Adults in the school, 1875-1900

Those of us involved in some way with schools, as parents, staff or governors, are today accustomed to a steady turnover of teachers in our schools. This wasn’t the case during this period. There were, for example, only three head teachers – Micaiah Marshall, who stayed until the end of 1883, Ramsden Mellor from 1884 to 1890, and George Senior for the rest of the century.

Their Chairman of the Managers during all their stays was the Reverend G.C. Clements, the long-serving vicar of Haslingfield. Apart from the occasional tiff with his head teacher, one of which led to a threat by an inspector to report the head to Whitehall, he seems largely to have restricted himself to frequent checks of the register. Only a fatal slip by his horse on ice on the Barton Road in February 1898 ended his period of office. Inspectors also seem to have lasted for ever – an HMI, Mr. J.W.H. Myers, visited the school at least three times a year for the full 25 years.

One Inspector who made only one call during the period, on November 27th 1879, was the Inspector of Nuisances. This was not because the school was blessed with less than its fair share – the inspector wasn’t looking for that kind. The post was created by an 1847 Act to investigate threats to public health. In other parts of the country cases were brought relating to under-age drinking, pollution and pigeon droppings. One wonders if note was made of the extreme temperatures in the classroom – there was a reading one January of 23 degrees Fahrenheit, which suggests icicles – or of the smoky fires which led to the occasional evacuation of children!

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