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Thorne Local History Society

THE TRAVIS CHARITY SCHOOL. - John B. Platt
1991

Thorne and district Local History Association
Occasional paper No 10

Can a school move? Evidently it can. When the trustees of Travis’ Charity School in Thorne became aware in 1860 that they would no longer be able to rent the King Street schoolroom which they had been using for many years, arrangements were made to build a new school on another site. Although the building erected in Church Street in 1863 was new, the school itself had been in existence long before that. Similarly, although the official title of another Thorne school was Brooke’s Endowed Grammar School, it was generally and popularly known as Thorne Grammar School for many years before the present building on St Nicholas Road and Church Balk was officially opened in 1930. With regard to the Grammar School, it may be said that not only is it now held in different buildings, but also the catchment area from which the pupils are taken has changed more than once. The system of selection of pupils has been revised several times, and the provision for boarders and fee-paying scholars has also gone. The size of the present day school is vastly different from that of its forerunner, and the studies undertaken there bear little resemblance either in content or method to the lessons of earlier days. It goes without saying that all the pupils have changed, many times, and so have all of the teaching staff. And yet, in some intangible way, this is perceived to be the same school, essentially, as that founded by William Brooke in 1704.

In the early days of September 1973, a project planned and carried out by the West Riding County Council Education Department was near to completion. A new school building had been erected on King Edward Road, Thorne to accommodate the pupils of the Travis School. The Headteacher and his staff had been occupied during the school's summer holiday in packing and moving books and equipment, including furniture, from one building to the other. It was feared that the new building would not be ready in time for the opening day of term, and indeed the children's holiday was extended by a week to allow some last minute tasks to be completed. Then the school opened, and the work of fitting out the building continued for several months while classes progressed. On the occasion of this move, although only children and staff of the Travis School were involved, a new name was adopted. The school was called King Edward First School, and by the time its opening was officially celebrated on 20th November, 1975, two changes had taken place which affected its organisation and character.

King Edward First School was planned as part of a reorganisation of education in the Thorne area. One of the effects of this was to transfer children to the new Middle Schools after the school year in which they attained nine years of age. Consequently, ten and eleven year old pupils from the former Travis School transferred from King Edward First School in July 1974, and nine and ten year olds in the following year. After that, the school had no pupils over the age of nine.

The second change was the local government reform of 1974, which affected Thorne. The West Riding County Council was abolished, and Thorne schools came under the administration of the Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council's Education Services Committee in that year.

It may be said then, that Thorne Travis School ceased to exist in July 1973, when its pupils and staff moved to King Edward Road. In fact, the Church Street building was not abandoned immediately, but was used to accommodate 'overspill' classes from the Grammar School. It was never suggested, however, that the Travis School had re-opened. Clearly this was simply a case of a redundant building being temporarily annexed as part of the Grammar School. Subsequently the building ceased to be used by the Education Authority and has taken on a new role as a sculptor's studio.

On the other hand, the move to King Edward Road and the change in the age group of the children accommodated, together with the ending of the Church of England controlled status which the former Travis School had held were no more drastic than other changes which the school had undergone in the past. Perhaps then, the school simply moved, as it had done once before, a century or so earlier. Even its name had been changed before, so it seems just as reasonable to argue that Thorne Travis School, founded 1706, is alive and well and living in King Edward Road as it is to say that the present Thorne Grammar School is the successor to Brooke's Endowed Grammar School, founded 1704.

What is known about the early history of the school? It is just as difficult to establish the date on which classes first began as it is to say whether they actually ended. However, many of the significant events which happened in between have been recorded, and details survive which describe how the school came to be founded.

Henry Travis lived three hundred years ago. He owned farms on Thorne and Hatfield Levels and in the Wroot area of what was then Lincolnshire. In the latter part of his life he lived in London, and probably died in 1710, since a legal contest of his will took place in that year. This will, dated 29th May, 1706 had sought to establish an educational charity in Thorne, Hatfield and Wroot. Two gentlemen, Fisher Tench and Samuel Thayer, had been entrusted to ensure that Travis’ wishes were carried out, and they appeared as plaintiffs, with another Henry Travis, an infant, and others, as defendants in the Court of Chancery to obtain a settlement upon the premises concerned, having regard to the scheme left by the late Mr Travis.

