University extension lectures, technical education and night school

The Congregational Church was active for many years in bringing visiting speakers to Winslow, and other organisations sometimes did so too. University extension lectures were a type of adult education sometimes supported by the newly formed Bucks County Council which also promoted technical education. Oxford University had begun its programme of extension lectures in 1878. Winslow was established as a centre, no doubt because of the rail link to Oxford. Click here for a map of the centres and to read more about the University Extension scheme (Oxford Continuing Education website).

1891: Buckingham Advertiser, 24 Jan
University Extension Lectures at Winslow.
  The final meeting for the season of the Oxford Extension Committee for Winslow centre was held on Friday, the 16th of this month.  The accounts (the total of which are given below) were submitted to the committee and found correct.  An offering was made to the Rev. G. Harfod-Battersby [rector of Middle Claydon] of a few volumes of English poetry in token of the gratitude felt by the Winslow centre for his kindness in giving most useful preparation lessons before each lecture.  Mr. Marriott’s report to the delegates on his course of lectures just given at Winslow was read to the Committee as follows-

“I have the honour to report to the delegates on the course of lectures on Great European Statesmen, recently delivered at Winslow.  Winslow is a new centre, and the work there has been most successfully inaugurated.  The attendance has been admirable, and well maintained throughout.  The interest manifested has been very keen, and the essays have on the whole been good.  The warmest thanks of the delegacy are due to the Rev. G. Harford-Battersby, who has most kindly held classes, or rather given supplementary lectures in the intervening weeks.  Much of any success we have obtained in Winslow must be ascribed to him.- J. A. R. Marriott, lecturer.” 

The Committee wish gratefully to acknowledge the help given by Mr. J. Loffler in lending a table and chairs for use at each lecture and in conveying them to the room.  Thanks are also due to Mr. Pass and other friends who assisted in arranging the room, and in collecting entrance fees from those who did not hold season tickets…-Expenditure- To the Oxford delegate for Lectures £30; incidental expenses £5/16/6; total £35/16/5- Receipts.- £38/11/-; balance in hand, £2/14/6.

Below is the last page of an essay on Napoleon by W.N. Midgley which appears to have been written for Mr Marriott's course.

Handwritten essay signed by W.N. Midgley

1891: Buckingham Advertiser, 27 June
Winslow University Extension Lectures.
  A public meeting convened by the Committee was held at the Boys’ Schoolroom at 8 o’clock, on Monday evening last, to consider the question of arranging for a course of Science lectures in the ensuing autumn.  The attendance although not large was of a representative character and included the Rev. P. H. Eliot, vicar of Winslow, Rev. T. K. Norman, curate, Rev. John Pither (Congregational);  Rev. G. Harford Battersby, rector of Claydon; Mrs. Newcombe, hon.sec.; Miss Reeves, Brook Hall; Mr. Warne, High School, Mrs. Vaisey, Miss Knapton, Girls’ School; Mr. Pass, Boys’ School; Mr. Webster, Addington School; Mr. Rolf Creasy, Mr. T. L. Kennish, &c.
  The Rev. G. H. Battersby was placed in the chair on the motion of the Rev. P. H. Eliot.
  The Chairman first read the lecturer’s report on last year’s course (which has already appeared in these columns), and said that the Committee thought the first step to take would be to approach the County Council in order to see whether it would be possible to get a grant towards the lectures as that would make it much easier for them.  Their friend Mr. Warne, kindly attended at Aylesbury to represent them, and he would ask him to report to the meeting what took place.
  Mr. Warne said he might put it shortly that he did not get on, the Council saying it would create quite a new precedent for them to give grants in aid of such a course as they proposed having, although he endeavoured to show them that it had been done elsewhere.  The question was if such subjects as they proposed would come within the province of Technical Education, and he endeavoured to show that it would, and instanced Botany, which he considered suitable for an agricultural county like Buckinghamshire, but they could not be convinced although they held out a hope that if the Committee got into difficulties they might help them.  It seemed to him that the thing resolved itself into three conditions:- First,- Their lectures must be scientific; then they must come within the range of technical education; and lastly they must get into debt- before they could get any aid from the County Council…
  Mr. Kennish suggested that the Secretary should consult all the subscribers, as he thought the meeting was not sufficiently representative to decide.
  It was thought, however, that having been called by poster, the meeting was quite as representative as could be obtained, and
  Mr. Kennish withdrew his suggestion.
  Mr. Creasy proposed and Rev. John Pither seconded, that in the event of the Committee failing to arrange an autumn session, they be authorised to arrange one commencing in January.
  Rev. P. H. Eliot then withdrew his objection to it on the condition that the School Committee be asked to allow the use of the room for some other day than Friday, and the motion was carried…

