EVERTON LOWER SCHOOL
There are records of three “schools” in the parish - one in the form of a class in Woodbury Hall where, from 1832 to 1837 the Rev. Thomas Shore gave specialist tuition to the children of the gentry, one in the village itself and the other on Everton Heath. At one time children used to attend classes in the room below the church tower where one of the Astell daughters taught. Hilda Brooker recorded how her grandmother used to attend and take a halfpenny a week (£0.0025) for a slate pencil and this was all they had to work with. Despite this, she still wrote beautiful writing. Apart from hymn books they only had two books to read - "The Bible" and "The Life of Christ." When she got older she bought "The Christian Herald," The two books were bought from a journeyman for 1d. a week (£0.005). There was also classes in one of the rooms at the pub. Hilda Brooker's father attended when he was very young. He had to take 2d (£0.01) for a book and pencil and ld a week for tuition. Children left school as soon as they could earn a living. Their first job was often scaring birds from the corn, with shouts and wooden clappers. (Brooker, H. Everton Church Flower festival, July 1984 p.2)
The original village school house was in a barn belonging to Church Farm on the land opposite the Parish Hall. It was called Jubilee Barn, built at the time of Queen Victoria's silver jubilee in 1896? As pupil numbers increased, the board of governors decided on larger premises - a building at the end of Manor Farm. This was again a temporary room until the present school was built in ???? and the schoolroom was lived in by Mr and Mrs Gurney. Jubilee Barn was burnt down in 1956 and rebuilt by Mr Pym. Frank Hunt was the foreman of the builders and it is said he put two half crowns in the brickwork.
The Anglicans founded the Bedfordshire Institution in 1815. Subscriptions were collected to set up new schools and one was built in Everton to train children in principles of established church. It used the monitorial system where older students supervised the learning of the youngsters. (CRO X.25; GA2568; Godber,Joyce ‘The History of Bedfordhsire‘ pp.431-2)
On Everton Heath there was another schoolhouse opposite the Lodge entrance to Woodbury Hall. In 1868 John Harvey Astell had a room added onto the side of the cottage where the children of his estate labourers were given a basic tuition by his daughters. It was also used as a Sunday School and later on as a village Hall. Before 1914 it was used by the Mothers Union, between the wars by the Scouts, for "Housie Housie," (bingo) and Football Club dinners. During the Second World War it was used by the Home Guard. Several wedding receptions were held there. After the war it became an extra room for the cottage. (Notes of Major Wills, Everton Heath)