The BWI Archives

1923 ~ An Overview from the Log Book


Ruislip Church of England School
Log Book 1890-1925
(General Introduction - Opens in a new window)

- 1923 -

Since the Revised Code of 1862, schools had been required to keep a Log Book in which the principal teacher should make a brief daily record of any significant events. Although many aspects of the Code disappeared with the Education Act 1902, the keeping of the Log Book was retained. That for 1923 was kept by the Headmaster, John Chester.

Pupil attendance dropped off from the very high levels of two years previously. Chicken pox in the community would appear to have been the main cause in the first five months. Towards the end of the year there were issues with the oldest pupils, those over 14 years of age, coming to school, the leaving age having been raised in 1918.

While John Chester does not comment on his concerns about Arthur Robinson in the Log Book, the new teacher was certainly discussed at the Managers’ meetings that year. The visit of Mr Stobart HMI in February does not, of itself, indicate concerns, since there would need to be some form of observation at this stage in Mr Robinson’s career. It is possible that in part Benjamin Gott’s visit in April was related to these concerns. Since the previous year, the classes had been structured so that both the Headteacher and Arthur Robinson were teaching in the same room in order that John Chester could keep a check on the young teacher’s work.  This arrangement was retained at the start of the 1923-24 year (September) but a month later the locations of the classes were changed and Arthur Robinson was then in a room on his own.   

From the inserted note made on 4th June, there was some form of dispute amongst the staff; nowhere is the nature the disagreement identified. Of interest from an historical point of view is the note concerning the delivery to the school of a gramophone record of George V and Queen Mary’s recorded message to the children of the Empire.  There was the acquisition of a piano.  It would appear that neither the grand piano acquired by Thomas Marsh Everett, nor the ‘American Organ’ were any longer at the school.  

The work of the school cleaners, Mr and Mrs Soper continued to be poor, leading to their dismissal by the governors in March.  They were replaced by Mr & Mrs Casemore, and initially things improved.  However, this did not solve the problem, at least in 1923, given the nature of the comments added to the Log Book later in the year.  

At the end of the year William Gray retired as Vicar of St Martin’s Ruislip, his place being taken by Edward Cornwall-Jones.  This new incumbent was to play a decisive role in the survival of the Ruislip Church School over the next few years.  

John Chester noted with some pride those children who had gained scholarships to transfer to one of the secondary schools that gave access to state education beyond Standard VII.  Girls were also now involved in interschool matches, and the success of pupils in local interschool sports noted. Of regret, however, must have been the behaviour of some older children in the area.  These appear to have been local Ruislip children who had transferred to schools in Harrow, travelling there on the Metropolitan line. He must have been equally shocked by the behaviour of one of the school’s own pupils.



02/01/1923 A Children’s Fancy Dress party was held in the school today.  The Vicar, and Mr and Mrs Stobart were present.  The prizes were awarded by Mrs Stobart.
03/01/1923 The Infants’ party was held this afternoon.  The Vicar was again present for a short time.
09/01/1923 School re-opened this morning.  Several children are absent owing to chicken pox and two through measles.
12/01/1923 Robert Kerr was excluded today owing to contact with diphtheria.
19/01/1923 The cleaning of the school still remains very unsatisfactory.  Some of the desks had not been moved and the floor swept under them.
26/01/1923 Owing to the large number of cases of chicken pox the attendance for the month is low Average 166.8  887%
01/02/1923 I found the large dust bin full of hot cinders.  This is nothing but gross carelessness, as the cleaner has been told of this several times before.
12/02/1923 A fresh nurse visited the school this morning and after careful inspection excluded four children.  [LB1:449]

Mr Stobart, H.M. Inspector visited the school this afternoon to hear Mr. Robinson teach.

