Malhamdale Local History Group    





Clicking on most pictures will show a larger version




The schoolhouse in 2000




School Rules & Reglations 1872



Pupils 1900

MalhamTarn School pupils circa 1900



Day Trip

Day trip to Morecombe, 1928



Pupils 1932

Pupils in the field behind the school, 1932 (captioned)




Girls doing needlework and the boys working with raffia, 1932 (captioned)



Pupils 1923

Pupils with the teacher's pony circa 1933 (captioned)




Paddling in Malham Tarn, 1935 (captioned)



Nature walk

Nature walks were a welcome feature in fine weather.



Pupils 1936

Doris Carr with her pupils, 1936 (captioned)



Pupils 1936

Pupils in the field behind the school, 1936 (captioned)



Doris Carr

Doris Carr setting off home to Lee Gate on her pony.



Pupils 1938

1938 - Pupils at Lee Gate for tea with their teacher, Doris Carr (captioned)




Donald Blades and Margaret Carr 1941




The National Savings cup 1943
L-R Miss Smith, Bernice and Harry Beresford, Margaret Carr, with Robert Harrison holding the cup.




Extract From:
Schedule of the Sale of Malham Tarn Estate
Friday July 28th 1944

Tenant Rent

School House Mr J Chapman £10 8s 0d
School School Managers £ 1 0s 0d
Rooms over School Miss Smith £ 6 10s 0d


3) School and School House

The former containing Classroom with Two Rooms over. The Classroom let to the School Managers at an acknowledgment rental of £1 per annum and the Two Rooms to Miss Smith, furnished, on a monthly tenancy at 2s 6d per week. The School House has Two Bedrooms, Kitchen, Scullery, Pantry, and Out Offices, and is let to Mr Chapman on a monthly tenancy at 4s 0d per week.

Special Conditions of Sale

20(c)      Subject exclusively and in exoneration of all other hereditaments charged therewith to the Fish Doles Charity of 15s 0d per annum payable to the Malham Tarn School Committee.



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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.

The date of opening of the school is unclear. In his Annual Report in May 1872 Rev Henley writes,

“I am at present officially connected with only two schools in the parish, that at Scosthrop, and the Malham Tarn Subscription School, which has just been put under the management of a committee.”

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 year’s salary to the then schoolmistress, Miss Ada Firth.

The Rules and Regulations
for the school are dated April 5th 1872 can be seen on the left and give the Committee for that year as :-

Walter Morrison Esq. M.P. President
William Bissett, Treasurer and Secretary
James Metcalfe
Rev. T. C. Henley
John Ellershaw
James Howarth
Thomas Coulthard

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 month’s salary to be paid should she resign her situation.” A final diplomatically worded resolution was unanimously adopted -

“That in view of the new and more strict requirements of Government regarding Elementary schools, the Committee are of opinion that arrangements should be made for raising the teaching of Malham Tarn School to a higher standard than heretofore; and that resolution be conveyed to the present Teacher, Miss Firth, with a suggestion that she should facilitate the carrying out of it by resigning her situation, on receiving a month’s payment, so that the change may be made at midsummer.”

Miss Firth declined to resign. She was given three month’s 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 :-

Laurie’s 1st Standard Reading Books 7
Laurie’s 2nd Standard Reading Books 8
Laurie’s 3rd Standard Reading Books 10
Laurie’s 4th Standard Reading Books 6
Bibles 6
Testament 1
Mavor’s Spelling Book 3 at 9d
Findley Murray’s Spelling Book 2 at 9d
Findley Murray’s Spelling Book 1 at 11d
Stepping Stones to Knowledge 2 at 11d
Sundries 5
Mark Books 24
Copy Books 73

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 month’s 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.”
A letter was read from Mr Morrison suggesting “an attempt to engage one of the candidates for the mistressship on the occasion of the last vacancy and offering to contribute £5 additional towards the increase of the salary now given if she were engaged.” It was resolved that “the secretary be requested to make inquiries respecting the person referred to.”