The Master of the Court made his report, dated 5th July, 1710, and on the same day a deed made by Tench and Thayer conveyed the property to trustees, in accordance with the terms of the will. They also appealed to the Archbishop of York to take an interest in the charity and this appeal seems to have been accepted and acted upon. Travis' instructions were detailed and precise. He left all his lands and hereditaments in the counties of York and Lincoln to Tench and Thayer, in trust, for the support of certain poor children of the inhabitants of Thorne, Hatfield and Wroot, in such a manner and form as was described in a draft, all or most of which was in his own handwriting. Its closing sentences entreated the Archbishop of York and his successors to 'be visitor and visitors of the said charity, and to make such orders and rules for the regulation and due examination thereof, as he or they, in their grave wisdom, should think fit'.

Local historians mention Travis's charity, but it is not easy to identify from their descriptions the actual farms and land from which the income was derived. William Casson wrote about the Travis School in 1829 '[it] is supported out of two farms, situated on the Levels, which contain three hundred and seventy-nine acres, one in the Severalls, containing one hundred and seventy-nine acres, and the other, in Wroot-jort Carr, two hundred acres. They are rented by Mr Richard Kitching and Mr William Jaques.' John Tomlinson, writing in 1881, does not mention any tenants, but gives precisely the same details about the farms.

The actual properties are listed, however, in the various reports of Charity Commissioners who were appointed by government to investigate public charities. One such report, of 1837, gives the following information:

'A farm in the parish of Thorne, (Rose Cottage Farm) with a dwelling-house and offices, extending to 90 acres, 60 of which were arable and 30 acres of pasture land. In 1837 it was occupied by Mr Richard Kitching as a yearly tenant at an annual rent of £130. The land was said to be of good quality, but the above was stated to be a fair rent.

A farm in the parish of Hatfield, (Jaques Bank Farm) extending to 89 acres in two different parcels, 60 and 29 acres respectively, both in the occupation of Mrs Elizabeth Jaques as yearly tenant, at a fair annual rent of £120. In the parish of Wroot, first, 53 acres in the occupation of the above Mrs Jaques as early tenant at an annual rent of £30, which is a fair rent, the soil being of inferior quality.

Second, 53 acres in the occupation of Mr John Maw as yearly tenant, at a fair annual rent of £30.

Third, 42 acres in the occupation of Mr John Hart as yearly tenant at the annual rent of £13. This rent is also stated to be sufficient, as the land is boggy and of a very inferior quality.

Fourth, 48 acres in the occupation of Mr George Chester as yearly tenant, at an annual rent of £15. This, for the same reason, is also stated to be a sufficient rent.'

The whole 196 acres in Wroot was let to a single tenant later in the century, and known as Bull Hassocks Farm.

How the income from these farms was to be used was laid down by Travis in his instructions to Tench and Thayer. They were to appoint nine trustees. Out of the rents and profits, the trustees should provide a chest with three different locks and keys. One key was to be held by the rector or vicar of Thorne and the others by his counterparts at Hatfield and Wroot. In the chest were to be placed the title deeds of the properties and an account book giving details of the income and expenditure of the charity. £4 a year was set aside as a salary for the collector of the rents. A further £1.50 was to be laid out on entertainment (a dinner) for the trustees, rectors, parsons and others who should be present at the annual meeting when the accounts were to be audited. The rest of the income was to be divided into three equal sums, and expended upon teaching such a number of children, males and females of the poorest inhabitants of the three parishes as it would pay for. The money was to include the provision of the necessary books, ink and paper. Each parish was, as far as possible, to have an equal number of children benefitting from this charity.

The actual subjects to be studied were also prescribed in detail: 'All children (who were chosen by the respective rectors or parsons, churchwardens and trustees for each parish) should be taught to read the English language very well and readily, especially the Holy Bible, and be well instructed in the Christian Catechism, and other principles of the Christian religion, and all or such as should be judged most fit should be taught to write……'

No child was allowed to continue in attendance beyond the age of 17, a circumstance which was hardly likely in any case, since children of poor families would be expected to be earning their own keep long before they attained that age. On leaving the school, provision was made for each child to be presented with a copy of the Bible containing the Old and New Testament, The Liturgy or Common Prayers of the Church of England, and the singing Psalms, and also 'The Whole Duty of Man,' of good legible print. If for any reason the intensions of the founder were not carried out, and the proceeds of the rents on his property were not used for the purpose for which he intended them, Henry Travis willed that they should be used instead for the benefit of the poor people of London.

