Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Victorian school days
  Listen out for the school bell !  
Drawing by
Rob Davies
Now that we always know the time from the television and radio, and we all have watches and clocks, it is easy to forget that most people in Victorian times had no way to tell the time.
Wealthier people owned clocks and watches, but others had to guess the time by daylight and by the sun and moon.
It was not surprising that children would arrive at school at different times - some early and some late. In 1891 the head teacher of Crickhowell British School had a new school bell put up beside the building...
Teacher ringing bell
5th May
School diary entry "The Bell was erected today on the side of the School. This, I hope, will be the means of bringing the children to school punctually. Children from the distance usually come to school very late..."

"...The Bell will be rung -
In [the] morning at 10 minutes to 9 am
In [the] afternoon at 20 [minutes] past 1 pm".
It was not unusual for children to have to walk up to five miles to many Victorian schools, particularly in country districts. If they were near enough to hear the school bell ring then they only had another 10 minutes to get there !

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