Make it a thriller

7th November 2003 at 00:00

How World War II Was Won on the Playing Fields of LSE: the story of Willis Wright, groundsman and unsung hero
Written and edited by David Kingsley

Memories, Milestones and Miscellanies: 125 years of Norwich High School for Girls
By Alan Brodie

Willingly to School: the story of 900 years of education in Warwickshire
By David Howe

Could you write the history of your school to such electrifying effect that someone who knew nothing of the place would eagerly turn the pages, crying: "Listen to this bit"? These three authors, using three distinct but equally effective approaches, get high marks for trying.

David Kingsley's book has grasped the fact that the people we remember from school, college or university are the so-called "unsung heroes" - caretakers, ground staff, porters, kitchen staff, housekeepers - at least as much as the teachers. In this case, the central character is Willis Wright, who for 28 years - from 1929 to 1957 - was groundsman at the New Malden playing fields of the London School of Economics.

The story is told largely through a continuing correspondence between Mr Wright and the LSE staff. His tenure included the Second World War, so he writes at the height of the Blitz: "Just a line to let you know we are still alright, although we are getting a bit of a Dusting."

Read more in this week's TES Friday magazine

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