Quentin Erroll founder of QE Academy.
A journalist and writer who believed that all people should be taught to question the status quo and not accept one’s position in life as simply part of the ‘natural order’ of things.
Scant evidence survives detailing how our founder grew from relative obscurity in the 20th century to make his fortune and establish this school of thought. Archivist James Tellman has been going through the catalogues to see if he can shed any more light on a person lost in time who we are all truly indebted to.
“Walking through the ramshackle vaults of the Academy my nose is repeatedly assaulted by the dust that has lain dormant there for decades now. Our Academy has embraced a wide range of modern educational tools in order to ensure that our students are given the best possible chance in life, however when it comes to replacing or properly getting rid of the older forms of technology that we have, we’re perhaps a little bit behind the times…
My role here at the QE Academy has been one that has constantly changed, similar, in a way, to how the life of our founder Quentin Erroll’s would have changed over the years too. Despite the school being named for the man, the existence of statues and paintings and the like, it’s amazing how little hard evidence we actually have of our founder, especially when you consider the advances of the Information Age. Still – I’ve been spending some time exploring the vaults and seeing if there’s anything new to be discovered about the Academy’s provenance.
So what do we really know of our founder?
Quentin Erroll was born Solomon Bridge somewhere between 1925 and 1930 to Joseph and Sarah Bridge. Not much is known about his early years other than that he was one of several hundred children from London’s East End who refused to be evacuated to the countryside. Much has been written about the poor state of evacuees from London during the Second World War, but not much is known about those who decided to stay.
Too young to join up the war effort, Solomon’s teenage years are understood to have been concerned with helping his fellow Londonders through the tough War years and taking several youngsters under his wing. It it not known whether Solomon wilfully ‘ran away from home’ during the years of the war or his family was separated in some other way. All we know is that by the end of the War he had changed his name and found a way into the good graces of a high-profile businessman.
For all intents and purposes we understood Quentin to have come from a poor background, yet somewhere between the end of the Second World of War and the founding of the Academy in 1962 he had managed to raise the necessary funds to adapt the original building (a hospital that had long been dormant) into a forward-thinking Academy that would educate subsequent generations to think for themselves.