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School in 2003!
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The New City
Academy - Open
(as at 17th September)
The New City Academy, which was officially opened by Mr. Tony Blair in
March 2004, has now been short listed for a Royal Institute of
British Architects' Award!
|From the Reception Area,
going up the main corridor
|A typical classroom, note
the absence of chalk and use of video!
|From the Luncheon Area at
the top of the school, overlooking the Sports Hall
|At the top of the school,
looking along the top corridor and down the main corridor
|From the top corridor,
overlooking the Reception Area
|From the top corridor,
overlooking the Reception Area/Cafeteria Area
|Looking along the outside
Development of the New City
(as at 28th August)
Farewell to Willesden High
School on July 19th
Cover and Ticket
exercise in the Quad!
|Final Day - David Swayne
I went to the final day
of the School on Saturday 19th July 2003.
I would never have believed way back in 1959 that one day I would be
parking my car in the Quad. But that is indeed what I did-no longer
of course a Quad as there are only two walls there now and the playing
area had been extended towards the fields. I gained access from
I also never thought I would be drinking booze on School premises but
that's what I did-bottles of Stella or Becks for £1. Poor old Doc
Roberts must have been turning in his grave.
I never went all round the school again, having done so a few weeks ago.
There were displays of photos, registers etc in a corridor in the 'new'
buildings and video shows in the 'new' hall but I ended up spending most
of my time in the 'Quad' or in the canteen part of what used to be our
hall. In the other part of our hall was a free juke box with music
spanning the decades and later on people were dancing, but not I think our
Those of us who bought a ticket got a name badge with the years we were
there on it, a brochure, a list of attendees and a ticket for a free
drink. There were about 100 on the list of known attendees.
Others who had not paid were admitted but did not of course get a free
drink or the buffet.
There was a fair spread of ages and many times someone would look at my
badge and say 'oh no, too young'. There was a gentleman there with
his daughter who had both attended WCGS. He had attended in the
early thirties and his daughter, Judith Summers, was in our (my) year.
Obviously there were
many far younger and mostly from different cultures.
Sadly only 5 from my year-besides Judith and myself were Brian
'Mastermind' Wright, and from my class, Pete Moss and Richard Willey.
This was good from my point of view as I had not seen the last two since
1964 and they hadn't seen each other since the sixties. Judith and
Brian of course attend 'school' functions regularly.
The only teacher we knew was Brian Gurden-also a regular attendee.
The only person from the year below was Rosemary Young, but there were a
few from two below. The year above had Tony Skellett (sorry Colin-sans
camcorder as far as I could see) and the perennial Lesley Wills. One
thing I picked up on was that some time ago, our beloved pink rinse Mrs
Halliday fell down the stairs whilst pickled and died.
There was a friendly type gathering in the Quad in the shadow of the
Academy, and then the school bell rang-yes it sounded just the same-for
the buffet. This was served in the canteen in our hall and consisted
mostly of ethnic type food-West Indian and Indian. I am fine with
some WI food but not Indian and it was quite hot-the weather and the
food-and Rosemary kindly obtained some water and beers for myself and her
husband. Whilst eating I saw Pete and Richard in the food queue and
we arranged to meet later. Lesley
Wills then sat opposite me with a girl from Mr Kilgour's year, who showed
me a photo of Colin and some others on the school trip to I think Germany?
Sorry Colin I never got her name and I asked Lesley and she didn't know
either. Sorry, Roger - she didn't know you.
I then went and sat with Pete and Richard who were a few seats down from
me and then the bell went again for the speeches in the new 'hall', which
we decided not to bother with. We actually sat there sipping beer for
ages-both said they were going early as Pete lives in Dorset and Richard
in Colchester but suddenly the bell kept ringing again and again and again
and then the deputy head said 'five minutes to finish our drinks' and we
looked at our watches and lo and behold it was 5 to 10.
And that was it-we were ushered out-they had parked in Doyle but I was in
the Quad (Incidentally 5Y-they are in favour of a class reunion).
I then drove out into Uffington and then into Doyle and drove past the
School turning around at Furness Road and heading back for one final drive
Now as we part and go our separate ways etc...I wonder if WHS ever sang
the school hymn?
Development of the New City
(as at 15th May)
Plus other views of the old quad and old
school from the field
by Sophie Ward (Willesden Observer July 2002)
and Derek Hook
(Old Uffs 1958-63)