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Avery Hill College

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2121 Avery Hill College
Held at: University of Greenwich
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Full title: Avery Hill College
Date(s): (c1750-1906) 1894-1998
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: approximately 80 box files
Name of creator(s): Avery Hill College
Avery Hill College of Education


Administrative/Biographical history:

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, including 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.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Avery Hill College, 1894-1989, comprising minutes of the Governing Body, 1945-1985; agendas and papers of the Governing Body, 1971-1985; minutes of the Academic Board, 1963-1985, with indexes, 1974-1981; agendas and papers of the Academic Board, 1977-1985; minutes and papers of Academic Board Sub-Committees, namely the Resources Committee, 1977-1985; Courses Committee, 1977-1985; Staff Development and Research Committee, 1982-1985; Strategic Planning Committee, 1982-1985; Equal Opportunities Committee, 1984-1985; Programme Committee, 1974-1985; minutes of the House Committee, 1958-1979; Principal's Consultative Committee, 1958-1962; College Council, 1963-1977; Joint Halls Committee, 1980-1985; Breakages Committee, 1969-1982; Catering Committee, 1972-1975; College Safety Committee, 1980-1985; Staff Conference, 1958-1984;

examination papers, 1908, 1910; information and regulations for students, 1906-1908, 1968; papers relating to Miss Emily Maria Julian, Principal, 1902-1922; timetables, 1909, 1935-1936; applications for admission to Furzedown Training College, 1925-1931; correspondence relating to Furzedown Training College students, 1938-1942; reports on students' teaching practice, 1932-1933; correspondence, 1938-1985, relating to students, 1938-1942; Governing Body, 1943-1985; evacuation to Huddersfield, 1941-1945; report on war damage, 1945; analysis of student admissions, 1945-1969; papers relating to post-war building programmes, 1951-1952, 1960-1973; college expenditure, 1960-1972; expansion of Avery Hill College, 1960s-1970s; Avery Hill Students' Union, 1966-1985; constitution and membership of committees and the Academic Board, 1968-1972; lecturers' posts, 1945-1970; courses, 1950-1982; reports relating to the College's future, 1971-1977; restructuring College administration, 1975-1980; merger with Thames Polytechnic, 1983-1985; external examiners' reports, 1980-1984; proposals for the three year course, 1956-1959; student numbers and recruitment, 1961-1981; Mile End Annexe, 1968-1985; teaching practice, 1966-1976; Chislehurst hostels, 1969-1980; Principals' reports, 1970-1981; College's response to the threat of closure, 1976-1977;

student lists, 1963-1983, giving names of details of students; staff register, giving names and details of staff, 1906-[1927];

College prospectuses, 1927-1928, 1943, 1966-1984; leaflets and booklets about courses and Avery Hill, [1978-1985]; College handbook, 1968-1985; Avery Hill Reporter magazine, 1907-1964; programmes of concerts, plays and formal occasions at the College, 1923-1986, including re-opening of the College in 1949 by Princess Margaret; College Jubilee celebrations, 1957; Going-Down Dinners, 1967-1986; scripts and photographs of Avery Hill College plays, 1908-1960;

publications and circulars from the Ministry of Education, Inner London Education Authority, and related bodies, 1899-1984;

minutes of other bodies, namely the Inner London Education Authority Education Committee, 1970-1985; meetings of Principals of Further and Higher Education Institutions in the London Borough of Greenwich to discuss an education service for the whole community, 1975-1982; meetings of Inner London Education Authority Senior Administrative Officers, 1967-1985;

Student publications, notably copies of the Bulletin, 1964-1966, Students' Union weekly newsletter; Witch 1966-1968, Students' Union magazine; Public Ear, 1972-1976, newssheet; Endor, 1960s, Avery Hill Writers' Group magazine; Students' Union handbook, 1966-1986;

records relating to former students, comprising Avery Hill Old Students Association registers of members, 1930-[1934]; minutes of meetings of representatives, 1933-1937; London Branch register, 1906-1912; programmes for Jubilee reunion, 1957; letters from former students with photographs, 1957; circular letters, newsletters, 1960s; letters and questionnaires from former students who attended Avery Hill from 1912 to 1949, 1984-1985; photographs and curriculum vitae of students for a reunion, 1989;

photographs and postcards relating to Avery Hill mansion and College, notably albums containing postcards and photographs of external and internal views of Avery Hill mansion and College buildings, [1890s-1963]; portrait and group photographs of staff and students, sports teams, casts of plays, [1906-1924]; postcards of Eltham and London, [1900s-1930s]; album of photographs of internal and external views of Avery Hill mansion whilst owned by Colonel North, 1894; photographs of College buildings, including the Mile End Annexe, 1950s-1970s; photographs of Southwood halls of residence (Fry, Bronte, Grey, Somerville and Consitt Halls), 1930s-1960s; photograph album of Avery Hill College early years of academic staff, student classes, resident students, prefects, 1906-1915; portrait photographs of principals, 1906-1938 and staff, 1908-1923; photographs of College life, 1950s-1970s, including group photographs, swimming galas, student classes; photographs of College Jubilee celebrations, 1957; presentation of awards ceremonies, 1979-1982; retirement dinner for the Principal Mrs K E Jones, 1981; student sports teams, 1953-1955; albums donated by students, containing photographs and postcards of the College buildings, group and individual portraits of students and staff, sports teams, plays, 1907-1930; photographs of Princess Margaret's visit to the re-opening celebrations of Avery Hill College, 1949;

copies of documents assembled from various sources, notably maps and plans of Avery Hill College and area, including map of Eltham, [c1750]; tithe map for Avery Hill area, 1839; maps of Avery Hill area, 1903, post 1945; plans of Avery Hill mansion, 1889-[1950s]; typescripts of census returns for Avery Hill area, 1841-1891, and Eltham, 1861, 1871; articles and press cuttings relating to Colonel North and Avery Hill, 1889-1998; copies drawings of window designs of Avery Hill for Colonel North, 1890; articles and press cuttings relating to Avery Hill College, 1949-1996; notes on James Boyd, owner of Avery Hill 1859-1882, with marriage certificate, 1849; plan of Avery Hill, 1859; inventory of Avery Hill House, 1884; articles of agreement with plan conveying land to Colonel North, 1889; illustrations of views of Avery Hill Mansion from British Architect 1890; copy sale catalogue of Avery Hill, 1896; copy conveyance of Avery Hill from London County Council to the Education Committee to establish a training college for women, 1905-1906.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The papers are organised as follows: College documents; Publications and prospectuses; Other publications; Books; Former students.

Conditions governing access:

Researchers wishing to consult the archives should contact Ann Murphy, Head of Information Services, University of Greenwich

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying is permitted at the discretion of the Librarian.

Finding aids:

A list is available at the University of Greenwich Avery Hill Campus Library.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records passed via Thames Polytechnic, successor to Avery Hill College, to the University of Greenwich. The staff register 1906-[1927] was donated by the Board of Education.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Student records prior to 1963 are held by the University of Greenwich Avery Hill Campus Registry.

Minutes of the Governing Body 1906-1945 are held by London Metropolitan Archives (reference: EO/TRA/4/1-3).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: An Illustrated History of the University of Greenwich Thomas Hinde (University of Greenwich, 1996); Teachers in Training 1906-1985: A History of Avery Hill College David Shorney (Thames Polytechnic, 1989). 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

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