Were you one of the Alleyn's boys who de-camped to Rossall in the Second World War? Ever wondered how a South East London secondary day school co-existed for over four years in a Lancashire public school - 'the Eton of the North? And how did Alleyn's develop from being the Lower School of Dulwich College to the day public school of national repute that it is today?
Donald Leinster-Mackay's monograph, Alleyn's and Rossall Schools: The Second World War, Experience and Status, first published in 1990 has now been updated and reprinted. The 48-page booklet tells the fascinating story behind Alleyn's evacuation to Fleetwood in Lancashire. He relates how the Alleyn's association with Rossall was often spoken of as the most successful of the wartime pairings of schools. Other schools which relocated in the way years were Harrow going to Malvern, Mill Hill to St. Bees in Cumbria and Dulwich College which had an unhappy term at Tonbridge School.
At the end of the sojourn, the Vice-Master of Rossall, Col. LH Trist, wrote that "Here two schools lived side by side, sharing all there is, both maintaining their own traditions, each learning from the other, and above all both learning the meaning to give and take". Professor Leinster-Mackay then goes on to demonstrate how the experience with another school helped inform Alleyn's in its struggle to establish its status in the post-war period (between becoming an aided, Direct Grant, or a London County Council school). He relates the drawn out battles fought by Alleyn's parents, staff and Old Boys to maintain the School's links and traditions with the Foundation of the College of God's Gift in the face of the 1944 Education Act and the opposition from the LCC and even, at one point, its Board of Governors (which served both Alleyn's and Dulwich College).
Alleyn's status struggles continued and the booklet brings us to the 1970s when, faced with the government decision to phase out Direct Grant schools, the Saddlers' Company appeared as Alleyn's "knight in shining armour" allowing the School to take one step nearer to becoming independent . Independence - and the decision to become co-educational- happened in 1976.
Alleyn's is very grateful to Professor Leinster-Mackay who has kindly agreed that the sales from this issue will be donated to the School's Benevolent Fund. If you would like a copy, please send a cheque for £5 (incl. p+p) made payable Alleyn's School. To Alumni Office, Alleyn's School, Townley Road, SE 22 8SU.