Palterton Council School

A lovely village school - page one

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This page, as are all other pages on this site, has been researched and written by the author Ronald Stanley Richards, always known by the name of Jack Richards.  Any opinions offered are those of the author.

Palterton Council school opened it's doors to the first scholars on the 21 February 1910.  On that day, ninety nine scholars were enrolled.  The one hundredth scholar started the school the following day.  Many of these scholars had previously been educated at nearby Scarcliffe village school and would have made the one and a half mile journey each way on foot in all kinds of weather.  Some of the younger scholars would have sometimes obtained a ride on one of the farmers horse and cart.

On that same day, Mrs E. Rogers commenced her duties as the first Head Teacher at Palterton Council school.

Opening of Palterton Council School 1910 The identities of the men in the photograph are left to right:
Mr. Churn, Mr. Clayworth, Mr. Ashley. Mr. Mark Wale,
Rev. S. Biss ?, Mr. William Henry Bradshaw.

They were the school managers, known nowadays as school governors, and this image shows their presence at the opening ceremony.

Since opening on the 21 February 1910, the village school in Palterton has always been a lovely place to start one's education.  Generations of children have passed through the school and enjoyed their infant schooling before moving on to secondary education.

For such a small school, the standard of teaching has mostly been good and pupils have received a good standard of infant education.  Most of us acquired sound skills and knowledge in a happy and pleasant school community.

Many former pupils have gone on to enjoy outstanding success in their chosen careers.  Some have become heroes.

My school days in Palterton were happy although I cannot remember many incidents.  Most certainly I was taught to a good standard by caring teachers.  We were taught country dancing which was similar to the "Morris Dancing".  Perhaps it was the same.

Perhaps what has not been realised by parents and scholars alike, is the huge turnover of teachers and their appalling sickness record in this school over the years.

Always there seemed to be a shortage of teachers and coupled with an apparent lethargic approach by the school "managers", it has been a magnificent effort by the Head teachers and their devoted staff to achieve the high standards.

A group of teachers and staff 10 October 1996 - Victorian Day. Their identities L. to R. Front row are Andrea Fox - teacher, Lynn Tingle - teacher, Lesley Barringer - Head teacher and Sally Roberts - teacher.  Back row L. to R. Gill. Lewis - school secretary and Laura Robinson - Education care officer.

Mischief was never far away for the schoolboys.  For many years the boys played football and cricket in the school yard during break periods, whilst the girls played skipping and "hopscotch".

Winter was the time for long "slides" on the ice in the playground.  The months of January and February often resulted in school closures due to the village being marooned by deep snow and lack of heating.

I seemed to spend a lot of time on the school roof of this Edwardian building, having climbed up the drainpipes, allegedly looking for balls that we had kicked thereon whilst in the playground.  Actually we were bird nesting.  There seemed to be a House Sparrows nest everywhere 'in' and 'on' the school roof.

Palterton Village School

During the week 8 to 15 July 1944, there was a National 'Salute the Soldier week'.  Of course it was war time.

All the children throughout the County entered a competition which consisted of either an essay, a drawing or a painting on a topic, that may have been connected with the war.  I wrote an essay and was fortunate to win one of the prizes (First) that were being awarded.  I would have been aged nine years at that time.  The prizes were announced on the 3 August 1944.

A childhood friend of mine, Graham Samuel Whitt chose to draw a poster in this competition and gained a third prize.  He received Savings Stamps to the value of the princely sum of seven shillings and sixpence (pre decimalisation).
This photograph shows some of the pupils in 1948 This photograph taken in 1948, shows the pupils who were in the top class at Palterton Infants school, at that time.

It is my earliest known school photograph of the pupils.

One of my proudest achievements and memory of the school came around fifty years after I left the school, when I discovered the original Admissions Register and School Log Book, both dating from 1910.  I discovered them in the old damp air raid shelters that were located in the school yard, where they had lain for years.  They are now safely preserved in the Derbyshire County Record Office at Matlock.

I have examined the two Log Books for Palterton Council School.  These books are hardbound and are in good condition.  These books make interesting reading and reveal an insight into the weekly, (sometimes) daily events within the school.  To peruse a few selected extracts, please visit page two.

Teachers and staff - Victorian Day 10 October 1996. Palterton Council School
The teachers and staff - Victorian Day 10 October 1996.

L to R: Andrea Fox - teacher, Gill Lewis - school sec., Lynn Tingle - teacher, Leslie Barringer - Headmistress, Sally Roberts - teacher, Laura Robinson - Education Care Officer.

They may have been good teachers, but their 'can-can' dancing - well the jury are out on that one!

Palterton Council School Roll Call on the 21 February 1910

Admission numbers 1 to 99 / 100.

Palterton Council School

A lovely village school - page one


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Created 2 December 2001
Last updated: 26 June 2011