Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Erica Taylor's



Chapter 1.  1730 - 1780  Anthony Bainton’s Tenure
Chapter 2.  1780 - 1830.  Years of Decline
Chapter 3.  1830 - 1860  The Early Years of Government Intervention
Chapter 4.  1860 - 1880  Payment by Results
Chapter 5.  1880 - 1900.  The Success of the School Boards.
Chapter 6.  1900 - The 1980s.  The 1980s Postscript

Dedicated, with love, to my husband, Harry Taylor





A very considerable debt of gratitude is due to many people who have shown interest and given encouragement but especially to those who have given access to information which is not normally available.  My particular thanks are extended to:  Mr John Taylor, Headteacher of Stanford Junior and Infants School, Laceby, at the time of research, for access to school Log Books; the Stanford Charity Trust for permission to use their papers; the archivists, who were at that time at Lincoln Castle; the librarians at Grimsby; the librarians at the British Library; the archivist Mr Barker, at SPCK Headquarters; Mrs Mary Mellars for use of her article in the Lincolnshire Life magazine; Mr Jack Jacomb for use of his essay on the Stanford Charity Trust; Mr and Mrs Pat Anderson; Mr and Mrs Dennis Read; Mrs Violet Bowen; Mrs Elaine Allsop; Miss Elizabeth Dalby; the Welholme Galleries, Grimsby; Mrs Valerie Brumfield; Mr and Mrs Sidney Hargitt; Miss Jean Pawson.


Illustrations (to be included soon!)

  College Farm
  School House
  Map of Laceby and villages benefiting from the Trust 1776
  Cropper Estate Sale map 1841
  George Smith, Miss Bodkin and staff, 1893
  WD Field, Laceby Squire, 1893
  Edwin Smith and Class IV  1904
  Tithe Map


The development from private benevolence to state control is traced through 250 years with particular attention being paid to the period recorded in the first Log Book dated 1863 - 1911 because dual control was the fulcrum of change.  There is a shift from complete dependence upon a charitable trust to the beginnings of reliance upon a State system, during those years, which was completed in 1951.

The changes are identified as educational, organisational, financial, social and political and are followed through five chronologically ordered episodes:

Chapter 1:  1730 - 1780  Anthony Bainton’s Tenure
Chapter 2:  1780 - 1830.  The Years of Decline
Chapter 3:  1830 - 1860  The Early Years of Government Intervention
Chapter 4:  1860 - 1880  Payment by Results
Chapter 5:  1880 - 1900.  The Success of the School Boards.

The remaining 80 years’ history which confirm the assumption of almost complete State responsibility for the school, takes the form of a concluding postscript.  The school is now a voluntary controlled state school under the aegis of the Church of England.

Documentary evidence includes wills, legal papers concerning ownership of land, Trust Minutes and Accounts, indentures and letters, all in the County Archives, Lincoln; registers in St Margaret’s Church, Laceby, and School Log Books.  Reference has also been made to Parliamentary and SPCK papers.  The work of the Charity Commissioners, since its inception, has proved to be invaluable in updating the wording of the Trust’s responsibilities to serve the changing needs of Laceby.  Stanford’s School was seen to be typical of a somewhat rare, land endowed, 5-14 years school in 1720, but it is atypical of modern primary schools, because of its history and traditions.

It is suggested that modern school buildings, alongside the Stanford Community Centre built by the Trust, maintained and run by the County Council, could be the basis for a community school, on the Leicestershire model, using Trust funds to supplement existing salaries and running costs.  This could be one way of continuing Sarah Stanford’s educational initiative to benefit the whole community.

Chapter One

1730 - 1780

Anthony Bainton’s Tenure

Laceby, a village in North East Lincolnshire, straddles the Caistor to Grimsby Road at its crossing point with the Barton Street.  Those villagers who believe in ley lines, point to a line running from Caborne to Pyewipe on the Humber bank, crossed at Laceby by a line running from Ulceby through several settlements to Covenham St Mary and parallel with the coast.  This would give the meaning of Laceby as ‘settlement at the crossing point’.  This village nestles at the foot of the first rise to the Lincolnshire Wolds close to the Welbeck Springs and its Anglo-Saxon village site.

Something of the importance of Laceby can be seen in the Church Warden’s book.  In an entry dated: Ano Dni 1612 Maii XXXI

“Constables William Greene
William Burton
Received Due to the towne by the said constables
XIIs Vd.”

Laceby was regarded as a ‘towne’.  It is therefore, fitting to find that Whitgift, later an Archbishop of Canterbury, had been Rector of Laceby during Queen Elizabeth’s reign.  Laceby was important enough to be a step on the way.  Today, however, Laceby is regarded as a dormitory village for the Humber bank.

Part of the history of Laceby is a Charitable Trust, instituted by Sarah Stanford, to fund a school in 1720.  The first recorded school master for the Stanford Charity School took his oath in Lincoln in 1730.  The first entry in the Trust Accountant’s book is dated 1727 and in 1728 the account showed £32 19s 5d.  The expenses could have been those connected with building a school house.   In 1951, a reporter from the Grimsby Evening Telegraph interviewed the head teacher, Richard Rowson,.  In the subsequent article Rowson is quoted as saying that the “Stanford Charity School was built in 1725” but the Accounts book recorded 1730 as the date when Anthony Bainton was Schoolmaster and Francis Plumpton was the dame.

The original endowment was tied to lands in Laceby left by Philip Stanford in his will, dated 1712.  Stanford had inherited land in several parts of Lincolnshire, when his father died in 1697 and he and Sarah had come to live in the farm in Cooper Lane.  All their children had died in their infancy at Bradley, so they started a new life in Laceby.  They had no further children, so, on his death, Stanford left the Laceby lands to:

“As many widows or other charitable uses as my wife shall nominate appoint or think fit to give the said Laceby lands unto”.

Stanford’s wife Sarah, nee Fountain, was the step-daughter of Sir John Nelthorpe’s nephew.  The Grammar School, Brigg, was founded by Sir John Nelthorpe in 1669.
The enthusiasm which inspired such an endowment must have been infectious, causing Sarah to consider founding a school herself.  Perhaps she wanted to give the children of Laceby the opportunities she would have liked to have given her own children.

The Trustees were headed by Sir Lawrence Carter, a Leicestershire MP, described in 1727 as one of the Barons of the Exchequer.  His interest in the Trust was based on his belief that he “was shortly to become a freeholder in Laceby”.  It is not known whether he hoped to marry Sarah or inherit land through her will or buy land in Laceby, but she certainly regarded him very highly and he was the driving force, it would seem.  Sarah’s will is very fragile and the ink is faded but her signature is bold and sturdy and, on the fold of the parchment the words “a school” are very clear.  Lawrence Carter made sure that this endowment had a solid and lasting foundation.  The following entry in the Accounts Book, was dated 5 May 1740:

“The Trustees of Laceby Charity being at Meet at Widow Nicholson’s house in Laceby, snow fell for some hours to that it lay very thick upon the ground.”

The Trust used to meet in a dwelling house in the village and discuss the year’s events.  This must have been a long, important meeting for it to be especially recorded in the Accounts Book.  No doubt the first two decades of the Trust provided a great deal of business and evaluation for the Trustees.

In the Accounts book there are two lists dated 1737 and 1738 in which children’s names have been written with their books next to their names.  In 1736, John Anderson was noted because he had both a Bible and a Spelling Book.  In 1737, however, 16 children were listed as having a Primer, Psalter or testament to use in lessons with the Dame.  Ten children were under the Master and four of them were using their Bibles.  One child had “to write” noted.  Thomas Taylor had a Bible in 1739.  Jane Marshall was using a Testament in 1737, but in 1738 she was listed as using a Bible.  One boy had a Spelling book.  This could have been a horn book.  In 1738, three slates were listed in the Accounts so this indicated that the number of children writing had risen at least to four during the year.  There is a pencilled note dated 5 May 1740, which reads:

“Thomas Markham son of John Markham of Barnoldby is to have 3 guineas allowance towards the putting of him an apprentice to a shoemaker in Hull, who is a free man”.

