My best friend and I attended Suttons Secondary Boys School in Hornchurch Essex, and both of us were fortunate to be chosen to attend a two month summer term at Kennylands, situated at Sonning Common Berkshire. Actually we were both lucky twice and attended two years in succession. The Camp was beautifully laid out in two seperate halves, divided by a central dining hall and a flag pole. I didn't realize until I arrived at camp that the 'other half' of the camp was for girls.
No entry to the girls' half was permitted under the threat of being expelled. The only exceptions were to attend church on Sundays and when parents visited. We were required to attend ballroom dancing lessons each week and many of us lads would likely never have learned to dance properly without these lessons taught by Mrs Gibbs the headmistress. We played all kinds of sports and also did normal school work. The community living taught us many values that would come in handy later in life. This part of the world was a wonderful place for boys and girls from the "Big Smoke", or even the suburbs, to live together in a well run camp. Many of us have rekindled friendships since those days through a website for prior students. We loved the beauty of the countryside, the old churches and the local pub "The Bird In Hand". If you were a student at Kennylands check in on the website and keep in touch with other ex-student members who have a special love for Sonning Common to this day. Sadly the school has been demolished to make room for a Seniors' Residence, However Kennylands will be remembered through the generous donation of a lovely bench for the Seniors which is inscribed with the name of the school.
A memory shared byon Dec 6th, 2007.
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