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Wickhamford School

“Wickhamford Elementary School”
A proposal in the 1910s

In the period 1913-1915 there was a proposal to open a school for Wickhamford children, as Badsey School was becoming overcrowded. In the event, nothing became of this suggestion, probably due to the intervention of the Great War.

Overcrowding at Badsey School

A return for the pupil numbers at Badsey Council School in 1913 showed that there were 297 children on the register. At this time there were approximately two hundred older children in the Mixed Department and one hundred in the Infant Department. Of these, forty-five came from Wickhamford and the remainder, apart from two from Bengeworth, came from Badsey and Aldington, The residents of Wickhamford were keen to have a school of their own, a suggestion which the Managers of Badsey School thought worthy of consideration in view of their overcrowding problem.

Wickhamford Elementary School proposal

The Local Education Authority held an Enquiry at Badsey School in December 1913 and a decision was made to build a school at Wickhamford. Nothing happened immediately but, in 1914, His Majesty’s Inspector, Mr Cartwright, brought the matter to the attention of the Board of Education. The Chief Education Officer for Worcestershire, Mr Priestly, was asked to submit a return to the Board of Education. This gave the Board cause for concern as it highlighted the severe overcrowding at Badsey School.

In March 1915, the LEA issued a Public Notice stating their intention to provide a new Public Elementary School in the parish of Wickhamford (see below). However, the war-time restrictions must have prevented the scheme from progressing any further. Four months later, the Director of Education visited Badsey to discuss the issue of accommodation but there was no mention of the Wickhamford School proposal. Also, because of the restrictions in place, no alterations could be made to Badsey School either. As a temporary measure, no children were promoted from the Infant Department at the end of the year.

The Badsey School Committee

The Badsey School committee members 1913-1915 period were Julius Sladden, Charles Binyon, Walter Blake and William Mustoe from Badsey, George Agg from Wickhamford and Wilson Henry Butler from Aldington.

At the committee meeting of 5th March 1915 those present were Messrs Blake, Mustoe, Agg and Butler. Regarding the proposal for a new school, a letter was read from the authority enclosing copy of Public Notice which had been issued by them under the provisions of Section 8(i) of the Education Act 1902, as to their intention to provide a new Public Elementary School for not more than 100 children in the Parish of Wickhamford. The Authority wanted to know what, if any, works or repair would be required.

The managers did not make any suggestion or recommendation. After this the proposal was dropped.

Where would the new school have been located ?

No information remains as to where Wickhamford School would have been built in the village. In all probibility it would have been located along Manor Road. At that time the most likely position would have been in the field between the nursery built by Hubert Richards in 1906/07 and then sold to William Pearce during the War – the area of the present Penelope Gardens – and the Sandys Arms. At that time the field there was called Sally Close.

What if…

If a decision had been taken by the LEA in March 1915 to build a school in Wickhamford it is probable that land purchase and building could have been completed ready for opening in September 1916.

By looking at the Badsey School registers for this period it is possible to construct a list of Wickhamford children who would have attended a school in the village. The following table lists those chilldren born between 1900 and 1912 who might have attended a school in Wickhamford. In addition there were about a ten children from Bowers Hill on the way to Willersey from Badsey, who could have made a shorter journey to a school in Manor Road via the bridal path from Francis Grave into Wickhamford.

The number of Wickhamford children attending Basdey School in 1913 was given as 45, but the list below comes to about 60. This must be considered as a potential maximum and the actual number would fall somewhere between these figures.

Surname

First names

Date of birth

Parent

AGG

Edith

27 Feb 1903

George Agg

AGG

Albert

29 Oct 1907

George Agg

BAKER

Evelyn

24 Oct 1911

Mrs Hartwell

BAYLISS

Frederick

27 Oct 1904

Frederick Bayliss

BAYLISS

Edward Leonard

21 Mar 1907

Frederick Bayliss

BENNETT

Ivy

27 May 1907

William Bennett

BENNETT

Lilian

10 Oct 1905

William Bennett

BROTHERTON

Beatrice Florence May

27 May 1909

George Brotherton

BUTCHER

Lilian

14 Sep 1909

E M Butcher

BUTCHER

Nancy

14 Sep 1909

E M Butcher

BUTCHER

Edward George

06 Dec 1911

L A Butcher

CARR

Elsie Elizabeth

08 Apr 1904

Charles E Carr

CHAMBERLAIN

Marjorie Annie

26 Oct 1900

Frank Chamberlain

COLLEY

Phyllis

03 Sep 1904

Jesse Colley

COX

Ruth Mary

21 Dec 1905

William Cox

COX

Ernest Harold

16 Aug 1904

William Cox

EDEN

Gladys May

19 Sep 1904

George Eden

GRIFFIN

Sidney

07 Dec 1905

Basil Griffin

HACKLETT

Edgar John

30 Oct 1906

Mrs W Hartwell

HAINES

Hilda Doris

05 Nov 1910

Norris Haines

HALFORD

Charles Samuel

12 Feb 1907

Charles Halford

HALFORD

Melva Rose

26 Oct 1909

Hilda Halford

HALFORD

Alfred John

27 Jan 1906

Charles (?) Halford (or Frederick ?)

HALFORD

Violet Phyllis

31 Oct 1911

Allen Ernest Halford

HARDIMAN

Doris May

19 Jul 1906

George Hardiman

HEMMING

Kathleen

12 Feb 1903

William Hemming

JAMES

Lilian Elsie Doris

12 Jan 1904

Not given in Register

JONES

Percival

02 Apr 1907

William Jones

JONES

Dorothy May

19 Jan 1911

William Jones

JONES

Phyllis

11 Jul 1904

Herbert George Jones

LAWLEY

Vera Winifred

30 Apr 1903

F Lawley

MALIN

Thomas

27 Apr 1903

John Malin

MASON

Frederick Charles

05 May 1910

Charles Mason

MOISEY

Theodore George

15 Sep 1911

James Moisey

NEW

Hilda

04 Jul 1910

Walter New

NEWBURY

Jesse Harris Collett

26 Jul 1907

John Newbury

NEWITT

Elsie May

26 Sep 1903

Thomas Newitt

NEWITT

Algernon Edward

28 May 1902

Thomas Newitt

NEWMAN

Charles Frederick

04 Jun 1908

Frederick Newman

PETHARD

Nancie

08 Jul 1903

Edward Pethard

PITMAN

Sidney Samuel

27 Aug 1903

James Pitman

PITMAN

Reginald

24 Oct 1911

James Pitman

ROBBINS

Kate

22 Jun 1909

George Robbins

ROTHERHAM

Lilian

15 Feb 1906

Albert Rotherham

SMITH

Joseph Richard

13 Aug 1905

William Smith

SMITH

Lillie

06 Apr 1903

William Smith

SMITH

Dorothy

10 Sep 1910

William Smith

SMITH

William

13 Jun 1904

William Smith

STYLES

John Stephen

12 Sep 1910

Stephen Styles

SUTTON

George Lewis

13 Aug 1908

George Sutton

SUTTON

Annie Eliza

05 Aug 1906

George Sutton

TURNER

Gladys May

23 Sep 1911

Robert Turner

TURNER

Clara

08 Jun 1907

Robert Turner

TURNER

Edgar

30 Sep 1909

Robert Turner

WESTWOOD

Hilda

01 Nov 1902

John Westwood

WESTWOOD

Florence Margaret

31 Dec 1904

John Westwood

WILLIAMS

Gwendoline

2 July 1911

Louis Williams

 

Tom Locke December 2015