14/02/1923 Today being Ash Wednesday the children attended church till 9.40 a.m.
23/02/1923 The attendance this month is worse than last 88.0%  During this month and last there have been over thirty cases of chicken pox.
24/02/1923 A team of girls played the girls of Uxbridge County School today.  As our girls have been unable to practise owing to bad weather the result is very gratifying Uxbridge C.S. 16 goals, and Ruislip 6 goals.

The playground has been in such a bad state for several weeks owing to incessant rain that it has been impossible to take Physical Exercises out of doors.

28/02/1923 One of the staff made very grave complaints of the behaviour of children now attending Harrow schools, but who formerly attended this school.  I have experienced the same myself.  The attention of the Head Teachers of the schools in question has been called to the matter.  Mr Stobart HMI was a witness yesterday of this disorderly conduct.
28/02/1923 In the Vicar’s hand:
I tested the registers today & found them quite correct.

W.A.G. Gray

01/03/1923 I saw the Metropolitan stationmaster this morning with regard to the insolent behaviour of children at the station to members of the staff.  I was absent from school about half-an-hour.
02/03/1923 I left school today soon after 11 o’clock to go home as I was so unwell.
05/03/1923 I returned to school this morning.
09/03/1923 The Preliminary examination for entrance scholarships was held yesterday and today.  The 23 candidates worked their papers in Miss Weaving’s room under my supervision.  The fourth class had its lessons in the big room.
19/03/1923 Mr Robinson left school at twelve o’clock today, to go to Southampton to complete his Certificate Examination.
23/03/1923 Mr Robinson returned last night and took up his duties this morning. 

The doctor examined 15 children this afternoon.

26/03/1923 The doctor concluded his examination this morning.  23 children.
The nurse examined all the children this
[LB1:451] afternoon.

Mr E. Young called this afternoon with regard to the cleaning of the school.  I informed him that so far the work was being done satisfactorily by the new cleaners who had now being doing it for the last fortnight.

27/03/1923 Mrs Green was absent this morning.  She came in the afternoon at 1.45 p.m.  Unwell.
28/03/1923 Mrs Green left at 2.30 this afternoon to go to the prize giving at her daughter’s school. 

School broke up today for the Easter Holiday. 

Mrs Minett left early this afternoon 3.15 p.m. as she was going to Bury St. Edmunds. 83.9% for the week.

09/04/1923 School re-opened today.
13/04/1923 Attendance is much better.  94.1% for the week. 
The County Librarian called this afternoon.
16/04/1923 Mr Robinson is absent today owing to illness.
18/04/1923 Mr Robinson resumed duty this morning.

Nine children sat for examination today at Uxbridge for admission to the secondary school.

21/04/1923 Over 60 of the children attended a performance of ‘Twelfth Night’ at Uxbridge today.  Over 70 had previously seen ‘The Merchant of Venice’ March 7th.
25/04/1923 Mr Gott called this morning, and spent some time in the school.  He saw all the teachers.

(Sir Benjamin Gott, Secretary to Middlesex County Council Education Committee from 1902 to 1928).

26/04/1923 There was a holiday today for the Duke of York’s Wedding.
(This was the wedding of Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) at Westminster Abbey.)
27/04/1923 There are still several cases of chicken pox. 
The attendance for the month is a little better.  92.8%
04/05/1923 The girls played the girls of Belmont Road School at net-ball this afternoon.  The first team lost 13-9 but the second team won 18-4.
10/05/1923 Today, being Ascension Day the school was closed.
14/05/1923 Mr Settrington inspected the school today.
Whitsuntide holiday.
23/05/1923 Mr Bane called to see me this morning.

Mr Gott called this afternoon to bring the gramophone record of the King & Queen’s speech.
(This was the first commercial recording by a reigning monarch, recorded by the pre-electric process at Buckingham Palace. It was recorded by King George V and Queen Mary expressly for ‘the Boys and Girls of the British Empire” to mark Empire Day on the 24th May. )

24/05/1923 Empire Day was celebrated this morning.  All the children listened to the speeches of the King and Queen.  The march past and salute of ‘the Flag’ took place in the playground. There was a half holiday in the afternoon.
30/05/1923 In the Vicar’s hand:
I examined the registers this morning and found them quite correct.

