Markhouse Road Modern School, Walthamstow, opened in 1891 and was, at that time, under the auspices of the Essex County Council Education Department. It was one of the oldest schools in the Borough and, as can be seen from the inscription in the photograph in the Gallery below, it was rebuilt in 1907
Markhouse primarily served the young people living around St James Street, Edinburgh Road/South Grove and parts of the Walthamstow Market area, although some pupils attended from a little further afield.
In the latter part of the 1950’s, Markhouse was amongst the very first to give secondary modern school pupils the chance to ‘stay on’ for a fifth year and sit for GCE examinations – an opportunity that gained increasing support from parents and, importantly, a growing level of successful results over the ensuing years. However, despite its pioneering role, Markhouse was not required to play a part within the re-organisation of secondary education in 1966 and this, regrettably, brought about its closure – with the last groups of pupils leaving in that same year
Fortunately the Markhouse doors were left ‘ajar’ and the premises were soon put to other educational purposes – including housing the ‘sitting tenants’ – the Drama Club – in the upper part of the main building. This development was linked to the nearby Marsh Street Youth Centre as part of the Walthamstow Youth Service ‘Evening Class’ programme – so it still very much remained a part of the aim of ensuring the personal development, skills and interests of the local young people. The lower floor became an Education Centre serving a variety of uses over the ensuing years, including at one time the Borough’s Multi Lingual Services and even – for a very short while – the Waltham Forest Youth Theatre!
Alas – all that is now left of the school, excepting our memories, is the front and rear gate posts and railings – as shown below!
- School Gallery
- Films from Walthamstow Amateur Cine Video Club
- Markhouse School Teaching Staff
- Class Photographs
- Walthamstow Guardian Newspaper Reports
- Markhouse & Drama Club Members Photo Gallery
- Markhouse School & Drama Club Members – The McEntee Awards
- Plus a NEW feature – L A Smith’s – ‘The Headmaster’s View of Events’ – on the following link:
Click all photographs to enlarge, scroll and see captions
2 New Photographs
Films from Walthamstow Amateur Cine Video Club.
Cyril Malyon teaching in Room 4
Don Testro teaching in the Biology Room (Upper Hall)
Copyright: The above two films are linked to YouTube and are included within this website with the kind permission of The Walthamstow Amateur Cine Video Club.
Markhouse School Teaching Staff
4 New Photographs
3 New Photographs
All of these class photographs, and one of a group on a school Fieldwork Trip, include a good number of former MDC members – and several of the teaching staff
If you have any school photographs that you would like to see included in this part of the website – then please get in touch via the Contacts Page
Walthamstow Guardian Newspaper Reports
2 New Articles – ‘Mr Abels Looks At The British’ (2 Pages) & ‘Marsh Street Matelots’
Markhouse & Drama Club Members Photo Gallery
Markhouse School & Drama Club Members – The McEntee Awards
The McEntee Award Scheme was established in Walthamstow as a way of recognising the achievements of young people in the Borough – particularly in relation to their contribution to the school, college, club or community organisation to which they belonged – or indeed for their services to the wider community.
The Award was given annually to one young person in each Secondary School and one ‘from across the Borough’
The following Walthamstow Guardian Newspaper Reports are of several MDC members who received this award
New Article – 1962 Newspaper Clip – Costakis Apostilides & Bernard Page – See Below!!!
1958 -‘McENTEE GIRL AND QUEEN’s GUIDE – NORMA GAINS A DOUBLE HONOUR’
Walthamstow Guardian Report:
A smiling Norma Evans shakes hands with Ald Lady McEntee as she receives the McEntee Award at Willowfield Secondary Girls School
‘Less than 24 hours after she had received the highest honour it is possible to gain in the Guides, 16 year old Norma Evans, of 31 Thorpe Crescent, Walthamstow was presented with the highest award it is possible for a Walthamstow schoolgirl to obtain – the McEntee Award
After being presented with the Queens Badge on Thursday evening, Norma received the McEntee Award from Ald Lady McEntee at Willowfield Secondary Girls School on Friday morning.
Norma, who moved to Willowfield School in 1953 from High Hill Primary School, received the award for her qualities of ‘loyalty, integrity, perseverance and service to others’
These qualities were listed by Ald S N Chaplin in a short biography of Lord McEntee and the story of the award which was instituted as a memorial to him in 1953. Cllr Mrs S Candy, chairman of the school governors, added ‘Norma Qualifies in every respect of this award’. After receiving the award, which consisted of a certificate and several books, Norma, who plans to become a teacher, said that she hoped that she could live up to all that had been said about her.
Among those present were Mrs I Phelps, leader of the 23rd Walthamstow Guides who had seen Norma receive her Queen’s badge from County Commissioner Miss E Blyth at Higham Hill Baptist Church the previous evening.
Norma, who gained the badge in the remarkably short time of three year, is a patrol leader and Sunday school teacher at the church’
1963 – ‘SUSAN – BOUND FOR NEW YORK – GETS McENTEE AWARD’
Walthamstow Guardian Report:
‘Pretty 16 year old Susan Riches – soon to be Walthamstow’s Ambassadress to New York – stepped up to receive the Borough’s top teenage honour from its Number 1 citizen on Monday. Susan was presented with the Markhouse Secondary’s School McEntee Award by the Mayor, Ald Mrs W M Palethorpe in front of hundreds of school pupils.
