Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Victorian school days
  No writing today - the ink is frozen !  
Drawing by
Rob Davies

Children in British schools today have quite rightly got used to warm and comfortable classrooms when they go to school.
It was often very different in Victorian schoolrooms, most of which which would have had just one small, probably very smokey, stove. This would warm one end of the room only, and then only if the school could get supplies of wood or coal !
Sometimes the children were sent out into the woods to collect sticks for the fire !
There are many entries in school Log Books of freezing schools and the risk to the health of children arriving wet at an unheated school.

Child at desk
14th January
School diary entry
19th April
School diary entry

These entries are from Llangurig Board School diaries. The top one was written in 1881, the other in April (Springtime !) 1895, and not much has changed in 14 years !
The two entries read:
14th January 1881 - "There has been no writing in copy books as all the ink was frozen.."
19th April 1895 - "No paperwork has been done for some weeks except by a very few scholars. The ink in the wells is frozen every night".
All children at school were usually called 'scholars' in Victorian times but the word is rarely used nowadays.
Schools which had desks - and not all of them did for many years - often had little pots called inkwells set into the top of the desks to hold black or blue ink for old fashioned dipping pens. No biros for the Victorians !
There is more about cold weather trouble on the next page...

More weather problems for children...


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