Sunday, May 21, 2006

Perlethorpe School (Environmental Education Centre).

Above: Perlethorpe Primary School 1985, 1 year after its closure. The arch window on the left was originally the doorway where Mrs Bruce stood and rang her bell in the early 1950's.

Before the renovations of 1959 the pupil's toilets were stagnant metal drums with wooden seats situated on the right of the building where the entrance porch is today. The boy's urinal was a brick wall which separated them from the girls' toilet on the other side. This was open air, and swilled only occasionally by a solitary tap. A favourite game among the boys was seeing who could pee the highest up that wall.

Education at Perlethorpe in the 1950s adhered of course to a strict timetable, but always incorporated a rich tapestry of creative exercises in manual dexterity, from weaving to maypole dancing, and from plasticine modelling to drawing the butterfly specimens that surrendered their short lives to Mrs Bruce’s thumb. If the sun came out (which seemed to happen practically every day), we simply all went on a nature walk. The nature books in which we drew our collected specimens were dark green hard backs. Dip-in pens were a compulsory element of writing lessons. New nibs were periodically issued to the class who were then instructed to place the small brass nib in their mouths to suck off the protective wax coating. (Perlethorpe Church records list no fatalities from this activity!) The walls were covered by large posters depicting the different animals, birds and trees from each season. When my older sister and myself retrieved a stag's skull and antlers from beneath the rhododendrons of the Pleasure Grounds, that also became part of the display. (I think it's still there).

But the population of Perlethorpe Village was ever diminishing as the Estate's fortunes changed with the decades. In December 1984 the decision was made to close the school, which then had a total of only 16 pupils. Headmaster C A Bollans left in July. Mrs Morgan became the school's final Headmistress for one term, presiding over just 4 pupils.
Above: No longer a regular school the building now operates as the highly successful Perlethorpe Environmental Education Centre, sometimes recreating the days of Victorian education for new generations of children, and exploring the rich natural environment of Thoresby Estate. For more about Perlethorpe School teachers click THIS LINK. For a Perlethorpe School photo class 1953 / 54 click THIS LINK. To see the 2014 renovations to Perlethorpe School / Environmental Centre see THIS LINK.
 Above: Perlethorpe Environmental Education Centre as seen from the churchyard opposite. Countless generations of Perlethorpe shoolchildren have crawled along the long lower branch of that lime tree.

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Blogger robin hood said...

Perlethorpe School.
Environmental Education Centre.
Thoresby Estate.

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Blogger robin hood said...

Sherwood Forest, the Dukeries, Thoresby park, history.

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Blogger robin hood said...

Pierrepont, Manvers, Dukeries, Thoresby Hall, Thoresby Hotel, Thoresby Park, Perlethorpe, Perlethorpe Village, Ollerton, Budby, Sherwood Forest.

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