Eric Flack’s recollection of Newtown School closure in WW2
Posted by Philip Strong on July 8, 2018, 7:27 am
The Newtown School building may have been closed at various times during WW2 and the children remaining in Hebburn were taught in the community. By 1940, Eric was a 6 yrs old student. He cannot remember any of the staff at his school and he cannot confirm if the school was partially or fully closed. However, he does remember that the school was used as an ambulance station. When he was 6, he was taught in his own home with other children, and his teacher came to his house. |
Since Eric wrote this I have made two searches of the Tyne and Wear Archives, thanks to the marvellous archivists. With Eric in mind we looked at the Infants Log Book. On 1 Apr 1940 this entry was made:
School re-opened; full staff present. On the outbreak of war 40 of the 229 children on registers were evacuated.
Those children remaining have been taught for one hour daily in 18 groups, accommodation having been found in 22 private homes and 2 halls from each of which children could reach their own homes within 5 minutes, in the event of an air raid warning.
As this Infants Dept is being used now as a First Aid Post, only 2 of these class rooms can be spared for teaching. Consequently 3 classes have to be taught in 3 rooms in the Junior Boys Dept: and 1 in a room in the Junior Girls Dept.
The Committee has ordered the war time abandonment of the Nursery Class.
Since only a small part of the school yard is now at our disposal, to relieve congestion times of recreation have been altered.
In accordance with instructions, air raid drill will be practised twice weekly.
Note the date of re-opening of 1 Apr 1940… made possible by the construction of air raid shelters at Newtown School, tender awarded about Feb 1940. The Newcastle Evening Chronicle (1 Mar 1940) gave details.
To protect children: air raid shelters at five Hebburn schools. The contract for the construction of 23 air raid shelters at five Hebburn schools has been divided between Messrs. J. M. Black, Junior, Ltd for 13 shelters a cost of £1.809 13s, and Messrs. S. and H. Oake for 10 shelters at a cost of £1.545 13s 3d. These shelters, under an amended scheme, are to be provided at the Colliery. R.C. Infants, R.C. Boys’ and Girls’, Newtown and Quay Schools. The Hebburn Education Committee is making arrangements for all schools to be re-opened for the full-time attendance of all children as soon as protective measures are sufficiently advanced to available to the children. As the first-aid post at the Newtown Infants’ School is considered essential and is the only such post in Hebburn at which cleansing facilities can be provided, arrangements are to be made for the children to be accommodated in the junior department of that school.
Robert Strong LANE