A historical look at the


The National College on the South Bank London celebrated
its 60th anniversary on 18th June 2007.

The Heritage Group therefore thought it would be a suitable
time to refresh the memories of its old Students by showing
pictures of the College Laboratories, Plantrooms,Library and
Lecture Rooms, as a trip down memory lane for all those
who attended.

Also included are pictures of Ingall House, the accommodation
in Dulwich Park Road provided by the College for Students
living outside of London.

Written records about the setting up of the College and a list of
its Lecturers from the 1960's is also given.

The Heritage Group thanks and acknowledges the help of
 Tim Dwyer,
a former Lecturer in the Dept for Engineering
Systems and Faculty of Engineering, Science and the Built
Environment at the LSBU, for providing the paperwork and
photographs from the
Library Archives for this nostalgic
look back in time for all those students
of yesteryear.


T H E  F I R S T  M A J O R  S T E P in the provision of facilities for technological education of the highest possible standard for those engaged in the heating, air conditioning, refrigeration and fan engineering industries was taken in January, 1948, when the Minister of Education established the National College for Heating, Ventilating, Refrigeration and Fan Engineering at the Borough Polytechnic, London. Hitherto there had been little or no provision for advanced study and research in these branches of technology. A young man entering industry might, if he was fortunate enough to live within reach of one of the few technical colleges providing suitable classes, be able to obtain some specialised instruction to the standard of the examination of the Institution of Heating and Ventilating Engineers or of those of the City and Guilds of London Institute but beyond this point it was impossible to go. Even the Universities offered no specialised opportunities for higher technological training in these fields.

The National College exists to remedy these conditions and so to ensure a steady flow of properly trained engineers, skilled in their profession, able to appreciate modern scientific advances having a bearing on their work and capable of exploiting them to the advantage of these industries. In this way, the college is designed to occupy a key place in advancing practice in these industries to the highest possible level and in maintaining them to the forefront of engineering and scientific skill. The lack of provision for adequate technical training for most of those engaged in the industries concerned was a cause of grave concern to those interested in their progress and, in 1942, the Heating and Ventilating industry had on its own initiative provided a specialist full-time course on a national basis as a part of its accepted educational scheme for technicians employed in the industry. This scheme was entirely financed by the industry and was so completely successful that the Refrigeration industry, a year later, took similar steps.

In 1944, the Report of the Departmental Committee on Higher Technological Education, which had been set up under the chairmanship of Lord Eustace Percy, was published. One of its recommendations was that where, because of the comparatively small or dispersed nature of an industry, it was impossible to provide adequate facilities for technical education of the highest standard on a regional basis, such facilities should be provided at one college on a national basis. In fact, the Report was an emphatic official confirmation of the action which had already been taken by the Heating and Ventilating and Refrigeration industries.

The Ministry of Education quickly sought to implement this recommendation and issued a statement of policy with regard to national colleges. This policy, in brief, is that where it can be shown that, in the interests of both the nation and the industry, a national college is desirable and that the industry concerned is prepared to give its full co-operation by sharing costs and by recruiting students and teachers, the Ministry will establish a college and accept responsibility for it.

In view of this statement the Heating and Ventilating and the Refrigeration industries severally applied to the Ministry for the establishment of colleges to meet their individual needs. They were received sympathetically but the Ministry expressed the view that rather than set up a number of small colleges bearing a close relationship to each other it would be a more effective proposal to establish one college embracing heating and ventilating, refrigeration and other allied industries whose training schemes could be related and who were prepared to take part in the project. After some negotiation the fan manufacturing industry decided to join the other two in a joint request for a college. A proposal was accepted by the Minister of Education and the establishment by him of the College followed.


The College has two principal aims; to provide for the highest standard of technological training and for research. It gives a complete specialist training for those who will ultimately fill the highest technical and executive posts in the heating and ventilating, refrigeration and fan engineering industries. The demand for men of this calibre may not be large, but it is vital to meet it if these industries are to maintain a leading place in engineering and scientific progress.

In providing the appropriate technical education the College functions in three capacities.

(1) National. Two full-time courses are available. The tint of these is the Diploma Course at present comprising two terms but which may be extended to three terms. The qualification for entry is the Ordinary National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering or an equivalent standard.

