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The youth through some mishap, however, never received the prize. Some of the boys were naughty enough to suspect that one of the junior masters forgot to hand it over to the winner.
It may be said here that the head master's house was built in 1849, and the minister's house four or five years afterwards.
Mr. E. H. Sugden has kindly furnished the following account of the premises as they existed in his time, at the latter end of Mr. Farrar's governorship and the beginning of Mr. Chettle's, 1863 to 1870: “The building was then much as it was before the recent changes. The old top' was still standing and occupied a part of the site of the present covered playground; there dwelt Boggie Greenwood, and after his removal Boggie Banks, the tailors of the establishment; many old boys will remember contributions for Boggie' on the 5th of November. There if we tore our nether garments we were invested in tough corduroys that had served as a reserve force for many generations. Greenwood was a kindly old fellow. In the 'old top' were also the apple-room, and a room which Mr. Chettle gave to the first two classes as a reading-room, a great and appreciated boon. There we made cocoa, toasted butter biscuits, and occasionally held prayer meetings. This was on the upper story; on the ground floor was a little den which was given to a few of us as a chemical laboratory, the stinks we produced still live in my nostrils. Cattle, now M.D. (Lond.), was the leading experimenter. At the remote end of the old top' was a little lavatory, where a tap and stone basin (still remaining in situ) served to quench our thirst and for washing our hands. The rooms used for study were the big schoolroom, the side classroom, the second master's room, and the old or the then junior schoolroom, where the ancient clock-face records the foundation of the school. In the playground the chief localities were the top shed, the bottom shed (built 1863), the embankment (removed Christmas, 1863), and the 'hobgoblin' tree which I remembered growing thereon, the grass-plot (so called on the lucus a non lucendo principle, it never grew a single blade in my time); the green gates, originally the blue gates; the railings, the pumphouse, the arch (down the arch was 'out of bounds' in that day), and the square, round which were the numbers at which we stood for assembly. At the top of the square was the bakehouse, and through a narrow passage at its side we went to the little sweetshop, kept first by Wilks, then by Bell (now the singing preacher of America !), and last by Ford. The porch at the front was built in 1864. The first bedroom was over the schoolroom, the second and third over the dining-hall and kitchen. The sick-room was over the committee-room, and the library over the second master's room.”
The above is a fair description of the premises as they existed in June, 1883, when they ceased to be any longer a school for the education of the sons of Wesleyan ministers.
Mr. E. H. Sugden has kindly supplied the annexed Ground Plan of the Woodhouse Grove premises as they existed twenty years ago.
Mr. John FENNELL - - 1812. Rev. JOHN STAMP - - 1824. Rev. THOMAS FLETCHER - 1813. , GEORGE MORLEY 1831. ,, JAMES WOOD · · · 1813. „ WILLIAM LORD - 1843. ,, THOMAS STANLEY - 1814. „ JOHN FARRAR - 1858. „ Miles MARTINDALE 1816. , Hy. H. CHETTLE 1868.
Rev. GEORGE FLETCHER - 1876 to 1883.
W E may easily conceive the anxiety with which the
Grove committee entered upon the appointment of the first governor of Woodhouse Grove School. We have no means at this distance of time of ascertaining in what manner they made the appointment, whether they advertised for a suitable gentleman, or whether they contented themselves by making private enquiry; whether they had many, or only a few candidates to choose from. There is no record; the minutes taken at the time are very incomplete, and afford no assistance. For the sake of economy, it was resolved to combine the offices of governor and head master in one person. It would seem too formidable at first to pay two salaries when one would do. Certainly the committee cannot be blamed for its caution. When it did separate the two offices it was driven to it by the force of circumstances.