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Alfred Street - Board School
Notes from the Newspapers regarding Teachers

Wellingborough News, 9th February 1884, transcribed by Kay Collins

PRESENTATION—A silver necklet and locket has been presented to Miss Mary Bull, on her leaving the Rushden Board School, with best wishes for her future welfare. The necklet was given on behalf of the assistant-master (Mr. Lancaster) and the children, and the locket from the head teachers (Walter and W. A. Wood). A writing desk was also presented to Miss Bull as a token of respect and esteem from her fellow teachers, F. S. Stanton, P. Darnell, E. E. Margetts, and M. A. Elstow.

Extract from Memories of the 1890s by R E Bayes
From his school days, which began at Moor Road Infants, Mr. Bayes recalls Walter Wood, the quiet and patient gentleman who was his headmaster at Alfred Street; George Capon, his favourite teacher there; and Watson his favourite instructor at Newton Road School.

The first headmaster at Newton Road “had tremendous energy, a Welsh name, and an unshakable confidence in the efficacy of corporal punishment. He was not without certain resemblances to Squeers of “Dotheboys Hall.”

Rushden Echo, 29th September 1899, transcribed by Kay Collins

Presentation—Mr George Capon, who has been for seven years a teacher at the Alfred-st. Board Schools, was on Friday presented with a handsome Gladstone travelling bag by the teachers and some of the scholars. Mr Wood made the presentation. Mr Capon has entered this week upon his duties at Peckham.

Rushden Echo, 29th June 1900, transcribed by Kay Collins

Pupil Teachers’ Examination—Miss Annie E Adams (2nd year) and Miss Elsie M Childs (1st year), both of Alfred-street girls’ school, have secured the highest pass, carrying with it the highest grant. This is the second time that Miss Adams has done so excellently. The passes reflect great credit on Miss Soutar, the head mistress, as well as the pupil teachers. Miss Mabel D Hartwell, of the Alfred-street infants’ school, obtained the pass “fair”, and Mr Harry Wright, of the Alfred-street boys’ school, secured the pass open to candidates.

Rushden Echo, 2nd July 1909, transcribed by Kay Collins

Scholastic AppointmentsMr. Walter W. Rial has been appointed headmaster of the Alfred-street boys school at an annual salary of £150 in succession to Mr. Saddler, who has gone to North End school. Other appointments have been made as follow:- Certificated assistants—Alfred-street boys school, Mr. Harold Hales, from Park-street school, Wellingborough, £80 a year; North End mixed school, Miss Annie Matthews (£85), Miss Florence Dring (£70), Mr. Joseph Allen (£95), Mr. E. C. Newnam (£100). Uncertificated assistants—Alfred-street boys school, Miss Amy Gardiner, from Kislingbury Church school (£55); North End mixed school, Miss Nellie Groome (£52/10/0), Miss Florence Osborne (£55); National mixed school, Miss Elsie Fountain, from Woodford school (£52/10/0).

Rushden Echo, 28th April 1911, transcribed by Kay Collins

Miss Fountain, of Alfred-street Infants’ School, wrote resigning her appointment.
The resignation was accepted and it was decided to grant a testimonial. [Committee report]

This came with other Alfred Street Photos
A Group of the Teachers c1912

Longer articles

Rushden Echo, 29th April 1927, transcribed by Kay Collins

Teacher Honoured

Yesterday afternoon Miss I L Scott, for some years headmistress of the Newton-road Infants’ School, and formerly headmistress of Alfred-street Infants’ School, was the recipient of a handsome presentation from the staff and scholars on her impending retirement. Miss Scott’s actual term of service finishes today (Friday), but she has consented to remain at the school until her successor is appointed. Yesterday afternoon Miss Scott was entirely taken by surprise when the whole of the scholars, to the number of 300, marched into the assembly hall. Miss Barber (the senior assistant), on behalf of teachers and scholars, asked Miss Scott to accept a beautifully fitted dressing case, with silver-backed hair brushes, clothes brushes, comb, and mirror. In the name of children and staff Miss Barber expressed all good wishes to Miss Scott in her retirement. The headmistress, who had hardly recovered from the shock of the surprise, thanked all most heartily for the gift, and a very pleasing ceremony ended with three loud cheers for Miss Scott.

Rushden Echo & Argus, 5th February 1932, transcribed by Kay Collins

Shanghai - Schoolmaster’s Nephew in Danger Zone
Mr W W Rial, headmaster of the Rushden Alfred-street Schools, has a nephew who has probably been having some exceedingly exciting adventures during the recent warfare centred round Shanghai, where he is chemist and manager of the Shanghai Water Works.

Mr Walter Percy Rial is the gentleman’s name, and he has been out in Shanghai for some time. Last year he came back to the old country for six months’ leave, and during that period he spent a few days’ holiday with his uncle at Rushden.

Mr Rial informed this journal on Wednesday that he had received no news at all concerning the welfare of his nephew. The only thing he knew was what he had gathered from the daily papers – that the water works had been fired at and that troops and sailors had been landed near there.

