Malhamdale Local History Group
Clicking on most pictures will show a larger version
The schoolhouse in 2000
School Rules & Reglations 1872
MalhamTarn School pupils circa 1900
Day trip to Morecombe, 1928
Pupils in the field behind the school, 1932 (captioned)
Girls doing needlework and the boys working with raffia, 1932 (captioned)
Pupils with the teacher's pony circa 1933 (captioned)
Paddling in Malham Tarn, 1935 (captioned)
Nature walks were a welcome feature in fine weather.
Doris Carr with her pupils, 1936 (captioned)
Pupils in the field behind the school, 1936 (captioned)
Doris Carr setting off home to Lee Gate on her pony.
1938 - Pupils at Lee Gate for tea with their teacher, Doris Carr (captioned)
Donald Blades and Margaret Carr 1941
The National Savings cup 1943
Special Conditions of Sale
The History of Education in Malhamdale
Malham Tarn School (pre1872 - c.1945)
The School at Malham Tarn is described in the published Parish Accounts
and in a number of other places as Malham Moor School but the Rules and
Regulations for the School printed in 1872 are headed Malham Tarn Subscription
School and this is the name we shall use in this account.
This suggests that the school had been operating prior to this date.
Also, the first accounts of the school published in the annual Church
Statement of Accounts are for October 1st 1872 to Easter 1873 and show
a balance brought forward of £10 10s 0d and a payment of one and
a half years salary to the then schoolmistress, Miss Ada Firth.
The first meeting recorded in the Minute Book is a Special Meeting of the Committee on January 25th 1873. This meeting voted for Miss Firth to receive a present of £5 for 1872 with the understanding that the committee do not bind themselves to pay more than £25 per annum as a yearly salary. However, by June 27th of 1873, at an extraordinary meeting of the committee it was proposed that in consequence of the present Schoolmistress not giving satisfaction to the subscribers generally that she be paid three months salary. An amendment was moved That Miss Firth get the chance of resigning in place of being dismissed - one months salary to be paid should she resign her situation. A final diplomatically worded resolution was unanimously adopted -
Miss Firth declined to resign. She was given three months notice and advertisements for a new teacher were placed in the Guardian, Leeds Mercury and Lancaster Guardian.
At this time there were twenty three subscribers to the School with Walter Morrison and William Bissett giving £5 per annum each and other subscriptions ranging down to 5s 0d. There was also an income of £3 0s 0d from rent of Low Trenhouse Pasture.
By July 12th four applications had been received and these were invited to send further details and references. One week later on July 19th a meeting was held to consider the appointment of a schoolmistress. Here it was resolved that Miss Hatfield be written to explain the state of the country to her which lies at an elevation of some 2130 feet above sea level.; Miss Chumley be written to and asked to send testimonials and where last engaged.; and Mrs Reaney be written to asking her to come to Settle (Lion Hotel, Settle) on Tuesday first the 22nd Instant, by the train leaving Leeds at 10 am. At the same meeting it was passed that Miss Firth be paid £5 as her three months salary instead of her usual £6 5s 0d. Also Miss Firth sent in an account for fire, light and house rent amounting in all to £2 but the Committee refused to entertain the application.
At a Select meeting of the Committee on July 26th Mrs Reaney was unanimously elected to the office of Schoolmistress.
The next entry in the Minute Book is a Subscribers Meeting on Friday April 10th 1874 at which the stock of books was examined. This showed :-
The accounts of the School each year show an amount for the sale of books so we can perhaps assume that the teacher had the responsibility of purchasing and reselling books for use by the children. Whether some discrepancy was found with the stock of books or what other action of the teacher had displeased the subscribers we can only surmise but one month later on Wednesday May 13th a Special meeting of the committee was held to decide what steps to take with regard to the recent conduct of the teacher. A proposal by Rev Henley that three months notice to leave be given to the present Schoolmistress, Mrs Reaney. was amended to the effect that notice be given to the mistress to leave on June 30th and the amendment carried by 4 to 2.
Mrs Reaney was not prepared to go on these terms and the Minutes read
Notice in pursuance of the former resolution having been given
to Mrs Reaney to leave she appeared before the Committee and claimed a
full three months notice. Eventually, however, she said she would
leave on the 30th June in consideration of the notice to her being withdrawn.
On July 2nd 1874 it was resolved that Mary Wrench be appointed Schoolmistress of the Malham Tarn Subscription School at a salary of £35 per annum, with fire and lights and lodging free. Three months notice to be given on either side.
No mention is made in the Minute Book up to this time as to where the School is situated but at an Annual Meeting of the Subscribers on Saturday April 3rd 1875 a proposition is moved by Mr Howarth and seconded by Mrs Redmayne That our cordial thanks be given to Mr Morrison for his liberality in building the new school-house and in contributing so largely to the support of the school; and that the Secretary be requested to convey this resolution to Mr Morrison. It must be remembered that this was in the year following the opening of the United School, which was also built at Mr Morrisons personal expense.
