This imposing building in Monson Road, next to the Civic Centre, was built as the Technical Institute and opened in 1902. It was supported by Major Charles Fletcher Lutwidge, who was Mayor from 1895 – 1898 and then 1901 -2, he was also cousin of Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson).
I went there today after being told about the current art exhibition. In the rather unseen space of Netty’s cafe, work by the students and tutors is regularly hung, and is for sale. The current exhibition features 42 works of art from students on Monday evening’s Abstract Art Course, with tutor David Evershed. Prices for the art pieces start at £50.00.
The gallery is open all the time the centre is open, mainly Monday to Friday, including evenings, and some Saturdays. If you want something from Netty’s cafe, that is open from 9am -3pm. The reception staff are very helpful, especially if you say “I write a blog, can I take any photos?” (No, best not to, just in case.)
As an additional piece of information, from the Civic Society book ‘400 Years of The Wells’: Lutwidge was Mayor during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Year (1897), and he laid the foundation stone for the Monson Road Indoor Swimming Bath, which became the alternative to the open air bath at Grosvenor Recreation Ground.