JRGS News Archive Page 33
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- Page 33 - July 2006 -

JRGS Alumni Society


 Mike Etheridge (JRGS 1963-65) reports on the recent Bromley Pageant...

With further reference to a vintage Ford Zephyr image on the website, I was recently at the June Bromley Pageant and gathered the following images of vintage cars that date back to the Fifties and Sixties. Click on any image to view a larger version.
    The two photos of a Ford Zodiac estate are similar to those of the Zephyr model from the early Sixties. There were slight differences between Zephyr and Zodiac models, and I am sure this continued with later "long nose" 1960/70 cars. I think the name changes may have been related to trim and engine size differences. The model photographed was not for sale; I noticed only one other saloon version.
   There was quite a collection of buses, including a GS, two RFs, a 1965 Routemaster and a 1975 one-msn RT with 130 destination boards. I'm not sure why the "single-decker" Coves-modified Routemaster had been customised, but I will try and find out. The RT bus is kept at Catford Garage and used for the staff's outings - it was driven to the pageant by a member of Springpark table tennis club.
   One car I cannot ever remember seeing before was a 1950 Austin A70 "Hampshire" Countryman pictured below.

Two-tone, white over yellow Mk II Ford Zodiac Farnham Estate from 1960. Engine is a 2.5-litre
in-line four-cylinder producing 120 bhp, with a three-speed column-change transmission.

One-man 130 bus

Vintage country-service "GS15" from the early-Fifties.

Vintage "RF363"

Country-service "RF600"

Country-service Routemaster "RML2306"

Vintage RT

A heavily modified Routemaster used for service and maintenance.

Austin A70


1950 Austin A70 "Hampshire" Countryman

The Bromley Pageant of Motoring is held each year at Norman Park. Anyone that has a pre-79 car is allowed, with an admission ticket, to bring their car to the site and park free. There is always a great collection of cars, lorries, buses and military vehicles on show, and a range of new cars for sale/viewing, etc. [December 2005 Pageant]

   Again, any help in identifying these fascinating vehicles would be welcomed.

Mike Etheridge, July 2006 Email

 John Byford (JRGS 1959-66) adds: A fascinating account and lots of wonderful photographs! Thanks Mike.
RML2284   Curiosity got the better of me and I did a bit of digging around for more information on the single-decker Routemaster. First up is a website that has a photograph of the bus as it looked while working the Number 10 route as RM2284 - see image left.
CUV284jpg  Another website has a list of 598 Surviving single-deck half-cab buses and coaches. Part way down the page is this reference: "London Transport RML2284, Routemaster {R2RH/1/2298} /Park Royal {L5562} H72R (converted to mobile, single deck, centre entrance workshop & accommodation unit by Gordon Laming/Coulsdon Old Vehicle & Engineering Society 2005) 10/66 CUV 284C Coulsdon Old Vehicle & Engineering Society, Surrey 2006."
   Click on the thumbnail right to view a larger image.
   Elsewhere on the web, we learn that the Coulsdon Old Vehicle & Engineering Society "promotes the preservation and restoration of historic commercial and emergency service vehicles. It is our aim to encourage young members of the community to become involved with engineers through practical restoration projects". They took part in the 2005 New Year's Day London Parade.


  Roger Adcock (JRGS 1963-68) discovers that The Windmill has been spruced up...


I went past the Upper Shirley Road site on business the other day - 5th of July to be exact - and noticed that The Windmill has just been completely redecorated.
   Click on the image shown left to view a larger version.

Roger Adcock, July 2006 email


Ian Macdonald  (JRGS 1958-65) adds: To Roger Adcock or any other passers by,
I live at 23 Upper Shirley Road - the same side as the former school site, bus stop outside frontage, with yellow door and house number not easily seen from road.
   When business next (if ever) takes you past, drop in for a tea, glass of water or whatever refreshes.


 Mike Etheridge (JRGS 1963-65) analyzes the fate of Croydon secondary schools...

