Archive centreCarlisle
ReferenceDS 42
TitleKeswick Brigham Church of England First School
Date1863-1993
Extent4 metric boxes
ContextOriginally Brigham National and Industrial School, erected by the Reverend Frederic Myers in 1850-1851 at a cost of £500. By 1863, when the log books start, the school was Mixed and had about 100 pupils, including a few infants, taught by one master and two pupil teachers. By 1885, attendance was beginning to exceed the officially permitted accommodation of 168 children and to relieve the situation a new infants' classroom was built in February 1888. This increased the accommodation to 222, but average attendance reached 229 by 1894, and in November 1895 a separate Infants' School (Including Standard I Juniors) was established for 150 children (although its attendance was less than 100), and this reduced the numbers in the Mixed School to an average attendance of 183 in 1897.

The two Brigham Schools, together with the St John's Girls' and Infants' Schools, were under the control of the Church of England, and after the 1902 Education Act they shared the same managing body, comprising four church representatives, once representative of Cumberland Education Committee and one from Keswick Urban District Council.

In May 1908 the Brigham Schools were reorganised: the former Mixed School becoming a Boys' School, while the Infants' School became an Infants' and Junior Girls', with the senior girls transferred to St Johns' Girls' School. The Boys' School had 165 pupils aged 7-14 in 1909, but numbers declined in the years after the First World War to little more than 100 in 1925, while the Infants' and Junior Girls' School roll fell from 67 in 1908 to 32 in 1925. A separate log book was maintained for the Infants' or Infants' and Junior Girls' School from 1895 until its closure on 31 March 1927, when the children were transferred to St John's School and the building became a 'scientific training centre' for Brigham Boys' School.

The former Infants' and Junior Girls' School building was reopened in September 1939 to accommodate evacuees from South Shields, together with pupils from St John's Infants' School. In 1940, further evacuees from Christ Church School and St Theresa's RC School in Newcastle were transferred to Brigham, and this necessitated the adoption of a double shift system, the building being used by Brigham School in the morning and St Theresa's in the afternoons.

The infants' classes which were established in 1939 and continued after the war were mixed, but they did not constitute a separate school and did not have separate log book or admission register. In 1947 Brigham Boys' and Infants' School had 127 children, organised in one mixed infants' class, two junior classes and one senior class. In 1951 the senior boys transferred to the new Lairthwaite Secondary Modern School and Brigham became a Junior Boys' and Infants' School for children aged 5-11, but numbers of four year olds continued to be admitted. The loss of the older pupils was more than made up for by the growth of population in the Windebrowe Avenue and Latrigg Close areas of Keswick, which were developed mainly in the post-war years, In 1955 the school had 96 junior boys in three classes and 41 infants (including 16 girls) in two classes.

In the early1950s the school accepted 'controlled' status and its managing body was eventually reconstituted in 1958 so that two managers were appointed by Cumberland Education Committee, two by Keswick Urban District Council, and one by the Diocesan Education Committee, with the Vicar of Keswick as an ex officio manager. Under the Cumbria Education Committee, Brigham became in September 1974 a mixed school for 4 to 8 year olds known as a 'First School' as its age range spans both infants and early juniors but not the full range of a Primary School. The school closed in 1993 as part of a rationalisation and modernisation programme for Keswick primary schools.

Brigham Schools' Head Teachers:
Edward Highton (1851 - Feb 1880 (death)); Thomas Edward Highton (Apr 1880 - Jun 1907 (death)); Albert Cowley (Aug 1907 - Dec 1926); Tom Fleming (Jan 1927 - Feb 1939); Reginald Hartley (Feb 1939 - Apr 1954 (absent on war service Nov 1940-Feb 1946)); Conrad Hall (Aug 1954 - Mar 1975); Mrs G M McQueen (Apr 1975 - Dec 1977) Mrs A Corry (Apr 1978 - Dec 1990); Mrs Elizabeth Harrison (Jan 1991 - 1993)
Separate Infants' School Head (1895-1927) Teachers:
Miss Mary Daniel (Aug 1895-Dec 1897); Miss Helena M Shearman (Jan 1898 - Oct 1907); Miss Elspeth Highton (Oct 1907 - Dec 1924); Temporary heads; Miss E Rawlings (Jan 1925); Miss MA Messenger (Feb 1925-Oct 1925); Miss Ada I Wearing (Oct 1925 - Apr 1926); Miss Gladys Williams (May 1926 - Mar 1927)
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