|The Rushden Echo, 28th May, 1909, transcribed by Gill Hollis
New Council School at Rushden
Northamptonshire’s Education And Its Cost
|Interesting Opening Function - Speeches By County Educationalists
A function of a very noteworthy character took place at Rushden on Tuesday afternoon, when the new Council School at the North-end was formally opened. Mr. J. T. Colson (chairman of the Rushden Educational Sub-Committee) and Mr. John Claridge, J.P., C.C. (the vice-chairman) thoughtfully entertained to luncheon a number of gentlemen specially interested in the new school, including members of the Northants Education Committee, the Rushden Urban Council, the Rushden School Managers, the headmasters of the schools at Rushden, the architect, builder, sub-contractors, and others. The luncheon very appropriately was served in the assembly-room of the school, and the catering was admirably carried out by the Rushden Coffee Tavern Company under the efficient superintendence of Miss Wyldes, the manageress.
The new building has a noble exterior, and the interior is very pleasing throughout. Erected from designs by Messrs. Sharman and Archer, architects, Wellingborough, it stands at the Higham-road end of the Hayway.
Accommodation is provided for 348 scholars in seven classrooms, two of which are for 60 scholars each, two for 50 each, one for 48, and two for 40 each. The total floor area works out at nearly 10 ½ superficial feet per pupil.
Every room is lighted amply from the left, and is under direct inspection from the central hall (57ft. 6in by 25ft. 4in.), which is well lighted from high windows on each side, and eight glass screens between the hall and the classrooms.
The floors are of maple, and the dados throughout are of glazed bricks with rounded angles at the junction of dado and floors.
All the walls are plastered and distempered a quiet shade of green. Special attention has been given to the preparation and painting of a writing surface, 4ft. in depth, across the whole width of each classroom, facing the children’s desks.
always an important feature in a building, but of supreme importance in a school, is amply provided for, the lower part of all windows being constructed of double hung sliding sashes, and the upper part of hinged fanlights. In place of the ordinary and somewhat unsightly iron “hoppers” used to deflect the incoming current of air at the bottom of the windows, movable glazed screens of wood have been introduced, with a decided improvement in appearance. Fresh air is also admitted by gratings controlled by valves at the back of the radiators. The extraction of vitiated air is by upcast ventilators in the roof. By hinged lights in the screens between the classrooms and the central hall a “blow through” the whole of the building can be arranged at any time when required.
An Effective Feature
in the central hall is obtained by the curved ceiling divided into bays by moulded ribs springing from a moulded plaster cornice.
The heating is by low pressure hot water pipes and radiators, the mains being carried in a spacious and easily accessible subway is also used for the water services.
The sanitary arrangements throughout are of the most approved description.
The building is of brick, with sand stock facing to the front and ends, and relieved with Bath stone and bands etc. The roof is covered with rough grey slates.
Mr. S. Saddler, from the Alfred-street school, will be headmaster.
The contractor was Mr. William Packwood, of Rushden, and the sub-contractors were :- Messrs. Whittington and Tomlin, carpenters Mr. Walker, plaster; Mr. A.T. Nichols, plumber and painter; Messrs. Ambrose Marriott and Co., heating apparatus; Mr. W.G. Wilmott, asphalting; Mr. Billington, ironmongery.
Mr. J. T. Colson presided at the luncheon, and there were present Messrs. E. P. Monckton, J. Rennie Wilkinson (chairman and vice-chairman of the Northants County Education Committee), G. Miller, E. M. Nunneley, R. Goosey, W. Hirst-Simpson, T. A. Dickson (members of the County Education Committee), J. Holland and E. Jenkins (clerk and assistanc clerk to the County Education Committee), J. Claridge, W. B. Sanders, F. Corby, Wm. Chettle, B. Vorley (Rushden School Managers), A. Mantle (clerk of the Rushden Education Committee), J. S. Clipson, W. Bazeley, T. Swindall, C. Bates (members of the Rushden Urban Council), W. Madin (town surveyor), S. Saddler, L. Perkins, B.Sc., W. H. Brown (headmasters), Amos Wright, William Clark, J. M. Sharman (architect), W. Packwood (builder), E. Whitington, J. Tomlin, W. G. Wilmott, A. T. Nichols, and J. Walker (sub-contractors).
Mr. F. Ballard, Mr. G. S. Mason, Mr. F. Knight, J.P., and Mr. Barlow wrote regretting their enforced absence.
