The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
Including historical descriptions, maps and statistical analysis.

107 Years Ago - School

To give an impression of what life was like in Clophill 107 years ago sources from 1911 have been transcribed and interpreted.

"On Tuesday morning at the School, the Rector presented the gardening prizes provided through the generosity of Mrs Whitelaw Reid, Miss Horn and the Rector. The recipients were Sam Titmas, Charles Gudgin, Cecil Sharman, Alfred Jeffery, Lionel Cunnington, Richard Warwick, Percy Eddy, Henry Negus, Percy White, Cyril Matthews, Arthur Peck and Percy Garner. Each boy received a copy of Udale's "Handy Book of Pruning grafting and budding" and a Cox's Orange Pippin apple tree. In presenting the prizes, Mr Meyer said this would be his farewell visit to the school, although he would not be leaving the village for a few day's yet. He impressed upon the children the duty of living, not for themselves but for God and their country. He hoped that they would make the best use of the many advantages they had, and grow up to be a credit to the village, and to their country. He also paid a warm tribute to the zeal and devotion of the teaching staff in their efforts for the welfare of the children. Mr. Cunningham, on behalf of the children and the staff, thanked the Rector for the deep and kindly interest he had always shown in the schools. He hoped that Mr. and Mrs. Meyer would have every happiness in their new home at Watton, and that they would sometimes remember those they left behind at Clophill. Thanks were also accorded to the givers of the prizes. The children sang "What can I do for England?" and "Jesus bids us shine," and the proceedings terminated with 'God save the King.' "

Saturday January 14th 1911. Ampthill News

"On January 25th, under supervision of Mr. Slack, Horticultural Inspector to the Beds. County Council, the boys forming the school gardening class planted 21 fruit trees to form a demonstration plot in the new school gardens. 12 of the trees were presented by Mrs. Whitelaw Reid (through the late Rector), Mr. Slack kindly sent 3 others, and the remaining 6 were removed from the old garden. 16 are apple trees, being "Cox's Orange Pippin," 2 "King of Pippins," 2 "Newton Wonder," 2 "Lanes's Prince Albert" and one each of "James Griene," "Sterling Castle," "Lady Eudeley," "Arlington Pippin," "Potts' Seedling" and "Peasgood's Nonsuch." There are 4 pears. "Louise Bonne de Jersey," "Pitmaston Duchess," "Doyenne du Cornice" and "Unedale's S. German." The remaining tree is a "Czar" plum.

Alternate rows were planted in the orthodox manner, the intervening rows being rammed in, or, as some of the boys remarked, "planted anyhow." It is proposed to plant rows of potatoes between the rows of trees, and to give demonstrations showing the advantage of "spraying." Before leaving, the Rev. H. R. Meyer kindly presented 12 Paradise Stocks for further instruction in propagating."

Saturday February 4. 1911. Ampthill News

Schoolboy's Garden

Schoolboys posing for photo in allotment next to Holly Cottage in 1930's.

Les Cooper, Billy Russell, ? Mabbat, Derek Stimpson, Denis Peat, Harry Russell, Ted Griffiths, Ray Cole, Lionel West, Lionel Burgoyne, ? Diggins, ? Shotbolt, ? Richardson, ? Roberts, Ernie Lincoln, Stan Cole, Frank Sheppard, Tony Tufnell, ? Weston, Geoff Tompkins

"A tooth-cleaning competition has been started among the school children. The idea originated with the late Rector. He communicated with Dr. Butcher, who heartily approved of the plan. Children were invited to enter, and a small entrance fee was charged. For three half-pence each entrant received a tooth brush and a box of tooth powder. Later on the teeth of the children will be inspected by Dr. Butcher, and prizes will be awarded to those who have taken the best care of their teeth. The money for brushes, etc., and for prizes is due to the generosity of Mrs. Whitelaw Reid. 73 of the children have entered and the competition started on Tuesday."

Saturday, March 18th. 1911.. Ampthill News

"At the close of the last evening school session ten of the students took the examination in Rural Arithmetic, held by the Midland Counties Union. Of these, Hubert Whittamore obtained first class; and Herbert Daniels, Charles Gudgin, Harry Parkinson, William Peat, and Horace White passed in the second class. On Monday, Mr. G. Shaw, H.M. Inspector of Drawing, paid a visit to the Mixed and Infant's Departments of Clophill School."

Saturday, July 8th 1911. Ampthill News

"On Monday morning, Mr. J. Slack, horticultural instructor to the county council, visited the School Gardens, and sprayed the "Factor" potatoes, which are being grown for experiment, ans to show the value of spraying. Afterwards the potatoes growing on six of the boys' plots were treated, the other six being left unsprayed."

Saturday, July 29th 1911. Ampthill News

"In March the School Managers, acting on the initiative of the late Rector, the Rev. H. R. Meyer, offered prizes to the children who took the greatest care of their teeth. Dr. Butcher, the School Medical Officer, gave the scheme his heartiest support and kindly offered to award the prizes. The children who wished to compete were asked to contribute 1 1/2d, for which each entrant received a toothbrush and a supply of powder. 72 children entered, and the prizes were awarded as follows; Class I, 1 Charles Matthews, 2 Edith Garner, 3 Jack Bone. Class II., 7 to 10, 1 Fred Fadden, 2 Stella Kendall, 3 Gladys Matthews: Class III., 10 to 12, 1 Arthur Harris, 2 Gladys White, 3 Florence Webb: Class IV., over 12, 1 Kate Gobey, 2 Constance Titmas, 3 Percy Webb. Consolation prizes were recommended in each class, and a special prize for the most perfect set of teeth went to Nellie Vittery. Dr. Butcher said the competition had been a great success, and hoped they would continue. It was due to the generosity of Mrs. Whitelaw Reid that the Managers were able to start the competition and the best thanks of all were due to her, to the Rev. H. R. Meyer, and Dr. Butcher, who had all contributed to the success of the first competition of its kind in the country."

Saturday, August 19th 1911. Ampthill News

"Miss Ruth E. Cunnington has been successful in passing the Oxford Senior Local Examination held in July."

Saturday, August 26th 1911. Ampthill News

"The report of the Diocesan Inspector on the Schools reads as follows:- Infants Department: 'This small school is doing well. The tone and order are alike good. Careful and sound teaching is being given.' Mixed Department: 'I was greatly pleased with the results of ??? inspection of this most satisfactory school. The written work in particular deserving high praise. I should like to congratulate the Head Teacher and his Assistants on the Result of their work.' "

Saturday, December 16, 1911. Ampthill News