CH as it might have been

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, but that's still CH related.

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michael scuffil
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CH as it might have been

Post by michael scuffil » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:46 am

I have just acquired some architects' drawings for non-implemented projects for the new buildings at Horsham. They will make interesting perusal, which I shall report on. My first impression is that we were spared what would probably throughout the 20th century (and still today) have been considered some pretty ugly buildings (very fussy Gothic), while some of the other ideas would have been better than what we actually got. For example, placing all the boarding houses roughly equidistant from the central buildings. (I once made a rough calculation that over a 7-year school career, someone in Peele A would have walked about 8,500 kilometres more than someone in ColB.)
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: CH as it might have been

Post by Foureyes » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:38 am

Michael,
Well done on such an unusual find. Just as a matter of idle interest, where on earth did you find those? I can understand plans of actual buildings being kept, but would have thought that preserving "might-have-beens" is much rarer (except in the case of Albert Speer, of course).
I once read that in the original plan for the move to Horsham it was intended that both boys AND girls would move to the same site, which was to have been along the ridge we know as Sharpenhurst. But, this account continued, the total weight of such a massive amount of buildings would have been more than the site would bear and at least some of the buildings would start to slide, ever so gently, down into the valley where the railway now runs. Thus, so this account runs, the buildings had to be resited to their present location, but there was then no longer any room for the girls so they had to remain at Hertford. Do you see any trace of that in your recent and splendid acquisition?
David

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Adrian
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Re: CH as it might have been

Post by Adrian » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:54 am

michael scuffil wrote:I once made a rough calculation that over a 7-year school career, someone in Peele A would have walked about 8,500 kilometres more than someone in ColB.
Probably why I'm quite skinny.

It was the trek back from Horsham that was the killer, get to the school gate and still only half way there.
Maine A; Peele A 75-82

michael scuffil
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Re: CH as it might have been

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:38 am

Looking at the plans, I think that while Aston Webb's buildings are more aesthetically pleasing than the alternatives, most other aspects of his design are not so good. For example, in the dormitory washrooms (called in true monastic fashion 'lavatories' -- as opposed to latrines, w.c.'s), wash-basins are specifically drawn in. And in the changing rooms, there are 'douche baths' (apparently with cubicles). Both of these features had to wait another 60 years.

One design has smaller dormitories, for 10-14 boys. Another has 25-bed dormitories, but they are round, with 20 beds around the edge, and five in the middle, all arranged radially.

At least one plan envisages 3-house blocks. Now there's a thing: Thornton A, Thornton B and Thornton C.

On one plan, it says of the dormitories: '816 cubic feet per boy'. Sounds like a broiler house.

And then I like this: 'One important point was most difficult to arrange, and that is, covered ways for the servants and boys to the dining-hall. This has been secured with the minimum expense by putting the boys' corridor over that for the servants. Thus in stormy weather or after dark, the boys and servants could reach the hall from all the houses under cover, and entirely distinct from one another.' [My italics: no messing with the maids, then...]

All the plans have a dedicated museum building, so I presume that was in the specs. But never actually built as such.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

DavidRawlins
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Re: CH as it might have been

Post by DavidRawlins » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:12 pm

Is there another tube system underneath the one we used to use?
Col A 1946-1953

michael scuffil
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Re: CH as it might have been

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:58 pm

DavidRawlins wrote:Is there another tube system underneath the one we used to use?
The design I quoted from was never built. The two-level covered walkways would have been above ground. And the distances were not very great, as the houses were arranged around the central buildings, and not strung out from them. Though the architect goes on to add that an underground passage was also envisaged, beneath the walkways, but it would be purely for utilities.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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LongGone
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Re: CH as it might have been

Post by LongGone » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:20 am

Is there any way you could put these on line for us to see? I would be fascinated to look them over.
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Re: CH as it might have been

Post by sejintenej » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:42 am

michael scuffil wrote: On one plan, it says of the dormitories: '816 cubic feet per boy'. Sounds like a broiler house.
.
If you do the sums that was not too bad. Ceiling at 8' gives you say 8' by nearly 13'. Much depends on the airflow
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michael scuffil
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Re: CH as it might have been

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:13 pm

sejintenej wrote:
michael scuffil wrote: On one plan, it says of the dormitories: '816 cubic feet per boy'. Sounds like a broiler house.
.
If you do the sums that was not too bad. Ceiling at 8' gives you say 8' by nearly 13'. Much depends on the airflow
I didn't mean to imply that the space was too little, I was just slightly amused by the calculation itself (possibly when I made the comment I'd just been listening to some poultry farmer justifying himself on Farming Today).
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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