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Weston Patrick School 1866-1917

Weston Patrick village hall, formerly the school which closed in 1917

In 1866 the rector of Weston Patrick converted a barn into a school at a cost of £30 which was supported by subscription and the scholars’ pence. By 1876 it had been recognised as a Church School and was supported by voluntary contributions of the local landowners for 40 years.

In 1889 45 children attended the school with an average attendance of 30. At the end of 1891 several gypsy children who were living on Weston Common were admitted but it is not known how long they stayed.

By 1899 the average attendance had dropped to 12, but from 1900 to 1905 it remained fairly stable at between 12 and 16. Although the school had considerable disadvantages, a report by an Inspector in 1908 praised the teacher for encouraging self-help and self-reliance, and stated that the scholars were well behaved, keen and interested. Attendance rates were high, often 100 per cent, however the premises were in a poor state of repair.

Although improvements were made to the schoolroom in 1909, with some financial help from Mr Wyatt, chairman to the managers, deterioration resulted in it being put on a black list in 1910. The County Architect suggested some further improvements, some of which were completed by September 1910. However there was little room for recreation and the children generally had only the adjacent road for playtime.

In spite of their considerable poverty the children seem to have been quite well cared for with frequent medical inspections and visits from local dignitaries. There are reports of a Coronation Day holiday in June 1911, a Garland Festival on May Day, an Empire Day on May 23rd when the flag was saluted, the King’s birthday when the National Anthem was sung and Alexandra Day when the flag was hoisted and the children were given roses by the rector’s wife. There were tea parties and sports at the rectory. 

By September 1917 once again there were only 12 children on the register, the head was unwell and the building in poor condition. The school finally closed on 26 October 1917 with children transferring to neighbouring schools in Tunworth, Upton Grey, South Warnborough and Herriard. The building was given to the village in memory of Mrs Rainbird and has subsequently been used as the Village Hall.

Content derived from research undertaken as part of the Victoria County History project

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