Alexandra Street Board School, Goole

Opened by Goole School Board in 1876, with boys', girls' and infants' departments.  In 1952 the junior boys' and junior girls' departments amalgamated to form a junior mixed school which closed in 1976.  The infants' department became a separate school in 1970 and, as a First School, was closed in 1990, with most children transferred to Kingsway Primary School.

Alexandra Street Board School, Goole,
Boys’ Department
Excerpts from Log Book, 1876 - 1906 (SL184/1 - The Treasure House, Beverley)

All certificate images reproduced by kind permission of Janet Tierney, Curator, Goole Museum.

17 January, 1876:  I (William Brook) of the above school today – We opened with 161 scholars, 93 of whom are from the Wesleyan School.  The staff consisted of Wm. Brook, Head Master, Henry Lindley, Assistant Master, John H. Armitage, Third Year P.T., Wm. Spink, Second Year P.T.

18 Jan:  Ralph G. Bickerton commenced duties as a candidate and Charles Crump as a first year P.T.

21 Jan: Have had a large number of visitors during the week, which has interfered somewhat with the work and discipline of the school.

24 Jan:  Admitted 37 scholars, 9 of them from the old school.

27 Jan:  (Thursday) The schools publicly opened today.  A very large number of parents and friends visited the schools.  The scholars had 6 oranges given to them through the kindness of J.H. Rockett, Esq., Chairman of the Board.  This part of the ceremony seemed to please the children.

28 Jan:  The boys are now all arranged in their classes.  There are five classes in school.  There is a very large class of boys from 10 to 14 years who cannot write at all.  These are to a separate class.

31 Jan:  Admitted 31 boys; 6 from the Wesleyan School.  Eight of these could do no work.


4 Feb:  Have had much inconvenience thro’ the want of stationery this week.

18 Feb:  The discipline much improved.  Examined the whole school, giving marks for each subject.  Fifty five out of those in the two lower sections received no marks for sums.


1 Mar:  James Crump commenced duties as a candidate.

2 Mar:  The schools visited by Lord Houghton and R. Creyke, Esq., J.P.                                     


5 May:  Thin school on Monday owing to a procession of horses, etc.  May day custom.

9 May: The school will be under Mr. Lindley’s care during the next three days as I leave the town today for a few days.

15 May:  Returned to school today.  The children had half holiday on Thursday, the eleventh, in honour of the marriage of the Head Master.

30 May:  Sergeant Lee commenced his ‘drill lessons’.


12 Jun:  The third class having done so badly at the monthly examination I have put J. Armitage to the first class in order that I may give attention to the third.

16 Jun:  The above change has worked well, excepting the fourth class where the first year P.T. has not yet gained full command over his clap.


28 July:  Closed school for the summer vacation.                                                              


21 Aug:  Re-opened School.  Many absent, working in the fields.

25 Aug:  The discipline not satisfactory this week.  Had occasion to detain the whole school over.  The dullest scholars are at work.


Summary of the Inspector’s Report on the boys School, Alexandra St., Goole, 9th June 1876:

The School which is now carried on in the handsome and spacious rooms recently erected by the Goole School Board is partly composed of the scholars of the Wesleyan School which has just been transferred to the Board and partly of children who have been admitted since the school was transferred.

The standard of attainments which has been reached under the circumstances is very creditable to the Teachers.  Had the main school been not so long and the Classrooms larger it would have been easier to secure the quiet working of the School, but the Master is evidently a good disciplinarian.

The overdrawn Balance has been regarded as income from Rates for the present School year and must not be carried forward to next years Accounts.  J. Crump and G.K. Bickerton.


6 Oct:  Mr Hatch, my old Master, visited the school today.  He expressed his great pleasure and satisfaction in seeing the written work of the scholars.

10 Oct:  Spoke to the scholars about ‘wet boots’ going near ponds, etc.  Having had several complaints from parents it has become necessary to warn against such practices.

27 Oct:  Many of the scholars who have been working in the fields returned last week and this year some of them will have to go down a section as they are now much behind the rest in their work.


