The National School and School House

In the High Street, where the Library now is

High Street Project Team

Photo of the High Street showing the National School (now the site of the library)
Wivenhoe Memories Collection

High Street Trail index – click here

The National School and School House

In 1918 The National School was located on the current site of Wivenhoe Library and was for boys only, aged from about 7 -14 years old.

The School House at the front of the building was built for the Head teacher to live in. Mrs Wright the head of the Girls and Infants school at Phillip Road was living there in 1911. She is listed as a widow and seems to have moved there some time after her husbands death in 1907.

Mr William Wadley was headmaster at the time. He lived with his wife on The Avenue at Ivy Bank.

In 1904, 178 boys attended the school. There were 6 classes, some with as many as 40 – 45 boys. Lice and ringworm were common.

The Attendance Officer would visit a child’s home if they had not attended school. Stories tell us that ‘Circumference Goodwin’ for that was how he was known was the Attendance Officer at one time – “He went round and he was round” according to former pupils.

Closure of the school

We know that in 1929 plans were underway to open a Wivenhoe branch county library at the National School in the High Street and that, by 1936, the school had closed because the new secondary school at Brightlingsea had opened.

In WW2 it opened briefly again for evacuees to be schooled and also as a Sunday school before gradually falling into disrepair and being demolished.

High Street Trail index – click here

See also:

Research Sources:

  • Pamphlet “The Growth of Popular Education In Wivenhoe” 1954 Basil Slaughter
  • Census

 

This page was added on 31/07/2018.

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