Sweethearts return to Dagenham school where they met before building is demolished

14:23 05 April 2012

Pam and Ken Lee outside Dagenham Park School

Pam and Ken Lee outside Dagenham Park School

Archant

A couple who met and fell in love at a Dagenham secondary school 60 years ago took a nostalgic tour around the original building before it is demolished.

Pam and Ken Lee, both 73, were invited to Dagenham Park Church of England School last Wednesday, as pupils and staff spent their final week in the 1934 building.

After the Easter holidays they are due to move into a £26million newly constructed block of classrooms.

Mr and Mrs Lee – who were given a tour around both the old and the new building – paired up in 1950 when they were both 12-year-old pupils at the school, which was then called Marley Secondary School.

Mrs Lee recalls the moment she first set eyes on her childhood sweetheart.

Marriage

“The school was split into two sections then,” she said. “One for boys and one for girls. I was in the playground one day when I saw Ken looking down at us all from a window.

“The boys and girls weren’t supposed to interact with each other but we found ways and I soon got to know him.

“I thought he was really nice and it wasn’t long before we became boyfriend and girlfriend.”

The pair stayed together throughout their time at Dagenham Park, split at the age of 17, reunited around six months later, then married at Dagenham Parish Church in 1960. They have three children and one grandchild together.

Mrs Lee, of Lakeside, Hornchurch, says the tour of the original building was both enjoyable and sad.

She said: “It brought back happy memories but to know it will soon be taken down was a bit upsetting.

“However the new school looks fantastic and the pupils are lucky to be getting such great facilities.”

As the couple moved from Dagenham to Rainham 50 years ago their children did not go to Dagenham Park.

However their eldest son Stuart, 49, worked on the new building as a sound and lighting technician.

The new school, which was funded by the now axed government programme Building Schools for the Future, boasts around 45 classrooms. Netball courts and landscaped gardens will be built on the site of the old school which will be knocked down over the next three months. It is hoped the whole project will be completed by October.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

A man and woman in their 50s died in Fetcham, Surray.

Read more

Seth Rogen has invited film fans to get high with him before a screening of The Interview in Colorado.

Read more

One Direction are the first group to see all four of their first albums reach number one in the US.

Read more

Promoted content

Gamucci is a global leader and premier brand of electronic cigarettes

Gamucci has an electronic cigarette tailored for every need. We have a range of both disposable and rechargeable electronic cigarettes suitable for all adult smokers. And for a limited time, some great discounts.

Paddington

With Christmas comes a host of movies to the big screen, from festive family comedies to action blockbusters. Here is our pick of the best out next month.

A man and woman in their 50s died in Fetcham, Surray.

1,000 people were asked to finish the sentence: “Jeremy Clarkson is…” and the results were somewhat hilarious.

Winds of 88mph (141kph) and mutant hailstones meant it certainly wasn’t barbecue weather.

EastEnders actress Linda Henry will go on trial accused of racially aggravated harassment.

TOP Stories

28 minutes ago
Snaresbrook Crown Court Pic: John Stillwell/PA

A Lithuanian builder who repeatedly slammed his pregnant girlfriend’s head into a brick wall when she refused to have sex with him has been jailed for nine years.

On Friday, use your reigstered contactless Mastercard instead of an Oyster card to enjoy free travel (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

You can use London public transport for free on Friday November 14 and Friday November 28 - if you use Mastercard.

Protester chanted against injustice  [Photograph byDaniel Leal-Olivas/PA]

Around 1,000 people took to the streets of London last night in solidarity with protests over the shooting of a young unarmed black man in the American city of Ferguson.

London Bloggers

The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

10:54
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.

Friday, November 14, 2014
Bird says back up your data

What happened after a friend of mine lost basically everything he’d created in the last 5 years: