On the west side of Cloudesley Street, just south of Cloudesley Square, lies an attractive and highly distinctive building which has played an important role in the educational and wider community history of the Cloudesley Estate since it was first opened as an infant school for Holy Trinity Church in 1830.  We already have a website article on Trinity School, here, but Jenny has now completed some forensic research into the subject and has published this fascinating account:  "Cloudesley Street and 130 Years and Educational Excellence".

The story is in two parts.  Up to his death in 1902, the remarkable Lawrence Major presided over the school as Headmaster and later as President of the "Cloudesley" Old Boys Club.  Mr Major was clearly a much loved character at the heart of the Cloudesley community and he is commemorated by not one but two stained glass windows in the church.

After a period of decline under LCC ownership, the building was reopened as the "Elizabeth Whitelaw Reid Club" and thereafter was central to the lives of many boys and girls on the Cloudesley Estate and beyond, right up to the 1960s.  Elizabeth Whitelaw Reid, the wife of the American ambassador, was another remarkable character and under her auspices and subsequently those of her daughter, the glamorous Lady Jean Templeton Reid Ward, the club thrived and supported an extraordinary range of activities, including, according to Jenny's press cuttings, scouting, girl-guiding, a "cubbiest cub competition", amateur dramatics, art, discussion groups, football, boxing, gymnastics, ping pong, needlework and ballet and all types of dancing.  Latterly, the building also hosted a "Darby and Joan" club for senior citizens.  Elizabeth Whitelaw Reid and her daughter Jean, together with several other ladies who ran the club are also commemorated in the church in a series of plaques, and in the case of Maria Gates, Superintendent of the Girls' Sunday School for 60 years, another magnificent stained glass window (see below).

There must still be neighbours in the area who can still remember the youth club at 16A Cloudesley Street.  We urge you to read Jenny's "Cloudesley Street and 130 Years and Educational Excellence" and if it jogs any memories, or reminds you of any old photos, please let us know.


Grubb Institute











Lawrence Major

Elizabeth Whitelaw Reid



















Maria Gates Window






#2 Anne Howeson 2023-08-31 13:22
A wonderful read... such a touching photograph of Elizabeth Whitelaw Reid
#1 Gillian 2023-08-31 11:03
Great piece of research, Jenny