Mike Leader© 2019 All Rights Reserved

A history of the Greenwich Blue Coat Schools

1700 ~ 2014
Home Greenwich Blue Coat School 1700 St John's National School Blackheath & Kidbrooke School Blackheath Bluecoat School School Archives Contact Home Greenwich Blue Coat School 1700 St John's National School Blackheath & Kidbrooke School Blackheath Bluecoat School School Archives Contact The Ladies’ Committee 1908 - 1912 From the Minute Book . . .

The Minute Book of the Ladies’ Committee for the period 1908 - 1912 is preserved in the school archives. It gives a fascinating picture of the life of the school and shows that the school was a well-run and disciplined environment. It is clear that although there was great firmness in dealing with the girls there was also a sense of benevolence and kindness. The Ladies met regularly, two or three times a month, examining the bills and ordering every aspect of school life.

Cassie Keeble came before the Committee to say Goodbye before going to her place. She has been nearly 10 years in the school and leaves with a good character. As she is quite without friends the Committee made her a present of 5/- pocket money.

27 April 1909

(NB At this time the girls over 12 years old received 1 penny a fortnight pocket money. At a meeting on 8 November 1910 their pocket money was raised to 2 pence a fortnight.)

An insight into the workings of the school at this time can be seen from the case of Ada Edwards. In the pages of the Minute Book is a letter from The Charity Organisation Society to Mrs Sherman, one of the Ladies Committee, of 2 Gloucester Place, Greenwich. The letter raises the case of Ada Edwards whose mother, Mrs Elizabeth Edwards, was a widow with 4 children to support.

The letter was signed by Margaret N. Johnston, Honorary Secretary to the Greenwich Committee of the Charity Organisation Society.

“Ada is rather anaemic but otherwise there appears to be nothing wrong with her . . .The father was evidently a most thrifty and careful man as he was insured in various institutions for in all £49. This amount has now however nearly all been used up in meeting expenses of living and sickness. The house is neat and clean and the family appear to be superior people. I trust that in view of the special circumstances of this case it may be possible to get the child into the Blue Coat School though she is slightly over the usual age.”

Ada and her mother appeared before the Committee on 3 January 1911 with all the necessary papers signed. She had been examined by Dr Purvis  and the Committee decided to admit her on 7th January. Her mother had agreed that Ada should remain until she was 16 and that the Committee could place her.

The School Report for 1912 notes a comment from Miss Ellis, Head Mistress of Holy Trinity School where the girls attended that special praise was due to Ada Edwards. The 1913 Report mentions that Ada Edwards was confirmed by the Bishop of Woolwich in Holy Trinity Church on 16th November 1913.