‘Foundations for Life’

Alderbury and West Grimstead Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School

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School logbook (Alderbury)

Alderbury School Log Books: 1862-1955.

The log books often provide a fascinating glimpse into everyday life for the village school. Here, we provide a selection of entries, chosen as much for their intriguing look into activities which may now be forgotten, as for their actual content.

20 February 1863: `The School rather thinned in the upper classes by boys going beating for rabbits.`

20 January 1864: `Magic lantern entertainment in the evening. Nine boys not allowed to come, for their bad conduct towards the girls.`

26 January 1864: `The day so cold and dark that the children could not write on, paper but did sums in the morning and singing in the afternoon instead.`

14 November 1866: `Lady Folkestone...heard the children sing and carefully inspected the needlework, commending some girls and blaming others. Her Ladyship hoped to see great improvement on her next visit.`

17 November 1871: `Mrs Light complained to me that teachers sometimes boxed the boys and girls ears so severely as to give them headaches.`

5 December 1879: `Many boys late for school. Several came in after registers were marked. They had been sliding on Mr Fort`s pond. Mr Fort came into school and complained of boys breaking down his hedge.`

16 June 1884: `Took advantage of a First Class boy being ill in school from `smoking` to give a lesson to the class on the bad effects of tobacco especially for growing children.`

December 1902 /January 1903: `Nine weeks closure due to scarlet fever.`

20 November 1903: `No school on Monday afternoon. A drinking fountain opened on the Green.`

31 July 1912: `Holiday in the afternoon. Laying of Chapel School foundation stone.`

26 September 1914: `Head teacher absent from school in the afternoon. Being instructor of the local ambulance corps, he was required to accompany members to Salisbury to assist in removing wounded soldiers from the station.`

30 October/ 1 November 1917: `Outbreak of diphtheria. Two little boys died from the effects.`

11 November 1919: `First anniversary of Armistice Day. The King`s wish for two minutes silence at 11 o`clock duly observed by the scholars in the playground, followed by the singing of the national anthem.`

26 April 1924: `Lady Folkestone... presented to the school certificates won at the Wiltshire musical competition. Her Ladyship congratulated children on winning the Challenge Shield outright,`

September 1938: `Forty children, went to view the excavations at Clarendon Palace.`

4 September 1939: `The school remains closed for a week due to the outbreak of war`

8 December 1941: `...an old pupil and a survivor from the Ark Royal came into school at 3.15 pm to tell the children of his experiences during the past three years. The children presented him with 17s 0d to replace his personal belongings. Have also sent £2. 5s. 0d. to the British Red Cross for parcels for two old scholars who are prisoners of war in Germany.`

10 and 19 September 1952: `The chief meals organiser visited and said that... 18-20 table-top desks would be supplied to replace 18 very decrepit `tip-up` type old desks... I have blocked up about 20 `tip-up` iron standard desks so that dinners won`t suddenly disappear!`

22 July 1955: `An historic day in the life of the school as it sees its last day as an all-age school. We attended Church for a very inspiring end of term service with farewell for Canon Clayton.

Log Books written after this date are not available for public scrutiny until the year 2010.

The above is abridged from "Education", Chapter 13 of "ALDERBURY and WHADDON - A MILLENNIUM MOSAIC of People, Places and Progress" and reproduced here by kind permission of the publisher, the Alderbury and Whaddon Local History Research Group.