Paragon School, Searles Road


Now converted into luxury flats!

The following account was found in "Walworth 1929-1939 by L J Carter ":

In 1872 Chief Inspectorate of Schools described Southwark as 'an educational desert: the people were degraded, the streets dirty and unswept, houses had little or no accomodation, refuse was thrown out of the windows into the streets and teachers were hooted and had refuse hurled at them' . Most real education was undertaken in Nat.Schools, but the clergy controlled both the religious and educational life of the country, founding schools wherever possible. By 1900, Southwark had 44 such schools. Often parents saw no relevance between the education a child received and real life. . .Prize giving had overtones of Trooping the Colour: held on Empire Day, May 24, it was renamed Commonwealth Day in 1936, pupils receiving a half day holiday. There were tests and exams half yearly, but also weekly marks, with names being moved up and down on a board accordingly.. Flint Street School had snow fights with the boys at the Church of the English Martyr, colloquially known as 'the ripe tomatoes'.[ So, Frank's father must have decided the teaching at the Paragon was superior to that of the school of the English Martyr.]. The Paragon opened 21/03/1900 ,with its head paid £26 per year: there was no hot water & no indoor sanitation. Mr Samuel Robert Goymour was its headmaster from 1900-1925, followed by Oliver Cornelius Foden [ so Frank would have known them both] .The Paragon's School song was: 'We know not what the future years For us may hold But what we can at present store May prove worth more than gold. So as the moments fly - a - long Let's knowledge gain, with effort strong. Paragon tip - top Strive for this without a stop From good to better then to best Are steps to take without a rest . Paragon tip - top, Paragon tip - top'. . . The school badge was a simple, gold 'P', worn on a 'pimple' [cap] or on the breast of a coat. The school enjoyed a good reputation, with good teachers and was turning out boys of a fair standard. . Two of its most popular hymns were 'Lead us heavenly Father lead us' & 'Blessed are the pure in heaven'. School milk existed in third of a pint bottles - probably had to be paid for.

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paragon-outside . paragon-children

Outside of the Paragon in 1890: this would have been demolished to build the school that opened in 1900. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Class in 1910

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