The object of the diploma course is to provide sound draughtsmen technicians for the industries concerned and the course, in addition to the specialist subjects covers appropriate ancillary subjects which are provided the Borough Polytechnic. Those awarded the Diploma are given appropriate exemption from the examination for Associate Membership of the respective professional institutions. The second course is the Associateship course which is post graduate in standard and is open to diploma students, degree students or others with required entry qualifications.

The essential content of this course is advanced studies in the specialist subjects and training in research. The number of students in such a course will always be comparatively small since the training is intended to provide the industries with the technical specialists and leaders of the future. Besides these courses it is vital for the College to provide for carrying out research through its staff and other competent workers. Only so can the requisite academic standard of the teaching staff be upheld and the industries provided with up-to-date information essential to their progress. Close liaison is maintained with the education and research organisations connected with the industries.

(2) Regional. So that technical students, who are unable to undertake the full-time diploma course, can prepare themselves for the examination for Associate Membership of the professional institutions, evening classes are arranged to cover the requirements of these examinations. Students are only admitted to these courses if over 21 years of age.

(3) Local. For its immediate local area the College provides courses for operative students leading to the Intermediate and Final Examinations of the City and Guilds of London Institute. The number of students coming forward has been so great that arrangements have been made for the first two years of these courses to be provided in other centres to enable the College to carry out the work required for the 3rd, 4th and 5th years.

Since its establishment in 1948, the college has catered for the following numbers of students:-

SESSION               PART-TIME DAY           FULL-TIME              EVENING

             1948 – 49                       85                                  114                           56

             1949 – 50                       77                                  146                           84

             1950 – 51                       93                                    97                           84


As the College is in the early days of its development its research activities have only recently commenced.

Two researches have been started dealing with noise transmission in ventilating ducts and the performance and design of ejectors.

Temperature distribution in heated floors.

Dust conveying.

Secondary refrigerant calorimetry.

Temperatures in cold room insulation.

Use of engine indicators with refrigerant compressors.

Fluid temperature measurement.


The College is housed in part of the premises of the Borough Polytechnic but it was deficient in laboratory accommodation. It was fortunate that some ground was available adjacent to the Polytechnic so that the governors with the approval and assistance of the Ministry of Education were able to take advantage of this site to erect the new laboratory. A plan of the building is shown at the end of this booklet. About one-third of the space has been allocated for a wind tunnel and general fan engineering, another third for refrigeration engineering and, the remainder for general use and research. It will be seen that the building also includes a library to contain text and reference books, periodicals and pamphlets, and trade and instrument catalogues. This fulfils an essential need. A good collection of appropriate and up-to-date text books, has already been gathered together with the generous assistance of some of the firms in the industries.


The governors wish to express with gratitude their appreciation and thanks to member firms of the Association of Heating, Ventilating and Domestic Engineering Employers, the Fan Manufacturers' Association and the British Refrigeration Association who have given valuable plant and equipment some of which is housed in the main building and some in the new laboratory. The equipment, the value of which amounts to several thousand pounds, has ensured that the College is with up-to-date facilities for its advanced studies.

In designing the new laboratory the opportunity was taken to install an experimental floor heating system in the new floor. This does not imply that floor heating, per se, is experimental but that the installation in the laboratory building has been designed to enable a large number of experiments to be carried out. The plant consists of three electrode boilers serving various sections of the floor in which various pipe sizings and spacings are laid, to enable the effect of these variables on the floor surface temperature distribution to be studied. One section of the floor is insulated beneath the pipes so that a comparison of the heat requirementsof insulated and un-insulated floors can be made.Before the installation was covered up an invitation was sent to firms throughout the country to visit the College and make an inspection and the large response from all parts of the country was most gratifying. The illustrations show a general view of a part of the floor with the pipes partially covered and the controls of one of the experimental heating panels.

