Tag Archives: games

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 – 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.]