The Building

Efforts to build a Wesleyan school in Tetney were commenced in 1855.

By 7th February, 1856 a plan was drawn up by the architect, James Wilson of Bath. In April of the same year the Rev. John Scott laid the foundation stone, John Scott was the greatest name in early Methodist Education and in 1843 as President of the Methodist Conference he proposed a scheme for building 700 new schools within seven years, and raising an education fund of £5,000 a year. The proposals were greeted with much enthusiasm but it was not until 1870 that the major part had been implemented.

On 3rd July, 1856 the Trustees, a group of 23 local men, bought 800 square yards of land (more land was bought later) from a farmer, Robert Hewson, for £50 13s. 8d.

"The Trustees applied for a government aid" to build the school "but the grant of £318 was not paid until 1857 by which time the school had been completed and was in operation. Whether the Trustees paid for the erection of the school and were reimbursed partly or wholly by a government grant, or the builder had to wait to be paid, is not clear, but the former course is the most likely. In the Wesleyan Education Committee Report for 1856, Tetney is listed as having received a grant from the committee for £30 towards the outfit of the school."

(Mr. G. A. Lamper, 1974).

" ..... On Tuesday last a public meeting was held at Tetney .... in connection with the opening of a New Wesleyan Day School in that village ....." (Stanford Mercury 16th January, 1857). ''

The school opened with three classrooms and with provision for 137 children. All three classrooms had galleries. The large classroom housed 100 of the older pupils. Mr. G. A. Lamper points out that the design of the school followed closely the recommended plans found in "Plans of School Houses 1840 - 45". Also he says that it was organised on a line similar to the 'Battersea Plan' which was adopted by National Schools. "This plan divided pupils into approximately equal groups of twenty-five to thirty children, with a Pupil Teacher and a set of desks for each. The gallery would not be part of the 'Battersea Plan' "but this gallery is a part by which the Wesleyan body hold fast; they declare it is an indispensable agent in their system of conveying religious and moral instruction."

Early problems with the building included poor ventilation (July, August and December 1867); the lack of a fire (October, 1967) or the "chimney smoking a great deal which caused the scholars to cough very much" (February 20th 1871); the playground which needed to be "thoroughly drained" (November 1876).

The school bell was placed in the tower on 18th January, 1865 but by January, 1868 it was stated that "the bell tower is in a dangerous state." Mr. Peast came to repair the tower a month later and in September the bell-push was mended at a cost of 2s. 4d. "Today after some of the scholars had gone home but while some of them were still in the school, the belfry fell into the road blown down by the terrific gale which had been raging all day and reached its culminating point shortly after four o'clock. Fortunately no-one was hurt in the least."

"One end of the school (large classroom) is choked up by a cumbersome gallery which can be of no possible use. I should suggest that this gallery be removed, and replaced by a proper supply of desks." (Annual Report of Inspector, 12th March, 1875). The gallery was not removed by the time of the next inspection in 1876 but must have been by 1877 as there is no longer a mention by the Inspector. In the other two classrooms the galleries must have lasted into the turn of the century. People in Tetney today remember children being locked under the gallery as a punishment. 21st January, 1881.

"Reading was taken instead of writing as the ink in the inkwell was frozen."

Pupil numbers in the school increased because of the closing of a Ladies School in the village and on 7th November, 1882 the Board wrote to the Education Department requesting permission, which was granted, to extend the school. The Trustees also gave permission. A tender of £66 17s. 2d. was accepted. No loan was applied for, instead five Precepts were issued on the Overseer in 1883, totalling £168. "The Board cause the school to be made sufficiently large to allow at least eight square feet for each child in average attendance." (Letter 7th November, 1882 from Tetney Board School to the Secretary, Education Department, Whitehall).

The smallest of the three classrooms was re-opened on 7th February, 1883 after being extended.

In 1893 a tender of £45 16s. Od. was accepted to extend the second largest classroom. With further work on the classroom, and the playground asphalted, the total loan required was £85. This was borrowed from the Public Works Loans Board repayable over six years at an interest rate of 3¼%per annum with repayments of £7 plus interest being made every six months. (Copy of Mortgage Deeds and Register of Mortgages, 1893).

In November, 1888 a new girls' toilets were completed but in 1893 one of Her Majesty's Inspectors compiled a special report saying "the offices are not sub-divided ... and the approaches to them are not duly separated ....". The Board put this to rights at a cost of £6 6s. Od. At the same time a cloakroom was added, "Boys and Girls Latrines distinctly separated and each a private closet. Plans allowed by Education Department 3rd August, 1896." (Managers' Return, 1894).

..... Mr. Rainford asked for permission to take away the surplus soil from the foundations of the new building to the back of the Wesleyan Chapel. (September, 1892) .... the hearthstone and flagging are not to specification .... the paint on the new windows is very unsatisfactory ..... the desks are so very shaky that the Board are unable to pass them. (November, 1892).

