Pictures of the Old School before it Disappears

Probably the last photographs to be taken before the old school is demolished. These were taken by Mrs Tracy Waller, the school’s Administration Officer, in early June 2014. Only the main hall is currently in use for GCSEs and A levels and you can see the sad state the rest of the buildings are in. Please find extracts from a letter from Ralph Lane explaining how the photographs came to be taken.

Yesterday I (Doug Murgatroyd some time ago) got a most unexpected telephone call from Vaughan Webber. He was at the School from 1961 to 1968, and taught there in the late 1970’s – early 1980’s. He paid a flying visit there about two weeks ago and quite by chance met Tracey Waller, the marketing manageress of the school. She was at that time based in the main office of the old building, because examinations were actually going on in the hall.

I had spoken at some length with Mrs Waller a couple of weeks earlier, and she had promised to try to take some photos of the old place and send them to me. Well, between that conversation and Vaughan’s visit, she had indeed taken the photographs. She showed them to him and subsequently emailed them to him. It was that, among other things that he phoned me about. He has since emailed all the thirty photos to me.

In due course I shall email them to you for the Old Cicestrians website. I shall also upload them to Facebook Old Cicestrians; and I shall email Mrs Waller, whom I shall presumably never get to meet, to thank her for her time and trouble to say she need not now email them to me. The buildings may stand for a bit longer, but apart from the examinations in the hall they are out of use and as soon as the land passes out of school ownership nobody will be allowed near them. Mrs Waller’s photographs even show wire fencing around the air raid shelters. It had not been there on my last visit in 2009. The “Dutch” quadrangle is also woefully overgrown compared with my 2009 shots.

Her photographs are undoubtedly of good quality and I think it is fair to say that some of them add to the interest of others already posted. I wondered about the one of blue curtains until I realised she had taken to heart my whimsical remark about old iron radiators.

Vaughan mused on whether any more recent school leavers show interest in alumni affairs. My wife commented that recent leavers tend to want to move forward in life as quickly as possible; at least, that is what they think they are doing; only years down the line does there arise a taste for recreational nostalgia.