Category Archives: Register

Memories from the Archives – Part 6

In January I did a talk as part of the Thursday lunchtime recital room series. It was entitled ‘Memories from the Archives’ and I talked about a number of memories from Old Scholars. I’ll share the photographs and text from the talk in several parts on the blog. Read Part 1 herePart 2 herePart 3 herePart 4 here and Part 5 here.

Moving on into the 20th century now, Eric Henry Richardson was at Bootham between 1901 and 1904, during the rebuilding and opening of the new buildings after the fire. He recounts his experiences in the school fire brigade in the 1914 Register. Below are photographs of the fire brigade from 1911, slightly later than Eric’s time, but they give an idea of what the fire brigade looked like.

Bootham fire brigade 1911 lr Bootham firebrigade 2 1911 lr

“During my captaincy of the Fire Brigade I had the “privilege” of extinguishing an outbreak of fire in No. 2 bedroom. This was caused by the fusion of an electric light wire melting the adjoining gas pipe and igniting the gas under the floor. The thoughtfulness of Stephenson in turning off the gas meter in some mysterious corner of his “hole”, quenched the outbreak discouragingly soon from the Brigade point of view. One of the masters, realising with great presence of mind that some implement was necessary to tear up the boarding and get to the seat of the trouble, rushed downstairs, obtained a pickaxe from Stephenson (who had already turned off the gas), and proceeded, by excited miss-hits, to do considerable damage to both sound floor boards and mantelpiece jambs. With one bucket of water my Brigade extinguished the smouldering boards, but I have always somehow entertained a sneaking feeling that the honours of the day were with Stephenson. This outbreak occurred at 6.55am, just as the boys were dressing. If the wire had fused 10 minutes later when everyone was in the John Bright Library, the consequences must have been disastrous, and Bootham would have had for a second time to rise Phœnix like from her ashes with greater glory still.”.

The programme for the 2015-16 series of Thursday Recital Room events can be found on the school website.

Memories from the Archives – Part 4

In January I did a talk as part of the Thursday lunchtime recital room series. It was entitled ‘Memories from the Archives’ and I talked about a number of memories from Old Scholars. I’ll share the photographs and text from the talk in several parts on the blog. Read Part 1 herePart 2 here and Part 3 here.

Joshua Rowntree

Joshua Rowntree (1844-1915; Bootham 1856-60)

Joshua Rowntree also attended Bootham at around the same time as Edward R. Allen (see Part 3). His entry in the 1914 Register includes some memories. “I started life at Bootham as a ‘brat’, subject, with eleven others, to a weekly foot washing by “Pea on a Broomstick”, as a tall housemaid with a small head was known amongst us.” We know very little about the non-teaching staff at the school from earlier years – often the only clues you have are brief mentions such as this.

Joshua goes on to talk about what he learned at school: “One thing I learned fairly well – to make fires. We might volunteer for stoking, receiving, I think, 6d. a week in recompense. It was a longish way from No. 2 bedroom to the schoolroom grates on cold, dark mornings, but a boy ought to know how to build up a fire quickly, and I never regretted the work.”

He also mentions games: “It was the pre-scientific period for games. Cricket was rather haphazard, and the junior club often resolved itself into discussions in the high key. Football had not come. Stag a rag was one of the best playground games with the rare exceptions of a big slide in time of frost, and Run-across was naturally enjoyable to a fair sized fellow. Boys who had sisters at the Girls’ school got a good run each week to accomplish their ‘visit’ in the half-hour after breakfast at Castlegate; and in after years in the hour before dinner at the Mount. The latter time was seriously curtailed when Mr. Hill and the old ferryman happened to be at the wrong side of the river with both boats together.”

It wasn’t until 1862 that the first football match was played, and Lendal Bridge wouldn’t open until 1863. As far as I can find out, Stag a rag appears to have been a version of tag.

1914 Register – rats, paper bags, election results and figs

Happy New Year!

Even though it is now 2015, I’m continuing the series of 1914 Register posts. Many thanks to Claire, one of the volunteers, for researching the post.

Joseph Mennell (1815-1863; at school at Lawrence Street prior to 1829)

At school was known as Wm. Simpson’s (the Head Master’s) lieutenant, and used to fetch and load the former’s gun for him when he shot rats in the moat ditch on the opposite side of the Foss Islands Road from the schoolroom window during lessons.

Joshua O’Brien (1858-1931; Bootham 1871-73)

Apprenticed at Manufacturing Stationery business with Marcus Ward & Co, Belfast. Landed in Sydney, N.S.W., 1887: Brisbane, Queensland 1888. Established paper bag manufactory in 1891, which now (1913) is the only power paper bag factory in the State of Queensland. One of the first in the State to experiment in the use of hydrocyanic acid gas for the destruction of scale insects on fruit trees, and also to experiment in use of cotton netting for the protection of growing fruits from the Queensland fruit fly: both methods being successfully employed in the State.

