Signpost - Ellingham and Kirby Cane



The story of Ellingham School


1865 to 1965

by Ralph Tipler



The story of Ellingham School was written in 1965 by Ralph Tipler, the Headmaster, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the school. This edition is published with the kind permission of Ellingham V.C. Primary School. As you read this, please remember that these are the views of Mr Tipler from back in 1965 and are not the views of the school now. Also, thanks go to the Ellingham and Kirby Cane Photographic Archive and its associated photo owners for use of their images in this edition of the book.


[Note – Square brackets indicate information added to this issue of Mr Tipler’s book.]

I do hope that you will enjoy reading this little history of our school. Will all who so readily helped by supplying information accept my very sincere thanks.



Ralph Tipler

The beginning 1865-1870


Anyone who has attended Ellingham School will have seen a stone tablet set in the wall of the schoolhouse. The tablet, unaffected by the years, proudly announces, “BUILT 1865". This fact is confirmed by a Trust Deed which was drawn up on the 30th March 1865.


Since the laying of that stone some 1300 pupils have enrolled at the school and the names of 1,229 of them are recorded In the registers. These include four generations of at least one family.


The school was built before the Education Act of 1870 which provided for Government Grants and made school attendance compulsory. Its erection was In the era of "Voluntary” schools, all of which were supported by voluntary subscriptions, and the majority were founded by religious societies. In Norfolk, a great many, including Ellingham, were founded by me National Society for the Education of the Poor In the Principles of the Established Church (National Schools). According to the correspondence dated 1897 between the National Society and Mr Henry Smith of Ellingham Hall, the school site was given by Smith as a gift and he, together with members of his family and personal friends, contributed over £400 towards the cost of erecting the schoolroom and teacher’s house. The classroom measured 33 feet by 16 feet “...to accommodate 54 children.” Schools already existed at Loddon, Ditchingham, and Gillingham, and it must have been a great day for the village when Ellingham National School admitted Its first, pupil.


We do not know the lessons on that first day, but great events were shaping the world at that time. In the Spring the American Civil War ended followed by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the Suez Canal was nearing completion, Livingstone was in Africa, Disraeli was making his mark in parliament and the great Queen Victoria was on our throne.


Compulsory education 1870-1890

The Act of 1870 said that every child over five years of age should attend school until he or she was 10 years old. Although this act provided for government grants to all schools, these grants were dependent upon the pupils’ attendance and the attainments in the 3 r’s. All pupils under six qualified for 6s 6d per year, but those over six were allowed 4s 0d plus 2s 8d if they passed an examination t Reading, a further 2s 8d for Writing proficiency, and 12s 8d Arithmetic – 12s 0d in all. Inspectors were employed to administer the exams, and the annual Examination Day when the children were “presented” was the most important day on the calendar. Mr H. Smith would accompany the inspector, the rector would attend and a half-day holiday always followed the Inspection.
[Note – Pre-decimalisation there were 20 shillings (s) to the pound and 12 pence (d) to the shilling.]


At least three of the pupils who experienced these Inspections still reside locally. They are Mr G. Beckett (Ellingham), Miss E. Spalding (Kirby Cane), and Mr B. Randlesome (Ditchingham). At that time they had to pay school fees of 2d per week, they had to buy their copy-books and, after school, they had to take turns to sweep the classroom floor. In 1889, however, several parents protested about the sweeping and the rector decided that those children who were willing to sweep should be paid. No further protest is recorded.

The Reverend Robert Cartwright was Rector of Ellingham from 1843 until he died in 1882, and he and his family gave a great deal of their time to the school. Records show that Miss Lucy Cartwright “looked after the needlework”, Miss Alice Cartwright often brought along new books for the children to read and the rector himself called weekly to ”test the registers” and to put the clock right. No BBC time checks, or dialling TIM, for the headteacher.
[Note – TIM was a service where you could dial to hear the speaking clock (launched in 1936).]

When Miss Anne Elizabeth Cotton became headmistress in January 1878 her salary was around £1 per week with free house and coals. She lived in the small four-roomed schoolhouse with her father, Daniel Cotton, who was a retired teacher. Mr Cotton spent much of his retirement helping the infants to master the art of' reading¸ He also deputised for his daughter whenever she was ill.

