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Huthwaite Road / Sutton Westbourne

Town school managers had urgent need to erect a temporary wooden structure to quickly class an overflow of Sutton infants. They were declined its future use beyond July 1915, when authorities allowed two years to erect a suitable permanent school. Plans that foresaw need to desk another 500 scholars were changed by electing instead to accommodate 740. Cost effective margin for error resulted in this very substantial building prominently sited on western side of Sutton once called Sutton Woodhouse. Original facade never noted any major alterations, although quite surprisingly, my 2004 camera still presents earliest recorded exterior. 04032709

This early classroom scene depicts designed Sutton primary use, addressing Huthwaite Road Council School. A class year gallery album will focus interest covering years when shared by more senior Huthwaite students entering era into secondary education. Council School

Up until 1934, Huthwaite had managed to independently class all its pupils within three newly built school houses. Largest and latest New Street schools had gradually been taking over dwindling use of an ageing Blackwell Road premises. Its closure would not have been unexpected, but did cause controversy with poor timing. Having to also announce need for additional classrooms to suit modern senior years caused an uproar among Huthwaite parents, because nearest rooms required a long walk into Sutton.

Residents fiercely argued against this relocation, convinced their older building could be adapted, if only temporarily while finding a site upon which to build another Huthwaite School. Huthwaite Urban District Councillors had in fact foreseen future demand, but a plot of land purchased years before was now too small to fulfil latest educational requirements. Instead, they'd recently presented prestigious Beech Avenue bungalows. Similarly, Blackwell Road would not measure up due dated designing from a bygone era.

Notion of erecting a new Huthwaite schoolhouse was eventually quashed by figures showing an unbelievable drop in the number of school aged children. Still unable to comprehend why Common Road and New Street schools did not have capacity for an extra year, parents continued refusing to send teenagers walking into Sutton. The Board of Education responded January 1935 to that appeal, simply assuring impracticality while notifying the City Education Committee they commended advised relocation. They had to consider reduced classroom sizes, aimed towards limiting a maximum of 30 pupils per teacher, but. Could some hidden political motivation have helped fuel all this angry unrest, or was it pure coincidence that Huthwaite Urban Council was being abolished by forced amalgamation under an enlarged Sutton-in-Ashfield District Council authority?

Huthwaite Road Senior School

The Huthwaite School dispute was regarded to be officially settled in March 1935. Reportage claims Sutton Council ended matters by arranging satisfactory transport. However, full attendance of all senior pupils was clearly untrue, because April column named four parents each summoned 5d. at Mansfield Petty Court still failing to send their children regularly. They were; Thomas Harrison, 32 Sherwood Street; Elizabeth Brooks, 3 Strawberry Bank; Robert Brooks, Blackwell Road; and Jonathan Peace, 31 Swan Yard.

Vast majority of parents actually remained unsatisfied, because a daily free bus pass to and from school only applied to residents upon far west village extremities. And many unable to afford school meals, needed to make the journey twice daily. Only choice really offered was either ride in the morning and be returned after school ended, or get a ride home and back during dinner break.

Reluctantly accepting that final deal left such bitter feelings, even faded memories of this dispute got retold generations later. Some Huthwaite pupils seem to have been taught through 1940 at a more distant Priestsic Road School in Sutton at even younger age. They don't seem to have attracted any further outrage, nor any mention. But they did raise October questions regarding safety while having to share busy town centre public transport, and that forwarded motions towards providing a future school bus service.

My parents are among those ending secondary education in the Huthwaite Road seniors. It served that purpose until 1960 dated opening of a new Huthwaite Secondary Modern School complex loftily sited within the village. Sutton pupils regained full regular use of this renamed Westbourne School before that was also axed under mass county closures. The familiar externally unchanged roadside property is shown again through past use for adult education named Ashfield Centre, when part of West Notts College. 04032710


29 Oct 13     by Gary Elliott       Updated 12 May 19