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HISTORIES OF HAGLEY - VICTORIAN HAGLEY

The Parish Choir

School Life in Victorian Hagley, derived from the Parish Magazine 1862

‘The management, discipline, teaching and attainments of the children in the Hagley School’,wrote a Victorian schools inspector in 1861, ‘are excellent’. Built and operated as a result of local philanthropy – the money naturally enough came from the Lyttletons – the school provided education for the children of small farmers, shopkeepers and tradesmen. In the early 1860s Mr Stephens was the schoolmaster and Miss Southall taught the infants. Mr Stephens also ran the Hagley Club, a self improvement society of about 50 men dedicated to reading and playing cricket and chess.

Miss Southall, who was paid only £10 a year plus something from the parents’ fees, soon resigned and was replaced by Miss Unsworth. The Bible and the three Rs occupied much of the time of the Hagley schoolchildren, but there was also time for useful relaxation - carpentry and gardening for the boys, needlework with Mrs Daphne for the girls. Some of the pupils went into service in Hagley - others found employment as carpenters, clerks and railway servants.