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

Hollywood star George Clooney posed with fellow actors ahead of ITV’s annual Text Santa charity appeal.

Read more

Sienna Miller has said she thinks that Keira Knightley will be a brilliant mum.

Read more

Teletubbies Say “Eh-oh!” has – regrettably if not unexpectedly – failed to make this list.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

The mother of seven of the children suffered serious stab wounds. She remains in a stable condition in hospital.

According to the MoD, the answer is a resounded “yes”.

Lewis Hamilton’s metaphor for life is particularly deep, with many turns.

Prices are dropping like nobody’s business – and they’re set to fall further in January.

TOP Stories

15 minutes ago
Police believe this woman can help in their investigation [Photograph from BTP]

Police want to speak to the woman in this photograph after a 23-year-old man was subjected to a ‘prolonged verbal tirade’ by a woman on the Metropolitan Line.

18 minutes ago
The £175m bridge has been approved by Boris Johnson (Picture: Arup)

Boris Johnson has given the go-ahead the controversial £175million Garden Bridge over the Thames claiming it will be ‘a stunning oasis of tranquillity in the heart of our city’.

TfL's 'amazing' new equipment for preventing delays, behold; THE STICK! (Picture: TfL/Twitter)

There is nothing quite so annoying as delays on Tube journeys - so it’s good to know TfL are sparing no expense with a new hi-tech gadget to help tackle disruption...wait a minute, that’s just a stick.

London Bloggers

Thursday, November 27, 2014
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.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
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: