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The Ragged School

History of the Ragged School New Street

An undenominational school had been founded in 1846 in New Street and was commonly known as the Ragged School because it was a very poor area. The School relied for many years on voluntary subscriptions and fundraising activities for its maintenance. (Cambridge Diary, Enid Porter)

Josiah Chater wrote about a bazaar in June 1852 held at the Town Hall in aid of the school. he was asked to run the bookstall on 2nd June:

At half past nine I took my place with Jonathan Cook, draper, at the bookstall in the Town Hall. We had a capital day and took £7. 10s. Altogether, the cash taken was £160, and although the weather was very unpropitious, we had a famous attendance all day. All the nobs of the town were there.

He was back the following day and this time sold ink, pencils and pictures. Overall £240 was raised.

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British History Online :

An undenominational ragged school was opened in New Street about 1854. It comprised two schoolrooms and four classrooms, and, although it was a ragged school, fees of 1d.–2d. were charged. It received government grants from 1886 and in 1901 was taken over as a practising school by Homerton College, who also built a new infants’ school on the site. The infants’ department became a council school in 1912 and the remainder in 1915. There were about 370 children in attendance in 1911. 

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