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1950's Prospectus
We are fortunate in having quite a detailed history of Clark’s ‘home’ in Walthamstow where the college opened in 1913 and continued until the doors closed there in 1967.

The following is a reprint of an article published in the College magazine “The Educator” in May 1950.
Cleveland House 1950

The above illustration and the historical facts shown below appeared in a recent issue of the Walthamstow Post, and we are grateful to the proprietors for permission to reproduce it here.


When boys and girls sit at their desks at Clark’s College, Walthamstow, training to be clerks and shorthand-typists, very few of them realize that their school building is probably the oldest building in Walthamstow.

The College was built as a country house about 1670 and was named Cleveland House after a mistress of Charles ll, Barbara Villiers, Countess Castlemain and later Duchess of Cleveland.

Architecture of the building is clearly 17th century and in keeping with the popular style of country houses in those days. On the ground floor is a large marble-paved hall, with a wide curved staircase, six feet wide, leading to the first floor, which consists of three medium sized rooms, formerly used as bedrooms, with another three rooms on the second floor. The southern wing consists of what was formerly a large kitchen and extensive cellars, where the rich City businessman stored his wine at 6d. a bottle.

The garden covered several acres of land at one time, stretching as far as Pembroke Road, where it bordered the famous Grosvenor estate, but during the past two centuries most of this land has been utilized for building.

The house was obviously unsuitable for a family until improvements and additions were made by a well-known Justice of the Peace, Mr. Eliot Howard, son of a famous meteorologist and managing director of a big local company.

Mr. Howard was a well-known figure in Walthamstow during the 1880’s, helping many local people in need and donating large sums of money to St. Mary’s and St. Stephen’s churches, and he was an active member of the Walthamstow Antiquarian Society.

Some years later the house was sold to a member of Essex County Council, Alderman E. Good, who lived there until it became the home of Clark’s College in Walthamstow.

The article continued:

In more recent times, Cleveland House has witnessed the comings and goings of each succeeding generation seeking appointments either in the Commercial World or the Civil Service und the able guidance of the College Authorities. The years between the wars found Cleveland House known only to inhabitants of the towns around as Clark’s College, Walthamstow – so much had the College become a part of their daily lives.

Then came World War ll and under the Headship of Mr. Lovell the students evacuated in 1939 leaving the “House” empty save for its memories. But even then it once more played its part in history for the Ministry of Labour carried on its work within its walls from 1941and during the war period. Fortunate to escape from enemy action despite its prominent position and size, Cleveland House once more became the seat of modern training when the College returned in 1944 to settle down to the tasks of peace. Of late it has assumed a brighter aspect, having been completely redecorated inside and out, and is undoubtedly well-known to all who dwell or work in the area.

However, after 54 years the Walthamstow finally closed in 1967. Cleveland house was taken over by the local authority and used for some time as a Health Centre. In more recent years it was converted in to flats and returned to residential use.

Cleveland House 1950

Gerard D. Whyte B.A.


After Walthamstow


"I went to Chapel End infants,juniors and seniors until I was 13 and then to Clark’s College in Walthamstow which I left when I was 16."


Squadron Leader REG LEWIS

Reginald William Lewis was born on August 26 1922 in Poplar, London, attending the local school before going to Clarks College, Walthamstow.



First Headmaster from 1913
"Recently there was unveiled in the Walthamstow branch of Clark's College, London, a tablet to the memory of Mr W.H. Sidey, a native of Comrie, the first manager of the branch, who fell in action in France in October last year"



attended ???? to ????
Long career as actor in film and on TV. Borne 1923. Died 2001. Obituary in The Independent reports: ..he took a secretarial course at Clark’s College in Chingford, to give himself a career to fall back on”. (His family lived in Chingford but there was no Clark’s branch there. Likely to be one nearby.)


