Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Hay and district
Victorian school days
  Harvest first, school second...  
Drawing by
Rob Davies

The official Log Books or diaries of many Victorian schools in country districts contain an amazing variety of reasons for children not being at school.
The most common excuse is the hay harvest, and the summer holidays were called the 'harvest holidays' for many years. The entry below from Llandeilo Graban School in 1895 shows just how much difference the harvest made to school life...

"Sept 16th - Harvest is not finished so could not open school".

Boys working at harvest
16th September
School diary entry
  The teacher here realised that there was no point in starting lessons again when most children were still helping out in the fields.
Many schools had very few turning up after the harvest holidays, including Llyswen National School in 1875...
13th September
School diary entry

This was written in the diary on 13th September -
"Commenced school after the Harvest Holidays. Very few children present".
But now for some of those other reasons for not turning up for school...

Cider, sheep, and mushrooms...


Link to sources
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