Quinton in 1900 and Quinton School

Quinton in 1900 was a village within a farming community. The only made-up roads were Hagley Road West (known locally as Quinton Hill and the Quinton flats), College Road and Stoney Lane.

Public transport was horse drawn; being double-decker buses with the upper deck open to the elements. The driver sat in the open with his knees covered by a leather blanket.

Postcard of the 1900s taken near to the Kings Head

Quinton School was housed in two buildings; the Infant school, where children attended from the age of five to eight and the Big school (as it was called) where children went from nine to fourteen, which was the school leaving age.

There were two classrooms in the infant school, with two teachers and the headmistress, Miss Green. The original Infants school is the building which is still in use in the playground.

Above the old school building and below a 1920s infant class

The Big school consisted of two single classrooms and the hall which could be divided into two further classrooms. The headmaster was Mr Burns. (see photo below)

Mr Burns is in the back row third from the left

Dress for the girls at school was a calf-length dress and pinafore over the top. Calf-length leather boots were worn in the winter. The boys wore shirts, knee-length trousers, short sleeved jumpers and hobnailed boots.

Recollections written in 1975 by a Mr Hayne who was the grandfather of Emily Hayne in class 2 were as follows:-

Mr A L Strudwick was a relation of the cricketer who played for Surrey and England. He came from St Peters, Harborne and introduced the first sports team that Quinton ever had

Winning the Godlie Shield at the first attempt-Relay for Boys – hence the motto of “Q” for Quinton-quick and quiet. At the back of the rectory was rather a large field where the Garden Fete and Maypole was held. There was also a large red corrugated shed which stood where the Nain Hall is today and a brass band used to occasionally play there and it was also used by the Scout Movement.

Rectory Garden Fete in the 1950s

Opposite the island was a small reservation with a seat and where Randalls’ Farm was located. We used to watch the threshing machine thresh the wheat and we could ride on the boat-shaped cart during haymaking time.

Other memories that come to mind, I remember some of the teachers names, Mrs Davies of Warley, Miss Smart of Blackheath and Miss Cutler of Spies Lane. At the back of Quinton Park was Stuarts’ Farm, two boys from there attended the school.

There was a barn where across the beam was the original Cromwell’s spear, it was later removed and displayed in the Birmingham Art Gallery. The old horse bus Midland Red ran from Kings Head to College Road.

A zeppelin dropped a bomb on Halesowen golf course, Mucklow Hill and all the boys played truant to see the large hole it had made. Spies Lane where the Royal Oak public house is I well remember where it was reputed that Charles II hid. Perrys’ Farm at the exit of Quinton Expressway dated back to the 18th century hence the name Perry Hill. We would walk as children from the now Holly Bush across the field without crossing a lane till we arrived at St Kenelms, Clent.”

Education saw a great many developments at the time the Quinton School was built in 1842. The first Teachers Training College was founded in Battersea by Dr. James Phillips-Kay.

The Pupil Teacher System was introduced in 1846 by the government. Selected pupils were chosen at the age of 13 and given a five year apprenticeship with a chosen head teacher. They were maintained by government grant and examined by Her Majesty’s Inspectors. Some were given Queen’s Scholarships at 18 and further study at a training college.

In the setting of a small village where the land and nail making were the main occupations, the Quinton School began to make an impression. The school log book shows the year 1877 to be a good example of life in and around the school in those early years of education.

Quinton National School – 1877

January 21

A severe snowstorm caused nearly half the children to be absent

February 11

Children tested on reading, writing and arithmetic

February 18

Rev. Oldfield heard the children sing

March 4

Half-day holiday for Shrove Tuesday, the children who have completed their seventh year have gone to Mixed School

March 25

Violent snowstorm, the roads completely blocked, small attendance

April 19

Rev. Oldfield gave leave for Easter holiday from April 19 to 29

May 6

Continual downpour of rain reduce numbers

May 20

Halesowen Sunday School Association held quarterly meeting at the school so closed early at 3.45

