Hackney Downs School
|Type||Grammar then comprehensive|
|Founder||Worshipful Company of Grocers|
Downs Park Road|
|DfE URN||100276 Tables|
- 1 History
- 2 Old boys
- 3 Notable alumni
- 4 Notes
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Grocers' Company's School
It was founded in 1876 as The Grocers' Company's School. On its transfer to the London County Council in 1906 the school was renamed Hackney Downs School (formerly the Grocers' Company's School).
Alumni including Nobel prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter, fellow playwright and actor Steven Berkoff, 1960s tycoon John Bloom and nutritionist John Yudkin. Three current members of the House of Lords are former pupils: (Lord Levy, Lord Feldman and Lord Clinton-Davis). The school had 600 boys with a sixth-form entry by the early 1970s.
It[clarification needed] voted to become comprehensive in 1969, and in September it became a comprehensive school. By the time of its closure, over 70 percent of the boys spoke English as a second language, half came from households with no-one in employment, and half the intake had reading ages three years below average.
Decline and closure
Things came to a head in the 1990s, when the school made national news by being described by the then Conservative government as the 'worst school in Britain'. Eventually, as a result of direct government pressure, the school was forced to close in 1995.
Later use of the building
The site of the old school is now occupied by Mossbourne Community Academy, founded by Sir Clive Bourne, which opened in 2004. The school buildings of both the original Grocers' Company's School and Hackney Downs School have gone.
The Old Boys of Hackney Downs continue their interactions as alumni through the Clove Club, which meets regularly, has its own website, and sponsors an email group called The Clove eGroup (on Yahoo), and featured on The Clove Club website.
History of the school
An official history of the school was published by the Clove Club in 1972. An updated edition was published in 2012: Hackney Downs 1876-1995: The Life and Death of a School.
- John Kemp 1974-89
Hackney Downs School (1974-95)
- Dalton Grant, high jumper
- Geoffrey Hanks, Professor of palliative care medicine
- Metin Hüseyin, film and television director
Boys' grammar school (1906–74)
- Lazarus Aaronson, poet
- Geoffrey Alderman, historian
- Arnold Allen CBE, chief executive from 1982–4 of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority 
- Alexander Baron, writer
- Morris Beckman
- Steven Berkoff, actor, playwright, director
- Gerald Bernbaum, Vice-Chancellor from 1993–2001 of London South Bank University, and Professor of Education from 1974–93 at the University of Leicester
- Mike Berry, singer and actor
- John Bloom, 1960s tycoon
- Eric Bristow, world champion darts player
- Air Vice-Marshal Reggie Bullen CB GM 
- Sir Stanley Burnton, Lord Justice of Appeal and Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford
- Sir Michael Caine (Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, Jr.), CBE, actor (attended in 1944–1945, when he was evacuated to King's Lynn during World War II)
- Roland Camberton, writer
- Frank Cass, publisher.
- Stanley Clinton Davis, Baron Clinton-Davis, Labour MP from 1970–83 for Hackney Central
- Prof Cyril Domb, physicist, Professor of Theoretical Physics from 1954–81 at King's College London
- Maurice Evans (actor)
- Basil Feldman, Baron Feldman
- Frederic Sutherland Ferguson, bibliographer
- Abram Games OBE, graphic designer
- Arthur Gold CBE, chairman from 1988–92 of the British Olympic Association
- Michael Goldstein CBE, Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University 1992–2004, Director of Coventry Polytechnic 1987–1992
- Arnold Goodman, Baron Goodman, Master from 1976–86 of University College, Oxford
- Douglas Gough, Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics since 1993 at the University of Cambridge, and director from 1999–2004 of the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge
- Efraim Halevy, former head of Mossad
- William Harold Hutt, economist, and Professor of Commerce and Dean of the Faculty of Commerce from 1931–64 at the University of Cape Town
- Frank Cyril James, Principal and Vice-Chancellor from 1939–62 of McGill University, Canada
- Brigadier Sam Janikoun OBE.
