The School

Halton Holegate Church of England Primary School

“… the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of a village school

Prior to the National School there was a small private school held in a small, thatched cottage near The Bell Inn called ‘Dame School’.

1847 The All Age National School site was given by the Rev T. H. Rawnsley. A grant was given by the National Society for the education of the children in the principles of the Church of England and by the Trust Deed the school was incorporated with the National Society.

1847 The All Age National School site was given by the Rev T. H. Rawnsley.


The class of 1905 (names given below)

Back Row L to R: Evelyn Crust, Bertha Woodthorpe, Annie Garner, May Crust, Maggie Thornally, Alice Shaw, Ethel Robinson, Clara Davidson, Miss E. Enderby, Mr Hunt, Agnes Toin, Florence Woodward, Joan Crust, Edith Crust, Doris Smalley, Grace Bonnett, Mary Hanson.

Front Row L to R: Vivian Smalley, Grace Clough, Eva Hauton, Ada Atkin, Annie Swaby, Elsie Toin, Ada Shaw, Camilla Crust, Winnie Spring. (One name appears to be missing, 10 pictured, only 9 names).

1906 Mr and Mrs Hunt (headteacher) outside what was the ‘Master’s house’ but in 1992 this was incorporated into the main school. Note both this photo and the class photo from 1905 show the same bay window.


A timeline of events at the school, taken from the log book

7 Oct 1907  
In 1907 building work  – classroom larger, warmer, and lighter. Main room better ventilated. Cloak rooms are luxurious and sanitary arrangements updated. Total cost £120.

22 Dec 1915
18 pairs of socks sent for distribution to our soldiers.

Nov 1916 
Pupils undertook house to house collection for Christmas Parcels to our men fighting for King and Country, Freedom and Honour. Each parcel contained a cake, peppermints, and a warm fleecy lined vest.

1918
First female head teacher.

9 July 1922
Roof repaired but cleaner would not clean up after workmen, hence school dusty. School standards steadily but surely deteriorating, possibly due to the Mistress becoming increasingly deaf.

16 May 1923
Education Committee requested the Managers to change the Head Teachership—1924 new Head Teacher.

21 Sept 1925
Start of new school year with 24 present – several potato picking.

30 Jan 1935
Mrs Perkins came in as supply in the absence of the Assistant Teacher, Miss Thompson, she being knocked down by a lorry on Saturday and suffering from slight concussion.

4 Mar 1935 
Mrs Perkins left.

28 Jan 1936
School closed for the funeral of His Late Majesty King George V.

11 May 1937
School closed for Coronation Celebrations.

30 July 1937
Head Teacher resigned.

13 Sept 1937
Mrs E. E. Clarey took temporary charge of the school.

8 Nov 1937  
Arrangements made with Mr. Parker to use his field across the road for games periods.

1 Dec 1939 
Final 4 of the evacuees have gone back to Grimsby.

10 June 1941
Nurse Fairhead inspected pupils head for lice.

25 June 1943
H.M. Inspector declared Inspection was a real pleasure.

31 Jan 1946  
Builders have started the alterations for the canteen.

23 Oct 1946
Owing to cramped conditions in the school we have moved into the canteen hut, even though not completed.

11 Nov 1946
Five more pupils brought to school, but there was no seating. Asked them to try Little Steeping school.

7 Oct 1949  
Deep sorrow at the death of the Head Teacher, Mrs Cowman.

23 July 1950
Mr P. M. Harness became Assistant Teacher.

30 Jan 1951
Mr Tapper, School Dentist, carried out treatment on a number of children.

Summer 1951
Mr Harness took a party of senior boys to see South Africa versus England Test match at Nottingham. Party of 30 pupils and staff went by train from Firsby to London.

25 July 1951
School Sports Day on Mr Odlin’s field.

6 Feb 1952  
King George VI died. Princess Elizabeth proclaimed Queen. Children listened to the proclamation on the wireless.

24 Mar 1954
Headmistress attended official opening of the Franklin Secondary Modern School in Spilsby.

14 Sept 1954
School now just for Infants and Juniors.  Premises comprise main block with one large and one small classroom, the latter now being used for storage, a corridor space, well tended garden. Meals are served and all the children stay to what is a valuable social occasion.

21 Dec 1955
School party was held, each child received a present of an orange, balloon, and a box of chocolates.

12 Jan 1956
School reopened after heavy snow – no electricity or telephone.

20 July 1959
Contractors started dismantling the canteen hut to be transferred to Spilsby Franklin School.

8 Sept 1959
Building work still in progress, dinners being supplied by Great Steeping school.

3 Dec 1959 
Hymn and Prayer Books given to the school by the School Trustees.

17 Dec 1959
Christmas Party – children received a bar of chocolate and an apple.

18 Jan 1960
New canteen opened.        

18 Dec 1962
Christmas Party. Each child received a pencil given by the ‘TSB’ bank but did not receive a bar of chocolate, instead it was agreed that the money should be sent to ‘Family Relief’ – £2.

