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Chesterton Primary / Shirley School

History of Shirley / Chesterton Primary School

The interesting story of the two schools and their sites is explained by Nicky Morland in her monograph of 2022.

The original chapters of the monograph can be found here in PDF format. The text and illustrations are reproduced below.

Shirley School 1 – Overview

Shirley School 2 – Land acquisition and build

Shirley School 3 – 1930s 2

Shirley School 4 – 1940s

Shirley School Overview by Nicky Morland (2022)

In September 1932 with an expanding population in East Chesterton, Cambridge Corporation opened a new Infants school in Green End Road, the Shirley School, that accommodated children from the Infant section of St Andrew’s Church of England School, High Street, Chesterton, so providing separate Infants and Junior Schools.

The individual Infant and Junior schools were maintained until 2006 when Cambridgeshire County Council closed St Andrew’s Church of England Junior School following the school being put in special measures for a 2nd time. Shirley School Governors at the request of the Local Authority agreed to extend the age range of the Infant and Nursery School to include the Junior School and this led to the formation of Shirley Community Nursery and Primary School.

A new all through Primary School, was built by Cambridgeshire County Council on the Nuffield Road site previously that of St Andrew’s CoE Junior School. St Andrew’s had relocated to that site in 1982 from its original site in High Street, Chesterton, the location now of Primary Court.  Children from the original Shirley Infants school in Green End Road were transferred over to the Nuffield Road school over a period of 2 years.

Education provision had completed a full circle from a C19 St Andrew’s School for Junior and Infant, through individual provision, St Andrew’s CoE Junior School & Shirley Infants School est 1932, back to the full Primary age range provision, Shirley Community Nursery and Primary School, est 2006. The school in Nuffield Road is now (in 2022) called Shirley Community Primary School

The original site of Shirley Infants School in Green End Road was due to be sold by the Local Authority however the demands of a booming population in the area required the establishment of a new Primary school. Since at this point in time all new schools were to be academies, a selection process was undertaken. The site is now occupied by Chesterton Primary, an Academy School of ALT, Active Learning Trust which opened in September 2013 .

Shirley School – Land acquisition and build

The following information is taken from documents held by Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire Archives and The Victorian County History: Chesterton Manors and other Estates

The land on which Shirley School was built in 1932 is made up from two parcels of land purchased by the Corporation of Cambridge detailed in Titles ET60/A and ET60/B (Cambridgeshire Archive)

ETA 60/A Abstract of Title of the Mayor Alderman and Citizens of the City of Cambridge of the site of Shirley School, Chesterton, Cambridge, and adjoining land. ,  

including

6/11/1919 Conveyance between

1 Robert Forsythe Scott and Henry Gurney Brewer

2 Johanna Cornelia Gurney

3 James Francis Gray

7/8/1930 Conveyance

1 J F Gray

2 Mayor, Alderman & Burgesses of the Borough of Cambridge

The Title document details a complex history of the land the understanding of which is given below.

6/11/1919 James Francis Gray (1861-1936), a dairyman of High Street, Chesterton purchased the land from Trustees and J C Gurney, (Mrs Johanna Cornelia Gurney), Widow.

Johanna was born Johanna Cornelia Pelgrim on 26 October 1846 in Leerdam,, Netherlands,. In 1867 she married Capt. Francis William Wragg of Chesterton Hall. Wragg had inherited land in Chesterton from Mary Wragg in 1866; the land had originally been owned by Frances’ great-grandfather William Wragg (1756-1804) ,. When Francis died in 1876 without issue all his property was left to his widow, Johanna. In 1879 Johanna married Theodore Thomas Gurney (1849-1918), a Mathematics Professor at Sydney University.

From the details given in the Title documents it appears that, prior to Johanna marrying Theodore Gurney a marriage settlement was agreed with respect to Johanna’s land inherited from her first husband Francis Wragg. The Married Women’s Property Act of 1870 allowed a woman to inherit land but the marriage was before the Married Women’s Property Act of 1882 so Johanna may not have been allowed under law to hold the title to the property herself. The Title indicates that land was put into settlement with the ‘privity’ (agreement) of T T Gurney allowing Johanna to retain some control, appoint trustees and ask for property to be sold.

