This site is for former pupils of Downhills Central School,
Philip Lane, Tottenham andwas created and formerly run by Jim Franklin and Roger Beckwith. Here's some information about them. [Since January 2020 it has been run by Eric Jukes. Biography to appear in due course.]

Jim Franklin Jim Franklin. Roger Beckwith Roger Beckwith.

I went to Downhills 1956-62. After a career in engineering project management, I am embarking on a new career as a lecturer in Information Technology. I married Pearl Hadwick, who attended Downhills 1956-61 and have two grown up children, one married.

As there was not a web site for the school, I though I would start one, hoping help would come along. It soon did in the form of Roger.

Interests include Shooting, Fishing, Cycle Sport, Real Ale and convivial company. On the artistic front, I collect late 19th/early 20th century crested ware, specialising in examples from the City of London.

I hold the old school in great affection. It provided me with a great start in life and it is a pity it is no longer there. It would have been nice to be able to repay the debt, so to speak.

JIM WROTE THE FOLLOWING WHEN THE WEBSITE WAS CREATED IN 2002:

"Education..... by which means alone we are rendered fit members of well organised society".

The Central School system was created after the First World War to provide selective secondary education outside of the existing Grammar Schools. Grammar Schools provided a "classical education," Central Schools had a vocational bias to suit the needs of industry, which was beginning to require large numbers of skilled professionals and managers. They provided a unique opportunity for able students to achieve academic qualifications, which otherwise would have been denied them. Downhills, like all other Central Schools, had all the features of a fee-paying school; a special identity of its own and a house system to encourage friendly competition in all aspects of student activity, academic and sporting - elements all sadly lacking today.

Alas, our school is no longer with us. It succumbed to the introduction of the Comprehensive system. However the spirit of the school is still very much alive and resides in its former students. This site is aimed at all those who started at Downhills Central School on or before 1964, when it occupied the Philip Lane site, or joined one of those classes during the period of amalgamations in the mid '60s.

Seeing again the buildings, the old school badge and other items of uniform is very evocative. The design of the badge is a stylised representation of the Water Tower that stood at the top of Downhills Park Road. The school colours were maroon, gold and black and the school motto was taken from the school's initials "DCS" - "Duty, Courage, Success." There are pictures of badges, scarves, etc in the Photo Album section of this site, together with photographs of the buildings.

It was a "spur of the moment" decision to create this web site, a mad, idle moment subsequent to joining the Friendsreunited web site. It had been a re-occurring thought over the years since the internet came into being, but the creation of Friendsreunited was the real stimulus. I am a database person and, when we started this site, was by no means a web designer. However Roger Beckwith quickly came on the scene and the general appearance of the site and most of the graphics are his work.

Just as a school is not only bricks and mortar, a school web site is not "new-fangled technology." It is the sum of all the contributions from former students, both in the form of physical material, which can be displayed - photographs, school magazines, etc. - and anecdotal material - stories of events and incidents, which can be related to inform and amuse the reader. So please continue to search out that photo from the loft or that long forgotten event from the back of your mind.

If you fancy writing just one more school essay and you have memories of some aspect of Downhills life that you would like to share, please start writing now and send the result to us. (You don't have to complete the paper in two hours and are allowed to consult any source of information that you like! Everyone will get top marks).

We are, of course, in no way intended to be in competition to the Friendsreunited web-site. Perhaps you have found your way here by the link on that site. If not, and you're not yet registered there, we strongly recommend that you do so. It's the best way of getting in touch with old school friends. Registration is currently free. If you want to email someone you have to pay £5 but that then allows you to send emails to as many people as you wish for a year. Names marked by an asterisk on the School Roll are already registered on Friendsreunited (or in contact with us) and can be contacted.

Information on this site is not definitive, it will certainly contain errors. Please feel free to submit corrections and suggestions. It is your site!

Jim Franklin
August 2002


Acknowledgements (so far)

Roger Beckwith for processing the material for the archive and photo pages, a monumental task. Paul Warren produced the graphic of the school badge. Contributions to the content of the site have been received from Ray Hooper, David Adamthwaite, Andrew MacLellan, Brenda and Eileen Russel, Clive Hall, Iain McNab, Bob Holder, Ron Dolman, Christine Peak, Pam West, Irene Fox and many others. The pictures of the school were provided by John Cunningham and Tony Collins.

A significant contribution has been made by Rita Read of the Bruce Castle Museum, Nr Bruce Grove in Tottenham. Rita has provided an "open house" to us and is obviously keen for the material held by the museum to be seen by as many people as possible. The Internet in general and our site in particular provides the perfect opportunity to do just that.

I started at the school in 1956, leaving in 1961. After taking A-levels elsewhere I started working in BBC Radio. Following a lengthy battle with cancer in the early 80s I decided the best career plan was the earliest possible retirement, a scheme I duly carried out a few years ago.

My main interests are oil painting and classical music (as a listener). I display some of my paintings on my web site and also show a selection of photographs of a village with which I have family connections. These photos show the village over a period of about a hundred years. I'm also working on archiving old family photographs in an attempt to bring some order to them and to preserve them for future generations.