1891: Bucks Herald, 17 Oct
  TECHNICAL EDUCATION.- A public meeting called by the citizens was held at the Bell Room, on Saturday evening, for the purpose of electing a representative committee for the parish.  There was a very good attendance, including ladies, and the Vicar, Rev. P. H. Eliot, was appointed chairman. 

He commenced the proceedings by reading a circular letter from Mr. F. W. Verney, chairman of the Divisional Committee of the County Council, and explaining that the meeting had two things to do, viz., to elect a committee for the parish, which in common with committees of the other parishes, would form a committee for the district, and then to suggest four subjects for men and lads, and for women and girls.  He recommended a small hard working committee in preference to a large one, as it would be better for it not to be too unwieldy, and remarked that at Middle Claydon they had elected three.- It was pointed out by Mr. Wigley that the population of Middle Claydon being very small, the same proportions would give a good sized committee for Winslow.- The following were then elected on the committee:- The Rev. P. H. Eliot, Rev. J. Pither, Mr. Rolf Creasy, Mr. Wigley, Mr. East, Mr. T. Walker, Miss Reeves, and Mrs. Pither.- On the proposition of Mr. Neal, Mr. Pass was appointed hon. sec. pro tem.- It was decided that the Committee should consist of seven members.-

The Chairman next asked for suggestions as to the form of technical education it was desirable to adopt, and reminded the meeting that four subjects were available- dairying, laundry work, sewing, and cookery. A lengthy discussion followed, during which Mrs. Newcombe suggested it would be the best to take the feeling of the parish by sending round to each house.  Mr. Wigley advocated cooking; Mr. East urged the importance of nursing; but, ultimately, Mrs. Newcombe’s suggestion was agreed to.- On the question of expenses being raised, the Chairman expressed his opinion that they were authorised by the County Council to go to a small expense.- Mr. T. P. Willis, on the contrary, said that referred to District Committees only.- Mr. Wigley remarked that the expenses would not be above a shilling for each member of the Committee, if they had to pay it themselves.-

It was agreed to send a printed voting paper to each house in the parish, and Mr. James Spooner was authorised to deliver and collect them.- Messrs. East, Curtis, Clear, and Pass were appointed as a Sub-Committee to count the votes, and report to the full Committee, who were to meet on the following Wednesday, at seven.- The proceedings closed with a vote of thanks to the Chairman.-

The counting of voting papers resulted as follows:- Agriculture and allotments, 136;  household sewing and cutting out, 120; carpentry, 56; cookery, 32; sanitation and nursing, 41; drawing, 19; laundry work, 7; dairy education, 5; Seventy-one papers were returned blank.

Drawing and agriculture classes were offered to the public at Winslow High School.

1892: Bucks Herald, 30 Jan
  The report of the Examiner for the Chemical Lecture Classes of the Oxford Extension Lectures for the Winslow centre has been received, and I am glad to say was of a most favourable and flattering description.  The percentage of successful candidates was very high, 23 out of 25 having passed with credit, and the Examiner observed that the papers were the most satisfactory that had yet been submitted to his inspection.  The report was read by the Rev. P. H. Eliot, the vicar of Winslow, at Mr. Magee’s first lecture at Winslow on Monday night, and was received with great applause by the audience.  This success of the examinees is most encouraging to all interested in the movement, and augers well for the future. 

