William Patten Primary School
(Version 1)

History: Part 1

Version 1 : January 4, 2008 1:44 PM

The school was built in 1892 as Church Street School. It was a three-decker London Board School building with a frontage of the slightly plainer kind which I associate with Champneys, who was the second architect to the Board.

The building appears to have been altered a good deal since 1892, but the story of these changes is not yet completely clear.

 

Description of the existing building

.

William Patten Primary School in 2006

William Patten School in 2006

The Church Street School Plaque still on the wall of
William Patten Primary School in 2006.

The initials LSB, for the London School Board, are at the top.Below are the words Church Street School. These have been carved into panels of Oolitic Limestone and surrounded by an elaborate brickwork plaque made of both moulded and cut bricks. The red bricks contrast with the wall, which is made of yellow/grey London Stock Bricks. The red bricks were made of Brickearth, while the London Stocks were made in the London Estuary and contain about 17 percent of Chalk. This plaque was built by a highly skilled bricklayer and must have been very expensive.

This detailed examination of this small part of the building is designed to show what unusual buildings these first London School Board buildings were. Education for all, was a completely new idea.

In one of the Sherlock Holmes stories he is travelling into London by train with Dr. Watson. He says:-

 

“Look at those big isolated clumps of buildings rising up above the slates.

“The Board Schools?

“Lighthouses my boy! Beacons of the future. Capsules, with hundreds of bright little seeds in each, out of which will spring the wiser, better England of the future.”

 

Hopes ran high and the London School Board was determined to carry the public with it. One way was to make their buildings stand out against the drab, ordinary streets. They were big and in a distinctive new style. Tall, out-topping the surrounding streets and light, with huge windows and bright yellow and red brickwork, they dominated the London shyline.

The Board did more than this. They first priced the cost of building and then ADDED TEN PER CENT, so that the architect could make the building of ‘architectural interest'. It was this 10% of extra money which paid for the good quality materials, the fine workmanship and the elaborate decorations like the plaque. One can imagine the bricklayer walking past the school years later with his grandson and quietly boasting that he had been chosen out of all the men, to build that plaque. The only one in the firm who could do it. The child, in his turn, may have boasted in the playground that his grandfather as the only person in all London who could have built it.

 

The History of the Site

The 1848 Tithe Map of the future William Patten School site.


William Patten School Site in 1863

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Patten School Site in 1894

To be found

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Patten School Site in 1914

To be found

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William patten School Site in 1936?

To be found

 

 

 

 

 

The Bombing Map

 

Colour Key References

(for guidance only)

Black Total destruction

Purple Damaged beyond repair

Dark Red Seriously damaged;

doubtful if repairable

Light Red Seriously damaged, but

repairable at cost

Orange General blast darnage - not structural

Yellow Blast damage, minor in nature

Light Blue Clearance areas

Light Green Clearance areas

V1 flying bomb

V2 long range rocket

 

Saved as bombing map key final.doc

 

 

 

 

William Patten School Bombing Map 1939-1945

To be found

 

 

 

 

Proposed New School in 1971

 

 

The William Patten School Site

Saved as wm patten replan site map copy. jpg

 

A PRPOSED NEW BUILDING ON A MUCH LARGER SITE

 

In 1971 it was proposed to enlarge the school site by demolishing surrounding houses and building a new nursery school.'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The proposed new William Patten School site in 1971

Saves as w patt 1971 site plan

 

All the houses within the red border would have been demolished between 1975 and 1981. The part within the blue border would have been developed when Church Street was widened.

This would have involved demolishing

1-29a Dynevor Road

2-42 Dynevor Rd

1-13 Lancell |Street

2-24 lancell Street

88- 98 Dynever Road

and the construction of a 2 form entry primary school.

 

The money paid for the houses would have been very small indeed. A planning officer at the LCC once said to me, “I have bought rows of old houses at a hundred pounds each.”

 

This was a total of 81 houses with an average of two families per house.

Perhaps 160 households were to be dispersed to new housing somewhere else; children and grandparents separated; local friends sent to different parts of London and even further afield. It would have been an enormous disruption for everyone.

Letters warning the occupants that their houses were to be compulsorily purchased were sent to them all, apparently in a very curt and impolite way. Not only was the decision to purchase and demolish their houses a shock, but the manner of announcing it caused great offence.