In October, 1902 the School Board decided to enlarge the school house by extending the wash-house and over that build an extra bedroom. This extension took place during the time when the School Board would be handing over to the County Council. There are a number of bills relating to the extension and parts are reproduced below:

Thos. Marshall, wheelwright, Marshchapel October, 1902

Man 2 hours repairing floor 1s.0d,

Square of glass 16" x 18" 21oz 1s.6d,

1 pint of Oak Varnish 1s.6d,

November, 1902

1 new window for wash-house 16s. 0d

1 new door and frame, oak sill 14s.0d

2 blind rollers and brackets 2s.0d

191bs nails, brads. 5 doz. Screws 3s. 9d

Timber 24 off 2 x 3x 1 3s.0d

G. Bradley, Bricklayer December 1902

3 days at 4s. 12s.0d

Labourer 6 days at 2s. 9D           16s.6d

J. Plumtree, Plumber, Painter, Glazier, etc. North Thoresby December 1902

Fixing in Lead Gutters to school and to flashing chimneys with 15 stones

7 Ibs of lead and nails and labour         £2 8s. 9d.

Geo Cotton, Brick and Tile Manufacturer, Fulstow November 1902

1000 Common Bricks £1 6s. 0d.

500 Solid Bricks 15s. 0d.

Repaired the pillar knocked down by A. Abbott's horse (April 1900).

Estimate of Financial Requirements for the year ending 31st March, 1904. Repairs:

"Painting the outside of the premises. Tarring the Playground. Repairing Infants Gallery. Repairing Schoolroom floor. Relaying part of the bricked playground occupied by the Infants."

"School closed between 13th May and 15th November for extensive repairs - New solid floor throughout. New windows in the Main Classroom. A new drainage system. Old vaults replaced by Parkinson's Patent Pails." (Form 9E Return and Claim for the Year Ended 31st January, 1910).

"New Schoolroom floor (not been a new floor for 50 years) 720 square feet, 2^ per ft. £7. 0s. 0d.

80 feet of light railing round school walls for hanging on maps, pictures and objects, 15s. 0d.

6 shelves in windows for plant life, 12s. 0d.

To trap 2 cesspools and remove a drain against house which is a nuisance!" (Estimates of Financial Requirements for the Year Ending 31st March, 1910).

"Gallery taken away during extensive alterations, more desks required." (Form Ml Estimates of Financial Requirements for the Year Ending 31st March, 1911.)

A brick wall around two sides of the school playground and to make the "Boys' Offices private" cost 5s. a yard and a total of £11 19s. 0d. (Form Ml Financial Requirements for the Year Ending 31st March, 1913).

Electric light was installed in March, 1938 and in the same year a new boiler was installed "to prepare dinners for the 28 children who remain."

September 1939 lavatories were reconstructed.

The whole of the courtyard wall, coalhouse and teachers* toilets were demolished in March 1958 "in preparation for the installation of water toilets." In October "the new toilets were first used by the children, the staff toilet having been in use for over a week."

"What a day! When piped water and water toilets came to Tetney ..... By the Grace of God and regular roll calls not one child was lost in the excavations. Didn't they enjoy their little selves.'

Instead of a Xmas card we sent some photographs to Miss Richardson with an appropriate verse attached.

This is a scene you'll surely remember,

It happened in June and now 'tis December,

The garden is tidy and straightened again,

The children are happy, all pulling a chain!

She replied in verse:

"Thanks for the view of the dear old school,

Where we try to teach children the golden rule.

To speak the truth, and do the right,

whether they're clever, or not so bright.

Many changes the year has brought,

The advice of many has been anxiously sought,

Tetney School must be up to date,

For sewerage we've had too long to wait.

What a grand day it was when the children started

To pull the chains, oh so gay hearted,

But, alas, I must say, the tears near started

When a chain from its hook by a pull was parted.

How mournfully one at the table appeared,

Knowing her conscience must be cleared

Was it wilful damage, or an accident I say,

An accident, please believe, I pray.

For boys and girls in Tetney school

Would never dream of breaking a rule,

But are always polite and circumspect,

You'll quite believe this I expect.

Yes, now we have all bright and new

Toilets four and toilets two,

And one for the staff, oh isn't it grand?

And haven't the gentlemen cleverly planned?

The old toilets too have been converted,

Though I'm afraid we can't help them getting dirtied,

We've a place for tools and mats and stocks,

And coal is now stored under bricks.

And now I would say as I bid you adieu,

And thank you again for the historic view,

Have a jolly good Christmas, bright and gay,

With a year of happiness every day."

In October, 1962 the outside classroom was erected. Mr. Dexter,Architects Department, handed over the keys to the new school on 14th February, 1969 and in March "there was a celebration to mark the opening of the new building."


1. School Log Books 1873 to 1978

2. School Board Minutes Book 1873 to 1903

3. Documents 1872 to 1903 concerned with the Tetney School Board and Board School. Held at Lincolnshire County Archives.

4. Tetney School Board and Board School by G. A. Lamper, 1974. Dissertation for the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy, University of Hull, Education Library (University of Hull).

5. A History of Schools and Education in Lindsey, Lincolnshire 1800 to 1902, Part 4, Methodism and the Provision of Day Schools by Rex C. Russell. Published by Lindsey County Council Education Committee, 1967.

6. Photograph and poem written by Mrs. Sharp from Miss Richardson, Tetney.

7. Poem written by Miss Richardson from Mrs. Sharp, Tetney.

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