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Old Roan Association loses a mainstay as Tony Slaney loses his battle with Cancer

Time Capsule to celebrate the John Roan Centenary

News and current situation of school  refurbishment




Revisiting the Roan School – and Beating the Bounds

Evacuation Diary of Brian Thomas - September 1939
























Maze Hill Refurbishment

It is now planned that the Maze Hill site will be refurbished with the Westcombe Park site being demolished and rebuilt in stages so as to allow continued use throughout.

Currently awaiting Updates and information on plans and progress

The rebuilding of Westcombe Park


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Revisiting the Roan School – and Beating the Bounds

On 15th July 2006 I retraced my 1950’s steps from Blackheath station across the Heath. It was a dry, warm, bright morning (it wasn’t always like that!) and the Heath did not appear to have changed over that time (but I did notice the 53 bus, going towards London, now went along Shooters Hill Road rather than the park wall)!

The “dips” retain their contours but somehow the gorse bushes did not seem quite so threatening as they did 50 years ago – all very tidy and managed.

On to the school building and first fairly distant impressions suggested that little had changed – the distinctive front entrance and bell-tower are immediately recognisable.

Inside the railings the Memorial garden was a sad sight. A long, hot, dry period combined with recent use as a recreational area had made the fine lawns that I recollected into a largely barren, brown area.

Inside, however, the entrance hall looked good. The hall itself is still impressive – no more House shields, of course, and the Exhibitioner board stops at 1978. The hall is suffering as maintenance budgets are held down in anticipation of an early move to a new site and building.

The ground floor classrooms are much as a recollect them save that the teaching aids are more sophisticated – and, whereas there were typically, as I recollect, about thirty-five desks with slope tops (complete with inkwells) and storage for books, there are now about twenty-five tables.

The staff room is where it always was – but more tidy than it used to be: no gowns hanging from hooks and absolutely no pungent pong of exotic pipe tobaccos!

Upstairs, the library area is open, light and airy consistent with the modern style – less dominated by wooden shelving. Otherwise, classrooms are recognisable as such although my impression was of many rooms set aside for administration. I wondered how long the lift had been in place.

Save for the easily explicable slight feeling of neglect in some areas, the collective impact of the changes I noted seemed a fair reflection of the general social policy, technology and managerial changes over the intervening years – as well as educational thinking.

I was glad I went along.

In the afternoon, having walked down through the park and marvelled at the skyline dominated now by the Canary Wharf towers at one level and the Dome at another, we met outside the “Mitre” to “Beat the Bounds” under the guidance of Neal Haslam. This was to be a walk involving John Roan related sites in Greenwich – but not the Crooms Hill connection.

In Roan Street we saw the wall tablet recognising the foundation by Mr. John Roan in 1677 of a Grey Coat School who – “By his will dated 16th March 1643 devised certain estates the rents whereof were directed to be applied to the education and clothing of the poor townsborn children of the parish of Greenwich”

St. Alphege Church was the next stop – associations with John Roan abound although it is difficult to be precise about many of them. The Benefaction Boards on the East wall recognise John Roan and his bequest.

The old school in Eastney Street still stands in remarkably good condition and is used as offices. Our guide speculated on the existence of a “time capsule” buried beneath the main staircase – how to get at that, we wondered?

This was a fascinating little trip into history – effectively a John Roan trail!      Ron Clatworthy. Sept. 2006

The Magazine editor learnt later that Ron wrote this piece as a penance for taking his younger brother, Ian, to the “Yacht” on Greenwich waterfront after “Beating the Bounds” where he encouraged  him to drink 8 pints of Adnams Broadside thus delaying his socialising at the Club as part of the Old Roan Club 50th Celebrations.

Why not visit the 50th Celebrations Picture Gallery for pictures of both the school visit and Beating the Bounds
(beating the bounds to be added shortly)

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Time Capsule to celebrate the John Roan Centenary

It has been proposed to bury a time capsule in celebration of John Roan's Centenary to be dug up after the next 100 years.

If as a previous pupil or staff member of the John Roan schools you think you may have something you would like to be included, or in fact any ideas about what you feel should be included please let me know using the link below and I shall collate and pass on your thoughts

I have a time capsule suggestion



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Tony Slaney

It is with great sadness and the deepest regret that we have to advise you of the death of Tony Slaney on Wednesday 2nd October in the Greenwich and Bexley Cottage Hospice. Old Roans were at his side as he drifted painlessly away. Many others along with other close friends, had visited him throughout the day.

Tony had been battling cancer for many months and we had hoped for a period of remission of perhaps two years but it was not to be. His condition had worsened sharply, drastically, and at least to those who had been seeing him on a regular basis, surprisingly quickly towards the end.

His funeral will be held in The North Chapel at Falconwood Crematorium on Monday 28th October at 2 45pm
We have been advised that the post code SE9 2NL should be used if you are using satnavs to get to Falconwood.
Absolutely no flowers please. Donations to Cancer Research UK
Dress code is Old Roan Tie where applicable otherwise as you please.

The wake, or celebration of Tony's life and in particular his massive contribution to The Old Roan Association, will take place at the former Old Roan Club in Kidbrooke Park Road from 3 30pm. Please let Monty Smith know if you plan to attend so that he can give the caterers an idea of numbers and perhaps more importantly how much real ale to order.

If you are unable to attend perhaps you could look to raise a glass or several in his memory at 3 20pm.wherever you may be in the world.


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