In August 1863, Mr John Smith, the Headmaster of Giggleswick National School, started a new log book. His entries, besides revealing his efforts to inculcate the Three R's into not always receptive children and struggles with his staff and visiting inspectors, also show other aspects of school life in a country village. Mr Smith's successor, Mr Stephen Parker, continued entering daily events: the following excerpts are from the first fifty years of their log book.
4.8.1863 Gave half holiday for flower show.
14. 9.1863 Fine day. Full School.
22.9.1863 Very thin school - rainy day.
23. 9.1863 Mr Clapham asked why his boy sat by himself at church and used vile and unbecoming language.
1. 3.1864 Thin school. Long Preston Fair.
10. 3.1864 Gave holiday. Infant Prince baptized. (This was HRH Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and elder brother of George V)
1. 6.1864 12 children from workhouse admitted.
19.9.1864 School noisy. Several punished.
30. 9.1864 Thin school. Potato getting.
1.11.1864 Holiday. Settle Fair.
16.11.1864 Mrs Geldard complained of the boys' behaviour in the street - said she would withdraw her subscription if they were not quieter.
26. 1.1865 50 boys, 27 girls - average for week.
5. 4.1865 Nothing particular to enter.
20.4.1865 Several absent - assisting at home for a week or two.
12.5.1865 J D Thistlethwaite left school to be a groom.
26. 5.1865 Thin school - many wanted at home - it being cleaning time, also a fair at Settle.
27. 9.1865 Scholars much improved in conduct on street.
8.12.1865 Work badly done. A whole class detained for dictation.
12. 2.1866 W Irving began full time at mill, aged 11 1/2 yrs.
12. 3.1866 Holiday. Giggleswick Fair.
13.8.1866 Thin school. Skipton Agricultural Show.
23.11.1866 H Jessop admitted. 10 yrs old, does not
know her letters.
18. 1.1867 Several big lads very late. Been sliding. 16. 5.1867 Half the school 1/4 hr. late, playing cricket.
22.5.1867 Some simple gymnastics set up in the yard
18.6.1868 More corporal punishment inflicted today than in the whole 1/2 yr - cause, absence yesterday.
3.8.1868 Thin school - several gone by trip to Morecambe. (This must have been a train excursion from the old Settle Station - now Giggleswick Station).
24.3.1870 Sent D Hayes home for this week and the next - for her mother coming brawling to school.
22.6.1870 2 boys J Metcalfe and F Moody fought after school hours last night. Caned every boy this morning who was present at the fight.
24.11.1870 3 Hartleys absent this week, fever in their house.
28.11.1870 The Revd G Style sent a note complaining of the boys annoying the Grammar Scholars. Gave half holiday - had a gathered finger.
25.1.1871 Gave half holiday - severe rheumatic affliction in the right hand. The Vicar and Inspector of Giggleswick National School received a petition from many parents requesting that the girls no longer attend a sewing and knitting class any longer than required by G'ment - they had to pay 1 shilling more per quarter than the boys. The girls still had to attend these classes when the rest of the school were given Vi holidays.
10.4.1871 Mrs Fell and Mrs Bradley, 2 farmers wives in the parish, met a committee of the Ladies at the sewing school April 1 lth (I forget whether they said it was by invitation or not) they were told that it was a private school and a charity school - not intended for children like theirs and told to keep their children away.
9. 6.1871 Workhouse children have to stay away again - there being smallpox in the house.
15. 3.1872 G A Quick left this school - got a situation as a clerk at Skipton Station.
5.11.1872 Sent Sutherland home on the 3rd for having matches and gunpowder and to remain until after the 5th.
22.6.1877 M E Bulcock left - gone for service.
11.11.1877 Thos Morphet going half time to Kings
Mill - age 8 yrs 1 month 14.12.1877 R Davis... run away at playtime.
21.12.1877 R Davis sent back for throwing stone at school door when he left the previous night. On leaving school made a face before the whole school.
10. 9.1878 Half holiday on Tuesday. A circus at Settle and left at 10.30 am on Wednesday.
15.11.1878 Thin attendance - rough, winterly weather.
7.3.1879 J Etherington punished for hiding school key.
9.5.1879 Grundy punished for having a catapult in school.
13. 6.1879 T Morphet punished for fighting in class and for kicking his teacher for sending him out.
28.11.1879 All first class boys punished for snowballing the Grammar Scholars.
13. 2.1880 Thin attendance. Measles in the village.
5.3.1880 Measles still prevalent.
26.3.1880 Still worse average owing to measles.
4. 2.1881 Thin school. Small pox very bad at the Workhouse. 10 children from the Workhouse absent.
13. 6.1881 Annie Brunskill left - hired out at 11 years of age - has not passed Standard 1.
20. 8.1884 Parker Josh 6 years 3 months admitted - a farmer's son - home nearly 3 miles from school - not been to any school.
2.12.1887 Average attendance still decreasing only 61 this week. School closed on morning of the 6th by the medical officer of health on account of measles. Only 46 present.
