Those Old Boys and Masters who attended the 60th anniversary reunion at the School on 28th May 2014 will I am sure have been amazed by the three classrooms displaying hundreds of documents, photographs, drawings and artefacts representing the 21 years of the life of Cray Valley Technical High School.
To those who attended, it brought home the full scale and wealth of personal, social and educational history made available for the reunion and also captured by the CVTHS website which records thousands of documents and not just those on display at the reunion.
It was very noticeable that much of the material on display (mainly the Kingsland and John Francis Archive) was fragile and some was in danger of becoming damaged, destroyed or lost. A lot was still in amazingly good condition, particularly some of the professional photographs of some of the School activities.
An offer was made by the Admin Department of Kenmal Technology College, current occupiers of the School site, to store the documents. This rang alarm bells amongst some of us including Andrew Baxter who when packing up after the reunion very sensibly and unobtrusively ‘rescued’ the valuable collection.
The Kent Record Office in Maidstone.
The archive department was not interested.
The Bromley Archive Service at Bromley Central Library.
The chief archivist Lucy Allen was very interested in the history of CVTHS and the archives that we had accumulated. She considered that we had some very important material relevant to local, social and educational history. She appeared to understand the important changes that secondary education was going through during the lifetime of Cray Valley, that the School was unique and was a model that educationalists throughout the world were interested in.
The Institute of Education Library, University of London.
The IoE cannot accept school archives.
Following the 60th Anniversary Reunion several old boys posed the question “what now – should we be looking for a safe haven for our archives?”
Three avenues were explored:
In November 2014 Old Boys voted in an on-line poll by an overwhelming majority (over 98%) in favour of pursuing the Bromley Archive Service route.
In December 2014 the Archive Committee comprising Rod Dengate (1955 to 1962), Norman Baldwin (1957 to 1964) and John (Greg) Smith (1962 to 1970) was established and met to plan the archive process. They then met Lucy Allen, Bromley Archive Service Archivist to agree the correct procedures.
Early in 2015 a request went out on the CVTHS website for archive material to be sent to me. Many Old Boys submitted suitable material. Bob Kingsland, ‘Joe’ Kingsland’s son, very kindly agreed to permanently deposit (place documents in the custody of the Archive Service without altering or otherwise affecting ownership of them) and Andrew Baxter sent me the Kingsland and Francis Archives that he had rescued from the clutches of Kemnal Technical College.
The next few months were spent getting all the letters, programmes, reports, press articles, drawings, photographs, CDs, LP records and 8mm film reels ready for archiving and scheduling the items to ensure that we have a permanent record of what we have deposited
On 15th December 2015 all material currently available to me for archiving relating to Cray Valley Technical School for Boys, Cray Valley Technical High School for Boys and Cray Valley School for boys (collectively called CVTHS), was safely delivered to Lucy Allen, Archivist, at Bromley Archive Service. Lucy was delighted with all the material and very pleased with the way it had been scheduled and described. She felt that very little “weeding” would be necessary. She also reaffirmed that it could be made available if required for School reunions.
It will be a while before it is accessioned and fully incorporated into the Bromley Archives but it was delivered in time to be included, as a significant collection, in the 2015 annual report to the National Archives.
The relevant information that I provided on the Archive Deposit Form was:
Name of Depositor: Cray Valley Technical High School
Person making deposit: Rod Dengate, School Historian
Brief description: As attached schedule
Provenance: From former masters and old boys
Closure Period: None (this means it can be made available for the public to view immediately)
Permission given for BAS to weed: Yes
Unwanted material: To be returned to the depositor
Term of Deposit: Permanent deposit
The whole Schedule of Documents and Photographs compiled by Road Dengate (27 pages) is available for download HERE.