The Proposed New School Campus
The new school campus was to include the whole block from Penfold Street to Cosway Street, except for a small piece at the corner of Ranston and Bell Streets. Everything else was to be demolished. Buildings not already owned by the L.C.C. or the Marylebone Council would be compulsorily purchased. Some among both parents and teachers favoured the concept of Comprehensive education, while others wished to retain the Grammar Schools. Opinion was split, mainly along political lines. Marylebone Grammar School, founded as the Philological School in 1792, and still using the 1855 building in Marylebone Rd, put up a determined fight to retain its identity. The Grammar School did not want to become part of the comprehensive system.
However, the London County Council stood firm. The two schools would combine to form one large comprehensive school for boys only. In 1947 it linked Marylebone Grammar School with Bell Street School (renamed as Bellfield School) by creating a joint governing body. By June 1950 the Labour Minister of Education had approved the London School Plan, despite many objections. This internecine struggle was to be long drawn out.
The minutes of the joint school governing body (now held at Westminster City Archive)1 make interesting reading. There was lack of sympathy, joint suspicion, and complete lack of understanding of the other point of view. At an early governors' meeting a proposal to 'share resources and common enterprises into which the two schools will eventually merge', was defeated by the Grammar School representatives.
The situation was still completely unresolved when Labour lost the 1951 General Election.