Holborn Schools Band, Mitcham

Holborn Schools Band, Mitcham

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Area Mitcham
Picture Reference Mit_​23_​3-1
Original Format Photo
Notes / History Built in1856 on land to the north of Eagle House, London Road, Mitcham, the school was part of a giant workhouse complex. This was designed to address the needs of a growing number of pauper children. Part of the complex included this vast school building, were 400 boys, girls and infants received a basic education, in addition to vocational training. This was originally administered by the Poor Law union of St. George the Martyr, Southwark, before passing to the Holborn Union.
Contrary to expectations conditions were surprisingly good. Pupils were cared for by 80 staff, supervised by a matron. Smart uniforms were provided and the children had access to a small swimming pool and playing fields, in addition to classrooms and workshops.
Resplendent in their uniforms, the school band was very popular and performed at a variety of local events. Mitcham historian, Tom Francis, recalled “the self-important little band master, dressed in top hat and frock coat, proudly leading his boys. Some were very small, and carried instruments quite out of proportion to their size, but they succeeded in producing sounds of amazing volume.” (E Montague, Old Mitcham, Phillimore, 1993)
Most of the school buildings were demolished during the 1930’s. The site was redeveloped to hold the shops and flats of Monarch Parade.

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