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News > Archives > Carmel Hall. A History in Four Parts by School Archivist, Clive Bartram. Part 4: 2010 to present day

Carmel Hall. A History in Four Parts by School Archivist, Clive Bartram. Part 4: 2010 to present day

Carmel Hall has enjoyed four different vocations since it was founded back in 1824. Here, Clive Bartram examines the final chapter in its rich history: 2010 to present day

In 2007, time was called on the Grosvenor Club and the building was made available for lease to the school. This meant another change in its function, and so in its fourth incarnation Carmel Hall became a school building, having previously been a chapel, a church hall and then a working man’s bar. What a life!

So, the space was ripe for a rethink, and it was decided to convert it into a specialist performing arts centre with state-of-the-art facilities for music and drama. And at the same time there was opportunity to extend the school hall and dining room areas. This would involve knocking down the less than state-of-the-art music practice rooms and digging an almighty hole. Photos to follow…

The building works managed to progress without too much impact on school life, although we were faced with a truncated school hall and having to cope with the sounds of building while singing the morning hymns. I do remember a pupil informing me that some of the “language” emanating from beyond the barricade was a little bit earthy, so that had to be dealt with in a tactful way!  

Below you can see some of the rather interesting photos of the development, demonstrating several before and after scenarios.

     

   

 

Above right: the downstairs bar at the Grosvenor was rather dingy and a bit grim. Compare it with its transformation into a sparkling music room! (Below.) 

The upstairs floor was a games area and as I recall there was some question as to what to do with these snooker tables, below. I wonder where they ended up?  As you can see this is what was destined to become the drama space and meeting area.  Vaccinations have been administered in here.  Associated board exams have been sat. Not sure which would be the more painful! 

Some inquisitive faces peering (or trying to peer) through the viewing windows. 


Below is the welcome given by former Headmistress, Stephanie Pattenden. This was published in the official programme marking the event.

This lovely photo of the opening of Carmel Hall shows the late Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster, being accompanied into school by Cathy Longworth, Chair of Governors and being greeted by Miss Pattenden, Headmistress, Richard Charters, the Bishop of London and many smiling schoolgirls.  

I do sincerely hope you have enjoyed these brief essays. The feedback has been positive and thank you for taking the time to email in. Next on the archive agenda is a piece about Anne Wigram and her autograph book from 1926.  It contains the most extraordinary pictures alongside some interesting stories about the girls who drew them.

Until then, best wishes!

Clive Bartram, Archivist
With many thanks as ever to Claire Brazer, Alumni Relations, as well as Grosvenor Estate, the Strict Baptist Historical Society and St Mary’s, Bourne Street.
 

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