Pocklington National School

01. Fred Botteril02. Bill Thompson03. Jim Wardale04. William Bentley05. Fred Hotham
06. Harold Anderson07. Albert Wardale08. Stan Broughton09. Edward Buttle10. Albert Hotham
11. Maurice Colhurst12.Robert Manners13. Head Master Atkinson Skinner14. Herbert Atkinson15. Tommy Bradley
16. Harold Rowntree17. Roy Wood18. George Dales19. Albert (Bug) Hall20. Fred Johnson
21 Thomas Wright22. Albert Atkinson23. Walter Topham24. Thomas Terry25 Joe Lamb
26. Harry Hood27. Harold Allison28. Edward Richardson29. Percy Walker30. Fred Windebank
31. Eric A. Buttle32. Norman Spivey33. Baden Skinner34. Jock Smith35. Arther Botteril
36. William Hood37. Albert Spivey38. Edward Grainger39. Cyril Rippon40. Bill Manners
41. Tommy Longhorn42. Fred Richardson43. Charles Hood44. Herbert Topham45. Walter Brown
46. Jim Walker47. Granville Spivey48. Tony Jackson  

Pocklington National School 1910Pocklington C of E School, 1910

This photograph is in the possession of Heather Buttle and is reproduced here 

by kind permission of Andrew Sefton, Pocklington and District Local History Group


Atkinson Skinner was the Master at Pocklington (Mixed) National School from 1888-1923.  Prior to this, he was Master of Barnetby le Wold in Lincolnshire (1882-1885) and Huggate National School (1886-1887).  Further details of the life of Atkinson Skinner, together with a transcription of excerpts from his diary, dated 1882-1888  (DDX 389/1), may be found here.

National School (mixed & infants), New street:
"Erected, with house for the master, in 1854, at a cost of upwards of £1,444, including the value of the site, presented by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners & the late Admiral the Hon. Arthur Duncombe: the school will hold 160 boys & girls & 100 infants, average attendance 130 boys & girls & 55 infants; Atkinson Skinner, master; Miss Hewlett, infants' mistress." (Kelly's Directory, 1897)

This picture is reproduced by kind permission of
Andrew Sefton, of the Pocklington and District Local History Group. http://www.pocklingtonhistory.com/archives/schools/pcjs/index.php

Excerpts from Pocklington National School (Mixed) Log Book, 1884 – 1890 (SL 89/2)

James Edwin Ross – Master since Xmas 1866

Mixed School 75 x 17 x 15

Class Room 19 x 13 x 15

Infants’ School 40 x 18 x 15


Monday 13th October: Began to have fires in school.

10th Nov: Pocklington Hirings – holiday

1st Dec: A very wintry morning.  The ground covered with snow.  The attendance at school was good, considering the weather.  The new desks, lately brought into school were in use for the first time, today.  Several old desks have been removed from the room used by the 4th Standard, and replaced by new Hallamshire Convertible Desks.  We have now nine of these in school.

3rd Dec: A very dark morning – had to light the gas at 9.30 for half an hour.

22nd Dec: Began work for three days before Christmas with a smaller attendance.  To-day the St Thomas’ dole is distributed at Church, which accounts for the absence of many children. 



12th Jan: A very wintry morning.  Snow falling heavily and drifting.  Smaller attendance, children from a distance being quite unable to walk to school.

9th Feb: Received notice from the Education Department that Ada Ross is recognised as an Assistant Teacher, and entered upon their Lordship’s Register as such.

16th Feb: The Revd. J.W.W. Moeran came into School in the afternoon to say “good bye” to the children – he leaves Pocklington tomorrow.

13th Apr: Began work with a rather thin attendance, many of the children having gone to York (Excursion – Leeman Memorial)

29 Apr: Received from Supt. Farrah some notice papers connected with “The Wild Birds Act”, and read one to the children, warning them of the danger of taking birds’ nests.

