Appeal for help to rebuild Littlegarth school’s archive in time for 75th anniversary
- Credit: Archant
Staff at an independent school due to celebrate its 75th anniversary next year are appealing to former pupils and parents to help fill in the gaps in the establishment’s varied history.
Littlegarth School was established with just three pupils in January 1940 by Barbara Erith and Betty Mallett in a small house in Dedham High Street.
It soon moved to the Hewitt Hall in Dedham, where it shared facilities with other village groups. As the Second World War ran its course, numbers grew to around 35, including several evacuees.
Then in 1994, Littlegarth moved to its current home at Horkesley Park, Nayland in a big house that had previously been used as a probation hostel.
When the school first occupied the building, important archive information was stored in the cellar for safe keeping. This proved a big mistake when the cellar flooded and important archive records were destroyed.
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Now 75 years on, the 300 students who attend Littlegarth School - which is now a charitable trust - are keen to collect as much historic information and memorabilia as possible to help with their anniversary activities and celebrations.
Headteacher Peter Jones said: “As we plan to celebrate our 75th anniversary from January 2015, we would like to reach out to former pupils of Littlegarth in the hope that we can restore an archive of information and artefacts that will help our children understand the history of the school.
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“We have one prospectus from 1975 and another one from the 1980s. We were also lucky enough to be given some film footage of sports day in 1949 by a lady who was a former pupil.
“The children of Littlegarth are keen to build on their knowledge of the history of the school during this very special celebratory year and would appreciate any help that can be provided.”
Anyone with information including stories, photos and archive material is asked to contact Mr Jones on 01206 262332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Panel to go with oak pic:
Horkesley Park itself is steeped in history. Once a Royal Hunting Lodge in the 12th and 13th centuries, it is said that King John planted an oak tree in the grounds between 1204 and 1215.
The tree – known as King John’s Oak – weathered storms for more than 700 years before it blew down on January 6, 1928.
In 2005, the Year 6 Littlegarth School leavers planted an oak tree near the spot where King John’s Oak once stood and this now stands in the sports field and is known by the children as ‘King John’s Oak’.