Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Wapping Road First School, Bradford Feb '09

  1. #1
    Join Date
    April 2008
    Posts
    86
    Thanked
    35

    Arrow Wapping Road First School, Bradford Feb '09


    Wapping Road First school, Bradford was built in 1877. It's a Grade II listed building, but sadly, predictably and rather all too familiarly it is in a bad way. (Please excuse the ghastly halo-ing around the edge of the building as I vainly attempted to turn a silhoutte into a more worthy picture)


    The school would have educated some of the poorest children in Bradford.


    Sadly, since it's closure, it has been stripped, set on fire, sprayed, and generally trashed by visitors.
    The lead on the roof has gone on one half of the building. So have the slates. Because the building is open to the elements, it is deteriorating at a rapid speed.


    Generations of children would have sat in the hall during assembly. During the latter years of the eighteen century, the headmaster had to stop assemblies regularly because of children fainting due to hunger. Paying for food for hungry children out of his own pocket, he became one of the first to pioneer free school meals.
    The assembly hall, through the broken corridor windows.


    Nowadays, schools are built with strict access policies, ensuring wheelchair users can move around freely, and children can walk safely around. I would imagine many a child has slipped on these steep steps.


    Like many older schools, the caretaker ( today called the "superintendant" in Bradford) would have lived on the school premises. His house is ruined, the victim of random destruction, organised pikieness and arson.


    I retired from being a primary teacher fairly recently, and the first school I taught in, in East London was a Victorian building too. I enjoyed visiting here, but it was depressing to see this place like this. Most Victorian schools had similar wooden panelling (which meant display boards are too high for kids to be able to see). Each classroom would have had a fireplace in, with monitors to make up the fire and sweep up the ash. Traditional high ceilings and corridors in here make certain the slightest noise echoes and is amplified.


    Victorian schools had access based on gender and age. These are often seen on old school buildings, with boys, girls and babies being carved into the stone.




    Much of the building is on the verge of being lost forever. There are plans to demolish half of this and convert the other half to twenty flats. That was passed in 2005. Nothing has happened, and there are rumours that the Council want to buy it back. View from the playground.


    Why is this place so important? Why are there people who are genuinely upset about it's state? It's because of this...


    It's importance as a building lies in the fact it was the first school in England, along with neighbouring Green Lane (in Manningham) to have swimming pool.Today, the original pool tiles remainn underneath the rubbish and stagnant water.


    It was only with the intervention and continuing support of Margeret and Rachel Macmillan, educational campaigners in the late 1800's that saw improvements in cleanliness, nutition and clothing. There are no real plans in place to do anything with the swimming pool. In fact, a spokesman for the developers claims they're “not exactly sure” what would happen to the historic swimming pool once building work began.


    Not the most thrilling of adventures, but I've always wanted to visit a school, and glad I did, as this won't be around for much longer if things continue the way they are doing. Disappointment of the day - not taking a picture of some good grafitti.

    ----------

  2.  
     
  3. #2
    Join Date
    January 2008
    Location
    North of Leeds
    Posts
    399
    Thanked
    30

    Smile


    Nice pics BF-that pool is good despite the damage & your last pic of it is spot on!
    Mr freebird
    My Flickr
    & feel free to add stuff to this..... ;)
    Flickr Urbex UK

    ----------

  4. #3
    Join Date
    February 2007
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    2,943
    Thanked
    527

    Thumbs up


    Nice one boxfrenzy, shame its gone so down hill so quickly but makes for some atmospheric pictures:) The shot looking through the hole in the wall at the little building is great.
    Aversos Compono Animos

    ----------

  5. #4
    Join Date
    November 2008
    Location
    jct 2 M56
    Posts
    70
    Thanked
    2

    Default


    A good and informative post boxfrenzy & i share your disgust/dismay at the criminal neglect of this and similar buildings,cant the powers that be see the importance and history of this school
    Knowledge speaks,Wisdom listens

    ----------

  6. #5
    Join Date
    June 2007
    Location
    Aberdeenshire
    Age
    37
    Posts
    156
    Thanked
    42

    Default


    Good report boxfrenzy, plenty of interesting photos. It's such a shame a listed building is allowed to get into that state. It looks like its been abandoned for a few decades!!

    ----------

  7. #6
    Join Date
    February 2008
    Location
    Rawdon Leeds
    Age
    73
    Posts
    1,298
    Thanked
    1097

    Default


    Sadly this is another example of a specialised building, which the listing procedure has failed to protect. As anybody who owns or maintains a listed building knows, not only are there higher costs involved, there may be serious delays due to the involvement of the Local Planning Department listed buildings' Inspector. Property like this school is bound to stand empty for for a long time if purchased by a developer, rarely are their initial maximum profit plans acceptable. This delay can also be for reasons other than the planners, in many cases it is the actions of the very people who want to preserve the buildings in their communities that cause the delays. The greatest enemy of these buildings is being left empty for extended periods of time, thus attracting the attentions of the undesirable element. Whilst stripping out all the lead flashings will pay for a few pints, the roofing tiles can be very valuable (on this particular building they are large and worth a small fortune - hence the number missing) and once stolen will allow the decay to accelerate.

    Some of these old unused buildings will have absolutely nothing going for them, poor financial climate, an interior that does not lend itself to conversion, a badly maintained structure, are just a few of the snags to be sorted before the building can be given a new lease of life. I don't claim to know the answer, but feel there should be a more workable alternative to 'Listing' available to stop this happening to certain historically valuable buildings.

    ----------

  8. #7
    Join Date
    January 2007
    Location
    East Devon's Jurassic Park!
    Posts
    8,617
    Thanked
    982

    Default


    Excellent write-up and photos, Box. :) As everyone else has already said, it really is a shame to see it in such a state. My first primary school was a victorian building, before we were all moved into the newly built one, and the photo of the outside steps brings back a lot of nostalgia. Cheers for that...nicely done. :)
    "...If we lose our spiritual bond with the land they'll be nothing left of us as a nation..." Phil Rickman.

    I can't read and I can't write, but that don't really matter,
    I come from the west country and I can drive a tractor.


    Website Story

    ----------


About us
DerelictPlaces is a forum for people with an interest in the history and documentation of derelict and abandoned buildings to come together and share their experiences, photography and historical findings. Our military, industrial and historical heritage is fast disappearing under the pressure of regeneration, the need for new housing, and often through simple neglect; Our aim is to document these places before they disappear entirely.
Follow us