Cheadle Primary (The model school)

by Ian O'Brien, 2014

There were 3 other schools that existed long before the first bricks were even laid for Cheadle Primary School (otherwise known as the 'Model School'). In date order of being recorded for use as a school: 1) St. Mary's National School (1837) this school was situated where Tesco is now (opposite the Post Office), 2) The Wesleyan School at Eden Place (1880) off Mary Street and 3) 'Red Cap' School (1884) behind Haw Bank House (opposite the George and Dragon). Cheadle Primary as it was to be known was designed by a Mr Earnshaw,  a resident of Cheadle. The school was built on the site of Ashfield house where a Mr Sutcliffe, known locally as 'Gentleman Sutcliffe' lived. The contractors were Wilson and Toft from Manchester, and work commenced in March 1908 and was completed 12 months later.

The approximate cost of the building was £9,000 which equates to almost £945,000 in today's money (2014) 

The Wesleyan School at Eden Place closed it's day school on the day Cheadle Primary School opened, and the headmaster, Mr George Bates, a well-respected gentleman, had already been appointed to take overall charge of the new Ashfield Road school. A Miss Murial Dawes was the head of the infant's department.

Cheadle Primary school opened its doors on 1st April, on the first day of opening the school started the term with 178 pupils in the mixed department and 76 in the infant's department,

Here are a few of the names of pupils who attended the first day:

 

Harry Chester.......................18 Platt Street 

Alfred Coombes....................24 Church Street

James Goddard.....................18 Manchester Road

John Street..........................19 Platt Street

Albert Wrench........................4 Holmes Street

Florence Bickerton.....................Cheshire Lines Station

Evelyn Cook.........................14 Platt Street

Gladys Garner.........................4 Cromer Road

Dorothy Marsh......................32 Lime Grove

Margaret Read...........................Ivy Lodge

 

Dorothy Marsh was the daughter of William Marsh, owner of the well known Cheadle printers.....Marsh's.

Cheadle Primary School was able to accommodate 500 children when in full use, 160 in the infant's department (university building) and 340 in the mixed department (main building).

In those days however, the boys and girls were kept separate from each other, and there was even a big wall that divided the playground in two! 

There was no shortage of pupils, with the Wesleyan school closed, it had become the main school in the area,  there were also constant applications from pupils attending St. Mary's National School. Children used to affectionally refer to Cheadle Primary as the 'Chips, Peas and Sausages School', by using the school's initials! 

in 1911, on 14th April, just after the second anniversary of the school opening, there was a prize giving day dedicated to pupils who had scored good attendance, achieved progress and good conduct, one of those awarded was printers daughter Dorothy Marsh.

By the time Mr Bates retired in 1923,  he had been responsible for the education of 4,000 pupils and 3 generations of families.....A unique record for the time!

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