The BWI Archives

1927 ~ The Managers' Minute Books

                                

Ruislip Church of England School
Managers’ Minute Book 1
903-1955
     
(General Introduction - Opens in a new window)

- 1927 -

Below we present the record of meetings the Managers held during 1927.  The first two took place without the Vicar due to his ill health.  

Early in the year a decision had to be taken about a replacement for Arthur Smith when he took up the Headship of the new county secondary school. Since the church school would be significantly reduced in size and age range, with the transfer of all children aged 12 and above (possibly around 50 in number) at Easter, the Managers made an internal appointment, Beatrice Grist, the longest serving member of staff at the time (appointed in April 1910), and one who had proved herself an able teacher. Unfortunately, they also had to make Edward Wraight redundant in order to bring the staff ratio in line with the number of pupils that would be on roll. The Log Book suggests that he was able to find an alternative post.

Much of the Managers’ time was occupied with trying to save the Church of England status of the school.  This process had begun the previous year when it became apparent that the necessary works to the building would be too expensive to implement.  They had already considered leasing the building for 25 years to Middlesex County Council, who would then pay for all upgrading to meet the appropriate standards.  However, this would require the school losing its religious affiliation, something they were very loath to do.  The greater part of 1927 had the Managers testing out other sources of funding.  During the discussions there is an interesting allusion to ‘road making charges’. The reference is not clear; roads in the nineteenth century were maintained by the parish Vestry (as evidenced by Thomas Marsh Everett’s occasional references to them in the Parish Magazine).  This responsibility presumably passed to Uxbridge and then Ruislip and Northwood Urban District Councils after the turn of the century. These ‘road making charges’ suggest that a discrete levy was being placed on all property, including the school, to assist in funding road construction and repair. The Managers, therefore, wanted to know what liability might exist for them, once the school was leased to Middlesex County Council.   

As the Managers were unwilling to seal the fate of the school themselves, they arranged a public meeting for June, but from that it was clear parishioners were not prepared to maintain the school if the result was a significant financial burden that could not be afforded.

The advent of Miss Laura Sawbridge, however, seemed to offer hope that a new building could be erected, one that fully met the then current requirements

The events recorded over the 1920s in the Ruislip Church School Managers’ Minute Books were also being played out across England. While Laura Helen Tudor Sawbridge (1875-1942) was to play a pivotal role in the survival of the Ruislip Church School, she was also active on this national level. She was the oldest child of the Rev. John Sikes Sawbridge who was the Rector of Thelnetham and Canon of St Edmundsbury.  Through the 1920s various parliamentary education bills generated much discussion about the future of church schools and the place of religion in education. To greatly simplify the various issues, the leadership of the Anglican Church increasingly found it difficult to maintain its schools and therefore looked for an appropriate compromise with the state.  One approach would be to abandon the ‘dualist’ arrangement of church and state schools, in return for the state providing all the financial support for the church schools. This in essence, was the route that had been proposed for the Ruislip school by Sir Benjamin Gott. At the same time there was controversy as to whether religion should be taught in state funded schools.  Both Laura Sawbridge and her father were vocal on a national level in their concern that the disappearance of church schools and the lack of religious teaching in the county schools would lead to a secularisation of the country and with it a lowering of moral standards. Two associations were formed that fought for the retention of church schools (the Church Schools Emergency League, initially focused on Manchester, and the Association for the Defence of Church Schools.) Their main contentions were that in surrendering church schools to funding by the state, they would be passing significant control of their buildings to local authorities, that they would lose managerial majority in decision making processes relating to their schools (moving from 2/3rd to 1/3rd church representation), and they would sacrificed the power to appoint Head teachers. (This aspect of English education history is poorly reported in any detail, however see George Sochan, The Cultural Role of Christianity in England, 1918-1931: an Anglican Perspective on State Education, PhD thesis, Loyola University, Chicago, 1995, and George Sochan, ‘The Failure of the Amending Bill: No National Consensus for Religious Education in England, 1920-1923’, Review of History and Political Science, Vol.3 No. 2, December 2015, 7-20.)

What stood out in Laura Sawbridge’s involvement at Ruislip, was her tireless efforts to avoid the loss of the Church affiliation, and that she appeared to have had connections in the right places that local clergy did not have.  Her papers held at the London Metropolitan Archive relating to the Ruislip Church School show that she was also actively engaged in supporting the survival of a number of other Church Schools.  Unfortunately towards the end of 1927, despite Laura Sawbridge raising the hopes of the Ruislip Managers, these were dashed just a few weeks later. 

