83-year-old takes a trip down memory lane and visits his former primary school in Ilford

PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 January 2016 | UPDATED: 11:18 25 January 2016

Executive principal David Morrison with Mr Barnes

Executive principal David Morrison with Mr Barnes


An 83-year-old man returned to his primary school in Ilford to talk a trip down memory lane and revisit “the golden days.”

John Barnes visited Cranbrook School, Mansfield Road, Ilford and was taken on a tour of the building by headmaster David Morrison.

When asked if it had changed at all, Mr Barnes said: “Ooh yes, I was there in the war days and the art room was reinforced and used as a bunker,

“The building has been modernised since and they now let girls in which I think it a good thing.”

It wasn’t just the building that had changed and Mr Barnes reminisced about being sent out on errands.

“I was school caption and the headmaster would send me out to deliver checks and bring back money from Midlands bank.

“You wouldn’t get that now.”

The former pupil, who returned to the school to teach RE in the 1970s, also had a lucky escape one lunch time.

He said: “My friend and I weren’t too keen on school dinners and so we headed out to eat in Ilford and walked past the cinema - It was were Wilko is today.

“A few minutes later we heard a big band and windows fell in - a bomb had been dropped there.

“It was my favourite cinema and it had been hit – we had a narrow escape, but a lot of people did in those days.”

Mr Barnes stayed in contact with the family of his headmaster and said he is the same age as the principles son.

“My headmaster was a prominent figure in the community, he played cricket and was a Methodist lay preacher.

“He helped me get in to King’s College London and I will never forget it – I am in regular correspondence with his son, who is in his 80s and we meet up once a year.”

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