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Crickhowell
Victorian school days
 
  Unusual day - they're all at school !  
 

The head teacher at Crickhowell British School must have been very surprised when all of the children in his youngest class turned up for lessons ! He wrote in the school Log Book in September 1874 that "something unusual" had happened...

 
16th September
1874
School diary entry
  The (very rare !) entry shown above reads :
16th September - "Something unusual in the attendance of the First Class today. All are present".
A more common situation is shown in the entry below. This is from the Log Book of Llanbedr National School in 1890 :
"The children are kept away from school to gather wimberries on the surrounding hills, for the market".
Llanbedr School
26th August 1879
12th September
1890
School diary entry "The attendance has improved but is still very low, the fine weather keeps the parents and children still picking berries on the hills. The Attendance Officer visited and has sent warning notices to all who are absent. Average [attendance] 18.4 ".
Drawing by
Rob Davies

The berry-picking time was a regular reason for Picking wimberrieschildren being away from school in late August and early September. Whole families would be out collecting wimberries to be sold in the local markets. The Attendance Officer was unlikely to have had much luck with his warning notices, because parents usually ignored them - and some parents wouldn't have been able to read them !
One teacher tried another way of making children come to school...

Prizes for turning up at school...

 

"Benjamin Watkins, Willie Watkins, John King and John Pritchard had a slap on each hand for going a nutting at noon, and coming into school at 2.30. I had previously spoken to the school on the matter".
Crickhowell British School
1st September 1875
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