Metalworks page title

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 country".

About 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.

These 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.

These Booklets are on sale at St Margerets Church and The Queens Head - all proceeds
to the Church Funds.

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