In February 1928, the Greenwich Borough Council sold a site, part of the Hornfair Estate, bounded by Hornfair, Nigeria and Indus Roads, to the London County Council for £1,450 for the erection of a new school. Two years later Messrs. F. Hipperson & Son Ltd secured the contract to build at a cost of £20,500. It opened without undue formality on 20 April 1931 with junior mixed and infant departments only (240 places Junior mixed and 288 Infants), and for a brief period was known as Nigeria Road School. Mr F.R. Simpson who welcomed all the children remained Headmaster until he retired in 1956.
In 1935, the school was enlarged at a cost of £10,800 to accommodate another 156 juniors and 172 Infants: a total of 816 places. The school closed on the outbreak of war, but an emergency school reopened on 24 January 1940, part of the premises being used by the London Auxiliary Fire Service as a substation and workshop for the repair of pumps.
After the war the school reopened (junior mixed and infants) and has continued as such to the present day.
Click here to see an extract from the School Keepers Log: School Keepers Log
Memories from past pupils...
Here are a few memories and pictures we have received from old pupils of the school. If you were an old pupil of the school and would like to share your memories or photos, we'd love to hear from you!
Where to start!
I remember running in the playground, falling and breaking my arm in the process. I can remember play and sunshine if I think back mainly.
I was shy but still felt part of things. Even when I felt low as all children do at times, I received patience from the teachers there. A feeling of belonging was encouraged and part of school life.
Things were very different then. A child received a smack for example wrongdoing. I once turned my head in PE and received a harsh slap not because Miss Haig was a bad teacher, just that Bobby Balbrook was trying the patience of a saint and I unfortunately received her anger as he was beyond redemption! Miss Haig went on to be one of my favourite teachers and after I became ill with rheumatic fever, she arranged weekly letters and a little box of goodies made by the children and contributed to by her. I even received postcards over the summer from her holidays abroad (unusual then).
I felt a bit out of it when I came back as I had missed several months and children had made other friends. I did receive backup from the school and also at home. It is important for schools and teachers to recognise just how lonely and isolated some children feel. A child can very easily slip into the background and lose track a bit. I was lucky that I received the right support.
My worst thing was being in PE. I was hopeless and couldn't climb the ropes. There used to be a wood and metal frame in the hall which was pulled out and fastened down and from there we would have to climb it. I can remember dancing round the maypole once a year in the hall and I loved that. It is a pagan ritual really and it was lovely that I still remember doing the dance was lots of fun. We also did country dancing. I still remember doing the Gay Gordons. It was good excercise and I believe that as all children are not good at climbing ropes but dance still excercises a child and has a benefit still in todays world with it's obesity problems.
We had the Christmas play and once I was chosen to be an angel. On the day, 3 of us walked up 3 steps on a box, I fell to one side and the angel beside me put her hand across and pulled me back on. On our birthdays we would be asked to come up in assembly and pretend to blow out the candles on a wooden cake. I felt like the Queen when it was my turn.
Mornings we had our milk and a straw, a thing which I think gave us a short rest and ensured a healthy drink for those who didn't have much. I was lucky I did have a good working family but not everyone did. I even got bullied by children for wearing a clean dress every day and having a cardigan (hand knitted) and a hanky. Mum and the school sorted that one out. Children didn't have electronic toys. we didn't have tv's often and I didn't have one till I was about 7.
We had the 'nit nurse' as everyone called it and I remember her messing up my long hair and I remember had Izal toilet paper which was the only thing available then. Horrible but a childhood memory.
I can remember making my own amusements, playing outside and developing a good imagination. Reading was always escapism and peace. At home we were also encouraged to read every afternoon and I still enjoy it to this day. Some children can't learn easily but they can be encouraged to use their imagination instead. I was lucky in a way that my father couldn't read, instead he was the greatest story teller that ever lived. His stories were magical and the tales were all encompassing for a child to listen to. He went on to be a craftesman instead and made everything he could from wood so whilst children might not follow the traditional route they can be encouraged to develop in other ways. It taught me that everyone has different talents and abilities and we are not always the same but each developed skill is a benefit to the community and world we live in.
Lunch time was lumpy mashed potato and very traditional meals. I can't say they that they weren't nice but I shall always remember the potato and sago pudding which I can't stand to this day.
I remember another teacher who was from a bygone age and still wore fairly long skirts (I was born in 1957). We had to write with ink pens from ink wells but she didn't like that I turned my book to write as I was left handed. She was a stickler and had old ideas. Fortunately teachers have better understanding today that it is a case of necessity for a left hander. The idea was still to an extent that left handedness was almost a disability (my fathers comment when I said my daughter was left handed was "It's bad enough with you being left handed").
