History of Ticknall School

Anyone interested in the history of Ticknall School may be pleased to know that a large collection of information and photographs has been collected, recorded and bound into a document that goes under the title of ‘Happy as Larks’ – this being a quote from one past pupil who summed up her memories of school life as both pupil and later as School Clerk throughout the reign of four Headmistresses.

The purpose of the document is to form an archive and provide a permanent reminder of the life and history of the school. It has been formed with the help of past pupils (covering many decades) who have recalled their memories or given permission for the use of photographs, along with historical research gained from many sources.

It is interesting to note that Ticknall School throughout its history has been known by various different names as it progressed through the centuries and the emerging educational system; from Charity School to The Boys School, The National School to Ticknall (Controlled) Church of England Primary School, then commonly known in it’s more recent life as Ticknall Parochial School – all showing that at its core lay the values of the Established Church.

Whilst the document is not an in-depth history of the ancient school, there is a brief outline of its formation in 1741/1744 by Dame Catherine, widow of Sir John Harpur of Calke. This is followed by facts and photos from the time of Headmaster Harry Harrison (1881 – 1922) right up until 1987 when the local authority withdrew funding and support as a result of dwindling pupil numbers.

Of course, the withdrawal of the local authority was not the end of the story, and the school continues to this day, independently, under its latest name of Dame Catherine Harpur’s School; a fitting new name paying tribute to its founder.

A copy of the document has been donated to Ticknall Parish Council and is available to view by contacting their Clerk. Alternatively please contact the ‘Happy as Larks’ author, Teresa Johnson, by email: teresa28@btinternet.com

Bryan Smith
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Bryan Smith

Bryan is the editor of Ticknall Life community magazine. (For over 20 years.)