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 Morrison’s 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: -

An entertainment was given on Wednesday evening in connection
with the opening of a new school, recently erected by the kindness
of W Morrison Esq. — the principal landowner in the township. The building had been erected by Mr T Ingham, Clerk of Works under Mr Morrison , who had made every effort to make it as neat and comfortable as possible. The room was neatly decorated with flowers and evergreens by Mr Coulthard the gardener to Mr Morrison and on four sides were hung some suitable mottoes painted by Miss Howarth. An excellent free tea was provided by the committee out of funds. A goodly number were there, despite great quantities of snow which made the state of the roads almost impassable. School Committee Chairman was Mr James Howarth of Capon Hall Entertainment was provided by Mrs Ellershaw who played the violin. Mr Battersby
(who was Mr Morrison’s coachman) second violin, and Mr Coulthard violoncello. Also, Misses Tennant, Ward, Robinson and Lee.

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 teacher’s accommodation was basic with “ 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:

School Treat.
The annual treat was given to the scholars of the Malham Tarn School and their friends, on Saturday, the 21st inst., on the grounds of Walter Morrison, Esq. There was, as usual, a fair attendance of the elite of the neighbourhood and their friends. About 120 sat down to an excellent tea, after which the children (under the guidance of Mr. T. Coulthard) sang in good time some of Sankey’s choicest pieces. The children were regaled with a good supply of sweets, oranges, &c., and the young folks began to dance on the lawn, but rain beginning to fall they had to take themselves off into some empty rooms over the coach-house and stables, and there being plenty of violinists, two or three parties were dancing at the same time, which was kept up until the shades of evening closed the scene. We venture to say that there are but few places having the same attractions for holding an outdoor tea party. The extensive lawn, intersected with carefully arranged flower-beds, coupled with its lake and surrounding scenery, on a fine summer’s day, is one of the loveliest places we know of on which to spend a few leisure hours.

Miss Wrench remained at the School for almost three years but only after she had been persuaded to withdraw her resignation in November 1875. Then, at a Special Meeting of subscribers on Wednesday 27th February 1878 when Miss Wrench’s resignation was read and accepted a resolution was passed “That steps be taken to engage a certificated teacher and to place the school under government inspection.” It was also resolved that “After the Easter holidays the school be made a pay school and that the fees be 3d per week for pupils above 7 years of age, and 2d for infants under that age”.

The following form of advertisement for a new teacher was adopted:

Wanted after Easter
A certificated Mistress or passed Pupil Teacher, to take charge of a school of twenty children. Salary, £45 a year and half Government Grant including special grant of £15 a year given to Rural Schools.
Lodgings, coals and candles free.
A musical qualification greatly appreciated.
Address Mr J W Ellershaw, Malham Tarn, Bell Busk, Leeds

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.
Miss Brown remained at the school for over eight years. In June 1883 she requested and was given a testimonial as she was seeking another post but she must have been unsuccessful. It was not until July 29th 1886 that she resigned, having accepted a position at Lord G Fitzroy’s School at Euston in Suffolk. The post was advertised under identical terms to eight years previously and by the Managers’ meeting on August 30th there were one hundred applicants of which four were selected “for further inquiry”. Mr Ellershaw went to Nelson to see one of them, a Miss Woodward, who was then invited to come to Malham Tarn. “She came on September 8th. After looking round she expressed herself satisfied in every way and agreed to commence her duties on September 13th.”
Miss Woodward resigned on August 1st 1888 and on November 8th the committee drew up a short list of four candidates:

1st Miss Reid
2nd Miss Bradbury
3rd Miss Jackson
4th Miss Ellis


Rev. Henley undertook to write to the clergyman of Eldon to enquire of Miss Reid’s 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 Ellershaw’s 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 fortnight’s 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 Managers were pleased with her appearance and manners and decided to offer her the engagement, with the understanding that she give a definite yes or no before leaving the hall next morning.”

The answer must have been no. The Managers did not meet again until 10th June 1895 when Mr Henley reported that :


“Miss Annie Bussell having declined the engagement the place was advertised four times and with the result that several applications were received but the only applicant who was eligible and who did not withdraw was Miss Annie E Barker who was engaged on the same terms as her predecessor after an interview with Mr Morrison in London.”

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 -

“It was reported that Richard William Richardson and his wife had left the schoolhouse and that Alfred Ward and his wife were about to move in. It was resolved that Allan Ellershaw should arrange with Alfred Ward and the Schoolmistress, Miss H. Offer, the conditions of their respective tenancies of the schoolhouse.”

