Thanks especially to the exhibitions organised by Mr. Bob Pluck
and to the local preservation of many of the objects made in the
school, most residents know that Newton had this rather exceptional
Metalwork School. Some of our senior citizens were members of
the school. The following notes, written in 1935, are not signed
but I think that they were written by Miss Cranfield, the village
school mistress at the time.
"One of the most interesting and progressive village industries
in this country is the Newton School of Metalwork. This school
has behind it a very interesting history of effort and enthusiasm
on the part of its promoters, and the general character of the
work produced is so high that the school may justly be regarded
as one of the important centres of first-class metal-work in this
59 years ago, Mr. William Hurrell of Newton Manor started an evening
class for the men and lads of the village, which now has a population
of 197. This class was held in the Old Vicarage coach house and
stables during the winter months; the subjects taught were reading,
writing, arithmetic and a little singing which was accompanied
by one of the local men who played a concertina". Much ecclesiastical
work has been undertaken by the school, including Altar Crosses,
pierced Candlesticks, Vases and Lamps. A copper lamp has been
put up at Newton Cross Roads as a memorial to Mr. Hurrell".
The earliest reference to education in Newton is in one of the Returns
made by the Rural Deans appointed to survey the churches and parsonages
in 1783. The Reverend Mr. Gunning was vicar of Hauxton-and-Newton
at the time. He lived at Thriplow, reporting that the vicarage house
at Newton was too dilapidated to occupy. He said that there was
a very good schoolmistress at Newton and observed that books might
be given to the poor children when they can read.
are extracts taken from the set of three booklets. 'About
Newton, the Five Went Ways' , 'About
Newton, Town Street' and 'About Newton People'.by
Jessie Hall, Copyright 1987.
Booklets are on sale at St Margerets Church and The Queens Head
- all proceeds
to the Church Funds.