Theodore Gurney died in 1918 and the land ‘known as Green End Close,’ estimated to be 2acres 3rood 29perch, was sold on 6/11/1919 to James Francis Gray for £270.

Shirley School 1919

[Note: Mrs. Wragg Gurney died in 1922 prior to which she had given almost all her Chesterton lands, 403acres north-west of the village, to St. John’s College, Cambridge, of which Gurney had been a fellow. The college sold much of the land for building in the 1930s, the rest after 1945]

7/8/1930 James Frances Grey sold the land to Cambridge Corporation by for the sum of £550

Shirley School 1930

ETA 60/B Abstract of the Title of THE MAYOR ALDERMAN AND CITIZENS OF THE CITY OF CAMBRIDGE to Freehold hereditaments known as part of Shirley School in the City of Cambridge

This is a much larger parcel of land (23.614acres), sold by St Catherine’s College, only part of which was used, along with ETA 60/A, for the building of the Shirley School.

Detail from ETA 60/B

20th December 1929

Between the Master or Keeper and Fellows of the College or Hall of Saint Catherine the Virgin in the University of Cambridge (Vendor)

And the Mayor Aldermen and Burgesses of the Borough of Cambridge (Corporation)

ALL THAT piece or parcel of land lying between Milton Road and Green End Road Chesterton Cambridge in the Borough of Cambridge and show on the Ordnance Map 1927 Edition by the following particulars:-

No. on Ordnance Map Area

261            20.226

271            .493

272           1.347

273          1.548

(Total)     23.614

Shirley School 1929

ALL which said hereditaments and premises were more particularly delineated on the plan annexed thereto coloured green, pink and brown.

Much of the land was used for the building of council houses along with the school. The ET 60/A parcel of land can be seen on this plan as located below and adjoining this land.

This is further shown in this plan, on the reverse of which is written “Area coloured blue refers to ET 60/A”

Shirley School 1929 B

Shirley School 1929 C

Building of the Shirley School

As originally built, the school comprised six classrooms, a hall, offices along with

cloakrooms, and toilet facilities.

This photograph of the rear of the school, August 1932, shows the hall, one of the cloakrooms and some of the classrooms.

Shirley School, 1932

Workmen putting the finishing touches to the Shirley Infants School in Green End Road Cambridge Independent Press. 19. Aug. 1932. p.12.

The school opened on 19 September 1932

1 Cambridge Archives 

ETA 60/A Abstract of Title of the Mayor Alderman and Citizens of the City of Cambridge of the site of Shirley School, Chesterton, Cambridge, and adjoining land. Inc.

2 ‘Chesterton: Manors and other estates’, in A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds, ed. A P M Wright and C P Lewis (London, 1989), pp. 13-18. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/cambs/vol9/pp13-18 [accessed 30 August 2022].

3 ‘Chesterton: Manors and other estates’

4 Cambridgeshire Archives

ETA 60/B Abstract of the Title of THE MAYOR ALDERMAN AND CITIZENS OF THE CITY OF CAMBRIDGE to Freehold hereditaments known as part of Shirley School in the City of Cambridge

5  Cambridgeshire Collection.  Workmen putting the finishing touches to the Shirley Infants School in Green End Road Cambridge Independent Press. 19. Aug. 1932. p.12. G.SHI.K32

Shirley School – 1930s

Details from the Log Book and the Manager’s Minutes. Also from Newspaper reports

Overview

The school opened on 19 September 1932. It was inspected on March 1 1934. In 1936 the Education Committee approved the construction of 2 additional classrooms. Low attendance owing to childhood illnesses, now mostly not seen, are regularly reported. The school closed early on the days of the May Bumps Races. The end of the decade sees preparations for WWII, including the building of air-raid shelters.

The Log Book was found during the relocation of Shirley Infants School from its original site in Green End Road to the site it now occupies in Nuffield Road when, on the closure of St Andrew’s Junior School 31/08/2006, it became Shirley Primary School.

The Log Book provides school activities as follow

Detail for Saint Andrews CoE School Jan 9 1911- Sept 16 1932

Detail for Shirley School Sept 19 1932- Nov 9 1960

Shirley Infants School was opened in 1932 taking children from the Infant section of St Andrew which became a Junior School.

