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Authority record

South Norwood Ladies Swimming Club

  • CB127
  • Corporate body
  • 1883

South Norwood Ladies Swimming Club was formed in 1883 after a meeting at 'Sunnyside', South Norwood Park, the residence of Charles Horsley. This resulted in the inauguration of a club which, from the end of the nineteenth century until 1914, was the largest ladies swimming club in England, with a membership of over two hundred. At the time of its dissolution in 1934, after 51 years, it was also the oldest club of its kind. The club was based at the South Norwood Baths (Birchanger Road), and played a large part in the campaign for their modernisation from a small open-air bath to an enlarged covered facility, completed in 1913. Every year various activities were organised, including racing, other competitive events and the annual Entertainment (consisting of serious and light-hearted events). This did not take place during the years 1916-1919, when the Admiralty was using the baths to store the furniture of soldiers away fighting. Because of the War, membership of the Club fell from around 200 to 50 and never fully recovered. The problem was exacerbated by the coal strike in 1921 which meant that the baths were once again closed and the Entertainment had to be cancelled, whilst other clubs continued to function as normal; and also by changes in the district and the lack of younger members coming up to replace the Seniors. In 1934, with membership down to 33, the decision was taken to dissolve the Club.

During its existence, the Club attached great importance to the teaching of life-saving techniques, and a total of 157 awards from the Royal Life-Saving Society were gained by members. In addition, it was notable for being the first club to use a musical swimming drill; and for leading the way in the adoption of a practical ladies swimming costume.

The Honorary Secretaries of the club were:

Mrs. Horsley (1 year) 1883-1884

Mrs. Botterill (1 year) 1884-1885

Mrs. Lynch (3 years) 1885-1888

Mrs. Frederic Cooper (4 years) 1888-1892

Miss Mabel Cooper (7 years) 1892-1899

Miss Fannie Moore (26 years) 1899-1925

Mrs. Stuart Carter (1 year) 1925-1926

Mrs. Tom Sutton (7 years) 1926-1933

Miss Fannie Moore (1 year) 1933-1934

South Norwood Primary School

  • CB103
  • Corporate body
  • 1872

Station Road School opened 18 November 1872 and until 13 January 1873 took Infants and post Infants Girls. There was no Boys School at this time. From 13 January 1873 the Infants and Girls formed two separate schools.

The Girls and Infants moved into new buildings in May 1875 and this facilitated the opening on 24 May of a Senior Boys School and on 28 June of a Junior Mixed School. This closed on 10 September 1897 at which time, presumably, the Junior Boys and Girls were absorbed into the Senior Boys and Girl Schools, respectively. Throughout this period the schools were frequently expanded due to rising numbers.

In September 1931, the schools were reorganised, the Boys and Girls Schools thereafter only for Juniors of each sex and the Infants being combined with the Junior Girls. The Senior Girls and Boys were transferred elsewhere. From 01 September 1933 there was a temporary annexe in the Methodist Church Hall on Suffolk Road; this closed in the Summer of 1937 when new buildings were opened.

During WWII, the pupils were evacuated to Brighton and then, in July 1940, to New Haw, Chertsey, together with pupils from Gonville and Ingram Schools. They were later absorbed into local schools.

Rising numbers meant that separate Girls and Infants were set up again in 1953. This was followed in 1959 by the amalgamation of the Junior Boys and Junior Girls and in 1981 by the amalgamation of the Juniors with the Infants.

Southern Pathfinders

  • CB191
  • Corporate body
  • 1931

The Southern Pathfinders (often called 'Sopats') were a Croydon-based rambling club, founded in March 1931 by Victor Morecroft of Addiscombe. Early members were recruited through a letter published in the Croydon Advertiser, and at the end of the first year there were 111 members. The club disbanded during World War II, but was revived in 1946. Regular rambles, generally in Surrey, Sussex and Kent, were organised; and there were also night walks, tours lasting several days, and (until 1969) purely social events. The club is still active in 1997.

The Club was affiliated to various national countryside bodies, including the National Council of Ramblers Associations (afterwards the Ramblers Association), and the Youth Hostels Association. It was at a meeting organised by the club in December 1933 that the Croydon YHA, the first independent branch of the national organisation, was initiated.

Victor Morecroft (1899-1984) was the founder and first Hon Secretary of the club. He left in 1934; but returned in 1953 to become Chairman, then Vice-President from 1955, and President from 1977 until his death in 1984. Herbert Gatliff (1897-1977), a high-ranking but eccentric civil servant with numerous country interests, served as the first Chairman, and later as President, until his death in 1977: he devised the club motto, 'We wont go cosy'. Another important figure was Harold Ockenden (1908-1988), who succeeded Morecroft as Secretary in 1934, became Treasurer in 1946, and Vice-President from 1969 until his death in 1988: for most of this period, he also continued to act as Secretary.