- Stanley Joslin, Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations from 1959–64 at the Ministry of Power
- Leon Kossoff, painter
- Stephen Latner, Managing Director from 1998–9 of Warburg Dillon Read
- Michael Levy, Baron Levy
- John Lewis, Labour MP from 1945–50 for Bolton and from 1950–1 for Bolton West
- Ben Lockspeiser, first President of CERN
- Dennis Lyons CB, director from 1965–71 of the Road Research Laboratory
- Leonard Millis CBE, director from 1939–74 of the British Waterworks Association
- Cyril Offord, Professor of Mathematics from 1966–73 at the London School of Economics (LSE)
- Stanley Orman, Director of Missiles from 1978–81 at the AWRE, and Chief Weapon System Engineer of Polaris from 1981–2
- Fuller Osborn, Chief Executive from 1965–78 of Northern Rock Building Society
- Jerry Pam, Hollywood agent and member of the Finance Committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; publicist of Sir Michael Caine
- Keith Pavitt, of the Science and Technology Policy Research
- Maurice Peston, Baron Peston of Mile End, English economist, Professor of Economics from 1965–88 at Queen Mary College, and father of Robert Peston
- Harold Pinter
- Prof Derek S. Pugh, British psychologist, business theorist and Emeritus Professor of International Management at the Open University Business School (attended 1944 to 1948, evacuated to Northampton during World War II)
- Henry Richardson, film editor
- Lt Col F. J. Roberts, editor of the 'Wipers Times'
- Philip Robinson, executive director, Financial Services Authority 1998 - 2009
- Norman Rose, biographer of Sir Winston Churchill
- Ralph Shackman, professor of urology from 1961–75 at Hammersmith Hospital
- Alfred Sherman, journalist
- Barrie Sherman, trade unionist
- Colin Shindler, first professor of Israeli Studies in the UK, SOAS
- Aubrey Silberston CBE, professor of economics from 1978–87 at Imperial College London, and father of Jeremy Silberston
- Barry Supple CBE, professor of economic history from 1981–93 University of Cambridge, and a former Director of the Leverhulme Trust, and father of Tim Supple (attended from 1942 to 1949)
- Maurice Vile, Professor Emeritus and former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the University of Kent.
- William Warbey, Labour MP from 1945–50 for Luton, and from 1953–5 for Broxtowe, and from 1955–66 for Ashfield
- Maurice Wohl CBE, businessman
- Henry Woolf, theatre director
- John Yudkin, Professor of Nutrition from 1954–71 at Queen Elizabeth College, known for finding links between sugar and coronary heart disease
Grocers' Company's School (1876-1906)
- F. Britten Austin, playwright whose book The Drum would be made into The Last Outpost
- Sir Robert Barlow, businessman, former Chairman of the Metal Box Company
- Prof Raymond Wilson Chambers, Quain Professor of English Language and Literature from 1922-41 at University College London
- Cecil Vandepeer Clarke (1888-1961) engineer, inventor and soldier.
- Prof Millais Culpin, Professor from 1931-9 of Medical-Industrial Psychology at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
- The Clove's Lines: The Newsletter of The Clove Club: The Old Boys of Hackney Downs School 3.2 (Mar. 2009): 32.
- "MC" (Michael Caine), "A Message from Evacuee Maurice Micklewhite", The Clove's Lines: The Newsletter of The Clove Club: The Old Boys of Hackney Downs School 3.2 (Mar. 2009): 16. Print. (Sent by Michael Caine to Jerry Pam for publication in this issue.)
- Financial Services Authority
- Millais Culpin
- O'Connor, Maureen, et al. Hackney Downs: The School That Dared to Fight. London: Cassell, 1999. ISBN 0-304-70710-4 (10). ISBN 978-0-304-70710-2 (13). Print.
- Watkins, G. L., ed. The Clove's Lines: The Newsletter of The Clove Club: The Old Boys of Hackney Downs School. Print. (Some issues are accessible online at the website of The Clove Club.)
- Watkins, G. L., ed. 'Fortune's Fool': A Life of Joe Brearley: The Man Who Taught Harold Pinter. Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Eng.: TwigBooks, 2008. Print.
- The Clove Club ("Founded in 1884") – Official website of "The Clove Club: The Old Boys of Hackney Downs School, formerly The Grocers' Company's School – founded by The Company in its corporate right, in 1876."
- Social Change and English, 1945-1965 - Hackney Downs is one of three schools in London that are included in this Leverhulme Trust-funded project about the teaching of English in the period 1945-1965. The project is collecting oral histories from former teachers and pupils at the school.