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A history of the Greenwich Blue Coat Schools

1700 ~ 2014
Home Greenwich Blue Coat School 1700 St John's National School Blackheath & Kidbrooke School Blackheath Bluecoat School School Archives Contact Home Greenwich Blue Coat School 1700 St John's National School Blackheath & Kidbrooke School Blackheath Bluecoat School School Archives Contact Blackheath & Kidbrook National Church of England Schools 1911

The new schools in Old Dover Road were opened by the Bishop of Southwark, Dr Talbot, on 6th April 1911. In one of his last official engagements before being translated to Winchester. The Bishop dedicated the new buildings and together with his wife received purses of money towards the £1500 which still needed to be raised. The new school was built on land donated by Sir Spencer Maryon Wilson adjoining the old St John’s School.

A few weeks earlier the first foundation managers were appointed. The Vicar of St. John’s, now the Rev’d A. C. Macnutt, was ex officio, and the other three were Mr Charles Stone, The Rev’d J. W. Morris (Rector of Kidbrook) and Mr William Fawcett.  On the 21st April the managers appointed a new Head Master of the Boy’s School, Mr A. R. Hartridge from a field of 30 candidates, while the Head Mistresses of the Girls and Infants departments remained the same. (Miss Dorrington and Miss Durston). They also appointed Mr William Judd, who lived at 5 Russell Place, to be the Caretaker of the schools and Mr Bromfield Brough, who represented Greenwich Council, to be the Hon. Correspondent. Mr C. V. Creagh C.M.G. was appointed as representative manager by the L.C.C. The ex Vicar of St John’s, Canon Marshal, who had led the project to build the new schools, had since become the Archdeacon of Lewisham.

The manager’s minutes record interesting developments in local education. On 17th September 1912 the managers record that they had received a Statutory Notice from the L.C.C. announcing their intention of providing an additional Public Elementary School for about 768 children on a site adjoining the Sherington Road School. A couple of months later another Statutory Notice was received announcing that it was proposed to provide a new Public Elementary School in Charlton Road, to be known as “Our Lady of Grace R.C. School” for about 300 children. It is a sign of the times that the managers were concerned that there might not be enough Roman Catholic Children to fill the school and that “children of protestant denominations would be sent there.”

The schools continued successfully with boys, girls and infants departments and still operated normally through the second world war. In 1947 the War Memorial Trust, which had taken over the old St John’s School buildings, leased the Boys’ Brigade Hall and small hall back to the school for daytime use. In 1956 the admission of infants ceased and the school moved towards becoming a two form entry mixed secondary school. The L.C.C. Had proposed the amalgamation of the school with the Girls’ Blue Coat School in Greenwich in 1945 and in 1957 discussions began between the two governing bodies. On the 7th September 1959 the new amalgamated school open on the Blackheath & Kidbrook site as Blackheath & Bluecoat School.

The 2nd West Kent Company of the Boys’ Brigade set up their headquarters in the old St John’s Schools. The company had been founded in 1894 and had paraded regularly in St John’s Mission Hall in Furzefield Road and had drill  competitions at Invicta School.

Later, in 1940, a new Hall

was opened on the old school site,

as a memorial to the 31 boys from

the company who died in the first

world war. The hall was severely

damaged by a V1 ‘flying bomb’

in 1944.



Pupil memories of Blackheath & Kidbrook School Click here . . .

Blackheath & Kidbrook Schools - Pupil Memories