The letters from the Council provoked a stream of protests. People, especially old people, objected to being moved away from their nearby families and familiar streets. Some had looked forward to a comfortable retirement among people they knew. They would lose their hard-earned properties, with small, mature gardens, and instead, be stuck at the top of some tower block with lifts that did not work. Many of the local houses had been improved in recent years with the help of council grants. Housing Departments had been helping people to improve their properties and here was the Education Department demolishing them.

One person asked what had happened to the plans for the new St Mary's School, which she said had been approved 8 years before [1966] and had not been started.

There is a four page list, dated 3 April, 1974, of the names of the householders who sent letters of complaint. Apart from huge number of people who objected, this list shows how mixed the neighbourhood had become by that time. The family names include Plumb, Schuriah, Parris, Reid, Nicola, Ali, Miah, Akindria, Tuckel, and so on for four pages. People from all over the world were living in these streets, as they are today. To them all it was home.

 

LINK TO COPIES OF SOME OF THE PROTEST LETTERS.

 

The proposal to demolish the houses was dropped and later the school was enlarged in a different way.


Chief Officer's Report

 

William Patten School, Stoke Newington Church Street, N16

 

Site and Locality :

William Patten School fronts onto the south side of Stoke Newington Church Street, about fifty yards west of the junction with Stoke Newington High Street. The school is a two storey brick structure, built in 1892, and closely surrounded by residential and retail premises. The proposed development is at the rear of the school to which there is a pedestrian access from Dynevor Road.

 

Proposal

The introduction of nursery facilities into existing primary school, involving use of existing classroom, small extension, interior alterations, and the walling off of a section of the playground for the exclusive use of the.nursery.

 

Planning History

An application received April 1974, from the GLC for planning permission t develop William Patten School by the erection of a two form entry junior mixed and infant school with a play centre and provision of two unit nursery schools, has recently been withdrawn. However the GLC is still of the opinion the school's inadequate premises and site means that it should be rebuilt as soon as financial circumstances permit.

 

Material Considerations

The development consists of:-

•  existing classroom (24 feet x 24 feet) as the main nursery room;

•  enclosure of entrance way to form a small quit room, and the installation of a new entrance (with ramp) directly into the nursery;

•  the construction of an external toy cupboard and a wall about four feet high surrounded by a flat-topped iron railing three feet high, delimiting the nursery play area (20 feet x 27 feet).

 

There will of course be noise nuisance from the use of the nursery play area, but as the existing use is as a school playground there will be no significant increase in nuisance.

 

Conclusion

The proposal is satisfactory.

 

Recommendation (GLC.OBS)

No objection, but suggest that materials used match existing building.

 

 

 

 

In the 1970s plans for a new school building were put forward.

A large number of houses in the local streets were to be demolished and a new school built on the site.

 

Plan of proposed new site.

 

This would have involved demolishing

1-29a Diamont Road

2-42 Diamont Rd

1-13 Lancet |Street

2-24 lancet Street

88- 98 Dynever Road

and the construction of a 2 form entry primary school.

 

The money paid for the houses would have been very small indeed. A planning officer at the LCC once said to me, “I have bought rows of old houses at a hundred pounds each.”

 

This was a total of 81 houses with an average of two families per house.

Perhaps 160 households were to be dispersed to new housing somewhere else; children and grandparents separated; local friends sent to different parts of London and even further afield. It would have been an enormous disruption for everyone.

Letters warning the occupants that their houses were to be compulsorily purchased were sent to them all, apparently in a very curt and impolite way. Not only was the decision to purchase and demolish their houses a shock, but the manner of announcing it caused great offence.

The letters from the Council provoked a stream of protests. People, especially old people, objected to being moved away from their familiar streets. Some had looked forward to a comfortable retirement among people they knew. They would lose their hard-earned properties, with comfortable gardens, and instead, be stuck at the top of some tower block with lifts that did not work. Many of the local houses had been improved in recent years with the help of council grants. Housing Departments had been helping people to improve their properties and here was the Education Department demolishing them.

One person asked what had happened to the plans for the new St Mary's School, which she said had been approved 8 years before [1966] and had not been started.

There is a four page list, dated 3 April, 1974, of the names of the householders who sent letters of complaint. Apart from huge number of people who objected, this list shows how mixed the neighbourhood had become by that time. The family names include Plumb, Schuriah, Parris, Reid, Nicola, Ali, Miah, Akindria, Tuckel, and so on for four pages. People from all over the world were living in these streets, as they are today. To them all it was home.

 

Main Index