Blyth Plains School 1869-1881
For many years, the only sign of the old school has been the odd inkwell, marble, broken slate or slate pencil, some of which are illustrated here.
In response to the need to provide education for the children of settlers in the Blyth district,
a public meeting was advertised in the newly established Northern Argus of 28 May 1869:
"A meeting will be held in Mr Best’s store, Blyth Plains, to consider the advisability of erecting a public school on the Plains, and to transact other business."
The meeting resulted in a school being built on Section 161, on land donated by Mr John Shepherd. A public tea was held in the afternoon and a crowded ”soiree” or entertainment on that hot October evening featured a lecture, recitations and choral items. Mr James Badcock was the first teacher.
You may download the above sign graphic as a PDF - click here for PDF version
Below are all the text panels and the larger images featured on the above sign
TEACHERS APPOINTED TO
BLYTH PLAINS SCHOOL
JAMES BADCOCK 1869
SCHOOL CLOSED 1870
RICHARD H JARMAN 1871 - 1873
RICHARD J SHEPARD 1873
RICHARD H JARMAN 1874
RICHARD J SHEPARD 1874
RICHARD H JARMAN 1875
SCHOOL CLOSED 1875 - 1876
MISS GRACE KERR 1877 - 1878
MISS JEAN KERR 1879
ELIZABETH JANE CLIVELY 1880
BLYTH PLAINS SCHOOL
The above School will be opened by a PUBLIC TEA, SOIREE, LECTURE, and SUPPER, on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 1869, when the Rev. W. Davidson, President of the Blyth Plains Young Men’s Association, will deliver a Lecture on
Tea, 1s 6d, for adults; Children, half price.
Collections will be made after the Soiree and Supper.
E. H. BEST, Hon.Sec.
BLYTH PLAINS, June 19.
A public meeting was held at Mr. Best's store on Friday, June 12, at 7 o'clock p.m., when Mr. John Shepherd, sen., presided. The meeting was to take into consideration the desirability of building a public school in connection with the Mutual Improvement Association, to select the site, and to appoint trustees.
Mr. Thomas Reid, sen., proposed, and Mr. Richard Roberts seconded, 'That the school be built on the original site offered by Mr. John Shepherd, sen., on the 23rd October, 1867,
specially for a school, situated five chains from the south-east corner of Section No. 161, facing the north and south road.'
Carried by a large majority.
The following gentlemen were elected Trustees:—
Messrs. John Shepherd, sen., Geo. Hall, G. M. Growden, Thos. Lawson, Richard Roberts, Jas. Sampson, Joseph Hill, jun. ; and Mr. John Shepherd, sen., was requested to act as Treasurer.
The school is to be 24 by 16 feet in the clear. A subscription-list laid on the table was supported very well, the amount subscribed at the time being over £36. Many promised to see that the cause did not fail, there being no school on the Plains at present.
The school closed in 1870 but reopened in the following year with Mr Richard H Jarman as the head teacher and an average attendance of 23 students.
When the Trustees appointed Mr Richard J Shepherd as teacher in 1873, the school had 23 students, with “prospect of increase”.