Heritage & Achievements

Below are excerpts from Framwellgate Moor Parish records. and the school log books, which survived. Should you have any of your own personal photos, or can add any historical documents, or family anecdotes, we’d love to hear from you…

Brief Timeline:

  • Framwellgate School Board was formed in 1875 to create the school
  • Framwellgate Board School opened in 1877
  • The cost of constructing the School was £3133.81
  • The building opened in 1969 as the local Community Centre
  • In 1977 the school’s centenary took place
  • Later it became a Community Centre, which originally belonged to Durham County Council Local Authority
  • Because of Government cuts, in 2010-11 Durham County Council decided that many community facilities could not be funded from existing resources
  • In 2011 the centre was on list B of community facilities threatened with closure unless extra resources became available
  • The centre was successful in putting forward its case for continuing to remain open
  • 2013 saw the building undergoing an extensive £240,000 refurbishment programme
  • In 2014 the premises were secured on a 30 year lease as part of Durham County Council’s asset transfer program
  • The centre is now managed and maintained as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation by Framwellgate Moor Youth & Community Association.

Since then…,the centre has undergone a series of public consultation, and refurbishment achieved by funding. This has been secured by the hard work of our past and current Chairman and Trustees, with special mention to Colin Hillary, previous Chair, during the Asset Transfer.

The achievements could not have been made without the support of local Stakeholders, from both the public, and with Corporate Strategic Partnerships.

These Partnerships have future proofed the Centre for generations to come, as a centre of learning, fitness and events, which the whole community can use and be proud of.

A little interesting History:

The Framwellgate School Board formed in 1875 to create the school and its building. It was typical of many such boards throughout the country.

The prevalence of school centenaries in the past few years is accounted for by the passage of the so-called Forster Education Act in 1870 which made possible the formation of School Boards to supplement the existing patchy and inadequate school system of the mid Victorian era.

In 1935 the schools were reorganised (and Brasside was closed) to show these here, might cause embarrassment for some old pupils and staff still living locally. but some , more distant in time, are here, as these pose the least risk of personal memory and the most marked in contrast to modern conditions in and out of school.

All schools kept log books of the day-to-day activities that took place. The entries dealt with pupils’ behaviour, recorded their attendance and also the type of punishments issued. The log book also attempted to indicate what the actual school population was at various times. Below are extracts from one of the log books of this former school. These were kept by the headmaster, who lived on the premises in the headmaster’s house.

Obviously the ordinary working of the school was an issue – it covered methods of teaching. It was also interesting to see what the log books tell us about the children: their behaviour, their attendance record, their attitude to work and their progress. On a wider level the log books reflected both local and national events.

Certain themes and aspects of school life can be viewed. One such example is the number and frequency of holidays. The Schools soon established a regular pattern of holidays – a month in summer, a week at Christmas, at Easter and at Whitsuntide. The October holiday is a later addition – the higher absentee rate during potato picking shows that this holiday is simple accepting a fact of life. Other ‘holidays’ are given in the form of occasional days or half days for a variety of reasons – good attendance was rewarded by a half day holiday per month (a scheme that might well be revived). The democratic processes involve closures, as do major national events, such as royal weddings, funerals and coronations, while the end of the war in 1918 gave the pupils an extra holiday. Another category of ‘holiday’ shows up in the section on health and welfare – epidemics of measles or influenza might lead to a closure which could last up to five weeks.

The school log books from the building when it was in use as a school, is a very variable form of historical document. Its purpose was to record events of varied nature – at an early stage it contained, verbatim, inspectors reports. In its pages we can glimpse at the working of a school, gain some knowledge of the condition of the buildings and have a school eye view of national and local events.

It is variable in another sense; it is a record compiled by the Head Teacher of a deputy. As personnel changes so does the emphasis on particular areas of school life; some head teachers are more detailed than others.

Over a hundred year the log book has not retained its importance as a record of the school’s life. In the past two decades the log book seems to have become a skeleton of its former self. So much more happens in a large school that a head teacher could not really reflect events in a log book and still do all that has to be done.

The Great War, for example, has a variety of implications for the school – turnover of staff, bereavement, a worsening diet and the need to collect fruit to help overcome the effects of the German blockade. We see acts of charity and kindness by both pupils and adults – indeed it is tempting to suggest that all of life is there. It is difficult to convey the richness of the information recorded without stealing the thunder of the entries themselves.

In 1977, the centenary, of the school which opened in 1877, was in no way remarkable. More remarkable is the transformation that has taken place since due to the boom in education which was a post war phenomenon.

In 2011, due to the Governments announcement of a decade of austerity measures, and budget cuts. Local Authorities looked at buildings such as Community Centres, and included them on the register of Local Authority Asset Transfers. Previous Chairman and local councillor Colin Hillary, led the way, to the building being transferred into community ownership for a period of 30 years. A public consultation took place with over 4,000 local residents, as to their wishes to help shape our plans for the future use of the building,

Our Present:

Since then we have undertaken, a £240,000 refurbishment programme, made possible by successful bids for funding and grants as well as some Strategic Partnerships, more detailed info can be found on our Corporate Supporters. page.

Framwellgate Moor Youth & Community Association is proud to have a First World War Memorial prominently displayed in the Adult hall. The Memorial is registered with the War Memorials Commission and annually decorated with poppies for Remembrance day.

Our Future:

Our Future Aims and Goals, detail some of our “future wish list” of outstanding projects. Details of our current Corporate Supporters and how you as a Corporate or member of the public can help, as a Trustee or Volunteer, can be found in Join us.

A personal Welcome from our Current Chair, Ken Gates, can be found in our Governance section.

We want to ensure this beautiful building is viable for future generations – please do take the time to see how you can get involved, as an individual or Corporate. We really cant do this without your help!

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