The vicar of Sutton took credit initiating a schoolhouse to accommodate all Hucknall Huthwaite children in full time education. With a vested interest, it would be aptly licensed for dual purpose of performing services before a local village church could be merited.
A widowed Countess of Carnarvon extended her husbands previous generosity promoting many good causes, by giving land upon Hopkin Lane, along with £460 towards building costs. January 13th 1868 dates enrolment, when Mary Ann Forrester became the first of 90 names registered that day. For a total cost around £800, the Hucknall Huthwaite National School was thus duly opened.
Including a master residence first filled by John Joseph Sharpe, classrooms could accommodate up to 440 pupils. Mistress Mrs Ann Sharpe took separate charge of girls, while Miss Mary Parker taught all the mixed infants.
The ages of those who initially enrolled varied from 3¾ to 15½ years old. Three large classrooms were deemed sufficient, simply dividing mixed infants from teaching all boys and all girls. Typical age range for pupils would be set from 5 to 10 year old, after an 1880 Education Act finally made school attendance compulsory for that agreed age group. Despite that, there was no stopping poorer children being commonly put to work outside school hours.
National Schools aimed to teach first and foremost the Church of England Religion. Strong Christian beliefs did play bigger part in this buildings design as detailed by another chapter. Brief mention must recognise the Sutton Rev C Bellairs performed Sunday afternoon services here, and progressive use afforded Huthwaite its own curate. In 1874 an apse was built at the west end wing, dedicated by the Bishop of Lincoln, holding its first Confirmation Service. This all gives reason for not only unexpectedly finding early references towards a Church School, but also a Church Street that renamed Hopkin Lane a short period. Modern addressing thereafter identified location for this past Blackwell Road School.
Year 1881 finds this masters residence has been filled by Joseph Boardman. He may be recognised from a 1915 class photo, when comparing scene from descendant J Lubbe. That year dates shown transfer onward to be Head at Burton Latimer Church School where his voluntary war efforts plus title "Champion of the Poor" was well recognised with an honorary caricature.
Mr Boardman had been assisted at the Hucknall Huthwaite National School by teachers Miss Mary Key and Miss Annie Grundy in charge of girls and infants. While they retained their Blackwell Road classrooms, the 1891 opening of a second National Church School on Common Road, is inferred by 1900 to be initially designed for separately relocating the boys classroom under his tuition.
Seen by 1907, a church was erected, the Church of England appointed a vicar and it asserted separate parish status for a renamed village, in which Mr Herbert A Simpson is next identified Headmaster over these Huthwaite National Church Schools. A Needhams 1913 directory suggests some confusion between dated understandings in conflict with titled photo evidence, while assuring the Common Road school had then swapped over to begin solely classing infants under mistress Miss Mary Cook.
Further press research may help clarify matters, like a 1933 annual Blackwell Road School Christmas treat is able to confirm teaching staff members; Messrs C Bonsall (Headmaster), WG Thomas, G Walker, E Gunby, Mrs S Gascoigne, Misses Whetton, Belshaw and Lineker. This may also signify a proud ending in their final farewell year.
The old Blackwell Road Schoolhouse had accommodated various other uses over the years. From being newly built, it afforded annual vestry meetings, plus monthly meetings for Local Board officials until electing a Hucknall Huthwaite Urban District Council, It also hosted lectures, notably including Huthwaite's first mining class training to best qualify those inevitably seeking employment among the many local coal pits.
Along with expensive maintenance costs, the Blackwell Road Schools were handed over to the Nottinghamshire. Education Committee on November 1st, 1929. Teaching continued enthusiastically, although a third Council School now took majority of pupils. Adding jumble sale events, while an associated football and cricket ground was well used beyond scholar team friendly matches, the Huthwaite Parish Vicar remained custodian of the disused property beyond its 1933 closure by the Board of Education. Rev WL Boulton managed to utilise two old class rooms to initiate a lads club December 1935. Residents thought the premises ought to have been reopened in previous year when finding need for extra local classrooms, but the outdated design only appears to have lastly served purpose in the war effort by accommodating WWII trainee soldiers.
Demolition must have followed, maybe a decade or so after, to open up a substantial plot suiting new industrial use. Mebon Paints established a specialised factory, adopted by and through other company names since. Comparing a 2005 Ameron International with the presently adopted Spencer Coatings Ltd shows original front stone wall is lasting remnant from years when many folk like my grandfather Charles Elliott finished their education to most usually start colliery work at his acceptable working age then of 14.