Extracts from Wereham School log book, Norfolk

Extracts from Wereham
School Log Book


Caroline Bastwick entered on her duties at Wereham School Monday the 4th of September 1876. Alice Bastwick as Pupil Teacher the same day.

Salarys(sic) Mistress £70 per an. Pupil Teacher in the first year £10.

September 4th Found the school very disorderly. No standards. Very backward in Arithmetic. Reading some of the first class on the whole fair, but not enough expression. Dictation fair with several of the elder ones. Readmitted Wm Tingay.

September 5th Admitted Emma Pilgrim. No needlework only what they bring from their own homes.

September 11th Admitted Paul Wright, Alice Wright, Mary Jane Bonnett and Arthur Lindoe.

September 18th Admitted John Harrad and readmitted Alice Welham.

October 5th Alfred Durrant behaved very badly.

October 9th Admitted Emma Mason, Harriet Pilgrim and Edith Mann. The board allowed materials for needlework.

October 12th Alfred Durrant very unruly.

October 16th Admitted Maria Durrant.

October 26th Sent Thomas Bywaters home for refusing to sing.

November 9th Charles Bowman behaved very badly during the Inspector's visit. Readmitted Emma Coldham. Arthur Lindoe on being called out for punishment walked out of school. Readmitted next day on promise of better behaviour.

13th November Readmitted Martha Mee. School beginning to work better.

20th November Alfred and Walter Durrant taken from the school by their parents because they objected to the punishment of keeping them in part of the dinner hour for bad behaviour.

December 11th Readmitted Alfred and Walter Durrant on condition of parents not interfering with any just punishment inflicted by the headmistress.

December 18th Admitted Louisa Jackes.


January 8th Readmitted James Harvey. Admitted Margaret Basset, Robert Bauch(?), Mary Jane Basset and Martha Pilgrim.

January 15th Readmitted Herbert Alexander, Herbert Pilgrim and Laura Robertson. Admitted Maria Durrant.

January 22nd Alice Welham taken away by parents because they did not wish her to obey the rules of the school. Arthur Lindoe behaved very badly.

February 5th Admitted Emeline English, Ellen Buckingham , Henry Lyndoe, William Alexander,Hubbard and Arthur Nunn.

February 9th The bad behaviour of Alice Welham and Arthur Lindoe seemed to have an effect on the whole school and the children encouraged by their parents were very troublesome for some days.

February 16th Admitted Fred English, James Steward, Fred Bealeu(?), Charles Pilgrim and Alice M. Towler.

February 29th Admitted Elizabeth Barley and John Spinks. Board meeting on the Thursday. One of the members thought the children ought to take their own needlework to be done in school.

13th March Emeline English refused to do the school needlework. Her mother told her not to do any but her own. Her own work was taken from her and she was made to do some for the school.

20th March For several weeks the children have been allowed to bring their own needlework one afternoon in the week and because on the other two afternoons allotted for work they were made to do school work, some of the parents complained.

27th March Complaints made by the parents because the school was ventilated by having at least one window open. They said the children caught colds. Some of the children kept at home, their request of having window closed was not complied with.

April 3rd Forced to complain of the untidy appearance of some of the children. Board could not insist upon the children attending school, because there is not a full board at this time.

April 10th A new Board is to be elected in May. Place in great commotion. Children unruly. Parents would not allow children to stay in school one minute after Board hours.

April 17th As last week. Children more unruly. Rebelled against all Authority. Work progressed but slowly.

April 24th The same as last week, nothing will stop it but the election of the Board. Admitted John Spinks.

May 1st Still the same. Some of the would be members are causing a great deal of excitement among the lower class. Last meeting of the old Board. Vote of thanks was proposed by the chairman to the clerk of Board and school mistress and teacher.

May 8th Admitted Rosa Pilgrim.

May 15th The same disobedience.

