Crossbows took the place of long bows: biros have replaced slate pencils and now, with the Moberly School demolished, even the sharpening grooves have gone. But there are other old school buildings of the same age in the neighbourhood. Amberley Road, Capland Street, Essendine Road. They too may carry grooves near the ground, where the children could have reached to sharpen their pencils.

Archway School, another London School Board building, at the bottom of Highgate Hill, has now been converted into flats, but the doorway is still full of slate pencil grooves. Edward Blishen, who taught there, called it Stone Street School in his book ‘Roaring Boys’. He and greatly enjoyed that association with Stone Street and Agincourt, saying that his Roaring Boys were typical Agincourt bowmen.

At the same time as Moberly School was being emptied, City of Westminster College, realising that more pupils were likely to stay on after the age of 16 and that its role was likely to increase in the future, went round hoovering up redundant buildings. In a short period the College took over Beethoven Street, the Cosway Street Science Block vacated by Marylebone Grammar School and several other sites.

It was all change at that period.

Similar patterns emerged in nearby South Kilburn and all over London. In 1970, Percy Road School (c.1900-70) became South Kilburn High School. From 1986-89 it was called South Kilburn Community School, but it was taken over as part of Kilburn College in 1989. In 1991 Kilburn College merged with Willesden College of Technology to form the College of North West London. It was all change at that period.

In 1992, when the college became independent and left the control of Brent, ownership of the buildings passed to the College. By 1996 they had become surplus to requirement and were sold to Paddington Churches Housing Association. The buildings were demolished and the site developed for housing.

City of Westminster College used the Beethoven Street for teaching and in August 1996 it was listed Grade II. However, Westminster College, under pressure to use its buildings more economically, decided to sell off the site and vacated it in 1997.


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Updated January 23, 2011