Spring Lane Temporary Infants School

  • CB101
  • Corporate body
  • 1918

Opened in 1918 in Woodside Baptist Hall as an overflow school for either Woodside Infants School or Portland Road Infants School. Closed in 1921.

Spring Park Primary School

  • CB102
  • Corporate body
  • 1949

Opened as a primary school in 1949 for pupils aged 5 - 11. In August 1954, a separate infants school was opened. The infants and junior schools were amalgamated in 1998.

St Andrews High School

  • CB119
  • Corporate body
  • 1862

A church school had been established at St Andrews Church by 1861, possibly in Southbridge Road. On 5 December 1861, the managers of the school applied for aid in building new premises. (Source: Library of the National Society). This explains why St Andrews Mixed Infants and Girls School (opening log book entry 29 December 1862) and St Andrews Post-Infant Boys School (opening log book entry 5 January 1863), in Southbridge Road, are both described as having reopened. In 1866, the latter school closed and the former was split to form St Andrews Girls School [Upper] and St Andrews Mixed Infants School [Lower].

There is a reference also in 1861 to the existence of a small, dirty, ragged school in Old Town, Croydon. On 26 August 1872, an all-age Ragged School had opened there. From 1 February 1893 to 1903, there was a separate infants department. From 1907, the school was known as St Andrews Old Town School. From August 1913, the senior pupils were sent elsewhere and the school became a combined infants and junior school.

In 1894 St Andrews Boys School [Upper] had opened in a new building.

On 31 March 1921, the schools were reorganised. Senior children from St Andrews Old Town School were transferred to St Andrews Girls School [Upper, Senior and Junior] and St Andrews Boys School [Upper, Senior and Junior]. The infants from the main school (St Andrews Mixed Infants School [Lower]), were transferred to the Old Town school, which became St Andrews Old Town Infants School.

On 27 August 1927, the boys and girls schools were amalgamated to form St Andrews Mixed School [Senior and Junior]. On 1 September 1930, the Old Town infants school was merged with the main school and the senior pupils (age 11 and above) were transferred to other schools, which resulted in the formation of St Andrews Junior Mixed and Infants School. On 8 September 1933, senior pupils were readmitted and the school became St Andrews All Age School. On 1 September 1951, the infants and juniors were sent elsewhere and the school became a Secondary Modern, and in 1971, a comprehensive. It remains a Church of England school.

St Giles School

  • CB118
  • Corporate body
  • 1925

The school was opened in January 1925 at Winterbourne Roas as a school for Physically Defective Children. About 1928 the school took the name St Giles and on 09 January 1933 was transferred to Featherbed Lane in Addington where an extension for delicate children was opened on 18 Oct 1937.

During WWII the children were evacuated and the building housed New Addington Senior School.

Although a new block was opened in 1952, the rest of the buildings became very dilapidated, was condemned by the Inspectorate and was replaced by new purpose built premises in Pampisford Road in 1977 where it remains open as St Giles Special School, a school for children with physical disabilities from the age of 3 -16. Its catchment area extends beyond the London Borough of Croydon to include neighbouring London Boroughs. The Featherbed Lane buildings are now occupied by the Jehovahs Witnesses.

St Johns Church of England Primary School

  • CB117
  • Corporate body
  • 1834

In 1834 a dame school came into existence in a cottage that was later altered and enlarged to become the present sextons cottage, on the corner of Spring Park and Shurley Church Roads. The school was held on weekdays; on Sundahys a curate from Croydon Parish Church conducted a service there. A Cof E Chapel of Ease was built there in 1836.

The first Dame recorded is Mrs Eliza Pestell. She was married to the coachman of the Revd. Matthew Farrer, who became Perpetual Curate of Shirley in 1841. The Pestells were already living in Shirley, however, in 1838 when their second daughter Anne was buried while still an infant (two later daughters would also die before reaching majority). The Farrers were connected with the Earl of Eldon whose house stood where the grounds of Trinity School are now, so Thomas Pestell, Elizas husband, may earlier have been in the Earls service.

In 1854 the school room was enlarged and on 10 January of that year the Pestells eldest daughter, by then 21, took charge of the Girls and infants, and, apparently, her mother continued to be responsible for the Boys. These met in the Reading Room (presumably the Chapel) but in 1869 moved to a new building between the cottages and the churchyard gate in Spring Park Road. Meanwhile in 1856, the chapel had been replaced with the present church; the new Boys School was adjacent to its graveyard. There is a painting of the first Boys School by W.H.Mills, a former pupil.