It should be noted that the Vicar’s minute keeping was extensive during this period, though in places could lack clarity.  Presentation of material in the Minute book includes several printed items.  Where these have been inserted, we have provided a hyperlinked thumbnail, and a brief description of the content.

   

 

MMB2:115-16

March 11th 1927

A Meeting of the Managers was held in the Church Room 
at 7.30 p.m.

Present:      Mrs Todd, Miss Cornwall-Jones, Mr Edwards, Mr Hanhart
                   and Mr Carter in the Chair. 
Mr Lees was unable to be present until later in the evening.

 

 

1.

The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed.

 

 

2

Two outstanding accounts from Mr Davey and Mr Batten for £30 and 7 respectively were passed for payment, the first being cost of preparing plans and estimates for additions to school buildings & the second for repairs to same.

 

 

3.

A letter from the Secretary, Middlesex Education Committee, concerning proposed alterations to existing body of school Managers in Northwood, by addition of Ruislip representatives was read, but as it was understood that this proposal was being reconsidered with a view to the present body of Ruilsip Managers continuing with the addition others to be appointed by the M.E.C. the following names for submission to the Committee was suggested, if willing to serve.

Mr Nott, Mr W. Mansford, Mr W. Lavender
Mr Cook, Mrs Smedley, Mrs Ball

 

 

4.

A letter from the Secretary M.E.C. dated March 4th with reference to appointment of a Head Mistress and arrangements for assistant staff was read

On the proposal of Mr Edwards, seconded by Mr Hanhart, the recommendation of Miss Grist as Headteacher was unanimously agreed, and with regard to the assistant staff it was proposed by Mr Hanhart, & seconded by Mr Edwards. that Mr Wraight be informed that he would not be required after the reorganisation and that this be confirmed subject to agreement by the Middlesex Education Committee

 

 

5.

The Managers expressed regret that the Vicar was prevented through illness from being present at the meeting and requested Miss Cornwall-Jones to convey to him their hope that he would soon be recovered.

 

D H Carter
April 7th 1929

 

 

MMB2:116-17

April 4th 1927

A Meeting of the Managers was held in the Church Room 
at 8.15 p.m.,

Present:      Mrs Todd, Mr Lees, Mr Hanhart, Mr Edwards,
                  Mr Clifton Davey and Mr Carter in the Chair.

 

 

1.

The minutes of previous meeting were read and confirmed.

 

 

2.

Mr Lees stated that notice had been given to terminate the services of Mr Wraight, assistant teacher, and that the post of Headmistress had been offered to Miss Grist, who had accepted it, and signed the usual agreement.

 

 

3.

Letters from Sir Benjamin Gott and the <Middlesex County Council> Board of Education with reference to the proposed alterations to the school buildings, was read.  Mr Davey stated that the points detailed in the letter from the Board of Education did not much differ from those embodied in the proposals already submitted by the school managers and that the estimate of their probable cost was £850 which could be to spread over a limited number of years.  

A discussion ensued on the possibilities of raising the money and the best means of doing so, should it be decided to proceed.

The wisdom of undertaking the task, in view of the existing debt on the church finances and the commitments in respect of church repairs was also considered, the alternative being the leasing of the school building to the Middlesex Education Committee on the terms of their memorandum.

It was finally agreed to adjourn the meeting, pending a visit from one of the Managers to Canon Maplesden, & if possible to arrange for him to come down and address the Easter Vestry and Church Meeting on the subject.

Mr Edwards kindly consented to see Canon Maplesden and report further, meanwhile the matter would remain in abeyance.

The meeting then adjourned.

 

May 23 1927

E Cornwall Jones Chairman

 

 

 

MMB2:118

(The following cancelled:)

May 23 1927

All members were present
at a managers meeting held on
May 23. 1927

 

 

MMB2:118-19

<May 23 1927>

A Meeting of the Managers was held at the Vicarage
      & the Vicar in the Chair

 

 

 

The minutes of the previous meeting were read & confirmed as correct

 

 

 

The Vicar intimated that Sir Benjamin Gott had written endorsing the appointment of Miss Grist as Head Mistress of the Juniors Mixed and Infant School (Church of England).