5.10.1888 Thin attendance - much sickness among the children. Walter Stirk aged 7 died of laryngitis.
12.10.1888 Thin school. Average fallen from 100 to 78 in two weeks, owing to panic among parents from there being four fatal cases of diphtheria among children in the village.
26.10.1888 Average only 69. Another pupil Joseph Parker died on the 23rd from diphtheria and Annie Young is in hospital.
16.11.1888 Two Heseltons left on account of so much sickness in the village. Gone to Settle School.
10. 1.1889 ... two more pupils Henry Bulcock and Ethel Bulcock died during the holidays from diphtheria.
12.4.1889 This is the 3rd death in the last 22 weeks of the school year, and the 5th in the last 32 weeks.
3.1.1890 George Jenkinson 10V4 yrs punished for putting ice down a boy's back in school and for spitting on Maud Brown's exercise book when she was writing dictation.
25. 4.1890 Jonathon Swallow punished for disobedience, afterwards he kicked the form and danced about.
4. 9.1891 First week with the change of fees of a uniform charge of one penny per week or 1 shilling per quarter. Average attendance 109 - highest for many years.
2.10.1891 Gave children a holiday to go a-nutting they asked last week for a holiday.
6.11.1891 School closed for 3 weeks measles having become epidemic in the village.
4.12.1891 School further closed for remainder of the year.
The handwriting in the logbook changes, for Mr Smith retired in July 1892 and Mr Stephen Parker became Head Master on August 8th, 1892.
25.8.1892 Holiday. Lammas Fair.
27.4.1896 Admitted 2 scholars today - aged 8 years respectively. One never attended school before and the other unable to read. Have placed them in the Infants Class for the present.
15. 6.1896 School closed from June 15 to June 22 on account of a bazaar held in it, to clear the debt incurred by the recent improvements.
24. 6.1896 Closed school on June 22nd for Jubilee on June 23rd only 18 scholars were present school therefore closed for the day.
18.10.1897 Attendance still unsatisfactory - the post of Attendance Officer appears to be a sinecure.
29. 1.1898 An Entertainment was given in the School by the children. The Performance realized £5.4s. after expenses had been paid and seemed to give general satisfaction. £5.4s. a very gratifying sum! (What would the equivalent be now? £1,000?).
4. 2.1898 Holiday an account of Choir Ball being held in School on Thursday evening.
7. 2.1898 School floor in very dirty condition owing to grease put on it by members of the Choir. Impossible to wash off.
9. 2.1898 Have written to the Head Master of the Grammar School complaining of his Assistants employing illegally several scholars of this school as caddies on the Golf Links.
5. 9.1898 Have sent Cyril Butler home until he brings his School Pence - father refuses to pay.
20. 1.1899 The excessive rains have caused the water to rise in the boiler house and put out the boiler fire.
27. 1.1899 Many children suffering from severe colds owing to school being insufficiently warm.
8. 9.1899 Visit. The discipline of the infants is not what it should be. E D Fear, Sub-inspector.
1.3.1900 Half holiday. Relief of Ladysmith.
24.10.1901 There are six cases of scarlet fever in this school in the hospital and many children are absent in consequence.
26.10.1901 Sent 2 boys to take out water in boiler house as no fire could be lit.
28.10.1901 Forty one children are staying off on account of the fever.
2.11.1901 Again ladle out water.
2. 6.1902 Holiday on account of declaration of peace.
19. 8.1902 Did not give the usual holiday for fair at Settle.
18.11.1902 Correspondent came in and asked children to stand up, although they had done so already.
26. 4.1904 Many children away from school owing to annual fair at Settle.
25. 6.1904 The children collected 18s. 2Vid in aid of Dr Barnado's Homes for destitute children.
13.10.1904 My youngest boy has an attack of scarlet fever. Mrs Parker is nursing him and I have gone into lodgings.
10.11.1904 Punished Florence Busby for taking ribbons off a younger child's head and for deliberately lying.
30. 1.1905 Punished five boys for playing football in front of my house on Sunday.
6. 3.1905 Enquiry made re Bertha Rushton's absence - torn up by her mother.
6. 7.1905 Attendance unsatisfactory - probably due to haymaking.
4.11.1905 Boiler and pipes repaired.
13. 9.1906 Commenced afternoon school at 1 pm in order to allow children out earlier on account of a circus being in the village
17. 5.1907 I took out Standards IV-VII on the hills to summarize last year's work on Physiography of the District.
4.12.1913 Called attention of Caretaker to strong smell of tobacco in school before opening of morning session.
I should like to thank the present Head Teacher of Giggleswick Primary School, Mrs Anne Michelmore-Brown and the school governors for permission to use this random selection from the log book.
Enid Parker was a founder member of the NCHT, she has been a publican and then taught at Hellifield Primary School for 40 years. She has been a resident of Settle for 27 years.
Some simple gymnastics set up in the yard.