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Village Hall - Church Lane - Shearsby, Leicestershire
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 52° 30.779 W 001° 04.997
30U E 630068 N 5819823
Quick Description: Former school, now village hall, on Church Lane, Shearsby.
Location: East Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 2/15/2019 2:26:34 PM
Waymark Code: WM10300
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 0

Long Description:
"Built in 1860 at a cost of £300, what is nowadays used as the Village Hall was once the Village School which after a chequered history was finally closed on 21st December 1937, by which time the number of pupils had dropped to only seven. But this was not the first time the school had been closed, as we shall see. Old records show that in the early part of this Century the school boasted both a headmistress and an assistant superintendent. There were some 30 pupils whose ages ranged from four to 13 years. Children came not only from Shearsby but also from Knaptoft and other outlying areas.

It was the practice in those days to give a half-day holiday as a reward for 100% attendance-by all the children-for the previous month, and there are many references to such "rewards". Unfortunately there were also many periods when good attendance was spoiled not by truancy but by persistent illness or by bad weather. For example, the school had to be closed for four weeks in 1911 due to an epidemic of whooping cough. Again, for two months in 1914 for diphtheria; in 1916 for influenza, and in 1917 for chicken-pox.

The weather seemed regularly to have been worse 50 or 60 years ago than we are familiar with today. In the old records there are several references to the school being closed due to bad weather, including snowstorms. The winter of 1916/1917 must have been particularly severe, as there was bad weather all January and snow until March. It was even too cold for the usual May Day celebrations. This was just before the chicken-pox epidemic. The weather had been almost as bad during the early months of 1915 and 1916.

Those were wartime years, when the school-children clearly did their bit towards the war effort. The girls knitted for soldiers, and the boys and girls gave their pennies towards recreation huts for soldiers, supplied by the YMCA. They also undertook strange collections, like "56 lb of blackberries for the Army and Navy", for which they were paid 1 ½d/lb, and "4 cwt of horsechestnuts for munitions”. Traditional November 5th bonfires were illegal, as the visiting police constable warned the children, and in July 1917 no school treat was given, as a token economy in food towards the war effort. Contributions were sent to a special fund to help Belgian people in dire necessity. During World War 1 the boys were allowed to leave school at the age of 12 so that they could work on the farms which were so desperately short of labour.

As a result of falling attendance, the school closed in 1924 and the children had to travel back and forth by bus to nearby Arnesby. A reorganization of County education was mooted in 1929 and part of the scheme would involve transferring all children over the age of 11 years to Wigston Magna. Shearsby School was to be re-opened for juniors, which was what many of the local residents had been agitating for, for many years. After many delays, not the least due to the liaison of suitable bus services, the new scheme was implemented and Shearsby School re-opened early in 1931.

Children grow up and the steady decline in the population of Shearsby seemed to continue. In 1932 there was an average attendance of 22 pupils, but not counting minor fluctuations the numbers dropped steadily until in May 1937 only eight remained. The school finally closed on 21st December 1937."

SOURCE - (visit link)
Village Hall
Church Lane
Shearsby, Leicestershire England

Web Site: Not listed

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