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 Rev. Henley.
Miss Offer must have been held in reasonably high regard for when, in June 1898, she resigns due to ill health after two years service Walter Morrison offered to pay her ten shillings per week until June 1899. Miss T. Hesmondhalgh was offered the position to begin on June 27th but by November 1898 she too has been “compelled” to resign on grounds of ill health. Miss Isabel Yeoman of Kirkby Malham who was presently Assistant Teacher at Hellifield was appointed to begin “as soon as she can leave her present place” We can but assume that this was the same Isabel Yeoman who was Pupil Teacher at Airton Board School in 1891/92. Miss Yeoman stayed at the school for some six years.

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.
Alfred Ward appears again in the minutes in June 1904 when it was agreed -

“That Alfred Ward of Waterhouses be paid as caretaker ten shillings per month for eight months and seven shillings a month for four months amounting to £5 8s 0d per annum for lighting fires, brushing(?) the room three times a year and whitewashing the ceiling once a year.”

In October 1904 a report of the West Riding Architect’s 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.
In February 1905 they agreed that Frank Hodkin should be appointed caretaker in place of Alfred Ward at the same remuneration. At the same meeting, in response to a Notice from the County Council, they resolved to write to the Education Dept. informing them that Catechism was taught once a week from 9 to 9.30 which included opening the school with prayers and a hymn and catechism for about twenty minutes.

Abraham Banks represented the school at a conference on Secondary Education at Settle on Tuesday, February 21st 1905.
By September 8th 1905 the post of teacher was again vacant with only one applicant, Mrs Lavinia Michael, then at Raikes Endowed School at Pateley Bridge as a supplementary teacher. The Managers decided to appoint her subject to satisfactory testimonials. Also they appointed Mrs Hodkin as caretaker at a salary of 2s 6d per week “the cleaning to be done according to County Council rules.” Perhaps surprisingly, Mrs Hodkin received equal pay to the men previously employed as caretakers.
In March 1907 four applications were being considered for the post now described as “Headmistress”, Mrs J. Coates having been appointed as temporary Mistress during Mrs Michael’s incapacity through sickness. The four applicants were:

1) Charlotte E Schofield Age 62 Certificated Teacher
2) Miss Henderson Age 45 Certificated Teacher
3) Miss Georgina Hollywood Age 28 Certificated Teacher, School House, Harome, Nawton, R.S.O. Yorkshire
4) Miss Elsie Simon Age 27 Uncertificated, School House, Boyndlie, Frazerburg, Scotland.

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.
We do not know Miss Hollywood’s reaction to the letter but she stays in her post until early 1909 when a Miss Hargreaves of Appletreewick, assistant teacher at Settle School is appointed. On June 19th 1911 Miss Hargreaves’ resignation is accepted and the post is offered to a Miss Duckworth of Telcombe School on the Sussex coast near Brighton with a Miss Cameron in reserve. Miss Duckworth accepted the position and in January 1913 she wrote to the Managers requesting an increase in salary. Mr Winskill reported in the minute book that due to the severe weather it was difficult to convene a committee meeting and he therefore saw the members separately “except for Mr Morrison who was away from home in Algiers”. In a letter he then wrote to the West Riding Education Department recommending an increase for Miss Duckworth he stated :

“We think that Miss Duckworth’s conduct is all that can be desired and she appears to take more than ordinary pains in the teaching and welfare of the children and hereby recommend your committee to consider and if possible advance her salary. Besides the above reasons we wish to call your attention to the difficulty in keeping a good teacher here are her isolation from relations, friends and other schools as with the exception of general holidays it is impossible to utilise Friday evenings to Monday mornings in getting a change as there are no means of travelling by road or rail without a great expense (bicycles are no use here) especially in Autumn rains and Winter snows winds and hills. There are 16 scholars with various ages and standards add to the difficulty of teaching these small isolated schools.”