W.A.G. Gray

04/06/1923 Added in the bottom margin of p.452 and top margin of p.453:
June 4th A conference was held today to try and reconcile differences
[LB1:453] between members of the staff.
(The nature of the differences are unknown.)
07/06/1923 The Vicar called in the morning with reference to the purchase of a pianoforte for the school.  Mr Stobart kindly sent a number of books to the school today.  Those suitable have been placed in the children’s school library, and a list of the others sent to the Education Committee for them to decide what shall be done with them.
13/06/1923 The annual school sports were held today at Uxbridge.  Annie Penfold won a prize in the High Jump.  There was a whole holiday.
25/06/1923 I had the official notice today that Leslie Dimbleby had won an entrance scholarship and Marjorie Minett an honorary scholarship to Uxbridge County School
(Uxbridge County School, opened by Middlesex County Council in 1907 was the original name for Bishopshalt Secondary School.)
27/06/1923 I received intimation today that Dorothy Fraser and Mary McAlpine had been successful in the examination to the Uxbridge Secondary School.
29/06/1923 The percentage for the Quarter is only 92.5.  The corresponding period for last year was 94.
06/07/1923 Interlinear insertion above the entry for the 12th :
Pianoforte arrived today .  School Managers paid £15 of the cost.
Further addition in red: JHC ?
Related to the letter fastened to p.453
12/07/1923 The Diocesan Examination was held today, therefore registers were not marked.
LB1:453 A typewritten letter on headed paper from Mr Gott to Mr Chester, is fastened to p.453:

June 25th 1923
Mr J.H. Chester,
C. of E. School,
Ruislip, Middx.

Dear Sir,
With reference to your letter of the 8th instant, I am directed to say that my Committee approve of the purchase of the Dale Forty piano at 42 guineas, subject to your Managers subscribing £15 towards the cost.  I shall be glad, therefore, if you will kindly order this piano for your school, and arrange for the account to be made out to the Middlesex Education Committee, and also if you will forward to me a cheque for £15 in respect of the Managers contribution.  The cheque should be made payable to the Middlesex Education Committee.

      Yours faithfully
               (signed) B.D. Gott

Added in red ink on top right hand corner: See Page 453 of Old Log Book

13/07/1923 Mrs Green is absent today owing to illness.
16/07/1923 Mrs Green returned this morning (1 day)
18/07/1923 The annual county championships were run &c at Uxbridge this afternoon.  Half holiday.
23/07/1923 Frank Turner (9) and two other smaller boys took one of the infant girls up Manor Way during the dinner hour.  Turner took down her clothes and behaved indecently.  One of the mothers was passing at the time and she informed Mrs Green.  I gave him a sound thrashing and am sending a note to his father.
25/07/1923 Mrs Minett was absent this afternoon from 2.15 p.m. to attend Speech Day at the County School.
26/07/1923 School broke up today for the Summer Holiday.  93.1% (attendance rate) for the month of July.
29/08/1923 School re-opened today.

Diocesan Report.  Inspection July 12th 1923
by Rev. E.G. Swain.

The children were everywhere well-informed, they had good knowledge of their Bible-subjects and of the text and meaning of the Catechism, which was intelligently repeated with good expression.  The same may be said of the Bible-passages learnt by heart which may indeed have been over-rehearsed.  A serious effort to acquit themselves well was noticeable in every group and nowhere was there any want of alertness in meeting unfamiliar types of question.  The highest class has been very soundly taught, doubtless in past years as well as this.  The general quality is very good and some of the elder girls are admirable.  

The teaching of the Infants has produced splendid results; the children have acquired a great deal of information, and shewed an interest in reproducing it.  There appeared now and then some exact definition in words which would have been better postponed, but the whole atmosphere and instruction were more than satisfactory.

