South East Essex Technical College

Scope and Content

Records of the South East Essex Technical College, later Barking Regional College of Technology, 1936-1970, comprising:

Prospectuses, 1936-1969 [incomplete]; records of the Social and General Studies, Commercial and Science Departments, 1949-1970, notably manuscript lecture notes of Frederick A Filby, lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and Biology, [1954-1965]; joint reports of the Association of Technical Institutions, the Association of Principals of Technical Institutions and the Association of Teachers in Technical Institutions, relating to the design of technical colleges, 1935,1938; programmes for opening ceremonies and prize giving, 1936-1966; photographs mostly of the exterior of South East Essex Technical College, [1940s-1960s]; press cuttings, [1947-1970]; reports and histories relating to the formation of North East London Polytechnic, 1962-1969; Borough of Barking Council minutes, 1938-1965; County Council of Essex Health Committee minutes, 1952.

Administrative / Biographical History

South East Essex Technical College, later South East Essex Technical College and School of Art, opened at Longbridge Road, Dagenham in 1936 as one of the four regional technical colleges of Essex. Occupying nearly six acres of the 17 acre site, the College was originally comprised six departments: Industrial and Fine Arts, Commerce, Domestic Science, Engineering, Building and Allied Subjects and Science. A secondary technical school was also opened at the site, providing pupils with a less academic education than was usually offered in a secondary grammar school.

During the Second World War, the college was commandeered for the training of military personnel, with the school being evacuated to Somerset. Following the 1944 Education Act, the secondary school developed as a separate organisation although it still used the Longbridge Road buildings. The school eventually moved to its own premises around 1960, becoming the South East Essex County Technical High School in 1962. It would later merge with Bifrons Secondary Modern School to become Mayesbrooke Comprehensive School in 1970.

In 1938 a large block, comprising an indoor heated swimming pool, two gymnasia, a squash court and a sports pavilion was added. In October 1951 a large one storey block was opened as a building centre; in 1953 a two storey building printing block was added and in 1955 the one storey science block was extended. The site was then 22 acres.

In 1962 the College was designated a Regional College of Technology and reverted back to its original name of South East Essex College of Technology, the name being changed again in 1965 when it was called the Barking Regional College of Technology. At the same time control passed from the Essex County Council to the new London Borough of Barking. In 1966 a four storey engineering block was erected and two new departments were formed: Business & Management and Education.

In 1970 the North East London Polytechnic was formed, incorporating the College together with West Ham College of Technology and Waltham Forest Technical College and School of Art. The Longbridge buildings became the Polytechnic's, later the University of East London's Barking Campus.

By the end of 2006, all of the departments of the University of East London were located at either the Docklands or Stratford Campus. The buildings of the Barking Campus were developed into luxury flats.


Due to the origins of the material and its various moves over the years, there was no discernible order. The series have been collated together under the main sections as listed above.

Access Information

Access is by appointment only, please contact the Archives Department, University of East London, for information. See: www.uel/lls/archives

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the library at UEL's Barking Campus, 2006.

Archivist's Note

Sources: General Information booklet, North East London Polytechnic, July 1975; Commemorative leaflet 'South East Essex Technical College, North East London Polytechnic, 1936-1986. Jubilee Week 2-6 March 1987', (1987); London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, 'The University of East London (UEL) Barking Campus', Local Studies Information sheet 3. Description by Caroline Lam

Conditions Governing Use

Copies, subject to copyright and the condition of the original, may be supplied. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the archivist.

Custodial History

Before its move to the Docklands Campus, the uncatalogued and unsorted institutional archive was housed at UEL's Barking Campus and in an external store. When the Barking Campus closed in 2006, the material which was held onsite was transferred, however the external store material was not and as a consequence is lost. The extant material is therefore of a very patchy nature. There are no student records.

Related Material

The University of East London also holds some records relating to: Municipal Technical Institute, later West Ham Technical College, later West Ham College of Technology, 1898-1969; Walthamstow Technical Institute, later Walthamstow Technical College, 1902-1938; South West Essex Technical College, later Waltham Forest Technical College, 1938-1969. All of these institutes/colleges, along with Barking Regional College of Technology, merged to form the North East London Polytechnic in 1970 which would later become the University of East London.

Barking and Dagenham Archives and Local Studies Service hold some issues of 'The Sectonian', the magazine of the South East Essex Technical College, 1950-1970.


Records from the South East Technical College are cited in Burgess, T et al, 'Degrees East. The making of the University of East London 1892-1992', London: Athlone, 1995. However many of these sources are no longer extant, see Archival History section.