After luncheon several appropriate
The Chairman, having made a graceful allusion to the presence of Mr. Monckton and other visitors, said that six or seven years ago the Rushden educational authority contemplated erecting schools on this site, the school attendances having then increased rapidly. But in 1904 the school attendance in Rushden began to decrease, and so the Rushden authority asked the County Education Committee to defer the building of these schools for a short time, and this was agreed to. Circumstances had arisen recently which made it necessary for them to go on with the erection of the schools, and he though they were very good schools. There were two reasons why it was necessary to go on with the building of these schools at the present juncture. The first was because it was necessary at the north-end and Newton-road infant schools to keep Standard 1 children, thereby losing the grant from the county. The second reason was the decrease in the attendance at the Church of England school, at one time there being more than 100 vacant places in that school. That made the other schools more overcrowded. Something had recently been said about
the Church of England Schools. He did not know anything about that, nor did the other members of the Rushden Education Committee. (Hear, hear). It seemed a pity that Church of England parents did not send their children to the National Schools, which would somewhat relieve the other schools. There being a necessity for new schools, the authorities were obliged to build, and the new school had been built cheaply, though the cost seemed heavy for a small community like Rushden. Dealing with education generally, he said that some people, when they saw in the papers cases of youthful depravity, asked what good education had done them, and they seemed to think that education was wasted. That was a pessimistic view to take. Personally, he was much more optimistic. He thought there had been a great moral and social improvement in the whole of the people through the work of the schools and the increased expenditure on educational effort. He believed they had appointed a
Good Staff of Teachers
for the new schools. Mr. Saddler, the headmaster, had the confidence of the Managers, and had done good work at Alfred-street. He hoped the boys and girls who attended the school would be treated in a kindly and considerate way, so that in their after-life they should have pleasant recollections of the time they spent there. He hoped the new school would be a centre from which there might emanate streams of good feeling and sympathy that should result in the improved moral life of the people and that the youngsters might be taught to entertain nobler and purer ideals of life. (Applause).
Mr. Monckton, in declaring the school open, said: It is some years since I last came to Rushden, and I was then sent to see what we could do with respect to a water supply. Since then you have found water, which was very necessary for your rising town. To-day I am here as chairman of the County Education Committee to meet the School Managers of an important centre. Important educational work has been going on for some years past in the county. We have 265 provided and non-provided schools, and there are
of whom about 24,200 are in the provided schools. In Rushden you have about 2,800 scholars. I am not sure that you have done adding to your school accommodation even yet, because your population is a growing one. I remember you as a village. In 1891 the population was 7,500; in 1901, it was 12,500; now it is about 15,000, and that shows that your school accommodation will have to be further increased. In Northamptonshire our education budget is about £112,000 a year; we get about £66,000 of that from the Board of Education, and we have to find the rest from the rates. Compared with other counties, we stand in a very fair position. The heaviest expenditure is £80,000 a year for teachers. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to good teachers. When you have really good teachers you ought to pay them adequately. On buildings we spend about £10,250 a year. Heating and lighting cost us about £6,000. The cost of
is about £15,000 a year, of which the Board of Education gives us £8,500, and the rest equals a penny rate. Evening schools cost us about £3,500 pupil teachers and candidates about £2,600, and scholarships about £3,000. You will see that we have very large interests at stake. Education is nothing if it is not progressive, and if it must be progressive, that means some additional expense, though, of course, we do not wish to see the rates increase unnecessarily. Higher education is a very important part of the education of to-day. It is that we may see there is some ladder by which the children of the elementary schools may climb, and those also in the higher walks of life shall have in useful centres schools which shall lead them up to university life. In Northamptonshire we sadly need schools for the education of girls. Very shortly there will be an excellent school for girls at Wellingborough, the cost of which will be about £50,000. You have to consider what the education is abroad, and you must put your boys and girls
On An Equal Footing
with other nations, if not superior. We are anxious that our girls should become good, useful women in their calling in life, and we think they should have an opportunity of being trained in that which, after all, is one of the greatest temperance movements in the world, and that is how to give their husbands a good dinner. (Laughter). So often the food in some of the cottages has been so repulsive and disagreeable that the men are driven to get it elsewhere. A good sound meal, nicely cooked and nicely served, is one of the greatest inducements to a husband to stay at home. So we want to establish cookery centres, and you have one in Rushden. We want to give the boys more seeing eyes and more understanding minds, and give them some little hobby music, carving, or something of that sort and that is what we have to do in our manual classes. This new school at Rushden has been designed by an architect who is accustomed to school work. Everything seems to be exceedingly nice. The whole arrangements of the colouring is good. This central hall is most agreeable in every way. Wishing with all my heart
Success To Rushden
and success to this new school and to the teachers and scholars. I have pleasure in declaring the school open. (Applause).
Mr. John Claridge cordially moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Monckton.
Mr. F. Corby seconded, and said that though there was still expenditure facing them in Rushden in the future they knew it was for the well-being of the community. He hoped that the school training might not only educate the rising race but might mould their character as well.
The motion was carried.
Mr. Dickson (chairman of the Building Sub-Committee of the County Education Committee) proposed a vote of thanks to the architect and builder.
Mr. J. Rennie Wilkinson seconded, and said the new school commended itself very much to his judgment. It was a great credit to the architect, contractor, and sub-contractors. He was glad they were nearly all Rushden men except Higham Ferrers, which is Rushden, and Wellingborough, which is almost Rushden.
of the school worked out at about £11 per place. If education was expensive, it was a remunerative and productive expense, education having greatly reduced the criminal population.
Ald. Nunneley supported the motion, and spoke very highly of the schools.
The motion having been carried, Mr. Sharman and Mr. Packwood replied.
Mr. W. Hirst Simpson, B.A., proposed thanks to Mr. Colson and Mr. Claridge for their hospitality.
Mr. Holland seconded, and the motion was heartily endorsed, Mr. Colson and Mr. Claridge responding.
The premises will be open for scholastic work shortly after Whitsuntide.