1946 - 1969
St. Michael's School opened in Ingoldisthorpe in 1946
with 70 pupils, aged five to 14, selected from 120
applicants. There were 11 boarders.
It was all started by Reverend Roger Pott.
What made the school possible was the generosity of an
elderly American lady. She made the school a present of
her large house at Heacham, which was the main boarding
house, and there was also an anonymous gift of £5,000
which provided the necessary initial capital. Beyond
that the school was entirely self-supporting, for while
the diocesan authorities approved of the experiment and
were happy to see the rectory at Ingoldisthorpe put to
this use, they had not felt able to take it over as a
Church responsibility. As everywhere, the school fees
went up over the years, but they were varied to the
means of the parent and the needs of the child.
All boys started driving lessons as soon as they
turned 17 and not only did this give everyone, including
the non-academic, the chance of passing an examination,
it also made a contribution to the scattered
communications of the neighbourhood. A visitor to the
school was likely to receive a note from the headmaster
to say that " a prefect will meet you at the station
with a car." This was part bravado, part wise
improvisation. There were about 35 girls at the school,
12 of them boarders in a house at Ingoldisthorpe.
the boys' boarding house, for 50 boarders, was three
miles away from the school, transport was costly and
difficult to organise. A double-decker bus was acquired
by the school, which went a long way to help. There were
also several school cars and a shooting
brake. The religious element
fitted naturally into the pattern of the school. Each
morning started with chapel in the parish church.
There was science to the ordinary level of the
General Certificate of Education. Everyone learned
French and Latin, and those who could, Greek. The choir
was 50 strong, 40 of whom also sang in Heacham
choir on Sundays. They played games daily, and ran
cricket and football teams which were surprisingly
strong in view of the wide age-range.
Queen Mary, in her last years at Sandringham,
showed a keen interest in the school and paid regular
and penetrating visits to see what went on. It is enough
to say that the standard of education given, and the
working conditions were far and away better than those
in some local authority schools.
The school finally closed it doors in 1969.
The school lives on with the Old Michaelians Association with a website and annual reunions. The
Reverend Canon Roger Percivall Pott - died in December
1992. His wife, Isabel died 1st October 2002.
Taking time out from school
Reverend Pott with Queen Mary
famous bus that travelled daily between
in Collins Lane in Heacham
house used for boarders
Photos below show it did not
always go smoothly when used on trips out
Transport was a
big thing for the school and in addition to the bus
there were various other vehicles in use
friendly group and a trip to Hunstanton Blue Lagoon
swimming pool in Hunstanton
Sports day at
the school in 1966
On the left St Michael's School
and on the right The Shooting Lodge the house donated by
the American lady
which was the main boarding house for the school.
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