The School had been open since the beginning of the year and the occasion of the opening had not passed without celebration for in January of 1875 we have the following report: -
The building was (and still is) in typical Walter Morrison Estate style. The school itself consisted of a single room equipped with a few desks and a storage cupboard and heated by a coal fire. The teachers accommodation was basic with ...one of those little desks, a table, some chairs, an oil stove, and in a little bedroom, just a bed, a wardrobe and dressing table.
There must have been some good parties in those days on Malham Moor for reported in the Craven Herald and Pioneer 1876 is the following:
The following form of advertisement for a new teacher was adopted:
On Saturday April 5th 1878, Miss Brown of Giggleswick was appointed with
the proviso that her qualifications met the requirements of the Education
Department. At the same meeting the Secretary was requested to apply to
the Education Department for the necessary forms to be filled up to place
the school under inspection.
Rev. Henley undertook to write to the clergyman of Eldon to enquire of Miss Reids qualifications and character. Clearly the reply was satisfactory for Miss Reid (Miss Maggie Grey Reade according to the published accounts) was appointed, but by 30th September she too had resigned. Once more about one hundred applications were received and Miss Agnes Clarke of Liverpool was appointed.
On Monday 24th August 1891 a special meeting of the Managers was held at Mr Ellershaws house to consider Circular 307 of the Education Department dated 10th August 1891 requesting the Managers to inform it whether they proposed to accept a grant of ten shillings per child in average attendance. They decided to accept. From this time the school ceased to be fee paying.
The minutes do not record the departure of Agnes Clarke but by May 1893 Miss Sarah Greening is shown in the annual accounts as Mistress and at the annual meeting of the committee (now describing themselves as Governors) on Friday June 2nd 1893 Miss Greening was awarded an additional fortnights salary of £1. 13. 4d. This was in consideration of the additional work thrown upon her by having to keep the school open on Saturdays in order to meet the Government requirements regarding the number of times the school had to be open during the school year.
In April 1894 the minutes report the death of John Whittingdale Ellershaw who had been the Correspondent, Secretary and Treasurer to the committee since 1874 and Allan Ellershaw was appointed a manager and also Correspondent and Secretary with WalterMorrison taking the position of Treasurer.
Miss Greening resigned in November 1895 and in a letter to the Chairman she asked to be set at liberty at once. Her resignation was accepted and Miss Elizabeth Ellershaw was engaged as temporary teacher for the five weeks from Monday, November 19th to Christmas at a salary of twenty five shillings per week. An advertisement was drawn up to be placed in the Schoolmaster, the Schoolmistress, the Yorkshire Post and the Leeds Mercury. Things moved with amazing speed for on Friday, November 30th there was a meeting of the Managers at which a letter was read from a Miss Annie Bussell dated November 25th stating her inability to attend the meeting owing to H. M. Inspectors having fixed that day for the inspection of her school at Bolas Magna. Mr Henley reported that he had already written to Miss Bussell asking her to come to Malham Tarn on Wednesday, December 5th and to meet the Managers on the following day. Miss Bussell duly attended and the minutes report :
The answer must have been no. The Managers did not meet again until 10th June 1895 when Mr Henley reported that :
Perhaps, being interviewed in London meant that Miss Barker did not appreciate the bleak environment of Malham Moor until she arrived to take up her post for she did not stay long at the school. She is shown as Mistress in the accounts published in May 1896 but the minutes of a Managers meeting on 16th September 1896 indicate that by that time Miss Offer was in the position. Also it appears from these minutes that the schoolhouse was in joint tenancy as -
In May 1897 Mr John Winskill joined the Managers as Secretary and Treasurer
in place of Allan Ellershaw who had left the district and in June 1898
Rev. David Renwick Hall joined the Committee in place of the deceased
Managers meeting minutes for the next few years show little more
than Form 9 being completed, signed and sent to the
Education Department but in January 1903 a form of application to the
Board of Education for an order under Section 11 of the Education Act
1902 was completed.
In October 1904 a report of the West Riding Architects Department
drew attention to the condition of the internal painting. The Managers
claimed that this should be the responsibility of the County Council but
none the less they agree to do the work themselves. They stated, however,
that to do it now would necessitate the shutting of the school
for a week at a time when the children are able to attend from a distance
and they proposed to postpone doing it until the Christmas Holidays.
Abraham Banks represented the school at a conference on Secondary Education
at Settle on Tuesday, February 21st 1905.