Further to Anne Smith's recent discussion of various Croydon secondary schools, I have looked at the list published in the How's That? - Croydon Schools Cricket Association magazine for 1960 to report on various changes to the secondary school buildings, and those that have been demolished or sold off. The list includes schools built after 1960 that I have some knowledge of, and is as follows:

Ashburton Secondary School

Recent new build works on site; may include some demolition.

Croydon Technical School
Pampisford Road

Built in Fifties - now demolished.

Davidson Secondary School

Late-Sixties works included new gymnasium. Then closed and became Education Resource Centre. Currently occupied (I think) by Stanley Technical school pupils while Stanley Tech is rebuilt/refurbished.

Heath Clark Grammar School

Acquired by Croydon College but deemed to be surplus to requirements and demolished.

Ingram Secondary School


John Newnham School

Converted to John Ruskin College.

John Ruskin Grammar School

Demolished in 1991.

Lady Edridge Grammar School


New Woodlands School Lewisham

Built on site of a 1970s school that was demolished due to structural problems

Norbury Manor Secondary Boys School
Stanford Road

Extensive rebuilding works included new gymnasium in 1964, now completely demolished.

Portland School South Norwood


Prenderghast Girls School
Rushey Green, Catford

Original Victorian school building was demolished - probably the only building with any architectural merit in its original location.

Purley Girls Grammar School

Extended in the early Seventies.

Selhurst Boys Grammar school

Acquired by Croydon College Deemed surplus to requirements and bought back by Croydon Council.

Selhurst Girls Grammar School

Sold to Performing Arts College.

Shepherds Hill School

I have no knowledge of the fate of this school.

South Croydon Secondary School


St Christopher's Special School


Sylvan High School


Tavistock School

Demolished some years ago.

With reference to Purley Girls Grammar School, the extension building was somewhat unsatisfactory because high-alumina cement/concrete was used in its construction. At about the same time as the school building works were completed, a London swimming pool roof of high-alumina structure collapsed. The high-alumina materials were deemed to be at fault, so the new school building was shored up with Acro bars and deflection meters inserted to check for any movements. I do not know the outcome of the deflection checks, but I do remember how depressed the responsible architect was at the time. I am not sure whether the structural problems led to the school's demise.
   Incidentally, Prenderghast Girls School was involved in the tragic sinking of a cruise liner and lost a member of staff and a pupil.
   I visited Tavistock School once or twice but cannot remember whether there were both girls and boys buildings. I do remember the school keeper suffering from terrible BO, which he tried to disguise with lashings of Brute body deodorant... it did not work!
   Do any JRGS Alumni have any opinions on the lack of Croydon secondary schools?
   I heard a rumour a few months ago that Lewisham have been awarded a huge sum of money (20M+) to update/rebuild a number of secondary schools, including Northbrook where our Physic Masters Mr. Cook taught after JRGS. Last year I ran the contract to rewire Northbrook, and on my last visit met Steve Kember's brother Chris in the foyer. He had been doing Admin work there - its a small world!
   Most of the junior schools listed in How's That? magazine still exist. Since 1960 new primary schools have been built, such as Downsview and Heavers Farm. Although this development would tend to give the impression of the need for additional senior schools, the anomaly seems to be that there are far less local authority-run senior schools today.

