From the Parish Newsletter in 1984
SCHOOL – a very impressive report, from which we quote, was published in the Beacon about the school’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations, where a most enjoyable evening was had by past pupils, parents, friends and retired and present staff. ‘Old pupils gathered around photos of school groups stretching back to the Twenties, arguing and discussing and trying to list the people shown in them. The school register of pupils, going back to 1902, listed all who had once attended the school and was a great talking point as people tried to find themselves in it, and even their parents and grandparents! Many homely articles had been displayed to bring back memories; flat irons, the stone hot water bottle, pop bottles with a marble to seal the neck, tools from the kitchen, farm and workshop, even items of clothing – nightdresses, a petticoat and wooden soled boots! To contrast with these were the more elaborate items – a gramophone from the 1930s, two wedding dresses, one from 1917 and another from 1941; a Victorian scrapbook and albums of Victorian and Edwardian photographs. And, finally, relics from the second world war were on show – badges, uniform, a tin hat and even a piece of shrapnel from the London blitz of 1940 gave clues as to why the school register showed so many evacuees in the early 1940s…’
From the Parish Newsletter of 1987:
The first entries in the School Log Book for 1874 (the first available) read:
Jan 12 The school resumed duties after three weeks holiday
Jan 21 Mrs Jeffrys visited the school. Inspected the needlework
Jan 23 A good attendance of children during the week
Aug 28 Harvest began. Several children left school this week to go gleaning
Attendance was generally not good as children stayed away for all manner of reasons such as stone-picking, gleaning, apple picking, potato planting and picking, haymaking etc. However an inspector’s report on the 70 children marked then ‘excellent’. Fees were payable for attendance and it would appear that they were not regularly paid, as a further entry states:
‘…were sent home for arrears of school pence. They returned in the afternoon with 1/- which is not half of the amount owing.’
Snow and ice seem to have always caused problems, with the school being closed during spells of bad weather. Obviously pupils enjoyed such occasions, although not always legitimately!
‘Punished several boys for staying on the pond after the bell had been rung.’
The mistress at that time was Mrs Martha Thomas. Later, the mother of Matthew Evans was the headmistress.
[from: Penallt – A Village Miscellany]