30 Apr: Noticed that many children were absent today.  20 less in the afternoon than on Tuesday.  The fine weather causes many children to be employed in gardens etc.

Wednesday 8 July: The Annual Festival – Upwards of 300 children besides 24 from the Union met in the school-yard at 2 p.m. and headed by the Pocklington Brass Band, went in procession, carrying banners and flowers, to church.  Address by the Revd. J.W.W. Moeran.  Tea for children at 4.  Teachers and friends at 5.  Games in Mr John Dixon’s field near the Union from 6 to 8.30.  procession to the Revd. D.G. Wilkinson’s grounds at 8.30.  A very fine day – after a very wet night.

17 Aug: Began with good attendance for the time of year.  Harvest operations are beginning this morning on several farms in the parish and towards the end of the week the harvest will be general.

Friday 21 Aug: Left off work for Harvest Holidays 5 weeks.

12 Oct: Began with a fair attendance, but several children are away at Hull Fair.

2 Nov: Began work with a fair attendance, though some boys were kept away from school to gather potatoes.  Mr M. Fowler, Attendance Officer told me on Saturday that Mary E. Longhorn was over 13 years of age and had left school; also that Sarah Ann Reynolds would be at School today, but she has not come.  She is very irregular.

23 Dec: I was summoned (subpoena) to appear as a witness in Ogram v Dixon in the Pocklington County Court today at 11 a.m.



11 Jan: In the afternoon the porch window (boys) was broken by Edward Mulroney – Witnesses Geo. Roper, Thos. Scott, Arthur Moor, John Hatfield, Robt. Bradley.  I told him he must either pay the amount of damages or take the consequences.  He promised to pay.

8 Feb: Miss Minnie Carlton transfer pupil teacher from Lady Feversham’s Girls’ School, Helmsley began work today in this school in place of Emily Mary Tinson – now in Ripon Training College.

24 Feb: Today Miss Annie Gale began work as teacher of Standard II.  She is from Copthewick near Ripon, and has been educated at Sharow N.S.  She was 15 in January last and passed Stand. VI early in 1885.

2 March: After one of the most severe snow storms I ever remember, the ground is covered to the depth of 1½ ft in the play grounds, and the drifts opposite the boys’ school porch are 5 ft deep.  The attendance is consequently very small indeed.

3 March: The storm continues.

13 May: The weather was so cold and wet that fires had to be put in the schools again, after having been discontinued for three weeks.

19 May: The attendance in the afternoon was thin owing to the Band of Hope demonstration in the town.

31 May: Attendance thin today owing to the Primitive Meth. Sunday School Anniversary being held.

26 July: Began with a small attendance in the morning because of the wet weather.  Heavy rain (2.4 inches in 24 hrs; 3.4 inches in 24 hours at Leeds) and thunderstorm during the previous night.  Mr J. Bulmer’s house struck and damaged by lightning.

19 Aug: Pocklington Horse & Foal Show – Holiday.  (Wet day)

18 Oct: Received a letter from Mr. J. Robson, Clerk to the Guardiands, etc., of which the following is a copy:

Pocklington Union Rural Sanitary Authority

18 Oct 1886

Dear Sir,

Our Medical Officer of Health has reported to this authority that during the past month several cases of Scarlet fever have appeared in Pocklington and the neighbourhood.  The Medical Officer is of opinion that the infection has been spread by children being sent back to school too soon – and he has strongly recommended the parents of the children now suffering from the Fever to keep such children from school until they are certified to be free from infection.

This matter is so important that I am desired by the Rural Sanitary Authority to ask the Managers and Teachers of the Schools in the Parish to be good enough, in future, in all cases of infectious disease, to insist upon a doctor’s certificate being produced, that the child in question is free of infection, prior to such child being re-admitted to the school.  Such a course will greatly tend to stamp out disease, and contribute to the welfare of all concerned.

Yrs faithfully,

Thomas Robson, Clerk.

