Mel Lambert's November 2003 Archive Visit
JRGS Alumni Society

The Croydon Archives:

A glimpse into Mr. Lowe's
School Record scrapbook  

Croydon Council home page


As recorded elsewhere on this website, in June 2003 Nick Goy (JRGS 1963-70) discovered the Local Studies Library and the Croydon Archives. The Croydon Archives contain a large collection of historical documents from Croydon schools - of which the one for John Ruskin is amongst the more extensive. A first visit was made in August 2003 by Nick and Paul Graham, who met with the Archivist, Chris Bennett.

In November 2003 Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) also made a visit to the Archive, and was able to view the "School Record," a large scrapbook compiled by Mr. J. C. Lowe that contains many press cuttings, letters and photographs from his 27 years as headmaster. We photographed a number of the fascinating artifacts contained within this wonderful document.

Presented here is a selection, Click on any image to view  a larger version.

In 1949, school captain John M. Clark was awarded an open scholarship to University College London.
Obviously, Mr. Lowe was pleased with the achievement - a school first.

A letter from Mr. and Mrs. Clark thanked Mr. Lowe: "Without your guidance and help, John would not have developed as he has."

A letter from ex-pupil Terence Morris mentions his PhD thesis. [more]

Program for the July 1955 school organ's Ceremony of Dedication.

Several local newspapers covered the new school's building phases and eventual opening.

A cutting from The New
Zealand Herald,
January 1955.

A cutting that mentions the school opening in January 1955.

Mr. Lowe had included this fascinating picture of the 100-year old school windmill during renovations prior to the school opening at the new site on Shirley Road, south of Croydon, during the spring of 1955.

But progress to the new school opening had been rocky... "Addiscombe Grammar School" was an early, unpopular name for the new location, while a compulsory purchase of land for the new Shirley site attracted local opposition.

A collection of pictures taken at the new school site in Shirley during its first years. Clockwise from upper-left: Mr. Cracknell and Mr. Lowe ( centre of bottom row) with the new perfects; a grouping of prefects on The Mill Pitch; prefects in front of the formal school entrance; another cutting detailing the opening of the new school building; and a happy image of Mr. Alan Murray (left) with headmaster Mr. Lowe, probably taken on a school trip. (The vehicle looks like an open-top omnibus.)

Cricket played an important role in the life of the new school. Pictured (left-to-right) a Staff Cricket team from the late-Fifties; a School Team from the same period; and a unique image of both the staff and boys, probably taken after a well-played game at the Oaks Road Sports ground.

Above: An aerial view of the new school site taken in the Sixties.

Left: In June 1938, the imminent prospect of the school name being lost - or maybe closed! - prompted this irate letter from Mr. J. Keable.
We can only assume that the
Council was persuaded otherwise.

And, finally, here are copies of opening pages from the "Admissions Register," listing the names and addresses of the very first pupils attending John Ruskin Central School for Boys in 1920.

   The first pupil named here, Samuel J. Wheatley, entered the school on January 12, and lived at Penshurst Road with his mother, Rose. He previously attended Ecclestone Road school. Wheatley was born on 28th January, 1905, and left JRCS on 24th March, 1921, to start work.

   Interestingly, the year of birth of all the pupils listed on this first page is 1905 - suggesting that the first year's intake was of 15 year olds? Or maybe they were listed in reverse-age order - oldest to youngest - during that period. After all, there was no Sixth Form in those days.


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