The following delightful photographs of two Green School classes in 1928 offer a fascinating glimpse of just 42 pupils amongst the generations of Market Deeping children who passed through the school door.
It was founded in 1851 as a school for “poor girls of the parish” to instruct them “in the principles of the Established Church” and to teach them “reading and plain needlework”. Reverend William Hildyard (1794-1875) was the inspiration and gave the land, Mary Wensor (1797-1849) and Elizabeth Molecey (1762-1846) provided the money to build and to run the school.
The senior girls (12-14 years old) with the School Mistress, Miss Winifred Smith.
1928 was the only year when the senior girls were wearing these stylish school hats – was this the first attempt to have some elements of uniform? A number of the girls are wearing the traditional square-yoked pinafore dresses while some have the boots still worn by a lot of children.
We know that these girls would leave school at 14 with a “good store of information from their reading in History and Geography” but we hope that they managed to gain a “better understanding of prose and verse”! They could write “compositions of a good length” and clear, but neater writing and more accurate spelling was still “desirable”. (The school had been inspected in 1927and this is part of the report). Three of their class had already won a free scholarship to Stamford Girls School.
Miss Smith from Deeping St James had been appointed in 1923 to lead the school at a salary of £171. 13s. 7d. She served the school for 19 years – even after she married in 1934 – it was still the time when most female teachers were asked to resign after their marriage.
The mixed infant class (5-7 year olds) with their teacher, Miss Pick, who had just been appointed to the school.
This class seems to have been dominated by boys, 15 out of 24 pupils. One little girl on the back row carried the lifelong memory of there being lots of boys! No real smiles either, some look quite worried.
No uniforms here – life was often a real struggle for many families at this time.
This photograph also reflects the fact that in 1874 the original school building was extended to its present size to include infant boys and all elementary girls as the Boys Endowed School down the road in Church Street (opposite the Vine) could no longer cope with the numbers.
Many of these boys might have been expected to work on a farm or possibly in a local trade when they left school but they would also go on to be enlisted in the Second World War. The girls still might have been expected to start in domestic service or shop work….one, at least, started in domestic work but rapidly found her vocation elsewhere!
Memories of these girls and boys have been collected over the years. Here are some…..learning the alphabet by singing, doing drill and marching (PE), singing, the daily visit of the Rector, nature walks in the Church fields opposite looking for cuckoo flowers, cowslips and stickwort. They were able to play with their whips and tops in the road as there was hardly any traffic then and in winter they could slide in the playground when the teachers threw down water to freeze! They looked forward to the annual Sunday School sports and tea on the Rectory lawn but they dreaded the dentist visiting when his van parked in the school yard with one little girl refusing to open her mouth – much to the dismay of her parents as this was a new, free but possibly painful service! It was a different world then……
By 1942 the Green School merged with the boys Endowed School to become the Endowed and Green School. The doors were finally closed as a school in 1967 when the new William Hildyard School was opened.
If you recognise any of these pupils or indeed have any memories or photographs of the Green School, please do contact us.
We have a good collection of photographs and documents but we would love to add to them.