Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Welshpool and district
Victorian school days
  It's cold, it's dark, it's our school !  

Children often had to arrive early to light the fire in the very cold schoolrooms before lessons could begin. This is from the records of Buttington School in 1886...

20th October
School diary entry "Edith Evans has been appointed monitress for making the fire and sweeping the school. The managers of the school have agreed to allow this girl her school money for her services".
  In this case a young girl had to light the fire every morning and sweep out the classroom, and in return for this work she did not have to pay any school fees !
The next example is from Gungrog Road School diary for 1875...
30th October
School diary entry "On Monday the children were sent home at 11 o'clock, there being no fires in school it was too cold for them to stay, on Tuesday also. On Tuesday evening a stove was brought"...
Often in the winter months it was not only too cold, but too dark as well, with very little effective lighting in many schoolrooms other than the daylight (if any !) from the windows.
This was from Vaynor School in the winter of 1889...
Child in dark schoolroom
6th December
School diary entry
"The days are getting much shorter, the children can hardly see to do their lessons at three o'clock"...

As if this wasn't bad enough, to get to their cold and dark schools, many children had to walk for miles over rough tracks and in all kinds of weather !

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