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History of Ash and Ridley from Earliest Records to 1957
                    
Compiled by Dorothy G. Meager on behalf of Ash and Ridley Women's Institute           Page 37

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Schools

During the period that the Rev Samuel Attwood (1701-1735) was Rector of this Parish, he founded a free school on the site of the present building, and in his will left a charity for its maintenance. Nearly a century later further charities were left for the school under the will James Lance Esq. As far as can be ascertained this school was for girls only up to the year 1879.
   During the early period one of the school mistresses was Miss Susan Fletcher a great Aunt of Mr Frank Fletcher (the retired water inspector now living at Meopham.)
   In these earlier years the boy’s school was at Berrys Maple. No record can be found as to when this school started, but we do know that the Master in charge at the time of its closing down was Mr George Field, that was in 1871. Mr Field lived at "The Haven" (then cottages). He was father of the late "Old Harry Smith’s" wife and Mrs Mitchell used to live in "Flint Bungalow" in The Street and is now in "Old Downs" Old Peoples Homes. Mr Frank Fletcher is in possession of Mr George Fields writing desk and ruler.


Boys School at Berrys Maple up till 1871

   When the Berrys Maple School closed down Mr George Elcombe opened up a private school for boys where the Post Office now stands. This continued until 1879.
   Rather more than 100 years ago there was a Dames School at Manns Farm, West Yoke where about a dozen girls received instruction in "the three "R’s", sewing and cooking.
   In 1879 the village school was extended and became a National School. The first Headmaster being a Mr Tomlinson. The next year Mr Simpkins took it over and in 1881 Mr Meyers became Headmaster and held the position for 30 years. He was assisted by his daughter who later married Mr Frank Fletcher. The late Miss Packman (sister to Mrs Jarvis of 1 Kiln Cottages) then became assistant which post she held for several years.
In 1912 Miss Wright became Headmistress.


The School in 1957

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