It gives details of manager’s meetings, staff sickness, and various visits to the school inc. medical and dental inspections (of up to 5 days) & treatments, School Nurse visits, weighing the children and inspecting for lice, inoculations, immunization (eg against diphtheria Apr 30th 1939). ‘travelling teacher for speech defects’, dates of closing and opening, numbers of scholar admissions. There are regular references to ‘Holiday this afternoon’ in the early period, though no indication as to why. There are entries at various times showing low attendance because of outbreaks of whooping cough, chicken pox, measles or mumps. It also details staff wage increases.

Entries of interest from the Log Book for Shirley School during the 1930s (Note: The Log Book is lodged with Cambridgeshire Archives)

Sept 16 1932 St Andrews: Miss K Townsend ceased duties at St Andrew’s Infants School today

Sept 19 1932

The following staff of the above school

K F Townsend (Miss) Head Teacher

6 Assistant teachers (named)

1 Nurse Attendant (named)

Note: Numbers of children not given

Shirley School 1932

Parent bringing away their children from the first day at the new Infants’ School in Green End Road

Cambridge Independent Press CIP,  Friday 23rd September 1932 Page 12. Cambridgeshire Collection

Miss K F Townsend 1932 (Cambridgeshire Collection)

May 29 1933

Received permission from the Education Secretary to open afternoon school on Jun 7th, 8th & 9th at 1.25 pm and close at 3.30pm. This is to enable children to reach home, so as to avoid traffic caused by the May Races. (similar entries other years pre and post this)

March 16 1934 Inspection Report

Received from the Education Secretary the School Report by HMI Mr H F B Fox Inspected on March 1 1934

In September 1932 this school was opened to take the place of the Infants department at Chesterton St Andrews. It is an attractive building on a site which is sufficiently large to ensure freedom from congestion by other developments in event of housing developments in the neighbourhood.

It consists of six classrooms, a hall, full range of cloakrooms, offices & lavatories, so designed that teaching conditions are good & the general facilities for early training in social habits available. In the main the school is well equipped, though the substitution of tables and chairs for dual desks would be advantageous in the room used by the class to which the children are promoted after passing through the nursery classes. Some children are placed in this class on entry to the school. Such furniture would facilitate free movement & so encourage methods in closer accord with those used in the nursery classes.

The staff consists of a Head Teachers and six assistants. A Nurse attendant and usually a monitress assist with the nursery classes.

Numerically the staff is sufficient, but only three of the assistants are fully qualified. In order to adjust the size of the classes a number of the children are promoted each term, while transfer to the Junior Schools takes place at the age of 7+

In the nursery classes the children are suitably introduced to school life, and without formal teaching learn both to be self-reliant and to help each other. After this stage, however, the methods of instruction become very formal with the result that the intention of the early training is not fulfilled & this formal type of teaching continues to the top of the school. A gradual transition should be aimed at, & generally the methods employed should tend to make more possible varying rates of progress within each class

There is no mistaking the energy and zeal of the staff, the effect of which is noted in a satisfactory attainment in the fundamental subjects

It is possible that help with regard to the points discussed during the inspection may be found in the Handbook of Suggestions & the recent publication on Infant & Junior Schools.

Signed J Holt, Correspondent.

Note: Regular references to Homerton Students teaching at Shirley for varying lengths of time.

May 31 1934 Nurse weighed Malt & Milk children this morning.

June 3 1934 Many children absent on account of Whooping Cough .

Regular ‘Mother’s Afternoon’ were held eg July 16 1934 200 mothers

Oct 1 1934 Milk 1/2d per bottle from today. 201 scholars received milk.

Mar 19 1936 German Measles reported

May 8 1936 Low attendance – Mumps

Shirley staff photo June 1936 (Cambridgeshire Collection)

Dec 17 1936 Permission has been received from the Education Officer that the ordinary Time Tables may be suspended on the afternoon of Dec 21st & 22nd on account of the Xmas Teas for the children here.

April 19 1937 Since provision of additional class rooms (school) provides accommodation for 364 children.

May 11 1937 School closed for Coronation & Whitsun

May 13 (? 18) 1937 Children’s Coronation Day Service in Hall. Professional entertainers. Distribution of Souvenirs by Deputy Mayor.

