Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
         
Newtown and district
Victorian school days
 
  The shameful neglect of knitting  
Drawing by
Rob Davies

As well as the usual lessons in reading, writing, and arithmetic, Victorian schools arranged for regular instruction in sewing and knitting for the girls.
The usual practice was for a sewing mistress, who in many cases was the wife of the schoolmaster, to visit different schools on set days to teach these skills to the local girls.
This was the arrangement at Penygloddfa School in 1868...
30th September - "The girls are instructed in Needlework and Knitting by the Master's wife, three times a week, two hours each time".

Knitting lesson
30th September
1868
School diary entry
  The official School Inspector who called to examine the work of Llanllwchaearn School in 1871 was obviously very keen on the teaching of knitting for the girls ...  
4th December
1871
School diary entry
 

4th December - "The needlework is very good and I am very glad to find knitting taught here with great success, instead of it being shamefully neglected as it is in the upper part of Montgomeryshire".
This was part of the Inspector's report, which was copied into the school Log Book.
The authorities thought that sewing and knitting would be more useful to the girls than the other subjects. The official view was that these skills would help them to obtain work as household servants for the wealthier people of the district, and also be required in looking after their families after marriage.

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