Mr Lilley : Headteacher Laindon Park 1972-1986


My father, David Lilley, has just died at the age of 93.  He was headteacher at Laindon Park from 1972-86 when he retired.  I am writing up an obituary and some autobiographical notes.  I also have several school photos which I am willing to share and would welcome help in identifying other staff members.

Of particular interest is an anecdote which I came across on Friends Reunited several years ago but which seems to have been deleted.  Apparently he organised some children to clear out the school pond on the playing field site. The children presented him at some stage in the day with an object which they had found when cleaning up. It turned out to be an unexploded bomb, obviously the source of the crater/pond in the first place.

I would welcome some verification of this story as well as any other stories from his period at the school.

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  • Thank you Sandra. No teacher could wish for a better tribute for all their work.

    I have put pictures of my father that cover his time at Laindon Park on my web site:

    Roger Lilley (David’s son)

    By Roger Lilley (19/12/2015)
  • A nice touch here from Sandra Pearce indicating that all the headmasters at Laindon Park were kind, a tradition I’m sure. Mr Wilson was my headmaster 1957-1958 in my first year in Laindon. The thing above that has caught my eye is the reference to a pond on the school field. There was a pond near to the Hall at the corner of the field which was quite large. It had newts and other creatures in it, including a grass snake which we saw swimming across one afternoon after school. There was a crater in the next field after the school playing field which someone said was caused by a bomb as well. I recall that it was dry for most of the year. I wonder how the bomb was unexploded but managed to form a depression as large as a pond, can anyone else explain how this may have happened?

    By Richard Haines (19/12/2015)
  • Hi Roger.  Your dad was my headmaster at Laindon Park in the 70’s.  He had time and patience with us all. I wasn’t a good reader as a child and your dad would sit with me every day and listen to me read.  He was a teacher before his time  Without his help I would never have been able to experience the enjoy of reading a fantastic book which is still my favourite pass time. Your dad would say if you have a book with you, you will never be alone, he was so right, that is something I have carried with me all my life.

    We had such fun with the schools centenary there were lots of photos in the local paper of us.  I was in quite a few of them.  Your dad showed as all how to maypole dance and we all had to were Victorian clothing 

    As you know, Laindon Park is a very small school, so if you were tall, you played in the netball team.  We rarely had transport so your dad use to walk us to all the local schools to play, so by the time we got there we was normally worn out, so most of the time we lost. Then we had to walk back up that great big hill, but your dad would alway say in assembly the next day how proud he was of us.

    Your dad was a wonderful headmaster and the only teacher that made a difference in my life.

    Your faithful,  Sandra Lunney (maiden name, Sandra Pearce).

    By Sandra Lunney (18/12/2015)

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