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1907 - 1923

In less than two years. in April 1909. “…a conversation took place with respect to an informal enquiry on the part of the West Riding County Council as to the Trustees’ willingness to sell the school premises. ..”

As a result it was agreed to put a figure of £1,200 or over as the value of the property, and this figure, on the advice of a Leeds firm of valuers, was increased to £1,500. The Trustees therefore asked the Authority if it would consider the purchase of the building at the price named by the valuer. The County’s own suggested figure being £500, it was regarded by the Trustees as entirely inadequate, and they decided that no further steps should be taken in the matter .

The County’s reaction to this was both swift and drastic. It was decided at Wakefield to build an entirely new school for 350 children to replace the Wesleyan Provided School, and £3,250 was voted for the purpose, This scheme, it is understood, met with strong local opposition that the project was abandoned. I n its place the 1907 lease of the existing building was extended from seven years to twenty one, and with minor modifications and several extensions, remains operative to the present day, though soon due to terminate, the Trustees having given the necessary notice for that purpose, to become effective on March 31 st 1974.

Reverting to 1909, the County Council now having extended powers over its ‘Council’ schools, even in rented buildings, proceeded to make, with the approval of the Trustees, alterations and improvements which would bring the premises up to a more satisfactory educational standard. The large main room was now provided with a sliding half-glass partition, so making two rooms, an obvious advantage. A similar change was made in the newer infant room. The cloak rooms were enlarged and. ..’the set-pan and slopstone removed. .” The playgrounds also had the improvers’ hands upon them.

New dual (two-seater) desks were supplied to replace some of the old, solid, cumbersome monsters that had been made for the original 1874 school. But only ‘some’. The Trustees were loth to part with them. Being easily convertible (the desks. .not the Trustees) they were adaptable for seats with back rests for concerts as well as, in another position, as combined tea tables and seats. It was not until 1926 that they were finally superseded by something more modern, and these in their turn have now long since disappeared.

Out of doors the ‘out-offices’ were also greatly improved.

As there were few administrative or structural changes up to 1923. the principal happenings may be summarised in calendar form. …

1906 Feb. was closed in the afternoon for the funeral in the Parish Church of Lord Masham (SamuelCunliffe Lister) He was the great industrialist and inventor who made textile history in Bradford and the West Riding, and whose statue stands at the entrance to Manningham Park, in Bradford.

In the same year it is noted that. .”large numbers are leaving the village owing to the very poor tarde, and more children are applying 

for their half-time certificates to help to eke out, even though it be but little, the poor earnings of their parents. ..”

1907 July a comment that Addingham seems to be rapidly declining village unless some new life is introduced into the mill industry.

1908 February Incandescent gas lighting introduced. (It wasn’t successful. .In 1924 the lighting was still by naked gas flame.

1910 January Arctic weather. .28 degrees of frost

1911 May An epidemic of diphtheria

A menagerie came into the village and the attendance was seriously affected

The Years of the First World War

1915    School closed early to economise in the use of gas

1916    War Savings being organised by H.M. Inspector

1917    A school garden at the junction of Back Lane and Long Riddings Lane…’Potatoes the first aim’

A special holiday “for the splendid achievment of the 62nd West Riding Division at Cambrai in November”

1918 October Three days holiday ‘to go blackberrying’

290 pounds sent to the jam makers

1919 April    The Headmaster’s class consisting of four age groups numbered 64

August    An extra week’s holiday for ‘Peace Celebrations’

1920 The last half-timers left school

1922 Compulsory education to the age of 14 now in operation

The Head’s class was still 64

Mr. Hewerdine’s long service of nearly 39 years was ended with his retirement on December 31st 1923, and no account of the school’s history should fail to pay tribute to the sterling character of his work, mostly done in the face of very great difficulties, of inadequate premises and staffing far below the requirement for successful teaching. He had two assistants and 150 scholars and these were spread over eight age groups, though in his last year an additional teacher was appointed and the strains were slightly relaxed, the more so since the numbers had fallen, and each of the teachers felt the benefit. Even then however the main room had now two teachers trying to work simultaneously, a hark back to the old days of the monitorial system.

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