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Matlock: The Staff of All Saints' School, 1903
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All Saints' Schoolboys 1904

From the Vernon Lamb Archive


Whilst no names accompany this photograph and all that is written on the back is "Matlock Bank School 1903", we see that the group will be the headmaster and staff of All Saints' by comparing it with others from the same period[1]. From various trade directories and census returns we know that the headmaster was Robert Henry Baker[2]; he is recognisable from other images because of his moustache. The school had four new desks in 1903; it is probable that the teacher's desk in the photograph was one of them.

The school's log book records that he began teaching at All Saints' on 2 Jan 1892 - "Robert H Baker Trained and Certificated Teacher, took charge of this school"[3]. He had trained at the Normal Training College in Cheltenham[4]. Before arriving in Matlock he had held at least two teaching posts. One was in Stapleford, Hertford (where he met and married his wife) and another was in Wimbourne in Dorset[5]. Emily Leila Baker (nee Grace) was also a teacher; as a 20 year old she had taught in a National School in her home town, alongside her sister[6]. She also joined the staff at All Saints'. When they arrived in Matlock she was a "certificated teacher employed as temporary assistant"[3] and later became a sewing mistress there for a time.

All Saints Junior School was inspected in 1899, with the verdict very positive. The report, issued on 10 May 1899, listed the staff[3]:

- R. H. Baker. Master[2].
- Annie Thompson. Ex. P.T. (living at Matlock Bridge in the 1891 census and the 1901 census).
- M. E. Kenworthy. Art. 68 (the 1901 census).
- Ada M. Goodwin. 3rd Yr. P.T. (living at Hurst Farm in the 1901 census).
- Hilda Hart - Temporary Monitress (the 1901 census).
- Millicent Clay - Temporary Monitress (Great aunt of the web mistress - see the 1901 census).
P.T. = Pupil teacher.

In 1903 the school reopened after the Christmas break on 12 January but, unfortunately, there were still cases of measles and ringworm so some were excluded from school until they recovered. There were other reasons for absentees and the same names were on the attendance officer's list of week after week. Shortly after Mr. Baker had been appointed the school began recording the names of the pupils who were not at school, with each teacher provided with a book in which they entered the names of the absentees in both the morning and afternoon. It was hoped that children would volunteer to call on the parents to ask for the reason.

Several staff members were unchanged since 1899, and there had been some new appointments by 1903. Some of those named below will be on the photograph above :

- Miss Annie Thompson.
- Miss Mary E. Kenworthy. She left in 1913 but on 27 Oct 1914 and now Mrs Latimer she was temporarily appointed to fill the vacancy caused by Mr. Rylands "retirement". See Names on Matlock War Memorial. Her brother, George, had been a pupil at All Saints' and was then a pupil teacher here (see below).
- Miss Ada Goodwin had been an assistant mistress since 1901. She left at the end of July 1909 as she was marrying Joseph Turner, surveyor.
- Miss Bolton, formerly of Hinkley, was the new assistant in charge of Standard II. She left in 1906.
- Miss Hilda M Hart. In 1904 arrangements were made with Mr. Clough for H. M. Hart's tuition by examination for the scholarship Examination and the following year she took the King's Scholarship examination. She left on 28 Feb 1911 as she was appointed as assistant Mistress at Matlock Town infants.
- George E. Kenworthy had been a pupil at All Saints' and was then a pupil teacher at the school. In March 1904, when he was in his second year, he sat his first quarterly examinations, scoring highly in all but one subject. His name is also on Matlock War Memorial.
- Sgt. Charles Webb, who had fought in the Boer War, took "drill" classes - he had been engaged on 4 Dec 1902, although his name crops up before he enlisted as he instructed the boys in swimming in 1899.

There was one month's midsummer holiday from 8 July to 10 August 1903 and the school also closed for Wakes week in September. One year Mr. Baker commented in the Log Book: "This holiday seems to be quite unnecessary as there is little except for a few swings, shooting galleries and roundabouts to attract the children."

Robert Baker retired at the end of 1922[7] after 31 years service[8]. He initially remained in Matlock but he and his wife eventually moved to Littleover. He passed away in late 1932, whilst recovering from appendicitis in a nursing home in Derby. His obituary said he had been vicar's warden at All Saints' for many years. He was also closely associated with Rev. Adam Lowe, both in the growing parish and in the school's improvement.

Lists Through the Centuries: The Nineteenth Century: Matlock, All Saints' School, Admissions Register (sample of entries 1895 - 1898) and School Log Book (sample of entries 1875 - 1879).

If you can help with any names, please email (see footer).

Photograph in the collection of and provided by and © Glynn Waite.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References (coloured links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] Mitchell, Ian (2000) "A History of All Saints' Church Matlock Bank (1876-2000)", pub. All Saints' PCC. There are two photographs of the school's headmaster, although the book does not provide his name. One of the pictures is also published in "A Matlock Bank Miscellany", a series of essays written by All Saints' Local History Group.

[2] In the 1901 census Mr. Baker was living on Bank Road. By 1911 he and his family had moved to Smedley St West.

[3] National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914, Matlock All Saints School, Derbyshire Record Office. There are some extracts from these - see Nineteenth Century Lists: All Saints' School

[4] The 1881 census shows him as a student at the college, aged 18. The other young men training there were aged between 18 and 23 years old.

[5] Information from their marriage record and the 1891 census.

[6] The 1881 census shows that both young women began as school monitors. In 1891 both Mr. and Mrs. Baker were teachers in Wimbourne.

[7] "Derbyshire Times", 30 December 1922. Duty Well Done. Matlock Headmaster Retires After 31 Years.

[8] His name appears in Bulmer's Directory, 1895 | Kelly's Directory, 1895 | Kelly's Directory, 1899 | Kelly's Directory, 1908 - also as Secretary of the Conservative Club | Kelly's Directory, 1912 | Kelly's Directory, 1916.

[9] "Derbyshire Times", 5 November 1932. Death of Robert Baker.