He referred to the possibility of receiving a letter from his nephew. Mr W P Rial is about 36 years of age and is married. He is a native of Hull.

Rushden Echo & Argus, 3rd September 1937, transcribed by Kay Collins

Mr. H. H. Reid’s Important Post at Colchester

After less than four years’ enterprising work at Rushden, Mr. H. H. Reid, popular headmaster of the Alfred-street Mixed School, is to leave at the end of November for an important post at Colchester. He has been appointed headmaster of the St. Helena Senior Boys’ School, now being built by the Colchester Borough education authority, and will take charge of the school from December 1 in readiness for its opening in January.

The new school is a large establishment incorporating the most progressive ideas. There are craft rooms of every kind, a library, gymnasium, shower bath and canteen, with 18 acres of playing field.

Handicraft will be a congenial subject for Mr. Reid, who has made a notable experiment in introducing at Alfred-street the craft of pottery making. A potter’s wheel and a kiln are now part of the school’s equipment, and pottery made in school by Rushden boys and girls has been exhibited in many parts of the country, including Durham, South Wales, Surrey and London. Specimens are on exhibition at the present time.

Mr Reid is equally keen on music and his formation of a violin class at Alfred-street was a new thing in the school life of the town. The school can now assemble an orchestra of fifty four-part playing. A school choir was another innovation, and Mrs. Reid, who has done a good deal of solo singing in the town, has given valuable assistance in the choral training. The school has also specialised in dramatic performances.

Educated at University College, Nottingham, Mr. Reid had taught in Birmingham and at four schools in Mansfield Borough. He was headmaster at Warsop Vale, under the Notts. County Authority, before coming to Rushden in January 1934.

The Rushden Echo, 25th December, 1942, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Lady Teacher’s Retirement - Presentation at Alfred-street School

Tribute was paid to the valuable services rendered to the teaching profession by Miss Nellie Groome when the Rushden Alfred-street School assembled on Wednesday morning to bid farewell to her on her retirement.

In a short address the headmaster, Mr. S. A. Lawrence, mentioned that more than 1,000 children had been under Miss Groome’s care during her 27 years’ service at the school, and it was not an exaggeration to say that she had exercised influence over one-tenth of the present population of Rushden. Mr. Lawrence spoke of the considerable gifts Miss Groome had brought to her work – gifts of music and craftsmanship which would be greatly missed. As a token of their esteem, and wishing her happiness in her retirement, on behalf of the staff he presented her with a gift of stainless cutlery.

Ald. C. W. Horrell, J.P., and Coun. W. E. Capon also spoke, after which Miss Groome thanked everyone in a brief and appropriate reply.

A native of Rushden, Miss Groome has served under three headmasters at the Alfred-street Schools – Mr. W. W. Rial, Mr. H. H. Reid and Mr. S. A. Lawrence. She was educated at the Newton-road School, later became a pupil at the Wellingborough Teachers’ Centre (which has since been closed), and was then a half-time pupil teacher. She served as an uncertificated teacher at the North-End School (now Intermediate), moving to Alfred-street in 1915. She has been teaching for approximately 40 years.

At the conclusion of prayers the headmaster said good-bye to 25 children who were leaving, and to Mr. S. A. Peck, who is returning to Colchester, from which town he had been evacuated.

Also present at the assembly were Mrs. O. A. H. Muxlow and Mr. E. Freeman (representing the School Managers) and Mr. and Mrs. E. T. Huke.

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 21st December 1951, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Teacher’s farewell – a carol on violin
Mr. A. W. Morris, of Stanwick, a teacher at Rushden Alfred Street School for 38 years, retired this week. Presentations were made to him at a “goodbye” ceremony in the school on Wednesday attended by 300 children, school managers and past and present members of the staff.

Farewell scene
A farewell scene at Rushden Alfred Street School on Wednesday afternoon, where 300 children gathered
to say an “official goodbye” to Mr. A. W. Morris of Stanwick, a teacher at the school for 38 years.

Two outstanding features of Mr. Morris’ career at Alfred Street have been his interest in craft work and violin playing. In 1935 he introduced pottery into the school’s curriculum and until the outbreak of war and resulting restrictions it was manufactured on the premises, the school possessing its own kiln. Showcases surrounding the assembly hall contain many examples of this work.

A year earlier the school had built up its own band, which accompanied the hymn singing in the mornings, and Mr. Morris estimates that he taught something like 70 children to play the violin. The scholars purchased their own instruments and were instructed during school time.

Although the school does not now possess a band, Mr. Morris has continued to provide violin accompaniment for the school’s assemblies and to teach interested pupils.

Three Gifts
Appreciation of his work was expressed at the school’s gathering by Mr. R. R. Lawrence (the headmaster), and past and present members of the staff. Mollie Roberts presented him with a silver tea service. From his own class, David Hinde presented him with an electric toaster, and Mrs. Morris received a bouquet of chrysanthemums from Ann Bedford.