1892: Buckingham Advertiser, 22 Oct
 The following are the selections from Winslow for the District Committee for Technical Education:- Rev. P. H. Eliot, Rev. John Pither, Mr. East, Mrs. Newcombe, and Mrs. Pither.

  Several classes of an educational character, have recently been started in this town.  On Monday evenings, fortnightly, lectures are being delivered by the Rev. Dr. Bayley, on some of the “Plays of Shakespeare” in the National Schoolroom, in connection with the Oxford University Extension Movement.  On the same evenings weekly classes in mathematics are being taught in the High School, by Mr. George Henderson, M.A., and Mr. Wm. Warne, in connection with the Department of Science and Art.  On Tuesdays, at the same place, and in the same connection, Mr. Alfred Rich is instructing a class in second-grade drawing subjects (free hand, model, and drawing in light and shade from a cast), other subjects being added as required; and on Thursdays Mr. Warne is delivering a course of lectures on the “Principles of Agriculture,” also at the High School, and also under the auspices of the Science and Art Department.  Considering the size of the town it seems to be well supplied with educational machinery, and well to the front in the development of our systems of education, which has been so much marked in the last few years.

  The first University Extension Lecture at Winslow was thrown out of its date by the Freemasons’ Inauguration.  The lectures will now follow in regular course on alternate Mondays.

1893: Buckingham Advertiser, 4 March
  TECHNICAL EDUCATION.- A meeting of the Committee was held at the Yate’s School on Thursday evening.  Dr. Kennish occupied the chair.  The hon. sec., Mr. Pass, reported arrangements for cookery lessons, by Miss Parnell, and butter-making by Miss Davis, and it was resolved to turn both these over to the Ladies’ Committee.  Mr. Pass reported that the carpentry course and the drawing course had about expired, and it was agreed that Mr. Watson, of Winslow, should give a course of gardening lectures to commence on Monday.  Dr. Kennish kindly volunteered to give a course of ambulance lectures, but it was considered that it would not be doing him justice to crowd them in now, and he was asked to let them stand over till next autumn, which he agreed to.  A vote of thanks to the Chairman concluded the meeting.