Ellingham schoolhouse

The roll in 1878 was 35 pupils and Miss Cotton had no paid assistance, but in 1879 numbers increased to 60 and a paid monitor was appointed. Monitors were pupils who stayed on at school after the age of twelve. Their salary would be up to 2s 0d a week and most of them left as soon as they reached the age at which they could earn more money elsewhere. A few stayed longer. One of the Ellingham monitors subsequently became a teacher.
The school log-books furnish the names of the monitors as follows:

  • Laure Nethersole,1879
  • Emma Egget, 1881
  • Mary Frost, 1882
  • Ellen Felgate, 1883
  • Bessie Barber, 1893
  • Grace Cossey, 1898
  • Florence Brumbley, 1899 (Mrs Spalding)
  • Hilda Harvey, 1912 (Mrs Best)
  • Gladys Harvey, 1913 (Mrs Canham)
  • Mildred Osborne, 1913 (Mrs Warnes)
  • Celia Harvey, 1916 (Mrs Thrower)
  • May Moore, 1918.

Difficult times 1891-1896

The final decade of the nineteenth century began full of promise for our schools. The age for compulsory education was raised to 11. School fees were abolished and with them went, the examinations in the 3 r’s. Instead, the government paid Fee Grants plus further money for proficiency in special subjects such as drawing, geography etc.

Our local managers still had to maintain the building and there were many pressing on the income they derived from the Norwich Diocesan Board and the voluntary rate. The schoolroom floor needed re-laying, and playgrounds were badly needed as was an adult school cleaner. Although the inadequacy of one teacher had been evident for some time, it was in the annual report of 1892 that the Inspector stressed that Miss Cotton must be given some.

Led by the new rector, the Rev. W.D. French, the managers did what they could. In 1891 Henry Smith gave a quarter of an acre of land from the field adjoining the school for playgrounds, and a cleaner was appointed at a salary of 1s 6d per week in 1894. A year later Mr Culley from the White Horse re-laid the floor. Unfortunately, no assistance was obtained for the headmistress. She taught some 65 children single-handed, and her failing health forced her to resign after 10 years’ service to the school.

The managers then decided to employ a headteacher and an assistant at a joint salary. Thus it was that in 1895 two sisters took up the appointments. They were Miss M.M.A. and Miss K.I.R. Kirkby from Abingdon. Miss Monica was headmistress and her sister taught the infants behind a beige curtain near the entrance, door. Unhappily this did not produce the hoped-for result and both teachers resigned within a year. The rector and managers also resigned and it was on record that the school was in danger of Extinction.


During their stay, the bell-rope perished causing some inconvenience to the village. It seems that it was the custom for the school bell to be rung each school day at precisely 8.50 a.m. and again at 9 a.m., the peals being used to correct the clocks in the district. The bell, which is still in working order, Is inscribed as follows, “PRESENTED TO ELLINGHAM SCHOOL BY Mrs ARUNDEL 1865.” It was Mr Culley who kindly restored the rope.

School bell

From the early log-books, “The boys’ playground is separated from the girls’ by a high fence” (1891); a recalcitrant pupil was threatened with “a summons and the birch rod on his back” (1891); Ellen Barber “left to work in the Steam Mill” (1894 ). This was a corn mill, now demolished, which was near Mr Rushmere’s home. It was the mill after which Mill Road and Mill Lane were named. It was during this period that Ellingham Parish Council was formed. The first chairman was Mr H. Youngman, and the clerk was Mr Thomas Brown - an office he was destined to hold for the ensuing 43 years. The Council held its inaugural meeting in the school in 1894 and it continued to meet there until 1939. The composition of the Council in 1897 was: H. Youngman, H. Eggett, W. Felgate, Rev. W.d. french, F. Barber, H. Culley and J. Thurtell.

The Jubilee classroom 1897-1899

The fact that the school continued to function was due largely to the efforts of one man, Mr Henry Smith. It was he who in September 1896 became chairman of the managers and, with the help of Messrs Youngman and Barber, he began to raise money and to seek a headmaster. His efforts were rewarded and in October that year a Mr Walter Brumbley from Stony Stratford took over the headship with a Miss Kate Spalding as the infants’ teacher. Miss Spalding's father was the local road-man, and one ex-pupil can well remember how Spalding would carry with him a large harmer with which to break any dangerous stones.

