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The Old School

The Old School is located at the edge of the village on the gated road that leads to the hamlet of Wycomb. Today, Goadby’s pretty school house has found a new life as the Village Hall. It is used for community events such as the annual Goadby Day, and can be hired by residents and non-residents for private parties and weddings.

In early Victorian England, most children never went to school at all and grew up unable to read or write. As soon as they were able they were sent out to work to earn money for their families.

Typically, only upper and middle class children were schooled. Boys from well-to-do families were taught at home by a tutor until they were around ten years old after which they were sent away to Public boarding schools like Eton or Harrow. There were very few schools available for girls, most were educated entirely at home by a governess.

Even for the wealthy it was considered less important for girls to be educated and they were usually taught needlework, drawing and music, while the boys were taught academic subjects. The census return of 1901 shows that Algernon Turnor of Goadby Hall employed a German governess, Hildergarde Kaulity, to educate his two young daughters.

In 1833 Parliament authorised that sums of money should be provided for the construction of schools for poor children in England and Wales. A succession of acts followed which helped to expand the scope of education a little, but most education was still in the hands of churches and philanthropists, and there was really no unified education system.

In the early 1860s, funds were raised to build a school room for the children of Goadby Marwood. The school, which was run by the Church of England, was opened on June 12th, 1861. A church service was held and tea was provided for visitors. The event was reported in The Grantham Journal:

The early part of the day was, as regards weather, of unpromising aspect, but before noon the unfavourable symptoms disappeared, and a numerous company assembled to celebrate the occasion.

The proceedings commenced with Devine Service in the Church at half past two o'clock. The prayers were read by the Rector (Rev. S. G. Bellairs) and a most appropriate and excellent sermon was preached by the Rev. E. B. Shaw, Rector of Narborough St Luke’s.

A collection amounting to about £30 was made towards liquidating the debt on the building. The parishioners, the facilities they will now enjoy for the education of their children, due to the exertions of their Rector.

The new edifice has been built from a design by W. J. Gillett Esq. It is of an appropriate and tasteful architecture and very substantial in construction, forming a considerable ornament and addition to the village.

Villagers present: - Hallam, Elsom, Rowbotham, Walker, Carter, Watson, Ellaby, Baker, Allen, Shipman, Ball, Chamberlain, Rippin, Dolby, Preston.

Teaching would have been mainly by rote with children learning things parrot fashion, with little scope for identification or development of talent. Particular emphasis was placed on learning to read and write. In rural villages like Goadby there was a constant battle between the aim of the school to teach and the needs of parents who relied on the help of their children; many pupils frequently did not turn up for lessons, especially at harvest time.

By 1880 additional legislation saw the introduction of compulsory attendance at school for children between the ages of five and ten, and parents whose children failed to attend could be fined, although some local discretion was allowed in agricultural areas.

The number of pupils attending Goadby School, which had never been large, had declined to such an extent by the early 1940s, that it was decided the establishment was no longer sustainable. The school was closed in 1942, and children from the village were transferred to the Church of England schools at nearby Scalford or Waltham on the Wolds. Primary school age children who live in the village today still attend the schools in these neighbouring villages.


Newspaper cutting - Repairs to Village Hall, April 1999

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Goadby School 1940

L to R: Back row, Hazel Hungerford, Margaret Julien, Wallace Brown, Catherine Holmes. Centre row, Betty Brownlow, Mrs Kathleen Allen (teacher), Eileen Rear. Front row, Michael Holmes, Gordon Spence, Glen Pickard.

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The Old School now Goadby Marwood Village Hall, photographed c. 2010.

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The beautiful west window of the Village Hall.

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Poster advertising the opening of the school in 1861.     

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Goadby School c.1920

L to R: Back row, Ivy Lois Lowe (teacher), unknown, Dorothy Gutteridge, unknown, Katherine Burford, unknown, Phyllis Brutnell, Hilda Brewin, unknown (teacher). Middle row, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, Mary Brutnell, unknown, unknown, Harold Knapp, unknown, unknown. Front row, Lesley Brutnell, unknown, Herbert Mayfield, George Knapp, unknown, unknown.

