Lady Royd School

By Madge McGuire – former teacher at the school

Lady Royd School or Wadsworth and Walshaw NP Secondary and Primary School was started by the Savile family. It was a West Riding and C of E School.  

Originally, it was probably a farm labourer’s cottage and kitchen. It was one building and upstairs was a long room with a fireplace and two smaller rooms. Windows let in lots of light. Downstairs there was a large fireplace and children dried their clothes in front of it.

The school was lit by candles and could be dangerous, so on dark days storytelling and poetry took place in semi-gloom. Later there was a calor gas lamp.

The school yard was shared with turkeys and the one teacher came to school in the mornings on the milk collection cart. Dinners and school milk came at noon by taxi from Central Street School.

There could be up to 40 pupils at any one time from Savile Estate worker families, though 20 in the school room was overcrowded. They were aged 5 to 15 and because of this range much pupil learning was individual or group projects with subjects like nature such as take the green woodpecker, what does it sound like, look like, do etc.

In 1947 due to heavy snow the teacher was marooned and slept at Mrs Shaw’s farm. It was closed 14 May 1948 as most older pupils went to grammar school or technical colleges and it was unsafe upstairs. There had been 4 evacuees from Manchester in the school. When they saw sheep they thought they were wolves.

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Wild Rose Heritage and Arts is a community group which takes it's name from the area in which we are located - the valley ("den") of the wild rose ("Heb") -  Hebden Bridge which is in Calderdale, West Yorkshire.

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