Sadness as historic Melton school is demolished

Demolition of the former King Edward VII School buildings, off Burton Street in Melton EMN-180423-120120001
Demolition of the former King Edward VII School buildings, off Burton Street in Melton EMN-180423-120120001

Former pupils of an historic Melton school which closed in 2011 have talked about their sadness as bulldozers reduce it to rubble to make way for a new housing development.

King Edward VII School’s buildings have been vacant since the reorganisation of secondary schools across the borough.

Demolition of the former King Edward VII School buildings, off Burton Street in Melton EMN-180423-120120001

Demolition of the former King Edward VII School buildings, off Burton Street in Melton EMN-180423-120120001

And the Burton Road site is now being cleared, with Jelson planning to build 120 new homes and convert some of the buildings into 17 self-contained apartments, subject to Melton Council approval.

Former pupil Mark Ferrelly was taken aback when he went to look at his old school, only to find many of its buildings being knocked down. He described the sight as ‘depressing’ after taking some photos on the site.

The affection felt for the school, which opened in 1910, is demonstrated by the thriving Edwardians reunion group made up of 300 past pupils going back to the 1930s.

Secretary and treasurer is Brenda Munton, a student there from 1947 to 1955.

Demoliton of the former King Edward VII School site in Melton'PHOTO Mark Ferrelly EMN-180105-164800001

Demoliton of the former King Edward VII School site in Melton'PHOTO Mark Ferrelly EMN-180105-164800001

She said: “I look back with so much affection on my time there, so it is quite sad to see that it is being demolished.

“But our memories of going to the school are all in our heads and not in the bricks and mortar of the buildings.”

In the last seven years, members of the Edwardians have been safeguarding sporting and academic trophies which had been housed at the redundant school and finding new homes for them.

“We took all the cups and shields out - and there must have been 80 to 100 in there - we spent a lot of time tracking down people whose names were on them, so they could have a home for the future,” said Mrs Munton, a former teacher at Swallowdale and Asfordby Hill Schools.

Demoliton of the former King Edward VII School site in Melton'PHOTO Mark Ferrelly EMN-180105-164821001

Demoliton of the former King Edward VII School site in Melton'PHOTO Mark Ferrelly EMN-180105-164821001

The group also oversaw the relocation to the town centre of a blue plaque, which was put up in honour of perhaps the school’s most famous pupil, the late Monty Python comedy star Graham Chapman.

The Edwardians are preparing for their annual reunion get-together and they are anxious to attract younger blood to keep the group going for future generations.

Mrs Munton said: “We want to invite past pupils to bring along their partners, and we would love to see younger former students come along as the average age is around 70 at present.”

The annual meeting is from 12 noon until 3.30pm on June 9, at Burton Lazars village hall.

Demolition of the former King Edward VII School buildings, off Burton Street in Melton EMN-180423-120131001

Demolition of the former King Edward VII School buildings, off Burton Street in Melton EMN-180423-120131001

Email Mrs Munton at brenda.munton@ntlworld.com or call her on 01664 566098 if you would like to attend.

Jelson has outline planning permission for the new development but detailed plans still require council permission.

The company’s Rob Thorley said: “It’s nice to be able to retain some of the lovely old original buildings within the scheme. There will be a new access from Burton Road.”

Reader Anthony Parkes took this image from a drone camera of the demolition of the former King Edward VII Upper School in Melton EMN-180205-161526001

Reader Anthony Parkes took this image from a drone camera of the demolition of the former King Edward VII Upper School in Melton EMN-180205-161526001

Graham Chapman's former school friends John Bailey (left) and Ifan Griffiths, with fellow Edwardians members Margaret Spencer and Brenda Munton beside the new location for the blue plaque EMN-180205-161610001

Graham Chapman's former school friends John Bailey (left) and Ifan Griffiths, with fellow Edwardians members Margaret Spencer and Brenda Munton beside the new location for the blue plaque EMN-180205-161610001