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Biddenham School in 1904

Biddenham School in 1956 from the Biddenham Women's Institute scrapbook [X535/6]
Biddenham School in 1956 from the Biddenham Women's Institute scrapbook [X535/6]

Bedfordshire County Council became Local Education Authority for the county in 1903, following the Education Act 1902. In 1904 the County Surveyor reported on the condition of all the council and voluntary schools in the county under LEA control, excluding those on Bedford and Luton Boroughs which had their own executive arrangements. The surveyor's report [E/SA2/1/1]] took the form below.

The Main School Room is a brick, stone and slated building, very low. The room measures 29 feet by 18 feet by 9 feet 6 inches, the roof being open, having 5 feet 6 inch gables. The side windows gable into roof, centre light open.

Six Tobin Air Tubes and an Exhaust Ventilator should be provided.

The room needs cleansing, renewing, painting, whitening and colouring.

The floor is thin.

The Class Room is modern, a brick and tile structure, 19 feet by 15 feet by 12 feet and 5 foot gable.

Well lighted by a four-light window; centre top light opens.

This needs three Tobin Tubes and an Exhaust Ventilator.

The whitening, colouring and painting need renewing.

The Lobbies are in fair order, and will go another season.

A Lavatory should be provided here [lavatory meaning a place to wash rather than a toilet]

Offices These are very near to the School, and are common privies. These should be transformed to earth closets, and should be emptied and cleaned twice weekly.

Urinal This is very primitive. The drain discharges through the wall on to adjoining land. This was not offensive at the time of my visit. As the number of Scholars here is small, it may do for a season.

External Repairs and two or three coats of painting are necessary.

Water Supply A good supply of water is provided here from pump in yard

House

This is a stone and tiled building.

Front Room 14 feet by 13 feet 4 inches by 8 feet and Bay.
Sitting Room 12 feet by 11 feet by 8 feet and Bay.
Scullery 12 feet 6 inches by 7 feet by 8 feet.
Hall 12 feet by 2 feet 9 inches by 8 feet.
Bedrooms 14 feet by 14 feet
     13 feet 6 inches by 11 feet
     14 feet by 7 feet.

The Sitting Room floor and walls are very damp.

The Larder – 7 feet 8 inches by 6 feet by 7 feet 6 inches – has a large fracture in the wall.

This house is in fair order, except that the walls are damp, brick floor poor, and window broken in back Bedroom. The sink trap also requires making good.

Outside eaves, walling, pointing, and a few defects of masonry need restoring.

The Offices of the House are needing slight repairs; the privy should be converted into an earth closet.

The Stairway and Bedroom approaches are very poor.