These appointments seem to have been exactly what was needed. Visitors began to speak very highly of the school, but the roll quickly rose to 73 and another problem confronted the managers. One of Her Majesty’s Inspectors reported that “...the need of a classroom for the separate instruction of the youngest children should at once have the attention of the managers.”

In March 1897 Mr F. Brown, a local builder, visited the school and began to prepare plans and estimates for a new classroom. These were studied by the managers in April and they decided to set up a building fund. The response was rapid and generous. Our parishioners subscribed the sum of £65, the Diocesan Board of Education promised £15 and the National Society £12. On July 20th the building of the room was entrusted to Mr Brown at a contract price of £115. It was to be called “The Diamond Jubilee Classroom” and a name plaque was incorporated in the south wall. It is interesting to note that the name "ELLINGHAM” on the plaque was obliterated in 1940 when an invasion of our island seemed imminent. The name was restored in 1957. The builders began work on August 2nd and the room was first used on October 12th. Furniture for the infants cost £14, 18s 10d the bill being shared Mr Smith, the National Society and the Diocesan Board. The classroom was formally opened and dedicated by the Bishop of Thetford on January 25th, 1901.

The names of the subscribers to the building fund may recall memories of the older inhabitants of the area. They are as follows: 

  • The Rev. W.G. Aston, rector 
  • Mr F. Barber, blacksmith 
  • Mr J. Bishop, stationmaster 
  • Mrs Blomefield
  • Mr D. Brown
  • Mr T. Beckett, Hall cowman (lived at Dairy Farm)
  • Mr F. Brown, the builder
  • Mr T. Brown, his brother and Council Clerk (he married one of Mr Kent’s daughters and succeeded his father-in-law at the General stores. The Browns the lived at The Nurseries)
  • Mrs Brumbley, headmaster’s wife
  • Mrs Cartwright, widow of the former rector
  • Mr H. Culley, White Horse Innkeeper
  • Mr W. Felgate, the expert bellringer
  • Mrs Gregory, wife of Kirby Cane’s blind curate
  • Mrs Haydock 
  • Mr W. Hood, the station porter, lived at The island, Mill Road
  • Mr T. Hood, who worked at The Mill
  • Miss Jordan, from Home Farm
  • Mr Jex, at Waveney House
  • Mr S Kent, at the General Stores
  • Mr W. Manning, at Church Farm
  • Mrs Monckton, wife of the rector of Toft Monks and Mr Henry Smith’s sister
  • Mrs Osborne, overseer’s wife
  • Mr R. Pilgrim, at Sheepwalk Farm, K.C. 
  • Mr J. Rumsby, parish constable 
  • Mr Henry Smith 
  • Mr F. Snowling, at Hill Farm
  • Mr Y. Yourth. 

Descendants of many of these donors still reside locally including Mrs Elden (nee Brown) in Ellingham, Mrs Wise (nee Culley) at Lowestoft, Mrs Jermy (nee Felgate) at Kirby Cane, Col. H.B.L, Smith, Mr reg. Thrower at Broome and Mrs Ward (nee Youngman) also at Broome.


It was in 1897 that the government abolished their “payment by results” system and gave unconditional support to schools. Our School became a “Voluntary Aided School” and it remained so until 1949. Parliament also raised the age for compulsory school attendance to 12 years. 


In the Parish, the building of the class seems to have inspired a wave of philanthropy. In November 1898 a village sale in the school raised £36, 16s 21/2d for new desks in the original classroom. In 1899 the G.E.RaiIway Co. donated £10 towards school expenses. Meanwhile, the community gave its wholehearted support to a series of concerts and jumble sales arranged by Mr Brumbley. The proceeds from these were used In various ways; there were school visits to Lowestoft when all the children would have a high tee at one of the hotels, swings and gymnastic apparatus were bought for the playgrounds, and to commemorate the ending of the Boer War a flagstaff was erected in front of the school.


