Graphical version

University of the Arts London: London College of Fashion

Barrett Street Technical College


Reference code(s): GB 2159 Barrett Street

Held at: University of the Arts London: London College of Fashion

Title: Barrett Street Technical College

Date(s): [1904]-1966

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: Approximately 25 volumes

Name of creator(s): Barrett Street Technical College
Barrett Street Trade School


Administrative/Biographical history:

Barrett Street Trade School was founded in 1915 by the London County Council Technical Education board to train pupils for industries that required skilled craft labour. During the nineteenth century both skilled men and women employed in the clothing industry earned their trade through an apprenticeship, but by the end of the century the system was not training sufficient workers and trade schools were established to provide more skilled labour. The school ran a variety of courses including dressmaking, ladies tailoring, embroidery and hairdressing and beauty. Men's tailoring and furrier courses were established later.

The school took pupils from the age of 12 following elementary education, and trained them for two years to work primarily in London's West End couturier houses and hair salons. Women were employed in the ready-to-wear trade centred on London's East End, or in the fashionable dressmaking and allied trades in the West End, based around the South Kensington and Oxford Street areas. Women working in this area were highly skilled, and the early needle-trade schools in London, including Barrett Street trained women for this high quality couture work. Almost all pupils obtained employment on completion of their courses.

All pupils followed a curriculum that was two-thirds trade subject and one-third general education. Following the success of the full time courses Barrett Street started to run a variety of day release and evening courses for women already working in the trade. The school worked very closely with the trades and had consultative committees that were almost exclusively made up of members from the industries. These committees advised in the suitability of courses for the prevailing employment conditions in the clothing industry at the time, and courses were introduced or adapted accordingly. For example in 1926 Barrett Street Trade School started running courses for older students who wanted careers as dress designers.

After the Second World War and the 1944 Education Act, which required pupils to continue full time general education until 15, Barrett Street was given technical college status. The junior courses were discontinued and senior courses expanded. Management courses were introduced. The school was renamed Barrett Street Technical College, and after 1950, began to take on male students. The college amalgamated with Shoreditch College for the Garment Trades in 1967 to form the London College for the Garment Trades, later renamed the London College of Fashion.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Barrett Street Technical College, formerly Barrett Street Trade School, [1904]-1966, comprising minutes of the Consultative Committees for Hairdressing, Dressmaking and Ladies' Tailoring, 1915-1950; minutes of the School Consultative Committees on Technical Education for Distributors, 1931-1939; student fees registers, giving names of students, addresses and dates of entry and leaving, 1915-1953, covering the Junior and Senior Technical Schools students; staff register, 1904-1921, giving name, details of previous appointments and starting and leaving dates; prospectuses, [1915-1963];

scrapbooks of press cuttings concerning Barrett Street Technical College, 1915-1966;

note books of a student, Dorothy C M Ludicke, on massage, health and beauty, treatments, [1948].


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The records are unsorted.

Conditions governing access:

Access to the collection is by appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction:

No photocopying is permitted although photographs may be taken at the discretion of the Head of Learning Resources.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

The records are uncatalogued.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The students' registers were acquired from Miss Ethel E Cox, Headmistress of Barrett Street Trade School from 1915 to 1950.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Many of the photographs have been digitised and are on the Visual Arts Data Service website:

Related material:

Papers of Miss Ethel E Cox, Headmistress of Barrett Street Trade School, held by the London College of Fashion Library.

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: July 2002

Clothing | Textiles
Fashion | Customs and traditions | Cultural heritage
Photographs | Visual materials
Textile arts | Handicrafts
Vocational schools | Higher education institutions | Educational institutions
Vocational training | Training
Women students | Students
Women teachers | Teachers | Educational personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People

Personal names
Ludicke | Dorothy C M | fl 1948 | student at Barrett Street Trade School

Corporate names
Barrett Street Technical College x Barrett Street Trade School

Barrett Street | St Marylebone | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Westminster | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
City of Westminster