B U R S A R I E S  A N D 

The Association of Heating, Ventilating and Domestic Engineering Employers offers bursaries covering the full fee for the Diploma Course in Heating and Ventilating Engineering to apprentices employed by firms which are members of the Association and under the age of twenty two years. It also provides maintenance grants to enable their students to attend courses free from financial embarrassment. Member firms ha\e agreed that wherever apprentices are granted bursaries they will continue to pay full wages to them during the time that they are attending their courses. This praiseworthy scheme was actually initiated in 1944 and was, undoubtedly, one of the major factors which led to the establishment of the College by the Ministry of Education. Somewhat similar facilities are also offered by the Fan Manufacturers' Association and the British Refrigeration Association.  With the support of the Ministry ten scholarships to the annual value of £15 together with free tuition are offered annually to successful diploma students or others equally qualified for more advanced studies or research. In addition to this the Institution of Heating and Ventilating Engineers has provided a research scholarship to the value of £40 for the carrying out of research in some problem connected with the industry and through the Institution a Nelson Haden Scholarship is also being made available to the College.


The terms of the Declaration of Trust of the College require the Board of Governors to establish, as soon as possible, a hostel for students who are attending the College from outside London. Pending the acquisition of suitable premises a register of approved lodgings - has been kept and students requiring living accommodation have been assisted in finding it by the Governors. Bearing in mind the very urgent need to provide a residence where it would be possible to build a proper student community, the Governors considered the question of the most suitable district in which a hostel could be provided. It was borne in mind that the Polytechnic playing fields are in Dulwich and that Dulwich itself is a very desirable residential area within reasonable distance of the College. It was therefore decided that every effort should be made to obtain a building suitable for conversion or a site on which a hostel could be built somewhere in this district. In the summer of 1949, therefore, the Chairman of the Governors and the Chairman of the Finance Committee, together with the Clerk inspected several properties in the area and at last were successful in finding one which they thought could, with considerable adaptation, be turned into a hostel. The property is now the College Hostel and is situated in Dulwich Wood Park.

Before any definite steps could be taken it was necessary, of course, to obtain Architect's opinion and the Governors instructed Messrs. Norman and Dawbarn to examine the property and if they thought fit to submit for consideration their proposals for alterations and adaptations.

This was done in consultation with the Architects of the Ministry of Education and it was decided that the plan was a practicable one. Tenders for the work and estimates for the proper furnishing of the premises were obtained and approved by the Minister of Education, who most generously made available a sufficient grant to cover all the necessary capital expenditure. The tender of Messrs. Marshall Andrew & Co., Ltd., 31 Queen Anne's Gate, London, SW 1, was accepted and work began in December 1949. It was hoped that it would be completed by September 1950, but owing to a number of unforeseen difficulties, the work was not in fact finished until December of that year.

The house itself provides accommodation for 43 students in small dormitories accommodating two or more, but not more than seven students. There is a large lounge, a separate games room and a very comfortable quiet room where students will be able to carry on their studies in a pleasant atmosphere. The dining room is in the semi-basement and is adjacent to a well-appointed kitchen so that the minimum of work will be necessary on the part of the kitchen staff. The whole of the cooking, food storage, and ventilating arrangements are of the most modern pattern and the house is centrally heated throughout. The plan of alterations included the provision of a separate house for the Warden and his wife, who will act as housekeeper, and the Governors appointed in November, 1950, Mr. and Mrs. H. I. W. Young to these important posts. The Governors are confident that in this couple they have two people who will contribute greatly to the happiness and well-being of future residents.

      Study Room      Bedroom

     Dining Room      Library

The Governors felt that the term hostel was not an attractive one and did not convey with success the comfort and homeliness which it is hoped will become a feature of No. 8 Dulwich Wood Park. It was therefore decided that the house should be called "Ingall House" as a fitting gesture in recognition of the very large part that Dr. Douglas H. Ingall, the Director of the College, had taken in the negotiations to establish the College. In this way his name will be long associated with the College which owes so much to his enthusiasm and hard work.


Head of the College . . . DAVID  R. SCOTT, MSc., PH.D., M.INST.R., A.M.I.H.V.E.,          A.INST.P., A.M.I.MIN.E., A.M.E.M.E.

                Senior  Lecturers


E. W. SHAW,    M.I.H.V.E.,   M.R.S.H.

R. W. WEBB, BSc. (ENG.).


R. AZAD, BSc.,   PH.D.


J. D. JONES,   B.Sc., PH.D.


J. E. RANDELL,   B.Sc.(MIN.), PH D.

A. F. C. SHBRRATT,    BSc., PH.D.



Assistant Lecturers ...

