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

16:31
Syrian activists in Kafranbel pay tribute to the murdered American war journalist

The video of US journalist James Foley being beheaded by a jihadi with what appears to be a London accent has been shared millions of times around the world already.

Read more
Hyacinth Brown is still recovering from the heart attack in hospital.

An elderly pastor suffered a heart attack after police burst through her door in an early-morning drugs raid which her family say was a “massive mistake.”

Read more
This undated image shows a frame from a video released by Islamic State militants that purports to show the killing of journalist James Foley  (AP Photo)

An American journalist has been beheaded on video by an ISIS fighter in Syria - who is believed to be from London.

Read more

TOP Stories

16:31
Syrian activists in Kafranbel pay tribute to the murdered American war journalist

The video of US journalist James Foley being beheaded by a jihadi with what appears to be a London accent has been shared millions of times around the world already.

Hyacinth Brown is still recovering from the heart attack in hospital.

An elderly pastor suffered a heart attack after police burst through her door in an early-morning drugs raid which her family say was a “massive mistake.”

This undated image shows a frame from a video released by Islamic State militants that purports to show the killing of journalist James Foley  (AP Photo)

An American journalist has been beheaded on video by an ISIS fighter in Syria - who is believed to be from London.

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London Bloggers

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Will the relaxtion of the rules on phone use open the floodgates to selfie madness at The National Gallery (Picture via Getty)

Will the National Gallery become selfie central after it removes the ban on photography to avoid confusion over visitors using the new Wi-Fi?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
The television programme Whose Line is it Anyway? showcased the art of improv

Now that whole regiments of London comedians have dissolved in the festival mists north of the border it’s a good time to sample a different sort of humour.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Carlisle Bay in the Caribbean has 9 courts

Tennis anyone? Wimbledon might be over but that’s no reason to let the racket get dusty.

Quizzes

Can you find the animals hiding in London station names? (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

You may not realise it but there are animals hiding in stations across London? Play our quiz and see if you can you find them:

Read more
Can you guess the Tube station just from the outside? (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

How well do you know your Tube stations? Can you guess these Underground stops from the pictures taken outside them?

Read more
But which London?! [Photo courtesy of Basher Eyre]

You might know London like the back of your hand, but how well do you know the other Londons - and London landmarks - across the world?

Read more