1894: Buckingham Advertiser, 28 April
  The annual meeting to receive the report of the Committee, &c., was held in the infants’ school on Monday evening, but was only poorly attended.  Rev. P. H. Eliot presided, and called upon Mr. Pass, the hon.sec., for his report.  The adoption of this report was moved by Mr. E. J. French and seconded by Mr. East.
During the last 1½ years, the local committee (Rev. P. H. Eliot, chairman), Rev. J. Pither, Miss Parrett, Dr. Kennish, Mrs. Newcombe, Mrs. Pither, Messrs. East, Clear, Walker, Wigley, and Pass, appointed at the public meeting held in Yeate’s school, October 11, 1892, has attended 24 committee and subcommittee meetings.
  In addition to these a sub or allotment committee composed of allotment holders, has met a few times either on the land with the Rev. J. B. Higham or in a room.
  During the above named period this Parish has received:
 (1).  Two courses on sewing and cutting out by Miss Davis (Liverpool school of laundry, &c.) and were both pronounced successful; average attendance of 1st. course 11, average attendance of 2nd course 10…
  (2). Two courses of cookery by Miss Parnell (Liverpool school of cookery). 1st. course, afternoon, 10; evening 19.  2nd course, average 15 (high class)…
  Health Missioner.- the town (in share with the district), is receiving a “Health Course” by Miss Deynes, who lectures in a room kindly lent by Mrs. Greaves and also at Yeates school…
  Allotments.- A special grant of £2 was made to Winslow in answer to a much repeated appeal to the Divisional Committee for practical allotment lectures.
  Two meetings of allotment holders were summoned to discuss the matter (one of which proved to be a failure, and the other very successful), the outcome of which was a very successful course of practical and theoretical lectures from the Rev. J. B. Higham on soils, digging, draining, cultivation of crops, rotation of crops, potato disease, insects, pests, etc.
  They were exceedingly well attended and very popular.  A second course on manures was asked for, but the application was granted too late to be taken advantage of this year…
  Drawing.- Instructor Mr. Pass.  The 1st class in freehand proved so successful that the committee added a 2nd course, which was equally successful.
  Average, 1st course, 29; average, 2nd course, 31.
  Carpentry by Mr. Stonell.- The Instructor reported the classes a fair success, the members of the class making stools, picture frames, and other useful articles.  Mr. Stonell complained of insufficient tools for the whole class.  Average attendance, 8.
  Gardening by Mr. Watson.  A course of 6 lectures…
  During the late winter, a lecture on “Technical Education” was given by Mr. W. Bradbury.  F. Verney, Esq. occupied the chair. The meeting was well attended (50 present), very instructive and successful…
  Mr. Hillyer said as a ratepayer, he objected to public money being spent in such utter foolery as gardening, teaching lads how to plant celery, when their own fathers ought to do it, but if the County Council were determined to spend their money in this way let them employ out-of-work people and not those like Mr. Milsom and Mr. Watson, who had their living got ready for them.  He also objected to the carpentry as utterly useless.  Their own teacher told them they had nothing like enough tools to do any good with, and it required £18 worth of tools when a boy was apprenticed, and his father ought to find them.  He protested against the extravagant way in which the Committee had been going on during the last 18 months.
  Mr. Illing asked what the expenditure had been.
  Mr. Pass said £17/10/- and that really was for two years, as they spent nothing in the previous six months.
  Mr. Neal said he did not complain of the manner in which the Committee had spent the money, because £17/10/- was a mere fleabite for a place like Winslow, but what he protested against was £5000 or £6000 being spent by the County Council in Buckinghamshire, and the money being frittered away in travelling expenses and teachers’ expenses without anything to show for it (applause).  He proposed that the County Council be requested to spend the money in a better way, viz., to relieve the taxation on land.
  The Chairman said the money came direct from Government to the County Council, who if they did not want it must return it, so that really they did not see the relevancy of the resolution.  He pointed out that it was quite a mistaken idea that the heavy poor rate in Winslow was caused by Technical Education; in order to make the matter quite certain he had communicated with Mr. Crouch, who assured him that not a penny of it was spent for that purpose…
  Mr. Neale’s resolution was put to the meeting, and declared lost.
  The next business was the election of the Committee and the Chairman asked if should put the old names en bloc.
  Mr. Sear demurred to this.  He did not think much of the old Committee, they wanted fresh blood in it.
   The following were then chosen:- Messrs. East, Higgins, E. J. French, Pass, Warne, Clear, Revs. P. H. Eliot, and Jno. Pither.  (Mr. Sear was nominated but declined to serve).  Mrs. Newcombe, Mrs. Pither, Mrs. Watson, and Miss Parrott.
  The proceedings closed with a vote of thanks to the old Committee and the Chairman.

  It is a pity that the Technical Education meeting was not a more representative one.  There were just 15 ratepayers present.  Nevertheless, the proceedings were quite “warm” enough, especially for the members of the old Committee, who came in for some badgering at the hands of Messrs. Hillyer and Sear.  Nevertheless, the meeting finished up with a vote of thanks to the old Committee, and a well-deserved one to its chairman, the Vicar.  The old Committee consisted of 11 members, 6 Churchpeople, and 5 Nonconformists; the new one of 13, consists of 6 Churchpeople, and 7 Nonconformists.  There were 3 ladies on the old committee; 4 in the new; a motion by Mr. Watson that it was desirable to have one or two more ladies on the Committee, who were in touch with the working classes, leading to the increase.

