East Brent History Portal


Meeting Report - 4 January 2012

The meeting was very well attended, thank you to all who were there and a Happy New Year to everyone. Thank you also to those who contacted me to confirm the location of the photograph of Florence Walls at her home “Avalon” in last month‟s report. We now know that the house is one of a group on the A370 at Lympsham just before the Hobbs Boat. It is believed it is now called “Erinsmead”.

The evening began with a discussion on the draft Constitution and it was unanimously agreed to adopt the Constitution as drafted. Subsequently, the three main formal appointments were proposed and agreed as :-

Chair - Colin Loader

Secretary - Nigel Lloyd-Jones

Treasurer - Anne Loader

The Parish Council will be informed of these decisions.

A meeting with Nick Tolley (last month‟s report) concerning the War Memorial was reported on. Nick is related to Neville Curry and confirmed that two of the figures were modelled on the father & uncle of Neville Curry. Arthur Ruskin Emery was the stone mason and Nick was able to show us a photograph of the RFC Officer in uniform identical to the pose on the War Memorial.


Yvonne Claridge then gave a talk on East Brent Schools following her review of some of the records. A brief outline of Yvonne‟s talk is :-

  • East Brent First School began in 1841 as a Church of England Foundation School. It is a listed building of architectural and historic importance.
  • Bible passages, nationalist songs and poems were learned by Rote. Gardening, woodwork and needlework were also part of the school work.
  • At times the children were hardly at school which closed 2 to 3 weeks for blackberry picking, a week for the Harvest Home and days off for Empire Day.
  • The school was frequently closed due to illness, insanitary conditions and bad weather.
  • The British School (now the Village Hall) was built in 1880 as an alternative to the „Church‟ school.
  • In March 1902 there was very bad attendance as children were allowed to go stag hunting in the village.
  • On 2 Oct 1905, the cart bringing children from Rooksbridge re-commenced running after a stoppage of several weeks due to an accident to the pony.
  • Empire Day was celebrated on 23rd May 1913, the school closed in the afternoon. Children paraded with flags & sang “Flags of Britain”, “Rule Britannia”, “Auld Lang Syne”, “Killarney”, “Men of Harlech”. They then marched to the Vicarage for tea and then through village to a field for sports, donkey riding & games „till dark.
  • In 1940, both schools accepted a number of evacuee children mostly from East London.
  • In 1948, the British School became East Brent County Infants School (ages 5 to 7 years) and the Church School became East Brent Church of England Voluntary Controlled Junior School (7 to 11 years).The two schools amalgamated in 1973 and became East Brent Primary School.It was renamed East Brent Church of England First School in 1976.


Yvonne‟s talk included several photographs of the school including these of planting bulb around the War Memorial in 1973. We have a few names but if you particularly recognise anyone, please let me know. 


Yvonne also showed this photo of a Church Pageant in 1968/69. Names are also given below but please let me know of any addition/corrections.


Next Meeting

All meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month - 7:00 pm in the Village Hall.

Everyone is welcome.


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