20 March 1877:  Commenced the song “Foot Travellers”.  Have great difficulty in getting the boys to sing softly.  When they do lower their voices there is a great tendency to get flat.


20 Aug 1877:  Reopened school.  222 present.

31 Aug:  All the scholars in school have had numbers given to them and each boy supplied with a slate in which he has to put a string and carry it over his shoulders.  The books, etc., for current year will be supplied shortly.


10 Sep:  Several boys have today gone to work in the fields (Monday)

14 Sep:  Many other boys have gone to work.  Much truant playing this week.  I cannot learn the cause of all this truancy.

17 Sep:  Jas. Rhodes obtained permission to be absent till Thursday morning owing to the death of his sister.

28 Sep:  100 scholars absent this afternoon.  There is a Circus in the town.


5 Oct:  Wm. Spink away ill all the week.  The Home Work in his class not sufficiently well done; they have had to do it twice after school hours.  William will need to be more strict than heretofore.


Inspector’s Report, Year Ending 30th June 1877:

Boys School:  “The School is well attended and a goodly number of the Boys show themselves to be very thoughtful, intelligent and desirous of getting on.  The Master is evidently unwearied in his efforts to have a thoroughly satisfactory School.  He is ably assisted in his labours by Mr Lindley and a good staff of Pupil Teachers.  I am glad to report of the School generally in respect of discipline and attainments that it is in a most promising condition.  The examination both in elementary and other subjects was a highly creditable one.  The singing is hearty and well taught.  The Boys are properly drilled and the exercises that I saw were very satisfactory.


19 Oct:  On Monday the 15th one of the boys (Geo. Millson) in crossing the railway lines on his way to school was knocked down by an engine and killed.  I and eight boys attended the funeral.  I spoke to the whole school upon this sad accident.


6 Dec:  Wednesday noon.  I leave the school in Mr Lindley’s charge for the remainder of the week owing to the death of a sister-in-law.

14 Dec:  The Managers visited school yesterday and investigated re certain complaints from which it appeared that a number of the boys had been acting very zealously in the class-room during my absence. 

21 Dec:  During last week two of our first class boys entered into a competition for a scholarship at the Goole Grammar School called the “Creyke Scholarship”.  The examination embraced all the subjects required in Standard VI of the New Code together with history. 

(Results):  Arthur McInnis; First; 242 marks (pupil of this school)

Charles Atkinson; Second 180 marks

Harry Snowden; Third; 174 marks (pupil of this school)

Bray (?) Talbot; Fourth; 165 marks

The examination was partly written and partly oral.


30 Jan 1878:  Mr Lindley has been appointed Head Master in Old Goole Mixed School with Connell and Marshall as his pupil teachers.


28 Jun:  The weather has been very unsuitable for school work this week, the thermometer being at 110 degrees in the sun.  The school has been closed in the afternoons a little earlier than usual.


6 July:  The reading is again our weakest point.  Find very great difficulty in teaching reading in Goole.

12 Jul:  We have had a very thin school this week.  Snaith Flower Show has interfered with the attendance considerably.  Gave the first and second classes two examinations in Physiology during the week, one at the proper lesson time, the other at drill time, the Sergeant being ill.  Cannot form an opinion as to the results in this subject, never having taken it as a Specific Subject before.


13 Sep:  The teachers attended more punctually during the week.  Henry Wilson still comes late, but domestic affliction hinders him.

16 Sep (Mon):  Henry Wilson and Geo. Bickerton away from lessons this morning.  Geo Bickerton failed to fill the ink-wells on Friday.


4 Oct:  The school has been thinly attended this week.  It was very wet on Monday and Tuesday and many are away working in the fields.


Inspector’s Report, Year Ending 30 June 1878:

“The school is conducted with great ability, earnestness and conscientiousness by Mr Brook and he receives very satisfactory help from the Assistant Masters and Pupil Teachers. 

