Elementary School, School Lane

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Elementary School, School Lane.

The School on School Lane was built IN 1860 to accommodate the children from the Victorian housing built near Sprowston Road, extra classrooms were built. It was extended in 1873.

Once again the increase in the housing sector in the 1920`s and 1930`s resulted in another school being built on Recreation Ground Road.

Memories of Kingston Fowler (born 1902) of the school.

When I went to school I could name everybody who lived on the Wroxham Road, not many houses then, I could count on one hand the number of people who owned cars in Sprowston.

My classmates at the school in School Lane, were –

Alfred Whiting, Maurice Coleman, Levi Blake, Arthur Burgess, Percy Howes, Billy Lee, Clemmy King, Reginald Quantrill, Jimmy Gale, Reginald Wrench, Gimp Gardman, A. Garman, Violet Walker, Mabel Dawson, Maude Land, ……. ? Woods, Bertha Patteson, Gladys Codling, May Dark, Ethel Carter and Susan Quantrill.

The boys would play football going to school and the girls would have skipping ropes, during our school dinner time, we would go to the Brickfields, and watch the men make bricks, they used to stamp in the clay with bare feet, and the bricks were all made by hand. You can see some of the houses built by the bricks, opposite the new church of St. Cuthbert’s on Wroxham Road.

Before the 1st World War, the rear of the girls` toilets was approached from the boys` playground and on occasion’s boys used to get stinging nettles and sting the girl’s bottoms! One day the Headmistress was the victim of this escapade; she reported the matter to the Headmaster Mr. Tom Delves. He came to the class where the suspected culprits were and enquired who the boys were, who took part in the incident, but no boy owned up. So he had all the boys in the class out in front and gave each “Six of the best”. I bet Mr. Delves had a laugh when he told the story to his pals in the Blue Boar, over a glass of whisky.

There was a temporary Headmaster for the latter part of the War. Mr. Martin was called up; Miss Jessie Miller was a teacher with Miss Simpson in the tin hut. Tom Smith was the Scout Master and caretaker of the Lazar House, Sprowston Road, which was used as the Scout headquarters, also for the Sprowston Black Minstrels, run by the church choir, and for school concerts. Lazar house later became a library, given by Sir Eustace Gurney. Mr. Tom Delves was a tyrant of a schoolmaster. He always seemed to have a cane up the sleeve of his jacket. His pet thing was to come into the classroom about 15 minutes before we were due to go home and put a sum on the blackboard and say we must get it correct before we go home. George Martin, the schoolteacher, could not resist playing football with the boys at playtime, although all we had to play with was an old tennis ball. If the ball got “Mumped” over the school wall, into a neighbour’s garden, George would disappear until the ball was retrieved.