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Victorian school days
  The 'Hiring Fairs'  

You can see from other pages that children were often kept away from school to help their parents to earn money to keep the family.Drawing of farmer at fair Children from poor families would have to leave school as soon as they could.
In country districts 'Hiring Fairs' were held in May and November, when farmers and landowners would employ farm labourers and servants for a year.
Many of the older children from the local schools would go to these fairs, and if they were hired they had to stay in the job until the year was up even if the job and living conditions were very bad - which they very often were !

Drawing by
Rob Davies
29th May
School diary entry

This entry comes from the official Llanbedr National School Log Book for 1896 -
29th May - "End of School year. Several of the children have left owing to parents moving and others have been hired for service at the Fairs, viz [for example] Elizabeth Williams, Oswald Brute ..."

It was common for parents to take children away from school as they moved to another district in search of work, particularly in areas with mines and factories which were doing well at times, but very badly in other years.

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