The Mary’s

Brick built, Victorian, four storeys high, black iron grilles covering the windows
It stood in the shadow of the stone built Islington Town Hall
Even then William Tyndale primary school felt like an ancient monument.

When I joined, it was already shared with kids everyone called the Mary’s
Sometimes we could hear them but we never met,
We never spoke and we never played or learned together
They were pupils from a church school, part of the big church on Upper Street,
Across the road from the King’s Head.
Back then we had no understanding of why they were there.
We only understood they were and they were different

Online, in the 21st century I found out why they shared our space,
The bombsite me and the other kids played on, was what was left of their school
After it had been hit by a V1 flying bomb on Thursday 29th June 1944

Three children were killed

And the next day the remaining pupils and teachers were moved to William Tyndale.
I don’t know why the Mary’s were kept separate.
Perhaps they thought they needed protection from the rabble and who’s to say they didn’t.
Twenty three years passed before a new St Mary’s Church of England Primary School
Was rebuilt on what had remained a vacant lot since its destruction.
And I’m pleased and surprised to say that in the year 2022,
Both premises are still working primary schools

And haven’t been turned into blocks of very expensive apartments

Jackie Parsons 2022

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