New book result of years of research

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A THREE year project looking into the past 100 years of a community has celebrated its findings.

A village school marked 102 years in the community with a publication of a research project into the history of primary schooling in Old Hartley and Seaton Sluice.

Funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the ‘Chalk ‘n’ Cheese book tells the story of schooling in the area from as early as 1649 when the first record of a schoolmaster to the present day.

One of the historians behind the book, Jean Jubb, said: “The book contains some examples of extremely competent schoolroom exercises, carried out by three of Sir John Hussey-Delaval’s daughters, Susanna, Elizabeth and Frances in the mid-1800s from the Delaval Papers.

“This school and its’ successor, established in a disused engineering works, provided far from satisfactory accommodation, being cold, draughty and leaky.

“Fortunately help was at hand in the form of a disastrous fire which in 1910 destroyed the latter make-shift school and led to the building of the village’s first purpose-designed and newly built school which, albeit supposedly of temporary construction, 102 years later serves as the Community Centre where Sunday’s event was held.”

Dr Elizabeth O’Donnell who provided training to the researchers in the techniques of oral history recording, launched the Chalk ‘n’ Cheese publication and declare its’ accompanying exhibition open.

Copies of the publication will be made available to all of Northumberland’s branch libraries and accompanied by the exhibition will appear at several schools in the area.