5a. Blind Asylum

The Blind School, which originally stood at the bottom of Bristol Gate in Eastern Road, was designed in Venetian Gothic style by George Somers Clarke and was opened on 22 October 1861. It closed in 1952 and was demolished six years later. The photograph of the boys standing on top of each other was from the gymnasium.  We think it is possible that the second photograph, of boys leap-frogging by the Palace Pier, shows pupils from the school. If you look closely you'll notice that they appear to be feeling their way with their hands and they have their eyes closed.

The St John's Home for Convalescent and Crippled Children and Orphan Girls was built in the late nineteenth century to train girls for domestic service. In 1900, the Superior was Miss Borradaile. The first photograph shows the building, which still stands in Walpole Road, with a strange gallows-looking structure on the right. If you study the second photograph, you can see that the odd structure is in fact a Victorian swing.