This is the first mention of apprenticeship.  No indenture has survived but there are six further indentures which were clearly regarded as a great achievement by Anthony Bainton and the Trust.  They are beautifully written and carefully preserved.  A particularly attractive indenture was produced in 1751 for the apprenticeship of Thomas Burman.  He was the son of the late Thomas Burman of Laceby and he was apprenticed to Thomas Jolland of Caistor, who was a tailor.

The Trust decided in the case of Richard Wellson to include everything except stockings and shirts.  Perhaps their first apprentice had used too many shirts and stockings.  Perhaps, as one of the signatories was called Mary Weatherhog, sympathy was extended to the butcher’s widow.  This indenture stated very firmly that apprenticeship was not something to be undertaken lightly because the rules were very strict and also because Thomas was to be initiated into the “Trade, Art or Mistery of a Tayler”.  This shows how carefully the craft, and its methods were guarded and regarded.  The fact that £6 was paid in 1751 and another £2 was paid the following year, must be seen in the light of the money being paid to Anthony Bainton.  Initially, in 1730, he was paid £12 per annum and later this was raised to £18.  Francis Plumpton was paid £4 per annum throughout.  The sixth recorded apprenticeship went to T Beecham at Irby in 1780.  There were no further apprenticeships for more than half a century.

Reference was made in the Accounts to a payment of £2 to the English School.  Older children, whose parents did not want them to go to Caistor Grammar School, could have secondary education in English in the village at this time.  There must have been pupils who obtained or loaned free books from the Stanford Charity, for there is this very firm entry dated 1768:

“It is agreed that no books shall be given to any but such as shall come to be taught at one of the Free Schools in Laceby”.

The Accounts Book has a list of pupils for this year showing who has which book.  Thirty years before only four pupils were using a Bible, but in 1768 there were 14 pupils with Bible against their names and there were three spelling books mentioned.  The rise over the years of the number of children with books does indicate that children were attending more regularly.  In 1747, 22 children were recorded as having books.  In 1757, there were 25 and in 1767 there were 33 children.  Also in that year, two children had writing paper bought for them.  Mary Forster and William Robinson must have been star pupils.

During the next decade, further apprentices were referred to in 1771 for whom no indentures have survived and a butchers shop was opened next to College Farm on the High Street in 1778 on Trust land so increasing the yield.  The impression from the lack of comment is steady, satisfactory progress in the school.  The members of the Trust could congratulate themselves that the original intentions of Sarah Stanford, guided by Lawrence Carter, were being carried out faithfully.

The Stanford Charity School had become well-established by 1780.  The Accounts book showed a steady increase in the numbers of children since 1730 and there was a healthy accumulation of income.  The turning point for the better came in 1759.  The expenses for that year were £31 13s 3d leaving the greater balance to the Trust of £33 13s 6d and this pattern was maintained for the 20 years.

The steady rise in the numbers of children reading their Bibles must have continued up to 1780, for it was only the death of Bainton which caused the Trust to look for another Master.  For 50 years Bainton and his family had lived in Laceby.  The Laceby Register in St Margaret’s Church holds the record of all his children’s baptisms and two of their deaths, the death of his wife and finally, on 7th July 1780, the record of his own death.  He left behind him an apparently successful school with good standards for its day.  Rev Gray was appointed to a good school, on a sound financial footing, in a pleasant, prosperous village.

Chapter Two

1780 - 1830

Years of Decline

By 1790-99 illiteracy in men had dropped to 15%, but 78% of women were still illiterate according to the Laceby Marriage Registers.  The best men available were hired, it would seem, on Statute Days.  Young also noted the rotation of crops and fine livestock.  Laceby itself escaped the rigours of the enclosures because it was an enclosed village.  This might help to explain the settled social habits right into the twentieth century.  Industrialisation did not affect Laceby at first hand, but the Trust Accounts indicated that events far away were influencing matters.

Rev. Gray had been appointed in 1780 to a respected position, in a successful school and before long boarders were mentioned living in the school house.  In 1794 a balcony was built in the schoolroom which extended from the east end of the school house.  An access door from this balcony allowed the Master to come into school from his bedroom.  There was also an access at ground level (still in use by the resident headmaster in the late 1960s).  It is strange to realise how innovative a balcony was in those days, since their decline and disuse now.

The pull of the French Revolution and subsequent war, can be seen in the fall in the value of money.  During the years 1780 - 1800 + a good deal of money was spent on the building apart from the balcony.  Detailed accounts of expenses were kept, showing, for example, the boring of a well in 1797:

8.5 yards   at 7/6
Boring 3/-            Total  £   3   6s 9d
The bricks and pump cost, in 1798,     £ 15 11s 9d
          Combined total  £ 18 18s 6d

This item can be contrasted with an entry:

“1769 Memo:  It was agreed that Mr Cooke the present tenant shall be allowed for the Pump whenever he leaves the farm.”

In other words, that pump did not cost the Trust anything initially, under the previous Master.  This would have been the kind of contrast in management noted later by Sir Henry Nelthorpe when he became Trustee.

Under the Rev. Gray there are several repair bills:

          £  s  d
1780  Glazier’s bill      17  3
1781 Blacksmith’s work    1    8  7
  Repairs      69  11  1
1787 Repairs        9    9  0
  Iron work       1    4  2
1788 Repairs      10  10  0
  Repairs        4     4  0
Total         97    4  1

Something must have been said, because repairs in 1790 were £1 0s d and £4 14s 7d only, and this latter amount also included the cost of cleaning chimneys and buying pens and paper.  The 1790 account also mentions taxes, which were all influences from afar:

          £  s  d
Land tax          7    4    0
Outrent          15  10
Tax to King          5    8
Another tax            5    0
Window tax       1   10  11
Total         10    1    5

This was at a time when the rent from the farm was £50 per annum and the Rev. Gray’s salary was £12 per annum.  The Dame was still receiving £4 per annum.

Sir Henry Nelthorpe was listed amongst the reorganised Trustees in 1801 because of his landholdings in Bradley.  The population of Laceby was then 368.  He immediately made his presence felt.  In the years since 1780 the financial position had totally changed.  Large amounts of money had been spent on the buildings and extra taxes
This was the year after the new room with its balcony was built, with a door for boarders entering from the house and a west door for day pupils. The Rev. Grey resigned in 1802.  The Trust, under the new chairmanship of Nelthorpe, advertised on 16 July 1802 for a new Master, stipulating that they did not want a candidate in Holy Orders.  This must have been a very unusual step to take.  A Robert Forster of Lincoln was appointed.  The decline of money was noted by Nelthorpe in 1803, when there was a deficit of 6s 6d on school accounts.  Just one item, Window Tax, can be taken as an illustration:  in 1790, the tax was £1 10s 11d, but in 1803 it was £4 15s 0d and there had been only one additional room in that time.  His action was drastic. The tenant was dismissed, the land revalued and a new tenant was taken in 1804 at a new rent of £65 per annum but there was no indication of improvement in the teaching staff’s lot.  Faith Appleyard, the Dame, was still being paid £4 per annum.

In 1812, the balance shown in the Accounts book was £267 1s 3d.  Obviously, under this chairman, only the minimum amount of money was spent.

Interest in the Stanford Trust declined during this decade.  The balance at hand for 1817 was £84 10s 0d though by 1818 this had risen to £151 19s 5d.  Trustees who died were difficult to replace so William Brookes, a farmer in Laceby, began to take control.  He appointed William Bruster as Master in 1821. Just prior to this, there had been a discussion about the salary paid to the Dame.  Faith Appleyard was paid £4 per annum as was Mrs. Anderson after her - until she resigned over this issue in 1819.  Mary Robinson agreed to take the post if the salary was raised to £6.  The Trust minutes of the time read:

“It was particularly urged and stated  to her that she was not elected Schoolmistress under the Trust but was merely hired as a servant for the year”.

