[All images -- click to enlarge]
Today I found it on the bike and photographed the front. It’s flats now; recent building and security make it impossible to get round the sides or into the playground at the back.
But what is this school? It’s on New King’s Road, Fulham, and as I said is classic SBL: look at its standard 7-part symmetrical construction, each function (classrooms, mezzanine teachers’ rooms and cloakrooms, staircases and halls) separately displayed through the articulation of the elevation to provide interest along the street frontage. (The simple line of the back, as seen in the shots from the train – a line of classrooms on each floor, varied only by the shaping of the gables – wouldn’t have been tolerated by the architects at the front.)
I now have with me the final report of the School Board for London, published in 1904 before they were disbanded, to be replaced by the Education Committee of the London County Council.
It’s a beautiful production of 378 pages with much of the information I've been trying to get from more obscure sources, including a complete list of SBL schools and pull-out maps. Imagine some public body now going to that sort of trouble before being closed down.
The list and maps clear up a number of my puzzles, but not this one. On the relevant map school on New King’s Road doesn’t appear.
You see Putney Bridge. North of that New King's Road curves east. The school is in that first triangle formed by the road and the District Railway.
The school’s absence leads me to wonder whether it was built after the end of the SBL, in the early days of the LCC’s school building programme – the architect was the same, T.J. Bailey.
Bailey designed for the early LCC education authority the surviving 1905 building on the Mina Road site of what is now Walworth Academy and was Walworth (comprehensive) School, where I once worked. There was talk of the new Academy (it took over last September) demolishing this handsome building, but I see from the Southwark Council planning applications website that it is to be preserved. Good!
Here’s the brochure for opening ceremony:
You can see that a wall originally divided the boys' from the girls' playground. They had separate entrances, the girls to the ground floor and the boys to a staircase to the first floor.