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Authority record

Primrose League Grantham Dames

  • CB137
  • Corporate body
  • 1883

The Primrose League was founded in 1883, started by Sir Henry Drummond Wolff and ten friends at the Carlton Club, primarily to promote unity in a Conservative party at its lowest ebb. The League recognised that the party didnt consist of any one class in the community and aimed to promote unity between the classes. Lord Randolph Churchill was a leading light, and the organisation was seen by him as the way forward to enable the new Tory Demoncracy to regain power. Women members were known as Dames.

The Croydon branch of the Dames Primrose League, Grantham Habitation No 505, was founded in July 1885. Lady Randolph Churchill, and William Grantham MP and his wife Emma were present at the inaugural meeting. Mr Grantham was MP for E. Surrey from 1874 - 1885 and became Croydons first MP in November 1885 securing a majority over Mr Jabez Balfour. In one of its opening minutes of meeting the function of Habitation was outlined as discussing the ways in which ladies could help in counteracting the ignorance was erroneous principles among the people. Members included Dames (full women members), Honorary Members (men) and Absolute Members. Throughout the history of the Habitation, many charitable events were co ordinated, monies raised going to various good causes, especially during the First World War, eg. to homes for wounded soldiers. Juvenile branches were organised, awards for long service and successful recruiting were presented, and social events and speeches were often organised.

Dame Presidents

Mrs E. G. Man July 1885 - May 1886

Mrs M. E. Peard May 1886 - April 1887

Mrs E. A. Strong April 1887 - May 1888

Miss M. Etheridge May 1888 - April 1889

Mrs M. E. Peard April 1889 - April 1900

Mrs L. A. Walton April 1900 - April 1901

Mrs A. Crowley April 1901 - March 1910

Mrs A. Bouquet March 1910 - March 1913

Mrs A. Crowley March 1913 - ?

Priory Special School

  • CB032
  • Corporate body
  • 1973 - c.1999

School commenced January 1974 as a purpose-built all-age school for students with severe learning difficulties. After 1986 it took only pupils between 13 and 19. Since September 2000, this has been extended to between 12 and 19.

Public Record Office

  • CB174
  • Corporate body
  • 1846 - 1871

The drawings relate to new school buildings (or additional building work) for which grants from central government were being sought. All eight schools were elementary schools (generally with separate sections for Boys, Girls and Infants) established by the voluntary educational societies. Seven were National Schools (Church of England schools run by the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church), and the eighth a British School (run by the British and Foreign School Society, along more nonconformist lines).

Purley High School for Boys

  • CB031
  • Corporate body
  • 1914 - 1988

Founded 29 September 1914 as Purley County Secondary School. The school was single sex throughout its history and a grammar school until it became comprehensive in September 1971. Closed 31 August 1988.

Purley High School for Girls

  • CB022
  • Corporate body
  • 1933 - 1988

The school opened as Purley County School for Girls in Godstone Road in 1933. Moved to the Stoneyfield Road site on 22 February 1939. Single-sex throughout its history and a grammar school until becoming comprehensive in September 1971. Closed 31 August 1988 as a result of falling rolls.

Purley Nursery School

  • CB019
  • Corporate body
  • 1946 - 1993

In September 1946 Bleak House, 64 Pampisford Road, Croydon, which was then occupied by Coulsdon and Purley UDCs Wartime Nursery was taken over by Surrey County Council and became Purley Nursery School. It was leased to the County Council at a rental of 163125 p.a. Three years later the lease was renewed at 163150 p.a.

In 1955, Surrey County Council acquired the freehold for 1633750 (1631250 of that sum being the estimated value of the land). The house comprised four bedrooms; bathroom and WC on the first floor; three receptions, kitchen etc. on the ground fllor and various out - buildings.

In 1975, in conjunction with an exchange of land, a private developer, Caldicott Property Co. Ltd, agreed to erect a new nursery school at no cost to the Athority, but to the Authoritys brief at the rear of what had been Nos 60 and 62 Pampisford Road, the private architect being R.C. Woodward, RIBA of Westerham, Kent. This building was eventually completed and occupied in April 1978 and Bleak House was then demolished.