Mrs. Anderson offered to return now that the salary had been raised so both women now worked at the school.  Mrs. Anderson finally resigned the next year, so Mary Robinson stayed on as schoolmistress making a team with William Bruster until 1842.  During that time her salary rose to £10 per annum in 1837, including coal as before.  Bruster’s terms were much more generous: £30 per annum plus a house and garden free of rent, taxes or surcharges and coal.  Also written in the Accounts:

“A close containing 8 acres in Lopham Lane subject to tithes, Taxes, charges and repairs, Bond to the Trustees of penalty of £200 for discharging the duties of schoolmaster and managing the land”.

This was all settled amicably in Laceby Square at various visits to the Waterloo Inn.  The Dame’s salary had risen by one half since 1730 and the Master’s salary was two and a half times larger.  This new start was made possible, in part,  by the sizeable balance achieved by Sir Henry Nelthorpe. The decline in interest in the trust had been highlighted by the departure of John Carrit, a Trustee, in 1820 for a new life in Canada and the United States of America.  No wonder Brookes had felt that a new teaching  team was needed to infuse some vitality into the cause.

In 1829, the Charity Commissioners challenged Bruster’s exemption from taxes in connection with his house and land.  Brookes, who had appointed him, upheld the terms of his appointment and supported his position.  The minutes recorded that the Commissioners agreed that the Schoolmaster may be chosen or dismissed by the Trustees.  Also that he should  :

“Teach the children of poor inhabitants of Laceby, Bradley and Barnoldby.  Boys and girls should be sent to read, write and cast accounts gratis”.

The Dame still had to keep her pupils: :

“In her own dwelling house, the boys until they could read from the Psalter and the girls until they were capable to write and cast accounts”.

Bruster kept his salary, house, garden and land intact, with the tax exemptions as agreed, but the dame still had to provide her own building for her school.  In fact, housing pupils was one of the major difficulties which faced Wilberforce, Lord Brougham and everyone else who was concerned in any way with education.  Fortunately the Stanford Charity had been wealthy enough to build a “substantial school house and schoolroom”.

The contrasts in salary and conditions of service in schools  across the country, were  very marked, just as at Laceby.  For instance, by 1818 St. Peter at Arches in Lincoln was described as a National School with 256 boys and 167 girls.  The Master was paid £60 per annum and the Mistress £40.  St. Michael’s, Stamford, paid their Mistress £50 per annum, whilst Mrs Anderson, at this time was being paid the original £4 per annum.  Obviously, Dr. Bell and Mrs Trimmer who organised the National Schools made sure that their teacher training was valued highly for its “beautiful and efficient simplicity”.  The most impressive evidence given at Lord Brougham’s Parliamentary enquiry in 1818, was that of Robert Owen on his work at New Lanark.  The salaries again contrast vividly with those at Laceby:

“One rector or superior master at £250 per annum and ten assistants, males and females, at £30 each”.

In Laceby there had been no apprenticeships since the time of Anthony Bainton, but the winds of reform were blowing far away in Parliament, where Wellington was getting older and the public were forgetting his exploits
Elizabeth Longford has pointed out that in 1830 there was a horrific winter which was combined with the effects of :

“Enclosures, the results of war, shocking harvests and no work for an exploding population and during which fat stock prices fell alarmingly, agricultural workers were breaking machinery and manufactured goods were undervalued”.

The stage was set for a major change in the life of the nation.


Chapter Three

1830 - 1860

The Early Years of Government Intervention

By 1831, things had come to a pretty pass in Laceby.  A Mr Nicholson proposed putting a boy belonging to the Charity apprentice with a cabinet maker in Grimsby for the sum of £24, but he could not do so because the number of Trustees had fallen below the number needed for legal signatures.  The last remaining Trustee passed on his responsibility in his will.  The Rev. Charles Wray Haddesley died in 1832 and passed his responsibility to his nephew, Charles Robert Haddesley of Caistor.  The Charity Commissioners had to revive the Trust.

The order was made on 5 August 1834 in the Court of Chancery.  Again, Bruster survived.  In fact he was better off than before.  The conditions that had been confirmed in 1829 were written into the new order.  Item 6 on the Charity list now read:  “ Two closes of pasture land called Lophams’ containing 12 acres 2 roods 22 perches” ( This field is even now known as Bruster’s after this headmaster.) This land with the house, garden and schoolrooms were to cost him £12 p.a. to cover such things as tithes. (Trust Paper No. 84)  Later that year, a special order was made which excused him from paying the £12, so underlining the influence of William Brookes, who had appointed him.  Bruster’s salary was increased to £50 p.a. plus two cauldrons of coal, and that of the Dame to £8 p.a. plus coal as before.  The Report of 1839 stated:

“Both master and mistress are allowed by the Trustees to receive for their own profit children from the neighbouring parishes as can afford to pay for their own education”, as well as the charity children.

As has been noted, the Dame’s salary rose to £10 p.a. in 1837.  Any residue of Trust money had to be accumulated to form a Trust fund from then on.  This was to cover all possible expenditure in the future over and above the charitable outlay established by Sarah Stanford, which was continued.  At this time, £123 12s 0d was considered to be, according to the note in the Accounts book dated 1832, “a fair rent for the farm”.  Again, apprenticing some of the children was seen to be of great importance and the sum of £10 was to be set aside for this purpose annually.

In 1836, Thompson Amor the son of Thomas Amor of  Laceby, a carter, was apprenticed to Thomas Amor of Horsington, who was a tailor.  It is interesting to note that he, in his turn, took a Stanford boy to be his apprentice in 1875, but there are no surviving indentures written during those 40 years.  The amount of money allowed to the Trustees for an annual dinner was reduced from 20 shillings to five shillings but this ruling appears to have been ignored at times. The lawyers included  in the terms of the Trust, that any lawsuits could be paid out of the income from the land so the Commissioners had to be vigilant on several counts.

The population which had been 368 at the turn of the century, had risen by 1831 to 616 and continued to rise.  One event, in 1841, encouraged this growth in population.  Robert Cropper decided to sell his mansion and land bordering the school.  A map showing the various lots was distributed and, after the sale, dwelling houses were built along the High Street on the same side as the Stanford School and to the west.  As a result, by 1851 the population had risen to 1001.  In 1840 WD Field had built a fine house to the east of the Church.  He came to be known as Squire Field and took a great interest in the Stanford School, along with George Brookes.

During Bruster’s time, the curriculum would have been reading, spelling, arithmetic up to casting accounts, memorisation of scripture and needlework for the girls in the afternoon.

In 1849, a new Vicar, William Hilton Hutchinson, was appointed and he worked for the National School raising subscription to defray costs.  It is possible that he may have passed remarks about the schools, because in 1856 he filled in a questionnaire for the Bishop of Lincoln.

This report throws a great deal of light on life in Laceby at the time.  Both Anglican and Methodist Churches had Sunday Schools.  The National School and the Stanford Charity School were both recognised as Anglican and, as such, were recommended to receive the Diocesan Inspector.  the numbers of children were crucial:  between 70 and 100 for the National School and between 20 and 30 for the Endowed School.  Bruster was earning £60 per annum whereas the National Schoolmaster, George Smith was earning £45 per annum.  The Dame School was not recognised as separate from the Endowed School or was just not recognised as a separate school by the Vicar.  It is interesting to note that the National School received the HMI, despite the 1840 Concordat, but not the Diocesan Inspector at the time.  The figures in the space for recording income do not seem to be accurate.  The Trustees were not co-operative in that respect but they did divulge that their Master had a rent-free house.

All in all, the unfavourable picture painted in this report was rectified shortly afterwards.  In 1858, Bruster was given the only Trust pension of £10 per annum and George Smith was appointed Master of the combined National and Stanford Charity School in 1859.  He used the Schoolhouse and rooms in 1859.  ( The National School site is now used by  the Parish Hall). It would seem that the Bishop of Lincoln had been putting his house in order before the work of the Newcastle Commission began to take effect.

