The Shirley Village Archive

National School (Building)

Opened 19th May 1845 and enlarged in 1893, by subscription and aided by a parliamentary grant with about 48 pupils.

The school was threatened with closure in 1946 and and article about the school appeared in the Derby Telegraph. It eventually closed in 1963 and was converted into two private dwellings.

There was some sort of school prior to the National School being built as in 1842 William Hawsworth was listed as master.


The staff that I know about are listed below:

1846Benjamin Gander was the master with Mary Goodall, mistress.
1855David Brierly was the master with Miss Harriett Mason, mistress.
1870Miss Hannah Massey
1876Mr Davis was master until 1879 and also the leader of Shirley Brass Band.
1895Sophia Hort was the mistress. Average attendance was 53.
1901Mr. W. H. Lees
1909Mr. A. Y. Jordan
1912Margaret Robinson was the mistress. Average attendance was 50.
1917The positions of head and supplementary teacher were advertised in the Derby Telegraph.
1929Miss Scott was the headmistress.
1946Mrs Helen Gilman was the head


The schoolroom became a centre for social activities in the village. Below are some of the events:

1846Annual examination of the school
1856A sale of fancy articles in aid of a church organ
1861Formation of a Band of Hope
1879Presentation supper for Mr. Davis
1882Concert in aid of the library and reading room
1883A bazaar in aid of cleaning and decorating the church
1884C.E.T.S and Blue Riband meeting
1885A concert
1888Vestry meeting
An entertainment
1896Lecture about "Silas Marner"
1897Meeting about the Diamond jubilee
1899Meeting of the Church Missionary Society
1902Evening continuation class
Farm labourer's supper
An invitation dance
1904Social evening
1905Evening continuation class
1907Invitation dance
1909Evening School
1930A fancy dress dance
Concert in aid of repairs to the church tower
Presentation to T. Bassett Bullock, organist.
1935A fancy dress dance
1938Shirley F.C. annual dinner & dance
1939Annual whist drive & dance in aid of Shirley Football club
Whist drive & dance in aid of school boy's sports outfits

On 15 December 1830 WA Shirley wrote to RH Cheney: "I have fitted up a school-room, and opened it last Monday for a national school". Where was it?

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