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.
A great milestone in the administration of the School occurred on March 17th 1923 when Major Morrison D.S.O. was appointed as a Foundation Manager in place of the late Walter Morrison who had been a member of the Management Committee for almost 51 years. It seems that Major Morrison also accepted a financial responsibility for the maintenance of the school for in March 1926 the County Council wrote requiring repairs to the yard and to the windows and also recommended the heating of the schoolroom. The committee asked the correspondent to write to the County Council to inform them that the carting, laying and levelling of new gravel in the yard would be a great expense to Major Morrison and asked the Council if “they would kindly allow them the sum of £20 towards the heating apparatus”. They pointed out that “the heating would be a great saving in the fuel beside the heat would be more equally distributed throughout the room”.

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:
“That we wish to observe the Inspectors are satisfied with her teaching (Phyllis Thornber) and we are pleased to think She as been very conscientious and punctial in her teaching and attendance.” (sic)
The minute book we have seen ends at this point although there must have been a later one. Between Phyllis Thornber and when Doris Carr became Head Teacher in 1932 a Mr Bilton is recorded as Head Master.

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:


She walked three miles each day to school from Capon Hall wearing clogs from Jimmy Nelson’s shop in Settle and woollen socks knitted by her aunt on her sock machine. In Spring and Summer time the walks were enjoyable with wild flowers such as orchids, cowslips and avons to pick along the roadside and in Globeflower Wood. The only fears were of meeting one of the tramps who roamed the moor or a bull peering over a wall. After the post began to be delivered by van there was the occasional lift with the postman, sitting in the back among the mail. In Winter it could be a different matter. Walking to school when the road was wall-top high with snow was not unusual and in periods of very severe snow many children could be absent from school. One wintry day when the children were busy at their lessons a loud knock came on the door. It was Dorothy’s grandfather banging with his walking stick. He was very angry with the teacher for keeping the children there in such blizzard conditions and ordered them to put on their overcoats and go home with him.
Except for the Malham Tarn children who went home, all the pupils took a packed lunch. Hers, packed in a tin box, consisted of sandwiches made with home baked bread and farm butter, home made cakes and a small tin of cocoa and sugar and bottle of milk for a lunch time drink made with a kettle of water boiled over an open coal fire. For the mid-morning break she took Ovaltine in an old medicine bottle. During the early War years the pupils also had to carry their Gas Masks in a cardboard box with a string attached. Dorothy recalls that one lunch time, while the kettle was being boiled and the teacher was upstairs in her room, two boys decided they would play a prank. They took the poker, put it into the fire until it was red hot, and bored a hole in the wooden floor. They then placed the teacher’s chair so that one leg was over the hole, the idea being that as soon as she sat down the chair would tip and she would be thrown over backwards. The plan failed and they were both severely caned. Lunchtime activities also included gardening, each child having a plot of garden to care for.
here were at that time between five and ten children attending the school; from infants up to the school leaving age of fourteen. School started with prayers and a hymn and the subjects taught were English, Arithmetic, History, Geography, P.E., Nature Study and Needlework. The infants would play with toys while all the older children were taught together. Dorothy remembers making two dresses, one with a panel of cross-stitch embroidery down the front, as well as embroidered felt slippers and other items. The boys would do raffia work and also knitting whilst the young children knit dishcloths. The only exam taken was the County Minor Scholarship which was held in the Primary School in Upper Settle; quite an ordeal, no doubt. Her recollection is that only one child passed while she was there.

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 Keeper’s 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 Morrison’s day the children had been taken to the station by horse and trap but in the 1930’s 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 Shepherd’s Cottage organised the games. Later these were held in the Tarn House. Every child would receive a present from the tree. After the party Dorothy’s 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.

The schoolroom was also used for church services with Rev. Pauling riding up from Kirkby Malham on his bicycle to officiate. These included baptisms, Nellie Blades being christened there in 1933 and her brother Donald Blades in 1936.
One treat was to be allowed out of lessons to buy a few sweets. Mr Popay, a travelling greengrocer from Long Preston would visit Malham Moor and when he arrived at Holme Farm he would sound his horn very loudly so that the children could hear it in school. 1d would buy a tube of fruit gums or 2d a Fry’s crème bar. Mr Popay was a jolly man and would occasionally give the Blades children a lift back to Capon Hall, singing loudly as he drove.

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.
The first Dentist to visit the school in about 1939 was a Miss Phillips who lived at Coronation Villa, Malham. There was also a school nurse, Mrs Barber from Airton.

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 Carr’s 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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