East Ham school celebrates 100 years of success
PUBLISHED: 16:22 16 June 2015 | UPDATED: 16:22 16 June 2015
Brampton Primary School has marked its 100th birthday with historic exhibitions and a party for past and present pupils and staff.
The school, which counts Dame Vera Lynn among its past pupils, held its Centenary Community Celebration Event on Saturday, featuring musical performances and the reading of a letter of congratulations from the Queen.
And though East Ham-born Dame Vera was unable to attend, the 98-year-old sent a congratulatory text message which was read out.
In it she recalled what a “great place” the Masterman Road school had been to begin her music career.
She credited the choir, of which she was a member, with her success, claiming that it set her up for her wartime career boosting the nation’s morale with hits like There’ll always be an England.
Brampton Primary School centenary
Pupils in a flute lesson back in 1957 (Pic by Newham Archives and Local Studies Centre)
Brampton Primary 2
Brampton Primary School pupils in 1962 (Pic by Newham Archives and Local Studies Centre)
The school grounds in 1971. (Pic by Newham Archives and Local Studies Centre)
The entrance to the East Ham school in 1971 (Pic by Newham Archives and Local Studies Centre)
Brampton Primary 1
A school diary from 1915, the year Brampton Primary School opened
Head teacher Kevin Reid, 53, said he felt privileged to be present at such an important moment of the school’s history.
“I first came here in 2009 and I just fell in love with it – it’s a beautiful building and everybody’s so friendly,” he said. “I came here because I wanted a challenge and I wanted to work in a diverse area with lots of different cultures.
“I work with fantastic staff and it’s a wonderful local community – I absolutely love it here and I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”
Celebrations, which ran from noon until 4pm, focused on the school’s history, with year groups exploring different decades in exhibitions.
Displays featuring pupils’ drawings of musicians and fashion that defined each era were complemented by historic items – including a school diary from the year it opened.
Kevin said that of particular interest to his pupils was the Second World War, during which East Ham suffered heavy damage from incendiary bombs.
“It’s quite moving to think what the school’s been through,” he said.
As well as historical exhibitions, there was a mini market, dancing workshops by Deborah Day Dance School and the chance to learn circus skills.
Former pupil and author of the Young Sherlock Holmes series, Andy Lane, also attended the celebration, to complement the five days of writing workshops he had provided for pupils earlier this month.
Musical performances, which included the school band’s brass renditions of retrospective songs and Newham Super Choir were enjoyed alongside refreshments and face-painting.
The school’s head governor Kevin Jenkins, 56, praised the school, saying that the anniversary signified its strength and durability.
“It’s a tremendous achievement,” he said. “Today was a chance to celebrate what the school has done for the area and what the area has done for the school.
“This is a good community school with good standards and results and it’s a place where the kids are happy. I’ve been a governor for 25 years and I sent my children to this school. I stayed in the area because I believe in the area.”
Historic photographs used with permission from the Archives and Local Studies Centre, Stratford Library.. Visit newhamphotos.com for more pictures or see newhamstory.com for more information. Contact the centre on 020 3373 6881, email email@example.com or visit at Stratford Library, The Grove, Stratford, E15 1EL on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays but be sure to phone ahead first.