Invicta Primary School marks 79 years since wartime bombing

Fireman Harry Dixon’s family joined East Greenwich’s White Watch at the ceremony

Children at Invicta Primary School gathered this afternoon to remember the 15 people who died when the school was bombed during World War II.

Year 2 children joined White Watch from East Greenwich Fire Station for the short ceremony, 79 years to the day after the then Invicta Road School – which was being used as a fire station – was destroyed by a parachute mine which fell into trees opposite the school before exploding. Twelve firefighters and three others died.

Among those at today’s ceremony were members of the family of Harry Dixon, one of the firefighters who died that night.

Steve Hunnisett led the ceremony at Invicta Primary School

Local historian Steve Hunnisett led the ceremony, which came as the Year 2 children spent a day learning all about World War II. Steve was also on hand to talk to the children about the war, showing them shrapnel, an air-raid whistle, a gas mask and other items; while the firefighters also took questions from the children.

The plaque was installed at the school in 2017 by Firemen Remembered, an independent organisation devoted to raising awareness of the work of the fire services during World War II. It is on a Victorian wall at the back of the playground, the only remaining part of the original school. The replacement 1950s buildings were demolished in 2016 when the current school opened on the site of the old playground.

You can read more about the bombing of Invicta Road School on the Blitzwalkers blog.


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Charlton Manor school opens Sweet Pickings café to the community

Chef Flavio Hernandez and head Tim Baker are getting ready to welcome the community

You might have heard about the award-winning food on offer to pupils at Charlton Manor primary school – from this Saturday, you can sample it yourself. From 16 November, the school’s head Tim Baker and its chef Flavio Hernandez are opening the doors of their Sweet Pickings café for breakfast from 9am and lunch from 11am to 2.30pm. Breakfast is just £3 (£1 for children), lunch is £3.50 (£1.50 children).

Mr Baker has been running a healthy eating campaign at Charlton Manor since 2004, and has developed Sweet Pickings to get the word out into the wider community. Find out more on our sister site, 853, or follow @charlton_manor on Twitter for the latest.


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See Charlton-based author Andrew Donkin’s work in The Big Issue

Andrew Donkin's Big Issue strip

There’s always a good reason to buy The Big Issue, but there’s a particularly good one this week as local author Andrew Donkin has helped produce a comic strip telling the story of one of the magazine’s vendors.

With Eoin Colfer and Giovanni Rigano, Andrew created the award-winning graphic novel, Illegal, about a boy’s epic journey to Europe.

Now the trio have produced a special strip for The Big Issue. Andrew says: “I often buy The Big Issue and living in London unless you walk around with your eyes wide shut, you can’t help but notice the huge increase in people sleeping rough in the last few years. It’s gone right back to the bad old days of long ago.

“We had a piece of comics journalism at the back of Illegal and we wanted to do more. Comics are such a brilliant medium and they are, in my view, underused in this genre. We were delighted that The Big Issue features editor, Steven, invited us to tell one of their vendor’s stories as a comic. When I say ‘invited’, I mean we twisted his arm. With the strip we wanted to put a human face on a vendor and help Rae tell her own story. We wanted to show how The Big Issue really does help people and Rae is a brilliant example of that.

“One of the biggest challenges in dealing with real world stuff is of course taking care to be as sensitive as you can with the material. Our five page strip, Rae’s Story, tells the story of a real person who’s going to read the issue – as are her friends and family. It was great to speak to Rae as we wrote the strip and she was very supportive and very helpful.”

The Big Issue is available now for £2.50 – often outside Charlton Sainsbury’s and Blackheath M&S.


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