Church Room Exhibition 2003
Memories of Newton School
Memories of Newton School by the late- MRS FLORRIE PRICE
When did you go to school?
Went to school in 1923 till the Christmas before my 14th birthday [1931?]
Did you have any jobs to do before going to school?
I’d be about 11yrs I’d have to milk cows and loose fowls before going to school – I was excused from school till 9.30a.m on Tuesday’s when mother went to town.
Walked to school had hobnailed boots good in frosty weather could slide further.
Wore white starched pinafore frock over dress. Didn’t like to be different so with my sister would take white pinafore dress off and roll it up, to put it on again after school.
Who was your teacher?
Mr. Lancaster he was Head Teacher, then there was Miss Jordan, she was there for years and years.
Register would be taken and a timetable framed on the wall giving classes and lessons for the week.
There was a slate to write on with a slate pencil. Teacher would write sums on the Blackboard and you would have to write the answers down on the slate. Reading was taken in turns. Reading a paragraph from a book, there weren’t books for everyone.
As you became older there were inkwells which were filled by the older boys. It was messy and created lots of blots on the paper.
Did you take a packed lunch?
Yes. There was an open fire with a guardrail and if you got wet walking to school you could dry your coats. Miss Jordan would bring an egg to school and boil it on the fire for her lunch. A lot of children got wet walking to school.
Was wood or coal burnt on the fire? It was coal.
Children would walk from Lower Maescoed to school and the Cook family on the Slough would walk to Newton school (the older Cook boys, the young ones went to Michealchurch School?)
We would make our own fun. We would play in Mr Jenkin’s field. Sometime if it was frosty we would go in Wayne Herbert’s field. There was a pond that would freeze over. We wore hobnailed boots and you could slide like anything if it was frosty.
Did anyone fall in the pond if it was icy?
Not to hurt anyway. Mr. Lancaster would check that we were safe.
Did the school go on any outings?
We use to go on an outing now and again. Sunday school outings.
How did you go? Was it Horse and Cart? Pony and trap to start with. Then by bus and train, we use to go to Barry Island then. Always taken when the sea was in so we could paddle. 20 went. Mr Farr the Sunday School teacher watched the tide and checked that we did not go too far out.
Which teacher came after Mr. Lancaster?
Yes Mrs Williams, don’t know where she came from. Her husband was a stone mason, he didn’t work locally.
Rev. Tuck used to come to the school to question us on religious knowledge. We’d get given a book. One time one of the boys was missing but when the books came there was one for him. The school teacher’s face was a picture, she went quite red. Nobody knew how his name went forward for a book. You got a book for answering the questions. Two or three boys would help him carry the books from the vicarage.
Everybody got an orange for Christmas. That was a treat.
What was it like round here? Would someone come round hawking their wares?
Mrs Cook she would buy rabbit skins, sort them out and give you 6d maybe 4d or Tupence.
What did she do with them?
Take them into Hereford I expect. One of the clothing shops would have them.
Did they take them as they were or did they want them cured?
They liked them dried. She used to dry them herself sometimes. She’d come round with some pegs and clothes, sometimes pot and pans. George her husband would come round with rock salt for the animals. They lived on the Slough. They’d have a lurcher dog under the cart. Plenty of rabbits about then. Dog would hunt for rabbits
Did anyone else come round like that ?
There was one fellow selling animal medicine.
Was anything else held at the school?
They had a concert now and again, The children took part and the parents came. I remember having to say, “My doll is stiff and wont bend.” The play was something to do with doctors. They use to put on little children’s plays. There use to be a concert once a year at Longtown. The domestic students use to do it. We had a bit of fun. If it was good we’d get asked to play elsewhere. Once we had just finished and getting home there was a note on the table saying to go to Pandy tomorrow. We did two nights there. We had more fun rehearsing than doing the concert.
W.I. put on plays at Longtown many years ago