Stevens 1886-08-14

Text, letter

Mrs Elley came down this morning and told me that a great number of windows had been broken in the schoolroom. i went up and found that the chief damage was in the classroom (so called) where stones and glass were lying about the floor. There were also some broken in the schoolroom where the lead was in some places cut in two by the stones. It is said that Walter Bishop, a boy about 14 who works for Mrs Shelswell is the culprit. I wrote a note to Mr Norris and asked him to send the policeman. Mr Elley took it.

Received note from Mr Henning Clerk to the School Attendance Committee saying that some of the parents accounted for the irregularity of their children’s attendance at school by saying that the School-bell was never rung – the children got late in consequence, and lost their mark for attendance. I replied to Mr Henning that the bell had been disused for several years and that this was the first time anything of the kind as the excuse he mentioned had been brought to my notice. However to avoid even such an excuse in the future I would have the bell rope repaired and order the bell to be rung. It was disused because the bell-rope, being exposed to the weather, was constantly getting out of order.

Bonner, the School Attendance Officer, called at noon, and spoke about the same matter. I elicited from him that the complaint came from some of the Sibford Ferris people, and told him that in the first place the school managers were not bound to provide a bell – and secondly that the Sibford Ferris people sent their children to our school, not as a right, but as a favour, and thirdly that they would soon invent some other excuse when they had no longer the bell.

Spoke to George Jarvis (Headington parish apprentice to Walker, the blacksmith of Sibford Ferris) about his bad conduct with a loose woman of Shutford and taking boys Shirley and Robinson with him. Mr Oddie, in whose employment Shirley was, obtained particulars from him. Mr Oddie dismissed Shirley from his employment as he could not possibly retain hm at the school, though he says the boy seemed very penitent. He also spoke to Jarvis but told me the latter was very impertinent and evidently hard and impenitent. Jarvis did not deny the accusation – and I told him he must not come into the church choir again.

Visited Richard Austin, Charles Lines, Pensioner John Lines, George Harris about repairs, new kitchen range etc – which he asks for. John Reason and widow Ann Lines who was not at home. Also widow Reason, not at home.