Purley Oaks Primary School

  • CB018
  • Corporate body
  • 1873 - 1997

Brighton Road Senior Boys School was opened on 19 August 1873; Brighton Road Junior Mixed [Boys and Girls] School on 22 August 1873 and Brighton Road Senior Girls School on 29 September 1873. Brighton Road Infants School also opened at some point in 1873. Between 24 December 1874 and 31 March 1878 and between 31 December 1912 and 31 December 1921, the Senior Girls School and the Junior School were combined. On 1 January 1922, the schools were reorganised to form a Senior Mixed [Boys and Girls] School and a Junior and Infants School. The name of the schools was also changed in 1922 from Brighton Road to Purley Oaks. On 23 August 1926, a further reorganisation saw the creation of a Senior and Junior School and an Infants School. On 31 August 1955, the senior pupils were transferred to South Croydon Secondary School and a Junior School and an Infants School were created. On 1 September 1981, the two schools were combined into a single Junior and Infants school under one head.

Purley War Memorial Hospital

  • CB007
  • Corporate body
  • 1911 - 1953

In 1907, a house in Purley was provided by J.P.Oldaker for conversion to a small hospital. He then initiated further development by obtaining a 999 year lease, starting on 25 March 1908, of land owned by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, which fronted on to Brighton Road. By 1909, a small Cottage Hospital providing eight beds had been built, and it was officially opened by Princess Christian on 31 March of that year. A lease of 1919 further extended the ste to Pampisford Road.

A decision had been taken at the end of the First World War that a suitable memorial would be the extension of the Cottage Hospital, adding further wards and facilities. The whole building was renamed Purley and District War Memorial Hospital and was officially opened in 1922 by which time the hospital now had 22 beds. The hospital was again expanded in 1926, when the Nurses Home was opened, and again in 1927 when the Outpatients Department was opened in a refurbished hut in the grounds which had formerly belonged to the Purley Division of the Red Cross Society. This was quickly followed by a childrens ward, a maternity ward and private wards. The X-ray department was added in 1929. By 1931, the hospital had 50 beds. However plans to expand further were curtailed by the outbreak of war in 1939; only a replacement outpatients department and new nurses dining facilites were completed.

The hospital, which had been dependent on voluntary funding, was transferred to the National Health Service in 1948. The number of beds rose to 59 and a chest department was opened in 1959. The hospital also operated a small casualty department until 1989. The function of the hospital changed in 1985 when the provision of healthcare in Croydon was altered. Purley was now reserved for the care of elderly patients and for outpatient clinics.

Queen's Road Homes

  • CB004
  • Corporate body
  • 1930 - 1987

After the Board of Guardians was abolished in 1930, the Queens Road Homes (formerly Croydon Workhouse) were taken over by the County Borough of Croydon from 1 April 1930, but continued to perform the same function (with a growing emphasis on the care of the elderly). In 1939, on the outbreak of war, the Homes were reclassified as a Class 2 Hospital under the Emergency Hospital Scheme; and as such received chronic sick cases. The buildings were partly destroyed by bombing in April 1941. The hospital was taken over by the National Health Service (SW Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board) in 1948, when it was renamed Queens Hospital, and became a geriatric hospital. It closed in 1987.

Red Gates Special School

  • CB079
  • Corporate body
  • 1935

The School was opened as a Training Centre in 1935. It was housed in an old church hall; its founder was Miss L.B. Cooney.

In 1937 it moved to another church hall and came under the care of the Local Health Authority. During the War the Centre was closed. It resumed in another church hall in 1945 and two years later moved to a big old house in Thornton Heath.

About 1952 it moved again to a 25 room house, Coldharbour House, in Purley Way. This was replaced by the existing building in 1969 and in 1971 responsibility was transferred from the Public Health Department to the Education Department. It took the name Coldharbour but this was changed to Red Gates on 01 January 1995.

Reverend J. M. Braithwaite

  • P044
  • Person
  • 1883

Jabez Spencer Balfour was born in Leith in 1834. Balfour was the most popular man in Croydon up to the years 1892, after which he was the most reviled. When Balfour moved to Croydon he lived at London Road then later at Wellesley House which stood approximately where Wellesley Road multi-storey car park is now. After Balfour took an interest in practically every movement in the town he was a natural choice for Charter Mayor in 1883. Balfour soon became top of the list for Burgesses of the Central Ward. Balfour became associated with a group of companies of which the Liberator Building Society was the principal one whoever this society failed in 1892 and Balfour fled to South America as a result of this. Due to the collapse of this society many thousands of small savers had lost their life savings. It wasnt until this happened and he fled to South America that the public found out he had swindled a huge number of people out of a huge sum of money through this building society. Balfour was eventually caught in South America, tried and sentenced to 14 years hard labour and was jailed on 28th November 1895. Balfour was accused of and found guilty of fraud. He was released in 1906 and died in 1916.

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