Tag Archives: Star School

1966 : Star School – name is the same as a pub

The name’s the same as a pub

THE Star Junior and Infants’ Schools, Church Road, Mitcham, may be renamed — because the name also refers to a public house opposite.

Merton Council’s Primary Education Sub-Committee have recommended that the new name be the Benedict Junior and Infants’ School.

At a meeting on Monday Coun. R. A. Spalding moved that the recommendation be referred back.

He said : “I can see a case for changing the name but I’m not in favour of calling it Benedict. I would like to see it changed to the original name of the Lower Mitcham School. Benedict has a connection with monks.”

Coun. H. J. Clack, chairman, said : “The Star refers to a public house. We preferred the connection to be with monks rather than a public house.” The motion was defeated.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 14th January, 1966, page 1.

The school is currently known as Benedict Primary School. The Star pub was demolished in 2003.

1926 : Lower Mitcham Schoolboys’ Novel Jazz Band at Christmas


Schoolboys’ Novel Jazz Band.

“The Bath Road Symphony,” a musical medley descriptive of life in one of the poorest quarters of Mitcham, London, was publicly performed for the first time by Lower Mitcham schoolboys, whose instruments were made up of things found in the dustmen’s carts.

The boys were dressed as dustmen, and the instruments were old saucepans, knives and forks, combs, biscuit tins, pieces of bamboo, curtain rods cut into the form whistles, glass jam jars, and a bass drum made out of galvanised iron bath.

For Christmas Gifts.

The youthful conductor beat time with soup ladle, and, it is said, really excellent music was produced from the extraordinary assortment of instruments. The medley was arranged by Mr H. C. Toller, one of the masters.

Mr F. C. Stone, the headmaster, arranged the concert to provide Christmas cheer for the 350 boys school, of whom, he said, had never received a Christmas present in their lives.

In addition to the symphony orchestra, there was a boys’ mouth organ band, which played popular songs like experts, and bone duets by other boys.

Source: Dundee Evening Telegraph – Thursday 16 December 1926 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Mr Noakes

Mr. Noakes was a teacher at the Lower Mitcham School, possibly 1920s to 1930s.

Arthur, pupil in the school from 1927 to 1933, said:

I was dared by others in Mr Noakes’s class one day to throw a wad of blotting paper, full of ink, at him. I used a ruler to flick it to him while he was writing on the blackboard and so facing away from the class. As I let go, someone yelled out, and Mr Noakes turned round. The blotting paper hit him right in the mooi (face). He therefore saw who had aimed this at him!

He ordered me to go and see the other four teachers and get three strokes of the cane from each of them. Actually the fourth teacher asked how many strokes I had had before him. I said nine, and so he let me off, saying that nine was enough.
Even so, it made me think twice before I did that again.

His nickname was ‘Blue Dot’, as he had a blue dot on the side of his face, from a war injury.

Mr Shaddock

Mr. Shaddock was a teacher at the Lower Mitcham School, possibly 1920s to 1930s.

Arthur, a pupil in the school from 1927 to 1933, said:

Mr Shaddock was a teacher who smacked our faces if we did anything wrong. If you were good and he thought you were okay, he would take you to the speedway at Wimbledon which cost 6d. each to go in. He would take about six of you at a time.

Some Wednesdays we had sparring boxing with him, until one day when Freddy Stevens hit Mr Shaddock hard on the nose, and made it bleed. He packed it up after that!