By Beryl A. Kingan
This is the story of four schools from Wotton under Edge which made up the Blue Coat Church of England Primary School; they were the Blue Coat Boys School, the Blue Coat Infants School, The Chipping School and the Church Infants School. The period covered by the book is the three hundred years from the foundation of the Blue Coat School in 1693 until its move to the new site in Symn Lane in the year 2000.
Documentary evidence used in the book was taken from school records, legal documents and official correspondence held in Gloucestershire Archives, the Church of England Record Centre, Christ Church Oxford, Wotton Heritage Centre and the Blue Coat Primary School, together with personal communications.
The book includes many photographs, some of which are in colour, but the main section contains the extracts from the school log books. These are always of interest to family historians because they give a glimpse of the lives of children otherwise not seen. Two examples are:
1879 June 16th
There are two girls who are gone half time to service without a Magistrate’s leave – and as they have not passed the 4th Standard the Attendance Committee ought to take notice of it; but after frequently sending word to the Clerk concerning such faults and no notice being taken of it, it seems of little use in the Mistress trying to do any thing in the matter.
1880 December 19th
Jane R- a half-timer in the 5th Standard has gone on full time, this will throw her back in her needlework and Arithmetic although she can be presented at the examination, it would be a benefit to the School if the Mill owners would not take them on full time just at the close of the School year.
The book can be purchased from the various centres in Wotton under Edge, price £14.00. It is also available for an additional £2.50 postage and packing from: Wotton Heritage Centre, The Chipping, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, GL12 7AD. Cheques payable to ‘Wotton Heritage Trading Company’.