Holywell Green School Centenary



This popular and successful village school will be celebrating its centenary this month and events are planned for later this year.

In April 1915 the schoolchildren and their teachers moved from the old school by the Congregational Church and into the current school building. Sadly we’ve only been able to locate a brief mention in the School Log for the move. Definitely no great ceremony!

The decision to build the new school was taken by the local Education Board in 1910 however tenders were not invited until summer 1913. There had been discussion that the new school should include a public baths in the basement. At this time half the dwellings in Stainland & Holywell Green did not have running water. Costs for a pool, estimated at £4000, proved prohibitive.

The school has another milestone to celebrate this month. It’s 50 years since the Holywell Green Secondary Modern School was amalgamated with Elland Grammar School. Although the grammar school had turned comprehensive in 1959 a lack of classrooms prevented some children from Holywell Green and Bowling Green attending the Elland school. Many will remember the Holywell Green Secondary School. It had over 100 pupils on its roll just before closure. Mr J. Denton was the final headmaster of the school.

The senior pupils from Bowling Green were not transferred to Holywell Green until 1930. There was quite a to-do in 1928 when it was agreed that the Stainland schools should share a secondary school. Parents and teachers were aghast at the proposed scheme. A school strike was considered by teachers, who preferred a new purpose built secondary school for Greater Elland (that never happened). Equally parents were concerned that their children should travel further to school especially in the hilly remote areas. Amalgamation did proceed (West Vale and Greetland senior schools were also merged in the Greetland Secondary School).

In 1963 Mr Lester, headmaster of Elland Grammar School and a guest at Holywell Green Secondary School’s prizegiving, told the pupils that ‘they should never be persuaded by the commercial pressures that things like cigarettes and beer were what really mattered in life’. Prizes were presented by Mr. Lester to Freda Wilson (English), Ian Lumb (Mathematics), Kenneth Haigh (Science), Susan Foster (Religious Knowledge), Claire Cooper (History and Geography) and amongst others for art, rural science, woodwork, needlework, attendance and physical education. It was noted that Darwin House had won the Football Trophy whereas Masefield House were tops for athletics.

On the subject of education we have received a very generous donation of photographs from the family of the late Beatrice Haigh, who was a nursery nurse at both Woodlands Nursery on Park Road and the South End Nursery School (the white classrooms in the playground). The photos date from 1943 to 1951, before the transfer to Cross Lane, and names are noted on the reverse.

David J. Glanfield

Greater Elland Historical Society


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