Apr 13 1938 very poor attendance the last few weeks owing to Measles and Chicken Pox

28 Sep 1938 Closed school. School needed for the filling of respirators

School also closed when required as a Polling Station eg, Jan 31 1939

Entries from the Minute book of the Managers of the Shirley Council School

Commenced Oct 7 1932

Last minutes 17 January 1945

Note: The Minute Book is lodged with Cambridgeshire Archives. The Managers were similar to school governors though they focused on the physical aspects of a school rather than the educational. The main business of their meeting was normally scheduling of visits

1932

Meeting 1 Oct 7 1932

Present

Rev W l McKennal

Rev C Byrt

Alderman Squires (elected Chairman)

Councillors Miss Blair Mrs McNair Spalding and Holt

Education secretary Mr T F Foreman

Agreed Rota of visits one per month. Agreed Managers meetings on Wed 2.45

Headmistress Miss Townsend away ill

1933

Jan 25 1933

Head reported 10 children absent because of illness. Correspondent reported that he had just received notice of the closing of the schools until Feb 6th under Medical Authority

Request from Education Secretary for a report on the newly appointed caretaker, agree to report that his work had been entirely satisfactory.

“after considering the circumstances of the death of Ruth Norris, a scholar killed by being run over by a motor bus it was unanimously agreed to write to the Education Secretary asking for danger signs to be placed near the school gate in Green End Road”

School visitors appointed.

May 31 1933

Education Secretary confirmed permanent appt of caretaker

Education Committee had decided to fix Celote? to the ceiling of the Hall

Question on window cleaning and grass cutting to be taken up. Broken Fence at west of school. Inspection of premises and new tiles of the hall

Jul 26 1933

Head reported that Parents day had been most successful and that Dr Laird M.O.H had addressed a large gathering of parents in the school hall on that occasion.

“it was agreed to ask the Stores Committee to supply a better quality of petrol for the motor lawn mower and also to ask the Borough Surveyor to arrange for the rolling of the lawn at a suitable time”

Oct 10 1933

Head reported she had arranged another parent’s day in November at which the Mayor would attend.

1934

Jan 18 1934 

Parents Day Dec 1st very successful

Mayor, Mayoress, Mayor’s Chaplain, Vicar of Chesterton, Alderman Squires and Correspondent. The Mayor gave a very interesting address to the parents

BOARD OF EDUCATION REPORT BY HMI Mr H.F.B Fox INSPECTED ON 1st March 1934

See Log Book Entry March  1934 for full Report

April 18 1934

Discussion report of HMI

“With respect to suggestion that the desks in one room should be replaced by tables and chairs, it was agreed that in view of the crowded conditions of the classrooms and the probable further increase in the numbers on role it would be better to postpone this until the question of increased accommodation was brought forward.”

Caretaker reported broken fence and frequent cases of trespass.

‘”It was also reported that the tenants in the Council houses were in the habit of throwing stones and other rubbish over the fence on to the school lawn. It was resolved to ask the Education Secretary to call the attention of the Chief Constable to the matter”

July 19 1934

Permission had been granted to the Hundred Houses Society to construct a footpath from their estate to the Shirley School, for the use of the children of their tenants but the Education Committee would provide a suitable entrance gate.

Two Further meetings; no important information recorded

1935

April 17 1935 Caretaker Mr Gibson took up duties at Milton Road School

July 7 1935 no quorum no business

Oct 16 1935 meeting hurriedly cancelled to give alderman and councillor a chance of attending a memorial service for a former mayor of Cambridge

Shirley Infants 1935 (Cambridge Book of Silver Jubilee King George V)

Photo of Shirley School 1935

From: THE CAMBRIDGE BOOK OF THE SILVER JUBILEE OF KING GEORGE V I9IO-I935, Edited by S. C. ROBERTS, CAMBRIDGE. PRINTED AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS FOR THE BOROUGH EDUCATION COMMITTEE, 1935

1936

January 16 1936 On previous day Education Committee had instructed the Education Officer to forward plans for two new rooms to the Education Dept for their approval.

Notice of proposal February 12 1936

Shirley school notice 1936

April 22 1936 no important information recorded

Oct 21 1936 new classrooms in course of erection

1937

Sept 15 1937

“It was reported that the new classrooms were very successful and that one had now been used as a nursery class making three nursery class in all. Miss Townsend mentioned that 80 children had gone to the Junior Schools & 70 new scholars had been entered in the Shirley School, making a total of 331 on the books.