Gilbert Porteous (1894-1917; Bootham 1908-11)

At time of the General Election on 1910 was a member of No. 5 Bedroom. Being interested in the results of polls in his native city, on the night that result was being announced, he, along with several others, kept awake, and when a boy came along Bootham selling the midnight edition of the evening paper, he threw a penny on the road, and letting down a string pulled up the paper. Hardly had they digested the results when they were deprived of their booty by an unexpected visitor.

Thomas Binns Robson (1843-1925; Bootham 1856-60)

“Fielden Thorp”, he says “was constantly remarking on the awkward way I walked, and my answer always was “Why don’t you drill us?” So one day he put me through my facings which, of course, created a crowd of spectators, and he made them all fall into line and we had a drilling lesson, which was followed by others under the same tuition, and later a military drill instructor was obtained who, I am afraid, did not strengthen our Quaker peace principles. In number 2 we had a store of sticks up the chimney, which we had broadsword exercises when we ought to have been in bed”. Hobbies – After 4 or 5 years of failure, 3 years ago, succeeded in introducing the Fig Wasp (Blastophaga Grossorum), which breeds only in the male or Capri-fig and carries the pollen into the female or Edible figs, in its search for the dormant female flower in the ovaries of which it lays its eggs, which only occur in the male fig. He says “It is the only case I know of where a flower is fertilised through an insect making a mistake. The common sorts of figs grown for eating do not need fertilising, though improved by it, but the Smyrna drying and other figs of that class drop all their fruit when half grown, unless fertilised, and it is the drying fig that I am going for now.”

1914 Register – cricket, rats, fire and escape plans

This post continues from earlier posts with extracts from the 1914 edition of the Bootham School Register. Thanks to Claire, one of the volunteers, for researching the post.

Arthur Frederic Gravely (B. 1869-70)

Played in the annual cricket match with Schoolroom against the Seniors when, with I.H. Wallis as captain, they beat the Seniors in one innings: Remembers Septimus Marten’s great throw from the far side of the then adjoining field over the row of trees dividing that from the cricket field, the ball falling within a yard of the wicket: Postcards came into use whilst at Bootham, and he wrote and posted one the first day of issue to his sister at the Mount. Has a vivid recollection of J. Edmund Clark, then a teacher, learning to ride an early bicycle (“Boneshaker”) on the playground: also of a most enjoyable school excursion to Goathland, where he climbed a fir tree and brought down a nest of young squirrels for inspection, and afterwards with his clothes on slipped on a stone, and, to quote the words of an old song, “He caught a fine duck in the river”. Once when troubled with boils he went to Fielden Thorp, who welcomed him with the following “Come hither, come hither, my little boy, and do not tremble so, for I can prick the biggest boil that you ever did yet grow”.

Joseph Foster Lloyd (Lawrence St. 1844-45 and B.1846-49)

Became a Coal and Iron Merchant until his health broke down: Of rather retiring character, and as an invalid for some years before his death: At school he was a daring boy – watching a water rat in Langwith Long Lane, was greeted by John Ford with a “At him, Joe,” and without a moment’s hesitation he plunged into the ditch after the rat.

 Herbert Thomas Malcolmson (1897-1900)

At Bootham under John F. Fryer and Arthur Rowntree he remembers the “fire”, when he lost quite a number of Natural History specimens – in fact, some of his skulls were in the pot left boiling, and which is thought caused the fire, although he was not in charge.

George Mennell (Lawrence St. prior to 1829)

Arranged in conjunction with Henry Binns and John Bright to run away from school to America. H.B was caught on leaving the school premises and obliged to reveal the plan. JB., who had started second, pursued and caught on Tadcaster Road. G.M reached Leeds on foot, and was there found waiting for the others at the inn whence the coach to Liverpool was to start.

1914 Register – temperance and building a camera

Thanks again to Claire for researching this post.

It has to be said that reading personal accounts from Old Scholars has been a pure delight. Some accounts of time spent here were heart-warming, some thought provoking, some showing the variety of skills and experiences learnt from and some truly hilarious. We have captured some of those for you here – as we work through the Register there will be many more stories to tell!

Charles Heber Dymond (Bootham 1903-06)

“I worked ‘til about 21 years old in N.E.R. Locomotive shops at Gateshead and Darlington in the drawing offices of my fathers firm Vaughn & Dymond. I went out to San Paulo, Brazil as Assistant Manager to Anglo-Brazilian Forging, Steel Structural & Imparting Co. In 1912 I returned to the office at Vaughn & Dymond. Hobbies: Locomotive model building, cycling, tennis and motoring.

