First days of school where wreck­ing ball looms

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Housing Report -

Another new year and another Re­mem­ber When – the very first of Jan­uary 2014. I very much look for­ward to con­tinue re­veal­ing the very best from my col­lec­tion in the com­ing year, and very much wel­come the chance to re­ceive more ma­te­rial – not just for the Re­mem­ber When col­umn, but also to fea­ture in fur­ther pic­to­rial his­tory books about the town of Ash­ford that I have in the pipe­line.

Seven books al­ready and there is no stop­ping me!

Back to this week’s Re­mem­ber When, for which I would like to ap­peal for in­for­ma­tion – in par­tic­u­lar names of the in­di­vid­u­als fea­tured in th­ese rare staff pic­tures from the very early days at By­brook In­fants School, Ken­ning­ton.

Sadly, the school’s orig­i­nal head­mas­ter, Don­ald Sa­muel, died re­cently. Oth­er­wise, you could al­most guar­an­tee that he would have iden­ti­fied each and ev­ery per­son in the pic­tures – even though he was well into his 80s when he passed away.

De­mo­li­tion is im­mi­nent at the site of the for­mer By­brook In­fants School, lat­terly named Phoenix Com­mu­nity Pri­mary School.

The site in By­brook Road has been ear­marked for re­de­vel­op­ment for sev­eral years now, and the for­mer school build­ings have been heav­ily van­dalised and stand derelict. It’s very sad in­deed for those of us (in­clud­ing my­self) who at­tended the school be­tween 1964 and 2008.

The pic­tures fea­tured this week are from the 1960s. Al­though one or two faces are fa­mil­iar, oth­ers re­main uniden­ti­fied with­out Don­ald Sa­muel’s as­sis­tance.

Please con­tact me us­ing the de­tails on this page if you can of­fer as­sis­tance with names or even recog­nise your­self. Your help would be very much ap­pre­ci­ated.

Have you got any pic­tures, neg­a­tives or colour slides, in par­tic­u­lar from the past hun­dred years, that you would be will­ing to share with read­ers? Send them with brief de­tails, to Steve Sal­ter, Ken­tish Ex­press Re­mem­ber When, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, Kent, TN24 8JR, or by email to, re­mem­ber­when_k­mash@ hot­mail.co.uk. Or you can send me a Tweet on Twit­ter @ SteveKMAsh­ford.

Please sup­ply an ad­dress for the re­turn of orig­i­nals.

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