 

 

 

A letter was read from Miss Grist requesting (on behalf of the Board of Education) that an agreement be entered into between the Managers and the newly appointed Head Mistress. The Chairman said that he had written for the form and Mr Lees kindly consented to fill in the same on behalf of the Managers.

 

 

 

It was decided to nominate the Vicar as Chairman of Managers for the Ruislip Council Schools at the first meeting summoned for that purpose; to be held on May 24 1927 and that Mrs Smedley be nominated as Vice Chairman.

 

 

 

After a very detailed discussion of the present position of the Church of England schools, and the demand for road-making changes, the gravity of the situation was realised to be so great that on the motion of Mr H. Edwards, seconded by Mr Carter, it was resolved to summon a meeting of all known church people by advertisement, to be held in the church room, and to invite Canon Maplesden to explain the position.

 

 

 

The Managers did not feel that the decision as to future of the school should be determined by them without consultation with the laity of the parish.

The arrangements for this meeting were to be left in the hands of Mr Edwards, who undertook to get the posters printed and to communicate with & to entertain? The Diocesan Director, Canon Maplesden

 

E Cornwall Jones June 30 1927

 

 

    

MMB2:119,121
June 30
1927

     

A Meeting of Managers was held in the Vicarage on
Monday, June 30th 1927 at 8.45 p.m.
The Vicar presiding.
The members present were Mrs Todd, Mr Carter, Mr Edwards

 

 

 

The Chairman read the minutes of previous meeting, which were confirmed as correct.

 

 

 

He also reported that he had presided on Monday June 30th in the Church Room, Ruislip, at a public meeting of parishioners, duly convened to consider the position of the Ruislip church of England Schools.

After considerable discussion, assisted throughout by Canon Maplesden, Diocesan Director of Education, who explained in detail the demands of the <Middlesex County Council> Board of Education, and the limited extent of financial assistance to be expected from sources outside the parish, and the meeting then voted on the following resolution, proposed by Mr Thomas Clough, seconded by Mr Dixon Smith, (both members of the Ruislip Parochial Church Council)

Resolution

“This meeting having heard from the Managers a statement of the position of the Ruislip Church of England Schools and being unable to guarantee funds to carry out the requirements of the Board of Education, reluctantly acquiesces in the Managers negotiating with the Middlesex Education Committee for the transfer of the aforesaid schools.”.

 

The Managers present reviewed this position, and it was unanimously resolved that a letter should be sent to Sir Benjamin Gott, Secretary to the M.E.C stating that the Managers were willing to negotiate a transfer to the M.E.C. on the terms of its recent offer, and would be glad to receive from him a draft of the lease and other instruments in which it is proposed to embody the provisions of its circular of January 1926

E Cornwall Jones
Chairman August 4 1927

MMB2:120

Poster advertising meeting

 

Report of the meeting as given in The Ruislip Outlook for Mid-July 1927

 

MMB2:122

 

Cutting from Advertiser and Gazette June 24 1927

     

MMB2:123

Middlesex Education Committee, transfer circular E 9/1926

(Note added later in the hand of Dixon Smith:)
See page 133, a transfer to the MC Council was not proved necessary – the church through the Diocese rebuilt the whole school & it would be carried on as a C of E school. 

  

MMB2:124

A Managers’ Meeting was held at the Vicarage on
Thursday, August 4 1927.
The Vicar presiding
Present:      the Wardens & Mr Hanhart

 

 

 

Minutes read & confirmed

 

 

 

A letter from the Secretary of the Middlesex Education Committee dated July 29 1927 was read & considered and the correspondent instructed to reply asking for a draft of the promised instrument of the lease of transfer and that then the letter should be forwarded to Canon Maplesden for his advice.

E. Cornwall Jones Chairman
October 15 1927

 

 

MMB2:124-25

Oct 16 1927

   
<Sunday, October 16th 1927>

A Managers Meeting was held in St Martins Church, after Mattins,

the Vicar presiding

An apology from unavoidable absence received from Mr H Edwards, all others present

 

 

 

A letter was read from Sir B. Gott requesting an early decision as to the inclusion in, or exclusion of the Teacher’s House from the Transfer.

It was resolved to ask the opinion of the Diocesan Director of Education.  The unanimous feeling was in favour of retaining the School House if possible but only if a reasonable adjustment of the road charges could be made as between the Trustees and the Middlesex Education Authority.