I remember walking to school as people didn't have cars then, in fact only one person had a car in the road I lived and that was when I was about 7. We walked in fog and snow and my brother used to put my hand in his pocket because I was cold but always made sure the closer that we got to school, my hand had to be out of his pocket! Fog was common then because everyone had coal fires.
Mr Stead was a favourite too. He was my last teacher there I recollect and was a bear of a man, witty and friendly and got the best out of everyone. I remember Mr Stead making school a nice place to be. He did a maths excercise which showed how we were catching him up number wise in age purely by using numbers, and though I can't remember how, I still remember us all laughing about it.
I still keep in touch with Timothy Charleston who was in my class. Through Tim, I met my husband and have now been married for 30 odd years.
I remember finishing my work and being asked by Mr Stead to help a boy who had difficulties keeping up in class. Now no doubt he would be diagnosed as being dislexic but it wasn't heard of then. Stephen funnily enough came into the Inland Revenue where I worked when I left school. He was a rather nice lad who I don't think had much family support. He had been taken in once he left school by a rag and bone man and his wife. Stephen proved to be a loving boy who was hard working though not particulary bright in the academic sense and when the couple died, all their goods, house and the business had been left to Stephen and his accounts proved he was a millionaire so miracles do happen. Having difficulties at school doesn't have to mean that that is it. The most important thing is to be a good person and work hard and to keep on trying in life.
Memories are made of this as they say.
This is a photo of the 1959/60 school football team.
I am the tall boy in the back row far left. The capt with the ball is KEITH THOMAS,the boy next to him on right is GYLN WATKIN'S who lived like me in a prefab on CHARLTON PARK.
This i think was my final year in the team and at the end of the season MR GILL? put the list up of how many goals we had got etc,this year i think i got 68 and my big head was soon deflated by MR GILL telling me that a ALAN SANFORD had got 118 the year before,thou to be fair he was a very big boy for his age and bigger then some of the teacher's.We played our home match's at the bottom of my garden ie CHARLTON PARK.away match's were at BLACKHEATH. were i would either go by bus or cycle,at half time we would have a slice of orange each and yes this was a treat i can tell you and if i had cycle to the match afterwards i would buy a bacon roll and a tea.
Sometime's we were given our football kit on the friday and some silly boy's in the team slept in it over night,ok so i was silly then. One day CAFC brought the colt's up to charlton park with there coach CHARLIE HALL to train and i got a game with them but has you can see i was lightweight and got knock of the ball to much,i still had a lot to learn.One of my best day's was when the great SAM BARTRAM came up to my prefab to bring me a football back from repair from his shop in church lane and he let me take shot's at him in goal and no he did not let me score,there again his hand's was has big as my face.This all come about because my mum at sometime had worked with SAM'S wife at A.E.I SIEMENS in WOOLWICH RD and ask him to come up with the ball,he was a very lovely man.
This ball was leather and had a bladder inside and was all done up by a thick lace and when it got wet ( it was always wet) when it hit you full in the face you would know about it and if it hit your nose which in my case did a lot and no i have not got a big nose it always bleed.Later in the army i got to play and captain my TROOP,SQN,and play now and again for my REGT,also i got to be FA ARMY REFEREE when only a driver and then got to tell SGT'S AND OFFICER'S OFF. all the very best hope you get this and sorry for any spilling mistake's.
(this year is the 60th of me joining CHARLTON MANOR SCHOOL.)
This photo was taken in our hall/gym and has you can see i am showing off to the camera by being the first to jump over this.
Also you should notice that my vest/pants are too big for me,i was a growing boy so my mum got me 1 or 2 size's up. In this hall we also did dancing and one time we did scottish dancing and the teacher a MRS SCOTT? let show the class how it should be done,well even teacher's make mistake's and i did my bit and the all the class fell about the way i did it. Also in this hall on our last day we sang BYE BYE BLACKBIRD and we all cried,thou the teacher's was clapping for some reason??
all the very best.
Hi all at CHARLTON MANOR SCHOOL!
This is a photo of my class and i am the boy 3rd in from left back row.
I can't remember the name of the teacher or the class number,thou i think it would be a C class. MY mum work in the kitchen and like others got 2nd's when possible,this was very handy has this was my main meal and at tea would have bread and dripping or jam.If i was lucky i would go over to my mate's house to watch tele and have bread and sugar and yes i have not got many of my teeth left.
all the very best.
Brenda and Valerie Dickerson
Brenda and Valerie Dickerson
This is a picture from Brenda and Valerie Dickerson who left the school in 1953.
They visited the school recently and we were pleased to show them round.