The Olympics Come to School: 1948
The 1948 London Olympics.
Nicknamed the “Austerity Olympics", teams were put up in local schools. Acton High School (then named Acton County School) was to host the Iraq, Iran and Pakistan teams. Schoolrooms were converted to dormitories and lounges. The hall was used as a dining room and Veeraswarmy Restaurant in Regent Street provided catering.
A teacher named Mr Hamlin was appointed Camp Commandant and can be seen in the cartoon to above from the Acton Gazette clutching a book entitled “1001 things a Centre Commandant should know” and standing beside a door emblazoned with “Acton County School Olympics Hotel” and a welcome mat.
The games started on 29th July 1948 during a heat wave. A good crowd turned out in Gunnersbury Lane to see the athletes off. When the busses left for the stadium it was found that four key members of the Pakistani team had been left behind, including the team manager, flag bearer and the flag. Thanks to a handy station wagon they still got to Wembley on time.
The picture shows the Pakistani athletes marching into Wembley Stadium.
Please click the PDF link below to read the full report that local historian Maureen Colledge delivered to an Acton History Group workshop on 13th June 2012.