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EAST HADDON HISTORY SOCIETY Northamptonshire, England



(Prepared by Stephen Lord, for many years Head Teacher at the school)

Photograph taken in 1931, when the School had again taken first prize in the Central Northants Music Festival


With no requirement placed on schools to keep records until the late nineteenth century early information on the history of our village’s schools is patchy at best, and at times non existent. Several things however are very clear.

In 1822 Baker wrote in his guide:-

“The schoolroom in the house which Lord St. John had for many years allowed the parish to use for that purpose, being found insufficient, a subscription was entered into in 1790 and a new school room built for the accommodation of the parish.”

This schoolroom of 1790 is the room recently divided to provide hall storage and group teaching space in our recent modernisation and is still in daily use.

A Select Committee report on Education of the Poor in 1818 provides the following details:-

“Particulars relating to Endowments for Education of Youths

A school in which 6 girls are taught. The mistress receives £4 - 7s - 6d per annum arising out of land besides which she teaches. Others are taught at the expense of their parents.

Other Institutions for the purposes of Education.

A school in which 20 boys are taught at the expense of the parish and as individuals; the master receives £28 – l0s beside which he teaches other children.


The poor have sufficient means of Education.


The Education returns of 1833 provide the first real clues as to the wide variety of schools in the village and also the value that the villagers must have placed on education at this time. The village is quoted in the return as having a population of 644.

“ Five daily schools - one of which contains 48 males of whom 34 are paid for by a salary allowed by the principal landed proprietor and the parish, in another are 6 males and 26 females; 12 of the latter are paid for, partly by salary allowed as above mentioned, and partly by their parents, the remainder of the children in both these schools are educated at the expense of their parents; another contains 3 males and 11 females; another (appertaining to Baptists) 5 males and 7 females; and the other (to Independents) 7 males and 3 females; in the three schools last mentioned all the children are instructed at the expense of their parents.

Three Sunday Schools, in two whereof are 61 males and 45 males who attend the Established Church; the other consists of 21 males and 30 females and appertains to Baptists: in these three schools the children are taught gratuitously.”


The school logs begin in 1874. The first page is shown below. Some quotes are included from other sources.


School closed on 19th and 20th October on account of East Haddon Fair. For the remainder of the week the children were only expected to pay half the usual fees.

2nd November

Night school began. 8 attended.


January 19th

In consequence of the Farmer’s Ball (held in school ) school closed - half day .

March 12th

110 children present.

May 25th

Mr Sawbridge held an examination of first class boys in dictation and arithmetic and prizes were awarded varying in amounts from 4/- to 1/6d.

July 30th

Holiday on Thursday and Friday - East Haddon Flower Show.

August 20th

Small attendance still this week. Harvest has begun. Many children absent in consequence.

October 18th - 25th

Holiday on account of East Haddon Feast.

November 19th

Small attendance this afternoon. The hounds passed as school was assembling and many of the children followed.

December 28th

An entertainment - Magic Lantern - was given in school. Tea previously to Day and Sunday scholars.


May 23rd

Govt. Report received this morning. (In these days the school was inspected annually. Summaries of the reports were entered into the log each year. The school’s funds depended on the outcome of these inspections.)

In addition to attendance problems arising from the Harvest and another closure for the Village Feast we read of a further half day.

Half holiday - Cricket match on lawn in Hall grounds.

November 1st - 15th

School closed - Scarletina.

November 30th

Received from Mr Mackesy 4 dozen exercise books to be sold at 1/2d (half penny) each for home lessons.


September 23rd

Wet slow harvest - an extra week given in consequence.

October 12th

Infant Dept. Inconveniently crowded. Removed standard 1 to large room.


June 14th - 20th

Re-opening of the Parish Church - Week’s holiday .


January 3rd

Children granted a holiday this afternoon - the schoolroom being required for a concert this evening.

March 4th

Mr Banks called at the school this morning to complain of some of the children going into his field. Cautioned them.

April 18th

Only a small attendance this week throughout the school. Fee was only 1d owing to the two days holiday.

October 20th

A very small attendance - gleaning not yet over.

November 3rd

Commenced fires in school today for the winter months. Arranged with the vicar to find fuel for the school for this season for £3.

