Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
         
Llanfyllin and district
Victorian school days
 
  Too cold to work, and the ink is frozen !  
Drawings by
Rob Davies

Compared to schools now, children had a very hard time in Victorian schools. The only heating in winter was from small fireplaces or stoves. A Log Book entry from Bwlchycibau School school in 1881 said "Several of the children are kept home because there is no fire in school". And this was in November !
An entry from this school in early March, 1892 reads "Though good fires are kept burning, the school is very cold and the children, many of whom suffer from chilblains, are unable to withstand the cold"
.
The fires usually just heated one end of the classroom, which was bad luck for the children at the back !
This is from the same school diary in January 1895...

Drawing of children by the fire
11th January
1895
"Very little work done - the scholars having to crowd round the fire in turns owing to the severe cold".
 

There were still problems with the winter weather and the cold schoolroom at the end of that same January...

 
30th January
1895
School diary entry
Ink blot
"No school kept - owing to deep snow and intense cold. The ink in Child using penevery ink-pot is frozen".
There were no biros in Victorian schools - just good old-fashioned dipping pens which just held one nibful of ink at a time, unless the ink was frozen !

They had similar problems at Pen-y-bont Fawr School in
1886,when the Log Book entry reads...
 
24th December
1886
School diary entry  
 

"The cold seems to take all the life out of the children this morning, and I have to keep placing them in turns by the fire".
It's a life of luxury in school nowadays ! Just ask teacher !

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