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Sergeant William Love of N Herts Yeomanry Cavalry, gave £180 to Meetkerke in his will to pay for the education of poor children. This was invested to give dividends of £7 p.a. paid half yearly to a teacher of Sunday School for 50 children. Sgt. Love was buried in Rushden in 1816 but the memorial plaque was lost after the Chancel was pulled down in 1849. Fortunately his name remains on a stone in the Churchyard.

In 1857 Adolphus VI gave a school building, built in the 1850s, to the Vicar of Rushden. It had doors either side of the room for boys and girls. In 1870 it became an Established Day School for a Government grant. In 1875 certificated teachers were hard to find, even for £50 p.a. plus £7 for Sunday School and lodgings.

In 1876 Miss Grice, aged 20, had 56 children in the class, with two more helpers joining later. An argument between Miss Grice and the Rev. Matthews led to her resignation in 1877 rather suddenly. In spite of problems with equipment, maintaining the building, keeping staff and meeting the Inspectorate's ever rising standards, the school continued for another 59 years.

A whole day's holiday in honour of the Centenary of the Church Missionary Society.
Writing on slates was done away with and small children were taught to write in sand.
There was a holiday to celebrate the wedding of the Duke of York (later George VI) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon.
HMI criticised the school for its lack of facilities. Drill was taken on a bye-road when weather permitted, there was no supply of drinking water (it had to be obtained from a cottage) and the only washing facility was a bowl on a stand kept in a cupboard.
A doctor, dentist, and nurse visited.
The school was closed due to the room flooding.

The school was divided into two classes, 5yrs to 8yrs and 8yrs to 14yrs, with one teacher who taught scripture, current events, writing, composition, poetry, history, geography, needlework, singing, nature study, drawing and handicrafts (leatherwork and caning chairs).

Arithmetic included multiplication tables and mental arithmetic and children worked at their own pace from workbooks. At 11yrs, girls went to Buntingford for cooking lessons and the boys had woodwork classes. Physical exercise was PT, stall ball and rounders. Other games were played such as hopscotch and its variant egg and bacon, hoops (bicycle wheels), paper chase, chalk chase and tip-it and run.

April 1910 - 81 children, 1936 - 14 children.

Wallington School had similar problems but as it was easier to improve, Rushden closed in December 1936. In 1922 Wallington was considered for closure and the children taken by waggonette to Rushden. As some children had already walked 3 or 4 miles, fierce objections were raised and Wallington stayed open.

The sloping roof at the back is the toilet block. Girls on one side and boys on the other. Slopping out was done by bucket into the open ditch. The last head mistress lived in Ware and used to get the bus to Walkern and then walk to Rushden - every day morning and evening. If it was raining she sometimes had a lift in a pony and cart.

School 1910. Evelyn, Ella (front), Hilda and Olive Graves (back).

Rushden school c1916 Hilda Page, Olive Graves, Miss Fisher (head teacher). In 1907 Revd. John Walker's mother Olive Graves started at the school and carried on as a pupil/teacher. She attended special classes at Knebworth which meant walking to Baldock to catch the train.

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