Woolwich & Districts
(Brown School) now Plumstead Manor
Notice the Brown girls School (now Plumstead Manor) in Old Mill
Road. Photo: Derek Crompton.
(Click on photo for a larger view)
Plumstead the grammar school for girls was Kings Warren, or
The Brown School, because their uniform was brown. Seen here
in this 1940 photo.
man with the white coat and hand cart was the milkman, standing
in Warwick Terrace where the 53 bus route started. But, what
was the name of (?) Place, (bombed in WW2, I remember pre-fabs
being there) the corner the pub is on?
of Childhoog by Alan West
in the 1920s 30s and 40s by Iris Gildon (nee Hannaford)
of Plumstead Common and King's Warren School - Sheila Andrews
King’s Warren Grammar School. c.1955. Photo: Rita Ashby
at King’s Warren School in January 1937. The headmistress
was then Miss Lillian Summers, whose super high class tones,
when addressing the assembled school I found quite unbelievable.
I was three months behind the rest of my year, who had started
in September (I had been in hospital) and they had had time
to get used to it. Had the term “you cannot be serious”
been coined at that time, I should have used it, but just had
to think it.
was very strict. Dark brown gym slip with beige blouse in winter,
with dark brown woollen stockings with double sections at the
knees for hard wear. Summer was beige dresses, blazers if you
could afford it – so I didn’t get mine until 1938
– and beige lisle stockings which my brother referred
to as my “Old Mother Riley's” (O.M.R's for short).
Nowadays it would be Norah Batty's. The school had been the
County Secondary School Plumstead, thus the school motto (CSSP)
was Courage, Service, Sympathy and Patriotism. They celebrated
the twenty fifth anniversary of the move to the Old Mill Road
site while I was there. We paraded to St Mark’s Church
behind the school banner (embroidered by the botany mistress,
Miss Spratt, I believe). Even cream gloves were mandatory with
the uniform on this occasion. Afterwards we had cakes and ICE
CREAM with tinned pineapple in the gym. As only shops had refrigerators
in those days, this rumour caused a sensation in the ranks,
bordering on disbelief until it actually materialised. Heaven
only knows what the present pupils of Plumstead Manor would
make of all this. 1938 was quite a different world. It is strange
that even as little as a decade requires explanation to those
who have not lived through it.
to have prayers every morning and the school keeper would attend
in his uniform looking very smart. He was of mature years, and
one morning he was accompanied by a tall, dark and handsome
young man who was his new assistant. I was down the front in
1b at the time. During proceedings my friend Audrey grabbed
my arm and said “Oh Sheila, I do feel weird” and
promptly collapsed on me. I was hanging on to her with chairs
shooting about in all directions, when the young man stepped
forward, gathered Audrey up and carried her to the sick room
in a positively Douglas Fairbanks fashion. When she recovered
and came back to class rather grey looking, she asked me what
had happened. I reported on proceedings and Audrey was aghast.
“Whatever happened to my skirt?” said she, with
a vision of the dreaded brown bloomers, suspenders and brown
stockings on full view. But I was able to assure her that he
had done the job properly and secured her skirt with his arm.
“Did he?” said Audrey, brightening up immediately.
morning there were no less than three young ladies, higher up
the school who succumbed to an attack of the vapours, and the
young man had his work cut out to deal with the situation. Miss
Summers took immediate action and by the very next morning he
had been transferred to the Roan Boys, and the health of her
pupils took an upturn, and life was no longer exciting. Spoil
Warren became an Ambulance Station and a Fire Station, but a
bomb destroyed half of it, though it was rebuilt after the war,
and “you can’t see the join.” In 1940 the
party walls of the houses in Warwick Terrace remained standing
and it looked like a toast rack, with just rubble where the
toast should have been.'
Extracts from story; Memories
of Plumstead Common and King's Warren School' by Sheila