In the Accounts for the Stanford Trust in 1859, Smith was given a £50 per annum salary and there were these items:

             £    s    d
Altering and repairing desks    4    2    9
Books, Desks, Seats etc.   10    0    0
Pen, Inks, Paper, Books, Slates 10    3  ..5
Total          24    6    2

Set beside this was a grant from the Committee of Council for £2 11s 0d.  Smith had taken the first steps towards modernising his school and bringing to bear all the advantages which his training could bring.  The people of Laceby were beginning to see what a difference a certified teacher could make.  In 1859, he also asked for £31 9s 3d to be spent on building offices.  (One wonders what happened prior to this for 130 years).  One of the last items in the Accounts book for Bruster’s era was for 1856.  The Charity Trust annual Dinner cost £3 5s 0d which contrasted sharply with the Dame’s half yearly salary of £5 and the 1834 ruling that five shillings be spent.

During the years 1830 to 1860, there were many developments nationally concerning education, which did not appear to touch the Stanford School until the time of George Smith.  This time lag could have been to do with the geographical remoteness of Laceby and the fact that as the Stanford School was already functioning.  It was left to do so because there were much more pressing needs elsewhere and, after the 1834 revival of the Trust, the business side had been brought up to date and was therefore left to function properly.  However, decisions taken in Westminster were important and did eventually take effect.


Chapter 4

1860 - 1880

Payment by Results

There was strenuous opposition to the revised Code of 1862 and it only came into use on 1 August 1863.  Lowe promised:  “If it is not cheap, it shall be efficient;  if it is not efficient, it shall be cheap.”

Money no longer went directly to the teachers but to the managers.

The Accounts book showed that Smith had been learning quickly how to improve the grant since 1859 and how to elicit financial support in other ways too.  Receipts for 1861 included:

              £  s  d
Subscriptions from Rev Hutchinson  13    0    0
Government Stipends for Pupil Teachers   16    0
Government Gratuities for the Master’s
Pupil Training              6    8
Contributions by George Brookes     1  10    0
Government Capitation Grant *      5  12    0
6 Months Farm Rent       70    0    0

*  The Government Capitation Grant had doubled since 1859.

The expenses are interesting to note also:

Pens 8/6  Ink 4/10  Chalk 3d
Brushes 3/3  Candles 2/9  Dusters 6d
Poor Rates 2 x 13/4
Highway Rate 16/-
6 Months Land Tax £3 15s 6d
6 Months House Tax 7/10
Mr Smith 6 Months Salary £25
Mrs Kirman 6 Months Salary £10
plus the charities.

No mention yet of such items as pencils or slate pencils, exercise books, rulers, or crayons.  But, the establishment of standards by Lowe must have caused a scramble for acceptable readers and spelling books, so gradually from 1863 onwards, the new Log Book shows evidence of the growth of educational suppliers only too willing to press their wares.  The Log Book also revealed the anxiety about keeping accurate registers.

Brookes came in regularly to sign the Log Book as having checked the registers, making sure they were correct in order to qualify under the new government grant regulations linked with attendance:

“4s was earned for each morning and afternoon session attended by each scholar and 2s 6d was earned for each evening session.”

By 1861 the population of Laceby had risen to 1,021 and Smith must have been attracting more pupils to the Charity School than ever before.  He saw to it that the money spent on prizes in 1861 was £3 2s.0d.  His training by the National Society had secured him in the monitorial methods and broadened his understanding of curriculum and education.  The zest with which he made his entries in the Log Book proved he obviously found his job interesting and enjoyable and this must have affected all who knew him.  The distinct impression that he was being constrained and put under pressure, however, began to emerge from the Log Book as a result of ‘payment by results’.  The accounts for 1862 included an expense of £72 12s 5d for new furniture and enlarging the Boy’s Schoolroom, so a new pride was developing as well.

George Brookes was the ‘corresponding’ manager and often brought his unmarried sister with him on his visits.  Miss Brookes took a delight in bringing rewards like medals, pictures, cards, buns and oranges and such items as red flannel petticoats for the poorer girls.  The Rev. E. H. Knight, appointed in 1862, and his family and close friends also made a point of ‘adopting’ the school as their special charitable interest.  All this care and attention was crowned by visitations from H.M.Is and Diocesan Inspectors, often at a few days’ notice.  It is not surprising, therefore, to find the Master recording his suffering from sick headaches on occasion.  The first recorded inspection took place on 13 March 1863, notice having been received on 13 March.  Rev Barry H.M.I. was escorted by Brookes, Rev. E.H. and Mrs Knight, Miss Haynes and Rev. W.T. Drake.  The report arrived on 23 April with no further comment.  The days in April were mainly taken up with examining the classes, particularly Mrs Kirman’s children prior to their being promoted.  Smith laid great stress on each child’s reading ability and made sure he tested every child himself.  If he was not satisfied, the child was not promoted to the next class.

After the H.M.I’s visit, the next day’s entry in the School Log Book included:
“John Hockney absent from School in consequence of failing his examination.”
  John was one of two very troublesome pupil teachers who played with children in class time and often arrived at school unprepared for their lessons.  This entry is on the first page and features his co-pupil:
 “John Mountain neglected his last night’s work and prevaricated to hide his fault”.  (dated 13 February 1863).  Gosden recorded a pupil’s view of school in 1860’s, which enables us to understand how Pupil Teachers could get out of hand:
“What a noise there used to be!  Several children would be reading aloud, teachers scolding, infants reciting, all waxing louder and louder, until the master rang the bell on his desk and the noise slid down to a lower note and less volume”.

Mr Hockney brought his son’s books back and put him to some other, less arduous task.  Mountain, Smith’s remaining pupil teacher, was often given extra work and even extra tuition on Saturdays.

The next visit by the H.M.I. was in November 1863.  The complete admission and number of attendances (438, credited to Sarah Smith, was the highest).  The grading, mainly A’s and B’s is shown very clearly in the 1865 schedule and also the variety in ages of the children in each standard.  The progress made by the pupils was now noted in the schedule as their previous standard was written in and also the variety in ages of the children in each standard..  The variation in attendance was striking.  Rebecca Petch, at 437, is contrasted with William Farrar, at 215.  Only 50 pupils were presented in October 1865 to the H.M.I.  Mountain did not complete his five years.  Both of these boys must have been a great disappointment to Smith, because he appears to have put in a great deal of effort.  An intriguing entry for 12 April 1864 reads:  “Lost a boy who assisted in teaching, he having gone to tent birds” - This may have been something to do with game keeping; - and on 26 May of the same year:  “Reproved a monitor for striking a boy”.  So much apparently revolved around the reliability of the monitors that these two events were deemed sufficiently important to record.

The report of 1865 was interesting in that Smith recorded that the H.M.I. asked for the Log Book and report to be given back to him.  He altered the numbers after Smith’s name and certificate from 3/3 to 2/3 which represented an upgrading from 3rd Class to 2nd class.  Also, Elizabeth Kirman was written in and referred to as the Infants Mistress: a very big step forward for her.  Prior to this, in 1864, the Accounts show an “Honorarium for Mr Smith of £10”.  It is possible that Brookes had given a good verbal report to the H.M.I. and Smith must have chosen 50 good pupils to be examined.  The H.M.I. must have felt upgrading was deserved.  The pupils numbered 132 children and there were two staff and Mrs Smith.  In fact, as this entry showed, she was a very good wife to have on the occasions when Mrs Kirman was ill:  “Mrs Smith began to take Mrs Kirman’s school the whole day”, (dated 1 November 1866).  Shortly after this, Mrs Kirman resigned on health grounds and Mrs Crompton was engaged bringing “her 20 scholars with her”.  so then there were 152 pupils and still only two staff, and Mrs Smith dropped by for sewing sessions when needed.  The majority of entries in those days were reasons for falls in attendance:  snow; typhus; small pox; diphtheria; measles; scarlet fever; mumps; thinning turnips; picking potatoes; brambling; and harvesting.  If a Church choir outing or Sunday School treat occurred, he was realistic and closed the school.  Similarly, Statute Days, Furmety and Sheep Shearing Feasts, Flower Shows, Methodist Rallies, a circus and a menagerie all affected attendance and were recorded.  This entry, for instance, is very revealing:

“Received a lot of circulars for a Panorama at Grimsby tomorrow; therefore let them leave early on 23rd”.  (dated 22 February 1864).