Financial stability led to much-needed improvement. A Kitchen and third bedroom were built onto the schoolhouse – these additions Must have been gratefully appreciated by Mrs Brumbley who then had seven children. Many will be pleased to learn that six of the Brumbleys’ children still live in East Anglia.


In October 1902 Mr Brumbley gave up his post for another appointment. His tenancy had been so successful that the managers again sought a headmaster to occupy the schoolhouse. They eventually chose a Mr William Hewin from Wolverhampton. He possessed typical Edwardian moustaches and very quickly became part of village life, being chairman of the Parish Council when he left five years later. His daughter, Miss V. Hewin, is at present teaching at Peddars Lane Infants’ School, Beccles. His successor was Miss Alice Giles, who remained in charge until her retirement in 1921.


Another jumble sale was held in 1901 during which the parishioners spent £32, 17s 7d in aid of school expenses. Evening classes started by Mr Brumbley were continued. Including a course on Farriery. It is also recorded that Capt. H. Smith gave a magic lantern entertainment to parents and children. 


The beginning of the century brought a series of special holidays. The pupils had a day’s holiday on 21st, May 1900 on receiving news of the relief of Mafeking - but only a half day was granted to celebrate the surrender of the Boers two years later. The school closed for a whole week for the coronation festivities in June 1902, a day off for the wedding of Lt-Col. H.L. Smith in March 1908 and the day of when King Edward VII visited Norwich in 1908.


Despite these official closures pupils were not content, and still more holidays were taken. They stayed away for Bungay Races each April, for Bungay Fair each May, to brush for pheasant shoots, to harvest potatoes and to take their fathers’ dinners during the harvest. One headmaster observed that a certain pupil “...has solved the question of whether she should attend school or not by becoming 13 years of age." 


One bereavement marred this otherwise happy and successful period. In May 1910 Mr Henry Smith was laid to rest in Ellingham Churchyard. In the words of a lady who knew him well, “he did more for the school than anyone else, and was a most kind and considerate gentleman.”

The Great War 1914–1918

The School’s first contribution to the war effort was in October 1914, when the pupils helped to collect warm clothing for the men of the 8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment who were under canvas at Purfleet. The appeal was trade by Mrs Smith whose husband was with this battalion. A school war-savings group was started in March 1917. In December that year, the school was the home for a village meeting on the food economy.

A considerable number of ex-pupils served in the armed forces, many of them serving with distinction. Cpl. E. Felgate was awarded the D.C.M. for “gallant conduct and devotion to duty when in charge of snipers at St Elio, C.S.M. Culley from the White Horse was Mentioned in Dispatches, and William E. Snowling won both the Military Medal and the Croix de Guerre. George Beckett (now at Ocean’s Gift) was with a minesweeper at Durazzo In 1916 evacuating the Serbians - with the Austrians advancing on the port. For this action, he was awarded the Serbian Medal and presented with a citation written in Serbian! Lieut. WaIter Brumbley (son of the school’s first headmaster) was posthumously awarded the Military Cross while serving with the Norfolk Regiment. The names of the other ex-pupils who made the supreme sacrifice are Edgar Cossey, Nelson Cossey, Samuel Cossey (with H.M.S. Lion at the Battle of Jutland), Albert Hood, Leonard Watson and William Ward.


Several older people will no doubt remember the excitement on a day in July 1916. It was the time when King George V reviewed troops of the Northern Army and a great many soldiers and horse-drawn guns passed through Ellingham. The school attendance figures for that day are not known. Excitement, of a different kind, was centred on the Ellingham Quoits Team. Weekly matches were played in the meadow adjoining Waveney House, the Leading quoit-throwers included C. Harvey, C. Buck, D. Snowling, C. & G. Hinsley, E. Brown, S. Spaldinq and of course John Thrower.

The school log book contains the following notice: On Tuesday, October 12th, 1915, passed away to his eternal rest the Reverend W. G. Aston, for eighteen years rector of this parish and manager of this school. The School had lost another great friend.

