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Messages - bykerlads

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The Common Room / Re: What was school like in the 1920s?
« on: Wednesday 06 June 18 17:08 BST (UK)  »
Assume it was the same in Wales, all schools in England had/have a Headteachers Log book for recording briefly what happened in school. Often small things like a deep clean during the holidays.
The school logs are often held in local authority records or archives.
I tracked down the logs for a school  near Dunford Bridge Yorks. They were kn the Barnsley records office. I found what I was looking for: mention of evacuees who arrived from London in 1940.
Worth a look ?

The Common Room / Re: What was school like in the 1920s?
« on: Wednesday 06 June 18 15:15 BST (UK)  »
Yes there was indeed selection for secondary school in the 1930s. But the often untold truth about passing the 11 plus was that you had to pay to go to a state grammar school. That along with travel and uniform costs meant that most working class children who passed the exam could not go to grammar school, tneir places being taken by less intelligent wealthier pupils.
My dad was able to go to grammar school, thus opening doors to a much more prosperous life, only because he was an only child and his grandma and some childless neighbours helped with the costs.
Totally free access to grammar schoold only came in the 1940s, no doubt because of the disproportionate  losses of men from the professional classes in the early part of WW2 ( RAF being the service of choice for these young men).  The government feared a future lack of people educated to a higher level. Added to this reason was the fact that people enlisted for war service were tested for their IQ etc. This would have revealed that many from the lower social classes were in fact very intelligent ie a lost ressource for the nation.
I was one of the many who benefitted from this huge surge in social mobility  for working class children educated in the 1950s. 
There are those who have an opinion about what effect comprehensive schools had on this short-lived opening up  of the doors of  opportunity.

The Common Room / Re: What was school like in the 1920s?
« on: Wednesday 06 June 18 10:09 BST (UK)  »
Yes, in the 1950/60s, the October half term hols were always called " potato-picking".
As in " we're off school next week for potato picking"

The Common Room / Re: What was school like in the 1920s?
« on: Wednesday 06 June 18 09:11 BST (UK)  »
Deducing from the village school I went to in the 1950s, there were still outside lavvies then and the cane was used when required. The building had clearly once just one biggish hall/classroom with newer additions.So I'd guess the one-room school might have existed in the 1920s.
One interesting fact is that certainly at Hade Edge school, West Yorks, very young children even toddlers and babies seemed to "attend" school in some circumstances. I have been told that photos from the 1920s and 30s of this school exist where the aduts are holding very small children. And in fact my father went to Hade Edge school from the age of 3, mainly as he recalled playing in the sand pit and with toys. I don't know how common this early schooling/childminding was but in dad's case it could well have been because his mother was 'not a well woman'.

Oddly, I get a similarly alarming warning when I try to access the Ashmolean in Oxford's website!

The Common Room / Re: Flu epidemic 1918/19
« on: Monday 09 April 18 18:35 BST (UK)  »
Yes, a similar "flu test" is the same thing but with a winning lottery ticket!
I recall a friend who was at home with flu and brochitis, very poorly. At the same time men were building a paved patio outside the windows of the room where she was lying ill. She could see that they were doing the job wrongly, wrong pavings, wrong pattern, sizes -  everthing. But she was too ill to get up and tell them, too ill to ring her husband to get him to sort the problem out.
Real flu.

The Common Room / Re: Flu epidemic 1918/19
« on: Sunday 08 April 18 17:25 BST (UK)  »
Etaples is now rather a nice little town with excellent seafood and also an interesting Corderie building- very long where ropes were made in the old days. I have the impression the building has now been redeveloped.
All that stretch of France's north coast is worth a visit. Quite a few small WW1 and 2 cemeteries and memorials within easy reach.
Wimereux is a lovely seaside town, the Hotel du Centre is excellent with superb restaurant.
All very different from 1918!

The Common Room / Re: Flu epidemic 1918/19
« on: Saturday 07 April 18 17:25 BST (UK)  »
Thanks Stan. Really useful data and charts. Was looking for info about West Yorks, as I haven't come across any deaths from flu at that time in my family : semi-rural location may hve shielded them a bit?
I once saw a documentary about this epidemic. It was suggested that it began or at least took hold  in ahuge military transit camp at Etaples on the north coast of France. Most soldiers passed through the camp as they were being demobbed at the end of the war. Hence the spread throughout the world. The program traced the day by day spread of the disease, for example in Australia, as the troups came home and travelled by rail back to their small home towns. The lads were greeted by large gatherings of folk, at stations and at welcome parties - thus the virus spread rapidly amongst the local populations. Outbreaks were mapped along railway lines from seaports. Heartbreaking.
Yes, Kiltpin. Real flu is quite a different thing from a bad cold. Totally incapacitating. Not sufficiently emphasised these days is the serious  need to make ill people drink large amount of fluids. Viruses and fevers rapidly deplete the body of fluid, kidneys pack up with fatal results.

The Common Room / Flu epidemic 1918/19
« on: Saturday 07 April 18 08:32 BST (UK)  »
Is there any way of finding out to what extent the flu epidemic at the end of WW1 affected different areas of the UK?
There has been rather a good series about the war on radio4, including one program about this flu.
Clearly it ravaged the entire world, being spread by soldiers returning to all parts of the old empire.
I'd be interested to know in detail how it affected different parts of Britain.

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