Smith was both teacher and educator.

The Methodist Sunday School mentioned in the Bishop’s Return for 1857 had, by 1863, become a day school.  Thus the entry for 25 January 1864:

“Two or three children went to the Methodist School; they having reduced their fees to 1d per week.”

This indicated that there were a number of families who could not afford the 2d per week charged by the Stanford School.  Also, disaffected pupils or parents could affect dissent as is shown by these entries from 1865:

“January 9th.  Sent Elizabeth Grant home for not bringing her school money .... January 16th.  Girl sent home for her school money last week went to the Methodist School (and took another girl with her).”

Nevertheless, competition between the two Masters for pupils did not prevent their sharing books and equipment, on occasion.

Both G. Brookes and Rev Knight gave Smith support in many ways.  Brookes regularly brought in books like these:  copy books; seven dozen Nos 1-4 Standard Arithmetic; ‘First Spelling Lessons’; two dozen ‘First Reading Books’ (in which the older boys wrote ‘Stanford’s Charity School’ as a writing lesson); plus ink wells and tables books.  Not only that, but he often used to take a class for spelling.  Rev Knight taught scripture and geography and sent his choir master to take singing lessons occasionally.  In return, the Church Choir met for practice in the school room from time to time.  On 16 January, Rev Knight also offered to pay the school money of his choir boys.  In 1864, he brought his house guests to hear the children and left 2 shillings for the Mistress to spend on oranges and sweetmeats.

Some delightful glimpses of Smith are given in this first decade of his tenure.  He gave a lesson about the Gunpowder Plot on 10 November 1864, and he recorded punishing boys for letting off gunpowder on 16 November.  On 12 May of the same year he “had a man showing the children the wonders of the microscope” and, on 22 June, “Coventry weaver explained to a few of the children the manufacture of silk, showing also a model of a silk loom.”

The day after keeping the children in from play for bad behaviour, he wrote:  “A little fun and disorder in school arising from a mouse which however was caught” (dated 15 May 1867).  On 10 June 1868 there were:  “A pair of swallows (which) have built their nest in school and are flying in and out all day.”

Shortly afterwards he brought a live owl in for an object lesson.  In 1868, on 2 September he wrote:  “A tipsy man came to the school for his son - directed him to the Wesleyan School.”  The master there would have appreciated the irony.  In 1869, Smith recorded that the Wesleyan schoolmaster lent him his copy of the ‘Government Blue Book’.  They were both very keen to see what W.E. Forster was doing and trying to assess the impact on Laceby of any future legislation.

Smith does not appear to have specially ‘crammed’ for the Inspector’s visit.  He seems to have believed in regular hard work reaping its just reward.  He kept his lessons alive and varied his approach using new methods and ideas.  He also used his own creative ideas, for example, giving the hard words of a dictation to his pupils for them to learn overnight.

George Smith studied science.  He recorded in the Log Book that he went to Grimsby on 5 May 1873 to take an examination in science.  This was the year of the Agricultural Children’s Act which attempted to restrict the employment of children on the land.  (Sandon underlined the 10 year limit in 1876 but rural areas were slow to comply).

Lawson and Silver recalled an attendance officer in Lincolnshire who wrote in 1887, “that it was useless his taking out summonses because the Magistrates would not convict”.  Smith was, nevertheless, preparing for the influx of children and new opportunities.  He could now add science to his qualifications.  He was always on the alert for new ideas.  In 1870 the Accounts record books on grammar, tonic solfa and drill - all  in line with the most up to date thinking - In 1876 there was an Honorarium again for Smith.  This time for £15.  Clearly, Laceby was not a place to trouble the local School Board during the decade up to 1880, when they concentrated on filling the educational gaps.  This did have an effect on Smith, as the entry for 12 February, “Lost several scholars through the opening of Riby School”, showed the filling of one local gap, and 15 children were lost at one go.  He must have been consoled, however, by the fact that Eliza his eldest daughter was engaged by G. Brookes as a pupil teacher on 23 February.  This was referred to as a ‘monitor’s’ position after the Trust’s meeting on 21 May.  She was needed because Mrs Crampton had died and her daughter was working single-handed.

After the 1876 Act, in which School Attendance Committees were established by Sandon in order to appoint Attendance Officers, Smith recorded the appointment from Caistor Union of Mr. J. Cotton Jepson, Pelham Cottage, Grimsby.  He was sent information about attendance offenders the very next day.  Attendance was still very important so on 2 October, Smith recorded that “Louise and Charles Jones have attended 451 times - every time the school has been open”.  Jepson caused a great flurry on 20 February 1878, by asking for birth certificates.  Smith had to apply to Hull, Moortown, Scawby and Caistor.  In June, the Sanitary Inspector arrived from Caistor, for the first time, as well, so decisions taken in Westminster were becoming even more apparent in the villages.

During this decade there were many more references too, to educational suppliers.  Forster’s Act had given a great boost to this industry.


Chapter 5

1880 - 1900

The Success of the School Boards

In 1871, the Elementary Code had widened the specific subjects that could be taught in Standards IV, V and VI to include natural sciences, political economy and languages.  The infants had to be put in another room if these sorts of subjects were even to be dreamed about and Froebelian ideas about movement and exercise were reflected in: “2 hours drill for 20 weeks of the year”!  In 1875, the Code was expanded from the 3Rs to include ‘class’ subjects for which there was an overall pass.  Each school chose two subjects from grammar, geography, history and needlework, and these two subjects were taken throughout the school from Standard 1.  English literature was included in the Stanford list in 1876 and cookery in 1877.  Smith, innovative as ever, wrote to the Inspector and asked if he could combine reading and geography by using Nelson’s Royal Readers in May 1881 and on 24 May there is this entry:

“Received notice that H. M. Inspector approved for one year my scheme for teaching geography through reading lessons.”

Such originality would make him a marked man.  Smith received word, on 4 November 1881, that his eldest daughter, Eliza, who had been to Leeds to sit for a Queens Scholarship had passed Third Class.  From then on she was an Assistant Mistress at the school.  Her sister Emily continued as a pupil teacher.  In February of 1881 the Wesleyan School closed and about 40 pupils were transferred to the Stanford School.  The Log Book contains several references to children transferring to the Wesleyan School and back again.  No extra staff were taken on to teach the extra children who would have needed help with an unfamiliar syllabus.  The Diocesan Inspector, Rev. M. G. Watkins MA was prepared to make allowances in his report but the H.M.I. was not.  Watkins believed, in his report of 10 February 1881, that:

“It should be said ... that the whole school was suffering from an influx of children which had just come in from another school now closed and there had been no time to teach these newcomers the most elementary Scripture truths”.

Certainly, they would have had no notion of the catechism, Church Doctrine or the Prayer Book.  The H.M.I, R. W. Egerton Eastwick, called unexpectedly on 1 May after a Diocesan Report in February 1882 in which it was stated:  “The Infants Mistress has too many children under her care to make it possible that she can teach much.”  On 1 December, Smith’s entry reads:  “Miss Crampton’s last day as Infant Mistress”.  Smith, his wife and three daughters had worked with a will but the H.M.I. was very critical and removed some of the grant.  His report for 1882 includes “Grammar deserves no grant”.  Miss Crampton was replaced on 4 December 1882 by Miss Bodkin who immediately set a new tone.  (According to oral tradition, ‘formidable’ is not a strong enough word!)  She was Infants Mistress until 1920.  The Inspector’s report stated:

“As this Department is now separated from the Infant’s Department, separate Schedules should be used and it would be advisable for the Teacher of the latter to have sole charge of the First Standard.”  He also suggested the building of another room to house them.  S, on 22 January 1883, “All First Standard children went back into the Infant School”.

