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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Remembrance of Things Past

 Back in 1606, a shipwright in Deptford in south east London called John Addey died and left in his will £200 towards "the relief of the poor people of Deptford to last forever". So says the tablet to his memory in the churchyard of St Nicholas', where both he and the murdered playwright Christopher Marlowe were buried.

How do you make £200 last forever? Well, the executors invested it in some land, and later the funds were used to open a school a school was for the children of the poor in the area.

In 1715 Dean George Stanhope, chaplain to Queen Anne, also founded a school for the poor children of Deptford. In the 19th century this building was opened in Deptford High Street:

You can see the boy and girl statues over the central window.

Towards the end of the 19th century the two schools amalgamated to form Addey and Stanhope school. Eventually it became a grammar school, which means pupils were selected on the basis of an exam at age 11. Eventually the education system changed again and the school, while maintaining its small size, became a comprehensive. Although it is publicly funded, it still has funds from the original endowments with which it can fund developments. It still owns the very small plot on which it now stands (not the original or secondary site) and has recently expanded by demolishing buildings on adjacent land that it also owns, and built a very modern extension.

The oldest part of the current building dates to 1899:

The modern addition is very futuristic:

This is where the old post office used to stand.

The top floor of the blue stripy building is the new sports hall.
The tarmac you can see is the only outside space the school has.
So why am I telling you this? Well, from 1964-1971 I was an Addeyan. As a representative of the poor children of Deptford, I was just the sort of pupil they liked to have. I loved it, and they did me proud. I was even Head Girl in 1970-1, and I appear on three Honours Boards.
Yesterday my agency sent me for an interview for a temporary post there. They wanted a full-timer, and I was supposed to have a job-sharer, but she pulled out at the last minute. But they still interviewed me as well as a full-time prospect. They appointed her for the interim post, but didn't want to lose me, so they've decided they can afford to employ me for two days a week for at least 6 weeks. This suits me fine!
It's the kind of school people stay loyal to, and many ex-pupils have always returned to teach there. When I was a child, the Geography teacher was a former pupil. He stayed for his whole career, only retiring a relatively short time ago, having risen to the post of Deputy Headteacher. He married an ex-pupil briefly, and later was romantically involved with two or three members of staff. Another pupil came back to teach PE, having always had a crush on the History teacher, and she snagged him!
The boy statue was lost many years ago - perhaps more than a century - but the girl still has pride of place, standing today in the entrance of the new building.


JoJo said...

That is so cool Val! Congratulations! When do you start?

judith said...

That's really lovely for you.. Thanks my love for the Xmas card.. You too have a great Christmas.xx

val said...

Start on 8th January. At least the six weeks doesn't take in School Camp ( the school has a campsite in sunny Sussex, backing on to Paul McCartney's farm.) But we were there first!

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