Monday, March 7, 2011
The Second Boys' School
The school on Creed Street was gradually outgrown by the population and in 1896 a new school, also built by the L&NWR, was erected on Church Street, the on the western edge of the town. Once again, there was a complex relationship with the Radcliffe Trust - the Radcliffe Trust leasing the land and the L&NWR taking responsibility for the building.
Wolverton had been very fortunate in its educational provision. The railway company had built the first school and paid the salary for the teachers. After the 1870 Act when the Government made school attendance compulsory the cost of operation was born by ratepayers. However, the capital funding by the L&NWR must have taken a great load off the community. After 1880 attendance was compulsory up to the age of 12. This was later increased step by step to 13, 14 and 15 after the 1944 Education Act. The school-leaving age was last increased to 16 in 1973.
Once the new school was opened the girls and infants continued to use the old Creed Street School.
The Church Street School is a single storey building and as far as I know has not been enlarged in its history. Later, a woodwork classroom was built in the grounds beside the Windsor Street back alley. The boy's toilets were also built alongside the back alley.
The building was used as a boys school until after the 1944 Education Act which created the Secondary Modern School. Thereafter the schools became co-educational and the Secondary Modern was opened at Aylesbury Street (which I will discuss tomorrow). The Boys School then became an Infants School, and was such when I started in 1947. I haven't been inside the building since 1949 so all my memories are from the perspective of a small child. Everything seemed very large and it was impossible to see out of the windows, since they were so high. One larger room could be divided by folding doors and the resulting double room be used as an assembly hall. I also recall that one room on the south side had a stepped floor.