J. W. COWAN,    A.M.I.H.V.E., A.M.INST.W.



The ancillary subjects which form part of each of the full-time courses are taught in the appropriate departments of the Borough Polytechnic, under the direction of the following Heads of Department:

Department of Electrical Engineer- V. BREIRA-MENDOZA, MSc, TECH.,

  ing and Physics ... ... ...                      M.I.E.E.

Department of Mathematics ...E. A. BAGGOTT, MSc., PH.D,  A.R.C.S., D.I.C.

Department of Mechanical          J. F. DOUGLAS, M.Sc. (ENG.), A.C.G.I.

Engineering                                  D.I.C., A.M.I.C.E.,  A.M.I.STRUCT.E.

Division of Liberal Studies ...         J. BURNETT,  M.A., LL.B., PH.D.

                             Senior Lecturer in charge


The governors wish to thank the following for their help in making this project possible and who, in doing so, have provided a building, unique of its kind, of which the industries concerned can be justly proud: The Ministry of Education for generous financial help both in connection with the cost of the building and with the cost of furnishing and equipping it.

Those members of the industries who have supported the college since its formation and who have contributed so generously to the Building Appeal Fund.

Messrs. Norman and Dawbarn, the Architects responsible for the design and lay-out of the building and, in particular, Mr Kenneth Williams, A.R.I.B.A., who was the architect in charge.

Messrs. Inman and Partners, the Quantity Surveyors who worked in association with the Architects.

Messrs. J. Roger Preston and Partners, the Consulting Engineers responsible for the design and installation of the mechanical services. Particularly would the governors like to express their great gratitude to Mr. Derek L Thornley, AMIHVE, a former student of the college and a partner in the firm, who had personal responsibility for this extremely difficult task.

Messrs. Higgs and Hill, Limited, and their various sub-contractors who, despite a very tight building programme and a number of unforeseen difficulties, succeeded in completing the work in time for the building to be opened for the session 1960-61.


The functions of the College are set out in the Trust Deed which established the college. They can be summarised as follows :

(i) to provide full-time courses of advanced instruction up to, and including post-graduate work in heating, ventilating, air conditioning, refrigeration and fan engineering

(ii) to provide part-time day and evening courses in these technologies

(iii) to train students in research methods and to promote research.

The specialist subjects are taught in the college building by college staff but the students receive instruction in ancillary subjects in the Borough Polytechnic where they use the many well equipped laboratories.

They are able to use the social and recreational facilities of the Polytechnic and are entitled to full membership of the Students' Union.

Thus they enjoy the advantages of being members of a much larger student body.


When the College was first opened it was given the use of three rooms in the Polytechnic Annex in Belvedere Place, a very old building used as a Girls' School until the outbreak of war in 1939. The largest of these rooms, the school hall, was used as a laboratory and a certain amount of plant designed to air condition one of these rooms was installed at the expense of the industry. Another room was used as a drawing office and the third as a general lecture room. At the same time plans were approved for the erection of a laboratory building in the grounds of the Annex. This was completed in 1950.


This National College was established by the Minister of Education, on the 1st January, 1948, and it was first opened to students in September of that year.

Before this time there had been little or no provision for advanced study and research in heating, ventilating, air conditioning or refrigeration, the branches of technology taught in the college. A young man entering industry might, if he was fortunate enough to live within reach of one of the few technical colleges providing suitable courses, be able to obtain some specialised instruction up to the standard of the examinations of the City and Guilds of London Institute, but beyond this point it was impossible to go. Even the Universities offered no specialised opportunities for higher technological training in these fields.

This lack of provision for adequate technical training for the majority of those engaged in these industries was a cause of grave concern to those interested in their progress and, in 1942, the Heating and Ventilating industry set up a committee to enquire into ways and means of improving the situation. As a result, this industry, on i t s own initiative, provided in 1944 a specialist full-time course on a national basis as a part of its educational scheme for student apprentices. This course was

The new building was, of necessity, small, for the site was limited but provision was made in it for a fan laboratory, a laboratory for refrigeration plant and a cold store, a-library and a number of small laboratories and work rooms. Although the accommodation was cramped some excellent work was done in these premises but it was obvious that, if the college was to perform its functions effectively and properly for the ever growing student body, more room was essential.

In 1954 the governors prepared plans for the alteration of the Annex building to provide additional accommodation but the Ministry of Education, after discussion of the plans, advised that it would be better to think of the provision of a new building on another site and promised to consider sympathetically an application for a grant for this purpose, provided the industries would give an undertaking to help with the cost of the project.

