Old Stratford - Education

Primary School for Old Stratford

The Northampton Mercury February 23rd 1906

The Day School Question at Stony Stratford.

Mr. William J. C. Ray considered the cost of the proposed new schools would be nearer £5,000 than £4,000 - found that 85 children attended the Stony Stratford schools from outside the area, 76 attending from Old Stratford. He did not think they had any right to provide school accommodation for outsiders.

The Northampton Mercury March 30th 1906

The General Purposes Committee: The committee recommended that the necessary legal notice for the provision of a Council School at Cosgrove, to accommodate about 120 children, be issued forthwith. The attention of the committee had been directed to the fact that the children of Old Stratford, which is partly in the parish of Cosgrove, attended school at Stony Stratford, which is in the County of Bucks. It was unquestionable that that was more convenient than their attending Cosgrove School, and in fixing the accommodation of the school proposed to be built, the fact was taken into consideration that the arrangement would probably continue. A communication had been received from Bucks Education Committee in respect of the education of these children, and the committee be requested to continue to arrange for the instruction at their schools of the children from Old Stratford, on the Northamptonshire Education Committee agreeing to pay a reasonable charge.

The Northampton Mercury April 6th 1906

Mr. Woollard made some very strong remarks. If they excluded the children from Northamptonshire, it would necessitate a new school being built at Old Stratford, or the sending of the children to Potterspury, Deanshanger, or Cosgrove schools, and he thought it would pay the Northamptonshire people better to make a contribution towards any new schools which might be erected at Stony Stratford.

The Northampton Mercury May 18th 1906

The Clark stated that the new statutory notice enlarged the area and included Calverton and Old Stratford. The Chairman thought it was recognised by the Northamptonshire people that Old Stratford children could not be expected to attend Cosgrove or Potterspury schools.

The Northampton Mercury June 29th 1906

NORTHAMPTON EDUCATION COMMITTEE: Mr Atkinson referred to the subject of the new Council Schools which has to be provided in place of that at Cosgrove, and urged that as half the children in attendance would come from Old Stratford which was growing while Cosgrove was decreasing the site ought to be halfway between the two places, instead of at Cosgrove. The report was adopted.

The Northampton Mercury August 3rd 1906

The Finance and Schools Attendance Committee: The report contained a lengthy reference to the question of school accommodation for Cosgrove and Old Stratford, and the committee recommended that a Council school be erected on the road between Cosgrove and Old Stratford sufficiently large to accommodate the children of both villages. The report was adopted.

The Northampton Mercury October 26th 1906

The Education Committee: Connected with the question was that of school accommodation at Cosgrove, and the committee recommended that a school be built midway between Cosgrove and Old Stratford large enough to accommodate the children at both places.

The Northampton Mercury January 11th 1907

Proposed Schools at Old Stratford & Cosgrove


To acquire half an acre of land for the erection of a school to serve the villages of Cosgrove and Old Stratford

The Northampton Mercury July 12th 1907


The County Council at present paid a quarter the cost of school buildings, and the parish three-quarters. The speaker went on to reply to Mr. Atkinson’s remarks with reference to Cosgrove, and said that the new school was intended to serve Old Stratford and Cosgrove, making one school instead of two.

The Northampton Mercury August 2nd 1907


The question of school accommodation at Cosgrove and Stony Stratford was again considered, and it was recommended that the necessary legal notice for the provision of a Council School at Cosgrove to accommodate about 200 children (the whole of the population of that parish, and those parts of Passenham, Furtho, and Potterspury, known as Old Stratford be issued forthwith.

The Northampton Mercury September 20th 1907

A meeting of the Cosgrove Pariah Council was held in the School last week. The notice issued by the Local Education Authority re proposed new school in Cosgrove Parish was read, and the Chairman pointed out that the proposed site was situated on the Quarry Hill. The members present were unanimous in condemning the proposed site for the following reasons.—The long distance the children of from five to eight years of age would be compelled to walks particularly in winter and during wet weather, as part of the road is bordered by plantations; the school would be of no use as a Continuation School or for any purposes of recreation owing, to the long distance from villages; the motor traffic is very great, being on the London and Northampton main road; the wishes of the parents concerned, are unanimously against the proposed site- It was thought desirable that there should be a public, inquiry before the matter was finally settled and as alternative scheme was suggested. It was thought that an infant school be built at Old Stratford and that the elder children from that place could attend a school at Cosgrove. It was proposed by Mr. J. A. Reeve and seconded by the Rev. H. W. C. Hewson, “That the Parish Council write to the Board of Education making a strong protest against the proposed site for the new schools, and that a copy be sent to the Local Education Committee at Northampton.” Carried.