1894: Bucks Herald, 20 Oct
  It will be seen that the University Extension Lecture Examiner speaks very favourably of the result of last session’s work at Winslow. A very interesting course of lectures on painting and history is now going on, which I think it is well worth the while of anyone living near enough to attend.  For a small town, the means of higher educations at Winslow strike me as being very commendable.  Under the Technical Education Committee various classes, and particularly drawing, are going merrily on.  The Science and Art Classes are just starting with second grade drawing and mathematics.  Evening classes are being held in connection with the Congregational Church.  As mentioned above, some invaluable lectures are being given by the University Extension.  For younger children a Kindergarten class is being held at the High School, and while the mind is cared for, the body is not forgotten, as evidenced by the reopening of the gymnasium.  There is only one thing I regret, and that is, that the Reading Room is practically a failure.

1901: Buckingham Advertiser, 17 Aug
  TECHNICAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE.- The meeting of this committee under the new scheme, which now includes Science and Art, was held at the Infant School on Friday evening.  There were present the Rev. W. F. Armstrong (chairman), Rev. J. G. Evans (vice-chairman) and Messrs. T. Walker, J. Varney, and A. J. Clear.  It was decided to appoint a paid secretary and to make application for grants for Science (teacher Mr. Pass), Art (teacher Mr. Rich), and for staff teachers for Carpentry, Sewing, and School Gardening; also, if practicable, for Continuation Classes, the difficulty in the way being that the public school managers could not see their way to take it up owing to the present transition state of the schools between their old and new buildings.  The committee, however, thought this might be overcome by the use of either the Centenary Hall or the Congregational Schoolroom if the central body would find appliances, etc.  The male ambulance classes it was thought useless to try, as the committee could not guarantee a class of 15 males as stipulated.

1903: Buckinghamshire Advertiser and Aylesbury News, 10 Jan
  TECHNICAL EDUCATION.- A meeting of the Committee was held in the Yeates School on Wednesday evening.  The Rev. W. F. Armstrong was in the chair, and there were also present Messrs. T. Walker, J. Varney, A. Clear and J. White.  The chairman reported that the evening continuation class had fallen through, and he was afraid the dressmaking would do so, as only eight names had been definitely given in towards the minimum of 12.  The art class was going on very well, a most satisfactory report having been received from the Board of Education Inspector.

According to reports later in the year, technical education in Winslow had fallen through altogether.

1906: Bucks Herald, 13 Oct
  EVENING SCHOOL.- In connection with the County Council Higher Education Scheme, an evening school was commenced on Monday in the school buildings, and made a very fair start, about 29 lads and 5 girls joining.  The principal teacher is Mr. W. A. Attwooll, assisted by Miss F. A. Attwooll.  The fee charged is 1d. per week, which will be returned to scholars making 90 per cent of attendances.

1907: Buckingham Advertiser, 6 July
  HIGHER EDUCATION.- The first meeting of the new committee was held in the Church-room on Friday evening last.  Rev. T. Hinkley was re-elected chairman, Mr. J. Varney hon. treasurer, and Mr. A. J. Clear hon. secretary, and Mrs. Greaves and Mrs. Riordan were co-opted on the committee.  The report of the Evening Continuation School was presented by Mr. Attwooll and was considered quite satisfactory, as was also the grant from the County Council.  Mr. Attwool, however, stated that, in consequence of the reduction in the scale of grant for the forthcoming season (amounting to 1s. 6d. per hour less), he could not see his way to continue to teach, and after some discussion it was decided to write to Aylesbury and say that unless the rules were modified the committee would have to drop the school.  A vote of thanks to the hon. secretary and the hon. treasurer for their past services concluded the meeting.

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Copyright 30 January, 2024