Sunday, 4 January 2009
Walworth School / Mina Road School
I'm hoping some people will find this by Googling the school’s name. (Its official name from 1946 was Walworth School, but it was often known by its older name of Mina Road School, dating from at least 1882.) Mina Road is off the Old Kent Road in the Walworth district of Southwark, in South London.
Walworth School no longer exists, having been replaced in 2007 by Walworth Academy. It was established in 1946 as an ‘experimental’ or ‘interim’ comprehensive school, in the buildings and with many of the staff of what had been a ‘central’ school. The school was regarded as highly successful and was important and interesting in a number of ways, one of which was its leading role in reforming English teaching in London.
Briefly, the point of this is that I'm involved in producing a history of the teaching of English in this school and two others. We’re going from after the war – 1945 – to about 1965, and we’re collecting memories from people who remember their experience of English lessons at Walworth.
We’d especially like to hear from people who were taught English by:-
Mr Arthur Harvey
Miss Judith Wild
Mr Gus Greely
Mr Harold Rosen
Miss Pip Porchetta
Miss Valerie Avery/Noakes
Mr John Dixon
Mr Leslie Stratta
Mr Simon Clements
Mr Charlie Stuart-Jervis
Mr Andrew Salkey
Mr Alec or Alex McLeod.
If anyone out there has kept any of their English work, we’d love to see it. Or if you know anyone who may have.
To get in touch, add a Comment to this blog posting (click on the link at the end of this). It won’t automatically be posted on the blog but will first be emailed to me for my approval. If you want your message to be just a private communication to me, say so: I won’t publish it and I'll send you my email address so we can communicate in confidence. But I'm also pleased to publish anything appropriate if that’s your wish.
I'm involved in this history project as one of my jobs (privileges!) as Senior Visiting Research Fellow (i.e. retired lecturer) at King's College London. I taught at Walworth myself from 1964 to 1971.
I'm working most closely with Patrick Kingwell, an ex-pupil of Walworth, formerly a senior officer of Southwark Council and an active local historian. Also with three colleagues at the University of London Institute of Education: Dr John Hardcastle, Professor Richard Andrews and Dr David Crook. Between us we’ve just been awarded a generous research grant by the Leverhulme Trust to continue the work for three years and produce a book.