Out with the old in with the new. Farewell to Quarles but exciting times for Rainham.

Staff and students at Havering Colleges said a fond farewell to Quarles campus in Tring Gardens, Harold Hill, which is closing after 47 years – just as a new £15m Construction and Engineering Centre is to open in Rainham early next year.

Having been the base for the college Engineering, Plumbing and Welding courses for many years, and more recently for Foundation Learning students, the site is now earmarked for housing.

The gate was locked for the final time by Engineering Technician Colin Moore who has worked for the college at Quarles for 40 years and who was also a pupil at the original Quarles County Secondary School which occupied the site before it became part of Havering College in 1973.

Also saying goodbye to the campus was college Receptionist Wendy Kane, 72, who has worked at Quarles for 27 years, and long-serving Cleaning Supervisor Elaine Prior. Wendy was also a pupil at the old Quarles Secondary School when it was just a girls’ school, leaving to find a job at 15 years old in 1962.

Wendy had fond memories of the school and recounted the tale of the White Lady, a ghost who was supposed to have haunted some of the buildings!

Pictured locking the gate for the last time are, left to right, Assistant Principal Catherine Foley, Deputy Curriculum Director Sunny Bamra, Colin Moore, Wendy Kane and Elaine Prior.

Students due to start some Engineering courses in September will commence their studies at the Ardleigh Green campus and move to the new Rainham Construction and Engineering Centre once it opens.

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