The boys entrusted to Mr Brook’s care are for the most part very intelligent and painstaking.  They seemed to be deeply interested in their work and in the class Examination vied with each other to do their best.  The quality of the Standard work was very good indeed and the percentage of passes obtained in Elementary subjects is again 97.  The Grammar and Geography were also well done.  Some of the boys passed fairly in Physiology.  The Singing is spirited and the Drilling very satisfactory. 


17 Jan 1879:  The school visited by several gentlemen this week.  The second standard is almost beyond hope.  In dictation we had an average of 13 errors one day during the week.


19 Nov 1880:  The attendance this week remarkably good, the average being 290 nearly.


Summary of Inspector’s Report 1880:

This is an excellent school.  The Discipline, Organisation and work throughout are of very unusual merit, and instruction does not appear to have been confined to the subjects offered for examination, for the Boys answered intelligently to questions of a general nature.  I ascribe these results both to the skill with which they have been taught and in an equal degree to the esprit de corps which animates all who are concerned in the welfare of the School.

There is a deficiency of school places in Goole and this and other Departments in the Town are beginning to feel the pressure.  The Board would do well to meet the want of accommodation, which threatens to become serious, by enlarging the Alexandra St. Schools and building another wing to the Board School at Old Goole.


18 Feb 1881:  The attendance very good and regular throughout the week.  Average 311.

24 Feb:  School closed at noon today owing to the death of Mr Rockett the late Chairman of the School Board whose funeral takes place this afternoon.


7 Oct:  Many boys have been absent this week having gone to the Potato Fields.  The workmen in the adjoining room do not conduce to the quiet working of the school.

14 Oct:  Still more boys absent working in the fields.  The Managers have given their permission.  I have gone over the names very carefully and find that out of the 35 boys allowed to be absent for a month at this work, only two of them are in a good position in their classes.

28 Oct:  Had half holiday today to enable the boys to see “Wombwell’s Managerie”.


10 Feb 1882:  Sent Notices to all the parents relating to cases of Measles, asking that no children should be sent to school from families wherein any measles have appeared.  The average reduced 60 this week owing to measles.


6 Apr 1900:  The nucleus of a school library has been formed during the past week.  Over 200 books have already been presented by parents and friends.


21 May:  Holiday today (Monday) in order to celebrate the Relief of Mafeking which took place on the 18th inst.


23 Nov:  The School Lending Library was opened for the first time.

30 Nov:  All the books belonging to the School Lending Library have been re-called by order of the Board owing to the prevalence of fever in several parts of the town.


23 Feb 1901:  All the Head Teachers under the Goole School Board visited the American Educational Exhibition at Manchester to-day (Saturday).


1 Mar:  Mr Smales, C.A., was absent last Monday owing to the serious illness of his mother at Staithes.

Mr Ernest Westoby, Ex-Pupil Teacher, was absent on Mon., Tues., and Wed. in this week on account of his sister’s death.


8 Nov:  The attendance still continues to fall.  Several more cases of Diphtheria have been reported by the Attendance Officer.


18 Nov:  The Attendance Officer reported that 32 boys were absent this morning through Diphtheria.


6 Dec:  By order of the Local Sanitary Authority acting on the advice of Dr. Wilson, the Medical Officer of Health, the schools were closed through epidemic sickness, chiefly Diphtheria.


13 Jan 1902:  The Schools were reopened this morning.


13 Jun:  The old gallery has been removed from the St.I Classroom, and new Dual Desks have been supplied during the past week.

26-27 June:  The schools were closed for the Coronation Holidays.


4 Jul:  I have reported today the absence of 40 boys through some Infectious Disease – chiefly Measles.


31 March 1904:  The Goole School Board ceased to exist.


1 Apr:  This is the “Appointed Day” for the West Riding County Council to take charge as the New Educational Authority.


7 Oct:  There are 48 boys absent this week on account of Measles.

10 Oct:  The Goole Secondary (Pupil Teacher) School was opened for girls to-day in the Christchurch Schoolroom, Hook Rd.  Miss Louis is the Head Mistress.


