The Old School House

The first recorded reference to a school at Harlaston was in the will of Charles Webb dated 
7th April 1820. He was born in Harlaston, but died in Bedford. His will referred to a sum of £3,000 for the purchase of land and to build and endow a Parish School at Harlaston. The first school, however, was not built until 1851 by public subscription at a cost of £108. It was called St. Matthews CE School.  A porch was added to commemorate the Victoria Jubilee.

In 1936 the school took on the status of a Infants and Junior School.

In 1968 the Old School was sold to be converted to a private dwelling. During the conversion the commemorative stone was removed and laid in the paving stones.

The school remained open until 1960, when the new school was opened in Manor Lane.

The following is an extract from the first entry in the First School Log dated 6th November 1876:

"Emma Adelaide Myers, Entered upon my duties as Mistress of this School on October 3 1876..... Upon commencing my duties I found the school children out of order on account of the harvest holidays. The school has not been placed under government until now. I am the first certified teacher.....The children are much improved in manners and are progressing favourably in their studies, particularly in arithmetic. Among the infants, the first class have been taught addition sums and now do them very well.  They have also improved in their writing. The second class have improved in writing and reading. The third or ABC class have not progressed as favourably as I could wish"

A further entry on December 11th:

"Mrs Webb paid a visit to the school, reprimanded two of the girls for bad conduct in church the day before.... Asked the names of the children who had attended the most regularly and shown the most attention and good manners

Extracts have also been taken from the School Logs made during WW1, which show the impact of the war on the school and community. Just click here to view.

                               circa 1931