Clapton Arts Trust sets its sights on Victorian classroom

Plans are afoot to restore a Victorian classroom in Upper Clapton to its former glory, so children can once again stream through its doors to experience life as it was 100 years ago.

It is almost as century since children last sat at their desks in the “Old Schoolhouse” in Lea Bridge Road, on the banks of the river Lea.

But now the Clapton Arts Trust (CAT) is negotiating with its owners, housing developer The Vision Group, to preserve and restore the the Grade II listed building.

CAT formed last year to save the old tram depot in Upper Clapton Road and the former Clapton Cinematograph building in Lower Clapton Road.

“This will be for anyone who want to experience what a Victorian classroom is like, and all that goes with it,” said CAT Chair Cllr Ian Rathbone.

It will be a “living” Victorian classroom most of the year and will have exhibitions and heritage displays as well as adult education art, craft and music workshops in the evening, some with a Victorian theme.

If the Heritage Lottery Fund Grant bid is successful, the doors could be thrown open next year offering a “living” Victorian classroom experience to schools, colleges and the public.

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The group plans to hold events at the schoolhouse over the coming months, beginning with an open day at the Old Schoolhouse..

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