Vanbrugh Castle School

Accounts 1968/1969 & Report

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School accounts from the 50th RAFBF report 1969

The Alexander Duckham Memorial School Committee
Vanbrugh Castle, Blackheath, S.E.3 Tel: 01-858 1604

*Air Chief Marshal Sir WALTER MERTON, GBE, KCB (Chairman).

Air Vice-Marshal J. F. POWELL, QBE, MA (Deputy Chairman)

*J. F. BURNET, Esq, MA *Mrs. N. M. MAYNARD
*Mrs. R. E. CROOME *F. M. WHITE, Esq, MA


Headmaster: J. H. CORNER, Esq, MA

Secretary: Squadron Leader F. HAWLEY

The Council record their deepest gratitude to Viscountess Portal of Hungerford and to Lady Cordingley for their outstanding services to the School. They both retired from the School Committee during the year having served for 24 years and 20 years respectively.

Vanbrugh Castle was presented to the Fund on 28th February 1921 by Mr. Alexander Duckham, and the Wakefield Wing by Viscount Wakefield in 1939. The Knollys Wing was added in October 1964. There is now accommodation for up to 60 boys who are sons of deceased or seriously disabled Warrant Officers, non-commissioned officers, aircraftmen and airwomen. Sons of Officers are not eligible. The School was recognised as efficient by the Ministry of Education in October 1950, and the Headmaster was accepted as a member of the Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools in November 1964.

Boys are normally accepted between the ages of 8 and 10, and remain until 13. They then sit -the Common Entrance Examination when they are sponsored by the Fund for certain designated boarding schools (if they satisfy their requirements) for secondary phase education.

The Lord Knollys Holiday Fund for the boys was inaugurated in 1967 at the request of Margaret, Viscountess Knollys, with the donations received in memory of her late husband, and several boys have already enjoyed adventure holidays.

The boys continue to receive gifts and entertainments from many sources. In the past year a new biology laboratory and a boys' workshop have been opened, the former being a gift of the Variety Club of Great Britain. A party of boys visited RAF Bruggen at the invitation of Royal Air Force Germany last summer, and in the Easter holidays another group of boys were the guests of RAF Oakington and RAF Coltishall. The American Exchange Officers in this country attended the boys' Christmas Party and brought magnificent gifts again. Several old pupils are serving with the Royal Air Force and three of these hold commissions.

The school provides a happy home and sound education during term time. One mother recently wrote to the Headmaster: " I would like to express great thanks both to you and the RAF Benevolent Fund for all the help and trouble that you went to in assisting Peter with his problems. It is indeed a great comfort to know that he is in such good hands. I often wonder what may have happened to him had he not been fortunate to join Vanbrugh Castle School. During his two years there he has improved in many ways especially regarding his nervousness. There is nothing else I can say but 'Thank you', but I feel very deeply about this."

Applications for admission and prospectus should be addressed to the Secretary to VCS Committee, RAF Benevolent Fund, 67 Portland Place, London, WIN 4AR.