School Time

Ackworth School 1879 Centenary Coin

An old coin belonging to Joseph Malone celebrating Ackworth School Centenary in 1879. It has been in his family for years.

Ackworth School door keys and lock 

(available to view in Ackworth Heritage cabinet upstairs in Parish rooms, Bell Lane) 

Brackenhill School Library Book

This little book was bought from the Brackenhill school library around 1915 by Mary Jones, who would then be 10 years old. It was a very popular book and cost 6d new (about £2 in 2022 money), although as it was in a used condition Mary bought it for around half that at 3d (£1). Sadly, Mary became very ill not long afterwards and died in 1917 at the age of 12 from pneumonia. The book is now in the proud possession of one of Marys descendants, to be passed down to future generations.

1933 Howard School character reference for Ruth Marshall

This is a character reference written by the head teacher of the Howard school and given to Ruth Marshall when she left at the age of 14.


It reads:

Ruth Marshall has been one of my pupils for the last 3 years. She is naturally intelligent and quick to learn and follow up new ideas. She can be relied upon to show common sense and an intelligent interest in her work. She has the advantage of - good home training.

Bell Lane School Penny Bank Pass Book 1935

Children at Bell Lane school were each given a savings account with a deposit of 1 shilling to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V. This book belonged to K Shorthouse who was aged 7 years old at the time. It shows his first deposit of sixpence, then one shilling each week for the following five weeks. He then withdrew his 5/6 leaving the initial deposit of 1/- (one shilling) which he wasn’t allowed to withdraw until he was 16 years old.

The one shilling was never withdrawn!

Bell Lane School George VI Coronation Medal

This “medal” was given to school children to commemorate the coronation of King George VI on 12 May 1937. The one in the picture was given to Mr K G Shorthouse (aged 9) who attended Bell Lane School and lived on Doncaster Rd estate at the time.

Brackenhill School Swimming Certificate

Certificates like this were awarded to pupils from Brackenhill School who attended Featherstone swimming baths (Lister Baths) as part of their physical education.

Brackenhill School Bible 

A Bible like this was given to each child on entering Brackenhill School at the age of eleven. It was used in religious education classes most mornings of the school week.

However as far as most pupils were concerned its main function was to be used on their last day at school before leaving at the age of 15 years. The signatures of teachers would be collected along with signatures and quite often little ditties/rhymes from their fellow pupils on the blank pages at the back of the book.

This Brackenhill School Bible was presented to Ken Reeve and was signed by staff and pupils in 1966

Ken recalls... 'As new pupils at Bracken Hill school we were all given a bible to study, then in class you were told to stand on a chair and recite a part of it, I found it terrifying as I could never remember this stuff! Inevitably getting the ruler or a slap'.

Ackworth Middle School Cycling Proficiency Certificate

Awarded on completion of a short course of cycling proficiency, done over several weeks at Ackworth Middle School in 1972.

Howard School Chair 1960/70


This plywood school chair was used by its present owner when they were a pupil at the Howard School in the 1980s. However, it would have been made and supplied to the school in the 1960s or early 1970s. The initials WRCC which are stamped on the bottom stand for West Riding County Council. This changed in 1974 to the present WMDC (Wakefield Metropolitan District Council) dating the chair to pre-1974

Brackenhill School Pencil Case  1960

This is an example of one of the many pencil cases which were made by the boys of Ackworth on joining Brackenhill School at age eleven. Whilst the girls took cookery lessons, the boys were given tuition in woodworking. Their first project was always to make two of these boxes, one for themselves, and another for one of the girls in their class.

This particular one was actually made by the woodwork teacher at the time, Mr Short. Probably because there were more girls than boys in that year and also to demonstrate how it was done. They probably didn’t all end up looking as good as this one.

Brackenhill School 1960s Ink Pen

This ink pen was used by a pupil at Brackenhill school during the 1960s. It had an ‘italic’ nib which was the style of writing that was taught at the time. The ends of these pens were quite often badly chewed or as in this example, were put in the pencil sharpener when the teacher wasn’t looking.


Ackworth School 200 year anniversary salver

(available to view in Ackworth Heritage cabinet upstairs in Parish rooms, Bell Lane) 

Old photos - Do you recognise the schools? Do you know anyone who is on the photos? 

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(Photos courtesy of Denise 

Believed to be Bell Lane school.

Photo from above, edited by Mike Wilde.