Oliver Hooper (1868 – 1944)

A person wearing a suit and tie

Oliver Hooper was the Headmaster of Sibford Gower Primary School from 1912 to 1932. 

In 2020 The Sibfords History Society was fortunate to be given a collection of log books, exercise books, legal documents, diaries and photographs dating from Oliver’s tenure. A presentation entitled Memories of Sibford Primary School from 100 years ago was given at a meeting of the History Society in May 2022.

On this page you will find transcriptions made by members of the History Society of some of the documents donated, and also of presentations given at the 2022 meeting.

Before Oliver

At the presentation meeting in 2022, Maureen Hicks set the scene with a brief history of the school up to 1912.

Oliver Hooper talk – History of the School

Text, letterHeadmaster’s logbook

During his tenure as Headmaster, Oliver Hooper kept a personal Log Book, separately from the official logbooks which are held by the Primary School. He covers the everyday life of the school, its staff and pupils over a twenty-year period. Much of the detail is repetitious, noting dates when the school was closed and re-opened after periods of closure for holiday, weather and illness etc.

Headmasters logbook 1912-1932

History Society member Maureen Hicks wrote an illustrated commentary on the contents of the logbook.

Commentary on school during Oliver Hoopers Tenure

School inspections

The school was regularly inspected by His Majesty’s Inspector of Schools (HMI) on behalf of the Board of Education and by the Diocesan Inspector of Schools. Oliver copied their inspection reports into a notebook, here transcribed by History Society member Caroline Long.

Inspection transcripts and digest

TextLeslie’s diary 1925

Leslie, the youngest of Oliver’s three children, had his tenth birthday during 1925. He was diligent in making an entry in his Children’s Diary every day that year. It offers a fascinating insight into the games, amusements and reading matter that interested a child at that time. About 40% of the pages were already printed with subjects such as fairy tales, conjuring tricks, identifying trees, birds’ eggs, wildflowers and stars, looking after pets, and collecting moths and cigarette cards. Tim Huckvale transcribed all the pages that Leslie had written on:

Leslie Hooper diary 1925


TextLeslie’s Exercise Books

The exercise books contain short pieces of writing by Leslie at age 11/12, on topics such as My Village, The happiest day of my Easter Holiday and How I spend my winter evenings.

Leslie Hooper exercise book 1927 March-July

Leslie Hooper exercise book 1927 Nov – 1928 Feb



Oliver’s legacy

Drawing on the school inspection reports, Maureen Hicks wrote this summary of Oliver’s tenure and legacy.

Oliver Hooper’s tenure and legacy