The Northampton Mercury November 1st 1907


The committee made no recommendation with regard to copies of resolutions forwarded by Cosgrove Parish Council to the Board of Education protesting against the proposals for a new Council School to serve Cosgrove and Old Stratford.

The Northampton Mercury November 8th 1907


NOTICE is hereby given that the Northamptonshire County Council, in pursuance and exercise of the powers given to them by the Education Acts, 1870 to 1902 (in which first mentioned Act, the Land Clauses Consolidation Act, 1845, and the Acts, amending the same are, with certain exceptions, incorporated), and of every other power enabling them in this behalf, propose to APPLY to the Board of Education for a PROVISIONAL ORDER empowering the said Northamptonshire County Council to TAKE THE PIECE OF LAND with the buildings thereon (if any) and the fee simple thereof, the situation, quantity and description whereof, are stated in the schedule hereto for the PURPOSE OF PROVIDING on such piece of land a NEW PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
And NOTICE is hereby further given that a PLAN of the said piece of land may be seen at all reasonable hours at the office of the Clerk of the COUNTY COUNCIL, County Hall, Northampton.


A TRIANGULAR PIECE OF LAND, situate in the Parish of Cosgrove, in the County of Northampton, and at the Eastern End of a field called or known by the name of “Hilly Field,” now or formerly belonging to and in the occupation of Harry Grant-Thorold, Esquire, which said piece of land contains half an acre or thereabouts and is bounded on the North and North-east by a field called or known by the name of “Thickthorn,” now or formerly belonging to and in the occupation of Harry Grant-Throld, Esquire, and having a frontage thereto of 252 feet or thereabouts, on the South and South-east, by a district road leading (at a point near the County Bridge called Quarry Bridge) from Hardingstone and Old Stratford main road to the village of Cosgrove, and having a frontage to such district road of 265 feet or thereabouts, on the West by the residue of the said field called “Hilly Field,” and having a frontage thereto of 173 feet or thereabouts, which said field called “Hilly Field,” is more particularly delineated and described and numbered 117 on Sheet lxi, g of the Ordnance Survey Map, 1900 Scale 25,344 inches to a statute mile.
Dated this 7th day of November, 1907
Solicitor to the Local Education Authority,
County Hall,

The Northampton Mercury November 29th 1907


With regard to the proposed new school at Cosgrove, the General Purposes Sub-Committee reported the receipt of a letter, dated October 19, 1907, from Mr. H. Grant-Thorold. of Cosgrove Hall, offering a site in Cosgrove village for the proposed new school, and stating further that if the local authority did not feel justified in building two schools (one at Cosgrove and one at Old Stratford), he would call a meeting of ratepayers and others interested, with a view, if possible, to the cost of a new school at Cosgrove being defrayed privately, such school then to be leased to the local authority. The letter was referred to the School Buildings Sub-Committee to consider the offer of Mr. Thorold as an alternative to the proposal to erect it school midway between the villages of Cosgrove and Old Stratford, and in connection therewith, the possibility of arranging for the conveyance to school at Cosgrove of the Old Stratford children. The School Buildings Sub-Committee re-ported that as the cost of conveying the Old Stratford children to and from school at Cosgrove would at a minimum estimate amount to about £160 per annum, the adoption of that course could not be recommended, and the sub-committee was also unable to recommend the provision of two separate schools at the expense of the Local Education Authority.—In supporting this report, Mr. Dickson said Mr. Grant-Thorold told them the local people would build a school at their own expense, but would expect to receive some interest on the outlay. It was a matter of principle whether school buildings should erected by private people and interest paid upon them by the committee.—The report was adopted.

