Southwark Health Centre is a poignant memorial to England's aspirations with Socialism in the middle of the last century. It was built in 1937, and the council obviously decided to splash out on it partly to demonstrate their commitment to public welfare but also to enlarge their empire by adding to the Town Hall and Library that were already on the site.
The architect was P. Stuart who used a rather flashy Art Deco style with lots of ornamental stonework. The main entrance is marked by the maxim "The people's health is the highest law", a slight mistranslation of Cicero's tag Salus populi suprema lex, which is literally "The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law" (I think). A bit of political spin here, possibly.
A rather wonderful allegorical group called Family Health stands on the parapet. A mother stands protectively over her children, armed with the healing staff of Asclepius. The serpent has got a great big smile over its face, rather unusually, and the smaller girl is holding her favourite dolly. It is all very domestic despite the nudism, which might have been very popular among the sun-worshipping aristocrats of the 1930s but was rather frowned on in traditional working class areas like South London.
The figure that is notably missing from the group is the father, rather prophetically given that absent dads are now a major problem in this very deprived area.
The sculptors were A.T. and E.J. Bradford.