Macaulay Primary School

Not my first primary school, but certainly the only one I really remember. It was split across two sites, the lower school being more or less opposite the block of flats where I lived. In fact this picture was taken from outside Clarke House. The upper school was a short walk away and had no playground - we played on Clapham Common, and here is the photo. We were a C of E school and the church you can see in this photo is the Holy Trinity and we had our assembly there every Friday morning. A few years ago the upper school was converted into a luxury house. When it went onto the market in 2003 one ad described it like this:

Behind this attractive but simple exterior lies an exceptional house, beautifully created by the artist owner to provide dramatic and yet hugely practical living space. The building materials themselves have intrinsic decorative qualities - limestone, marble and stainless steel softened by cherry and maple timber - and the use of double height windows increases the airy and elegant atmosphere of the property. Great care has been paid to the detail of the works, which include the provision of a sound proofed cinema, audio visual cabling, security system and a fully equipped Italian Dada kitchen. Macaulay Road lies beside Clapham Common and the landmark Holy Trinity Church. Clapham Old Town, with its interesting history as an escape from the noise and bustle of Georgian London, now enjoys an excellent selection of shops, wine bars, restaurants and a good local cinema. The local underground station provides services to central London. Freehold.


price: 3,000,000; freehold

COR! When I were a lad (back in the days of dinosaurs) there were 3 classrooms, a small library with the staffroom behind, boys and girls toilets, a cloakromm and the headmistress' office (I have just seen that Miss Varndell, my headmistress, died in Dec 2006 aged 97yrs 11mths). Actually I'm not sure what I found more shocking; the price tag or the description of Clapham! How times change. I took this photo during the conversion. I managed to have a look inside but it was just an empty shell. Quite sad really.
To show what rebels we boys were, we used to chew gum in class!!! The girls called us something like the "bubblegum merchants". Eat your hearts out hooodies and gangstas. Also recall that us boys had a sort of gang (all very innocent). As we (me especially) were all great readers of DC Comics we called ourselves the Justice League and took on the names of the JLA. For a while I was Flash; which must have been an early incarnation of post-modern irony as I was quite a fat chap at the time.

Anyway, here are the names that I remember:

    Derek McNeil
    My best friend when we were 10/11 years old. Went to different secondary schools and lost touch.
    Keith Collyer
    Keith and I have swapped a few emails but have yet to meet up. We were friends beyond primary school, we both joined the Boys Brigade (it seemed a good trade at the time - a Thursday evening for games, etc in exchange for a bit of church and marching on a Sunday morning. Plus the leader's daughter was lovely!). I'm fairly certain that Keith and I went to camp together near Chideok. Unlike going camping with the scouts the Boys' Brigade camps were more like a holiday with no organised activities, other than a sports day. I just remembered that I ran bare foot and still managed to be fairly quick.
    Gary Ransome
    Son of the reception class teacher, I think. We were friends in the early years.
    Kay Denny
    As she was a girl, and I was only 10, we weren't really friends. The reason her name sticks in my memory is because I used her name once when I was in trouble. Let me explain; I had used a particular Anglo-Saxon expletive only to be told by an aunt(?) that it was "the worst swear word in the world!". So obviously I had to tell my friends. Either I wrote it down or one of them did, but the upshot was that a teacher discovered the note. When questioned about the note this friend immediately confessed that I had told him the word. The teacher let it be known that he would be having words with me. I was scared! I immediately went into defensive mode and tried to think of excuses. The two options I came up with were:
    1. Fighter Uran Calling Kevin; or
    2. If you see Kay ...
    Neither very plausible but I was only 10. Needless to say the teacher never mentioned it. Silence can be a very powerful weapon!
    Robert Roberts
    My only memory is that he was a friend. Basically you don't forget someone with a name like that.
    Julia Lister
    We were friends in the last year so were 10/11 years old. Not sure whether I was a bad influence on her or her on me - we played cat's cradle during prize-giving.
    Linda Hogarth
    Her dad was Bill Hogarth who was the General Secretary of the National Union of Seamen. Although we were at Macaulay together I'm fairly certain that we were friends when we were around the 13/14 yrs old. We were in the same crowd of kids who hung around in Grafton Square (there was me, Colin, Owen, Linda, Mary Bentley, Keith Collyer, and a few others I cannot recall)
    Geoffrey Levy
    The cleverest pupil in the school. Also probably the poshest (see, there are my working class roots showing).
    Mary Bentley
    Although I don't really remember her, in a way I do! At some point in the past I swapped emails with Linda Hogarth and she mentioned that she and Mary were good friends and hung around with us in Grafton Square. And then I sort of remembered that there was always another girl with Linda. Sorry Mary.
    Christine Cantello
    Absolutely no memory of Christine at all, however 2 or 3 years ago I was in a meeting with some guys from Oracle, one of whom had the surname Cantello. I asked whether he was related to Christine and he said he was. But as he didn't reply terribly positively I let it go with a "Say hello from me".
    Marilyn Rowbotham
    Due to the way classes were in Macaulay, Marilyn and I were in Mr Stephenson's class together despite her being a year older than me (if not an actual year older then in the year above). Marilyn almost lived opposite the lower school as well. I do have a very vivid memory of Marilyn but in deference to her now being a respected pillar of the community (a magistrate) I'll not publicise it. Just remember that we were about 9 years old at the time so it was all very innocent (blimey! it was 1960-61)
    Jackie Longdon
    Have swapped a few emails with Jackie recently. Initially I couldn't remember her but something she said in her mail made me think "Ah yes! I sort of remember her now", albeit very vaguely - well it was a v-e-r-y long time ago.

Other pages you can visit, assuming you can stand the excitement: