An Unknown School

Old Herts



School Group Photograph, with Miss Cooper, probably Harpenden
[click on picture for larger image]

This picture was taken by L. L. Christmas of 23 Catherine Street, St Albans, which suggests a date of 1915 or later. The back is labelled "Miss Cooper class, 15 mounted 25 post cards"

It is clearly a mixed primary school age group, in a large hall - and virtually all the girls have flowers in their hair, or are hold flowers, suggesting a spring or summer date.

The only Miss Cooper who is a teacher in the St Albans area at the time of the 1911 census was Miss  Gertrude Cooper, who was described as a 32 year old assistant mistress, sharing Sunville, Tennyson Road, Harpenden, with another assistant mistress, Miss Louisa Janet Hobart, aged 28. Gertrude was the daughter of Frederick B Cooper, Solicitor & Conveyor and Major 2nd Corps Stafffordshire R.V, (1881 census) who died when she was small. Her mother, Elizabeth, had independent means (with 2 resident servants) when she was living in Bedford at the time of the 1901 census.

It seems very likely that she taught

 at a school in Harpenden and the schools which took both boys and girls of the right age in 1914 are:

Miss Edith M Frampton, Rivermede, Luton Road, Harpenden, was a private day school that, according to Wheathampstead and Harpenden (No 6 The Schools) catered for the children of trades people. (This would appear to be the nearest to Tennyson Road.)

Victory Road public elementary school had an average attendance of 190 boys, 178 girls & 70 infants. (A. Watts, master;  Miss Ellen Agnes Pates, mistress; Miss Edith Davies, infants mistress)

Church Green public elementary school had an average attendance of 231 mixed and 68 infants. (George Stephenson, master; Miss Helen Morgan, infants' mistress)

St John's, Wheathampstead Road, public elementary school averages 85 infants (Miss Beatrice Pattison, mistress)

Kinsbourne Green public elementary school, average attendance 85 mixed. (Miss Lucy Roebottom, mistress)

As there are 46 children in the picture and 40 pictures were ordered, including 15 mounted, I am wondering if this points to the private school - but that is really a wild guess. After all the bare brick walls are perhaps more likely in a public elementary school. It would be very nice to identify the school and even better to name some of the pupils.

Can you help?

October 2013   Page created