Miss Townsend also reported that two successful Mothers’ Afternoons had taken place during last term. Mrs ? had spoken at the first when 130 mothers were present and Miss Griffiths, Supervisor of Physical Training, at the 2nd when over 250 Mothers attended.”

1938

Jan 12 1938 Miss Townsend reported that the School, including the Nursery Classes, was full.

May 25 1938 Letter in the local press (cutting in book) from Mrs Hayward 25 Ramsden Square concerned about children crossing Milton Road. Correspondent had visited the crossing places at the roundabout and the newly erected Belisha crossing at Ramsden Square.

Oct 19 1938 Caretaker call attention of the Managers to 10 Shirley Grove being vacant and asked if the Managers could help him get a house nearer the school. Correspondent to write to the Education Officer. Also concerned about the great amount of his time which is taken up in window cleaning. Matter deferred for the present

1939

January 18 1939 window cleaning discussed

May 3 1939 windows to be cleaned by men from the Surveyor’s Dept

September 27 1939

“The Headmistress explained the conditions under which the school was working. There were about 30 evacuees in the school but all the under five children for present were excluded. Some concern was expressed about the absence of these children and it was decided to urge that these children should be re-admitted as soon as it was found possible to do so”

NOTE FROM CORRESPONDENCE: T F Foreman Education Officer 30 Nov 1939

“The Education Committee has decided that you may admit children of four years of age from the beginning of next week, but have instructed me to point out that it may be necessary at alter date to exclude children under five years of age …

When admitting the four year olds next term you should bear in mind the necessity of reserving sufficient accommodation for the admission of children of five years of age after Easter.

The trenches for Air Raid protection now in the course of construction were afterwards inspected’

Shirley School air raid shelters

Cambridge Borough Surveyors plan for Feeding Centre at Shirley School.  This shows the position of the Air Raid Shelters on either side of the original Nursery building.

Letter from Kathleen Mansfield née Rule re Shiley School

Letter (1992) regarding the 1939 evacuees and the Shirley School Air Raid Shelters

Newspaper Reports referencing Shirley School

15 April 1939 Cambridge Daily News

A.R.P. First-Aid plan progresses

Arrangements have just been made for the B.R.C.S to man and train personnel for four first-aid posts at Shirley School, Richmond-road School, Cherry Hinton School and St Phillip’s School …

Note: A.R.P. Air Raid Precautions (ARP) refers to a number of organisations and guidelines in the United Kingdom dedicated to the protection of civilians from the danger of air raids (Wikipedia)

B.R.C.S is the British Red Cross Society

14 July 1939 Cambridge Evening News

Cambridge Tastes Conditions. A.R.P. Services go into action

The report gives details of the testing preparation for war and of blackout conditions undertaken in the town.

“… there were first-aid parties at Shirley School, Chesterton … Numerous casualties, labelled with their respective injuries, were dealt with by first-aid parties”

1 September 1939 Cambridge Daily News

Evacuees arrive at Cambridge. Arrangements work smoothly. Children keep calm. 

The first of the children who have been separated from their families by the dark threat of war arrived at Cambridge Station this morning.

CDN Evacuees arrive at Cambridge 1.9.1939

10 trains arrived at Cambridge on this day, the first with 800 children mainly from Holloway destined for county areas who had started their journey at 5 am at their schools. The second train arrived at 11.30 with 500 children from Muswell Hill, these children were to be accommodated in the Borough and were taken to one of 13 Dispersal Centres by bus. Shirley School was one of the designated Dispersal Centres in the City. A reporter at one of the centres details that on arrival the children were examined by a medical man and nurse, their names and London County Council School were recorded, the children were given rations for two days, they then left the school accompanied by a Billeting Officer and helper.

A report to the Town Council on the work of the A.R.P (Cambridge Daily News of 11 October 1939) states that Approximately 6.600 children and mothers have been evacuated to Cambridge.

9 October 1939 Cambridge Daily News

A.R.P. Trenches for schools £8847 Scheme to town Council

When Cambridge Town Council meet on Thursday they will ho asked to approve the construction of air raid trench shelters at nine elementary schools in the Borough.

The tender for the construction from Mr. H D Ridgeon was approved.