May 22nd The same as last week. Admitted Priscilla Whitehead, Thomas Whitehead, James Whitehead, Ellen Whitehead. Readmitted Robert Filbee. Admitted Flora Spinks, Harry Hubbard, James Threadgold, Richard Anderson.

June 5th Beginning to get school in its usual order.

June 19thAdmitted Arthur Wright, Agnes Robertson, Ellen Robertson, Ellen B. Broughton and Ruth Bruce.

June 26th Children irregular. Admitted George Shipp.

July 9th Average this week 70/110 children on Registers.

July 16th 4 children at home on account of sickness. 32 without leave.

July 30th Average this week 62. Jessie Bruce still sick. One months holiday.

September 3rd Average this week 33/109 on the Registers.

September 10th Average this week 43.

September 17th Average this week 60.

September 24th Average this week 60. Esther Steward behaved very badly.

October 15th Readmitted Martha Pilgrim. Admitted Edward Pyre(?), ---- Wood,Jane Wood, Emily Wood, Walter Wood, Ada Wood, and John Wood.

October 22nd Admitted Elizabeth Spinks, William Simkins, Thomas Simkins, Harriet Hall, Amelia Hall and George Gathercole.

October 29th Admitted Bertha Bruce and Ann Wright. Alice Bastwick Pupil Teacher went to Lynn for examination end of 2nd Year.

November 5th Arthur Wittrick behaved very badly.

November 19th Martha Pilgrim punished for bad behaviour.

November 26th Fanny Pilgrim reproved for bad behaviour. She behaved so badly that it had to be brought before the Board.

December 5th Fanny Pilgrim's behaviour was brought before the Board on the 6th when it was decided that if it was repeated(she being 13 years of age) she should be turned from the school a letter to that effect was sent to her father.


January 7th Commenced school with 84 children. Admitted several children.

January 17th Horace Pilgrim behaved disgracefully. His father (a member of the board) came to the school also the Rev White chairman of the Board.

January 21st Esther Pilgrim and John Pilgrim were unruly.

January 28th Instead of dictation the first class had a lesson on salt.

February 25th Work going on as usual. Admitted Elizabeth Wilson.

March 4th Admitted William Buckingham and Louisa Nelson.

March 11th Several children stayed away crow-keeping.

March 18th Arthur Wittrick behaved very badly. Work going on as usual.

March 29th Close of school year.

Mistress - Caroline Bastwick 2nd class certificate
Alice Bastwick - Pupil Teacher in her 3rd Year.

June 29th George Bruce gave a great deal of trouble.

August 2nd Closed school for the month's harvest holiday.

September 2nd Opened school with 29 children. Average for week 36.

September 23rd Arthur Wittrick and George Bruce reproved for bad behaviour.

December 16th John Pilgrim behaved very badly. Two weeks Christmas holiday.



January 6th Opened school with a fair number of children. Alice Bastwick the Pupil Teacher very ill and unable to return to her duties. Her place is filled by Nellie Dale from the Stanmore Middlesex National School.

January 13th Alice Bastwick unable to return to her duties. Esther Pilgrim behaved very badly.

January 20th Alice Bastwick still unable to return. Esther and John Pilgrim behaved very badly.

January 27th Alice Bastwick unable to return. Doctors do not think she will be strong enough to fulfil the requirements of a Pupil Teacher for some time.

February 3rd Alice Bastwick obliged to resign her position as Pupil Teacher because of ill health.

February 7th Mistress unable to attend school. Closed school in afternoon because mistress too ill to attend.

February 10th Mistress ill, unable to attend. School opened and carried on by Ellen Dale (the Pupil Teacher filling Alice Bastwick's place) and Emma Mason, a young girl in the village. Several of the boys behaved badly. 3 of the school Board members viz. Rev White, Mr Thornton and Mr Bonnet went into the school and ordered Ellen Dale to punish them.

February 15th School closed because of mistress illness.

February 22nd Obliged to close the school again this week. Mistress ill and unable to attend.

April 7th 50 children away most of them because of sickness.