It was appreciated that it would be difficult to obtain a suitable site for a new building in the immediate vicinity of the Borough Polytechnic but it was important, in the view of the governors, to maintain the close physical relationship with the Polytechnic. This problem was solved, however, with the sympathetic help of the governors of the Polytechnic who agreed that part of the site set aside for the development of the Polytechnic should be released for the purpose of the College. It was possible, therefore, to negotiate a lease of the site in Southwark Bridge Road very close to the Polytechnic Main Building. Messrs. Norman and Dawbarn of Portland Place, W.1, were appointed Architects for the project and were instructed to prepare suitable plans of a building to provide about 40,000 square feet of accommodation. Messrs. Inman and Partners of 7 New Square, London, W.C.2, Quantity Surveyors, were appointed to act with the Architects.

When the plans were finally approved tenders were invited for the work and, as a result, a contract was entered into with Hliggs and Hill, Limited, Crown Works, South Lambeth Road, S.W.8. London, Messrs. J. Roger Preston and Partners of 15 North Audley Street, London, W.1, were appointed Consulting Engineers for the mechanical services to the building and the contract for this work was placed with Benham and Sons Ltd., of 66 Wigmore Street, London, W.I.


The new, five storey building has provided a College excellently equipped with laboratories for heating, ventilating, air conditioning, fan engineering, refrigeration and heat transfer, as well as others designed especially for research projects. There is also a large workshop and an anechoic chamber.

Provision of non-specialist rooms has been made on a generous scale and students have the advantage of a large reading and study room adjacent to a well equipped library.

A feature of the building is the modern Lecture Theatre which seats two hundred people and has its own air conditioning equipment.

A very generous donation from Haden and Sons Ltd., in memory of their late Chairman, Mr. George Nelson Haden, O.B.E, M.I.Mech.E, a former governor of the college, made the provision of this room possible. The governors have been pleased to name it "The George Nelson Haden Lecture Theatre“.


The services provided for the building have been designed to serve the dual purpose of utility and instruction. A representative selection of heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems suitable for modern buildings has been installed and these can be observed and tested under normal working conditions by the students.

The Heating Plant Laboratory contains a number of heat generating appliances which supply hot water and heat throughout the building including low pressure hot water oil fired boilers, an oil fired steam boiler, a gas-fired steam boiler, heat exchange equipment and an electrical thermal storage vessel to be used during off-peak tariff periods.

The numerous circuits necessary to serve the heating systems are provided with automatic controls and pumps of various types. Among the different methods of heating employed are low-temperature embedded floor panels, low pressure hot water heating using various types of heat emitting appliances and suspended ceiling heating. A portion of the building is also supplied with electric heating.

All the laboratories on the lower levels are provided with mechanical ventilation employing ducts conveying air at conventional velocities, the inlet air being heated in winter, whilst the Refrigeration Laboratory is equipped with an exhaust system for the rapid removal of fumes.

The two upper floors of the building, containing lecture rooms, Library and students' study rooms are air conditioned, and on one of these floors the air conditioning system incorporates a dual-duct distribution system, the ducts for which convey air at high velocity, whilst on the other the air conditioning is by means of diverse types of air handling units, to which a supply of chilled water is available. Self-contained air conditioning units of various types are also demonstrated. A feature of practical interest is that the refrigeration and air conditioning machinery required in connection with the system for these floors is accommodated on the roof, together with a water-cooling tower and evaporative type condenser which serves the machinery at these levels, and for the Lecture Theatre.

All systems are fully instrumented to enable the student
to gain a full appreciation of their functioning.


The original tender price for the building was £261,750 but this included a provisional sum for the mechanical services to which some major additions were made during the course of the construction of the building. The final accounts have not yet been agreed but it is thought that the cost, ultimately, will not be less than  £300,000 including professional fees.

When the Ministry of Education approved the project it was agreed that a grant of £237,076 towards its cost would be made and that the difference between that and the final cost would have to be met from funds raised by an appeal launched by the governors.

An appeal was made to industry in March 1959, asking for £50,000 either in cash or in gifts of equipment to be used in the mechanical services. To date £48,751 has been received in cash together with equipment to the total value of £16,873 a really magnificent response.

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MAY   2007