11 October 1939 Cambridge Daily News

Work of the A.R.P. Committee

It is reported that there are seven first-aid depots, three mobile units and for fixed first aid posts in the Borough …

(from Cambridgeshire Archives)

 

Shirley School – 1940s

Details from the Log Book and the Manager’s Minutes. Also from Newspaper reports

Overview

The school opened on 19 September 1932. It was inspected on March 1 1934. In 1936 the Education Committee approved the construction of 2 additional classrooms. The School was inspected in Oct 1948. The early years of this decade sees the impact on the school of WW2

The Log Book was found during the relocation of Shirley Infants School from its original site in Green End Road to the site it now occupies in Nuffield Road when, on the closure of St Andrew’s Junior School 31/08/2006, it became Shirley Primary School.

The Log Book provides school activities as follow

Detail for Saint Andrews Church of England School Jan 9 1911- Sept 16 1932

Detail for Shirley School Sept 19 1932- Nov 9 1960

Shirley Infants School was opened in on Sept 19 1932 taking children from the Infant section of St Andrew which then became a Junior School.

Entries of interest from the Log Book for Shirley School during the 1940s 

Note: The Log Book is lodged with Cambridgeshire Archives

1940

May 28 1940 The parents were invited to the school this afternoon in order to see the children go to the shelters, & afterwards inspect them.

Aug 30 1940 Kate(?) Townsend resigned as Headmistress

Sep 2 1940 Alice Mary Hehir commenced duties as Headmistress

Nov 27 1940 Manager’s meeting record in the Log Book of gratitude to Miss Townsend:

Miss K Townsend has served as headmistress of this school since it was opened eight years ago, and now she is retiring the managers wish to express their gratitude for the faithful services which Miss Townsend has rendered.

They hope she may enjoy many years of health and happiness in her well earned rest, and feel sure that the influence for good which she has exerted on the children will long endure.

1941

Jan 21 1941 In shelters

1) 10.20 to 11.10 am

2) 11.40 to 12.15pm

3) 2.20 – 2.50p,

4) 3.40 to 4.15 pm.

Wet snowy day.

Jan 23 1941 In shelters 10.35 to 11.00 am

31 Jan 1941 In shelters 12-12.30, 3.45 to 4 noted that ‘children claimed by parents, all clear went after 6pm’

Entries recorded regarding the use of the shelters in Feb, March, April and May 1941.

Last entry re alerts June 16 1941

Dec 17 1941 Two HMIs visit in connection with the building of a FT Nursery Centre

Shirley School Log 1941

1942

Summer 1942 School remained open after the end of term, July 24t,h with reduced staffing for recreational activities. Closed Aug 26-Sept 7

Note: Miss Hehir’s (Head) records fewer entries giving information on school activities in the Log Book but mainly regarding staff absences and class numbers at start of academic year.

1944

Sept 13 1944 The children had a Harvest Festival and afterwards the fruit and vegetables were sold to the mothers. The sale resulted in £8-1s-91/2 p being raised for the wireless set. After everything paid 11s/51/2 p will be left for charging accumulators.

1945

Feb 2 1945 Attendance this week was very low owing to heavy snow. The mothers find it difficult to obtain Wellington boots for chn (children).

Note: Teachers were given leave ‘on account of leave of husband’ over the war period.

1946

Sept 9 1946 School re-opened. Former government nursery taken over by the Ministry of Education. Nursery class– children of two years at present in the nursery to be retained but in future only three year olds will be admitted.

Oct 12 1948 Received report by HMIs on the school Inspected on 11 & 12 May 1948.

Shirley School HMI report 1948 p1

Shirley School HMI report 1948 p2

Shirley School HMI report 1948 p3

Shirley School HMI report 1948 p4

Shirley School HMI report 1948 p5

Shirley School HMI report 1948 p6

Entries from the Minute book of the Managers of the Shirley Council School

Commenced Oct 7 1932

Last minutes 17 January 1945

Note: The Minute Book is lodged with Cambridgeshire Archives. The Managers were similar to school governors though they focused on the physical aspects of a school rather than the educational.  The early years of the 1940s detail issues regarding the use of the school by A.R.P. and the First Aid post for the War effort. Note: items of interest only record here

1940

Jan 17 1940

‘The correspondent described the steps he had taken to try to put a stop to the serious damage that was being done to the grass plot by motor vans and private cars, mainly in connection with the First Aid Post. He read the letter he had sent to Ald Briggs as Chairman of the A.R.P Committee’

Aug 7 1940

Miss Townsend was retiring

‘Miss K Townsend has served as headmistress of this School since it opened eight years ago, and now that she is retiring the Managers wish to express their gratitude for the faithful services which Miss Townsend has rendered.

