The Pioneer Health Centre

September 24th, 2012 by Cassie

Home of the ‘Peckham Experiment’, built by engineer Sir Owen Williams in 1935

Yesterday I went on a tour of the Pioneer Health Centre in Peckham as part of Open House weekend. It’s only a 5 minute walk from where I live and the building has always intrigued me. It’s been made into private flats now but the building has a very interesting past. Set up in 1935 by Drs Scott Williamson and Innes Pearse as an experiment to improve public health through preventative medicine, education and community care, it was opened in 1936 to the public who could pay 1 Shilling a week to become a member and use facilities such as a kindergarten, cafeteria, pool, gymnasium, theatre, and take part in physical excercise classes and other workshops. The project finished in the 1950s with the introduction of the NHS.

You can watch a film about the centre here


Pool (not original)

Viewing area (would have been used by doctors to observe the pool area)
A fireplace!

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