Smith had more than 25 years’ service now in Laceby and he must have been very much cast down by the criticisms of the H.M.I, but he soldiered on.  In the Accounts there are five Smiths mentioned for 1883 (half yearly):

            £  s  d
George Smith        25    0    0
Eliza Smith         15    0    0
Emily Smith           7    0    0
Minnie Smith          6    0    0
Isobel Smith (who had just
taken on cleaning         15    0

The H.M.I. certainly was very drastic in his measures.  Perhaps he was under pressure himself from the new 1882 Code of Mundella in which Standard VII was introduced, as well as elementary science and assessing the school as a whole.  Not only this, but the Samuelson Committee was sitting, deliberating technical subjects, such as drawing, and recommending object lessons.  All these aspects demanded greater expertise not only amongst teachers but also amongst Inspectors.

It would seem that Smith, as ever, coped admirably with the new drawing lessons.  Indeed, in 1888 his own certificate was upgraded to First Class.  His entry read: “1888 Jan 31st.  The Master received his certificate from Government - raised to First Class”.  Just a bald statement, but written very neatly.  The first drawing examination recorded was dated 9 November 1891 and at the end of December Smith wrote:  “Grant claimed on 52.5 boys at 1/-.... £2 13s 0d”, which seems rather odd.  Prior to this on 15 June W. D. Field had called and “talk about technical subjects” had been recorded.  In November 1892 the examiner “thought we had done very well”.  The following year a new name, that of “R. C. Long Esq. of the Oaklands”, was associated with the oversight of the examination.  In 1893, there is this entry from 20 July:

“First examination held in connection with the Lindsey Technical Scholarships:  Henry Crombie and Walter Allison competed.  The Rev. H. W. Knight being present a.m. and W. D. Field Esq. p.m.”

Since 1889, a 1d Rate had been allowed to finance technical education followed by the ‘Whiskey Money’ grants in 1890, which also extended technical and scientific education.  This is evidence that the Rate was being applied.  The enthusiasm is also seen in the 1892 Church Monthly Parochial News.  In January we read:

“A Parish Meeting was held in the Temperance Hall on Wednesday evening Dec. 16th when a Committee representing all classes and sexes was appointed to arrange for lectures in connection with Technical Education”.

The lectures were to be free.  In February, ‘Home Nursing’ was the theme and in March D Kerr spoke on ‘First Aid to the Wounded’.  The report in 1895 for drawing was “good”, but “there is a want of attention to the proportion”.  How the standard had been raised in four years.  49 boys earned 1/6 each this time.  By 1897, Hetty Pawson, a pupil teacher, earned a Second Class Freehand award of 10/- bringing the award to £4 6s 6d.  Smith must have been well satisfied.

The other idea of ‘object lessons’ suggested by Samuelson, had been amongst Smith’s tactics in his early years, so this was no innovation for him.  What was new was that he now had lists of topics in his Log Book and he had to ensure that his pupil teachers used the lists.

These then, plus a greater attention to map drawing, were the practical culmination of the Samuelson initiative in Laceby.

Smith firmly believed, showing by his example, that one continued growing all one’s life.  After his science examination and self-training in drawing, he turned his attention to night school teaching and again went in for public examinations.  The Rev Jacoby had started evening classes in the new Temperance Hall in November 1886.  Smith shared books and equipment because the adults were at the same standard as his older boys but as time went on the adults wanted harder material beyond the clergyman’s scope.  On 24 June 1897, Smith wrote:

“Received results of night school exam in connection with the Lindsey CC obtaining first and second prizes in Commercial Geography and third prize in Commercial Arithmetic.”

This is followed in April 1898, by: “Night School Examinations Comm. Geog. presented 5 in Elementary and 1 in Advanced”.
  Smith had encouraged Miss Richmond to start a Library by lending the schoolroom on 16 February 1871.  This had built upon the success of ‘Penny Readings’ started in January 1868, also in the schoolroom.  When copies of ‘the ‘Children’s Friend’ and ‘The Infants Magazine’ had arrived in April 1866, Smith had persuaded 13 pupils to subscribe, so perhaps this was the real beginning of parental interest through sharing their children’s reading material.  The Laceby Reading Club flourished well into the next century. - A worthy relative of W. E. A. and Literary and Philosophical Society movements.

Smith’s three daughters shared in all of these enthusiasms and it is no wonder that they passed examinations until they married.  The experience gained in teaching his own daughters helped him to lay good teaching foundations for other pupil teachers in an expanding school.  Numbers fluctuated around 190-200 pupils in the Junior School during the last decade of the century.  Instead of going to Leeds and spending a week away from home, pupil teachers now went to Eleanor Street in Grimsby.  This pupil teachers’ centre reflected two developments:  there was a welcome increase in the number of pupil teachers and much more money was available for their training because of the increased governmental interest.  This indicated the great increase in numbers.  No mention is made of any of his daughters or pupils going away to college.  The great opening up of educational opportunities in the 1870s was not for a teacher’s daughters, who had to earn their keep.  It was the next generation who were to benefit from the founding in 1871 of the National Union for Improvement of Education for Women.  All the women teachers, except Miss Bodkin, were featured during these years at the end of the century as ‘under instruction’.  Miss Bodkin benefited from Acland’s work in creating separate Infants Schools.  In this he was encouraging the Froebelian kindergarten concept with its ‘play way’ and emphasis upon growth.  All Smith’s assistants were young themselves, so the Inspector had written in his Report of 1889:  “The Master should keep a constant over sight of the work of the Junior teachers”, and this he did.  It is obvious that the Cross Enquiry was correct when it “wanted to dispense entirely with the employment of untrained teachers”, because pupils in the upper standards were beginning to progress beyond the foundation levels.  All the elements recommended by Cross can be referred to in the Log Book:  3Rs, needlework, linear drawing, singing (lists of songs are recorded), English literature (there are lists of poems), history, geography, object lessons, elementary science and technical instruction for the boys, and physical education.  Grants were forthcoming from the Science and Art Department to delight the hearts of Ruskin and his friends.

Something of the heights to which the older children attained can be found in the entry for Founder’s Day, 1889.  The children were invited to write down what they remembered of the sermon.  Rev Jacoby took Matthew 22 v 21 and offered three prizes.  Ada Haworth won first prize.  “This is very good as it shows the writer has some mental grasp upon the whole of the discourse”; second prize to Lizzy Pawson, “Very good.  You have remembered most of the principal parts of the Sermon”; third prize to Hettie Pawson; and, unexpectedly, a fourth prize to Annie Dawson.  Both Ada and Hettie became pupil teachers.  Against this, however, we can set the following comment from 27 June 1890:

“Standard IV should pay more attention to figure-making and not turn their papers upside down”.

In 1894 the HMI wrote in a much more favourable manner:

“At last there is a considerable improvement both in discipline and attainment”.

This favourable comment must have lifted a cloud from Smith.  On the opposite page there is an entry recording the “First School Concert to provide Master’s desk to complete new furniture for school:  crowded room - a great success”, (and then, in pencil, with a flourish: ‘£7 15s 3d’).  This was the first of several concerts using the abundance of songs and poems learned so carefully during the year.  The concert, in 1897, to raise money for a piano on 19 March was repeated on 22 March.  A real sigh of relief must have been breathed.  When Acland’s actions caused these words to be written in 1896: “The annual inspection due in December 1896, will be omitted”.  the impression given to Smith was that his school had earned this, not that it was the result of action in Westminster where ‘surprise visits’ by H.M.Is were not to be the order of the day any more and the Revised Code was at an end.

