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Wilshamstead School in 1904

The junior school about 1910 [Z50/134/14]
The junior school about 1910 [Z50/134/14]

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.


This is a brick and tile building of fairly good construction, but seriously fractured. This is chiefly owing to the shrinkage of the clay during the dry years; portions of the brickwork need rebuilding, as the fractures are so extensive and serious.

Main Room. – 46 feet by 19 feet 6 inches by 12 feet 6 inches to 16 feet 9 inches.

This is well lighted. Six lights open.

Ventilation is otherwise poor.

Six Tobin Tubes and one Exhaust ventilator are very necessary.

Warming is by a Tortoise Stove.

The floor is badly worn.

Class Room. – 14 feet 9 inches by 14 feet 9 inches by 9 feet 6 inches to 14 feet 6 inches.

This is fairly lighted. Five lights open.

Warmed by an open fire place.

Ventilation is poor. Three Tobin Tubes and one Exhaust Ventilator are necessary.

The wall next Lobby is badly fractured.

Front Lobby

This is small, but unenclosed.

Back Lobby

This is dark and very poor. Light and air are most necessary. It should be extended into Yard, and a side light and fanlight provided, both hung to open.

Fractures in brickwork need soundly restoring.

All above Premises are very much needing sound repairs, whitening, cleansing, colouring, painting, and renewal of all defective locks and fastenings, and every other fitting thereto, worn floors of wood or brick, also stone steps, which are worn badly need all making good.

Coal Barn is provided for School.


These are very defective and offensive.

The Girls’ Closets in Front Playground are common privies, dark and poorly ventilated. The roof is bad and needs re-tiling.

They should be made into proper Earth Closets.

The Boys’ Closets are very near to the School and close to the House. They are very defective and loathsome. The pit cover-lids and frames of wood have rotted and fallen in.

These must be replaced by proper sanitary structures preferably Moule’s Earth System

The Yard Walling is in a very tender and unsound state. The surface of yard needs restoring.


The House comprises a Sitting-room, Kitchen, Scullery, and three Bedrooms over.

This is a very damp, dark, and badly ventilated house.

The Front Room needs a wood floor laying on cement concrete and damp resisting material.

The Stairway must have a light of adequate size to admit fresh air; it is absolutely dark, and unwholesome along the Landing.

General repairs of every kind are necessary, also cleaning, whitening, stripping off old paper and repapering, and painting throughout.

Coal Barn for House is provided.

External repairs are needed to roofs, walls, fences, drains, eaves through, down pipes, painting, also restoration of all wood and ironwork, for all now defective.


This requires the same provision as that named for School Offices.

Water Supply

A soft water tank, filter and pump should be provided. Drinking water has to be fetched from the Village Well (by a draw bucket), which is quite a journey, and much too far to ensure a proper supply for the necessities of the children and house.