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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
19th February 1915 Comedian Dick Emery was born in Bloomsbury, London.
19th February 1897 Charles Blondin, French tightrope walker and acrobat died from diabetes in Ealing.
19th February 1838 Jane Alsop's terrifying encounter with Spring Heeled Jack.
19th February 1401 William Sawtree, 1st English religious martyr, burned in London
Wandsworths Patriotic Building
The infamous London Reception Centre of World War II.
Location: John Archer Way, Wandsworth, SW18 3SX
Description: The magnificent Royal Victoria Patriotic Building is a massive gothic Victorian building in Wandsworth combining Scottish Baronial and French Chteauesque.
Dating to 1859 it began as the Royal Victoria Patriotic School, an asylum for girls orphaned during the Crimean War. They had it tough, having to pump water up to the tanks in the towers, as well as do all the washing. They also had to wash outside in cold water.
During the Second World War, MI5 used it as the infamous London Reception Centre. Interrogators including 'spycatcher' Colonel Oreste Pinto interviewed over 30,000 immigrants here over a period of four years.
It's a Grade II* Listed Building designed by the architect Major Rohde Hawkins.
Above the entrance is a spendid statue of St George and the Dragon in a niche.