June 3

Break up for Whitsuntide for week

July 5

Holiday to go to Chloral Festival at Kidderminster

July 29

On Tuesday several of the children wishing to attend the Flower Show in Halesowen, the managers arranged we should assemble at 1.30 in the afternoon and close at 3.30

August 12

Several cases of Fever of an alarming nature having come to our knowledge the managers have decided we close the school for a fortnight during the Harvest when the children are needed for helping with the gleaning. The school rooms are to be thoroughly cleansed and painted. The Rev, C H Oldfield cautioned the children not to play with others who were recovering from the Fever

(This year there was no mention of the Annual School treat but an entry for 1878 reads as follows)

July 27

A holiday was given for the Annual School Treat. The children assembled at 2pm and walked in procession round the village. At 4 o’clock they had tea in the school room. They afterwards went to the Rectory grounds for games. A large number of friends were present who distributed sweets and toys. Balloons were given later and at 9pm we all assembled in front of the rectory and joined with the children of the Mixed School in giving three cheers for the Rector and his family. Each child then received a piece of cake and were shortly sent home

September 9

Fever still on the increase one child belonging to the school has died

October 28

The strike in the nail trade is causing some children to be absent

November 5

The usual half holiday on the 5th was not given. The managers consider the time has gone by for the continuance of such a custom

December 16

The severe weather conditions continue, it has a very depressing effect upon the school children who come late pinched with cold and unable to work during the first hour

December 21

Rev C H Oldfield (photo below) visited the school with Mrs C E Oldfield and at 3.30 presented each child with an orange and the school broke up until December 30th

As the years progressed the Log Book entries dwelt more on the lessons taught in the school e.g.

December 1880

After examination or all the school by Her Majesty’s Inspector it was decided that to assist the children to read with expression some of the lessons on the Reading Sheets and Books should be marked to show emphatic words. Also it would be for the benefit of the boys if they were taught to knit

December 1882

The children were presented with Maffatees knitted with an orange

1883 Object lessons for 3 months for children of 5 and 6 years

Kangaroo Bread Silk

Giraffe Milk Wool

Elephant Tea Cotton

Eagle Coffee Flax

Beaver Sugar Leather

Camel Rice Water

Bear Potato Chalk

Tiger Salt Coal

Whale Apple

Walrus Soap

Ostrich Sponge

Cormorant Oil

Things used in eating, Drinking, washing and ironing

The children under 5 years of age Jarrods Object Lesson Sheet

Time table made out to requirements of Mundella Code-singing on the Tonic Sol Fa Method. The Lord’s Prayer must be accurate with district repetition.

1882 1883

Register of Infant School 87 87

Average attendance 57 60

Amount of Fees £5.6.9 £5.19.7


Suggested definite age of a child be got with evidence on entry to the school


March 25th – Queen Victoria visits Birmingham

June 24th – Queens Jubilee...Registers not marked therefore

July – Report “Only blemish addition done by finger counting”


Mentioned that school outer clothes were kept in large baskets during school hours


Scripture Report : The hymns sung better...which I attribute partly to their opening their mouths well and not singing through their teeth. Diocesan Inspector: Charles Dickens

In August the bricklayers commenced the lobby

In September Annual Wake Week


Government Report – The great want of the Infant School is increased space. Reading lessons should be more extensive as the short books are now committed to memory.

The report mentions sewing, knitting, physical exercise and recitation

Mentioned that the children write on slates and a suitable cloakroom was erected in 1892

The children attended church every Sunday where they sang the hymns learnt in school. The Rector took Scripture Lessons.


An entry mentions that an Inspector arrived unexpected at the school at 8am and interrupted the Head-teacher giving her pupil teachers a lesson

Scripture examinations : Knowledge of the Old Testament- New Testament, Catechism – Prayer Book

Teachers had occasional days off by request and a pupil teacher would take control. Quarterly Attendance records were sent to the Inspector.

