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as told to Kay Collins in 2006
School Memories in the 1930s

1931 pupils
1933 pupils
Back l-r: Peter Sanders, Bevan McCartney, Walter Dorrington, - Cowley, Frank Toone, Charles Hartop, - Nephin, Laurie Matthews.
2nd row: Clem Holmes, Melbourne Ekins, Len Bates, Bill Reynolds, Cecil Bates, Alan NMcCartney, Gordon Sanders.
Front: Freddie Cowley, Betty Warrington, Dorothy Warrington, Maggie Nephin, Jena Lines, Millie Toone, Nellie Cowley.
Back row l-r: Cecil Bates, Frank Toone, Peter Sanders, Alan McCartney, Gordon Danders, Clem Holmes
3rd row: Maggie Nephin, Len Bates, Dorothy Warrington, Bill Reynolds, ?, Melbourne Ekins, Mrs Gadsden (teacher)
2nd row: ?, ?, Millie Toone, Jean Lines, Betty Warrington, - Cowley
Front row: Bevan McCartney, Charlie Hartop, Laurie Matthews, Walter Dorrington, ?, John Nephin
We'd be grateful for any help filling in missing names - please contact us.

The school was opposite the church gates. It opened in 1867, closed in 1952 and was pulled down in the early 1960s. Electric came in 1951 – oil lighting until then.

Children came from Newton, the Court Estate, Yelden and Bedford Road. There was a toilet down the yard and a flagpole at the front near the fence.

Mrs Gadsden taught all the pupils from 5 to 14, in 2 rooms. It was one big room with a divider and a stove in the middle. One of the boys would bring in coal for the stove which heated the whole room. There were around 22 pupils in the 1930s.

Miss Taylor & Mrs Gadsden were sisters, Mr Gadsden was Church organist. The Rev Taylor was a regular visitor at the school but he was not related. Miss Taylor made tea for Mrs Gadsden and one of the children fetched it for her, from their house – one of a pair of semis end on to the road near the lane. She also sent children to see why if others hadn’t come to school. 

On the walk to school some of the boys would use sticks to poke some of the girls until one day one of the big girls slapped one of the boys. From then on he said “watch out for her – she can’t half hit”.

Lessons included basket making and handicrafts, darning, morning exercise, morning prayers, mental arithmetic – Mrs G pointed to a child and asked them a sum. A square of knitted cloth was used to do the darning practice. There wasn’t any homework.

Children would collect wild flowers and identify them – they would tell teacher when they found a new flower – to be recorded in a book.

Sometimes a subject – country, tree, river, flower, bird, insect – and then a letter would be chosen and we’d write down a word beginning with the letter. Perhaps this was at home not at school.

On Wednesday the Co-op van called on his round and the children could buy cakes.

The children went to Alfred Street school for dental check-ups until about 1930 then the dentist would come to Newton and also the doctor would come once a year. The parents would see the doctor with their child.

After taking the 11+ exams in the 1930s pupils went either to the Grammar School or High School for girls at Wellingborough or to the Intermediate School in Hayway at Rushden. To get to the High School meant a bike ride to Rushden station, a train ride to Wellingborough and then a walk to the school.

From the Intermediate school we would ride home to Court Estate for dinner and back again. Dinner rather than a lunch.

Memories of two ladies aged 80+ who attended the school    
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