AVERY HILL TEACHERS COLLEGE hallmarked SILVER COLLEGE SHIELD BADGE
Hallmarked on reverse Fattorini Brothers hallmark appears to be E maybe F with clipped
top corners and scroll base which would date it as 1904 or later vgc approx.3 0mm by 32mm,
located in south west London. There are three entwined letters ie AHC. very attractive item
clip working …..
Avery Hill College was established in 1906 by the London County Council as a residential
female teacher training college. The mansion at Avery Hill, Eltham had been purchased by
London County Council in 1902. It had previously been the home of Colonel John Thomas North
and his family, who had spent up to £200,000 on renovating and adding to the property to
create a large Italianate mansion. On his death in 1896 his widow sold the property, which
was eventually bought by London County Council for £25,000. The College opened in
1906 with 45 resident and 115 day students. Most of the students were between 18 and 21
and came from London, and had already worked as pupil-teachers.
The syllabus included nature study, drawing, music and the theory of education as well as
the more usual academic subjects. Science was not taught until the 1930s as so few of the
girls had been taught the subject at school. Games included tennis, hockey, cricket and netball,
and student societies were established to organise social events and activities.
By 1908 the College had purchased nearby Southwood House and a school building in
Deansfield Road which were converted to hostels. Numbers of applicants to the College
continued to rise, and four new halls of residence were built in the grounds of Southwood House,
the last opening in 1916.
During the First World War Roper Hall became a convalescent home for soldiers, but the
College remained open.
In 1928 Avery Hill was attached to the University of London to conduct examinations for
Teacher's Certificates, along with all teacher training colleges. In 1935 a range of improvements
were made to the College's facilities, when the halls of residence were updated and mains
electricity introduced. The Principal, Freda Hawtrey, introduced training for nursery school
work as an important feature of Avery Hill courses after 1935.
During the Second World War Avery Hill was evacuated to Huddersfield Technical College.
The College returned to Eltham in 1946, although all the buildings had suffered war damage, I
ncluding most of the original mansion. Three large houses in Chislehurst were purchased in
1947 and converted into hostels, easing the problem of student accommodation.
After the war the College continued to attract rising numbers of students, with up to a third
coming from the north of England by the late 1940s. Students continued to take a two year
course leading to a Teacher's Certificate validated by the University of London. In 1959 Avery
Hill took on male students, but inadequate accommodation meant that they boarded at the
former Methodist training college in Westminster. The College also established an annexe at
Mile End for mature students in 1968. In 1960 a third year was added to the teacher training
course, according to the Ministry of Education's requirements. From the 1960s the future of
Avery Hill as an independent college was under close consideration by the Inner London
Education Authority as well as the college itself. After several years of resisting plans for
mergers and retaining its independence Avery Hill merged with Thames Polytechnic in 1985,
when Avery Hill became the Polytechnic's Faculty of Education and Community Studies.
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