A feature of this latter part of the century is the way in which decisions taken in Westminster were taking effect.  The time lag noted before 1860 had gone.  For instance, in 1888 there was a Local Government Act and the entry for 1 January 1889 read:
“Posted notice of Mr Richardson’s return as County Councillor, on School Door”.  Also, in 1888, the school pence rule was brought into line:  “2 eldest children in family to pay 2d each per week and subsequent children to be free”.
The Post Office Savings Bank was introduced into the school on 1 February 1892.

Throughout this period, there is mention of dreadful drops in attendance because of influenza, mumps, scarlet fever, diptheria, and one smallpox case was recorded.  The doctors visited, as did a nurse.  The sanitary inspector cleaned out the drains and fumigated the school and one inspector wrote that “the seats in the offices should be separated”.  All in an effort to introduce greater hygiene.  A lobby or cloakroom was built at the west door and this must have made the rooms warmer.  An inspector recommended that the gallery still in the original schoolroom should be made smaller now that it was used for the infants.  During all the upheavals, H.M.I. reports, curriculum changes, staffing changes and illnesses, W. D. Field and Rev. Knight continued to support fully.  Like George Brookes before him, Field supplied books, pictures, equipment, apples, oranges, chocolates, a Christmas Tree, cards and an abundance of moral support.  He and his fellow Trustees used to hold their annual meetings in the Yarborough Hotel next to the Grimsby Railway Station, the hotel being, in those days, at the height of fashion.  Rev Knight and his curates used to bring admiring visitors from far and wide and always, by their entertainment, kept the Diocesan Inspector affable.  All the children were taken to the Rectory on the occasion of Miss Knight’s wedding and given a piece of cake and a bag of sweets.  On one occasion, in 1885, Field and Rev Jacoby between them, bought the boys a football, followed shortly after by a cricket bat from Field.  On 9 June 1892, the children were photographed for the first time.  Great rejoicings were recorded at 1887’s Jubilee, but even more importantly in 1897 for the 60 years reign on 22 June:

“Church service at 11.00 a.m.  Children’s sports at 2 p.m. in Keyworth’s field (Charity land), tea at 4 p.m. each child receiving medal and a quarter pound of sweets.”

The next day was also a holiday.  The children were expected by Smith to work hard, however,  and from time to time he did punish offenders by corporal punishment, sending them home, or shaming them in front of the school and one or more of the Trustees.  One entry also showed his wit, 14 October 1889: “Three or four lads went on strike - so did I!”

In Laceby, the euphoria of 1897 lasted to the end of the century.  Reluctantly Smith wrote:

“Finished my 44 years service at Laceby commencing Jan 1856 in the village school.  On May 13th 1859, the village school was united to the Stanford Charity School of which I became Master and have continued so until the present date.”

Many older villagers remembered him as small and bearded and wearing a bowler hat.  He loved billiards and whist and always watched football.  He trained his top class for their futures and one of his sayings was:
“If you start with a shovel in your hand, you’ll always have one”.  Even the fact that he kept a strap rolled up in his pocket did not alter the fact that he was loved and remembered for his humanity.

Smith continued to live on in Caistor Road, Laceby until his death in 1918, during Albert Dosser’s time as Headteacher.  His influence as an educator must have been considerable.  He was ahead of his day in his thinking.  This is seen in such things as his early use of object lessons, his innovative use of geography readers and his constant search for new books and ideas.  This self-training is the crucial factor.  He led by example, encouraging adults in the village to grow and widen their horizons, as well as his pupil teachers.  He inspired loyalty and support amongst the managers and there was status to be gained through association with the school and Trust, during his tenure.  His support of the leisure time activities and his sense of humour must also have endeared him to the people of the village despite his strictness.  His width of vision enabled him to rise above the usual Victorian antagonism between Anglican and Nonconformist, forging a real sense of community and co-operation.  The gradual improvement over the years in the grading of his certificate also reflected the growing regard in which he was held outside the village by his Church in Lincoln and, later, in the Caistor Union.  Smith’s thoughtfulness and care were seen when his grandson died:  he stayed in school so that his daughter could attend the funeral.  The Reading Club in the Temperance Hall was one of his delights.  Later, Richard Rowson as Headteacher, was the Secretary and caught his educator’s enthusiasm and energy.  The Stanford Centre could well be seen as a memorial to George Smith’s influence in the nineteenth century.


Chapter 6

1900 - the 1980s


Thomas Hughes paid great attention to the needs of his older pupils, especially the pupil teachers.  Throughout this decade, under the Secretary of Education, Morant, there was a steady development in the training of pupil teachers.  The Headteacher who followed Hughes in 1904 was Edwin Smith and his comments are very revealing:

“Tilly Stanley (PT) now attends the Lindsey PT Centre at Cleethorpes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays each alternate week.  As Ethel Smith (Scholarship Candidate) attends the Grimsby Centre the whole of alternate weeks, it necessitates Miss Slayton taking the whole of the N’dlw’k every other week without assistance, while Master on these occasions had 4 Drawing Classes - a most unsatisfactory arrangement”.

But this hard work produced results in 1909:

“PT (Tilly Stanley) notified that she has passed Scholarship Exam, with distinction in English - she has been accepted at Lincoln Diocesan Trg. Col. and enters in September next”.

In this same year, there was also this entry:

“Two boys in Standard VI - Leslie Smith and Willie Blow - have succeeded in gaining ‘Free Places’ (by Examination) at the Clee Grammar School”.

During these years, Smith noted that he earned the maximum grant possible for his school and the money was spent wisely.  The Inspectors made recommendations, permission was applied for and the work was done in 1904/5.  Windows on the south wall were enlarged; a new fire place was installed; the boys’ room was enlarged; a screen was installed in the main room; closets were improved (to be less offensive); and colour and whitewashing was done throughout the buildings.  A “great disturbance and panic” in the original 1730 room amongst the infants led to the ceiling being repaired on two occasions.  In 1908 there was a great deal of discussion about the dimensions of rooms, especially for the infants.  Eight square feet per child was allowed from then on.  There were still children, however, who somehow slipped through the net.  In September 1908, Smith wrote:

“Admitted boy of 12 years - never before attended school nor received private teaching - placed him in Standard 1”.

Coronation year, 1911, was the last year recorded in the first Log Book.  The Staff List at the time was:

Mixed School:
Edwin Smith   (Headteacher)
Rose E Slayton  (Cert. Assistant)
Ada M Crump   (Cert. Assistant)

(Miss Bodkin was still in charge of what was referred to as the Infant’s Department).

Pupil teachers were no longer in the list although Tilly Stanley, now certificated, did return for a few weeks at the end of the year, when Miss Crump went to teach at Watford.  Morant’s energy had forged an unmistakably ‘modern’ school in Laceby.  Many people in England can remember being educated in similar schools.  There are three more Log Books including the one currently in use, recording the events and developments of the next 74 years.  Albert Dosser is remembered for his kindness to soldiers’ families.  He took his older boys to do gardening for them during the First World War.  His interest in practical matters was shown by his sending Mrs Jennings to Lincoln in 1918 for lectures on Child Welfare.  The first lesson in Mothercraft was given to “18 girls of 12 years and over”.  If Mrs Jennings was absent, Dosser and Miss Bodkin ran the school between them.  In fact, once because of a ‘flu epidemic, Miss Bodkin was in sole charge of the children who came.  The Rev H. W. Knight continued his interest in the school and brought a missionary home on leave from India, called Miss Kelway, to enliven the Scripture lesson, one day in March 1919.

Horizons were also extended in October 1926 when the children were taken to hear the first radio in the village.  They heard the speeches following Mr Cobham’s flight to Australia.  Prizes were won in 1928 at Scunthorpe for needlework and, in 1929, four local prizes and one national prize were won in an essay writing competition .  They were presented in Grimsby.

