Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Builth and district
Victorian school days
  The boys who prefer beating !  

Another cause of boys not turning up for their school lessons in Victorian times was the attraction of being able to earn money by working as 'beaters' for the local landowners.
They would organise pheasant shoots for themselves and for their wealthy guests during the season. Their gamekeepers had the job of making sure that enough birds would be available in the autumn to provide targets for the guests.
Some of the older boys from local schools would be hired to flush out the birds from the undergrowth for the sportsmen to take pot shots at them as they flew overhead.

5th October
School diary entry

This example is from the Log Book of Llandewi'r Cwm School for 1893 -
"5th October - Several of the elder boys absent "beating" for the gentlemen who are shooting".

Most teachers were very unhappy about the regular absence of many of their children during the shooting seasons, but they rarely complained because the local gentry were important people with a lot of influence. Teachers were very careful not to annoy them, and they sometimes grumbled privately in the Log Books !

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