"... To make your
- John Ruskin (1819-1900)
This web site is the repository for various images from our days at John Ruskin Central, Grammar and High Schools, as well a place to share personal memories and recollections from that era.
Our school started life on the 12th of January, 1920, at Scarbrook Road, Croydon, as John Ruskin Boys' Central School, before moving in 1935 to Tamworth Road, where it achieved Grammar School status in April 1945. (Reportedly, the Scarbrook Road site was near a house in Market Street that was occupied by John Ruskin's Croydon relatives, The Richardsons.)
The first principal teacher was William Field MA, followed in 1934 by Arthur William McLeod MA. Mr. Field died in February 1938, and Mr. McLeod in July 1956, at the age of 71. The 36-year-old John Christopher Lowe MA, who took over as headmaster of the newly upgraded John Ruskin Grammar School from Mr. McLeod in 1946, spent 27 years at the school until his retirement in 1973, and was replaced by William Patterson. Mr. Lowe also built up a small collection of newspaper cuttings, photographs, books and pamphlets by and about John Ruskin.
In January 1955 John Ruskin Grammar School for Boys moved to a new site on Upper Shirley Road, Shirley, several miles south east of Croydon, which location featured an elegant windmill in the grounds between the main school buildings and a sports area.
During 1971 the school was renamed John Ruskin High School - instead of a three-form entry at 11, the school offered four forms for boys and girls aged 14, the latter transferring from Shirley High School - eventually to became a 14-18 Co-Educational Comprehensive School. Anne Smith, who had joined the school from Selhurst Grammar School for Girls in 1970, and was a long time English Teacher at JRHS, became principal in 1990.
Sadly, in 1991 the school was demolished to make way for a new housing development, the upper forms having been relocated to a Sixth Form College in Selsdon, the former home of John Newnham Secondary School. Tim Eyton-Jones is the current principal.
Interestingly, as a tribute to Victorian Architecture, the building in Tamworth Road, West Croydon, remains beautifully intact. (Click on the graphic right to download a larger image of the April 1938 school magazine's front cover; click here for contemporary images taken in November 2002.) The famous Windmill was retained as part of the redeveloped Shirley location.
John Ruskin is considered by many to be the greatest British art critic and social commentator of the Victorian Age. His ideas are said to have inspired the Arts and Crafts Movement and the founding of the National Trust, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and the Labour Movement. He attacked the worst aspects of industrialization, and actively promoted art education and museums for the working classes. Ruskin died on 20 January, 1900, at the age of 80. A Ruskin Library exists at the University of Lancaster.
>> LATEST NEWS/UPDATES ... More fond memories, recollections and images <<
Ruskin Grand Reunion last September
Anne Smith recalls 29 years at school ...
Our "Top Ten Favourite" JR teachers
Charles E. Smith, JRGS Master 1942-78
Alan Murray, 1914-2005 - Rest in Peace
Clive Whitehead probes school origins ...
From 89 Years ago: our first school mag ...
More from Mr. Lowe' s School Record ...
Memories from a former pupil & teacher ...
Latest JRGS School Magazines:
GCE O-Level exams from Summer 1968 ...
Frazer Ashford's photo recollections ...
Can you help? Brian Lancaster asks if anyone remembers the Ruskin painting the school received in 1957/8 from the Whitehouse bequest. [email]
There are no formal membership requirements for the JRGS Alumni Society; anybody connected to the school is welcome to contribute to The Mill website and hence become part of our Society.
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