They hope that she may enjoy many years of health and happiness in her well earned rest, and feel sure that the influence for good which she has exerted on the children will long endure’

Nov 27 1940

Note of appreciation would be entered in the Shirley Log Book (it is in Log Book)

Headmistress (Miss Hehir) reported that during wet weather parts of the School Shelters became unusable

Temperature charts of the various classrooms were inspected to show the heating was satisfactory

More on problems with vehicles driving across the lawn to the First Aid Post

1941

Mar 26 1941

‘The Headmistress explained the arrangement that had been made for the use, if required, of the School as a Rest Centre.

Miss Hehir also reported that the present no on the books was 332 and that in view of the accommodation being reduced by the loss of a classroom, she was not able, at present, to admit under fives. It was regrettable that with its splendid equipment and specifically trained staff for nursery work, the school should not be able to meet the demand for such classes.’ Ald. Spalding to interview Ed Off to see what arrangements could be made.

1941 letter re Shirley school and damage caused by vehicles

Letter in Managers Book regarding damage to the grass caused by vehicles crossing during night time “Alerts”

Jul 9 1941

Some discussion on proposals from Ministry of Health to erect protective walls to the windows of a classroom used as sleeping accommodation for female personnel, alteration to the WC.s and the tar paving of a portion of the ground. Pleased Ed Com. Rejected

1942

Feb 4 1942

Tar paving effected and serving a useful purpose

Classroom used for sleeping in by some of the members of the Mobile Unit (i.e. First Aid) needs to be vacated by 8am and be no smoking. Request to go to Ed. Officer.

Caretaker, his son and son’s friend had done voluntary fire-watching of the premises and was requesting recognition and small payment. Referred to Ed Officer

Dec 9 1942

No central Heating for many weeks now remedied.

No action on fire watching

1943

Dec 1 1943

‘The classroom occupied by the First Aid Post was vacated by them during the summer holidays wand was now in use by the School, but so far an additional teacher had not been appointed.’

1944

Dec 29 1944

Request from caretaker for additional help for cleaning rejected

1945

Jan 17 1945

Considered plans for proposed site of dining room and kitchen.

LAST MINUTE RECORDED IN THIS BOOK

Papers and Letters inserted into the Manager’s Minute Book

Jan 8 1941 Letter from Managers to Education Officer re Crossing of Lawn by cars and other vehicles

Feb 6 1942 Letter from Managers (Mr Wormell) to Education Officer re vacating classroom by members of the Mobile Unit (i.e. First Aid). Includes a request to prohibit smoking and states ‘ An atmosphere impregnated with stale tobacco smoke is not a suitable one for the children to start their day’s work in.’

Also details of the fire watching in early part of the year when the siren sounded at night by the caretaker

Feb 10 1942 Reply from TF Foreman MA Ed Officer

Request re First Aid Personnel sent to Staff Officer

No powers to make payment to caretaker, though had tried. Will be covered by firewatchers under Civil Defence Duties

Jan 1945 Letters re the erection of a canteen in response to the Ministry of Education requirement to provide meals in all schools

Statement of average attendance for year ending 31 March 1937 compared with 1935-1936

Official Accommodation 364

Estimated Effective Accommodation 364

Year ended 31/3/36: Average attendance 269 Average number on books 311 % average attendance to average no on books 84

Year ended 31/3/37 Average attendance 242 Average number on books 312 % average attendance to average no on books 78

Newspaper Reports referencing Shirley School

Jan 19 1940

Cambridge Independent Press on 19 January 1940.

C I P 1940 Shirley School A R P Ambulance (Cambridgeshire Archives)

‘A.R.P. Ambulance try out – Members of No. 1 First Aid Party carrying out at the Shirley School, Cambridge, an A.R.P. practice with one of the ambulances which are specially converted saloon cars.’

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