Cavendish Primary School celebrates 70th anniversary

Image above: Cavendish Primary School

Cavendish Primary School is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, marking the occasion with a summer fair on Friday 24 June.

Taking place in the school grounds at Edensor Road, the summer fair will mark the end of a historic year for the school in which it shared its 70th anniversary with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The fair, which will include food stalls, arts and crafts activities, a raffle and live entertainment for the children, their families and friends, is the first time the school has held an on-site large scale event since the start of the pandemic and provides an opportunity to celebrate the school’s proud history.

Friends of Cavendish, the school’s PTA, is looking for sponsors both to provide raffle prizes as well as general sponsorship of the school. Organisers are calling on all local Chiswick businesses to lend their support and join in the festivities.

Sponsorship money will be used to invest in teaching materials, including digital tools and books, sports equipment and school outings. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the school, you can email or contact the school office on 0208 994 6835.

Image above: Cavendish main entrance

Original headteacher’s writings reveal snapshot into school’s history

Cavendish Primary School was established in 1952. Recovered writings from the school’s original headmaster revealed a snapshot into the school’s history in the early 1950s. On its opening day 179 children were admitted. A year later the roll was 239.

The headmaster said attendance was “somewhat disappointing” in 1953 because of the high incidence of infectious diseases; 60 children were excluded over the summer and autumn terms. Parents taking their children on holiday during the summer term was also blamed for the poor attendance figures.

In those days 65% students had school dinners. Mr Gilgallon wrote: ‘second helpings are a routine occurrence and third helpings are not unheard of! Waste is negligible.’

Image above: Cavendish reception students Jasmine, Bobby and Lucious (left to right) 

Student who attended 69 years ago recalls his experience

John Fish, 73, who grew up in Chiswick and joined Cavendish Primary School just one year after it first opened its gates, remembers the school:

“I was only a few weeks off being five when I joined in 1953. My teacher was Miss Binney and the Headmaster was Mr Gilgallon, who I know lived to be 100! One of my earliest memories is taking to the stage in the school hall in a play about the Cavaliers and Roundheads. I played a swashbuckling cavalier and was supposed to sing but I had only one note and that was flat. In the end, my friend Ronald Shavreen had to stand in and sing from behind the curtain while I mimed.”

John lived at 2 Staveley Gardens, an estate of 50 houses built by the Cherry Blossom boot polish company just a few minutes from the school. His mother lived in the same house until 2017.

“I remember my time at Cavendish fondly and look forward to taking part in the 70th anniversary festivities and recounting how different things were back then. The kids won’t believe it when I tell them that we used to wear balaclavas to school to protect us from the London smog, which on some days was so bad that very few pupils would even make it into class in the morning,” he said.

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