(signed) H.J. Reginald Osborne
Diocesan Inspector.

Copy entry in the log book countersigned by the Vicar; this must have been made after Rev. Gray’s departure in October 1923:
E. Cornwall Jones

29/08/1923 The classes will be arranged as follows:-
  1st Class.

Standards V.VI.VII.



Head Teacher

Room A.


Standard   IV



Mr A.S.Robinson


Standard   III



Mrs Minett

Room B.


Standard    II. I



Miss Weaving         

Room C.





Miss Grist.

Room D





Mrs Green.

Room E

21/09/1923 I left school for half an hour this morning in order to see the Vicar. 
Mr. Bane called today.
24/09/1923 The Doctor attended this morning and examined 21 children.
28/09/1923 The attendance for the week is 95.4% and for the past Quarter 94.2%

Ruislip boys played Ickenham boys this afternoon. Ruislip 4 goals, Ickenham 1 goal.

02/10/1923 In the Vicar’s hand:
I examined the registers today & found them quite correct.  The attendance was very good.

William A.G. Gray

04/10/1923 Mrs Minett was taken ill this morning and had to go home. 
Mr Robinson is taking her class, and I take Classes I. II.
The lessons on the Time Table will not be adhered to.

The Vicar (Rev. W.A.G. Gray) gave a short address to the children previous to his going to Aboyne to live.

08/10/1923 Mrs Minett returned today.
15/10/1923 The floors of Rooms A. D and E are in a very unsatisfactory state, and there is no fire in Room A.  I have spoken to the cleaner about it.
17/10/1923 Miss Weaving is absent today with tonsillitis. 
Mrs Green will take her class, and Miss Grist both classes of Infants.
18/10/1923 School broke up today for the Mid-Term Holiday.
24/10/1923 School re-assembled today.

As the total number of children in Classes 3 and 4 is only 66, and Classes 1 and 2 number 72, Class 1 is removed to Room C and Class 2 to Room B.  By arranging the classes thus, the suggestion of H.M. Inspector will be carried out, namely, that Mr Robinson will have a separate classroom.

25/10/1923 Miss Weaving returned this morning, but will be unable to take Physical Exercises as her throat is still bad.
01/11/1923 Today being All Saints’ Day the children of Classes 1 and 2 attended church at 8.50
08/11/1923 News came this morning that Charles H. Wylde has been awarded an entrance scholarship at Uxbridge County School.  Three scholarships have been won this year.
30/11/1923 The percentage of attendance this week is the lowest since March last 87.2%  Percentage for November 91.5%
03/12/1923 The school is in a very filthy state this morning.  I have complained about it, to the school cleaner.
06/12/1923 There is no school today, as the premises are required for the General Election.
(The Conservatives, led by Stanley Baldwin, won the most seats but not an outright majority. Labour, led by Ramsay MacDonald, and H. H. Asquith's Liberals joined together to produce a hung parliament. As a result, MacDonald formed the first ever Labour government with tacit support from the Liberals. Being a minority, MacDonald's government only lasted 10 months and another general election was held in October 1924.)  

Mr. Robinson on Saturday mornings is taking a class of boys for construction of wireless apparatus.

14/12/1923 The Christmas Term Examination was completed today.

The attendance for some time past has been affected by the irregular attendance of the children who have attained the age of 14, and who are often kept away by their parents on the most trivial pretext.  It is only with the greatest difficulty they are made to attend at all.

21/12/1923 In the Vicar’s hand:
I, this day, examined the registers, and found them quite correct.

E. Cornwall Jones    Chairman of Managers

21/12/1923 School broke up this afternoon for the Xmas holiday.  The attendance this week has fallen to 88.6% Average 158.6  The percentage of attendance for the Quarter is 91.9



First uploaded: 5 March 2021
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