During the war, our pupils seem to have been afflicted by a great variety of infectious diseases. There are records of long closures for Scarlet Fever, Mumps, Whooping Cough and Measles - the school was even closed when the armistice was signed in 1918. Nevertheless, the children enjoyed a whole week’s Peace Holiday in November 1919.
It was during this period that Miss Florance Thrower, the infants’ teacher, became Mrs George Hinsley. In 1919 her husband was appointed a School Manager to represent the Parish Council. Mr Hinsley has acted in that capacity ever since, a total of 46 years. Others who served as managers for many years include the Rev. W.G. Aston, (1898 to 1915), Mr D. Barber (1907 to 1928), L-Col. H.L. Smith D.S.O. (1911 to 1936), Mr T. Brown (1915 to 1949), Re. J.T. Hendley (1918 to 1938) and Mr C. G. Harvey (1931 to 1955).

A period of change 1919-1938

Mrs Hinsley became ill In the summer of 1919 and with almost 60 children on roll help had to be found. Fortunately, Miss Giles had not far to look, and Miss Alice Culley from the White Horse was appointed. A year later the roll rose to 68 and the Education Committee sanctioned the employment of a third teacher. Thus it was that in May 1920 Miss Mildred Osborne joined the staff. In September that year she was absent from duty because of a wasp sting, then she was at home too In September 1921 - again because of a wasp. What was the fascination Miss Osborne had for wasps?

December 1921 saw Miss Culley married, the children having a day off to see the wedding and to say goodbye to their teacher. She was followed by Miss Beryl Utting from the Station House – who also married and left. Education Authorities are today worried by the high proportion of women teachers who marry after training and are often lost to the profession, but it appears that the same difficulties existed twenty years ago.

The girls of Ellingham School began to attend Cookery Classes in 1920. The weekly class was held in a “Schoolroom” just to the rear of Kirby Cane Methodist Chapel. The course which lasted one year was an extremely popular addition to the curriculum.

On February 27th 1920 the School received the sad news that their infants’ teacher had passed away following the birth of her baby. Mrs Hinsley had been at the school as a pupil, a monitor and as a teacher, her association with the school covered 37 years.

In 1925 lost Post Office. Despite protest by the Parish Council and by Old Age Pensioners, the Office was moved to Broome. Back in 1890 it was in the house now occupied by the Misses Norman in Yarmouth Rd., and was kept by Mr George Chipperfield who was also the village tailor. A little later it moved across the road to be kept by the blacksmith (Mr Fred Barber) and afterwards by his son – or was it their wives who kept shop? Ellingham Blacksmiths have always taken a great interest in the school. Both the Barbers were school managers and Mr Spinks is at present maintaining the tradition.
Five years later Ellingham’s first resident police constable arrived. He was P.C. Knights who stayed until February 1938 when P.C. Stevens took over the beat until 1940. The Police House was Simla in Mill
Road. Before 1930 the village was policed by the Ditchingham officer, and since July 1949 we have had a constable at Kirby Cane.
[The police house closed in the late 1960s.]

In March 1931 Miss Davey (later Mrs Minns) succeeded Mrs Chambers as headmistress. It was in that year that Mill Meadow was first used for organised games for the children. When Mill Meadow was taken for house-building the children used the small pasture adjoining the Yarmouth Road Corner until the transfer of the senior pupils to Bungay.

During 1932 the Yarmouth Electric Supply Co. brought electricity to Ellingham, but some fifteen years were to pass before the supply could be connected to the school. School members had that year dropped to below 40 and Miss Osborne moved to another post.

In 1934 the playgrounds, which became a quagmire in winter, were resurfaced with gravel while the approach to the main school door was improved with a wide concrete path. An Increasing number of cycles was being used for travelling to school and a shelter and rack for them were provided in the large playground. At that time milk was introduced into schools. Beginning, in a small way, this was a voluntary scheme of which an increasing number of parents took advantage. The milk was supplied in one-third pint bottles at a cost of 1/2d; ten years later the cost was abolished. The original supplies for our school came as fresh farm milk from Mr J. Buck's dairy herd at School Farm.

In the spring of 1935, the Parish mourned the death of L-Col. Smith. The headmistress and choirboys attended the funeral with representatives of all the organisations in which the Colonel had always taken an active part. Also in this year, the Jubilee of her majesties King George V and Queen Mary was celebrated. The school was given a holiday and the village was entertained with sports, games and a festive tea in the Hall Park.

