Newbottle Street Junior Mixed School was opened in 1908 as a Council School and was in use as a school for almost one hundred years. It closed in 1993 and was demolished to make way for a new row of shop units and Houghton Library. There had been a school with earlier origins in the vicinity, as there is a record mentioning that the staff of Newbottle Lane Infants School were given a day off for Houghton Feast in 1867. Only six children attended this school, however. Copyright © Books of the North 2009
The official opening plaque for the Junior School, which was similar to many installed throughout schools across the County, including the one in nearby Dubmire Junior School, read as follows: Copyright © Books of the North 2002 - 2009.
County of Durham Education Committee. This school was opened on 15 Dec 1908 by T.Richardson Esq., C.C Copyright © Books of the North 2009
Unusually, the school was set on a lower level than Newbottle Street and the neighbouring Gaiety and Empire theatres, adjacent to the bank of Station Road. The playground could be looked down upon by anybody sat on the benches which ran alongside the railings on Newbottle Street; it was quite a drop!
A flyer printed by James C Hudson, a printer on Newbottle Street, shows that the Houghton-le-Spring Sub-Committee of Durham County Higher Education offered evening classes at the school. Commencing on September 24th 1917, every intending student had to be interviewed by the Organising Teacher, Mr Thomas S Elliott, and pass an examination before being allowed to attend!
Luke Daglish, who went to the school during the War years, remembers sailors visiting his school:
These visits were, of course, to encourage the children to donate to the War Effort.
Cliff Brown, who was born in 1951, painfully remembers attending the school in the post-War years.
Cliff’s other memories are less painful, including his abiding memory of the Junior school headmaster, Mr Smith.
The school had a separate entrance for boys and girls, which was a common feature of schools from this period. However, Cliff can recollect a more unusual aspect of the school:
It is unknown how long this prefab was in use, but it could be an indication of Houghton’s post-War baby boom, where the old Edwardian classrooms were too cramped for the growing roll call.
Unless otherwise stated, these dates indicate when the following teachers were present at the school and do not represent start or end dates of the staff’s incumbency:
c1930 – Margaret Johnson
c1939 – Mr Myers
1956 – Miss Sedgwick (infants)
1956 – Mr Smith (juniors)
1917 – Thomas S Elliot, teacher
1949 – Miss Florrie Hissett, teacher of Class 9
1956 – Mrs Bailey
1956 – Miss Wraithe
1956 – Mrs Tremble (crossing patrol)
1956 – Mr Crawford
Paul Lanagan, local historian
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Thanks go Jack Morley, Alan Kendrick, Richard Rose, Cliff Brown, Luke Daglish, and Joan Lambton for the provision of photos and information. 1910 school photos courtesy of the Mizpah Kendrick Collection.
PAGE UPDATED: 23/12/2010
Newbottle Street Junior School was also known as Newbottle Lane Council School.
Newbottle Street School was also known as Newbottle Lane School.
Newbottle Street School was also known as Newbottle Street Junior Mixed School.
Newbottle Street Junior School was also known as Newbottle Street Junior Mixed School.