No doubt the trustees saw to it that Travis' wishes were carried out, but little has been written about the actual school in Thorne or the building(s) used between 1710 and the Charity Commissioners' report of 1837. Set into the wall of the Church Street School are stones which proclaim 'Founded 1770, built 1863.' However it is hard to imagine that no actual teaching went on under this foundation before 1770, or else the charity would have been transferred to the poor of London as described above.



View of the Travis School Hall

The 1837 report names the then trustees as Henry Ellison, Esq., deceased, Richard Ellison Esq., and the Rev. Eric Rudd, perpetual curate of Thorne as trustees for that parish; William Gossip, Esq., and Henry Pilkington, Esq.(for Hatfield); George Broadrick, Esq., Mr John Maw, senior, and Mr John Braham, as trustees for Wroot.

The total annual income in 1837 amounted to £338, received by the Treasurer, Mr Thomas Fox, who was also master of the school erected at Hatfield upon this foundation. The chest containing the title deeds and accounts was deposited in the church at Hatfield. In the Early part of the nineteenth century, expenditure remained fairly constant over the years, and this example for 1835 can be taken as typical:



To the master of Thorne School
      £80 0s 0d
To the master of Hatfield School
      £80 0s 0d
To the master and mistress of Wroot School
      £79 12s 0d
To the Thorne master for school rent
      £3 14s 0d
Insurance
      £2 5s 0d
Books and Stationery for the schools
      £7 8s 0d
To the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge,
For books
      £1 1s 0d

Ancient fee-farm rent payable to
George Broderic Esq.
      £10 0s 6d
Parish scot, in the nature of a drainage-tax,
Varying according to circumstances, but amounting
In 1835 to
      £31 17s 0d
Incidental expenses
      £0 1s 6d
Treasurer's salary
      £10 0 0

From our own experience in the twentieth century of the rapid rise of land and property values, it would be natural to suppose that the value of Travis' legacy increased similarly through the centuries. The historian John Tomlinson was of the same opinion when he wrote in 1881: 'At that period (1706) this land was comparatively little value, but I am informed that now the clear annual rent is upwards of £300.' Perhaps it was, but it was not always to remain so.

A fall in the market price of grain in the nineteenth century reduced the profitability of the farms, and the rents which could reasonably be demanded for their occupation fell in proportion. By 1894, Rose Cottage Farm, Thorne, was let to William Leggott for an annual rent of £92, Jaques Bank Farm, Hatfield brought in an annual rent of £70 from Fred. T. Turner, and Bull Hassocks Farm was rented by John Chesman for £60, with an additional £5 per year for shooting rights over this land. Consequently the gross income of the charity had fallen to £227 per year by that time. Even that lower figure was not actually received however. Mr Leggott and Mr Turner had concluded agreements with the trustees to reduce their rent by 10 per cent so long as the price of wheat was less than fifteen shillings a load, and the Wroot tenant was in arrears with his rent, owing £75.

The master of the school at Thorne in 1837 was Mr William Waller. He is mentioned by Baines' directory as a Thorne Schoolmaster in 1882, although no reference to the Travis School is made. In 1828, Pigot's directory lists William Waller, master of the FREE SCHOOL, King Street. It is said in the 1837 report that he had been appointed about ten years previously and at that time of the report was receiving salary of £80 per year, for which he gave instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic to about seventy boys and girls of the parish. As the charity had no school in Thorne at that time, Mr Waller was allowed £3 14s a year (£3.70) to hire suitable premises in the town. One building which was used for this purpose was the Brook's charity schoolroom in King Street, on the site of the later (1862) Grammar School. This was not being used by Brook's Charity as the master of that school, the Rev Eric, Rudd taught the Brook's Charity boys in a schoolroom attached to the Vicarage in Stonegate, or employed an usher to do the job for him.

In 1837, at the time the report on Travis School was prepared, some dissatisfaction was expressed concerning the conduct of the master, Mr William Waller. It was stated that he exacted fees from children who were entitled to free education. Complaints were made that children under his instruction made but little progress. These charges were not very effectively made out; the trustees seemed surprised to hear of them and professed to have received no complaints before that time. It was further pointed out that Mr Waller had been appointed on the recommendation of seventy leading inhabitants of Thorne, and used the system of instruction followed by the National Schools.

Appeals were made from time to time to the Archbishop of the York for redress of real or supposed grievance and answers in writing are said to have been received from his Grace; but there is no record that the Archbishop ever visited or inspected any of the schools belonging to the charity.