Both the previous schools were replaced by a further new building, erected in only three months, which was opened by the Vicar, the Revd W. Wilks on 17 September 1885. This also stood on the Spring Park frontage.

On 09 January 1903 the schools were reorganised and combined under the Headmaster of the Boys School with effect, apparently, from 01 November 1904.

On 09 January 1933 the school was again reorganised. This was to implement the 1931 Education Act but also because numbers had suddenly become unmanageable because of the vast number of houses being built locally. All Seniors were transferred to Davidson Senior Boys and Girls Schools and travelled there by Corporation bus. It was at this time that the name St.Johns School was first used.

At 2.30pm on Wednesday 26 July 1944 a V1 flying bomb fell in the Infant playground and the blast destroyed the school buildings. Twenty four children and three teachers were in a shelter in the playground and, although the shelter filled with fumes and the doors were shattered, no one was injured. The children were evacuated safely to another shelter in the nearby recreation ground until the all clear was sounded.

For the next ten years the school was lodged at nearby Benson Primary School until the current pemises were opened by the Archbishop of Canterbury on 03 June 1954.

St Luke's School

  • CB115
  • Corporate body
  • 1930

Opened June 1930 at Thornton Heath Polytechnic, as a special school for myopic and partially blind children. Moved to Winterborne schools on 9 January 1933 and opened in its own building on that site on 3 September 1937. Evacuated to the Open Air School, Beechy Avenue, Eastbourne, 4 September 1939 and closed 14 June 1940, when invasion seemed imminent. Reopened 29 March 1946 at Fairchildes and returned to Winterbourne in 1954. Closed in July 1981, the pupils being transferred to Oval Junior and Infants School.

St Marys RC Junior School

  • CB114
  • Corporate body
  • 1863 - 2007

St. Marys School was started at 8 Broad Green (the old Presbytery) in 1851, the first Chatelaine of the school arriving from the Convent of the Faithful Virgin (Virgo Fidelis), Norwood, on a cart drawn by a donkey. In the first week it had eight pupils. Shortly, it moved into an adjoining cottage.

The school was entirely voluntary until 1862, in which year it received State recognition; the following year it also received its first State aid.

On 3 July 1864 the school transferred to its present site and from January 1888 passed into the care of the Sisters of Mercy. From 1904, there was a separate Infants Department, perhaps until 1936. In 1939, the school was evacuated to Latcham, Sussex and then after Dunkirk, to Addlestone, Surrey, and later to Withiel, Cornwall. In 1955 pupils over the age of 11 were transferred to a new and separate Secondary School which became ST MARYS (RC) HIGH SCHOOL).

In 1968, the Primary children moved into a new building, separate Infants and Junior Schools being created at that point.

St Michaels School

  • CB113
  • Corporate body
  • 1877

The school was a Church of England School throughout its history. Existed before 1877 probably as Good Shepherd Junior Girls and Infants School. A separate infants school, Good Shepherd Infants School was opened on 24 October 1884. Also on 24 October 1884, it seems that junior boys joined the junior girls to form Good Shepherd Junior Mixed School. On 30 September 1896, the infants and junior schools were reunited to form Good Shepherd Primary School. On 24 August 1908 the school was reorganised for girls, juniors and infants in new buildings in St Jamess Road and the name of the school was changed to form St Michaels Girls and Mixed Primary School. On 3 October 1927, the school was reorganised for senior girls only and became St Michaels Senior Girls School. On 1 September 1930, the school became St Michaels Girls Central School, in a further reorganisation. The school was evacuated to Whitehawk School, Brighton, Sussex on 4 September 1939 and closed circa January 1944, at which time it was located in three different Croydon school buildings. In 1948 the school was revived as St Michaels Infant School and on 3 November 1948 it received the staff, children and records of the closed Tavistock Infants School in Grenaby Road. The school closed in July 1976, because of low numbers and the inadequacy of the site.

St Peters Primary School

  • CB112
  • Corporate body
  • 1858

Founded as St Peters National Infants School in August 1858. Evacuated to Crowborough, Sussex, September 1939, later to Barnstaple. Became St Peters County Primary School in September 1951 and later St Peters Primary School.

St Raphael Club

  • CB020
  • Corporate body
  • 1971 - 1993

The Croydon branch of the St Raphael Club for physically handicapped persons was founded in 1971 by Tom and Celia Podd as part of the St Raphaels Federation. It started in St Marys Church Hall followed by St Augustines Church Hall and latterly the Waylands Centre at Fiveways. It closed in 2002 due to falling membership but the occasion was marked with a commemorative lunch in Fairfield Hall. The donor was Vice Chairman of the Club.

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