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Goadby School 1901 (older children)

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Goadby School 1910

L to R: Back row, unknown (teacher),  Rose Lowe, Jennie Wigginton (teachers). First row from back, ? Foister, Edgar Lowe, William Herring, Victor Lowe, 5 to 7 unknown, Arthur Pizer, Ethel Pizer. Second row, 1 to 4 unknown, Minnie Hill, 6 to 8 unknown. Third row, Amy Blackshaw, rest unknown. Front row, 1 to 7 unknown, ? Shuttleworth.

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Goadby School 1901 ( younger children)

If you recognize yourself in the 1940 photograph, or if you believe you are a decedent of any of the children in the photographs, we would love to hear from you!

Many of the children pictured in these photographs lived in Goadby for their whole lives, others left the village, only to return in later years. In many cases their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren still live in Goadby or the surrounding area today.

  • Catherine Holmes was born in 1932 at The Lodge (now derelict) on the outskirts of the village, and moved to the more central Manor Farm with her family shortly after she started school. Cathy lived in the village for many years, firstly at Manor Farm and then later at Holmwood. Today Cathy lives in Melton Mowbray and is a valued member the Goadby Marwood History Group.

  • Michael Holmes, like his sister Cathy, was born at The Lodge. He lived in the village all his life, firstly at Manor Farm and then later at White Lodge. Michael died in December 2015 and is buried in the village churchyard.

  • Gordon Spence was born in 1934 and spent much of his life in Goadby Marwood. Today he lives in the nearby village of Harby, but he still has very close connections with Goadby because his son’s family lives on Main Street. Gordon is a familiar figure to Goadby residents as he still visits the village every October / November selling poppies for the annual Royal British Legion appeal.

  • School teacher, Ivy Lois Lowe, known as Lois, was born in August 1903 at Home Farm, today known as The Brooms, on Kemps Lane. She was the daughter of Rose Lowe, who taught at the school in the 1910s. Ivy later travelled to Bengal, India where, in September 1932, she married Charles Edgar Preston. The couple returned to England where their three sons were born. Lois later retired to Goadby Marwood, where she lived at The Oaks on Main Street. She died in 1997.

  • Katherine Burford lived in the area all her life. She worked for many years as a nurse at the War Memorial Hospital in Melton Mowbray. The hospital, originally named Hill House was built as a hunting lodge in the mid-1700s and was later renamed Wyndham Lodge. In 1920 Colonel Richard Dalgleish purchased Wyndham Lodge and gave it as a gift to the town to honour those who had fallen during the Great War. It became known as Melton & District War Memorial Hospital. It was closed in 2002, and today the building has been converted to luxury apartments. Kath Burford lived on Main Street in Goadby Marwood until her death.

  • Harold Knapp was born around 1915 and as a young man he lived at Wycomb Cottages with his wife Katherine ‘Kit’ Lucy Holmes (cousin to Cathy Holmes above) before moving to a farm at Withcote, near Oakham. In the 1970s the couple returned to Goadby, to the newly built bungalow, Gorse View, on Main Street, where Harold lived until his death. Harold’s daughter, Joan, and her husband, Dave Gardner, still live in the village today.

  • James Herbert Mayfield, known as Herbert, was born at Piper Hole Farm in 1909. Herbert never married, he lived in the village with his father, James, initially at The Laurels then at Ivy House Farm. Herbert’s sister, Eva, lived next door at Beech House with her husband, Bob Lambert. In his later years Herbert left the village and moved to Melton Mowbray.

  • William Herring was born in 1897, and was brought up at Manor Farm in Wycomb. He attended the school at Goadby before moving to the new King Edward V11 Grammar school in Melton. When he left school, William farmed a Wycombe before purchasing The Lodge on what we know today as Green Lane, where he lived and farmed until his death in December 1982.

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