The affairs of Travis' Charity school were to some extent interwoven with those of Thorne's other charity school, founded under Brooke’s trust. Indeed they may have become totally merged had not a scheme which proposed this been thwarted in 1858. As stated earlier, the Rev. Eric Rudd was the curate of Thorne and the master of Brooke’s Charity School, which owned but did not use its schoolroom in King Street. Quite clearly, this gentleman was very well liked and respected in the town. After his death, parishioners subscribed to a fund which was used to purchase a stained glass east window for the church as a memorial to one who had been minister of the parish for more than fifty years. Of his personal circumstances, it is recorded that his wife died thirty five years earlier, and their three sons at the age of 2, 14 and 15 respectively. The stipend of the curate was very low at the beginning of the nineteenth century and the opportunity to act as Brooke's School teacher provided a welcome, perhaps even an essential supplement to his income.

However, there was a feeling that the curate, in his capacity as schoolmaster, had not fulfilled the true intentions of Brook’s bequest. In 1827 a report on the parish of Thorne stated that the Rev Eric Rudd, appointed about 1801, kept a school in a room which was part of the premises occupied by him as curate. He instructed the children of poor persons in accordance with the terms of the trust, and also any other fee paying children that were send to him. The general complaint was that since the foundation of the charity, its' estate had greatly improved in value and it was felt that more than ten children ought to be taught free of charge. The population of the town had increased and so had the number of needy families.

At the death of Rev Eric Rudd in 1856 (aged 82), feelings concerning the administration of the Brooke's charity were still running high. It was said, that by imposing fees which were too high, the minister had reduced the number of day boys attending school to the bare number of the ten free scholars, while on the other hand, he took a number of boarders of a class for whom the School was probably not intended. It was at this time that some of the trustees attempted to arrange an amalgamation with the Travis School. It was proposed that three new schools, one for boys, one for girls and one for infants, should replace the existing facilities. A large number of the inhabitants were opposed to this, and petitioned the Charity Commissioners for an inquiry.

The Travis' Charity School had clear connection with the established church. The Brooke's Charity, on the other hand, was seen as a secular foundation, although the Church of England minister had, by custom and practise, acted both, as trustees and master of the school. The attempt to form a liaison with Travis' charity was supported by a number of influential members of the Church of England, including the minister and opposed by nonconformists and others who viewed it as a sectarian move.

The result of the investigation was ruling that the two charities could not be merged. Following this, the Brooke's trustees were obliged to consider a new scheme, and decided to build a school and house on the King Street site of the old property which was dilapidated beyond repair, and to appoint a university graduate as a full time master.

The Travis' Charity was affected by this plan since they would be obliged to find new premises for their school. With the assistance of donation of £400 from Miss Kitching, one of a family which had long been tenants of Rose Cottage Farm, the trustees were enabled to build a school with section for boys and girls on a rather cramped site near the church.

In the years before this school was erected, the attendance at the old building, about 75 in winter and 50 in summer, had been all boys. As for the new school, the trustees only paid for the boys' half. The girls' school (under the same roof, but entered by a separate porch) was erected by then vicar, partly by subscriptions, and conducted by him as a National School. The education provided was not entirely free, however. Tomlinson says that: 'the poorest parent could send his child for a fee of two pence a week, and where several children went from one family the charge was two for three halfpence.' At the time of the Schools Inquiry Commission (1865), there were 50 'free’ boys in the school and 64 more on the books, who paid one penny a week.
No girls were admitted free of charge. In 1875 there were forty 'free' boys nominated by the vicar. Other boys paid one shilling a quarter, which sum was used for buying school books. The girls' school at that time received only £10 a year from the endowment, and girls paid two or three pence a week according to circumstances. Later that year the Endowed Schools Commissioners persuaded the Travis trustees to bring the girls' school within endowment, and by making provision for girls, the trustees were carrying out the original intention of Henry Travis, something which had been lost sight of for many years. Also in 1875, the Travis schools were placed under government inspection, and they first became Public Elementary School in 1876.

In 1877, a new scheme for the administration of Travis' Charity School in Thorne, Hatfield and Wroot was established. Under it, the lands and properties belonging to the charity were vested in the Official Trustee of Charity Lands; all stock and securities not otherwise disposed of were transferred to the Official Trustee of Charitable Funds.