31 Aug 1905:  Half holiday this afternoon on account of General Booth’s visit to the town.
The following letters were copied, by hand, into the back of the log book:

Copy of letters from the Clerk of the Board,

11th January 1888  

Mr Lindley,

Dear Sir,

I am instructed to inform you that from this date, the schools under this Board must be closed in accordance with the following regulations.


“From the first of October until the first day of March in each year, the schools must be dismissed when the School Bell tolls at 12 o’clock at noon, and at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and from the first of March to the first of October in each year at 12 o’clock noon and 4.30 in the afternoon, the only exception to these regulations being that children can only be detained after the above named hours as a punishment.

The Board trusts that these regulations will be strictly adhered to by all their Head Teachers

Yours truly,

Jno. E. Porter



22 July 1887

Mr Brook, Head Master of the Alexandra St. Boys’ School

Dear Sir,

Re “Staff Regulations”

I am instructed to inform you the Managers have revised the above, and will propose the following scale and new regulations for the approval of the Board at the next meeting

1st staff

Where the average attendance for the six months is over 250

Certificated Assistants: 60

Ex P.T.: 50

P.T. 1st and 2nd yr: 20

P.T. 3rd and 4th yr: 30

Candidate: 10

Where the average is under 250, the Head Teacher shall count for 25.


The District of Goole School Board, Clerk: John E. Porter, Goole, 25th May 1886

Mr Brook

Dear Sir

Re “Corporal Punishment”

I am instructed to convey the following resolution passed unanimously at the Managers’ meeting last night and to desire you at once to assemble your staff and read it to them, and strongly assure all of them, that in future, the resolution will be strictly enforced.

“That any Assistant or Pupil Teacher or Candidate charged with striking a scholar with anything shall be immediately suspended by the Clerk until the Managers meet, when, if the charge is proved, the paid Teacher shall be immediately dismissed the Board’s service without further notice.”

I am, dear Sir,

Yours truly

Jno. E. Porter, Clerk.


Goole School Board, October 27th 1885

Mr Brook

Head Master, Alexandra St. Boys’ School

Re “Corporal Punishment”

Dear Sir,

I am instructed by my Board to inform you it has long been a matter of regret and annoyance that so many and oft repeated complaints have been made by parents, that their children have suffered (in some instances severe) Corporal Punishment at the hands of your Assistants and pupil teachers.

This is a violation of the Code of my Board’s regulations, also the express instructions of H.M. Inspectors, see Art 58 wherein it states “My Lords regret to receive, &c”

See Instructions

Will you please note that my Board has unanimously resolved that in any future complaint against any Assistant, or pupil teacher including Candidates, if the charge is clearly proved before the Board, the offender will be censured or dismissed from the service of the Board.

I am further instructed to inform each member of the Teaching Staff under the Board of the Board’s decision.

I am, dear Sir,

Yours truly,

Jno. E. Porter, Clerk.



Good Friday – 1 day

Shrove Tuesday – ½ day

Easter Monday – 1 day

Whitsuntide – 1 week, to break up on Friday previous

Midsummer – 3 weeks, to commenced the last Friday in July

Christmas – 2 weeks to commence on Christmas Eve except when Christmas day falls on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and then to break up on the previous Friday.

Pasted in the back of the log book was this notice: 






The Board having in the past experienced considerable trouble and loss from ARREARS OF SCHOOL FEES, after much careful consideration have resolved that in future no arrears shall be allowed, therefore all Scholars must bring their Fees every Monday Morning, or they will be sent back for them.


Parents, &c., not being able to pay the School Fees are requested to attend the Managers’ Meetings, which are held at the Board Room every alternate Tuesday Night at Eight o’clock.

When it is considered that a good sound Education (With Books, &c., Free) is given to the Children for the moderate charge of Threepence and Twopence per week, the Board think it is only reasonable to request the abovenamed small Fees should be promptly and punctually paid.


The Board would again remind Parents it is of the utmost importance that their Children should attend School punctually every day, thus enabling them to pass the required examination, and go to work.






An obituary to William Brook, who died in June 1938, at the age of 88, may be found here:

For information on other Goole schools, which were established in the 20th century, please visit