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Academy demolishes 114-year-old school building

PUBLISHED: 06:00 30 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:02 30 August 2020

A 114-year-old school in Great Yarmouth is being demolished. Picture: Courtesy of Tammy Dexter and Richard Whiting.

A 114-year-old school in Great Yarmouth is being demolished. Picture: Courtesy of Tammy Dexter and Richard Whiting.

Archant

Some 114 years of history in Great Yarmouth have been vanishing as an old school faces demolition - prompting former pupils to share their memories.

A 114-year-old school in Great Yarmouth is being demolished. Picture: Courtesy of Tammy Dexter.A 114-year-old school in Great Yarmouth is being demolished. Picture: Courtesy of Tammy Dexter.

Two buildings, part of the original Edward Worlledge School built in 1906, off Lichfield Road in Southtown, have recently been sold by the neighbouring East Coast College, which had taken over the site in 1953.

Tom Bright, projects manager at the college, said the properties were surplus to the college’s requirements, with one sold to a local building company, Hammond’s, and the other to the adjoining Edward Worlledge Ormiston Academy.

A spokesperson for the academy said: “Earlier this year we acquired a redundant and derelict single-storey building adjacent to the school site.

“We then gained appropriate authority to remove it so that we can create additional outdoor learning and playing space there for our pupils’ benefit. We anticipate the new outdoor space will be ready to use in time for September 2021.”

A 114-year-old school in Great Yarmouth is being demolished. Picture: Courtesy of Tammy Dexter.A 114-year-old school in Great Yarmouth is being demolished. Picture: Courtesy of Tammy Dexter.

The area will now be levelled before topsoil and grass seed is laid, with fencing erected around the perimeter.

The second building, once the senior school, contains a First World War memorial made of polished oak and marble panels listing the names of local people who served and died.

Mr Bright said part of the sale contract included a clause requiring the memorial to be maintained in its current state during any redevelopment.

“The college appreciates the importance of this memorial and will continue to liaise with Hammond’s to ensure it’s preserved for future generations,” he said.

The senior school building of the original Edward Worrledge School in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Courtesy of Tammy Dexter.The senior school building of the original Edward Worrledge School in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Courtesy of Tammy Dexter.

Richard Whiting, 69, was a student at the original Edward Worlledge in around 1954, when he was four-years-old, starting in the infant class with Miss Childs.

He said: “I really enjoyed my school days and made some lifelong friends at the Worlledge.

“I remember on Wednesdays walking down to the recreation ground, the common, to play football as the school playgrounds were all tarmac.

“All the school matches were played here. The school colours were light and dark blue. I remember my mum knitting me the socks.

Pupils at the original Edward Worlledge School in Great Yarmouth in around 1954, including Richard Whiting, bottom right. Picture: Courtesy of Richard Whiting.Pupils at the original Edward Worlledge School in Great Yarmouth in around 1954, including Richard Whiting, bottom right. Picture: Courtesy of Richard Whiting.

“Good times were had.”

Mr Whiting left Great Yarmouth when he was 18 to go to university and is now retired in Essex after a career in teaching.

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