A new Governing Body was established, consisting of twelve persons, including representatives of the newly established School Boards which had come into being following the Education Act of 1870, and selected as follows:-

One appointed as the vicar and churchwardens of Thorne;
One by the vicar and churchwardens of Hatfield;
One by the rector and churchwardens of Wroot;
Two by the justices of the peace of the petty sessional division of Lower Strafforth and Tickhill;
One by the Board of Guardians of the Thorne Union;
Two by the School Board of Thorne;
Two by the ratepayers of Hatfield, until a School Board shall be formed for Hatfield township and thereafter by that Board;
Two by the ratepayers of Wroot.

The governors were empowered to use part of the capital endowment to provide alternative buildings or even to dispose of the girls' half of the Thorne school to any body of managers which would undertake to maintain and run it as a public elementary school for girls or infants or both. The scheme also had a number of other uses, apart from the direct grant to the school, to which the foundation's income could be applied. These included the provision of lending libraries for the scholars, prizes or scholarships of up to £5 each for pupils attaining the highest standards, and grants of £10 a year for further education at Brooke’s School, Thorne, Doncaster Grammar School or other place of higher education. If there were no fitting candidates, the prizes and awards could be made to pupils of other schools in the Poor Law Union of Thorne. Any income not used in these ways was to be kept in a suspense fund until it reached the sum of £500, when the Charity Commissioners would direct as to its disposal.

These high hopes were dashed by the circumstances already described in which the income of the charity was reduced in the latter part of the nineteenth century. In 1894, only £70 was available to distribute to each of the three schools. Since the inception of the scheme the grants had never exceeded £80. Repairs to the building had cost £58 6s in 1890 (the average annual figure was about £10) and none of the other provisions such as libraries and awards to scholars had been implemented, because of the shortage of funds. After the Elementary Education Act was passed in 1891, school fees were abolished and voluntary contributions were solicited. The managers of the school, the vicar, John Coulman, Joseph Foster and William Armitage were procuring subscriptions and holding a bazaar in 1894 for the purpose of erecting an additional classroom. Kelly's directory of 1901 notes that "additional accommodation was provided for 70 children in 1895".

The master at that date, Mr Ernest Miller, was appointed by the governors. The schools were conducted as Public Elementary Schools, but the Church of England Catechism was taught. A system of Diocesan Examinations was in operation, by which the children were periodically tested in singing, their understanding of the parables, ability to repeat the Catechism, and so on. The former boys' school was by then a mixed school, and the former girls’ school was occupied by infants and Standard I. The average attendance was 90 in the mixed school and 70 in the infants' school. In addition to the endowment grant, the school received a government grant of £129 15s, and an additional grant of £4 13s 6d was received from the Science and Art Department.

During the final quarter of the nineteenth century, other provisions for elementary education had been established in Thorne. The new Travis School in Church Street and the new Grammar School (as it was then called) in King Street were both completed about 1862-3. Having acquired these splendid new buildings, the people of the town were surprised to find that the accommodation provided still did not meet local requirements when the Education Act of 1870 obliged the local authorities to make provision for all children to attend school. A School Board was appointed and in 1877 the Board School, a building facing Fieldside, was opened. It later became Fieldside Junior School and at the present time is occupied by the Don Valley Institute of Further Education. When new, it was stated to have sufficient accommodation for three hundred children. The Infants' Department, opened in 1907 and said at that time to be able to accommodate 220 children, was later extended and became Fieldside First School.

Travis School continued to serve the community, with only minor alterations to the buildings, for 110 years from the date of opening of the Church Street schoolrooms.

William Waller, mentioned above, was the master from the 1820s until 1846 at least. In 1848 James Greystone was the master, and in 1851 James Roberts, so that Mr Roberts would be the Head when the new buildings came into use. He is mentioned in directories until 1881, but the log books of the school record that Elizabeth A. Robinson took charge of the school on Tuesday morning, 4th April, 1875 James (?) E. Noble took charge on Wednesday, 4th June 1879.
On January 7th 1884 Anne Gadsby records: 'I took charge of this school today.' Following an unfavourable inspector’s report a couple of months later, it was recommended that all the infants in the school should 'at once be dismissed' and on August 8th of that year Anne Gadsby wrote: 'In consequence of the alterations about to be made at this school, I have resigned my office of mistress.'

The school records also show us that some of the problems experienced by teachers today are by no means new: 'Dec 17th, 1890. This morning I wrote to Mr Wade complaining of the bad conduct of his son John Wade. In reply a verbal message was received to the effect that if I gave his children any cane he would take them away from school. I at once asked the boy if he would promise to behave better. To this he would not reply. I then told him to fasten his waistcoat which was open and made him look very untidy. This he refused to do, and when told to take his hands out of his pockets he made no movement to do so. I considered this proved that the parent was supporting the boy in his insubordination and therefore I sent him home and tonight I shall send a note telling Mr Wade that I cannot have the boy at school until I receive a promise of better conduct.'

