History of Meadow Lane Infant School
Meadow Lane Infant school has celebrated 150 years of educating children in Chilwell. The school’s written records date back to 1894 when a logbook recorded life in the school and the community it served.
The history of the school is inexorably tied to that of the local and much wider community. Entries record the knitting of balaclavas and socks for soldiers in the Boar War and the First World War and the poor attendance after a night of zeppelins raids on Chilwell in February 1916. Perhaps the most poignant entry was made on 2nd July 1918.
“There was an explosion at the munitions factory last evening. Several panes of glass in the schoolroom were broken and one large window frame was slightly moved out of position. Attendance poor due to sickness and the munitions factory disaster.”
The school has seen two World Wars, several Kings and Queens and thousands of children passing through its doors.
Other entries in the logbook range from the mundane
July 25th 1935
“….a supply of carbolic soap and toilet paper were received today.”
To the tragic
23rd September 1901
“Mary Peadon a scholar in Standard 3 died suddenly this morning after a short attack of diphtheria. It has cast a great gloom over the school.”
The logbook also reminds us of the many childhood diseases that blighted the past. Scary and sometimes life threatening illnesses such as scarlet fever, diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, typhoid fever, scabies and croup.
There have been many changes in education over the 150 years. Girls are no longer required to develop their laundry skills and corporal punishment and class sizes of 59 are thankfully a thing of the past. However some things never change, visits from the Inspectors, Christmas parties and of course the perennial problem of nits!