December 4th

Capt. Sawbridge visited school this morning - thought it insufficiently warmed - promised to send a fire to be placed in the middle of the room.

December 18th

Captain Sawbridge promised 8 scarlet cloaks to the best behaved girls.


January 2nd

Captain Sawbridge presented 8 scarlet cloaks. A number of brown cloaks were sold to the children at half price.

January 16th

Captain Sawbridge promised 6 additional cloaks to those already given to the best girl attenders since March 31st.

January 23rd

School closed for the day - Concert by East Haddon Choral Society.

February 11th

(The first mention of school photographs.) 4 groups taken by Mr Mains from Northampton.

April 15th

119 children recorded today.

April 30th

School closed - the schoolroom wanted for children who had been confirmed by the Bishop.

May 20th

Gave an imposition of 20 lines to Emma for insubordination. Kept in Annie to finish learning her lesson - both children were fetched away by their mother who passionately refused to allow them to submit to school discipline.

June 22nd

A half day holiday on account of the anniversary of the Restoration of the Church.


February 12th

Received 6 dozen framed slates per Healey the Carrier. Many broken in transit.

March 25th

Pytchley Hunt in East Haddon - small attendance.


April 4th

Evening scholars examined at Holdenby - 12 were qualified by attendance only 9 however put in an appearance.

July 18th

Children granted a half holiday to attend a Temperance Fete at Althorp Park.

July 31st

Church choir excursion to Leamington and Warwick. School closed.


January 26th

School closed at 3 p.m. - schoolroom being required for a ball in the evening.

March 15th

Commenced school at 9.45 a.m. - election of Constable.

June 11th

Punished Amy for laughing while singing grace.

July 20th

Punished William for swearing in the playground.

July 31st

Punished Thomas for playing truant.

August 28th

Punished George for fighting.

December 19th

Taught a new song “Gay and Happy’


January 18th

Taught a new song “Gay and Happy” .

April 29th

(The log contains the first of a series of a series of annual plans for object lessons to be taught to the infants. These were by and large on household objects barring a few exotic animals. A report by an inspector a few years later makes mention of the need to teach with the object to hand in the classroom whenever possible.)


February  15th

No school - tea being given by Captain Sawbridge.

February 16th

School closed due to the weather - snow - attendance for the week 7.


December 9th

Re-opened school this morning after being closed for 15 weeks through a severe epidemic of Diphtheria.

Attendance very small a number of the children being unfit to attend - 11 names struck off the register who died during the epidemic.

The following extract comes from Dr R Bruce Low’s report to the Local Government Board on the outbreak of diphtheria at East Haddon. It was signe Dec 2nd 1889

“On September 6th the school was opened as a convalescent hospital for cases able to be moved there and two of the six nurses were employed in its management. Beds and bedding for 24 patients were obtained from Brixworth Workhouse. The temporary hospital was closed on September 25th.”


February 11th

The children from Althorp Station are again excluded - Diphtheria in one of the cottages.

May 1st

Gave the school a holiday today the school being required for a Public Inquiry by Colonel Halstead from the Home Office.

June 3rd

Began teaching Musical drill this morning. (In the two or three years following this entry there arc a number of visitors to the school to see the teaching of Musical drill.)

June 13th

The attendance this week has been very poor - the average only reaching 57. A number of parents refuse to send their children to school owing to Diphtheria being present in the village.

June 27th

Holiday - Fete in the neighbourhood.

August 25th

Closed the school until October 6th. Harvest holiday.

December 12th

Since the cold weather set in we have had Musical drill every morning for about 10 minutes which seems to thoroughly warm them.


July l0th

Instead of singing this afternoon a Fairy tale was read to the whole school.

August 6th

School used for a Missionary meeting this afternoon, the children were given a holiday.

October 21st

Mrs Thompson, with the consent of the Managers, is attending a course of cookery lessons at Long Buckby so the usual Monday afternoon lessons will not be given until the course is finished.

December 2nd

Have decided not to have any recreation (play) during the afternoon during the winter months and to close the school at 3.45 p.m. instead of 4.00 p.m. thus giving the children who live at a distance from the school time to reach their homes before it is dark.


