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St Michael's School
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.

As 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 church 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
 
   
The famous bus that travelled daily between
Heacham and Ingoldisthorpe

Gresham House in Collins Lane in Heacham
another 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
 
 
Cricket, a 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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