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1890 – 1907

In March 1885, after the eleven years of the first five masters Mr. Harry Hewerdine was appointed. He was a Lincolnshire man and had been a teacher in the Wesleyan School at Skipton. At Addingham he faced a stiff assignment. At one period he had 250 scholars on roll, two rooms only to accommodate them, and a staff so small and untrained as to be quite inadequate to cope with the teaching. As already noted however, certain relief was afforded when the infant class ceased to be his responsibility (1888) and shortly after (1890) moved into its newly built extension, thereby freeing its small classroom for the use of the older scholars.

In his earlier years Mr. Hewerdine gave holidays for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee (1887), and a year later, when “. ..the line to Ilkley and Bolton was opened. ..” though in consequence of the latter event, numbers on roll were considerably reduced when it was recorded that ” …nearly all the navvy children have left the place, the work having been completed. ..”

In 1891 the payment of ‘school pence’ was abolished throughout the country and a holiday was given to celebrate.

In 1893 Miss Annie Peake was appointed Infants’ Mistress. She resigned in 1895, but returned in 1898 as Mrs. Milford. In the next year she was joined by an assistant teacher , Miss Emily Cockshott who had already served three years as a monitor under Mr. Hewerdine. This happy association continued until Mrs. Milfrod’s retirement in 1926. “Miss Emily” stayed on until 1937 thus completing 42 years of service, and is remembered with gratitude and affection to-day by hundreds of those who came under her gracious influence.

The obligation imposed on the local community to finance its proportion of the costs of maintaining the school, was by 1893, causing considerable anxiety, especially as at this time there was serious unemployment in the village. Numbers of scholars on roll continued to fall as families moved elsewhere in search of work. In 1893 there were 308 scholars, but by 1897 these had been reduced to 147 …less than half. For a brief period, in order to attempt to alleviate some of the hardship, the teachers, supported by friends, provided breakfasts for children in need.

A holiday was given in 1897 on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubile!” ("Sixty Years a Queen”) and closures were necessary from time to time as, for example: to prepare the rooms for various ‘social’ occasions: to enable the teachers to go on tht annual choir trips: for the annual village October Sheep Fair: and again about the turn of the century to celebrate the end of the South African (Boer) War, and the Coronation of King Edward the Seventh.

A major stage in national education was reached in 1902 when the Act, usually known as the Balfour Education Act became law. By this the newly formed county councils took over the functions of the school boards created in 1870, and so ‘Board’ schools became ‘Council’ schools. Existing church and denominational schools like those in Addingham, were granted financial support, but were allowed to retain their control over religious instruction and the appointment of their teachers. They were however still responsible for the maintenance of their premises, but all other costs were now borne by the county council.

On November 11 th 1903, prior to the implementation of this Act in Addingham in 1904, the sc1’1ool was closed for the day in order to enable the West Riding County Council’s architect to make a plan of the buildings ‘and the grounds’, and in February 1904 a grant of £45 was received ‘for maintenance to the Appointed Day’, on April 11th

the new authority, the W.R.C.C. superseded the local body of managers, and on the 22nd the first visit of the County’s Divisional Clerk is noted. H.M. Inspector’s Report for 1904 stresses the very unsatisfactory state of the buildings especially on the sanitary side, but obviously, the managers, with trade in the village in a bad way, unemployment still rife and in consequence, money scarce, and with the knowledge of the changes pending, had no intention of spending any of their own capital on anything they knew the Authority would soon have to do for them.

The school remained ‘Wesleyan’ for a short time longer, though other developments were soon to follow.

The Trustees continued to be concerned regarding the financial pressures upon them and it comes as no surprise that soon after the 1904 transfer, negotiations were in progress with the County Council to pass over, wholly, the school to the Authority’s control. Although vital discussions must have taken place of which no record seems to remain. an important meeting of the Trustees held on March 10th 1906 decided unanimously. .” that the proposal of the Managers to transfer the school for 7 years to the County Council

be confirmed on the terms accepted by them. .” and in May 1907 a scheme approved by the Charity Commissioners and accepted by the Trustees stated that:-

” …The net amounts of all rents which may be received by the Trustees. respect of lettings of the school premises shall be applied in aid of some religious or educational purpose for the benefit of members of the Wesleyan Methodist body in the circuit in which the premises are situated. …”

On June 8th 1907 authority was given to the Trustees’ Secretary Mr. James Emmott to sign the agreement on their behalf. The rent was £20 per year. This was done and the transfer took place on July 15th and the Wesleyan School as such ceased to exist. Since the National School was situated, geographically, at the lower end of the village and was popularly known as ‘the Low School’ the newly named ‘Council’ School added the description ‘High’ to its title, a name which persisted until recently.

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