Thursday, 7 June 2012
St George's School
The following information is from a photocopy Beryl has of the history of the building of the original Day School at St George's. I don't know the source of the document, but it's entitled 'Our School Heritage' and is signed at the end 'A Proctor, School Trustee'.
"The foundation of what came to be known as the 'Old School', in Church Street, was laid in 1835 by Mrs Thomas Howard. the building was opened for Sunday School purposes on Whit Sunday, 22nd May 1836 and as a day school on the 26th. It was a handsome two storey building; the upper room was for boys and the lower room for girls. The cost was £1,300 and this amount was raised by three means.
First of all a subscription list in the form of a broadsheet two feet long and containing 120 names with the amount subscribed. This totalled £619. 13s. 0d.
From the start to the present time St George's people have given freely to the furtherance of the Christian faith. It is evident from the list of names that many who had given towards the erection of the Church were to the forefront in aiding the school.
Secondly a Grand Bazaar was organised in 1835. It received the patronage of her Majesty Queen Adelaide - Consort of William IV - who sent nine specimens of needlework she had made. These raised over £100. In all the bazaar realised £369. 15s. 0d.
The third means of acquiring the necessary capital came in the form of a Government grant of £300.
At the special service held in the Church to celebrate the opening of the school £46. 3s. 9d was collected. This sum topped the required amount.
The original school building
The 'New School'
By 1870 the population of Hyde had greatly increased and the Old School was far too small to accommodate the children of our growing town. The Education Act of that year made it compulsory for all children to receive an elementary education and so the necessity for a larger building was apparent.
So the 'New School' was erected in Henry Street and Tower Street; the foundation stone being laid by Mr John Sidebottom, J.P. of Kingston House on 3rd September, 1870. When opened this building was used as the boys school and the older building as the girls school. The cost of this building was £1,400.
The first extension
At this stage, there was an open area between the two buildings, used as a play ground. In 1895 at a cost of £700 a new wing was added to the older portion of the building. Finally in 1913 the open area was closed by a further extension, costing £2,000. So in four stages over a period of eighty years, the school building was erected and remained until 1978.
It is an interesting fact that the total cost of the four buildings which constituted the school was £5,400 which was approximately the total cost of St George's Church.
In 1836 when the school opened there were 50 day scholars, but by the end of the century this number had risen to 750. The Sunday School at this time numbered almost 1,000 scholars. In 1908, when Leigh St School was opened, about two thirds of the day scholars were transferred there.
celebration tea-parties for the School were held every 10 years from the 50th anniversary in 1886. In 1906 on the 70th anniversary 750 sat down to tea, in three sittings. There were a few original scholars present at this party. The centenary was celebrated in 1936 with a party of 350 people."
A photograph of the original school from, I would guess, the early 1960s
Here the first extension can be seen at the far end with the two subsequent extensions between that and the original building which faces onto Church Street.
A recent photograph showing how that corner of Church Street and Henry Street looks now
A recent photograph showing where the first extension was. You can still see the bottom part of the four buttresses and the protruding part in the middle where the entrance door was.
Gerald England did a post about Queen Adelaide's Tapestry in May 2011, which you can see here.