History Of Cleveland House

The reprint of the article published in the College magazine “The Educator” in May 1950 continued as below. The information, though stated to derive from its appearance in the “Walthamstow Post”, most likely originated from Monograph No. 12, “Some Old Houses of Walthamstow”, by G.F. Bosworth and published by the Walthamstow Antiquarian Society – now the Walthamstow Historical Society. The full article is as follows.

Most of the information is gathered from a letter dated 7th. June 1924 written by Mr. Eliot Howard to Mr. G.F. Bosworth. Mr. Howard occupied Cleveland House from 1871 to 1897 when he removed to “Admore” Buckhurst Hill, Essex, the address given at the head of his letter.

The internal architecture of the house shows that it dates from the 17th. century, and the marble hall and wide staircase are really beautiful. The grounds of Cleveland House formerly extended right up to Pembroke Road, and all the houses on the south side of Orford Road from Hoe Street to Stanhope Road were built over this estate after is was sold in 1897. At that time the gardens and hoppet were about two acres in extent.

The house can hardly have been intended for a large family, for a great part of the internal space was occupied by an extensive hall paved with black and white marble and a fine wide staircase, leaving room for only one large room and two smaller ones on the ground floor. The upper floor has three rooms with ceilings 7ft. high and a boxroom. A wing on the south side had a large and airy kitchen, which probably occupied the whole space originally: but about 1860 it was used as a surgery and a small pantry, which led to the extensive cellarage. On the north side of the ground floor was a long room of uncertain original use, which afterwards became the dining room. To make the house suitable for a family, two floors were added about 1871 above the kitchen, and the house remains much as it was when Mr. Eliot Howard occupied it.

In 1836 the place was owned by Mrs. Forster and occupied by the Foulger family, who were much respected in the neighbourhood. Mr. John Foulger removed to Shern Hall and the Mr. Wallen entered into possession until 1871.

The best known resident in this house, in the last part of the nineteenth century, was Mr. Eliot Howard J.P. who was a member of the famous Howard family of Tottenham. One of his brothers, Mr. David Howard J.P. lived at Rectory Manor about the same time. Mr. Eliot Howard and Mr. David Howard were sons of Robert Howard and nephews of John Eliot Howard(1807-1883), the well known chemist of Stratford. John Eliot Howard, who lived in Tottenham, was the son of Luke Howard, the founder of the firm of Howards of Stratford, and the well-known meteorologist. Mr. Eliot Howard came to Cleveland House about 1871 and lived there for twenty six years. He was head of the well-known engineering firm Messrs Hayward, Tyler & Co., he was a traveler and a man of great attainments. He had considerable influence and was always foremost in all local activities. Like his brother, Mr. David Howard, he was interested in all kinds of ecclesiastical and philanthropic works, and he was a real force in the parochial work of St. Mary’s and St. Stephen’s parishes. Eventually Mr. Eliot Howard removed to Buckhurst Hill, and on the retirement of Mr. Andrew Johnston he became Chairman of the Beacontree Bench of Magistrates. His interest in Walthamstow, however, continued, and as a member of our Antiquarian Society he has added much to our knowledge of our former residents.

When Mr. Eliot Howard left Cleveland House the place was sold to Mr. Day, and was occupied for some time by Alderman Edward Good, who was Chairman of the District Council, and a prominent member of the Essex County Council and of the West Ham Board of Guardians. When Alderman Good removed to Lea Bridge Road, the house became one of the centres of Clark’s College in 1913

Barbara Villiers, Duchess Of Cleveland

The association between Cleveland House, Hoe Street, Walthamstow and Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland is most likely to be legend rather than fact. She was the most notorious of the many mistresses of Charles ll, the best known being the actress Nell Gwyn. Barbara Villiers was born in the parish of St. Margaret’s, Westminster on 22nd. May 1641. Her first romance was with Philip Stanhope, 2nd. Earl of Chesterfield, but he was searching for a rich wife. Note the other Walthamstow link of Stanhope Road, situated behind Cleveland House. On the 14th. April 1659 she married Roger Palmer, 1st. Earl of Castlemain against his family wishes; his father predicted that she would make him one the most miserable men in the world. Roger Palmer was a Roman Catholic. The two separated in 1662, following the birth of her first son. They remained married for his lifetime, but it is believed that Palmer did not father any of his wife’s children. She became King Charle’s mistress in 1660, while still married to Palmer, and while Charles was still in exile at the Hague.

