The BWI Archives

1892 ~ The Penny Bank


The Penny Bank

At their meeting of 8 August 1891 the Managers of the Ruislip School, in line with the Elementary Education Act 1891, had agreed to abolish the charging of fees to parents of children who attended the school. It is likely that at the same meeting the Vicar (Rev. T.M. Everett) had put forward a suggestion that parents be encouraged to place the money saved through the provision of 'free education' in a savings account for their child's future - The Penny Bank - and that this would be run by the school.  The Manager's reaction is not recorded on this occasion, though from comments the Vicar made in the January edition of the Parish Magazine that they were not very supportive of the idea, and this is reinforced when we find a record of the Vicar again raising the subject with them at their meeting of 9th September 1893. The reason for their unwillingness to support the venture was totally appropriate: the Vicar was asking that school funds be used to guarantee an appropriate interest payment to 'investors', should the Post Office Savings Bank fail to deliver a certain level of intrest - clearly the paying of 'interest' to private individuals was not an appropriate use of what were effectively public funds!  In the event, the Vicar still went ahead and made the suggestion to parents that they pay the 'School Pence' into a savings account for their child at a meeting held by the Managers with parents on the 19th October 1891.  The School Penny Bank was duly set up in November 1891 (see the 1891 article on the Penny Bank).  Having received appropriate approval from the Post Office Authorities, the Vicar set out in some detail how the scheme would work in the January 1892 edition of the Parish Magazine.  Mr Garrett, the Master, also refers to it several times in his Log Book entries.

January, 1892
from the Vicar's monthly letter: 

My dear parishioners,
You will find published this month the rules of the School Penny Bank.  With regard to rule three, I should like to explain that a child may continue a depositor after leaving School until that child reaches the age of fourteen, if continuing to reside in the Parish.  My chief desire in establishing the Bank was to retain the deposits until (1) they reach the sum of £5, which is the limit, according to rule five; or (2) until the depositor reached the age of fourteen, an age, perhaps, when money is most needed to start the young in employment of some kind or other.

I am sorry that the Managers of the School did not see their way to join me in the Trusteeship of the Bank, owing to their disinclination to guarantee the annual interest which would be required.  I therefore pledge the interest on my own responsibility as Treasurer.  But I have not the least doubt that there are some parishioners who will help me to raise the necessary sum, and thus encourage those who deposit in the Bank on the principle of “helping those who help themselves.”  There is scarcely a better method of helping our cottagers, or their children, than by encouraging them to be thrifty, and if that lesson be learnt in childhood and youth, it may last on through riper years.


Rules of Ruislip Church of England School Penny Bank

1.  Deposits of one penny and not exceeding sixpence will be received at the School every Monday (except during holidays) at the close of afternoon school.

2.  The money received will be invested in the Post Office Savins Bank, on behalf of the above-named Penny Bank, in the name of Thomas Marsh Everett, Vicar of the Parish, as Treasurer.

3.  Depositors may not withdraw their deposits until such time as they leave the Parish or School or reach the age of twelve years, when the amount standing to their account may be transferred to the P.O.S.B. in their own names, but the account need not necessarily be transferred until the depositor reaches the age of fourteen years.

4.  Depositors must be children whose names are on the books of the School.

5.  No depositor will be allowed to have in this Penny Bank more than £5 in all.  On reaching this sum the account will be transferred to the P.O.S.B. in depositor’s own name, and the depositor will cease to have any further interest in, or claim on this Bank.

6.  Each depositor will be furnished with a bank-book free of charge.

7.  Strict secrecy will be observed respecting all deposits.

8.  Interest will be allowed at the rate of one shilling in the £ on all deposits made within the first year of opening an account.  After that period interest will be allowed at the rate of eightpence in the £ per annum.



First uploaded: 21 April 2018
Last revised: 28 April 2018