Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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194                Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XIV.
preparations were entrusted to a Committee of 24 ladies elected by ballot, and the stalls, 19 in number, with several " side-shows," were served by a large number of ladies living in or connected with East-Bourne. The total receipts were £1815 and the total expenditure £570 and the profits therefore were £1245, a good and satisfactory result for a town with a population which then only amounted to somewhere about 30,000.
Since that time, and more especially since the passing of the " Education Act, 1902," the whole situation of elementary education has been changed, and the County Councils and Borough Councils entrusted with the work. This was one of the greatest mistakes, next after free education, ever made by a Conservative Government. They placed the control of elementary education in the hands of men, for the most part knowing nothing of the subject, and up to 1902, elected only for their supposed capacity to manage highways, sewers, and drains, and secular finance. The result in most parts of England has been to infuse into County and Borough Council Elections, political and sectarian animosities in which, owing to the apathy of Churchmen, the interests of Church of England children have fared more or less badly.
Technical Education must receive a brief notice in this chapter. It is a subject which has always been a hobby of mine, and though perhaps more especially a North of England matter, yet recent experience has shown that the South of England can be advantageously moved to take it up. It first came home to me about the year 1873, when I had in my employ as house-boy, for many months, a lad from one of the training ships on the Thames, but I forget which. He had been so well trained to use his brains and his hands, that we found him most useful about the house for purposes far removed from his normal duties of cleaning knives and boots. He was a carpenter, a locksmith, a gardener— almost anything in fact, in posse. The recollection of this boy, and of course other things, led me to seek a seat on the Technical Instruction Committee of the East
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