The Magazine of Lenton Local History Society

Lenton Board School 1874 to 1902
Lenton Council Schools 1902 to 1932

Photographs | Memories | Map

The Lenton Public Un-sectarian Schools opened in 1874. Three years later Lenton was absorbed into the Borough of Nottingham, following the Borough Extension Act of 1877, and Lenton's Unsectarian Schools were then handed over to the Nottingham School Board.

The Nottingham School Board decided to build a new Boys' School on the land across the road from the existing schools. This was built in 1887. Once the Boys' Elementary School took up residience there, which they did in early 1888, the Girls' Elementary and Infant Schools were able to share out the Boys' former premises between them. Further enlargement of the Schools was soon required and the Board had a new Girls' Elementary School constructed and opened in 1899 on land to the rear of the Boys' School.

Following the dissolution of School Boards in 1902 responsibility for these schools passed to Nottingham City Council. No major changes occurred until the 1930s. After the opening of the Cottesmore 'Central Schools, Lenton's Elementary Schools were both closed down in July 1932. In their place Lenton Junior School (Mixed) came into being and was housed in the buildings vacated by the Girls' and Boys'. This meant that the Lenton Infant School ended up on its own across the road in the original school building.


Lenton/Nottingham Board School 1874 to 1902

Courtesy of Angela Haigh


Lenton/Nottingham Council Schools 1902 to 1932

1902 to 1909

Courtesy of Jim Norris


1910 to 1919

Courtesy of Tim Preston

Courtesy of Tim Preston

Courtesy of Angela Haigh




Courtesy of Tim Preston

Courtesy of Reg Meakin

Courtesy of Angela Haigh




1920 to 1929

Courtesy of A.B. Arnold

Photograph courtesy of Lenton Local History Society

Photograph courtesy of Lenton Local History Society.




1930 to 1932

Photograph courtesy of Lenton Local History Society

Photograph supplied by Dennis Gooding



For School photographs after 1932 - click here


ALBERT NORRIS - From Lenton Listener Issue No. 47 - August/September 1987

I started at Lenton Infant School on Lenton Boulevard in May 1909 at the age of 5 and remained there for a year after which I crossed the road to the Boys' School and stayed there for the next seven years.

In those days we were summoned to school by the First bell, which rang out from the tower at ten minutes to nine. The Second bell sounded at nine, by which time we had put our coats in the cloakroom and lined up in the hall for morning prayers and a bible reading. The doors to the hall were firmly shut and latecomers had to wait outside. Following the readings and a brief talk by Miss Herod, the headmistress, on the need to be kind to each other or some other similar theme, the latecomers were marched in to receive one stroke of the strap for being late. I found the idea of kindness to others hard to reconcile with the stinging slap from the strap.

As an infant I started in the 'babies' class with Miss Burrows, a very nice lady, but soon moved on to other classes where boys and girls were taught separately. It was now that the 'fun' stopped. Discipline was by means of the taws, a leather thonged strap, which when applied to the hand by an expert (and all the teachers were experts). It really warmed you up on a winter's day. The taws would hang at the side of the teacher's desk as a visual reminder to potential wrongdoers. Much was taught by repetition. Ten minutes in the morning to learn our tables and ten minutes before going home. Poetry, prose, Bible readings etc. were all learned in similar fashion. This approach evidently produced results, as I can not recall anyone eventually leaving school unable to read, write or calculate.

The hall was used for singing, PT, talks by the headmistress, clergy, police and local bigwigs - all occasions, which meant a welcome break from the daily grind. In cases of serious misbehaviour you were sent to stand in the hall, with hands on head, until the headmistress could deal with you. This could mean the cane or a spell in the 'darkroom', a room, with no windows, under the bell tower. You were put in there and the door locked. This practice, however, was eventually abandoned after a girl was locked in there and forgotten until her mother reported her as missing to the police.

We took our own lunch to school - bread and dripping or lard, with the occasional treat such as a ring of polony (a sausage like meat in a red skin). Our drink was water from the school tap using the communal metal drinking cup attached with a strong chain. Personal hygiene was often not a high priority with many families in those days. Fleas and head lice were common occurrences and the toothcomb was in daily use at our house to see if we had 'picked anything up'. A clinic lady, known as 'Nitty Liz' came around periodically and examined heads. Another visitor was the dentist and scores of children would subsequently be herded off to the 'butcher' of Clarendon Street. The doctor also made his appearance and another contingent would be selected for the removal of tonsils. Most of us survived those times, but they were hard. I, for one, am pleased to see an educational system in operation that is far kinder to our present day school children.

Courtesy of Tim PrestonIn 1910 I moved in to the Boys' school and the old photograph on the centre pages of Issue 44 (Lenton Listener 1987) brought the memories flooding back. For there I am, with the hand of Miss Broughton, our teacher, on my shoulder. Oh my, how I suffered for that! It led to me being designated 'teacher's pet' by fellow classmates and having to bear many thumps and pinches. Why dear teacher picked on me I know not, for I merited a goodly portion of her taws, the infliction of which she was an artist. In fact, other teachers would send their pupils to her for a dose of 'hot hand'.

There was no hall in the Boys' School and so all mass efforts took place in the schoolyard. I remember particularly Empire Day, which was a great morning of song, marching, saluting .the flag etc., to which our parents were invited. At morning and afternoon playtimes the yard was a hive of activity. Fights were settled, marbles won and lost, cigarette card games flourished and leap frog, rumstick and a bum were frequent pastimes. Other 'out of school' activities took place when we walked across to the Gregory Ground on Derby Road to play cricket or up to the school garden on Mills Lane (off Park Road) which was cultivated as part of the War effort. The girls, whose school was adjacent to ours, had cookery lessons in a building near the caretaker's house on Lenton Boulevard. They used to make soup and pudding, which was on sale to local folk to help out the wartime rationing. Large jug of soup could be bought for two pence.

I wish I could name all the lads on that photograph, but a few I do recall. Big Boy Bonser (1st from the left on the back row), who had to sit at teacher's desk because he was such a big lad. Others are Les Pearson, Ted Wray, Harold Perry, Les Walkerdine, a lad called Stainsby, Ted Adderly, Sid Staples, Henry Trengrove, Eric Farrands, Ernie Loddington, Harold Jackson and Leslie Bexon.

Do you have any historical information or other photographs of this school? If so, email us with the details or write to us.

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