detailed school log gives overview of village life

Discussion in 'Education' started by Yeates, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. Yeates

    Yeates Active Member

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    Wisconsin, USA
    The radio station I listen to has a segment called “Good Reads” which has always puzzled me (read a noun?). Now, I recommend one. This forum will understand my captivation; afraid the radio audience would not. This “good read” will interest anyone interested in educational and village life of the time. A fascinating, 89-page, PDF file I found by chance this morning when researching a few NW Kent surnames is the Chelsfield School Log Books, 1883-1906:

    I recommend this to anyone in the NW Kent region, especially to those of us whose ancestors were released (or simply removed, parentally) from school for fruiting, hop-picking, or harvest. Not ag labourers? There are still the many reports of epidemics, quarantines, or impassable-roads-due-to-snowstorms that will captivate everyone else---and the years of these events could be relevant to your family. Whoever kept this log maintained it with many details giving an unusually complete “picture” of the village and the area and many, many surnames of that time and area. Not yet convinced? Here are a few teasers lifted from various years:

    … The children were … entertained by a conjuror, …, through the kindness of Mrs Brind, of Court Lodge. Learnt the Tonic- sol-fa scale this week. Lesson to first class on a Lead Pencil.

    Obliged to expel Thos Hills from this school for carrying stones in his pockets and threatening to throw them at the teachers’ heads. He has been very tiresome lately.

    13/7/1883 The attendance has been very thin this week owing to the fruiting – a great number
    of small children totally absent.
    20/7/1883 The attendance has been still worse this week. The attendance sent word … he could take no measures to enforce the children to attend as other schools in the district are closed.

    4/3/1884 The Medical Officer inspected the school building. Has given orders to several children not to attend school – Anticipates closing the schools unless diphtheria decreases in the neighbourhood. Recommends enlarging of the schools & better ventilation.

    30/10/1885 Commenced fires on Monday (26th). Bowles not very punctual this week with his fire
    lighting and not very much up to teaching yet. Gave him a little scolding....
    6/11/1885 Bowles much more punctual and improving with his teaching…

    15/10/1886 Signature ??
    Clapper fell out of School Bell. Had it repaired by Wickham.

    11/3/1887 … Mr Waring visited … and requested the children not to chalk the fences…

    10/3/1891 Very severe snow storm. Roads impassable. No school

    31/8/1891 Tomorrow Tuesday being the first day on which “Free Education” comes into force it
    was requested by the School Board not to receive any fees for this day.

    26/8/1892 Several of the Upper standard Boys absent Harvesting.

    28/10/1892 Measles seems to have reached its height. There are 95 away today…

    21/9/1893 A Photographer being expected this afternoon to take the school wehad an extraordinary attendance. 127 present out of 134. On account ofdullness of the weather he did not come
    22/9/1893 The Photographer came today and took the school. 124 scholars Present

    10/3/1896 Sent home Kate Smith, Horon, W Yeates having suspicious rashes

    25/11/1901Notice from … Sanitary Inspector that Scarlet Fever exists at … of Collins, Bopeep & Loves’ Pecks Cottages. Lily Collins and all the Loves have been sent away to Fever Hospital

    13/8/1902 No school - Coronation Festivities
    “ 18 Coronation Medals were given to all children attending the schools throughout the parish
    Dogsday, Bay Horse, Ma-dotcom and 6 others like this.

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