The ceremony took place nearly three weeks flies out to take up a scholarship at Sewenhaka High School, Floral Park, New York on Thursday July 25th.
The McEntee Award is made to the boy or girl in each secondary school showing most the qualities of integrity, loyalty, perseverance and service to others, which are amongst the reasons she was awarded the scholarship.
An exemplary pupil, Susan was chosen to spend the seven months in American offered by teachers Mark and Arlene Abels, who spent a year teaching at Mark House. They will pay all her expenses while she is away.
Susan flies first to Montreal where she will be met by the Abels and taken on a 5000 mile holiday tour before settling down in New York to study English Language and Literature, American History, Arty and household economics. Her fares will be paid by the Chamberlain Foundation and a fund set up for her in Walthamstow. She will next see her parents, Mr & Mrs Peter Riches, sister Judith and brothers Michael and Christopher when she comes home to 232 Markhouse Road in February.
Once back she will study at Mark House for another one or two years before taking up a career in the Air Force.
Award to Head Girl
At Monday’s ceremony Susan was praised for her efforts by Mark House Headmaster Leslie Smith who also had a word for 16 year old Head Girl Eileen Loneragan of 310 Priory Court, and the many other boys and girls who had been in the running for the McEntee Award.
Eileen, in fact, received the Mark House Award, for similar qualities shown by Susan, from the Mayor. She has been Head Girl for 18 months and is a brilliant pupil who hopes to take up a post in local government.
Susan’s mother and father and Eileen’s mother were on stage with the girls when they received their prizes.
£20 Fare Boost
The fare fund for Susan was given a £20 boost on Thursday when her youth club, St Saviour’s staged a cabaret-dance at the Chestnut Tree Hotel, Lea Bridge Road. She will be keeping her school pals in touch with her life, American style, including details of a Christmas-time trip to Florida, by way of regular contributions for the Mark House news-sheet’
1969 – ‘AWARD WINNER’
Walthamstow Guardian Report:
A young man of many interests, is 18 years old John Oatham of 26 Park Road, Walthamstow, who has been awarded The Lord McEntee Award for Services to the Community
The award comes in recognition of John’s untiring efforts for Marsh Street Youth Centre Drama group where he was the driving force behind the scenery manufacture and ‘props’ art work for the group’s presentations. He was also responsible for the re-wiring of the stage lighting.
Since 1964, John has been a keen cross country runner and rock climber.
John, who now works for the GPO, is also interested in experimental lighting and at present he is occupied with oil paints and chemicals in producing these surprisingly animated coloured effects used by several pop groups.
1962 -‘BOY FROM CYPRUS WINS McENTEE AWARD’
Walthamstow Guardian Report:
For the fifth time in the history of Mark House Secondary School, Walthamstow, a boy has won the Lord McEntee Award. He is 15 year old Costakis Apostalides, of 11 Grove Road, Walthamstow, a Cypriot who came to this country with his family when he was four.
The award is presented to the boy possessing qualities of integrity, loyalty and perseverence. He has also to show willingness to act in the service of others.
At the presentation ceremony on Monday, Ald W Savill said: ‘I am very proud to see that the school, for which I am the chairman of the governors, has turned out another boy who has won this award.
But there was more to it than just selectingthe boy. In fact, two boys were so close that the teachers had to hold a secret vote to decide the winner
The other boy was Bernard Page* of 12 Maude Terrace, Walthamstow, who left the sixth form at the school in February. But the school presents a second prize, the Mark House Award, and runner-up Bernard received this for being so close to ‘Cosi’ as he is popularly known.
‘Cosi’s’ father, Mr Apostalides who attended the ceremony, said he was extremely proud of his son. If he passes two more GCE Exams, Costakis will be going to the Sir George Monoux Grammar School, and finally hopes to study economics at university.
Said Bernard: Of course, I’m disappointed in not winning the award, but I’m very glad it went to ‘Cosi’. I could not have been beaten by a nicer person’
* Note: After leaving Markhouse, Bernard page became a Marine in the Royal Navy
AND – There are some other McEntee Award Winners who we know about – and perhaps some others that we don’t?
Other Drama Club members who received this award include John Dunn (1959), Janet Grace (1964) and Pat Payne who all won the ‘Markhouse Award’ and, Dave King, also in 1964, who was one of three joint winners of the prestigious ‘Borough Award’
It is hoped that the respective newspaper reports for John, Janet, Pat and Dave will, in due course, be found and reproduced within the website
And – for more Mark House ‘Memories’
Go to ‘Walthamstow Memories’ & ‘Walthamstowhistory.com’ on the Websites Homepage ‘Related Links’
Both of the above website links have some additional information and photographs of Mark House School – with the latter being Dickie Dunn’s original site. For ‘Walthamstow Memories’ go to the ‘Memories’ link on their Homepage.