20 Oct: Three new cases of Scarlet fever in the town today.  Took home two of Chas Flint’s children because there is a case of fever next door (Grape Lane) at Newsome’s.  The Medical Officer’s Assistant told me that no children living in Grape Lane ought to attend school at present.

The following Notice was received on Wednesday night Oct 20 at 8 o’clock.

Pocklington Union Rural Sanitarty Authority


20th Oct 1886


Referring to my letter of the 18th inst. Addressed to Mr J.E. Ross, I regret to say that several additional cases of scarlet fever have appeared in Pocklington within the last few days.  Our Medicatl Officer of Health considers that it would be advisable to close the Public Schools till such tine as the Epidemic has abated.  Under these circumstances, I am desired by the Rural Sanitary Authority to request that you will at once have the goodness to close your School, in accordance with Dr, Fairweather’s suggestion.  I shall be glad to hear that this has been done.

I am gentlemen,

Yours faithfully,

Thomas Robson, Clerk.

The Schools were closed from Thursday morning Oct 21st 1886.

Reopened Monday Nov 19, 1886.

The following is a list of the families in which Fever has occurred (furnished by our Medical Officers) viz:

Revd. Thomas; Mr Nottingham; Mr M. Wilson; Mr Rowlay; Mr J. Newsome; Mr G.E. Barlow; Mr Geo Stancer; Mrs Patterson; Mrs Barker; Mrs Waters … Pocklington

Mr Nicholson – Bielby Lane                                                      Mrs Johnson – Ousethorpe

Mr Throssell – Sutton on Derwent                                          Mr Dunn – Clock Mill

2 Nov: My attention having been called to an offensive smell in the neighbourhood of the School I visited the closets in both playgrounds.  Found everything in perfect order and not the slightest effluvia anywhere.  There was a distinct smell emanating from an adjoining Cow shed.

14 Dec: Thomas Smith playing truant today.  His father punished him.



Report (received Jan 14, 1887)

Mixed School

“After making every allowance for the unfortunate circumstances of the year, it is impossible for me to report as favourably upon the state of the school as in former years.  Handwriting has especially deteriorated, and very much of the elementary work is far from good.  No grant whatever could have been recommended for either Class subject under ordinary circumstances.  If the school had not been closed towards the end of the school year, the results in these subjects might possibly have been fair; they certainly could not have been good.  The same may be said of the general merit of the school, and I therefore can recommend only the Fair merit grant.  Needlework must improve.”

Grant Total: £138.14s.0d.

Master’s share = 1/5 of total = £27.14s.9d.

(1885: Total = £158.14s.2d)

19 Feb: List of Fever cases recently reported:

Mr Geo Gibson, North Field, 3 cases               Mr Thos. Moor, Barmby Moor, 1 case              Mr Wm Braithwaite, Pocklington, 2

Mr Beckett, Pocklington, 1                                  Mr C. Flint, Pocklington, 3                                     Mr Blenthorn, Pocklington

Mr Wm. Rhodes (Gatehouse)                             Mr Hindwell                                                                 Mr Thos. Nicholson, Union St, 4

Mr Robt. Hunter, New St., 1                               Mr. R.M. Judson, Bloomsbury House, 2          Mr Barker, Chapmangate, 2

Mr Jno. Richardson, New St., 1                        Mr Geo Steels, London St., 1                                 Mr. M. Holloran, Beckside, 1

Mr A. Simpson, Red Lion, 3                               Mr Geo Harrison, Hospital, 1                               Total 29

28 Feb: Many cases of fever and other illness.

2 Mar: The fever continues to spread, making the attendance very thin for the time of year.

4 Mar: Recd. A note to say that five of Harrison’s children (New St.) were staying at home on account of fever.

7 Mar: Recd. A message to the effect that Sellers’s children (London St) could not come to school owing to sickness.  Two children named Swaby came to school this morning, who had been ill last week of Scarlatina.  I sent Miss Johnson with the elder boy to Mr Trotter, surgeon, and he said the boy must not attend school until declared free of infection.  Both children were at once sent home with a note from me.

