School Timeline

1915 Miss Margery Bray and Miss Elsie Bourne were approached by Mr William Webb to open a school
1916 The school began in the “Woodcote” Smithy
  Battle of the Somme
1917 Building of the school on its 4 acre site, designed by Sidney Tachell,
  Commonweal held its first Sports Day
  Commonweal held its first Alfred’s Day celebration
  Founding of the Guide Company at the school (2nd Purley)
  The Battle of Paschendaele
1918 The new Recreation room was built (affectionately know as the Rec). It was a War Work Depot from Bond Street that had been dismantled
  The Armistice – World War I ends
1919 The first ever play to be performed was called “Visions of Alfred” and was written by Miss Bourne. The drama teacher at that time was Margaret Rutherford who went on to become a famous actress
1920 Field sports were started
  Dedication of  the War Memorial on Woodcote Green
1921 The Ministry of Education made a preliminary inspection of the school
1922 The first candidates were entered for Junior and Senior Oxford exams
1923 Music Hall Built
1925 Seven new classrooms, a library, extended cloakrooms, kitchens and a new staffroom
  Miss Bray received the Silver Coss for Gallantry for saving the life of a young child in London
  John Logie Baird gave the first public demonstration of televised silhouette images in motion, at Selfridge’s Department Store in London
1926 The start of inter school sports. The forst contest was Commonweal, the Manor House and St Michaels’s Limpsfield
  The General Strike
1927 First full inspection of the school by the Ministery of Education – receiving recognition as an efficient grammar school
  The First Talking Film
  Amy Johnson flew solo from Croydon Airport to Australia
1929 Form outings began twice a year to a place of interest
  The first British television broadcast was made by Baird Television’s electromechanical system over the BBC radio transmitter
1931 The swimming pool opened
  The four Houses were formed; Kent, Wessex, Sussex and Mercia
1935 Crystal Palace catches fire
1936 Miss McHardy left to become Headmistress of Micklefield School
  The Abdication of Edward VIII
1937 Elsie Bourne died after a short illness on 1st April
1938 The new art room was opened by Viscountess Buckmaster in the memory of Miss Bourne
  Chamberlain meets Hitler and resolves the Munich Crises. He arrives back at Croydon Airport and famously declares that “We have peace in our time”.
1939 War is declared against Germany
1940 Commonweal Lodge School evacuated to Ardock, Lewdown, Devon
1941 Army requisition of the school buildings
1943 Commonweal returns from Devon
1945 The end of World War II
1948 The first candidates were entered for Advanced Level exams (Higer Certificate)
1949 The first Festival of Music was held by the school
1951 The first Festival of Speech and Drama 
1952 The new house Northumbria was started (closed again later, not sure when)
1954 A school inspection found them to be excellent and they were recognised by the Ministry of Education on the list of Secondary (non grant aided) schools
  For the first time a party 26 girls went to Abelboden in Switzerland to enjoy winter sports
  Miss Doran (Maths) died and The Doran Picture was presented in her memory each term, to the form that had been most helpful to the school
1960 Miss Bray retires as Headmistress after 44 years and Miss Molly Lockwood takes over
  The Bray library is opened
1961 Parents’ meetings were introduced
  The first man in space
1962 Margery Bray died in Purley hospital
1963 Two new hard tennis courts were built on the “orchard”
  Kennedy is assassinated
1966 The gym and changing rooms were completed
  Miss Lockwood retires as Headmistress and Miss Blunden takes over
  The death of Sir Herbert Butcher, the first Chairman of the Governors and great friend to the school
  England win the World Cup!!
1968 Douglas Englebart gave a preview of what would become the staples of daily working life in the 21st century – e-mail, hypertext, word processing, video conferencing and the mouse
1969 First Moon Landings
1971 Britain is decimalised (making arithmetic so much easier)
1973 Classroom block between assembly hall and gym extended to two storeys creating six more classrooms
1977 The Queen’s Silver Jubilee
  First successfully mass marketed personal computer was the Commodore PET introduced in this year
1979 Margaret Thatcher became the first woman Prime Minister
1980 John Lennon shot and killed outside his New York apartment
1982 Miss Blunden retires as Headmistress and Miss Brown takes over
1985 The old cloakrooms were converted into the new economics room
1987 The great Hurricane
1986 The new music room was built
1988 A new Physics lab and prep room was fitted out
1989 The Web was invented by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee. An early popular web browser was ViolaWWW
1990 The junior block was opened by the Mayor of Croydon
1995 Miss Brown retires as headmistress as Mrs Law takes over
1996 The new science labs were completed
1998 Mrs Law retires as headmistress and Miss Maynard takes over
2008 A new, open-neck blouse available in two different styles for use throughout the school year. The blouse is designed to be worn outside the skirt and without a tie
2010 The school closes for the last time

In bold are events happening in the country and the world …

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