The first weeks of 1938 saw the end of another era of school life with the death of the Rev. J.T. Hendley. For twenty years he had scarcely ever missed his session of scripture teaching to the senior class on Friday mornings. In every possible way, his time and talents were put at the disposal of the school and the parish, and his passing left a blank in village life.

Ellingham Primary School 1939-1948

The new secondary school at Bungay was completed in 1939 and, at the close of the summer term, 11 Ellingham pupils were officially transferred to what was then known as the Area School. The outbreak of war was in September, however, delayed the transfer and these pupils returned temporarily in the autumn term. After a few weeks, it was decided to follow the original plan and the school then became Ellingham Voluntary Primary School.

Air-raid precautions were practised, at that time the procedure being the speedy evacuation of the building to dispersal points (under the hedges of the nearby field) each child carrying a gas mask. Later safety precautions consisted of barricading the desks and sitting beneath them. Gas-mark drill and regular inspection were also part of the routine; the gas van visited the school and all children passed through it - or did they all? A note in the logbook states that one little boy's mother had forbidden him to enter the vane. Another entry that a pupil "had no valve in his Mickey Mouse.” What will future generations make of this? Incidentally, the only bombs to be dropped in the village landed in a field at Church Farm and caused no damage. In May 1940 a barrage balloon came adrift from its moorings at Cardington and, passing over the school, loosened the chimney-pots. The balloon came to rest in the meadow at the top of Wardley Hill.

Meanwhile, contribution to the war effort was getting into its stride. The children collected waste paper, bones and jam-jars for salvage. Sacks of acorns went off to Macleans to be used in making toothpaste etc. Continental supplies being cut off, the druggists were in desperate need of materials to cope with the demand for medicines. The pupils’ collection of dried herbs was sold and the money sent away for war relief. Carol Adams wrote an accompanying letter and duly received the Chancellor of the Exchequer's thanks.

The School Savings Group became very active. Children vied with each other to enrol every member of their households. Street groups were formed. Some entirely in charge of the older pupils, others worked by adult volunteers. Mrs Baldry, Mrs Boswell, Mrs Chorlton, Mrs Curson, Mrs Standing, Mr Tilney, Miss H. Youngman and the Rev. S.J. Pert all played their part in raising the tremendous total of twenty thousand pounds.

Many people will remember the building of the Bailey Bridge across the Waveney at Ellingham Mill by the Royal Engineers, who a few weeks later erected the selfsame bridge in France. An ex-pupil, Mr S. Baldry, wrote home to tell his family how, passing over a Bailey Bridge, he was suddenly confronted with the inscription "ELLINGHAM BRIDGE”.

Early war years saw the arrival of evacuees from London. Many returned very soon but others in due course took their places – joined by a few from Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth. A number of these stayed, growing up in village life, and it is gratifying to record that contact has been kept, and visits have continued.

For the second time in the history of the school, its ex-pupils were on active service in the armed forces, and again some were to lay down their lives. These were Mrs A. M. Curtis (nee Alice Butcher), Herbert Marshall, Raymond Burcham and Stanley Rumsey.

The 1st Ellingham Company of the Boys’ Brigade was formed in the autumn of 1942. The captain was the Rev. S.J. Pert, and the lieutenant was Mr H. Clifford (now in Ramsgate). The company was continued with various officers.

Controlled status 1949-1965

A great deal of repair work had become necessary as a result of war damage and neglect. A land mine at Kirby Cane had severely shaken the school and ceilings had been temporarily patched. Therefore the managers decided that with rising costs they were no longer able to meet their financial responsibilities and they reluctantly sought “Controlled Status.” The then Minister of Education grab=nted this with effect from March 11th, 1949. 


In 1951 piped water supply was brought to the village, and the Norfolk Education Committee readily authorised its extension to the school. The work which begun in 1952 consisted of installing washbasins in the children’s lobbies, fitting flush lavatories and building a new school kitchen complete with an electric water heater. Up to this time, drinking water was supplied from a pump in the schoolhouse and rainwater was used for washing. 


The playgrounds, which had received no attention for twenty years, had deteriorated and following a visit from the Assistant Education Officer in December 1952, the Ed. Committee agreed to have them tar-paved. The new surfaces, with soakaways, were a great improvement.


