Music education in West Ham was greatly stimulated by the Forest Gate school of Music (later called the Metropolitan Academy) founded by Harding Bonner in 1885. The school took over John Curwen's Tonic Sol-fa College. (Harding was an associate of Curwen). His brother Frank Bonner developed the academy into possibly the largest in the country. This hand bill advertises a Social Soiree, one of several organised in 1899, possibly as a prospectus and for fund-raising purposes. The advert was printed by Charles Ward of Woodgrange Road.
The Metropolitan Academy ceased in the Second World war and did not re-open. The building stood behind Earlham Hall, which is now a place of worship of the Holy Order of Cherubim & Seraphim Church.
Kelly's Directory of 1902-03 lists W. Harding Bonner as Principal, at 175 Earlham Grove.