Friday, 7 May 2010

Visiting My Old School

I'm rather stiff and tired after a long and busy day in London yesterday. It began at 7:30 when I went to the polling station to vote. In the end I decided to stick to voting for the people I know, which happen to be the Labour candidates, Michael Foster for MP and Jeremy Birch for Councillor. The trouble with a PR system it seems to me would be getting to know all the other candidates so that one could make a considered choice, rather than making a vote purely on the party line, not knowing what the individual candidates were like, never having met them.

The main reason for going to London was for the chance to look round the bulding that used to be St Olaves Grammar School which I attended from 1951 to 58. It proved to be somewhat dispiriting to see it in it's current condition. It is now owned by a property company, Berkley Homes, and there are plans to convert it into a hotel. The playground at the back has been dug up, the exit to that area having been bricked up, and a wing where the art classes were held has been demolished. All the rooms were empty of furniture and decorations, so it was really rather sad to see. The photo is of the assembly hall. The white spots are probably reflections of the flash from specks of dust in the air.

Some parties of boys from the new school in Orpington also came to see the building, but they seem to have had very little time to see anything, and I doubt if they learnt much from the experience. Some of the Old Olavians who were taking them round seemed to me to be spinning them tall tales, and reliving their childhood conflicts with the headmaster, Dr Carrington, rather than explaining anything of genuine historical interest.

There was to be a Commemoration Service in Southwark Cathedral from 2pm, but since it was such a lovely sunny day I couldn't face the dark interior of another building and instead took a trip on the river-bus down to Greenwich, which like to visit at least once a year. More on that perhaps in a separate diary entry.

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