There is no record of how this matter was resolved, or what happened in the case of the unfortunate Alice and Fred Lambert: 'September 30th 1889. This morning [I] refused re-admission to Alice and Fred Lambert, until I have an opportunity of seeing their parents. My reason for doing this were… First, the children come to school very dirty and [so] untidy that they are hardly fit to sit against and secondly although living next door to the school their attendance is so bad that it is impossible to get them on in their work…'

Another recalcitrant child caused a head teacher to write in 1884: 'Emma Barley was very rude this morning, and refused to work after playtime. She asked to leave school at 11.30 but was not allowed to do so. Mrs Barley came and insisted on taking her home saying she would not send her again. The girl in the presence of her mother was more impudent. I have refused to take the girl into school again unless some apology is made. The mother of the girl used most abusive language in the school, in the afternoon [she] came a second time in the same manner and took her youngest child out of school.
The Rev. J J Littlewood visited the school and the above matter was explained to him.'

In 1896 we can read: 'I have (for the second time in a fortnight) to send Hetty Cooper home on account of her head being full of filth. I have sent a note advising the hair to be cut close off. Insects were crawling all over her pinafore.'

The school had been re-organised in 1884, and in September of that year, Mr Ernest Miller was appointed Head. He remained in that appointment until 1913, when an unsigned log book entry on 1st September records: 'Took charge of this school today owing to the absence of Mr Miller, who is ill. Evidently, this was the supply head teacher, because he too fell victim to ill health shortly afterwards. The record says '15th December, 1913, Mr James Lynn (headmaster on supply) absent, ill with heart failure. Change of school assumed by Harold T. Marks.' Mr Marks' engagement ended on December 31st, however, and the next head, appointed in 1914, preferred to remain anonymous, leaving his logbook entries unsigned. We can say that it was a master rather than a mistress, as an entry of 1st May, 1916, remarks that: 'There have been numerous changes in the staff since the present Head Master took charge about two years ago.'

On April 2nd, 1917, Miss Helen A. Waller wrote: 'At the request of the Managers, I took charge of this school.' Mr William H. Hirst was appointed Head Master on February 1st 1918, returning from serving in the forces during the First World War. About this date begin notes added by former Head Mr Ernest Miller, who became 'correspondent' of the school at that time. Mr Hirst retired in December, 1950, and the school was then directed by Miss I. Osborn of the permanent supply staff for a few months. Miss T. J. Thompson was appointed Head Mistress in April 1951. She served in this capacity almost to the end of the Church Street School. When Mr G. A. Singleton was appointed to the post, plans were already in hand for the King Edward Road School to be built.



Travis staff July 1963. Mrs A Smith, Mrs Chester
Mrs Dickinson, Miss Thompson, Mrs Smith

For a period up to 1953 or thereabouts, entrance to secondary education at The Grammar School was by selective examination, the so-called County Minor Scholarship. At this time the Travis School earned an enviable reputation for the number of successes achieved in this examination, disproportionate to the numbers of its pupils when compared with the other local junior schools.

The Church Street building was abandoned some years ago, and the Board School is no longer in use as a school, although its infants department of 1907, with some later extensions and a number of detached buildings, remained the venue of Fieldside First School until December 1989. Brooke's School in King Street also had some connection with the former Fieldside Junior School, since the buildings were used for a time to accommodate three of its classes under an agreement concluded between the trustees of the Charity and the West Riding County Council. The writer himself attended school there in 1952 and 1953.

When the children of Fieldside First School finally left their Board School premises, and joined the successors to Travis School at the newly extended school in King Edward Road, it was suggested that the name 'William Brooke's School' should be adopted. At the present time, the official title of the school is still ‘King Edward First School.' However, if personal names are to be ascribed to schools in Thorne, the historical evidence surely indicates that the name ‘William Brooke's School' could more appropriately be applied to the present Grammar School. The eighteenth century philanthropists who founded Thorne’s early educational establishments ought not to be forgotten. In the case of King Edward First School there would seem to be a more logical argument in favour of associating it with the name of Henry Travis than that of William Brooke.

John B. Platt 1991

Published by Thorne Local History Society 2013