Alfred Russell Ecroyd (Bootham 1856-60)

In 1909 introduced the idea of total abstinence for the individual and prohibition for the State into Spain by distribution of some 60,000 temperance pamphlets by post and by hand throughout all the 49 provinces of Spain. All the 15,000 Doctors of Spain received one or more of these tracts in 1909, resulting in a revolution of medical practice in Madrid, Barcelona and other places where previously it was the fashion to order wine for nearly every ailment, to a general custom of ordering their patients to abstain, at all events during medical treatment. In one town this change reduced the mortality in 1909 to one-half of any previous year from 28 per 1000 to 14.5. In 1910, founder and first Editor of “El Absetmio” a quarterly temperance newspaper 40,000 copies of which are annually distributed gratuitously throughout Spain by the Spanish Anti-alcohol League, which he founded in 1911: In 1904-1906 in conjunction with the Wisbech Peace Society – the translation and distribution of 10,000 Peace tracts throughout all the provinces of Spain: Hobbies – National History, especially entomology, genealogy, meteorology, drawing and painting.

Walter Henry Fox (Bootham 1868-69)

[I feel his wife should firstly be given special mention for - Children: Frederick Neidhart (1881), Marie (1882), Elsie Henrietta (1883), Gertrude Emma (1885), Walter Egbert (1886), Dorothy Isabel (1887), Howard Neidhart (1888), Margaret Newsom (1890), John Prideau (1893), Amy Gertrude (1895), Helen Sophie (1897).] Walter has recollections of games, pranks, etc., such as heating old coppers and throwing them from the bedroom window to the old watchman: sticking pins in Junior Master’s alarm clock so that he overslept himself: Grateful recollection of special trouble taken by Fielden Thorp in his writing and reading.

Alexander Grace (Bootham 1853-54)

Together with William S Clark built a camera which was the first introduction of photography as a hobby in school : He says “The only time we were allowed off the premises (unless we had special leave to go into town) was Wednesday morning once a month, when we had a half-holiday walk, under care of the teachers, which was mostly devoted to our hobbies: Wednesday afternoons were given for our own useful employment in the school room : Before going into York I was very fond of making models; one Wednesday afternoon I was building “Aspley House” in cardboard, one of the teachers asked me if I thought it was a good way of employing my time, which stopped me, and I never did any modelling afterwards. We were not allowed newspapers – the Russian War was going on at the time – our head teacher, Till Adam Smith, used to read us extracts, keeping is posted up in what was going on”. [The headmaster at this time was in fact John Ford.]

1914 Register – moths, skating and football

In 1914 the first edition of the Bootham School Register was published. It included (as far as was known) the names, dates and biographies of all the boys that attended the school up to that date. 1988 names were included in all. As well as being a useful way of finding out about Old Scholars, it provides a useful insight into the period, for example what occupations people had, and how they spent their free time. It also includes a number of memories of schooldays. A number of the entries make reference to the character of the individual.

1914 Register

Below are some examples of extracts from the Register (hopefully the first in a series of posts).

Thomas Henry Allis (Lawrence St 1830-31) Osbaldwick, York, Commercial Traveller … Apprenticed to Jarvis Brady, Leeds, Grocer : later was with Godfrey Woodhead, Manchester : Latterly in shop, and then travelled for Tuke & Co., Tea Merchants, Castlegate, York : Taste – T.H.A. inherited much of his father’s taste as a naturalist – His sister, the late Elizabeth Pumphrey, wrote: “T.H.A. took to his Father’s Collection of Lepidoptera [group including butterflies and moths] and amalgamated them with his own, which was ultimately, I believe, second to but one out of London. This collection was, after T.H.A.’s death, presented to the York Museum. T.H.A. was accustomed to go into the woods with a dark lantern to sugar the trees and fences, and on returning the following evening to capture such moths, etc., as were caught : On one occasion he was accosted as a poacher by a keeper near Heslington. One summer he thought that the Convolvulus Sphinx moth ought to be found about a bed of Petunias that he saw in James Backhouse’s Nurseries in Fishergate, and he persisted in going to the gardens night after night until he was rewarded by finding numbers of what was thought to be almost extinct in the neighbourhood….”

William Henry Broadhead (Bootham 1855-58) An enthusiastic archaeologist and naturalist ; Spent much time in photographing and recording the Templar Marks on old houses in Leeds, most of which are now pulled down : embodied results of researches in paper read before Thoresby Society : Also interested in Egyptology, especially in connection with Pyramids : Hobbies – Photography, lock-mending.

Samuel Southall Burlingham (Bootham 1870-72) Hobbies – A devotee of fen skating and touring on the ice (when there is any in England). In 1881 traversed on ice almost the whole distance from the mouth of the River Nene to the Trent, near Gainsborough, via Spalding, Boston and Lincoln. In 1903 skated nearly 100 miles in one day.

Jackson Ebenezer Day (Lawrence St 1839) Within 5 minutes of his arrival at Lawrence Street he produced from his playbox a football, which he kicked across the playground. Up went a window, and J. Ford called out “Ebenezer Day, we do not allow such rough games as football here.” Many years after [in1862] J. Ford introduced the game himself, giving the ball the first kick.