Saturday, January 3rd 1953 saw a unique event in the history of the village. At 9.15 p.m. the last passenger train called at Ellingham Station and almost the whole village turned up to see its departure – many people travelling on it to Beccles. Our platform was crowded, while in the ticket office Mr W. Dale issued a record number of single tickets to Beccles. Our railway line, built by G.E.R. Co., was opened in February 1863. the journey then from Norwich Victoria to Beccles took 80 minutes; in 1951 the scheduled time was 90 minutes! In 1923 the line became part of the L.N.E.R. Group, then in 1947, it became British Railways Eastern Region. It has just been announced that the line will close completely on the 17th of next month. The stationmasters at Ellingham were Charles Hubbard (1890), James Bishop (1904), Henry Head (1931) and William Bale (1949).

[Note – The Beeching Cuts closed the line completely on 19th April 1966.]


On 29th May 1953 a service was held in the school to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Festivities in honour of the event included a parish tea in the school and sports on the rectory meadow.


Broome C.P. School closed in 1960, and in September that year, five of their pupils joined the Ellingham roll. Shortly afterwards the Rev. G.E. Jarrold left for Rougham after 10 years in the parish. Having served the school for 31 years, after a considerable period of ill health, Mrs Minns felt obliged to give up teaching and she relinquished her post as headmistress in July 1962.

What was probably Ellingham’s first village football club* was formed in 1962 and achieved immediate success. They won the Loddon Patterson Cup, which they won again the following season together with the Bungay Charity Cup. The Club’s Saturday afternoon activities are now a part of village life. 

[*Note – In 1810 a type of football was played called a ‘camping match’, see A chronicle of Ellingham & Kirby Cane.]


Although the winter of 1962-63 was one of the most severe of the century, the school never closed. Great credit must go to the acting h.ead, Mrs M Ames and to her assistant, Mrs M. Swann. It was during the freeze-up that Mr Ralph Tipler was appointed - the first male head since Mr Hewin left in 1907. 


New building in the district caused numbers to rise, and the 16 feet square Jubilee Classroom proved too small for the twenty or so Infants therein. The Norfolk Education Committee generously provided a large airy classroom with all modern amenities, the small room became the school dining room. These improved facilities have been gratefully appreciated by managers, staff, parents and children. It is a happy coincidence that the new room has come into use during this centenary year.

[On Wednesday, 25th March 1970, Kirby Cane Voluntary Controlled Primary School closed and 11 pupils moved to Ellingham.

Mr Tipler retired on the 31st July 1981.]

Teaching staff 1877-1965

1877-1895 Miss Cotton

1895-1896 The Misses Kirkby

1896-1898 Mr Brumbley & Miss Spalding

Mr & Mrs Brumbley, Miss Spalding & Miss Thrower (photo.courtesy of Tim & Steve Harvey)

1899-1901 Mr Brumbley & Miss Thrower

1901-1902 Mr Brumbley & Mrs Brumbley

1902-1904 Mr Hewin & Mrs Hewin

1905-1907 Mr Hewin & Miss Thrower

1908-1919 Miss Giles & Miss Thrower

1919-1920 Miss Giles & Miss Culley

1920-1921 Miss Giles & Miss Culley, Miss Osborne

1921 Miss Fairchild & Miss Culley, Miss Osborne

1922-1925 Miss Fairchild & Miss Utting, Miss Osborne

1925-1928 Miss Chambers & Miss Utting, Miss Osborne

1929-1930 Miss Fairchild & Miss Jellis, Miss Osborne

1931 Mrs Minns & Miss Gardiner, Miss Osborne

1932 Mrs Minns & Mrs Riches, Miss Osborne

1933-1936 Mrs Minns & Mrs Riches

Mrs Riches, when Mrs Minns was headmistress (photo.courtesy of Tim & Steve Harvey)

1937-1947 Mrs Minns & Mrs Standing

1948-1949 Mrs Minns & Mrs Cripps

1950-1958 Mrs Minns & Mrs Buck

1959 Mrs Minns & relief teacher

1960-1962 Mrs Minns & Mrs Swan

1963-1964 Mr Tipler & Mrs Swan

1965 Mr Tipler & Miss Loy.