Glenlyn Academy - do you know about the building's history?

Do you know anything about the history of the Glenlyn Academy building on Porthcawe Road, Bell Green? It looks as if it was an Edwardian mission Hall, or something along those lines. Old photos would be brilliant, but even the original name would help me trace its history.

Yes @nico I remember reading a discussion somewhere about people attending Sunday school there.

I’ll see if it appears in the background of photos of me as a child in Home Park. Although even if so that’s “only” from the 50s, so I assume not early enough to be of help to you @jrw?

I went there years ago for Sunday school. Went to the Glenlyn Dance School when it was on Sunderland Road. Forest Hill. My teacher was a Miss. Diane. And Miss. Ruby. She was a tough teacher.

Thanks each of you, that is all really interesting. Yes, I am interested in photos from any point up to the 1980s, and if anyone has more recent ones to share, the more the merrier! The building seems to have been built as a mission Hall by the London City Mission, in the late 1890s. I can’t find the exact date at the moment, but they were certainly there by 1900. Can anyone give me a date it became the Glenlyn Academy? Bring on those anecdotes…

That’s interesting. London City Mission have really good archives.

One of my aunties was involved with the Medical Mission, but that’s a different organization.

Both organizations are still going strong. The Medical Mission run some excellent care homes under the name Missioncare. But that’s an aside. As I say, different Mission to London City Mission.

Thanks, Mary. I will hit the archives, but there is no way of knowing when that will be possible! In the meantime, I am trying for a rough timeline of its history, and a photographic record of its place in the community of Bell Green. It can then go on record at Lewisham archives for future reference.

BTW, any photos of community events using the Hall would be particularly welcome.

So frustrating not being able to get to Archives. In the meantime, if you’ve not done so yet it might be worth trawling through any images that have been posted online of the work of John Gait. He was a City of London missionary active at the turn of the century and a really good photographer.

This is the building where there’s an active planning application to demolish, isn’t it? If so, it might be a useful addition to the record if anyone on here lives in a flat overlooking it if they can take a photo. Another little bit of Sydenham history about to be lost?

Well done Julia, on this and so many other cases of championing and recording our local social history.

Edit: my mistake, it’s 50 Porthcawe Road that has the planning application. Glenlyn Academy/Emmanuel Hall is No.49. Sorry.

The building to be redeveloped is the house next to the hall, which I think was the mission house. Sadly, this development looks as if it is going to block out light to the Hall, and make it bit doomy indoors. I want to document the site, as the developers’ historical data is a bit vague…

Nobody wants the Academy’s venue to be compromised, and loomed over by a building only a few feet away. There is definitely room for compromise here.

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