The Northampton Mercury December 27th 1907

Mr. H. Grant-Thorold, J.P. was voted to the chair. He explained that the County Council proposed to build a school for 200 children half-way between Old Strafford and Cosgrove in the Quarry Field at the top of the hill. Cosgrove had always had a school in the village, and naturally they objected to the children having to walk a mile to school in all weathers. The County Council say they have to provide for Old Stratford as well, and decline to build two schools. A school on the site proposed would be no use to Cosgrove for evening classes or as a secondary school. The committee would not meet them in any way. He had interviewed the Education Department, but had heard nothing from them. The Old Stratford children attended Stony Stratford Schools, and he thought some arrangement should be made to continue as at present in regard to the Old Stratford children. He (the Chairman) offered them a site in Cosgrove village, and he had also inquired if the voluntarily built a school at Cosgrove would the County Council pay rent for it. Of course it was a big undertaking to build a school and keep it in repair. He wanted the views of Old Stratford people on the subject. The Education Department would probably hold an inquiry, and they must make their protest as strong as possible. It was proposed to get up a petition setting forth the reasons of their objections avid obtain signatures both of Old Stratford and Cosgrove.
It was stated that the Bucks and Northants authorities could not agree as to terms for continuing the present arrangements of the Old Stratford Schools. -Mr. Webb said it was much better for the Old Stratford children to go to Stony Stratford. It was a better road. As regards the distance for Old Stratford children there was not much in that, but it was a safer road to Stony Stratford.- A parent said he personally protested strongly forcing little children to go along the Cosgrove road, which was tramp infested, to school.—A question was asked as to whether the authorities were au fait with the ease, and the Chairman replied that he did not think they were.-Mr. J. A. Reeve said it would be much better if some arrangement was made for the Old Stratford children to continue attending Stony Stratford Schools.
The Chairman said he asked for a Subcommittee to meet them, but they refused to meet them in any way. If the school was ultimately built on Quarry Hill the Old Stratford children would be forced to attend there. He thought if the Old Stratford children had to be provided for they should be provided for at Old Stratford.—After a little more discussion the following resolution, proposed by Mr. W. Page, and seconded by Mr. James, was passed unanimously.-

 "That this meeting promises to support the Chairman in his endeavour to keep the school in Cosgrove village and that Old Stratford children be allowed to attend at Stony Stratford as usual, and that they sign a petition to that effect."

 Mr. T. Trasler and Mr. S. Bird promised to take the petition round for signature. - A vote of thanks to the Chairman, proposed by Mr. Webb, and seconded by Mr. Reeve, terminated the meeting.

 At the meeting held at Cosgrove Mr. H. Grant-Thorold presiding, there was a good attendance, and the Chairman explained what had been done to keep the school in the village. Several parents made objection to the proposed site. The chief objections were: (1) That school should be in the village and not a mile outside; (2) that the place was not at all suitable owing to the proximity of the old limestone quarries and the present lime kiln; (3) that children should not be compelled to walk a long distance, particularly in the winter and during wet weather; (4) the dangers arising from children sitting, for hours in wet clothes and with wet feet : (5) the enormous increase in the rates which would follow, and naturally raise the rents of the cottages. In the event of the latter becoming an established fact many of the parents would remove and go to places where the rents  would not be any higher, and where the school was in the place, not outside (6) That a school built in such a locality would he useless for evening schools or technical classes. (7) That as the ratepayers have to find the money they ought to he allowed some voice in the choice of the sites. (8) Waste of public money to build the school in, the proposed, situation.—Mr. Knight proposed, and Mr. Clarke seconded the following proposition: "That this meeting promises to support the chairman in his endeavours to keep the school in the village, and that a petition be signed for Presentation to the Northamptonshire County Council, by all parents and ratepayers." This was carried, and Messrs. Bull and Linthwaite Volunteered to obtain the necessary signatures.—A vote of thanks to the chairman terminated the proceedings.

The Northampton Mercury January 17th 1908

Mr. Poulton addressed a few words to his hearers on the subject of their local difficulties in regard to education, the village of Cosgrove being now rather agitated over the subject of a new school. He pointed out the difficulty of the County Council in giving Cosgrove the school just when it wanted it, owing to the fact that Cosgrove children were not the only ones who must attend, and he commented on the risks attaching to an arrangement by which Cosgrove children might be educated under the Bucks authority instead of Northamptonshire. He was sure the people of Cosgrove might reply on it that the Northamptonshire County Council in this matter was animated by the sincere desire to do its best for Cosgrove and Old Stratford. Apart from this, however, he appealed to parents to be prepared for sacrifices in order that their children might be adequately educated. (Applause)

The Northampton Mercury March 20th 1908

With regard to the proposed new Council School for Cosgrove and Old Stratford the committee had considered the petitions from the inhabitants referred to them by the County Council, but had not varied their former resolutions, and a Board of inquiry had been held. The decision of the Board had not yet be announce, but the committee hoped to be in a position to report further at the next meeting of the Council.