Of her six children, five were acknowledged by Charles as his, however, rumour has it that several of her lovers were involved. Her last daughter Barbara(1672-1737), it was claimed was Charles’s daughter, but she was probably the child of her mother’s second cousin and lover, John Churchill, later Duke of Marlborough. All of Barbara Palmer’s children were given the surname of FitzRoy and they had many notable descendants, including Diana, Princess of Wales and Sir Anthony Eden, Prime Minister from 1955- 1957. The Duchess of Cleveland died on 9th. October 1709 at Chiswick Mall after suffering from oedema, known at the time as dropsy.

Though Cleveland House, Walthamstow, would have been originally a country house, and large by later suburban standards it would hardly have been grand enough for a favoured mistress of the King.



Nicholas Maskell (1963 - 1968)

My name is Nicholas Maskell, the name may ring a bell as I am a lapsed member of the Old Clarkonians and had lost contact since I moved to Cornwall 5 years ago. I did attend one of the informal gatherings a few years ago at the pub venue in Cranbrook Road but most of the lads there where from an earlier era to me and I only recognise one or two names on the list. Although I attended Clarks College from 1963- 1968 most of my time was at the Walthamstow branch and I was only at Ilford for about a year following the closure of Walthamstow.

It would be good to be able to keep in touch with some of the people I remember from those days especially those from Walthamstow some of whom where also transferred to Ilford at the same time as me.

Nicholas Maskell


Rodney Silk

Following our conversation at the Old Clarkonian dinner last night I attach the group photo of the Walthamstow reunion held at The Three Willows, Birchanger on 12th. May. The lady, who flew into Stansted from Dublin that morning, is Ann Hutton. We all attended the school in the late 1940s to early 1950s.

I trust this is suitable for the Old Clarkonian website.

Rodney Silk. May 2010


A point regarding the website link for Jack Watling, the actor, who is stated to have lived and went to Clark's College in Chingford. As rightly suggested there was no Clark's College in Chingford and therefore Jack would have attended a branch nearby. I would suggest that the branch would be the one in Hoe Street, Walthamstow.

I lived in Chingford and went to the Walthamstow branch though much later than Jack would have done as he was born in 1923. I have a copy of the register which, unfortunately, only dates from 1938. But looking through I have found an entry for a Beryl Watling (dob 13/11/1930) who was entered into the school on 21st. August 1944.

She did live in Chingford at 26, Cranston Gardens which is just round to corner to where I lived. I thought perhaps she could be Jack's sister but looking in the births index I found this not to be the case but they could of course be related.

Jack was born on 13/1/1923. His father was Stanley E. Watling who married Emily B. Harnden in 1918. Beryl's father was Victor C. Watling and her mother Winifred M. Pester.

Sorry I cannot be more precise than that.


Lionel Logue

Contacted through the OCA website, we received this enquiry for information. We have some historic records for Ilford but, naturally, almost nothing for other branches.

I'm doing some background research for a film on the early life of Lionel Logue, King George VI's speech therapist made famous in the 2010 film "The King's Speech". While living in at 30 Bolton Gardens in London, my uncle Valentine Logue (1913 - 2000), Lionel Logue's second son, attended Clarke's College, Chancery Lane, London WC, sometime between 1924 and 1927, before going to Bishop's Stortford College. I also believe that his other sons may have also gone to Clarke's College, Laurie Logue (b1908 d1985), and Antony Logue (b 1920- d 2001)

As part of my research, I am keen to get any information that might help.

Mark Logue


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