18 Mar: 24 children absent through sickness – chiefly fever.

28 Mar: Six children who have been away many weeks for fever have returned to school today.  I was summoned on the jury to the inquest on the body of John Horsley, tailor, of Pocklington (3.30 pm).

18 April: Began again after Easter Holidays with only a fair attendance.  Several families have returned to school after having been away many weeks owing to Fever.  E.g.  Harrison, New St., No. of children 5; Gibson, North Field, 2; Richardson, New St., 1; Braithwaite, New St., 3.

4 May: So many children were away in the afternoon at the Band of Hope Demonstration that school was not continued, although opened.

16 May: I punished a boy, Wm. Braithwaite, for throwing stones into Mr Beal’s garden.  The mother complained.

19 May: Annie Rennard unable to attend school owing to measles.  George and Harold Scaife have scarlet fever.

23 May: Began with a very poor attendance owing to (1) the prevalence of measles; (2) the P.M. Anniversary.

6 June: Opened School after Whitsuntide Holidays.  There were only 23 present, owing to measles in the town.  I consulted the Managers, and the schools were closed.

Copy of letter received from the Rural Sanitary Authority

7 June 1887


As the epidemic of measles has spread very extensively through the town during the past week, our Medical Officer of Health considers that it would be advisable for the public schools to be closed until the 13th inst., or till such time as the epidemic appears to have abated.

(This was followed on 11th June by another letter advising that schools should remain closed util 20th inst.)

20 June: Opened school after being closed for a fortnight owing to the prevalence of measles in the town.  A very bad attendance – only 47 present.  In the afternoon, the few children present were dismissed at 3 o’clock so that the school could be prepared for the Jubilee Tea.

Thursday 21 June: The Queen’s Jubilee – General Holiday.

28 June: John Richardson killed, aged 56.

Septr 7 1887  My Wife, aged 48 yrs.  Typhoid fever congestion of the lungs.   Jas. E. Ross

26 Sep: Began work again after six weeks’ holiday.  Miss Johnson assisting in the Infant School, owing to the serious illness of Miss Ross (Congestion of the Lungs, Typhoid Fever, and weak action of the heart).

3 Oct: Miss Ross still continues very ill.

Octr.15 1887 My Daughter, Ada Ross, Infant Mistress (aged 22 yrs) Typhoid fever, congestions of the lungs, laryngeal ulceration   Jas. E. Ross

17 Oct: Began work with a very small attendance.

Tuesday 18 Oct: No School.  Miss Ross was interred at 2 p.m.

21 Oct: Owing to the two deaths from typhoid fever, Mr Trotter (surgeon, advised me to have the well water analysed and the drainage examined.  Mr Brigham of Pocklington tested the water with the following result:  (Summary: I consider the water as perfectly fit to be used as a general drinking water).

26 Oct: By the advice of W.O. Trotter Esq., Surgeon, Ethel May Skinner was brought down from Huggate to the School House to be nursed and attended during illness.

27 Oct: Acting again under the advice of Mr Trotter, I sent a cab to Huggate for Mr A. Skinner, my son-in-law, who feels unwell and wishes to be nursed here in case of serious illness.

16 Nov 1887: Pocklington Union

Dear Sir,

In the event of the Guardians wishing to send some of the Workhouse Children to your Day School, for tuition, I am desired to ask if you will kindly inform me before the 26th inst. The terms upon which they would be received and how many children you can accommodate.  In your reply kindly quote weekly fee for children of all ages.  At present, the question is simply under consideration.  Yrs. Faithfully, Thomas Robson.

25 Nov 1887: National Schools:

Dear Sir,

In reply to your letter of the 18th inst. I am desired by the Managers of these schools to inform you that they are willing to admit the Workhouse Children as day scholars on the following terms:

Children over 7 years at 4d per week

Infants under 7 years at 3d per week.