May 11th

The Inspector’s report says: -

“The gallery, which is very old, might be reduced in size and reconstructed and backs should be placed to the gallery seats. A few low desks are required”

See the following page for the full report.


November 2nd

Instead of the usual playtime being given we have this week had musical drill owing to the inclement weather preventing the children playing outside,

From the Managers’ Minute books


The question of allowing the use of the Infant’s room as a club room for men was discussed. The Managers expressed themselves willing to sanction the proposal on the guarantee that it should be properly conducted and in no way interfere with the purpose of Elementary Education


The Parish Council to pay £1 per annum for the use of the school and that 10/- should be paid by the Socail Club per annum.

Scale of Charges 1895:-

1) For Dances. Including Oil 7/6d or with the use of the piano also 10/-

2) For Teas. Including dance 10/-, Tea only (including oil) 2/6d

3) For Political meetings 5/-

4) For entertainments at which a charge is made for admission 2/6d.

All proceedings to be finished by 12 o’clock.


October 7th

Unable to open at proper time after holidays owing to furniture being stored in the school from a neighbouring house which had been destroyed by fire.


May 14th

Began working with new slates with larger ruling in the Infant School this week.


To mark the 60th Anniversary of Her Majesty’s reign the Managers decided to give the children a week long holiday.

July 12th

Exchanged historical readers in the Upper Standards with Guilsborough School so that children might study another period.


May 20th

Received a thermometer for each school.

Several of the Upper Standard children have left this week on hearing the result of their examination for Labour Certificate.

June 24th

Gallery desks in the infant school fixed. (This is the only reference to the location of the gallery. At this time the infants were using the small classroom built in 1790.)

July 22nd

Village Flower Show – School closed.

August 5th

No school this afternoon – Sunday School treat.


June l9th

A number of children were going to a school picnic this afternoon. The school was closed.

October 30th  

By order of the Medical Officer of Health the school was closed for a fortnight owing to an outbreak of Scarlet Fever.


April 26th

Mr Dorman gave a scientific lecture on “Temperance” to Standards 3 to 5 this morning.

May 21st

Children given a holiday to celebrate the “Relief of Mafeking”.

November 28th

School closed by order of the Medical Officer of Health so that it might be disinfected.


Average attendance early in the year is 102.

Took the whole of the children of the Upper Department into the fields to illustrate a lesson on Spring and Roots.

(This first outside lesson must have been a success because it was followed by)

May 20th

Cow and sheep compared.

June 10th

Meadow plants.

June 24th

Farmer’s crops grown for their leaves.

July 8th

Crops grown for their grain and roots.

July 29th

Our lanes and hedges.

October 7th


October 30th

Have decided to give a weekly lesson on current topics to the Upper Standards.

November 22nd

Allowed the children to witness a meet of the Pytchley Hounds instead of their usual recreation for the purposes of illustrating a lesson on the fox.


January 13th

Mr S. King visited the school this afternoon and presented each child with 6d on behalf of Captain Sawbridge as a New Year’s gift.

January 24th

Taught the children a new patriotic song “God Save the King”.

March 21st

Have given extra attention to Physical Education in the Upper Department under the “Model Course”.

May 30th

School closed - Party of children and teachers attending an exhibition in London

June 16th

School closed by Medical Officer – Measles.

October 24th

Have decided to give the First Class girls and boys a Drawing Lesson on Friday afternoons to encourage them to attend on this particular afternoon.

November 14th

Have given several lessons this week on the village from the new Ordnance Survey map received this week.


February 6th

Measurements were taken for the new classroom. (The old back room.) This was needed to alleviate overcrowding mentioned in the Inspector’ s report.


January 11th

Alterations to the main room have now been completed. 109 children present.

October 5th

Received a letter from the Board of Education stating that the school was now recognised as providing accommodation for:-

Mixed 90

Infants 56

November 14th

Commenced today to mark the registers directly after prayers in the morning instead finally closing them at 9.45 a.m..

November 18th

Not a single child absent during the week.


April 17th

School closed owing to an outbreak of German Measles.

May 8th

School reopened – 57 / 115 present. Closed for a further week.


School decorated during the Christmas holidays. The walls of the school rooms have been re-coloured and the woodwork re-varnished. (This is the first mention of any decoration being carried out.)

