After the Goodbye Tour, listening to so many reminiscences, stories, and memories of wonderful practical jokes, several people suggested it would be a great idea to record them while they are still remembered.  So here we go - a page that will be dedicated to such things.

Contributions are always welcome!!!   




MY SHOREDITCH DAYS  by Ken Finch, 1956

Ken Finch's contribution is in PDF format.  

If you do not have a PDF reader, Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded from their website. It's free, and it's safe.





I can still remember many details of those marvellous two years.

In early September 1952 we "poured" in through the main gates passing the dormitory huts on the right, in which we were to spend the first year. and a grassy paddock to the left.

The six huts (not Nissan Huts) were joined by a long narrow corridor with wash rooms and toilets opposite each hut. At the far end of each hut were doors which opened onto an large area of grass and a few beautiful trees. At the far end of this area was the Rugby Pitch which now, sixty-five years later, is covered in new housing. The rugby pitch was home to a very good Shoreditch College team. We had a strong Welsh contingent. One outstanding result that I can remember is when we beat a Wasps Fifteen.

Places in the six huts (A to F) were allocated alphabetically and so were the beds in each hut.

Together with fifteen other students, I was placed in hut F. Most of us had just finished doing our National Service so this was a style of living that we knew well. Our hut was quickly named “Effingham”.

There were many practical jokes played out during this first year. One of the funniest, we thought at the time, happened one warm summers night when a bed containing a soundly sleeping student was carried out onto the lawn where he slept for many hours.

At the beginning of June 1953 there was a large celebration on Englefield Green to mark the Coronation Of Queen Elizabeth II. Many students from STC and Royal Holloway were there.

Adjacent to the college grounds, the construction of the RAF Memorial was finished during 1953 and was opened by the Queen on the 17th October of that year. Many of us lined the lane to watch her arrival and departure.

A few other things linger in my memory, like the camaraderie of the many evenings spent in the workshops while we strived to complete our "final jobs": the outings to Motspur Park for the inter- college Athletics Meetings and the "Smoking Concerts" which were written and acted by some very talented students.

Mr Scrivens (Scriv) retired at same time as our year (52/54) finished their course. I have a clear memory of Scriv being carried down the drive astride the giant jack plane.

It saddens me greatly now that Shoreditch Training College (for Handicraft Teachers) has gone and so by now will many of its students.

Peter Townsend   52/54


Dear Jill and John,

Shoreditch College Badge 1945I have only recently (May 2012) come across the Shoreditch  College Web Site and have since spent several evenings reading and re-reading its articles as well as viewing the various photographs. I must congratulate both of you on the effort it must have taken to put together such an interesting and enjoyable piece of work.

The majority of the reminiscences refer to the period when the College was at Coopers Hill, so it was with great pleasure that I came across two contributors who must have been in College at Pitfield Street during the same period that I was there as a student. It would appear that Mr. Cyril Crawley was in his final year group when I was in my first year and Mr John Ackhurst was doing his first year whilst I was in my final year. Consequently their recollections are similar to my own.

Shortly after the end of the war in Europe my application to enter Shoreditch resulted in being successfully interviewed by the then Principal Dr Bradley. My recollections after entering College are almost identical to those of my previously mentioned colleagues i.e. the bomb damaged areas surrounding the damaged College building; the difficulties in obtaining tools, materials and set books; the thrashing at Motspur Park & Peggy the Mascot Plane, named I recall, after the young lady who worked in the secretarial department. I also remember helping with building the stage once the main hall was back in use, for a Pantomime “Babes in the Woodwork” and an enjoyable production of Quintero’s “100 Years Old”.

My overriding memory is of a very happy period of my life, despite the very difficult circumstances we were in, given the recent ending of WWII in Europe. I could go on, but appreciate the College has moved on a long way since those early and austere days. We had the good fortune of being tutored by knowledgeable and enthusiastic Lecturers led by College Principal Mr. A. G. Scrivens (Scriv) whose wisdom, energy and sympathetic nature overcame our rather dismal surroundings.

Your web site re-kindled so many happy memories that I was prompted to search my own “archives” which produced the attached photograph of the 1947 Final Year, that I hope will be of interest. I also came across my rather worn College Badge which I have photographed and also attached. You will probably notice that many students in the photograph wear the badge. It was the only piece of identification available in 1945!

1947 Final Year Photo

Click on the photo above for a larger version

If you think I can help fill in any other gaps around this time then please do not hesitate to let me know, but remember the memories all come from an ancient brain.

Kind regards and many thanks

Clifford (Cliff) Jones.  S.T.C. 1945-47


PS Just in case you are wondering, I am in the attached photograph, third row back, thirteenth from the right hand side.  I can recall a few names of others in the group.  Mr Scrivens is naturally in the front row, seventh from the right hand side, with Mr Charles sitting to his left.



"Quartet",  a Y M Eventide yacht built by four Shoreditch students in the 1950s

There are several photographs of interest to those who remember "Quartet", on her own page




A few pages from Malcolm Bidgood's entertaining autobiography, in PDF format. Also, the Shoreditch chant as best he could write it out!

Biography Extract, in PDF format


Excerpt from an email on the News and Views page

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page updated January 2023