During the First World War Campbell Brown found it difficult to run his school. Food prices were rising and there seemed no way of increasing fees to cover these and other expenses. On 12th December 1917, he wrote to the Secretary of the Higher Education Committee for Hornsey:-

Sir,

I venture to submit for your consideration the present circumstances of the Tollington Schools. For some time past it has been a matter of the greatest difficulty to carry on the work of these two schools, which are privately owned and are without endowment or assistance from the public funds.

You will observe from the schedule (enclosed) that 640 children, almost all from the Borough of Hornsey, are being educated in the schools. A glance at the accompanying records and the knowledge which your Committee probably have of the general reputation of the schools, will satisfy you that the the standard of education favourably compares with that of the other secondary schools of the County.

The capital sunk in these schools amounts to some £25,000, £10,000 of which is still on mortgage. The Balance of the last year's working expenses shews a margin of £12 only on the Boys' School, and £364 on the Girls' School. This is after paying interest on the mortgages, but nothing whatever for my remuneration, apart from the provision of house room.

Having founded the schools and spent some years of my life in bringing them to their present state of efficiency, I have inevitably considered the welfare of the schools to the prejudice of my own private interests. Further, having regard to the nature of the district and the status of the children attending the school, it would not be to the public interest to raise the fees to the extent that would be necessary for the continued efficient working of the school.”

Campbell Brown then asked the Committee to consider taking over, in the public interest, the management and control of the schools. The subject had been raised.

By the end of the First World War the situation had become impossible. To provide the education expected of a good secondary school, Tollington needed new Science Labs, new Art, Woodwork and Metalwork Rooms and a Hall, all of which were beyond Campbell Brown's pocket. In 1919 he sold the school to the Middlesex Education Committee for £13,500 and retired to Brighton.

At the same time the Committee rented land for a playing field from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for £38 per annum. Five acres round the Gravel Pit was converted and the erosion of Coldfall Wood had begun. The Boarding House became a Boys and Girls Preparatory School (Tolly Prep.) for the two Tollington Schools. The Boys' School was considerably enlarged. A new block was built alongside the earlier Tetherdown building, with a Hall on the ground floor, Science Rooms on the first floor and Metalwork, Woodwork and Art Rooms at the top. The Art Room had an extensive view to the north as far as Barnet. This room had plenty of light, but the new Hall was so jammed against the older building that it turned the ground floor rooms of the older building into cellars, dull and gloomy. A light well would have made all the difference.

The layout from the 1928 Bazaar catalogue on page 60 gives a good idea of the school in the 1939s.

C D G H L represent the original Thornton House. E & F are the corrugated iron gym. The four Bs are the old school, built when the school was opened, with its windows to Tetherdown; while A was the new Hall with its stage (not shown) at the north end.

 

The Second World War

Pupils of all the schools were evacuated. Tolly Prep. School went to Woolverstone, in Bucks, and various other places, but many pupils returned and sometimes were evacuated once again. This meant that the school numbers fluctuated, but were always small.

During the period of the doodlebugs, the small pilotless planes which caused so much destruction, a special watch was kept from the Fire Station tower in Fortis Green. The children had their lessons at strong tables in the

 

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