Saturday 28 November 2009

Is this it Mum?

Not long after I was selected here in Hampstead and Kilburn my mother let it slip that she has wanted to attend Kilburn School of Needlework, but my grandparents could not afford the fees, and I've often wondered where that was.

I was more recently reading a history of an educational establishment and reflecting on my own experience of higher and further education and wondered if in fact whatever Kilburn School of Needlework was, whether it has been over the years federated into what is now the College of North West London. Any clues out there?

Now of course this is the old building in Esmond Road, Kilburn, grand and imposing - the workmanship is impressive, the detail lavish and the quality very high.

You can see from main pinnacle that it was topped off in 1903 and was clearly a premier building for it's time - the post Victorian era was a key building time in Britain - especially for local schools and municipal facilities.

Now on the needlework theme I have found this:

"In 1893 Willesden local committee for technical education organized classes in Willesden town hall and in 1896 Middlesex C. C. bought the St. Lawrence institute in Priory Park Road, Kilburn, and placed it at the disposal of the local committee which opened it as Willesden Polytechnic. By 1898 there was an enrolment of 1,571, and a new building was opened in Glengall Road, Kilburn, in 1904. A needle-trades school for girls was established there from 1910 until it moved to an annexe at the Hyde, Edgware Road, in 1952; it closed in 1962."

The new College of North West London website proudly boasts:

In September 2007 the College of North West London moved into its new Kilburn Centre, a prize-winning bespoke building in the heart of Kilburn.

Extensive use has been made of oak and stainless steel to create an ultra-modern building that is both stylish and durable. All classrooms are fitted with interactive whiteboards and the entire building incorporates a wireless network.

Not only does the new building provide students with up to the minute facilities and technology, it is also environmentally sound, with a number of controls and features that lessen the impact on the environment.

Due to its innovative ‘green’ credentials, which include a central atrium to maximise natural light and exterior fins to minimise solar glare, the building was entered in a national design excellence competition of the Royal Institute of British Architects and won second prize.

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