Swannington School


    The School was built in 1864 for the children of the village by the then rector, Reverend 
    Frederick Hildyard MA. Before this the children had received a rudimentary schooling in a 
    cottage near the corner of the village green - possibly the thatched one in the photograph 
    below ?

    After the Rector's death, his widow made a free gift to the Parish of the School, the School
    House and part of the playground.
    This photograph was taken in 1903. For 
    this to be taken today, the group would 
    have to be sitting in the road - suggesting 
    that  the School yard was once larger than 
    it was when the School closed!

    [Reproduced by kind permission from A HISTORY of
    NORFOLK, by Susanna Wade Martins, published in 
    1997 by Phillimore & Co Ltd., Shopdyke Manor Barn,
    Chichester, W Sussex.]

    This photograph was kindly given to me by
    Miss Anne Bircham. I think it was taken
    around 1910, but the fashion gurus may well
    be able to pinpoint the actual date!

    Kathrine Yorke lived at Attlebridge in the 20's and 30's and has written a brilliant book of her life 
    as a child in the village. [ 'The Strange Family at Yorke's Hill' published by The Larks Press ] 
    I have kindly been given permission to copy this paragraph:

              'My brother had been left at Swannington with Mr Green and his wife (he was an acquaintance 
               of father's, a forester) so he was sent to Swannington School. He was not welcomed by the
               Swannington boys and the school compared unfavourably with Attlebridge. The school log-book 
               of that time tells of 'badly leaking roofs, rotten floorboards, wood-wormed desks, a pumped 
               water supply, flooded and putrid urinals, a playground too muddy to be used and temperatures
               of only 26 degrees Fahrenheit at times.' No wonder he was relieved at our return.'

     This  photograph of the Swannington School 
     children was taken in 1933 and kindly donated 
     by Mr Munford who is on there somewhere!
The following photographs of school children were kindly supplied by Mrs Ivy Lake, for many years the Infant teacher.
The two photographs above were taken in the snow, believed to be in the notorious winter of 1947. The setting is in the field opposite the school where now the council houses stand. The two below were taken c 1950
The school's athletics team returned home from the area school sports at Aylsham with the cup! Who can remember the date of this achievement ?

Below are four shots of the Christmas Nativity c1975.

THE LAST CLASS AT SWANNINGTON SCHOOL This photograph, taken in January 1981, was shot just a few weeks before the school closure. With Mrs Ivy Lake and Mr Alfred Jordan are: Carl Chapman, Joe Hamling, Graham Symonds, Karl Welham, Dale Chapman, Mandy ?, Rachel Symonds, Suzanne Fulcher, Maureen Hamling, Heather Pearce, Adam Batson, Dean Chapman, Paul Fulcher, Andrew Welton, Victoria Welham, Kerry Nelson, Ruth Hassell, Linda Welton, Claire batson, Esther Smith, Timothy Duncan, Paul Tuthill, Craig Chapman and Paul Sutton.

   On the left, the school, still in use at this 
   time, is the brick building. It is now a private
   Note that we still had our red telephone box!

R GIBBONS © 2001