Mr. Morris accompanied the children’s singing on his violin at the farewell ceremony and played “O Come all ye Faithful” as they finally dispersed.

Dec 1951 Newspaper clip [? Evening Telegraph] included in Alfred Street Log Book, transcribed by Susan Manton.

A Teacher’s Farewell - 38 years at school

A teacher, who has spent 38 years at one school played “O Come all ye faithful” on his violin as 300 children filed out of the assembly hall on Wednesday. It was a fitting climax to a moving farewell assembly ceremony.

The teacher was Mr. A. W. Morris, of whom it was truly said “Never was a man fonder of children.”

The scene was Alfred Street School Rushden, where he began teaching in 1913. The headmaster Mr. R. R. Lawrence told a gathering of children, managers and former and present members of the staff “We are here to say an official goodbye but we hope to see him on many occasions in the future.

Giving the children a short history lesson he reviewed Mr. Morris’s 38 years of real achievement.

Bomb memory

“The building has changed. He has been in this room when it had no roof on (after a bomb). The staff has changed. Mr. Morris has seen four headmasters. The children have changed (laughter). Some of his earlier pupils were your mothers and fathers and even your grandmothers and grandfathers. One thing has not changed: Mr. Morris’s loyalty.

We all know him for what he teaches us about craft work and handiwork. You can see some of the pottery which pupils have done in time past. His Christmas toys and his ability with a piece of coloured chalk is one thing I have envied him. We are very sorry he is leaving us.”

Mr. Morris, who started teaching in his native Stanwick 41 years ago, said he would miss their singing. “I love it and playing to you in the mornings (even if the strings did break sometimes). And the novelty of the toys we made together.

A silver tea service from scholars and staff was presented by Mollie Roberts; an electric toaster from class two by David Hinde and a bouquet of chrysanthemums to Mrs. Morris by Ann Bedford.

On behalf of the managers, Ald. Cyril Faulkner (vice chairman) wished Mr. Morris and his wife good health and great happiness in their retirement.

Among the visitors was Mrs. W. Rial, widow of the Mr. Morris’s first headmaster at Alfred Street.

25th July 1958 Newspaper clip included in Alfred Street Log Book and the entry from Log Book, transcribed by Susan Manton.

48 years a teacher at one school.

Two years short of half a century of school teaching Mrs. M. Levy today retired from Rushden Alfred Street Junior School.

In the presence of Mrs. W. M. Lean, chairman of the Rushden School Managers and of the Headmaster, staff and children of the school, two members of class six (Mrs. Levy’s class) presented her with an electric fire and an electric hairdryer.

Mrs. Levy, who joined the staff in 1910 and who was present throughout the school’s four changes (It has successively been a girl’s school, a mixed school for pupils aged 4 to 14, a mixed school for children over 11 and as now a junior school) has served under seven head teachers.

Mr. R. R. Lawrence (headmaster) said that although he had read of many long service records he was sure that nowhere else could they boast of 48 years’ service in any one school.

Thanking the staff, parents and children who had contributed to the gift, Mrs. Levy told the children to be thankful for all the freedom of speech and movement which they enjoyed nowadays. She also stresses that good manners and the maxim “if a job is worth doing do it well” which she had taught to so many pupils would help them.

Two further presentations were made at the morning’s assembly: one was to Mrs. E. Ashby on the occasion of her retirement and one to Miss J. Freeman who is to be married during the holidays.

Entry from the Log Book.

At assembly this morning, in the presence of Mrs. W. M. Lean, Chairman of the Rushden School Managers and of the Headmaster, staff and all the pupils two members of class 6 (Robin Bailey and Margaret Allen) presented Mrs. Levy with an electric and fire and an electric hair drier – the gift of children, teachers and parents to mark her retirement.

The headmaster said that Mrs. Levy had served forty eight years in Alfred Street School, a record which very few teachers could boast. Mrs. Levy has served under seven head teachers and probably five thousand children had passed through the school during that long time. Thanking everyone who had contributed to the gift, Mrs. Levy suitably responded.

A presentation of bed linen was also made by two members of her class (Janice Alderson and Elizabeth Coleman) to Miss Janet Freeman who is to be married tomorrow. Miss Freeman thanked everyone for a lovely gift.

The headmaster also presented Mrs. E. M. Ash with a small gift from her colleagues and himself as a token of appreciation of her very valuable assistance during the year.

March 1972 Article from a local newspaper included in the Log Book, transcribed by Susan Manton

Teachers’ gathering.

School teachers are coming from as far afield as Lancashire this week to celebrate the centenary of a local school. They will be at a reunion on Friday at Alfred Street Junior School, Rushden where they all taught at the time. Today, tomorrow and Thursday at 7pm pupils will be presenting the operetta “The Boy Mozart”.

This is being put on at the school and is open to the public. Afterwards there is an exhibition of the children’s work as well as exhibits showing Rushden through the years.

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