LANDMARK MOMENT FOR LANGDON

A brief history of Langdon Academy can be found elsewhere on this website, but residents of East Ham from the 1950s to the 1980s would, if nothing else, surely recall the most notable architectural feature of the school at that time - its famous clock tower!

Old clockIn contrast with the modest, low-level construction of the rest of the school, the tower which rose up above the main reception was a bold and impressive status symbol befitting the prestige of the school.

Alas, the structure was deemed unsafe in the 1980s at a time when funding for education was tight and the costs of repair and maintenance would have been prohibitive. So sadly a careful partial demolition was carried out to reduce the tower to just one third of its overall height.

Not surprisingly, there were many former students who were deeply saddened to see their beloved tower reduced to such a shadow of its former glory. There was even a campaign to have the tower restored.

Led by a spirited group of former students from the intake of 1975, a campaign to rebuild the tower to its original specification old clock transwas launched in 2002. The students involved were by then in their thirties and managed to attract local press coverage for their campaign, but sadly to no avail.

Perhaps one day there will be sufficient support for their worthy efforts to restore what was a significant local landmark, but in the meantime we hope that they may welcome the work which has taken place during the half-term break of October 2015.

Whilst we have not been able to increase the height of the tower, we have at least restored a clock, sympathetic to the style of the original, to the west elevation, facing the school’s main entrance.

The students of yesteryear had no excuse for being late to school because they didn’t realise the time. Nor would they have failed to understand the symbolism of the clock in a place of learning. Time is precious and at Langdon Academy we believe that we must make the most of it.

clock centreWe are respectful of our history, but in restoring a clock to the Langdon tower we are very much looking towards the future. Once again for Langdon students, that future looks very bright indeed. The school is enjoying success and our current students are working hard to increase that success in the years ahead. There is a feeling of confidence in the school and pride in its development.

We recognise that time is of the essence and that it will not serve our students to waste it. The clock is ticking and that is a call to action for us all. In the words of American artist Andy Warhol, “They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”


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