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Education and Employment

Extracts From The Log Book of St. Mary's School

The log book was kept by the head teacher of the school and recorded various events through the school year. We have selected some extracts that might be of interest!

Image: picture of the school

5th Sept 1870 Opened school. Only 24 present the rest absent on various work such as Threshing, cow and pig tending, nursing younger children, minding the house etc.

3rd. June 1873 Rugeley horse fair prevented many who had to come from that direction being here owing to the number of horses on the road.

3rd. June 1895 School closed for another two weeks on account of the measles epidemic. The school is being thoroughly cleaned. The old well is closed up and a new one is being sunk.

15th. January 1914 The elder children are now leaving school as soon as they can get away. There is a great demand for domestic servants and the girls are spoken for long before they are 13 years of age. The boys are wanted on the farms as many men have enlisted for the War.

19th. October 1917 The children have subscribed 16 shillings towards comforts for the wounded soldiers at Ravenhill hospital, Rugeley. More than a ton of chestnuts have also been gathered for the war effort.

30th. October 1923 In the afternoon the school started at 1 o clock and closed at 3.15 p.m. on account of a circus visiting the village.

29th July 1930 Britain’s newest airship R100 went over Colton at 6.a.m. on its voyage to Montreal. Many children got up early to see it. 

14th.September 1936 Water laid on for the first time. Two taps, one in the cloakroom at the side of the north room and one in the cloakroom for the girls.

3rd. September 1939, Sunday War was declared on Germany because Hitler would not withdraw his troops from Poland. Head teacher attended meeting at Lichfield about arrangements for the children to be evacuated from areas likely to be bombed.

26th.& 29th January 1940 A terrific blizzard started this afternoon….the snow is about 3 feet. Deep. …Soldiers billeted at Colton House helped clear snow off the railway. Colton road was impassable to traffic for 10 days….There was a shortage of coal, food was scarce, especially meat….School did not reopen until 12th. February

2nd. June 1940 Evacuees from Westgate on Sea , Kent, detrained at Lichfield and went by bus to Frog Lane School there for medical inspection. Afterwards they came on to Colton by bus. They arrived at 8.30. p.m. and were received by the Head Teacher supported by his wife and others of the Parish. By 10p.m. all the children wee billeted.

4th. June 1940 68 evacuees from St. Saviour’s C.E. School at Westgate and their teachers all attended this school. The two schools were kept separate under their own teachers.

Image: picture of evacuee from Westgate on Sea, taken at their school

This picture was kindly sent to us by Tony Atkinson, one of the evacuees. This is the class of schoolchildren that came to Colton taken outside their school at Westgate on Sea.

25th. November 1940 12 delayed action bombs fell in Colton parish on Friday evening….None has exploded yet.

29th. August 1944 School reopened. 5 official new evacuees from Harrow and Wembley and one private evacuee from Worcester Park. These have all come on account of the flying bomb menace in London.

21st. December 1946 The first school Christmas party since 1938.


More about Education & Employment

  A History of Education in Colton
An account of the various schools that have been established in Colton.
(click here)
  Extracts from the Log Book of St. Mary's School
Many school memories going back to 1864. (click here)
  Employment in Colton
How people have earned a living in Colton through the ages. (click here)
  Farming in Colton
Farming practices in Colton through the ages. (click here)
  Medieval Glassmaking in and Around Colton
The evidence we have of this occupation. (click here)
  The Mills at Colton
An account of the mills that once served Colton. (click here)
  Steam Comes Through Colton
How Colton people found work on the railway. (click here)
  The Canal comes to Colton
Local employment on the canal including the account of a murder! (click here)