Each child over 7 yrs would require to be provided by the Guardians with a suitable slate and the ordinary school copy books, and each Infant with a suitable slate and the Reading Book.

These are the ordinary terms for Day Scholars at these schools.

Any number of children up to 50 could be accommodated.

I am dear Sir,

Yours truly,

Jas. E. Ross, for the Managers.

29 Nov: Pocklington Union:

Dear Sirs,

In thanking you for your letter as to School Fees, I am desired by the Guardians to inform you that they have decided for the present not to alter the existing system of educating the Workhouse Children.

Yours faithfully,

Thomas Robson.

Dec: Today H.R.H. Prince Albert Victor passed through Pocklington streets from the Station towards Warter Priory – about 10 a.m.  We were just too late out of school to see him. 


2 Jan: Began work after the Christmas Holidays with a smaller attendance than I have known for many years (79).  The weather is very severe, and working men cannot in many cases find employment.

11 Jan:  Mrs Javerley called and asked me to punish her son Henry for truancy.

16 Jan: Mr Atkinson Skinner (York 80-81) began duties in this school as joint master, by arrangement with the Managers.  He has resigned the Mastership of Huggate School for that purpose.

18 Jan: Many children are suffering from bad coughs – in some cases whooping cough.

19 Jan: Mr Skinner was unable to be in school owing to pain in the face, etc.

6 Feb: The children from the Union Workhouse, by arrangement with the Guardians, were admitted to these schools today.  The person in charge of the children said that Mr Mann, the Master of the Union Workhouse, knew nothing as to the classes to which the children belonged.  Mr Skinner tested the older children and classified them accordingly.

9 Feb: The Union children are well treated by the others and seem to be very happy, though quiet.

16 Feb: Charles Hayhurst threw a stone at Mr Skinner on leaving school and hit him on the leg.  He was caned next morning.

20 Feb: Ages of Children (from the Union) attending the Pocklington National Schools:

Boys: Robt Summerson, 14; Alfrd Summerson, 12; Herbt Summerson, 10; Thos. Jackson, 13; Wm. Metcalfe, 14; Wm. Peel, 10; Robt. Bell, 10; Geo White, 10; John Rhodes, 7; Wm. Horner, 5

Girls: Elizth Rhodes, 12; Hart. Wilkinson, 12; Mary Wilokinson, 10; Rachel Wilkinson, 7; Alice Peel, 12; Jane Sadler, 10; Mary Fawkes, 12; Emma Jphnson, 12; Annie Bell, 12, Agnes Bonnor, 8; Martha Wood, 11.

30 April:  Mrs Armitage wrote asking if Annie Armitage could leave school as Mrs J. wished to hire her.  As she is only just 12, I sent word that she was too young to leave school.

1 May: Mr Skinner noticing that Robert Thackray was disorderly in class told him to come outside the class; he did not do so, and the order was repeated, but the boy sat still with a look of defiance.  Mr Skinner then went to him and made him come out.  In doing so, Thackray backed his head against the wall, and his ear “scrubbed” against the wall.  The ear has been ailing for three weeks, and was very tender.  The “scab” was broken and a few drops of blood fell upon the boy’s jacket collar.  I went up for the purpose of caning Thackray, but noticing his ear, I took him to Dr. Trotter, and he said the ear was tender from eczema and gave me some ointment to apply to it.  I dressed the ear before the boy went home and told him to come every day.

2 May:  Without any word of explanation, a summons for assault was taken out by Thackray’s father against Mr Skinner.

4 May: At the Petty Sessions on Saturday May 5th before J.W. Calverley Rudston Esq and Captn. Duncombe the case above referred to came before the court, and was dismissed, the Chairman remarking that no undue severity had been used, and that the master’s orders must be obeyed.  I told the Bench that as the boy’s father was out of work, I should be glad to pay Mr Skinner’s portion of costs (agreed).  The boy was to pay 7/-.