History of Gwenneth Rickus Site

The Gwenneth Rickus building, which houses the second site of Leopold Primary School, has had various uses throughout history. It began life as Gibbons Road School, opening in 1902.

Gibbons Road School exterior, 1905

Gibbons Road School interior, 1905

Gibbons Road School exterior, 1910

Pupils at Gibbons Road School receiving certificates for contributing to the War Saving Association, 1916

In the 1940s, the school was converted into a secondary modern, in line with the Education Act of 1944. It eventually transitioned into Sladebrook High School, which closed in August 1990. From this time, the building was used as the Brent staff development centre.

Gibbons Road County Secondary Modern School, 1961

The building was often used in filming, most famously appearing in episodes of Please Sir! as the exterior of Fenn Street Secondary School.

For many years, the Trojan boxing gym was situated to the rear of the building. This well-known sports centre, now closed, was where James DeGale started amateur boxing at the age of ten. DeGale has since gone on to represent Great Britain in the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and EU Championships. He was the first British boxer to ever win both a professional world title and an Olympic gold medal, and was made an MBE in 2008.

In recent years, the building was converted back to a school, which today functions as a sister site to the Leopold Primary School building on Hawkshead Road. Its title, the Gwenneth Rickus building, was so chosen to commemorate the life of the Brent education chief of the same name. Gwenneth Rickus was recognised by the Queen for her services to education in 1981. She passed away at the age of 89 in February 2015.