Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham School for Boys – New Cross, South London

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The school in New Cross in South London that I attended from 1955-62. It had been an endowed Grammar School built in the late 19th Century by the Haberdashers’ Company of the City of London (The Haberdashers’ Company was one of the many City Livery Companies which controlled the trade of the City – like the Guilds in other places). Such schools were commonplace in British Towns and Cities in the early 20th Century but most were absorbed into the Comprehensive secondary school system created in the mid-1960s. Teresa May as the new British Prime Minister is planning to allow the creation of new Grammar Schools in places where there is parental demand. But the introduction of state funded schools that select out the more academically successful children will inevitably lead to an impoverishment of the other non selective schools in the area. This photograph of one of the main blocks of the school was taken in 2015 but it remains much as it was in my day – indeed my first form classroom was the one with the windows on the first floor to the immediate left of the tower.

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