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Norton Road School by the Secretary

We always welcome pages from the community. This short account of Norton Road Rrimary School was sent to us by the school secretary

Tucked away in a residential side-street, adjacent to Marsh Road, Luton, Norton Road Primary School has been welcoming pupils since 1913. Each and every day that the school opened, the Headteacher penned an entry into the School Log-Book giving an account of the day. What a fascinating glimpse into our past these entries give us.

Each entry gives us a glimpse into life at the time, from the way people spoke and wrote to how the building was used and developed to more general customs and social changes. Entries during November 1918 tell us about Armistice Day, the school being closing for over 2 weeks due to the now famous Influenza pandemic. January 1936 details pupils being notified of the death of King George V together with one of their own school mates, ten year old Audrey who died from diphtheria. All children walked or cycled to school and absences were often due to the child having no shoes! The weather and lack of coal to fuel the boilers, two world wars, being measured for gas masks, lessons taking place during air-raids and social conditions are all recorded for posterity.

In 1998, pupils and staff from the school presented the log books from Norton Road and Limbury Primary Schools together with the Admission Records to Luton Museum for safe-keeping.

The Log Books were brought back to Norton Road in 2013 as part of our centenary celebrations. With help from Luton Museum, Bedfordshire and Luton Archive and Record Service, ex pupils and staff, we were able to create and showcase the history of the school and its place in the community at an informal ‘tea party’ for invited guests. We displayed photographs, annual pupil reports, inspection reports, pupil memories and lots more. Pupils, staff and visitors enjoyed learning about the school’s history and the global and local events that affected staff and pupils during the past 100 years.