A beacon for improvement in Poplar’s slums
The history of St Saviour’s provides a mirror for the themes that have shaped life in Poplar since Victorian times. The original building in Northumbria Street was built in 1865 and designed in the typically grand Victorian Gothic style. Rising high above the slums around, it was intended as a beacon of learning and advancement in a notoriously poor area. Destroyed by Nazi bombs in the Blitz, the old school was finally demolished and a new building erected in Chrisp Street in the 1950’s, some four hundred metres from the original site. The remains of the adjoining St Saviour’s Church can be seen at the old site in Bartlett Park. Find out more about the history of the old school on the British History Online website here.
R R Dolling
We are very lucky to have some wonderful artefacts and documents from the school’s past. Public notices and appeals bear testament to the incredible dedication of men such as R R Dolling, the Parish Priest, to helping raise the living standards of the poor of the area, and these make wonderful reading. The log books chart the coming and goings in the school of both pupils and staff, and a constant theme is how to advise the local families in matters of health and sanitation. The logs also record the punishments meted out to hapless pupils, and the protestations of outraged parents.