Institutional nit-picking

Municipal Technical College
Hanover, Brighton.

The former Municipal Technical College in Brighton rates a short entry in The Build­ings of England (Sussex: East) but the only qualitative assess­ment of it, later in the book, is as ‘an overbearing neighbour’ to a better build­ing next door. The terra­cotta text above the main entrance is good though, and I was curious about the third word, which looked much grubbier than the others. A closer look revealed that it had originally not been a COLLEGE, but a SCHOOL. At some point it must have been decided that this was beneath the dignity of the organisation or its students. SCHOOL was hacked off, and an inferior casting of COLLEGE was cemented in its place.


A tidier solution might have been to box the inscription behind a painted sign, but I like the scruffy palimp­sest, and the story it tells of institutional nit-picking. The build­ing was converted into apart­ments in 2004 so it’s unlikely there will be any more meddling.

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