18 Nov 1963
Fire Brigade called to school, smoke coming from the back of stove in junior classroom. Asbestos sheets at back of stove had to be removed, brick wall damaged, but very little damage done. Mr Coulton from Partney to replace stove and install concrete floor underneath.

9 Jan 1967  
New electric cooker delivered during school holidays, unfortunately is too large to get through door. Mr Saunders from Partney had to dismantle the cooker, reassemble, and install.

Nothing recorded 1968 – 1975

7 July 1977 
Jubilee Committee donated £63 to the school to purchase a tape recorder.

14 Mar 1978
Headteacher, Mr Hornsby, granted a two year secondment by LEA. He and his wife to live in the Pacific Islands as part of an Evangelical project.

27 May 1982
Fourth year attended Lincoln Cathedral for the Schools Festival.

9 Dec 1983 
A disease free elm tree was planted in the Churchyard – Dutch Elm disease rampant.

7 June 1989
Meeting to consider the inclusion of the schoolhouse to the school itself.

Oct 1991     
County Council agreed that the disused schoolhouse would be ideal to provide classroom and office accommodation.

7 Jan 1992  
Conversion work to the old schoolhouse started.

21 Jul 1992 
Former Vicar John Thorold performed the opening ceremony of the extension and planted a commemorative shrub.

3 Feb 1997  
Glowing report received from OFSTED.

10 Dec 1998
Meeting with local farmer re leasing part of a field behind the school. Planning permission granted April 1999.

School Logbook ceased to be in use.

Halton Holegate C of E Primary School logo today

3 Jan 2001  Pupils presented with Bibles by the Chairman of the Millennium Committee. Cheques from the Millennium Committee fund raising events for £240 each were presented to the school, St Andrews Church, and the Methodist Chapel.

Millennium time capsule buried in the churchyard near to the Elm Tree.


2002 – 2004 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations.                                                                         

2005 – present  Increased security around school. High wire fencing. Electronically  controlled visitor doors with CCTV. All requirements necessary to keep pupils and staff safe.

The planting of the elm tree.  December 9th 1983.

Mr Stanley Hornsby (headteacher 1974 to December 1989) writes in the school logbook:

‘Poured with rain, went to St Andrews churchyard to plant an elm tree. Rev Thorold helped by the two youngest children, Daniel Smyth and Melanie Grant, planted the tree’.

13th March 2020, Mr Stanley Hornsby:

In the year 1983 the United Kingdom was hit by the disease of ‘Dutch Elm’. This meant that all over the country and especially in Lincolnshire many beautiful elm trees had to be chopped down.

I was very concerned about this and heard that ‘Crowders’ the garden centre of Horncastle were offering young elm saplings at a reduced price. I decided to buy a young tree for the school. In those days, the school had no suitable land to plant the tree, so I thought of the church grounds.

I negotiated with the church authorities about this. We chose a position where, as the tree grew it could be seen from the school playground.

I cannot remember why we chose December 9th but, on that day, we closed morning school half an hour early.

Having warned everyone about this, even though when the day arrived the weather was miserable, I thought we should carry on.

We all wrapped up and set out in a crocodile to the chosen spot. We planted the sapling with every child having a small part in the procedure.

Later on we decided we needed a plaque to mark the day, to place at the foot of the tree. I wrote out what I felt should be on the plaque and my wife designed it.”

The school tree in 2016.
“We planted the sapling with every child having a small part in the procedure,” recalls Mr Stanley Hornsby who organised the planting back in 1983.


“After this year on a suitable date in early December I would take a group of the older children to the tree. We would check that it was doing well and measure its height”.

We kept a record of the tree’s growth on a chart in the school.

Graeme Holmes, a pupil at the school at the time of planting, recalls:

“I remember being told we were going to plant a tree at the church and that it was for an important reason. My abiding memory of the event was that it poured with rain. We walked up to the church in a long line and all gathered in the churchyard near the gate with the stile. I watched as a hole was dug and 2 children from my class helped plant the tree. Although it was the rain that made the biggest impression on me on the actual day, the tree itself grew to be an important part of my childhood.

Throughout my time at Halton school, we often went to the church to do various activities and my friends and I always made a point of checking on the tree as it grew. We had a sense of pride seeing it there and in a way it kind of grew up with us. I also liked to see it when I went for walks with my family and in later years, I took pride showing it to my daughter and telling her about the day I saw it planted and all the rain!”

Graeme Holmes a pupil at the school age 6 years in 1983, writing in March 2020

Note: Sadly the tree was cut down in 2018 as it became dangerous following storm damage.

Halton Holegate Church of England Primary School April 2020