CHARTERS PART two
1970-1989 page 6
Returning to Paul's vision, his first building priority was to give his mother a permanent studio. In 1971 the first of many prefabricated structures was erected to create more teaching space and accommodation. She now was able to sit for uninterrupted hours, in the Doreen Wells studio, instead of sharing a noisy makeshift studio in the hall or the smaller studio beneath junior dorm. Her only break perhaps; "Now dear, would you go to Mr Leopold - you know where his office is? - ask him for a packet of Embassy! " She was very happy.
A fairly substantial house was purchased within walking distance of Charters which, when converted and an extension added, provided comfortable housing for most of the boys; their numbers rose to around sixty in the 80s. "As one of the first of three boarding boys, at just the age of ten years," Mark Burton writes, "how lucky was I to be amongst some two hundred girls?" Mark remained for seven years, graduating as a commendable head-boy. "Knowle House," he continues, "was originally shared with girls upstairs and regular visits between dormitories were common. Hiding under a bed when our housemother would come checking on the noise after lights out hoping that, if she visited our room, our clothes and pillows were placed well enough to look like a body." (Ed. Read this before, somewhere?). And older: "Sometimes we would return from a night time walk to climb back through the windows of Knowle House just as the milkman arrived. Yes we were real boys doing daft things but having fun. We had three brilliant carers who made sure we had plenty to eat and all our washing taken care of." (Ed. unlike the girls!)
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