Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Llanfair Caereinion
Victorian school days
  We can't see through the smoke...  
Drawing by
Rob Davies

The fireplace or stove in the Victorian schoolroom made a lot of difference to school life in the Welsh winter ! There are many entries in school Log Books which tell of ink frozen in the inkwells, and of having no wood or coal for winter fuel.

In January 1881 the School Inspector threatened to leave without carrying out his official inspection if Llanllugan School wasn't warm enough on his next visit ! This school seems to have had a lot of trouble with fires. This was written in the Log Book in 1893 ...

Smokey schoolroom
23rd November
School diary entry "Thursday. School assembled, but the room was so filled with smoke that it was impossible to see or speak. Fire put out, but cold being intense, children were dismissed".

Things weren't any better a few years later, in January 1897...

22nd January
School diary entry "Dismissed at 3.30 this afternoon, owing to the smoke, which comes puffing down the chimney in volumes".

This was happening frequently at Llanllugan school between 1881 and 1898, with children regularly being sent out into the cold while the fire was put out.
You would have thought that the chimney problem could have been sorted out in less than 17 years !

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