The Northampton Mercury April 4th 1908

THE COSGROVE SCHOOL DIFFICULTY. A letter was read from the Board of Education who said they fully appreciated the committee’s situation and their desire to secure efficiency and economy, but after a careful consideration of all the circumstances they were of the opinion that the proposal to build a joint school for Cosgrove and Old Stratford did not offer a satisfactory solution of the problem of the provision of accommodation in the district, and they were of the opinion a school should be provided in Cosgrove itself. The Board had considered the strongly expressed wishes of the parents, and they thought the arrangement of the Bucks County Council for the attendance of Old Stratford children at Wolverton schools should continue. They accordingly intimated that they were not prepared to grant a provisional order for the acquirement of the proposed site between Cosgrove and Old Stratford. The Chairman remarked that they would now have to go into the matter again and see what arrangements they could make.

The Northampton Mercury January 29th 1909

COSGROVE SCHOOL. In view of the opposition to the proposed new Council School to accommodate the children of Cosgrove and Old Stratford, and the refusal of the Board of Education to give compulsory powers for the purchase of a site, the School Building Sub- Committee recommended that no further action be taken. This was agreed to.

The Northampton Mercury July 30th 1909


The Board of Education had reminded the committee of a former warning to discontinue the recognition of Cosgrove C.E. School and of their opinion expressed in March, 1908, that the proposal to provide a joint school for Cosgrove and Old Stratford was not satisfactory, and that a new school ought to be provided in Cosgrove itself. The Board further stated that they might withhold payment of grant in respect of the Church of England School for the current school year unless they were satisfied by the end of that year that active steps were being taken to provide a new school at Cosgrove village to replace the condemned premises. The Buildings Sub-Committee resolved to ask the managers whether they were prepared to take steps to submit a scheme to the Local Education Authority and the Board of Education for the reconstruction of the present school premises. The action of the sub-committee was endorsed.

The Wolverton Express March 26th 1964

OLD STRATFORD is likely to have its first school in about three years’ time. At the meeting of the Northants Education Committee on Monday it was agreed that building a three-class instalment of a four-class primary school in the village should be included in the 1965-66 minor works building programme.
The report of the Primary Education Committee stated that at the previous meeting a proposal was put forward to build additional accommodation at Deanshanger County Primary School. Mr. G. J. Roberts (Deanshanger), had then informed the Committee that he considered the project was likely to prove inadequate for the increase in the school population. It had not been possible to include this Deanshanger project in the limited allocation for minor works in 1964-65, and the question of future-primary school accommodation in the area served by the school, Deanshanger, Old Stratford and Wicken, had been examined in detail.

More houses

 At the 1961 Census the population was 2,251, for which a school with at the most seven classes for about 230 children should be sufficient, and the adaptation of the school to provide for this number of pupils had hitherto been envisaged.
The report continued that 150 additional houses had been built In Deanshanger recently or were in the course of erection and the development of further sites could add another 250 houses to this total, which would in all produce all additional population of 1.500. Given this increase Deanshanger and Wicken alone would need an eight-class primary school for about 300 children and the three villages together would need at least a ten-class school  for about 400 pupils.
If a separate school were established at Old Stratford, which had a population of 909 In 1961, a school of up to four classes for about 100 children would be needed. The estimated roll of such a school would be 96 in 1967-88 and in the same year the estimated roll of Deanshanger County Primary School, excluding the Old Stratford children and without allowing for a further increase from new housing, would be 185.
Mr. Roberts had informed the Committee that the canal which bounded the site of the Deanshanger Primary School to the south was now redundant so that the extension of the existing site was not out of question; even if the Committee decided to build a new school at Old Stratford it would still be necessary to extend the Deanshanger school in the near future.
The Committee decided that although the requirements of Deanshanger Primary School itself would need to be kept under review, the building of a new school at Old Stratford was immediately the more satisfactory remedy for the increasing pressure on school accommodation in the area.

Letters to the Editor
A school at Old Stratford

Sir,—I note with some concern that the Northamptonshire Education Committee Is proposing to construct a four-class primary school at Old Stratford. If this should come to pass, the Committee is, without doubt, reversing gear by some ten years.
In the village of Wicken, within the past five years, the selfsame Committee installed a modern sewerage service, toilets, and relaid the school floor and playground at a considerable cost to the authority, through the ratepayers. And it also seems to be reversing gear to the extent of extensions at Deanshanger Primary School when there exists at Wicken an adaptable building as the former school, now known as St. John's Church Hall and which, from the early 1800s, accommodated at one time no less than 100 pupils. This is something I pointed out at time of closure of school. Also I said that I was sure the authority would, within a couple of years, want to think again in view of the possible overflow of population in the village of Deanshanger, which I had the sense to foresee.

