Blast from the Past
Leighton Park’s Archives teem with stories of various crises in the school’s 130 year history, with examples of amazing dedication and sense of community, tragedies but also some episodes that to modern eyes are unbelievable and raise a smile.
Definitely one for “keeping calm and carry on” was a legendary Biology teacher known as Ricky Schardt: John Allinson, Archivist writes “Richard Schardt had a baptism of fire when he joined the school in 1940. He was an assistant master in School House, working with senior colleagues Roger Moore and Knox Taylor. There was a serious outbreak of diphtheria. Schardt’s colleagues, as well as 12 boys and four domestic assistants were sent to hospital, and he found himself in sole charge of the boarding house. He was left not only doing all the teaching, all the duties and all the games, but washed up with a team of boys, stoked the boilers and attended to other maintenance problems as well, in the absence of the house porter. He and the Matron, Emily Bond, evidently held the place together. Many years after the War, Richard Schardt recorded his memories, and said that the hard work and long hours had been made enjoyable by good fellowship on the part of teachers and pupils. An LP version of esprit de corps.”