Victorian Powys for primary  schools
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Rhayader
Victorian school days
 
  Lessons in fire-lighting and cleaning !  

Not only did the children attending Victorian schools often have to collect fuel for the school-room fire or stove, but in many cases they also had to light it when they arrived.
Imagine arriving cold and wet at school in the winter and then having to stay cold and wet for much of the day until the fire starts to warm the room ! It is not surprising that children were off school so often because of illness.

Matchbox
6th October
1899
School diary entry
Drawings by
Rob Davies
Match

This comes from the Log Book of Nantmel St Mark's School for October 1899 :
"I find it most inconvenient to have children lighting [the] school fire instead of having a woman appointed to do so & also to attend to the sweeping and dusting of the school which is not done at present oftener than once a fortnight".

Not only did the children have to light the fire, but they often had to clean the classroom as well !
Some of the early school records mention the smoke and dirt caused by stoves and fireplaces in poor condition, so they probably had plenty lessons in cleaning !

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