Walthamstow Technical Institute

Scope and Content

Records of the Walthamstow Technical Institute, later Walthamstow Technical College, 1920-1938, comprising:

Prospectuses, 1920, 1932; 'The Anvil', Magazine of Walthamstow Technical College, 1936-1938.

Administrative / Biographical History

Before 1889 there were very few facilities for technical education in Britain, apart from those found in selected grammar and elementary schools. The Technical Instruction Act of 1889 empowered County Councils to aid technical or manual instruction by means of the penny rate, further funding came from the Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Act of the following year. A 35 man Technical Instruction Committee was set up in Essex in 1891, when a further Act was passed to regulate the administration of these funds. Known, from their origins, as 'Whisky Money', they amounted to about £22,000 per annum but gradually diminished. Following the Education Act of 1902 further funds came from the levy of a Higher Education rate in the areas served, to meet the cost of higher education. In 1930 the system of differential rating was abolished and a flat higher education rate was raised over the whole administrative county.

The first grants to fund laboratory equipment and organised, evening science schools in the region were made in 1895. The two largest projects were the technical institutes at Walthamstow (1897) and Leyton (1898). The schools were so successful that by 1910 there were calls for day classes to be introduced. The Day Classes were delayed by the outbreak of the First World War, but the first was opened at Walthamstow in 1917 with 75 pupils. Leyton followed in 1918 with 100 pupils.

By 1924 the demand for technical education in the area had become so pronounced that the District Sub-Committees recommended the establishment of larger technical colleges in extra-metropolitan Essex. In 1933 the Technical Instruction Committee decided to divide the County into four regions and to provide each with a technical college, supported by a ring of junior and senior evening institutes.

The last to be built was South West Essex Technical College - formed by the merger of Technical Colleges of Walthamstow and Leyton. It served the boroughs of Walthamstow, Leyton, Chingford, Wanstead and Woodford and the districts of Waltham Holy Cross, Epping and Ongar.


As 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 in 2006.

Archivist's Note

Sources: Degrees East: the making of the University of East London 1892-1992 by Michael Locke, John Pratt, Nick Richards and Tyrell Burgess, (Athlone Press, Jun 1995); Annual Report of the South West Essex Technical College and School of Art, 1938-1939.

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 in UEL's Barking Campus and 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: Leyton Technical Institute, later Leyton Technical College, 1898-1938; Commercial School for Girls, Walthamstow, 1923-1937; Leyton School of Art, 1928-1930; South West Essex Technical College, later Waltham Forest Technical College, 1938-1970.

Waltham Forest Archives holds a number of records relating to Walthamstow Technical College and its successor South West Essex Technical College, including committee minutes and student records. These appear to have been deposited by Waltham Forest College which took over the building of the Waltham Forest Technical College when it left to become part of North East London Polytechnic in 1970.