Children played football and shinty against other schools; attended Country Dancing, Music and Verse Festivals; and began trips to Spurn Point by river, London by train, York and Lincoln by coach.  These latter activities were introduced by Richard Rowson who became Headmaster in 1935.  His training had been at St Johns, York.  Gradually, after the 1944 Act, there was improvement and development, especially after the new buildings were begun in 1963.  The child-centred approach of Plowden (1967) was encouraged and meetings for teachers were arranged at Caistor and then at the new Teachers’ Centre in Cleethorpes.  The Bullock Report (1975) encouraged the development of language across the curriculum and since then environmental and science initiatives have promoted a thematic approach using all curricular skills and community links.  Grimsby now has a large Teachers Centre providing a great variety of courses.  More and more teachers are taking further qualifications to degree level both in Grimsby and at Hull University or College of Higher Education.

The organisation of the school changed in 1937.  Miss Slayton had been appointed in Miss Bodkin’s place in 1920, after a time in a post in Warwickshire.  When she, in her turn, retired the older children were sent to Waltham Toll Bar at its opening and the school, now called Junior and Infants Mixed, was put under Rowson.  The L.E.A. took practically full responsibility for the school in 1951.  After the 1944 Act, 11 year old children who passed the scholarship went to Caistor Grammar.
 Everyone else went to Healing after 1962.  Many more children have crossed the boundary into Lincolnshire and passed the examination to go to Caistor Grammar School once again during the 90s.
.  A Deputy Head’s post was created in 1962 and a Teacher in charge of infants, Scale 3, was appointed in 1975.  There were approximately 350 children on roll in 1980;.  Since 1970 all staff have been fully qualified and during the late 80s there were four members of staff with degrees, one of whom had taken two degrees, one being an MA. On the retirement of John Taylor, the school’s second Headmistress, Mrs. Cooper MA, was appointed

School management has changed considerably.  The old styles of charitable village personality coming into school at Christmas and giving each pupil a silver sixpence, was still to be seen in the loveable figure of local farmer Mr Mawer, in the years just before Rowson retired in 1970.  Since the 1980 Act, however, the school has had a body of Governors and, more recently, a teacher Governor, (previously not permitted) has been included.  The beneficial effects of Government responsibility are there for all to see in new buildings for both juniors and infants, built between 1963 and 1980.  Rowson had seen electricity installed in the old buildings in 1954 and water closets even later, so when he moved he was so proud of the new buildings that all pupils and staff were expected to wear soft, indoor shoes.  Mary Mellars, the first Headmistress, who took over after Dennis Cowe’s brief tenure, guided the building of the Infants’ extension which was new for the televised 250 years celebrations.  An Early Years Unit was opened in 1985, under the headship of John Taylor.  In 1980, the official name of the school became Stanford Junior and Infant School.  This has been shortened to Stanford’s School, Laceby.  The word ‘Charity’ has been forgotten, but the Stanford Charity Trust still exists and functions.  It gives tools, books and grants to young local people making their start in life and the other charitable purposes are followed wherever possible.  Trust Funds are added to each year by two tenants, local farmers called Strawson and Clayton.  All the Fund is well invested to earn the maximum interest possible.

It could be argued that such a fund is an anachronism in these times.  To all intents and purposes, the running of the school is now in the hands of the State.  There is just enough leeway to acknowledge that there is voluntary controlled status for Laceby School.  The L.E.A. did allow money to be spent on a resources room in 1983, but a very good case had to be made to convince them to allow it and also, to convince the Charity Commissioners that the expense was justifiable.

In 1975, Richard Rowson, in his retirement, saw the opening of the Stanford Centre.  It was the realisation of a dream.  He had been in the Reading Club and led it as a young man and now he saw the opening of a Library and Community Centre provided by the Trust.  The Library was equipped and is run by the N.E. Lincolnshire Council.  The central foyer has a gallery beyond which there is a kitchen and project room.  Matching the Library along the other side of the building is a large hall, ideal for meetings and community use.

In 1981, Trust matters were reconsidered and couched in these more modern terms:

1.  To provide special benefits for the school, library and education centre of   any kind not normally provided by the LEA following appropriate      consultation.
2.   Advancing the education of those under 25 who are or have a parent(s)    resident in the area and who are in need of financial assistance.

Great care has to be taken in making application to spend money, so Trustees are chosen carefully.  There are 9 Nominative Trustees:
4 Humberside County Councillors; including 2 representing the Public Libraries;
1 Parish Councillor, Bradley;
1 Parish Councillor, Irby;
1 Parish Councillor, Laceby;
1 Parish Councillor, Aylesby;
1 Parish Councillor, Barnoldby-le-Beck;
plus 3 Co-optive Trustees:
Mr P Anderson
The Laceby Rector
Mr R Mawer, Manor Farm
all of whom have special knowledge of the area of benefit.

The new wording also specifically cites the backing and interest of the Church of England.  A sermon is still preached on each Founder’s Day.  Pupils receive 5 pence, instead of 1d as willed, on that day and receive a book on leaving at 11 years.  There is an annual tea for staff, Trustees and guests after the Founder’s Day Service.  The Fund is guarded for any future calls which may be made upon it.  It was suggested in 1975 that the Centre could be ‘an Open University Day Centre’ for instance.  The growth in State control already noted, has meant a much greater sensitivity to political guidance, both from the LEA and the DES.  There is little, if any time lag now between decisions taken and implementation at grass roots.

The greater involvement of parents and friends started by Mary Mellars when she founded ‘The Friends of Stanford’s School’ has resulted in a greater community awareness of the value of education and parental involvement.  Perhaps the next logical step forward would be for Stanford School to become a Primary Community School similar to those already in existence in Leicestershire..  The words ‘a school’, written on the faded parchment of Sarah Stanford’s will, could be taken up and transformed beyond her imaginings.  Education for all, throughout life, would become a nearer reality for the people of Laceby.

Meanwhile, in this atypical primary school, once a year, pupils are reminded of the kindness of Philip and Sarah Stanford when they attend the Founder’s Day Service in the solid, stone-built, Norman Church of St Margaret and receive a coin - tangible proof of indestructible ‘caritas’.




Primary Sources

A   County Archives, Lincoln Castle, Lincoln
Stanford’s Trust Papers:
i  Philip Stanford’s Will, No. 46, 1712.
ii  Trust Documents, No. 79, 1720.
iii  First Accounts Book, No 72, 1730+.
iv  First Minutes Book, No 73, 1730+.
v  Indenture, No 88/3, 1751.
vi  Trust Document, No 84, 1834.
vii  Bishop’s Questionnaire, DBE 8/1/246, 1856.
viii Cowley Trust Papers, unnumbered, 1720+.

B   Stanford Junior and Infant School, Laceby
Log Books:
i  1863 - 1911.
ii  1911 - 1943.
iii  1943 - 1975.
iv  1975 to present day.

C   St Margaret’s Church, Laceby
I  Parish Register, 1538 - 1812.
ii Churchwarden’s Book, 1602 - 1757.

D  SPCK Headquarters, Marylebone, London.
i  Returns, 1699 - 1724.
ii  Minutes, 1713 - 1718.
iii  Accounts, 1724.

Secondary Sources

A   Periodicals:
The Church monthly, February - March 1892.
Hull Times, 23 August, 1913.
Grimsby Evening Telegraph, 22 June, 1951.
Lincolnshire Standard, 19 January, 1973.
Lincolnshire & South Humberside Times, 6 June, 1975.

B   Parliamentary Papers:
Bills Public, 1818, Vol. 1.
Digest of the Parochial Returns made to the Select Committee into the Education of the Poor 1818-1819 (224) IX Part 1. Vol. 1.
Report from the Select Committee on the Bill to regulate the Labour of Children in Mills and Factories of the UK 1831/2 (706) XV Vol. 1.
Bills Public 1834 (180)

Written by Erica Taylor
This internet version, 17.12.02000