Miss Hollywood was appointed but by February the following year the Managers
had the following complaint before them:
Mr Winskill reported to the Managers that for a few months since the
Government Inspection there had been irregularity as to time
which had got worse and worse and as a result he had begun to make a record.
The minutes list the times that the school had opened and loosed
as well as the length of the playtime on various days as witnessed by
him, his wife and certain other managers. Read
the letter which was drafted to be sent to Miss Hollywood about the problem.
The minutes do not record whether an increase in salary was approved
but Miss Duckworth did stay at the school until November 1915. At this
time Mr Winskill was authorised by the managers to appoint if anyone fully
certificated applied for the post and on November 19th he wrote to a Miss
Dingwall of Combe School, Hungerford, Berkshire offering the job. Miss
Dingwall replied withdrawing her application as she had been offered another
school in Berkshire but a week later a Miss Dorothy Jackson applied and
Mr Winskill wrote back on the same day appointing her. It seems that both
of these ladies were offered the post without being seen. The choice of
Miss Jackson was evidently not a bad one for in March 1920 the Managers
minute that: The conduct efficiency and progress of Miss Jackson
and the scholars of this school is considered by the Managers unanimously
to be highly satifactory.
Miss Jackson remained until December1921 but her successor, Jessie Stuart
of Warrington, resigned after only six months when a Miss Yevden was appointed.
In December 1926 the Managers recommended Phyllis Mary Thornber to the
County Education Authority for their approval as Head Teacher, there having
been eight applications, and in June 1828 they unanimously record:
For the period from 1933 to the beginning of the Second World War the memories of Dorothy Ingham (nee Blades ), a pupil of Doris Carr, provide a clear picture of life in the school. Her recollections probably reflect a school life not greatly changed from the previous century:
Nature walks were a feature in fine weather, going through the woods
and over the Tarn Scar as well as visiting the two boathouses and the
gamekeepers larders, there being two gamekeepers, Mr Usher of Keepers
Cottage and Mr Alderson of Sandhills Cottage. The children searched for
birds nests, picked bunches of snowdrops, collected fibre from the
woods for planting hyacinth bulbs and wild strawberries to eat. There
were also games of rounders and cricket in the field behind the school
and sledging in the front meadow in Winter. Every Summer there would be
a day trip to Morecambe paid for by Mr & Mrs Hutton Croft of the Tarn
House. In Walter Morrisons day the children had been taken to the
station by horse and trap but in the 1930s they travelled to Giggleswick
station in the open back of the estate lorry.
Christmas parties for Malham Moor children were held in the decorated
schoolroom and Mr Len Chapman from Shepherds Cottage organised the
games. Later these were held in the Tarn House. Every child would receive
a present from the tree. After the party Dorothys father would take
the family home by horse and trap. They were so excited as it was the
only time that he used the trap lamps.
When War came the ARP warden came up from Airton to give ARP drill. There
were no air raid shelters at the school so each child was designated a
rock in the field behind the school to lie behind. One night German planes
which had been to bomb Liverpool were being chased and unloaded their
bombs over Fountains Fell. The next day the children all went to see the
huge craters and each child came back with a piece of shrapnel as a souvenir.
One day nineteen evacuees from Bradford arrived at the school to the great
excitement of the Malham Moor children. However there were no desks or
chairs for them and they were never seen again.
In 1942 Doris Carr married John Thompson and she was succeeded as headmistress by a Miss Billows who lodged at High Trenhouse. Miss Billows did not remain for long before she was replaced by Miss Smith who was to be the last of twenty four teachers. Miss Smith is recorded as living in the two rooms over the school when the Schedule was drawn up for the sale of the Malham Tarn Estate on July 28th 1944. By the time Miss Smith took charge at Malham Moor School there were only a handful of children attending, probably only Tony Coates from Low Trenhouse, Donald Blades from Capon Hall, Robert Harrison from Malham Tarn and Margaret Carr from High Trenhouse. Margaret recalls having to run round the rocks in the field behind the school after morning prayers and before lessons began.
In 1943 Margaret Carrs grandparents moved down into Kirkby Malham and Margaret went to live with them in order to attend the United School at Kirkby Top and this reduced the numbers to an unviable level. Correspondence in June and July 1944 between the Chief Inspector of the Bradford Diocesan Education Committee, Miss Smith, the Managers and the Vicar, the Revd. A. B. Chick, shows that the school was still open at this time. These letters relate to the refusal by Miss Smith and the Managers to an inspection of Religious Knowledge. The Inspector claimed that the Trust Deeds of the school called for inspection by the Diocesan Inspectors and that within the meaning of the Act the school was a Church of England School. It is unclear how the matter was resolved and in any case the school closed down on 5th Dec 1946. Following the closure children from Malham Moor coming of school age had to go to Langcliffe School and from there to Ingleton.
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