Tunbridge Wells Adult Education Centre was opened in Monson Road in 1902 as a Technical Institute sponsored by the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. Alongside other Victorian and Edwardian public-buildings it is the only building in Kent of its age that is still being used for its original purpose. The distinctive red-brick building possesses a rounded doorway which is adorned with some decorative stonework, with designs including the crest of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, shells, scrolls and the motto ‘Do Well; Doubt Not’ which is there to encourage learners, visitors to the centre and staff-alike each time they pass over the threshold.
One of the most distinctive features of the Tunbridge Wells centre is the grand staircase, complete with a spacious mosaic tiled floor and the stained glass window. The window depicts Minerva, the roman Goddess of Wisdom, which is identified by an owl, the symbol of wisdom on her left shoulder and an olive branch, the symbol of peace and victory. Minerva is also aptly the patroness of the arts. The window is set in a Venetian frame at the top of the first flight of stairs and attracts attention especially on a bright day when the sun streams through the south-facing window.
Each of the four grand floors of Tunbridge Wells Adult Education has something new to offer. Built with a basement for upholstery courses, an art studio in the attic and a pottery studio for…well, pottery; all the learning rooms are used to teach hundreds of learners throughout the year everything from silversmithing to ESOL and interior design to GCSE maths. Tunbridge Wells AEC is a hive of activity, there’s never been a better time to try something new!
The building in Monson Road is very central in its location; just a 10 minute walk from the train station and for the drivers among us, pay and display parking just a stones-throw away. It’s within the hustle and bustle of Tunbridge Wells, and as one of our busiest centres there’s bound to be a course at a time to suit you. Our new 2016/17 curriculum boasts courses planned during the day as well as at evenings and weekends.
“All the learning rooms are used to teach hundreds of learners throughout the year everything from silversmithing to ESOL and interior design to GCSE maths.”
One of the most popular courses at Tunbridge Wells AEC is upholstery which takes place in a dedicated space in the basement of the building. Do you own a scruffy old chair or stool that needs a facelift? Why not learn how to transform your object into something beautiful? Every year we are overwhelmed by how quickly these are booked up, so be sure to book quickly to avoid missing out.
Uniquely, Tunbridge Wells is the only one of our centres that offers courses in bookbinding and bookmaking. Taught by our expert tutor Paul Francis Jarvis, our courses will teach you the process of binding books. You could learn how to sew multi-section bindings, trim a sewn book block or use a guillotine. As one of our rarest courses, the bookbinding courses have a dedicated room for specialist equipment.
Tunbridge Wells also hosts one of the largest arts provisions in the county. Discover your creative flair – from beginner to expert we have a course at your level, which you will be sure to enjoy. Our experience courses give you the chance to try experimenting with a variety of art techniques for inspiration. When you’ve discovered the focus that’s right for you, we’ll help you choose the right course. Current arts courses include mixed media, painting as expression, acrylic painting, life drawing and botanical art.
If you’re looking to book a course in our 2016/17 curriculum and learned with us last year, you could be eligible for a discount off your next booking to say thanks for learning with us last year in our early-bird promotion. For full terms and conditions click here.
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