St Michael & All Angels, Swinley1 Comment
Photo: Brian Elsey
Item #: 389
Too late for my gran (Nellie Smith), she was there in the 1890's. She remembered Mr Shardon the head (is that him in the middle?) who was a Francophile and introduced french-style class numbering starting at 4 (7-8 yr olds) finishing with class 1 - still in use in my day. Those were the days of chronic teacher shortage, when the leading lights among the older kids were pressed into service taking classes - 'pupil-teachers'. Gran was one, and at age 12 when her contemporaries all left, she stayed on as a fulltime teacher, continuing her training at evening classes - until her marriage in 1900. Most of the ladies in this picture look no more than teenagers, like my gran.