Heavers Primary School
Heavers_PrimaryThe school that lasted the least amount of time in Croydon was Heavers Primary School, built in 1971 and then demolished and re-built in 1994/5. The procedure was to build the new school on the existing sports pitch and then demolish the old school. A new sports pitch was then created on the site of the original school (see left).
   I was most surprised in 1992 to be asked to carry out the electrical design for the replacement school and was the only person on the design team to have worked on both schools. However, once the design and tender of the new Heavers Farm school had been carried out, the BAS Department was sold off in 1994, and I was offered a temporary upgrading within Croydon's Housing Department. This meant I was unable to be involved in the construction phase of the school and was not invited to the official opening. I was quite upset at the time but did get to visit the building before it opened.
Heavers Primary  Shown left and right are sections of the drawings I prepared for the project in 1970 and 1993, respectively. Click on either image to view a larger version.
   In the Housing Department, apart from running maintenance contracts in a new office structure, we had one new building design to carry out in 1995. This was the extension of New Addington Housing office in Central Parade. When the extension was officially opened, none of us - the design architect, design mechanical and electrical engineers - were invited to the ceremony.
   Eventually, in late 1997, I returned to Lewisham Authority and got involved in a number of education projects again, which included a new special school - New Woodlands - a design almost identical to Heavers Farm school. But history was to repeat itself. In 2001 I was made redundant again and was not invited to the opening of my last major electrical design for Lewisham, the New Bridge Swimming Pool in Kangley Bridge Road.
   I have now adopted a different attitude towards work projects in the private sector. I'm just thankful that I can still earn a salary on a self-employed basis, and steer clear of opening ceremonies.

Mike Etheridge, July 2006; email.


 David Anderson (JRGS 1964-71) discovers a book about life in the Sixties...

Surrey in the SixtiesIn my constant search for interesting memorabilia of Croydon and the 1960s I recently came upon a book that I think JRGS Alumni would find fascinating. It is called Surrey in the Sixties - Memories of a Swinging Decade.
   This book by Mark Davison and Ian Currie is a treasure. It is packed with photographs and copies of newspaper ads and articles from the period. It has chapters on many Surrey towns in the Sixties, including Croydon. It includes many photos I have not seen before. Anyone who lived in Surrey and Croydon in the Sixties would love it.
   From the photos of street scenes and pop groups and Mods and youth culture it captures the essence of the times and you will be reminded of a time and culture that has now long gone. There are two photos of George street Before and After redevelopment, the building of the flyover, and the Old East Croydon Station and others. The early photos of The Stones and Beatles and ads for their performances are wonderful. Street scenes of RF and RT buses and Trolley buses will remind you of West Croydon.
   The ads showing what we paid for goods are amazing. How about 2/4d for a pint of draught Double Diamond in 1964,
quoted from a photo on page 127 of a 1964 Friary Meux Public Bar Prices poster? (What's 2/4d Dad? and What's Double Diamond?) Cask bitter is listed as 1/9d; obviously Double Diamond was the premium beer.
   There's a chapter on The Coldest Winter Since 1740 (pp 62-63) and whilst some of the material is not Croydon-specific you will be strongly reminded of the way things and people used to look in Surrey in the Sixties. You might even recognise yourself literally or in the styles. My idea of fashion was a visit to Milletts in Croydon High Street!
   The book - ISBN 0-9516710-4-9 Reprinted Dec 1994 - is published by Frosted Earth, 77, Rickman Hill, Coulsdon Surrey, CR5 3DT; +44 (0) 737 554869. (This information was taken from the inside cover and may be a little out of date).
   I paid 1 for mine at a Boot sale. Alumni may be able to secure a new copy or have their library find it. I would be interested to see comments and memories of the times from other Alumni, if they manage to find a copy.

And I also stumbled on a Sixties nostalgia website - www.sixtiescity.com - one of the best I think - a real nostalgia fest! Some parts of this made my hair stand on end, particularly the Baby Boomer memories. Other JRGS alumni might be interested.

David Anderson, Hampshire, June 2006 Email

ML adds: Searching the internet, I found that Surrey in the Sixties is available through The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames website. Listed price for the 144-page publication is 12.95; the blurb reads: "Memories of a swinging decade. Relive the days of bouffant hairstyles, winkle pickers, and bubble cars and see the developments and changes that were taking place across the country."
   Other interesting books listed here include: Surbiton Past; Hook Remembered; Hook Remembered Again; Tolworth Remembered; Chessington Remembered; Surbiton Bombed, Stage Coaching and a Market Town, Kingston upon Thames; Surrey at War; and Surrey in the Seventies. Enjoy!

Mike Marsh (JRGS 1949-55) adds: Amazon.co.uk lists the book for 10.


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