Laburnum School ReunionPosted: October 1, 2002
The Save Laburnum School Campaign organised a reunion for ex-pupils on 27th September. The reunion started in the school hall where many old friends met up along with current teachers, staff and community activists.
Event organiser Peter Sutton read out e-mails of support from those who have moved away from the area and so could not attend but wanted their support to be recorded. Typical examples were:
“Sorry to hear that they want to get rid of the old school,but I live in Australia and will be unable to attend so sorry about that, the school has to be Heritage Listed, I went there as a child way back in the 1950’s, Anyway I do wish you all success and hope that they relent, Regards Ken Bywater Perth Australia”, and
“I am very saddened and upset to hear of Hackney Council’s decision to close Laburnum School, I only just heard about it the other day and thought it was a mistake, then I recieved your e-mail so it must be true. I went to laburnum from 1973 – 1979, and I remember those days there to be happy and very memorable.
“I wish you all well in your efforts to save a great school from impending closure; and I hope that once the council sees how important this local school is to the community, I remember my days at Laburnum as some of the happiest and I could almost guarantee that other’s did too. Rod Rothwell”
Candidate for Mayor of Hackney, Terry Edwards spoke to the reunion. He said “I went to Laburnum School as did my brothers and we got a good education here.” After reminiscing about the school Terry spoke briefly about the Council’s mismanagement of the Borough and his Mayoral campaign. Terry pledged “If I am elected Mayor of Hackney, Laburnum School will not close.”
Some ex-pupils wanted to look around, others were interested in catching up with old friends – but all were determined to fight to keep the school open. Charlie Sandbridge, 65, who now lives in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex and left Laburnum School in 1949. “Towards the end of the War, German planes came overhead shooting their guns at us. Teachers told us to get back inside. We survived German planes and we can fight off this Council’s plans to close our old school.” Dominic Bergonzi, 44 formerly of St Mary’s estate and now living in Waltham Abbey “The Council are breaking down the fabric by selling off its silverware – its schools”
A group of girls from Haggerston School attended – who had all left Laburnum in the last few years and were keen to show their support for the school. As the photo below shows they were also interested to hear about the old days at Laburnum School.
The evening ended with a social in the Old King John’s Head attended by ex-pupils, current parents and a number of school support staff.