May 1st A holiday.

Caroline Bastwick - Mistress 2nd class certificate.
Ellen Dale as help until June because of the illness causing the resignation
of Alice Bastwick Pupil Teacher

May 30th Caroline Bastwick resigns her place as Mistress of the Wereham Board School.[**see note at bottom of page]

June 9th School reopened by William James Whiting. Attendance very small.

June 13th Mrs Whiting has assisted by teaching the infants since Tuesday. Average attendance 56.8. This is greatly owing to to a slight epidemic.

June 20th School work greatly impeded by want of slates. Scarlet fever still bad in the village keeping children from school.

June 26th Punished John Pilgrim for truanting.

July 18th Boys working during school hours without permission.

August 1st School work greatly hindered by want of ink, foolscap and copy books. Attendance very small.

August 8th Received copybooks, ink and foolscap.

August 11th Alice Mary Welham commenced duties as Pupil Teacher in the 3rd Year and transfer from Barton School.

October 30th Henry Parker furnished for truanting.

December 17th Arthur Pilgrim sent home for school pence(?) in the morning, and did not return in the afternoon. Neither John, Rosa nor Arthur Pilgrom sent to school.



3rd March 1881 Fever broke out in the village again causing the death of Jane Barley making the fourth death from its ravages within three months.



8th December 1882 Attendance very bad. Complained to the board who ordered proceedings to be taken against John Halls, Chas Pilgrim, Chas Bruce, Chris Sock, James Tingay and Rick Parker for the irregular attendance of their children.



May 11th Copy of HMI's report.

I regret to report that I can see no signs of improvement. The children are backward throughout. The prospects are all the more hopeless as the infants and children in the 1st standard are so ignorant. In the 1st standard 13 out of 21 children have failed in all subjects. A certificate was issued to the naster last year by mistake as must have been evident from the official letter which announced the annual grant. It has accordingly been cancelled and another will not be issued until the inspector can report favourably on the school. A deduction of one tenth is incurred in the present instance for faults of instruction(article 32b). The scholar numbered 55 on the Examination schedule, having been returned last year as oversize(?), was disqualified by age for further examination under article 19(B1)

William Jas. Whiting 2nd class certificate teacher
Alice Welham assistant.


14th March 1884 Whooping cough.Florence Witterick deceased.

21st March 1884 Complaint still raging.Several children away.

18th July 1884 Edward Bruce entered school at 1.48. Attendance corrected by footnote.

5th September 1884 School clock repaired.

9th September 1884 The young man who broke the window on Thurs. last has had it repaired.



17th February 1885 Attendance 97. Bertha Bruce entered school at 9.53. Attendance corrected by footnote.

2nd November 1885 Attendance 100. Causes of absence home circumstances. Sent two boys and one girl(C. Bruce!) home for school fees.*



1st February 1886 Edward Bruce sent home for school fees.

15th February 1886 Sent Frederick and Albert Bruce home for school fees.

8th March 1886 Edward Bruce left school at 2.10.

9th March 1886 Beatrice Bruce (and others) entered school after registers were closed.

13th September 1886 Albert Parker returned to school having been absent from 12th July on account of dislocation of elbow joint.



27th September 1888 Attendance 103. Punished Albert Bruce for being late.He entered school at 2.10.

8th October 1888 The funeral of Ethel Bruce

who was killed by a traction engine took place this afternoon. 

to be continued
 * According to Mary Milsom in her book "Short history of Wereham School - the first 100 years 1876-1976" school fees were 2d a week at that time

** I looked for Caroline Bastwick on the 1881 census and found her living in Horsemonden, Kent with her sister Alice. It turns out that during that period in 1879, Caroline was aged just 25 and her sister Alice a mere 17. The 1881 census lists Caroline as schoolmistress and Alice as Asst. Mistress, so their experiences at Wereham School failed to put them off teaching!!
click here for list of head teachers at Wereham School 1876-1976

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