Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Victorian school days
  Everybody bring a stick !

Many Victorian schools were in a very bad condition for a lot of the time, because little money was available to improve them. Some school records mention lumps of plaster dropping on to children's heads from the ceiling !
Going to school in the winter could be very hard on the children, because they often arrived soaking wet and had to sit in very cold rooms.
This Log Book entry is from St Harmon's National School in November, 1880...

Expedient - a way of achieving something.
Procure - to obtain or get hold of.
5th November
School diary entry "Weather very cold and School very damp. As the wood has not yet arrived I have hit upon an expedient for getting a constant supply. I tell each boy to bring a stick to school with him and deposit the same in the classroom.
Drawing by
Rob Davies

"... When that supply is exhausted I procure another by the same means".

The month before, the teacher had written "I am obliged to send the children to gather sticks from the hedges".
By getting his pupils to bring sticks with them instead of going out for them during the day, he got fuel for the fire without losing time for lessons !

Collecting sticks

But the children often had to get the fire going in the morning, as well as providing the wood...

Keeping the school fires burning...


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