The Institute

Postcards of the Institute, forming part of the Raymond Lowe collection.

Apart from the churches the Institute is the most lasting monument to the many and varied plans and schemes of Henrietta Barnett. The Club House, the Mothers' Rest Home, the Welgarth, the children's
homes, Bigwood Court and Southwood Court no longer house the widows of officers killed in the First World War and the nature of the Orchard has changed. The oldest part of the Institute complex is the
northem hall which was opened in 28th March 1909 by her husband Canon Samuel Bamett. The hall was immediately put to use by the St. Jude's congregation and their new vicar. The Free Church, the
Horticultural Society and many other Suburb organisations all used the hall and three huts as their venue for meetings. A large number of educational classes were started without delay and these have continued
without any breaks, including the two wars until now. Sadly, even this will end when the Henrietta Bamett School takes fuIl control of the buildings. The school was founded after the Institute, but the Institute lost
out in the battle for residency and will move within the next few years. The other side of the courtyard, was finally opened m 1924, delayed by the stressed economy after the Great War. The building was opened
by Queen Mary and is known as the Queen Mary Hall. The whole building was finished some years later, but my sources do not say when. The whole building was not desigred by Edwin Lutyens. The centre
block, Crewe Hall, was designed by C. E. Hanscomb and Crothall. The north wing was also the work of Hanscomb in consultation with Lutyens. The clock on top of the tower was subscribed to by the two
churches in memory of Canon Bamett's joint services and designed by Lutyens. The last edition to the building was when the north east open fire escape was enclosed in Lutyenesque brick work. The Central
Square lay out was also designed by Lutyens. This too has been corrupted over the years. The worst view of the building is the east elevation. Although the square is the highest part of the Suburb the natural mound
was landscaped to make the gardens level. In consequence the natural drainage was lost. Both the Institute and St. Jude's have sump pumps in their basements which are always working. Miss Ethel Whitehead told
me that in the centre part of the Square there were three tennis courts on St. Jude's side (St. Jude's Tennis Club) and three more on the Free Church side (The Free Church Tennis Club) and the two clubs would hold toumaments together and the vicar was a very keen player.

The Institute
Related Collection