Vanbrugh Castle School

Newspaper cutting from 1974

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Kent Mercury July 1974

School to close the gates

Headmaster Bill Jones before one towering wing of Vanbrugh Castle, Westcombe Park Road, Blackheath.

A BOYS school that has been lodged in a castle will be moving house next year.

Vanbrugh Castle in Westcombe Park Road, Blackheath, is the only school in the country which provides for boys whose parents have died, or been seriously dis­abled, while serving in the Royal Air Force.

The castle which was once the 18th century mansion of Sir John Vanbrugh, was established as a boarding school for 60 boys in 1921.

It has no playing fields and the boys have always had to travel to other recreation grounds for their school games.

Now plans announced for the transfer of the boarders to Woolpit School, Ewhurst, Surrey. Woolpit will be extended over the next year to accommodate 140 pupils.

It will then become the only RAF benevolent fund school in the country.


Vanbrugh Castle will be sold.

"There are some difficulties with this," the RAF said.

It is a very old building, dating back to 1717, and we believe there is some form of protection on it."

Vanbrugh Castle headmaster, Mr. Bill Jones plans to move with all his staff for the merger with Woolpit School next September.

"Obviously we are very sad because of our excellent relationship we have had with the local community and with the Naval College." he said.

Beds and Bucks Observer Nov 1974

Sleepy DJs were awake to school's needs

FOUR disc jockeys from Radio Central, RAF Stanbridge's broadcasting network, spent a few sleepless nights at their turn­tables earlier this year.

And their labours were made worth­while when they handed over £65 to the Vanburgh Castle School, in London. The money was raised by the disc jockeys' 172-hour radio marathon, during which time they played 3,400 record tracks.

In the course of their normal duties, the disc jockeys produce four hours of pop and light music every night as well as broadcasts of local news and current events.

The disc jockeys decided to extend their usual schedules and stage a "play-on" to raise money for the school.

The school is funded almost entirely from voluntary donations and by the RAF Benevolent Fund and and was founded to educate the sons of RAF personnel who have died or been killed during their service career.

Our photograph shows three of the disc jockeys with the headmaster of the school and some of his pupils. Back row, from left to right, are: Mr. W. Jones, head­master; SAC Roger Kimrn: Peter Brady, head boy; SAC Paul Cartright; LAC Robin Clenn; and FO Peter Milloy, the officer in charge of Radio Central.