Call to honour legacy of philanthropist Baron Rowallan naming Ilford buildings

The current Baron Rowallan with John Sharrock and councillors during his visit after the closure of Ilford Swimming Pool.

The current Baron Rowallan with John Sharrock and councillors during his visit after the closure of Ilford Swimming Pool. - Credit: Archant

A new school being built on land donated by a Scottish aristocrat more than a century ago could be named in his honour.

Ilford Swimming Pool being demolished

Ilford Swimming Pool being demolished - Credit: Archant

Speaking at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting at Redbridge Town Hall, John Sharrock, chairman of the Redbridge Swimmers, called on the council to recognise the legacy of philanthropist Baron Rowallan, Archibald Corbett, at his former estate.

He donated the land off High Road, Ilford, where Cricklefields Athletics Ground and the Isaac Newton Academy now stand, to the people of Redbridge.

Although he entered into covenants with Ilford Urban District Council in 1914 and 1916 to ensure the land was used for recreation, the council overturned them to build another school.

The covenant said the council “shall not or will erect or build or suffer to be erected, or built upon any part of the said premises any erection or building other than public washing baths and swimming baths”.

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The current Baron Rowallan, John Corbett, had said he wanted new leisure facilities to replace the former Ilford Pool on the site to fulfil his great-grandfather’s wish in a 2009 visit.

Mr Sharrock said: “Baron Rowallan built and developed whole areas of Ilford and generously gave park land and Cricklefield to the Ilford people.

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“After the closure of the Ilford Swimming Pool at Cricklefield the land is being built on.

“To my knowledge there is no naming legacy being created regarding these buildings.

“May I suggest that the council honour Baron Rowallan’s generosity by using his name.”

Cllr Keith Prince, leader of the council, said he would look into the suggestion, which was supported by the Ilford Historical Society.

The new primary, sponsored by ARK Schools, is set to open in September.

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