November 21st

Presented the children with their certificates for regular attendance awarded by the County Council.

41 Honours, 21 First Class, 13 of the children had perfect attendance


Miss Cartwright the infant mistress took temporary charge of Holdenhy School.

March 13th

The school was ordered to be closed for three weeks by the Medical Officer of Health owing to an outbreak of mumps. 60% absent


May 24th

Celebrated Empire Day by giving an address to the children on the Empire in the morning and in the afternoon by the singing of National songs and saluting the flag.


February 1st

Mr S. King on behalf of Captain Sawbridge presented each child with 6d. and those possessing a bank book l/- as a New Year’ s gift.


March 14th

Point to Point races held here today - half day holiday.

June 16th.

Closed school for a week - Coronation holiday


April 18th

Musical competition at Northampton - 30 children taking part - school closed.

September 23rd

The children were granted a holiday today on the occasion of the King’s visit to Earl Spencer at Althorp House.


February 15th

A number of children absent today on account of Lady Althorp’s wedding.

November 25th

Unable to mark the attendance of the children this afternoon only 12 children being present in the Mixed School. A number of soldiers came into the village this morning.


May 25th

During the week special lessons have been given upon Food and Economy. Suitable literature has been sent to the parents of the children.

October 9th

The children in the Mixed School went to gather blackberries this afternoon.

October 19th

Blackberrying again.


Blackberrying again.

November 29th

Admitted children for a short time from the air raid district in London


March 13th

School closed today - staff engaged in filling in ration cards


November 11th

Armistice Day observed - 2 minutes silence at the memorial cross.


Organised games 2.40 p.m. - 3.45 p.m. Boys taken for football on the Village Club’s Field. Permission for the use of this field has been obtained from Lord Horne.


October 24th

Temperature of the school room at 9.00 a.m. was 46 degrees. No fires owing to lack of fuel which was ordered over 3 weeks ago.

December 22nd

£5 was raised for school improvements


The year began with 67 on roll.


School savings began today.

January 20th

The first recorded visit of the school dentist.

June 1st

School concert held in the evening. Collection for improvements £4


January 8th

A school carol party raised £5 for blinded soldiers.

May 3rd

The school’s Literacy Society held a meeting addressed by the vicar on “The life of a bee”.

May 17th

A school concert held at the Institute in the evening. £6 - 0s - 9d was raised to be spent on improvements.

June 13th

Concert money spent as follows: -

Microscope         £3 – l0s - 0d.

Rain Gauge  £1 – 7s - 6d.

Picture                        8s - 0d.

To Managers        £1 - 0s - 0d.

July 20th

Exhibition of school garden produce. Prizes for the best kept plot were given by Lord and Lady Horne.


January 30th

Announced to the children that Mr Roberts, an old boy of the school, had been appointed Minister of Pensions.

February 7th

Twenty new dual desks arrived for use in the large room. Work was discontinued and the children unpacked, cleaned and arranged them.

March 3rd

First edition of East Haddon School magazine produced


A pupil while walking out in the dinner hour was knocked down by a motor car and killed.


January 11th

Wireless test in school.


March 7th

School has been made a receiving school for the older children from Holdenby school.


4 children competed in the County Sports.

July 16th

2 children chosen to compete at the Inter County Sports at Stamford Bridge.


April 17th

Mr Trichett - horse artist - visited the school, commented upon the drawing and gave a demonstration.


November 7th - 8th

School was closed for two days to allow the installation of electric light in two rooms, the children having raised the sum of £10 towards the cost.

December 20th

The electric light used for the first time.


March 20th

Central Northants Music Festival - first prize for the fifth year running.

May 16th

S. Northants. School Sports - won shield for the sixth year running.

Mr Neale with the school at about this time holding the music certificates mentioned above.


July 28th

Annual summer outing - Chester and Llangollen.



Senior girls began courses on cooking in the school house.


May 7th

School closed for 2 days - Silver Jubilee of George V and Queen Mary. A new flag was presented to the school.


September 16th

The playground was drained and the offices (toilets!) whitewashed.


July 3rd

School closed by order of the L.E.A. for distribution of gas respirators to the school.

