Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 11, 2018
Webpage updated: April 03, 2021




The East Street Board School run by the East Stonehouse School Board was formally opened at 11am on the morning of Thursday January 11th 1883 by the Chairman of the Board, the Reverend P R Scott.  Also present were the Reverend S Hobbs, Mr J S Williams, and Mr S H Phillips, the Clerk to the Board.

Constructed in Pomphlett limestone, the building was designed in the Gothic style by Mr H J Snell of Plymouth and built by Messrs Palk and Partridge.

There were two entrances, both actually off Quarry Street, one to the girls' and infants' school and the other to the board room and offices.  The infants' classes were held on the ground floor.  To the right of the entrance vestibule was a cloak-room, and beyond that were the mistress' room, a large school-room with lavatory, two class-rooms and a store room.  The school-rooms were fitted with "dual desks", also designed by Mr Snell.  Also on the ground floor was the Board room and a waiting room.  It was noted at the time that each of these rooms had a fire-proof strong room attached.

Two spacious staircases led upstairs to the girls' department.  It consisted of a large school-room and two class-rooms similar in design to those on the ground floor.   There was also a room for the mistress, a store room, lavatories, and a cloak-room.   The fittings throughout the schools were of pitch-pine and were constructed by Messrs Tremain & Sons of Plymouth.  Behind the school was a large playground.

There were at the opening, 120 girls attending in addition to the 160 children transferred from the old infants' school.  It was the intention of the Board to erect a boys' school on some adjacent ground.

The cost of the school was given as 2,598 for the buildings, 95 for the fittings, and 936 for the purchase of the land, which was part of Battery Quarry.

On the day of the opening the children were all assembled in the girls' school-room under the charge of their eight teachers and assistants.  The Chairman, in his opening address, said that he was pleased to see that the new Code of Education being introduced included cookery.  He asked: 'What was the use of working men having wives who perhaps could do grand crochet work or struggle through a piece of music on the piano, but who could not cook a mutton chop or make a loaf of bread to save their lives?'  'There was a great tendency nowadays, especially among girls, to aim at being above their class' he continued.  'They should never be ashamed of belonging to the working class, but learn all they could at school, so that they might grow up to a good and useful womanhood'.

In 1889, when the girls' school came under Miss Emma Masters and the infants' under Miss Emma Phipps, 156 girls and 220 infants attended the School.

At the East Stonehouse School Board meeting on Friday November 11th 1898 approval was given to the motion by Mr E T Wood, seconded by the Reverend W Robinson, that Miss Copeland, of Landewednack, Cornwall, should be appointed assistant mistress of the East Street infants' department.  At the same meeting Mr (Thomas) Peain, assistant master in the boyrs' department, applied for an increase in his salary of 90.  He told the meeting that he had been with the Board for nearly eighteen years.  A decision as to whether or not to award him an extra 10 a year was deferred to the next meeting.  (Mr Peain came originally from Millbrook, Cornwall.)

It was enlarged in 1901 to take 580 children.  The girls' school came under Mrs Alice Gidley and the infants' under Miss Mary Southerd.  The average attendance at that time was 174 girls and 238 infants.

East Street Board School, Stonehouse, Plymouth

East Street Board School, Stonehouse, Plymouth
is shown as a solid black square near the centre
of this 1920s map.

Following the transfer of responsibility for education from the East Stonehouse School Board to the Devon County Education Authority in 1903, this became the East Street County Elementary School.

The school building is still in existence and bears the inscription "East Street Board School" on the exterior.