CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

St Paul’s Primary school-keeper Ron Holding evicted after 43 years

Son Adam says parents taken to court 'like criminals' after getting 'no help' for new home

20 August, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Dozens of ex-pupils have signed letter supporting Ron and wife Janette

A POPULAR school- keeper and his wife have been evicted from their home of 43 years and forced to move to Hertfordshire.

Ron and Janette Holding had pleaded with St Paul’s Primary School, the London Diocese and Camden Council to help them find social housing in Camden.

The couple – Janette runs a nursery in Belsize Park – helped run the Primrose Hill school’s horse- shoe club, football club, juggling club, scouts, parents’ panto, Santa’s grotto and Christmas fair, car boot sales, jumble sales, Christmas party, school discos, end-of-year plays and leavers’ party disco. They also drove the school minibus.

Their son, Mark, who died in the house from cancer aged 19, is remembered with a bed of roses and plaque saying “Mark’s Roses” in the gardens at the front of the school.

The couple’s youngest son Adam said: “The way things have ended up has made me feel sick to my stomach. I am ashamed of the council and the diocese board.

“To have to take my parents to the High Court like criminals because they are being evicted was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Telling them that they will not give any more time broke my heart as my mum just broke down.”

He added: “We have had to club together as a family just to get a deposit and will continue to do this for the rent for as long as we can.”

Dozens of supportive messages have been posted online this week. Ex-pupils have signed a letter criticising the diocese and claiming it is failing to live up to the morality it preaches.

Adam said: “Mark passed away in the house we had all grown up in. That was a sad time for us all. To my knowledge that was the only time St Paul’s shut for a day, for the funeral.”

He said the diocese and the council had ignored emails for help with housing for his parents.

The council – which once gave Ron an award for his loyal service after 25 years at the school – has said it is not directly responsible for his housing as he was employed by the diocese.

The London Diocesan Board for Schools, which oversees Church of England schools, said it was pleased to hear that the Holding family had found somewhere to live following Mr Holding’s retirement. “We thank him for his 43 years of service,” a statement added

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