Article one in the Education in Feltwell Loop
One of the most up-to-date schools in Norfolk is the Voluntary Controlled School at Feltwell; it is under the able headmastership of Mr. G. Charlesworth and has an attendance of over 300 pupils. In looking back over the years one finds that Feltwell has not suffered for lack of schools, of sorts. A certain Mrs. Clarke Spencer, on becoming a widow in 1833, started a Dame's School at a cottage in the Beck under the patronage of Miss Clough, of the Hall, and ran it successfully for over a quarter of a century. She was grandmother to the late Miss Anna Spencer of the Old Post Office and died in 1870 at an advanced age. Judging by a photograph, school life under her was not a bed of roses. Her daughter Susan, who became Mrs. Hardman Prior in 1846, held a Night School at Oak House and taught the Art of Writing which girls attending the Endowed School were not taught. In 1872, according to a directory of that date, Thomas Rix was master and Mary Ann Macnally was of the Feltwell Endowed School. Miss Macnally, who was very strict in school, is said by the few who remember her, to have been "a charming little lady." She was organist at St. Mary's Church. Mr. Rix is best summed up in the folk-rhyme: -
The master is a very good man
He tries to teach us all he can;
Reading, Writing, Arithmetic,
But he never forgets to give us the stick.
The directory of 1872 speaks also of Miss Grimmers School and describes it as a "Ladies School -Music Taught; "but this appears to be rather misleading. Miss Jane Grimmer was an assistant teacher under Miss Macnally at the Endowed School and gave music lessons in the evening, at her father's house in Cock Street, to Feltwell young ladies; the house is now owned and occupied by Mrs. Llewellyn. Jane's father was a wheelwright and carpenter and his shop was at the back of the building. She eventually moved to London and worked at Whiteleys. She was a smart, well set up woman and was courted in her young days by a respectable and desirable young man, but it came to nothing owing to the interference of a certain Feltwell lady. She died, unmarried, in the Widows' Row in the house in which her sister Ursula died. There was yet another School at Feltwell run by Miss Emma Jane Spencer, half-sister to Miss Anna Spencer, and held at the Old Post Office on the Hill. She also gave music lessons and was organist at the Parish Church of St. Mary. She died unmarried in 1892, aged 45 years.
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