September 11th

There are evacuated children in attendance. The following five teachers are in charge of evacuated children: -

Mrs Eastwood

Miss Mills

Miss Bennett

Mr Dorling

Mr Bivand.

Native and evacuated children are not separated and the school is being worked as an entity.

September 12th

There are 122 children present.

October 25th

Institute used for woodwork - Mr Bivand in charge.

Staff took half term holidays in threes.

December 4th

The vicar of St Mary Magdalene Islington visited the evacuees.


April 2nd

Mr Darling has extra leave as he took charge of the evacuated children during the holidays.

August 2nd

School broke up for the summer holiday - 1 month. The school will be open in wet weather from l0 - noon and from 2 - 4 p.m. each week day to keep children occupied if they care to attend. In fine weather rambles and games will be arranged. Two teachers, Miss Hollis and Mr Birkbeck will be on duty during the first fortnight. Miss Mills and Mr Dolling will be on duty in the second fortnight.

December 20th

School closed for Christmas holidays. It will open each day for indoor recreation.


The school continued to open at each holiday for recreation.

October 6th. 7th. 8th

School closed to allow children to help farmers lift potatoes

October 13th. 14th

School closed again - potato picking.


January 5th

Number on roll:- 36 native, 38 evacuees.

May 7th

9 children including 3 girls went potato picking.


April 2

Miss Mills returning to London. Organisation reverts to that in place before the evacuation. Numbers now include 18 evacuees.

June 25th

The School Medical Officer said the school needed redecorating and recommended that a water flush be installed in the

boy’s lavatory. The school should be pointed and the playground asphalted.



Various children admitted due to air raids in London.

November 23rd

American Independence Day was celebrated by the singing of  “The Star Spangled Banner”.


March 5th

From today the afternoon session begins at 1 p.m. and ends at 3 30 p.m. to enable the temporary assistant to catch the 3.40 p.m. bus.

June 28th

The evacuation register was closed.

November 15th

Mr Tutchener brought a supply of books and school requisites from Holdenby school.

November 29th

Several blackboards and a fireguard were left at school from Holdenby. (This would seem to mark the closing of Holdenby school.)


December 22nd

School party - ice cream given.


March 3rd

Mr Churchill, Under Secretary of State for Education paid a short visit to the school this afternoon.

The mixed class contained 35 children between the ages of 7 and 14.


July 18th

A miniature projector was bought by the children in lieu of a day trip to the sea.


January 10th

School meals commenced today. 17 children sat down to dinner. There are 50 children on roll.


Apri1 30th

The Physical Training Organiser visited this afternoon to discuss the commencement of swimming instruction.

September 3rd

Only 3 children have attended from Holdenby owing to complaints about the transport.

September 6th

The outcome of the complaint from Holdenby regarding transport is that all children of 8+ will now walk to school.


March 31st

Only three children from Holdenby today. The taxi had a breakdown and was consequently late. The other children had disappeared.

April 1st

The delinquent scholars from Holdenby were severely reprimanded.


March 2nd

The large room is used as the classroom. The backroom is used for P.T., dancing and games.

April 18th

A parent called at school to say that she would not allow her children to attend school unless she was given an undertaking that they not be smacked or punished.


September 4th

Number on roll 30. This is due to the opening of the new Secondary Modern School at Guilsborough. East Haddon is now a Junior and Infant school.


May 8th

Following a meeting bee keeping in the school garden was ruled out.

October 9th

The rose hip collection authorised by the authority ended after gathering 3 cwt.

November 9th

The new central heating boiler has a noisy pump. The hot water overflows into the school from the overflow tank.


March 29th

Paper towels introduced for the first time.


The number on roll had dropped to 23.


The school house was vacated in readiness for demolition.

November 17th

Two fire engines arrived at lunch time today. A false alarm had been sent suggesting that the school was on fire.


January  4th

Toilets frozen up today and buckets of water required for flushing.

April 19th

Work began on clearing the old school house garden. This area will be levelled and put into use as a grassed play area.


July 23rd

Work began on the proposed new extension indoor toilets, kitchen office and cloakroom.


March 4th

The new kitchen and toilets came into use today. School meals are now being served at school after using the village hall since last September.

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