In the light of the authority's report, will they dare to prove that my remarks concerning the closure of Wicket School was a step in the right direction?


The Wolverton Express April 16th 1965

£4450  for SCHOOL SITE

On Monday the Northants Education Committee was asked to spend £4450 on buying a site for a new county primary school at Old Stratford.
Members were recommended to pay Mrs E. E. Holton, of Old Stratford £3,500 for two acres, Messrs. Robinson and White, of Dunstable  £200 for 166 square yards and Messrs. Davies and Rentowl of St. Albans  £750  for 556 square yards.

The Wolverton Express January 28th 1966


Northants County Council is to be asked by the Education Committee to aprove the spending of another £3,700 on the contract to build a three-class instalment of a new four-class Primary School at old Stratford.
This will make the total cost £31,850 of which £2,400 will be for furniture.
Terms are also to be negotiated for the lease of land to the East Midlands Electricity Board to erect a sub-station to serve the new school.

The Wolverton Express August 5th 1966

Old Stratford’s new school.

Work on Old Stratford’s new Primary School is now well under way and it is hoped that the building will be in use before Christmas.  This will be the first school for the village and will eventually hold between 80 and 90 youngsters.  The buildings which will cost about £30,500 stand at the rear of the Mounthill Avenue estate.  A spokesman for the Northants Education Department said it is hoped to open the school some time during the next term and certainly before Christmas.  Although it is being built for three classes when the school opens there will be two classes with a total of 50 pupils.   The first headmaster will be Mr J E Garner who has been the deputy head of a primary school in Huntingdonshire.

The Wolverton Express September 30th 1966


It is hoped that by the middle of next month the new Primary School at Old Stratford will be open.  Mr J E Garner will be the head teacher and some 50 pupils, who at present travel to Deanshanger each day, have accepted the opportunity to enter this, the village’s first modern state school.

The Mercury and Herald April 2nd 1970

The primary school at Old Stratford was opened in 1966.

Old Stratford Primary School opened in October, 1966.
It started with three classrooms catering for 53 pupils in two classes, one juniors, one infants. The third classroom was brought into use in the following April and in the September a fourth classroom was added to take a fourth class which had been using the hall for a year.
Mr. Garner and the three members of his staff are all keenly interested in music, which says the headmaster, draws from children a responce in action and creative work. Two of the staff are expert pianists, one being also an organist, and the third is an able violinist and a member of the Wolverton and District Orchestral Society.

The Wolverton Express October 15th 1971

‘Copters land on playground’

[newspaper image]

Children greet pilots with National Anthem on recorders

Like two giant birds felled by a shotgun blast, a pair of RAF Wessex helicopters drifted through thick fog  over Old Stratford on Tuesday night to make a pin-point landing on the primary school football field.
A little baffled the crews stepped cut to be greeted by a crowd of around 200 villagers who had watched the last few anxious minutes before touchdown.
To the children they were like astronauts returning from the moon. To parents and teachers they were just for rather embarrassed airmen faced to abandon their fight in poor visibility to find help, and what a reception they received.
The helicopters, with crews of four officers and two non-commissioned officers, were on their way from Leeming, Yorkshire, to Oldham, Hampshire, when they hit thick fog over North Bucks.
After landing they called up RAF Bicester to explain their predicament and two guards were sent to watch over the helicopters while the crews spent the night at the Cock Hotel, Stony Stratford. On Wednesday morning the fog had cleared
Headmaster of Old Stratford Primary School. Mr. John Garner said: Of course in the morning the children arrived for school and thought they were like Martians from outer space. They were fascinated.
“The crews took the covers off the helicopters and spent about an hour warming up the engines and getting ready to leave. They didn’t say why they were making the journey and we didn’t think it right to ask.”
It wasn't long before the children realised the importance of the visit and many dug out their recorders, formed themselves into a little band on the edge of the field and started playing the national anthem . . . "over and over again", said Mr. Garner. "In the end we had to tell them to come inside."
But the children's gesture impressed the airmen and after saying brief goodbyes took to the air again to return the compliment.
"There was a great roar from the engines and they took off, headed towards Deanshanger and then across to Potterspury and as they passed over the school in formation they dipped in a form of salute," said Mr. Garner.
With the strangers gone excitement in the school was high. Within minutes of the departure some children had made a mock-helicopter out of P.E. equipment in the main hall and others were busy looking up different RAF badges.
“Now they all want to be RAF pilots when they grow up." said Mr. Garner.
The Detachment Commander, before he left, thanked everyone for their kind hospitality.