The Chairman was asked to communicate with Sir B. Gott as to the proportion of road making changes to be basically the Middlesex Education Committee & Trustees respectively.

 

 

Adjournment

The meeting to stand adjourned until the correspondent had seen or heard from Canon Maplesden & Sir Benjamin Gott.

E. Cornwall Jones
Chairman October 24 1927

 

 

MMB2:125

Managers meeting

Nov 20/27
Dec 19 1927
Vicarage


   
A Meeting of Managers was held in the Vicarage
on Sunday, November 20th at 5.15
<p.m.>

All present to meet Miss Sawbridge and Mr Clifford Davey, who presented the revised plans of the schools and proposed Parish Church Hall.

 

 

Resolution

The following resolution was unanimously adopted

“This Meeting of Managers, having received a report from Miss Sawbridge, with accompanying plans, prepared by Mr Clifton Davy, of a reconstruction of the Schools with suitable Assembly Hall, is unanimously of the opinion that such a scheme should, if possible, be carried, and pledge themselves to do all within their power to realise the proposed scheme.”

E Cornwall Jones
Chairman

 

 

MMB2:126-29

Managers meeting at Aldbury
Dec 19
1927

  
   
On Monday evening December 19th 1927, there was a full meeting of the Mangers through the courtesy of Mr Carter 
at Aldbury, King Edward Road

 

The minutes of the previous meeting were read & confirmed.

 

 

 

The Vicar, in the Chair, reported that he had received a letter from Canon Maplesden, dated December 15th, attached herewith, and that he had interviewed the Diocesan Director.

 

 


Copy of letter to Canon Cornwall-Jones from Canon Maplesden

 

  

The Bishop

The Chairman also reported that he had written to the Bishop of London, explaining the situation, impressing upon his lordship the importance and value of the existing site & buildings of the Church Schools; but that its present state of dilapidations hinders, rather than helps the church, as parents resent the compulsory attendance of their children, while better facilities are offered by the adjacent Council Schools.

The Church Schools still remain congested, notwithstanding the large draft of the upper classes to the new Council Schools.  As the Council Schools can only take a third of the scholars still left in the Church Schools, we are occupying a good position to preserve the children up to eleven, of the reasonable demands of the Board of Education.  But it would be very prejudicial to the spiritual influence of the church with the new population if we were only able to offer a feeble patched up scheme of repairs.

It was entirely impracticable to expect the parish to raise 80% of the cost.  In addition to maintain our Quotas, we have already raised £1,200 for the necessary repairs of the church; and a similar amount was required to avert disaster.

 

 

Ecclesiastical commission

The Vicar also reported an enquiry from the Secretary to the Ecclesiastical Commission, as to the terms of the School Trust, and the use made of the land transferred from the Glebe for a Parish Hall; and the reply sent to Sir Stamford Downing, the secretary.

 

 

Miss Sawbridge

Correspondence from Miss Sawbridge also from Miss Adams, a member of the Diocesan Executive, was read, in which it was clear that the necessary financial support for an adequate scheme was not available.

A very detailed discussion of the position resulted in the following resolution being proposed by Mr Harry Edwards, and seconded by Mr Hanhart, and carried unanimously:

Resolution (1)

“That in view of sufficient financial support for the scheme outlined by Miss Sawbridge not being forthcoming, and the urgent need to putting the schools into a proper state of repair; this Meeting of Managers is of the opinion that the proposed transfer by lease to the Middlesex Education Committee be proceeded with, and that further delay is not justified.”

 

 

Resolution (2)

It was moved by Mr Lees (Peoples’ Warden), and seconded by Mrs Todd,

that this meeting desires to place on record its appreciation of the interest shown in, and support made by Miss Sawbridge to retain the school for the church”

Carried unanimously

 

 

Canon Maplesden

The Vicar reported the result of his interview with the Diocesan Director who expressed the opinion that the school site could not be used for a Parish Hall. without risk of reverting? to the Donors as to the Educational Authority.

Also that the Diocesan financial resources could not meet the demands, having regard to other parishes, where the schools were Senior, and not Juniors and Infants, as were ours.

E Cornwall Jones
Chairman July 19/1928

              

             

First uploaded: 15 March 2021
Last revised: 19March 2021