St Nicholas Church

Q. I was born and raised in Chislehurst and went to St Nicholas School for my primary education in the early/mid 1960s (I was born in 1956) and now live in South Africa.  Following a recent visit back to Chislehurst and very short visits back to the school and St Nicholas church I wonder if you can shed some light on a few things that jogged my memory.

I remember that if one stood with one’s back to the school and looked across to the pit/playground, there used to be some kind of underground air raid shelter or war room (?) etc to the left of the pit. I well remember sneaking in there as a youngster! –  When I asked a teacher about this, she didn’t know what I was talking about at all – I wonder if you or anyone in the society knows about this and if so, what it was used for?

Also during my visit to the church just across from the school, I was struck by the suprising number of very old and weathered gravestones. Although these are badly eroded by weather etc. I thought I could see what appeared to be a number of ‘cross patee’ or maltese cross. The same cross is also depicted on the church itself and gates. Can you tell me if the area or church itself have any connection with the Knights Templar? – who also used the same cross.

Hope I haven’t wasted your time with my daft questions!

Best Regards 
Steve Robinson. White River, South Africa

Paul Doble has sent us this response and another question:

“Among the queries in the Researchers’ Queries there is one by Steve Robinson of  White River in South Africa headed St Nicholas Church and asking about the “shelters” to the left of St Nicholas School as you looked out over the pit.

Yes they were there – I attended the school in the late forties (when the headmaster was a Mr Davey from memory and the senior master was Mr Fox). My understanding was that they were air raid shelters but, I was very young at the time!!

Paul Double, Katikati, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand