THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS. 261
G. E. Clarke, W. Stenning, W. A. Head, G. Head, J. Whyte, G. Covey, J. Smith, A. Hastie and J. Hayward. Not one of these survive to-day. The schools were opened on January 1st, 1861, but the committee appointed soon ceased to take an active interest in them. For some 10 years or more they were con­trolled by the Rev. C. W. Payne Crawfurd and for a time flourished exceedingly, but after a while there was a decided falling off in the voluntary subscriptions, and a demand for public control arose. At a specially convened Vestry meeting, however, held on June 17th, 1875, the ratepayers decided by 11 votes to eight that a School Board would be very prejudicial to the parish, but on September 28th of the same year, the schools having been entirely closed for a time, this decision was reversed and the formation of a School Board decided on. The first members of this body were the Rev. D. Y. Blakiston (Vicar), the Rev. G. C. Fisher (afterwards Bishop of Ipswich), Rev. E. E. Long (the Pastor of Zion), Mr. G. Head, Mr. T. Cramp, Mr. J. Mills and Mr. W. Young. For six years a contested election was avoided, but in 1881 there were nine candidates for the seven seats. Messrs. T. Cramp and W. H. Steer were rejected, and those chosen were Rev. J. Brantom (now of Hurstmonceux), Rev. W. A. Linnington, Mr. J. Bridgland, Mr. J. I. Glaysher, Mr. J. Mills, Mr. H. Morris and Mr. Ovenden (then landlord of the Crown Hotel). Mr. Evelyn A. Head was Clerk to the School Board for the whole time of its existence.
In 1877 the Vicar and Churchwardens leased the build­ings to the School Board for seven years, at a rental of 5s. per annum, and in 1884 this lease was renewed for another 21 years on the same terms. When the School Board commenced work there was accommodation for 473 scholars, and when its duties were taken over by the Education Committee of the County Council 837 scholars could be dealt with. The present schoolmaster's house and the girls' school were erected by the School Board on land other than that conveyed by Lady Amherst, the whole forming part of what was once known as Slaughter­house Mead.
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