December 1893

Bazaar to help pay off debt for the new Infant School

January 1894

Questioned the seating in galleries without backs and rest for slates. Received medical and bells for the school drill

January 1895

Kindergarten desks received

July 22 1895

Polling for General Election – school closed

March 1896

Polling for Parish Councillors – school closed


Brought to attention that Pupil Teachers were to serve a certain number of hours in any school day under paragraph 1 of their appointment

1897 – 1898

The staff was as follows:-

Head Teacher - Miss Elizabeth Green

Pupil teacher 2nd year - Miss Lucy Parkes

Pupil teacher 1st year - Miss Bessie Whitehouse

Candidate of Probation - Miss Mary Allen

January 15th 1898

Voluntary Schools Act 1887. Received notice from the Education Department that £80 granted to these schools for “increasing salary of the head teacher and improving staff and apparatus”

May 25th 1898

A new cupboard has been placed in the school to be used as a museum

June 20th 1898

Half holiday as today is the anniversary of H M Queen Victoria’s Accession

September 8th 1898

Annual school tea

In June a teacher had made a “slight error” in one register. “the boys attendances were 14 instead of 15 at the foot”. The Inspector visited the school. Later the teacher concerned sent in her resignation. In July it was decided to ask the teacher in question to remain. Six months later the same teacher felt obliged to leave the school

October 17th 1898

Some models of animals have been brought by the managers and today placed in the museum to be used as illustrations for Object lessons

February 24th 1899

A new piano has been bought for the Infant School (Attendance this week has been much improved)

May 30th 1899

Queen’s birthday – half holiday

September 1st 1899

Six children gone “hop-picking” Emily returned to school after 4 months away with Whooping Cough

June 2nd 1902

No registers were marked because of the “Declaration of Peace” with South Africa

July 30th 1903

His Majesty’s visit to Birmingham. Half holiday

Jan 11th 1904

Writing on paper has been commenced in the First Class to the instruction of His Majesty’s Inspector

October 23rd 1904

53 children assembled out of a total of 116. Measles are on the increase. The Medical Officer has ordered the schools to be closed until November 14th

October 25th

His Majesty’s Inspector wished the early children to have a red mark in the Registers while the late ones are to be marked in black

April 7th 1905

Two children from Beech Lanes came to school this morning just as registers were closed. They had come by omnibus because of the bad weather. Their marks were added to the total.

April 10th

Both the schools open at 9am and 1.30 and close the Mixed School at 12.15 and 4.10 and the infants at 12 and 3.55pm

July 1909

In the Infant building the main room could be partitioned and the galleries replaced by desks on the floor and by tables and chairs for the youngest children

July 15th 1909

Medical inspection

December 10th 1909

The school number is changed from Worcestershire no 164 to Birmingham Quinton C of E School 63a

March 4th 1910

Health visitor called due to epidemic of mumps.

May 1911

Epidemic of measles

June 2nd 1911

Another case of diphtheria is reported. The average attendance is not quite so good owing to the intense heat School classes close at 12 for the Whitsun holiday

June 21st 1911

School closes at 12 for the remainder of the week for the Coronation Festivities

November 29th 1912

Percentage fallen to 63.4 for this week owing to chicken pox and the snowy weather

March 17th 1913

Only 47 assembled today owing to deep snow

April 23rd 1913

School closed for Royal visit

September 18th

15 children absent with either ringworm or whooping cough

1916, 1917, 1918 and 1919

It is noticeable that heavy snow and bad weather has led to reduced attendance in these years

February 14th 1919

Attendance poor as chilblains prevalent

The Staff 1922

Elizabeth Green – Certified Head Teacher

Laura Andrews – Certified teacher

April 25th 1923

School closed to comply with the King’s wish that all children should have a days holiday on the occasion of the marriage of his second son, The Duke of York

April 29th 1924

Elizabeth Green resigns the Headteachership. Ivy Groves takes over. Elizabeth Green has been head for 27 years

January 1st 1936

Closed for King George’s funeral

Statement of Account for the Erection of the School on

March 25th 1846

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