Village Schools

What is now the Appleton Thorn Village Hall used to be the village school. It doesn’t take much imagination to visualise how it may have looked when it was a school and indeed some villagers are still keen to proclaim that they attended as pupils; some later past pupils may still only be in their 50s. One past pupil is George Maddock, who attended Appleton Thorn School during the late 1920s / early 1930s, before going on to serve as an Army Commando during World War II.

George has given permission for the publication, on this village portal, of some photos of classes at the neighbouring Stretton School that he owns together with copies of pages from the Appleton Thorn School ‘Punishment Book’ that range from 1918 through to 1954!

Many of the pupils mentioned will have passed on to meet a far greater authority than the Head Teacher by now, but we hope that anyone mentioned in the records, or surviving family members share our joy in being able to bring these to the public view.

Click on any of the images below to reveal a much larger version – each will open in a separate window.

The Appleton Thorn School Punishment Book

Appleton Thorn School Punishment Book 1918-19


4 strokes (of the cane?) for “Disobedience” and 2 strokes for “Muttering to Headmistress”! Thomas Cook and Albert Riley feature regularly. Elizabeth Mills is the only female recorded – receiving 2 strokes.

Also interesting to note that the school closed “under Medical Authority” at the end of 1918. Could this have been to do with the world-wide ‘Spanish’ Influenza epidemic of 1918?




Appleton Thorn School Punishment Book 19291929

“Disobedience” is still frequently the reason for punishment, though this year’s repeat offender (victim?) Walter Green is also punished for “Contradiction” and “Disorder”.

Enid Leigh and Gertie Lloyd receive 3 strokes for “Disorder”.





Appleton Thorn School Punishment Book 1935


George Maddock appears 4 times and is recorded as receiving a total of 7+ strokes between November 1935 and April 1936; twice for “Disobedience” and once for “Disorder” having started the year on “Inattention & Laziness”.

The Bostocks, with boys in Classes 5 (David and Gordon), 7 (John Edwin) and 12 (another David) received a total of 8 strokes during the school year.

No girls names appear in the book from now on.



Appleton Thorn School Punishment Book 19361936

Eric and Ernie (well Ernest) Brazendale receive punishment this year. In classes 5 and 6 respectively it is assumed they are brothers.

“Laziness” is a common offence, as is “Disobedience”.

Albert Shaw is punished for what looks like “Inattention”. Stanley Ditchfield, Norman and Arthur Gleave (both in Class 3 – twins?) are each given 2 strokes for “Trespassing Disobedience”.




Appleton Thorn School Punishment Book 19461946

Normal ‘service’ is resumed after the 2nd World War. A new teacher administers punishment, but there are fewer recorded punishments with the page lasting from 1946 through to September 1949.

Another Bostock – George this time – has three entries in the book, first as a Junior – up to February 1949 – and then as a Senior. He is said to have split a girl’s head one dinner time in May 1949.

George was not however one of the four – Harry Brocklehurst, Derick Leigh, William Leeming and Bert Quennell – who received a stroke each for “Catapulting – disobedience” in January 1948. Harry for some reason received a further 2 strokes the next day too.


Appleton Thorn School Punishment Book 19501950

Following on from the previous page – this one lasts until December 1954 – with no entries between the end of 1950(?) and December 1954.

George Bostock continued to feature with a further four entries in 1950, for offences including “Temper”, “Lying”, Lazing” and “threatening to strike staff after insolence”. He appears to have been given a choice of “cane or tell a story” in December 1950. The punishment administered was 1 stroke so we guess he made his choice!

Bert Quennell – of catapulting ‘fame’ the previous year – was punished three times in 1950; for “Constant rudeness”, “bad work – finally in temper tore page” and “Refused to work”.

We’re sure that all those in the Punishment Book went on to be fine, upstanding citizens! Certainly many of them will have served their country in either the 2nd World War or perhaps later National Service conflicts such as Korea. Hopefully they all returned to our village safely.

Stretton School Photographs

Two photos from 1929 and what is thought to be 1930. Anyone know if these groups are of all pupils in the school at that time?Names given are taken from records held by George Wright along with the ‘originals’.

The Gleaves had pupils at both schools, Appleton Thorn (Norman & Arthur 1936) and Stretton (Lilian & Ken 1929 & 1930). Cousins perhaps? Can anyone spot any other family names at both schools?


Stretton School Class 1929

Back Row l to r
Blackshaw Barber, Normal Cook, Gordon Robinson, Willie Woods, Arthur Carmen, Miss Griffiths, Frank Bibby, John Wilkinson, ? Doug Wood, Frank Lawson, Richard Gibson.

Middle Row l to r
Nellie Smith, Edith Moores, Joan Berry, Matty Miller, Evelyn Heesom, Doris Simpson, Doris Crapper, Lilian Gleave.

Front Row l to r
Robert Smith, Sam Heesom, Rene Wilkinson, Norman Simpson, Ken Gleave

Stretton School about 1930

Back Row l to r
Miss Griffiths, Doug Wood, Tim Blackshaw, Frank Bibby, Ken Gleave, Norman Simpson.

Second Row l to r
Jean Maddock, May Bramwell, Brenda Lloyd, Unknown, Doris Crapper, Matty Miller, June Bolton.

Third Row l to r
Dot Garnett, Nellie Smith, Lily Heesom, Unknown, Kath Tweedle, Joan Dickens, Joyce Read, Stella Mills.

Front Row l to r
Allan Carmen, Richard Gibson, George Blackshaw, Dot Gleave, Frank Mills, Norman Cook, Roy Read.

If you have any additional information on either of the two schools, or wish to correct / challenge anything then please contact us.