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Carlton School 1973 to 1977

This page was contributed by Pamela Hider

School Logbooks 1973-1977  

The information below is taken from the logbooks for Carlton School for 1973-1977. Logbooks from the 19th and 20th centuries give us a fascinating account of life at schools from the beginning of our national education system and of how education evolved throughout its first hundred years, particularly in a rural setting such as Carlton. They also reflect the many changes in society that took place during that time such as hardship, disease and world wars, through to population growth, the affluent society, a National Health Service, technology and vast opportunities. Access to the logbooks was provided courtesy of the Headteacher of Carlton Primary School.

Philip V. Harries was the new Head until April 1976. Numbers enrolled ranged from 98 to 113 and staff numbers increased to Head & 3.7. A split school site now warranted a deputy Headteacher and the teacher at the Moor was duly appointed. By 1975, there were two classes at the Moor and two at Bridgend. The official opening of the Village Hall/School Hall was on June 28th 1975. Four months earlier a new kitchen was built at the Moor so that cooking as well as eating was now again possible in the same place and Bridgend children walked down to the Moor site each lunchtime. The removal of the swimming pool to its new site at the Moor was underway and meanwhile Robinson Pool in Bedford was used. 

New items in the logbook included VHF radio; the introduction of French into the curriculum; violin lessons; group instrumental tuition; and trips abroad. Drama groups and musical ensembles continued to visit. New venues for outings were: Planetarium & Mme Tussauds; British Museum; Warwick Castle; Coventry Zoo; and several local places of interest. The PTA helped to organise some of these. Also, Mr. Harries accompanied a group of children with children from Oakley School, on a six day trip to Brittany in 1974 and the following year to Belgium & Holland. 

Along with routine visits from Medical Staff and occasional visits from Educational Inspectors, an innovation was visiting Advisers for subjects such as Art, R.E., Technology and Environmental Studies - in addition to the already visiting Music Adviser. 

Mr. Harries left in April 1976 to take up the Headship of a Junior School and for the next three months, Raymond Jennings (County Supply Staff) was Acting Head. Each week he took a small group of children sailing on Stewartby Lake organised by Bedfordshire Young Sailors Association. 

old school playing field 1977

Old School Playing Field 1977 (courtesy of M.J. Pratt)

This was the last sports day at the old village school. The playing field shown now lies under Carriers Way.

A new Head took charge in September 1978, Thomas Meirion Thomas. Throughout the next year, after-school sports' clubs were formed; a temporary classroom arrived at the Moor for occasional use; a playgroup was established at the Moor; and there was an outing to the ballet in Bedford. A plan for a joint music festival was mooted with Harrold Priory School. Mr. Thomas was to oversee the final move from Bridgend to the Moor, when, in September 1977, under the Comprehensive Reorganisation Plan, Carlton became a Lower School with an age range of 5 to 9 with 68 on the Roll. The Old School was vacated and put up for sale. It has since become a private residence. 

Carlton Old School 2020

Carlton Old School February 2020