Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Keld School

Keld School
Phase 3a of The Keld Resource Centre Restoration Project
Awaiting Planning Consent
The Bell Cote inscribed W Metcalfe AD 1817

Keld School closed as educational establishment in 1973; the tiny two room school building being witness to hundreds of children passing through its doors in its 121 year history as a place of education.  It is hard to imagine all the changes in educational practise, social behaviour and expectations that would have taken place during this time.

The porch with the small window in the gable end was a later edition to the original building and was added to provide a cloakroom with washbasin so that the children could wash their hands after using the toilet.  The toilets, just visible on the left, were accessed from outside.

The inconspicuous, little window in the porch my appear unimportant to many but when Chris Calvert of Hoggarths Farm attended school there between 1963 - 1969 it was anything but.  Boys challenged each other to scramble up the cloakroom wall and sit on the windowsill.  To a small child this must have been like climbing a mountain.  Chris says, 'The day you got your backside on that window ledge was a massive achievement and you were top dog!'

 Joan Moody (nee Mee) recalls another story.  One wintery day in around 1940, with snow on the ground, the children were sent out to play on the small square in front of the school.  Straight away the boys began to make snowballs.  One of them was a very good shot and their snowball hit the school bell.  Quite an achievement, you may think?  Not in the eyes of strict Miss Marshall who immediately appeared and declared, 'The school bell has been rung so playtime is finished,  back to class.' Playtime came to an abrupt end!  Joan's father, Reverend Mee was minister at the time and living in The Manse, witnessed this from his desk in his study at the front of the house.

Watch this space for more Keld School memories. 

In 1976 when the school became part of The Keld Centre the classrooms where converted into a kitchen and a dining room providing visiting groups with cooking facilities and an eating area.

When planning consent is successful the school will have a new role for the 21st century. The building will be converted into two or three ensuite bedrooms, one with disabled access.  The present dilapidated toilets will be removed and a small single dwelling built to accommodate a worker for the new centre.


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