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Raglan Primary School opens its doors for 125th birthday bash

PUBLISHED: 12:17 04 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:17 04 October 2016

Mrs Hickman's class in 1974

Mrs Hickman's class in 1974

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A special reunion event for former staff and pupils will be held on Friday, November 4

Raglan's senior boys school in 1902 Raglan's senior boys school in 1902

A Bromley primary school that has stood the test of time throughout two world wars will be celebrating its 125th birthday in a special reunion event.

Raglan Primary School, which opened in October 1891, will be hosting a whole week of events celebrating its Victorian heritage and unique history.

First aid training in the playground in 1915 First aid training in the playground in 1915

And with David Bowie being a former pupil in the 1950s, the 125-year-old primary school is hoping to attract a diverse mix of ex-students and staff on its reunion night on Friday, November 4.

Carol Burgess, who has been teaching at the school since January 2001, decided to organise the event to “reach out into the community and say thank you”.

Raising money for charity in 1988 Raising money for charity in 1988

“We’ve set up a reunion night because we are 125 years old and there are a few members of staff that have worked here for a long time.

“The school has a history of reaching out into the community and although in recent years there have been so many changes in how we deliver education, our big community ethos still stays the same.

“We will have a week long celebration in school, where there will be a special museum set up in a classroom displaying things like old school photos, behaviour books and a Raglan in the war exhibition.

“On the reunion evening there will be cheese and wine in the school hall and guests will have the opportunity to go into the museum to look at old school photos and see if they recognise themselves.”

Bruce Robertson, who has worked at the school since 1993, is one of Raglan’s long serving teachers.

“There are so many unusual Victorian features about the school and it has a great Victorian atmosphere.

“I left the school and came back after a year - it is a lovely community and I just feel that Raglan is something that needs to be treasured.

“We have no idea who could turn up on the evening, and we would like as many people as we can get from years ago so they can all enjoy this special night.”

The school first opened its doors shortly after the 1870 Education Act came in, which made education compulsary for all children in England and Wales. At this time there was also a population boom in Bromley due to the expansion of the railway lines into London and lots of newly settled families, so a decision was made in 1888 to build two new schools - one being Raglan. In those days the site had an infant, junior and senior boys and girls school.

Throughout the years the school would then see three teachers volunteer for active service on the outbreak of World War One in 1914. Although Raglan was not physically affected by the war due to the action taking place in the trenches of Europe, there were casualties among the parents and adults of the local community.

Air-raid shelters were later built during the Second World War, where in August 1940 Raglan witnessed the first air-raid during school time. From this date until June 1941, there were about 120 raids during school hours - where children sometimes had to eat their lunch undercover. By the end of July 1944, 93 children had been evacuated followed by a further 71 later in August.

If you are a former staff member or student of Raglan Primary school and wish to attend the reunion event contact Carol Burgess on cburgess.305@lgflmail.org or 020 8460 6558.

Any ex-pupils should have attended the school prior to 2010. The night will commence at 7pm in the main school hall.

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