How School For the Blind Used To Be

this black and white film was made in 1961 at Dorton House School, Kent.Its amazingly Dickensian. Hymns to start and end the film.

When I took over the headship some 23 years later, things had moved on but I took over from the same Head. Only now seeing the film do I better understand his vision which was played out in that wonderful mansion setting. Everything in its place, strong discipline and Christianity never far away. Around ten past four on my first day, there came a knock at the door. One of the staff appeared in traditional kitchen maid’s costume/dress and laid a tray for me with tea an cake; so, as I say, now i get that perfect vision he had.

Sadly or happily, I think, the medical people destroyed that vision and, in the end the school. By 1984 we could not muster a football team of able lads and the 1980’s and 1990’s had sight problems amongst a whole range of other disabilities and the school did not long survive the turn of the century.

Nevertheless, this film is a testimony to a great vision and achievement for the time and many children with sight loss owe a huge debt to Dorton House School and its staff.

So enjoy something very different and I am sorry I can’t set up a direct link to the film./

Watch Eyes of a Child online – BFI Player

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