collyer’s helped me prepare for university by coming from a single sex female school and having more freedom and independence.

Sandra Speller (nee Glaysher)
Collyer’s 1981-1983

My name is Sandra Speller (nee Glaysher) and I have worked for the NHS locally for the past 32 years, firstly as a Physiotherapist and I am currently the Associate Director of Allied Health Professionals for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, covering the whole of West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and large parts of East Sussex.

I attended Collyer’s between 1981 and 1983. I was part of the first year of comprehensive education in Horsham, and although I think girls had been admitted to the 6th form the previous year, we were the first year that did not include boys who had been through secondary education at Collyer’s, and all pupils came from Millais, Forest, or Tanbridge House School. I studied A Level Biology, Physics and Chemistry and AS Maths at Collyer’s. My Maths teacher was still there when my daughter was looking at 6th form colleges 25 years later! My favourite was Biology as I loved it, particularly the Human Biology and even the dissections. I had loved Physics at Millais as I had the most amazing teacher, but unfortunately my teacher at Collyer’s was not quite so inspiring or interesting.

My abiding memories of Collyer’s are many. I have always been a tomboy and so felt much happier joking around with “the lads” although it was very funny how all the girls from Millais wore their party outfits, best gear and heavy make up in the first few weeks. Our previous Head teacher would never allowed that level of make up at Millais. I liked being in my tutor group as we had the tutor teach us Latin for O level at Millais and he reminded us all of a truly absent professor, rushing in, still with his bicycle clips around his trousers twice a week. He was so lovely and really looked after us when we started at Collyer’s, and it was lovely to catch up with him 23 years later when he taught my daughter Latin GCSE!

I enjoyed sport at Collyer’s, playing in the badminton team for Collyer’s at Christs Hospital on a Wednesday afternoon and sitting in their large dining hall sharing sandwiches. Playing squash on a Friday morning at the Sunallon Club. We were taken by my first Biology teacher at Collyer’s, and I remember beating him at squash, which didn’t go down well at all. Also Collyer’s is the reason I stopped playing hockey, which I had enjoyed at Millais, playing in the school team. Playing mixed hockey at Collyer’s was very dangerous. Many of the boys had never played before and were smashing balls all over the place. I spent two Wednesday afternoons in a row over at the hospital in minor injuries with very badly bruised and swollen fingers, so quickly made the decision that hockey was no longer for me!

I remember a massive snowball fight. During one of the winters, when I was at Collyer’s we had quite a good amount of snow fall and I can remember a large number of us going over the road to the park and having an epic snowball fight, which was brilliant fun. I would imagine my mum was not too happy with the dirty clothes when I got home. I also have fond memories of walking up to the fish and chip shop by the station every Friday lunchtime. I remember one particular time when I was showing off to my friends and dancing down the middle of Hurst Road unaware a police car was following me, much to my friend’s delight. I got a proper telling off and stayed on the pavement after that.

The skiing holiday to Italy was brilliant fun and we all saw the teachers in a new light. We were treated as adults and just had the best time. I have lasting memories of a fancy dress party and some interesting combinations that some of the students had pulled together!

Collyer’s has without doubt helped my career and taught me so many life skills, giving me confidence to engage with many different people, which was so important for me in my university interview, and when I started engaging with patients during my studies. It gave me the grades I needed to go to university and study Physiotherapy – and most of all it showed me that making tough, pragmatic decisions is sometimes necessary to get what you want or need out of life. I only needed a B and a C to take up my place for physiotherapy. I knew I could have got much better results and would have done if I had been allowed to study French, but I didn’t need to. I ended up qualifying in the top 10 physiotherapy candidates nationally and have gone on to lecture at national level and gain a top job in healthcare. No-one knows or cares that I only got 2 A levels.

It also gave me my love of learning, teaching me to be inquisitive and explore further into topics that interest me, which continues to this day.

