JRGS Mike Marsh Images
JRGS Alumni Society

Historical JRGS Images
from Fifties

JRGS Alumni Society


We have uploaded here a number of fascinating images taken in 1954 and later by Mike Marsh (JRGS 1949-55), during construction of the new JRGS building in Shirley. (Mike attended JRGS from 1949 through 1955, and recalls the move from Tamworth Road to Shirley. [more]
   Simply click on the graphic to download a larger image. [See also Site Drawings]

Mike Marsh writes: Most of these images are fairly self explanatory. The ones of me depict Speech Day prize givings, both for Senior Handicraft, probably 1953/4 and 1954/5, and held at the Civic Hall in Croydon. The 1954 Speech Day would have been the year before the new school opened in January, 1955. (It is not totally inconceivable though, that the pictures are from the same year, although I think not.) I seem to recall that the Speech Day/Prize Giving was held at the back end of the year, or early in the new year; I go for the former. The closer shot shows Mr. Cracknell sorting out the next prize; the lady giving out the prizes is, I believe, Mrs. Lowe. The fellow with Mr. Lowe is the then Bishop of Croydon, the Right Reverend Cuthbert Bardsley, taken at a speech day. (I took quite a lot of pictures for the school in those days.) The staff picture was taken at the new school in 1955.

   The picture captioned "West side of the Quadrangle" shows the Geography Room upstairs in the main building, and a door that opened out onto the roof of the single-story block. I remember going out onto the roof to take meteorological readings! [A second floor was added to the Zoology Lab Wing in the early-Sixties - ML.]

   The pictures of The Mill were also taken during the building period. One has the builder's board hanging on it; I believe it says: "Smith's." The Mill was repainted for the school opening, since it was in a bit of a state beforehand.

   My guess is that these photographs of the new school were all taken in the summer/autumn towards the end of 1954. The photograph of the school organ was taken during the building phase - I got to play it before I left. I was only at the new JRGS in Shirley for its first two terms until I left in July, 1955. [Other construction images]

JRGS Construction1 1954

JRGS Construction2 1954

JRGS Construction3 1954 

West side of Quadrangle

Science Block from playground

Front of school with entrance

JRGS Construction4 1954

JRGS School Organ 1954

JRGS Staff prhoto 1954

East side of Quadrangle

School organ during installation

Contemporary school masters

Pictured in "Contemporary school masters:" Back row: Mr. Warne, Mr. Hancock, Mr. Culcheth, Mr. Wright, Mr. Clarke; Middle row: Mr. Basil, Mr. Murray, Mr. Laws, Mr. Rees, Mr. Richardson, Mr. Neale, Mr. Gee, Mr. Smith, Mr. Peacock; Front row: Mr. Whellcok, Mr. Pearman, Mr. Cracknell, Mr. Lowe, Mr. Chaundy, Mr. Fisher, Mr. Pearce.
As Paul Graham points out: "It is fascinating to think that 11 of these masters were still teaching at John Ruskin Grammar School 10 years later in 1965, and that two others - Mr. Neale and Mr. Richardson - until the early 1960s. The continuity of such a senior core of staff must have contributed to the increasing prestige of JRGS during the decade after the move to Shirley from central Croydon."

JRGS School Prize #1

JRGS Mike &The Bishop

JRGS School Prize #2

Mike Marsh accepting a prize for Senior Handiwork at 1954 Speech Day in Civic Hall, with Mrs. Lowe

The then Bishop of Croydon Rt. Revd. Cuthbert Bardsley (left) with headmaster, Mr. Lowe 

Mike Marsh accepting a prize
at 1955 Speech Day in Civic
Hall, Croydon, from Mrs. Lowe

JRGS The Mill Winter 1954

JRGS The Mill Evening 1954

JRGS The Mill Summer 1954

The Mill in Winter,
before repainting

The Mill at sunset during school construction; note steel reinforcement used in towers 

The Mill in Summer,
after repainting

Please send any messages and memorabilia to webmaster.
2024 JRGS Alumni Society. All Rights Reserved. Last revised: 01.01.24