The Borough Polytechnic Institute Day Trade School for Girls was established as the Waistcoat Making School - a trade school for girls - in October 1904 with 11 pupils. The trades taught soon expanded to include dressmaking and upholstery (in 1905) and ladies' tailoring and laundrywork (in 1908) and the School was renamed the Day Trade School for Girls. In 1947 the School was amalgamated with the Paragon Girls' Secondary Technical School, New Kent Road.
103 Borough Road was purchased 1891 to provide accommodation for the Borough Polytechnic Institute, which opened on 30th September 1892. The building was extensively refurbished by Rowland Plumbe. The Victoria Gymnasium for men, St. Olave Workshops and Edric Bayley Schools comprising the physics laboratory, physics lecture theatre and school of cookery opened in December 1898.
In 1908 the Edric Hall was added to the side of the main building, providing examination and entertainment space. In the late 1920s the building was once again altered, this time by W Courtenay Le Maitre, with new floor levels and façade, and an extra storey added. The building and new facilities were officially opened by the Duke of York on 20th February 1930.
The building was hit by two bombs in the early morning of 30th September 1940, causing damage to Edric Hall and the classrooms above and below it. The building was again hit on 11th May 1941, with the bomb landing in the woodwork shop and well area behind the library and Stanley Gymnasium. Incendiary bombs fell on the nights of 16-17th April and 19-20th April 1941, but these caused minimal damage. Refurbishment and repair works were carried out post-war and completed in the 1950s. During the 1960s plans were drawn up for the Tower and Extension Blocks which adjoined Borough Road Building and were completed in 1969.
The Borough Gallery was established with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to exhibit A David Bomberg Legacy - The Sarah Rose Collection, a collection of paintings and drawings by the artist David Bomberg and members of the Borough Group. The collection was built up over thirty years by Sarah Rose and includes over 150 works spanning a period of nearly 100 years. The Gallery is dedicated to exhibiting work from the collection and to carrying out a related programme of exhibitions, events and education activities.
The official opening event included speeches by the guest of honour Alan Yentob, Creative Director at the BBC as well as Wesley Kerr, Chair of the London Committee, Heritage Lottery Fund and Sarah Rose. Special guests included Cliff Holden and Dennis Creffield who were members of the Borough Group.
London South Bank University's Borough Road building was the former residence of the Borough Road Training College. The site was purchased from the College in 1890 and remodelled to accommodate the Borough Polytechnic Institute which opened in 1892. The Training College moved to Isleworth in West London and eventually became a part of Brunel University.
Desmond Gilbert Borton was born in his grandparents’ home in Ealing in July 1919, and grew up in Knollys Road, Streatham. He attended the New School in Streatham, which was the first Rudolf Steiner school in the UK, and on leaving school around 1936 went to the School of Building in Brixton.
In May 1939 Borton joined the Territorial Army in Croydon, and wen to Belgium with the British Expeditionary Force in April 1940. On 31st May that year he was evacuated from Dunkirk to Ramsgate, and was subsequently based at Tenterden in Kent as a Mechanical transport/driver in the Royal Army Service Corps. In 1942 he was deployed to North Africa, travelling via Cape Town, and served running supplies from Sudan across the desert to Tobruk, Tripoli, Alexandria and Cairo with the Sudanese Defence Force.
On being demobbed in April 1946, Borton returned to his grandparents’ home in Ealing and began working for Page and Overton Brewery and resuming his architecture studies at night school. He designed a number of houses in Surrey, Sussex and Kent, including the family home at Woodcote Close in Epsom, before qualifying as ARIBA in June 1955.
After qualifying he worked on a number of buildings for the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works, including AWRE Aldermaston in 1955-1956 and the Safety in Mines Research Building in Sheffield in 1960-1962. In 1962-63 he worked n the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington and then the Surface Mines Research dust explosion gallery in Buxton, before going to work at HQ BAOR, Rheindahlen, Germany in November 1964. Borton subsequently worked on a number of schools and other buildings on Army bases before returning to the UK to work for the Department of the Environment at Croydon in 1969. He worked on the Ship Tank at Feltham, RAF Lossiemouth, Odium and then prisons and young offenders establishments, including Feltham.
In 1981 he retired to Bosham in West Sussex, and died in June 1999.
Compiled with thanks to his daughter, Diana Ashe (nee Borton).
Frank Brake studied at the Borough Polytechnic Institute and went on to found Brake Brothers, a leading UK supplier of food to the catering industry. He has established the Frank Brake Scholarship at London South Bank University, providing financial support for four students each year on the MSc Enterprise and MSc Food Safety and Control courses. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the University in 2012.
The British and Foreign School Society was founded in 1808 as the Society for Promoting the Lancastrian System for the Education of the Poor and was renamed in 1814. The Society built Borough Road building in 1816 and sold it to the South London Polytechnic Institute Council in 1890 in order to become the main premises of the Borough Polytechnic Institute.
Records of the Society are held by Brunel University.
The conference was chaired by a member of University staff and was held in London Road Building, with delegates staying in the McLaren House halls of residence. The conference also incorporated the first European Usability Professionals Association Conference.
The British Youth Opera (BYO) was established in 1987 by Denis Coe, to provide additional training and performance opportunities for outstanding young musicians and experience to young stage, design and costume staff. Company members aged 22-30 years are recruited nationally each year for a Summer Season which features two major operas performed at Sadler's Wells, London and in at least one other major city. The Company also appears in concerts, galas and other musical events throughout the year. Many former members of BYO are now principals with major opera companies in the UK and abroad. The BYO's rehearsal facilities are based at London South Bank University, formerly South Bank University.
Brixton College opened at 56 Brixton Hill in 1959 and closed in 1992. It also held courses at various annexes across the borough. In the beginning the college was founded to ‘continue and extend the education of those who have passed the age of compulsory full-time education, to help those who are already employed to qualify themselves for advancement in their vocations and for the wider responsibilities of adult citizenship, and to give vocational training to those who have not entered employment,’ (Brixton College for Further Education prospectus 1965-1965).
In 1992 Brixton College merged with Vauxhall College and South London College to become Lambeth College.
Originally at 54-56 Brixton Hill, the School evacuated to Reading in 1939 but numbers fell and the school returned to London in 1940. Unable to return to their original building, the School moved to the Brixton Commercial Institute on Southey Street.