Carole Meadows (nee Glaysher)
Collyer’s 1982-1984

My name is Carole Meadows (nee Glaysher), and I attended Collyer’s from 1982 to 1984. We lived in Depot Road in Horsham and then moved to Pollards Drive. I went to Oxford Road Infant’s School and then Chesworth Junior School, years 1-3 at the old site in Highlands Road and year 4 at the new site in Kings Road which is now known as Kingslea.

I went to Collyer’s because at the time it was the only real option available to me. I studied A levels in Biology, Chemistry and French. I had always enjoyed Science at Millais and French was my best subject, as I was good at languages. I wanted to be a speech therapist at the time and so these were good options for me.

I have lots of fond memories of my time at Collyer’s and I loved my Biology lessons, particularly the practical dissections. My form tutor was also my Biology teacher, and we went on some great field trips. The skiing trip to Les Arcs in France, February/March 1984, was great fun. I retook my Latin O level when I first started Collyer’s and I had extra lessons with the teacher and this time I passed. We always did sport on a Wednesday afternoon, and I took up basketball and I carried on playing and moved onto netball, which I still play now.

I remember studying in the library at Collyer’s, or the separate study booths, as we were not allowed off site in free periods. Chemistry A level was a bit of a disaster and most of my sister’s Chemistry group failed, she was the year above me, and so after 1 year they changed syllabus. We had therefore covered some things which were relevant and did not have time to cover everything else and so most of my group failed too, including me.

I carried on French at college as my main subject as part of my Batchelor of Education degree. I have not had a lot of opportunity to use French in my teaching, but my Science background has really helped me. I have been the Science coordinator at Hilltop Primary School for many years and have helped to instil my love of Science in countless children. I also run a Science and STEM club weekly.

Sophie Meadows
Collyer’s 2015-2017

My name is Sophie Meadows and I attended Collyer’s from 2015-2017. I lived in Horsham and went to Leechpool Primary School.

I studied at Collyer’s as it was in my catchment area, offered the subjects I wanted to study, and I was guaranteed a place as I had gone to Millais. I studied Geography, Travel and Tourism and Photography as I had studied Geography previously and the other subjects looked interesting to me.

Some of my abiding memories include spending lots of time with my friends, many of which I am still friends with today. In my second year I went on a trip to New York which helped enhance my interest in studying tourism and my love for travelling, which I have done lots of since. I also spent many hours in the photography department working on my skills, which I still practise and enjoy today, but more as a hobby.

Since studying at Collyer’s I have gone on to study a 4-year course, with a year placement in America, entitled International Tourism Management at Hertfordshire University. The year out helped me work on my confidence and I have since graduated with a first-class degree. Studying Travel and Tourism at Collyer’s helped me to find a subject that I enjoyed and had an interest in.

Patrick Carlin
Collyer’s 2019-2021

My name is Patrick Carlin and I attended Collyer’s from 2019-2021. I have lived in Horsham all my life and prior to Collyer’s I attended St Mary’s Primary School and Tanbridge House School.

I choose Collyer’s as it was only a short walking distance from home and most of my friends from secondary school were going there too. I studied Biology, Chemistry and Maths as these were my favourite and strongest subjects at GCSE and I wanted to apply for a Science based degree at university. Unfortunately, both of my years at Collyer’s were disrupted by COVID-19 lock downs and although we had online learning a lot of time there was missed where memories could have been made.

All three of my A levels have provided me with the base knowledge needed for my degree and I am now entering my second year of study in Natural Sciences at bath University.

Megan Carlin
Collyer’s 2022-2024

My name is Megan Carlin and prior to Collyer’s, starting in September 2022, I attended St Mary’s Primary School and Tanbridge House School. I chose Collyer’s because it was convenient for me and offered the subjects I wanted to study, which are A levels in History, French and Philosophy. Although I have only been a short time, 2 months, I am enjoying the freedom to go out and about when I do not have any lessons. I am also enjoying the smaller classes and the style of teaching as we get to cover the subjects in more detail.