Chiswick student organises school reunion in cyber space

Polytechnic friends reunited via new website after 60 years

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When former Chiswick Polytechnic student, Patrick Pyke, emailed a local paper to ask for help locating old schools chums he was amazed by the response. 

Now living in Australia, Mr Pyke is looking for his fellow students who attended the school in the 1940's before it was flattened by a flying bomb during the Second World War.  After the bombing, the students were dispersed across the borough to alternative educational institutes until a new school could be built. 

Mr Pyke was one of the six boys from Chiswick Polytechnic to be sent to girls school Heatham House in Twickenham in 1945 where they took commercial courses in shorthand, typing, book-keeping, commerce whilst the girls were given hygiene and domestic lessons.

It was last year when Mr Pyke saw that Jackie Langham, one of the class of 1945 at Heatham House, was searching for any members of the girls' class to get into touch with her with the object of a reunion by mail and perhaps start a newsletter.  After contacting Jackie Langham and submitting out his own request for ex-pupils to contact him, he has, to date, received six replies from ex-students aged 74 and 75 years old, many of whom are scattered round the globe.

Mr Pyke now wants to embrace the "wonderful arrival of the cyber age" to seek out further school friends who have lost contact over the years.  He is about to start a web-page and asking past pupils to contact him.  He also requested that if anyone has information, dates or photographs of the destruction of the school in the Bath Road in 1944 to also contact him.

Chiswick Polytechnic was based in Bath Road on the site where the Arts Educational School now stands.  Originally built in 1881 and named the Chiswick School of Arts and Crafts, it became the Chiswick Polytechnic in 1889.

November 2, 2005