Victorian School Buildings


Victorian School Buildings


Compilation of recordings containing memories of school buildings during the Victorian and Edwardian era, from the East Midlands Oral History Archive.


East Midlands Oral History Archive


You may use this recording in accordance with our licence




Leigh, J; Kirrane, S; Hyde, C; Carswell, J; West, R; Simpson, T;


Kendall, Beatrice; Collins, A; Fish Doris; Challifour, Sarah; Goode, Elsie; Smith, Eugene; Hayes, M, E, Mrs; Hunt, Lily


Interviewer: what sort of school was it? – was it

Beatrice: ooh it was a school for boys and girls and a lot – a big school, a lot of children there.

Interviewer: mixed boys and girls?

Beatrice: not in the classes.

Interviewer: not in the classes – I see,

Beatrice: in the school there was – the boys part and the girls part

Interviewer: arr I see, so you had everything separate? Assembly and –

Beatrice: I think so yes – as far as I can recall – yep

Interviewer: and at playtime

Beatrice: part of the time I went to – King Richards’s Road School which was on King Richard’s road – I think it is now called king Richards the third – the school built like a stone – church school really – you know built all stone and – small windows – from the outside looked much like a church on the outside – but it was a good school.

Interviewer: could you tell me a little bit more about the school – you went to. Were there boys and girls there?

Alice: it was a mixed school, we used to – have prayers, a hymns and prays in a morning before assembly – before we started. The school was kept warm by the old fashioned stove – coach stove.

Interviewer: was the secondary school all girls?

Doris: yes all girls, yes – boys were attached to it, but we weren’t allowed to go into the playground at the same time

Sarah: cause we only girls, the boys were on the other side

Interviewer: you didn’t have mixed classes?

Sarah: no no, no – no    

Interviewer: did you have a separate entrance to go in?

Sarah: yes – at Kimberley church school it's a shame cause it’s a lovely school – and there was infants, We went in that door there and that was our – our school, then you went along a passage and that was the children’s – the little children’s 5 year [??] – And then next door was the boys

Elsie: and – we started at three in the baby room and I remember – I can see that baby room

Interviewer: can you describe it?

Elise: it was – big – a room with seats attached, benches – sort of seats, what you call them attached to the wall – all round

Interviewer: yeah yeah

Elise: and the windows looked out on Holyrood walk and they seemed very high up to me.

Interviewer: did you all sit at desks and did you have –

Eugene: yes dual desks yes, when you were in the infants a boy on the right and a girl on the left – which was correct but – when we – when I got into the upper school there were sixty of us and there was – it was level for about four rows then it went up in galleries. Which was very good because those at the back could see the blackboard and you could see what they were doing.

Interviewer: was there enough room for sixty in the class?

Eugene: was there room?

Interviewer: was there enough room for all those children?

Eugene: yes we weren’t crowded, we sat in these – we had dual desks, no we were not crowded – at Shaftesbury Road – I mean that’s only a small school.

Interviewer: whre the classes large when you were there?

Mrs Hayes: yes, about fifty to sixty

Interviewer: in one class?

Mrs Hayes: in one class

Interviewer: did they have difficulty fitting them in? 

Mrs Hayes: no – no we used to have desks to sit two, high – long desks and behind it was a long form, you sat side by side. And – they had fifty to sixty in the classes at that time and we all sat with our hands behind our backs – all

Interviewer: why was that?

Mrs Hayes: ooh we had to sit like this

Interviewer: all through the lesson?

Mrs Hayes: all through the lesson, yes – I say I’ve got some photographs – old school photographs of me sitting like that

Interviewer: was that to keep the discipline

Mrs Hayes: more or less

Interviewer: were they very strict about discipline?

Mrs Hayes: well they were strict – they didn’t like – like you talking a lot – you go into schools now – cause I’m a governor at two schools now, Court Crescent and Bendrow Rise, now when I see the difference in the classes now, it’s unbelievable.

Lily: in them days they had like a gallery in the primary school and you sort of sat on this gallery and I remember sitting there, taking my shoes and stockings off, and showing the children how I could shoot me toes, and the headmistress came round under the – gallery there and put the cane through the – crack and tapped me on me toes and told me to put me to put my shoes and stocking on and go down to see her

Interviewer: [laughs]

Lily: so I got told off then.

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