It comprised two rooms, one very large with an open fireplace, tables and benches for the scholars and maps on the walls. The east end of this room contained Standards V, VI and VII in charge of the Master, Mr. Edward Preece. He had already served at the school for 20 years, respected and revered by all pupils and would be in office here for 39 years.

inscription plate

The inscription plate, let into the first stone of Bradworthy School, has long since disappeared. This rubbing was taken about 1900.

Filling the remainder of the large room were Standards III and IV, taught by Annie Harris and Jane Jennings, the former completing 10 years service and the latter moving on after five years.

The small room was for Standard I and the infants and had a gallery on two levels, an open fire and the alphabet around the walls. Annie Trick presided here until 1906, relinquishing the post on her marriage, scholars being given a half hour off for the occasion on a Tuesday afternoon.

Monitors helped throughout the school putting out text books, slates and helping the infants to read and write in classes of over 40. They were aged from 12 years and could become Pupil Teachers, Supplementary Teachers and then gradually climb the ladder if they wished. Most scholars left between the ages of 12 and 14 years for service, farming or to learn a trade.

Scholars came from within walking distance of the school, which could be three miles in some cases. The master is concerned that few start school until aged seven or eight - if they had to walk six miles daily it was a deterrent!

At the east end of the school was a bell housing, the bell being rung for five minutes at 9.25am and 1.25pm summoning scholars from afar.

In 1912, William Jennings, as a big boy, whilst pulling the bell ropes had the misfortune to receive a severe cut when it fell on his head.

Mr Preece

Mr Preece with his pupils in about 1900.

Back row: W. Seldon, Annie Piper, Florrie Walter, Moss Prance, Hilda Bond, Laura Chubb, Edith Cory, Mary Chubb, W. Beale.

Third row: John Cory, Chas Wade, F. Boundy, E. Hockridge, A. Dayman, C. Bromell, P. Manning, J. Petherick, R. Jennings.

Second row: Kath Vanstone, Lizzie Bromell, Annie Shaddick-Vanstone, Ethel Boundy, Mary Turner, P. Petherick, Matthilda Martin.

Front row: Mary Jennings, Jim Jennings, Gus Roberts, A. Bryant, C. Harris, A.J. Slee, A. Oke, Sophie Short.

He did not return to school for three months!

The school year began in April when the curriculum for the 118 pupils on the roll consisted of Reading, Writing, Recitation, Composition, Dictation, Transcription, Language lessons, Arithmetic, Mental Arithmetic, Metric System, Geography and History of the World, Object lessons, Drawing, Music, Needlework and Physical Exercises.

Holidays were taken according to the season, Christmas and Easter being a fortnight, August holidays when the harvest was ready and lasting a month. Senior scholars stayed home frequently to help with potato, hay and corn harvest, lambing etc.

Time off was taken for anniversaries, bazaars, concerts, festivals, sports, club walks by the Wesleyans, United Methodists, Atworthy Sunday School, Temperance Festival and Demonstration, Church Fête, Gymkhana, Garden parties, Poultry and Horticultural Exhibition in the Vicarage grounds, Races and Hunting (boys frequently took half an hour off to follow Mr. Rolls hounds), sports and all the harvest celebrations which caused frustration and annoyance to Mr. Preece at the intermittent attendance.

Miss Roberts and Miss Harris

Miss Roberts and Miss Harris with their pupils taken in June 1907.

Back row: Carrie Boundy, Nora Turner, Grace Seldon, Lily Harris, Florrie Harris, Annie Dayman, Kate Boundy, Phylis Petherick, Olive Sillifant.

Fourth row: Miss Roberts, Hilda Harris, Salome Kivell, Lily Vanstone, Laura Bennett, Tom Vanstone, Mary Boundy, Florrie Chubb, Annie May, Janie Stidwell, Miss Harris.

Third row: Les Slee, Fred Westaway, Sam Bromell, William Manning, William Gifford, Ben Westaway, Edmund Wade.

Second row: Dick Jennings, Steve Trewin, Walter Johns, Alf Downing, Laura Bond, Mildred Cory, Alf Slee, Bill Bromell, Nathan Oke, Harry Trewin, Bill Oke.

Front row: Grace Westaway, Nancy Seldon, Kate Vanstone, Emily Moase, Maud Sanders, Edith Bromell, Hetty Bond, Lizzy Cory, Florrie Ham.

Prior to 1903 the Master did all the work of the school, ordering fuel, firelight's and matches, textbooks and infants lacing cards. Managers were first appointed in 1903. They were John Seldon, Richard Bennett, Laurence Wickett, James Piper, Samuel Ashton and the Rev. William Wellacott, the first named being appointed chairman.

Their first task was to build a school house and organise the teachers salaries.

In 1906 Miss Roberts replaced Jane Jennings, being a Supplementary teacher. She served the school for 43 years in the infant department retiring in 1949, but continued to help with the national Savings until 1958.

Miss Matthews

Miss Matthews with her class between 1910 and 1912.

Back row: ?, ?, ?, J. Piper, ?, Olive Sillifant, Jane Bryant, Will Bond, Mariah Petherick, ?, ?.

Third row: ?, ?, Jack Boundy, ?, ?, Maud Saunders, ?, ?, ?, ?, Mrs. Matthews.

Second row: ?, ?, ?, ?, Charlie Ham, ?, ?, ?, ?.

Front row: William Oke, ?, ?, ?, Elsie Butler, Tom Vanstone, Val Jennings, Florrie Martin, Emma Ham, ?, Florrie Ham.

Ada Matthews took charge of the infants from 1906 to 1912.

In 1909 the partition was built in the large room.

Miss Emily F. Chubb became a monitor in 1912, later a Pupil Teacher and then Uncertificated in 1918, eventually leaving to become headmistress at Bratton Clovelly in 1946, thus serving the school for 30 years.

In 1914, after six years of deliberation, the school shed, open sided and much smaller than requested by the managers, was built for pupils to eat their dinners there.

Frequent epidemics were common during 1918-20. Diphtheria, measles, whooping cough, influenza, chicken pox, pediculosis (lice) and mumps were evident and occasioned many prolonged school closures. Some children and Miss Louisa Pursey died of tuberculosis.

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