Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Llanwrtyd and district
Victorian school days
  Can't sew with frozen fingers...  

Apart from the misery of being horribly cold in school, the lack of decent heating in winter caused problems for the sewing classes given to the girls. These were considered to be very important for Victorian schoolgirls, and they had to make up pinafores and other items, and sew samplers ready for the school Inspector's examinations.
These entries from the official diary of Abergwesyn School in 1895 note that it wasn't easy to use a sewing needle properly if your tiny hands were frozen...

This is part of
a young girl's

sewing sampler,
made in 1865.
It is one of many Victorian items to be seen in the
Radnorshire Museum Llandrindod Wells.
7th January
School diary entry
8th February
School diary entry

These extracts from the Log Book read -
7th January - "Admitted one new scholar. The girls had needle-work this afternoon (Friday) instead of Tuesday, their hands being so very cold..."
8th February - "The children could hardly do any slate work it being so cold, and the girls could hardly do any needlework".
At least the children made it to school on those days. In the middle of January that same year of 1895 the teacher wrote "The snow was so deep that the parents were afraid to send the children through it in case they should catch cold or lose their way".
Things are just a little bit easier for children these days, but they still grumble !

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