Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Victorian school days
  Moving away to look for work  

The official school Log Books or diaries which were kept by Victorian Schools (and are still kept today !) often tell you more than just what was going on at the school at the time.
There are many examples of entries which refer to events beyond the school, such as the jobs situation with local employers. An entry in the Llanidloes National School diary in the summer of 1884 said "Some of the children leaving for South Wales owing to Stoppage of the Van Mines."
The Van Mines was an important lead mine near Llanidloes which was once the largest in Britain. It was doing very well in the 1860's and 1870's but had to close at times in later years.

15th June
School diary entry

The diary entry shown here was written in the following year, 1885, and it is much the same as the earlier one. It reads:
15th June - "Several children left last week owing to their families removing to South Wales to join the fathers who had gone there for work".
In Victorian times there were no unemployment payments available from the government for people who lost their jobs, so when the local lead mines were closed many miners had to move to south Wales with their families to get jobs in the coalmines.
There was better news about local jobs eight years later, as you can see on the next page...

A huge new dambuilding scheme in 1894...


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