The first week of September means back to school for students and school staff. I was glad once I’d reached the end of my formal education and started work, that for me, September was much like any other month. Although, it never was quite like any other month. The feeling that something was finishing and something else starting has never left me and I still find September a bitter sweet month. Whether I’d have lost that feeling if I hadn’t later worked in a school, I don’t know but my friends who still work in education are very much on my mind this week. I hope the excitement of the new term is greater than the sadness that summer is over!
With schools on my mind, I have been thinking about Puckle’s School. The photo shows Beaumaurice Stracey-Clarke, who became rector of St. Nicholas Church, Laindon with Dunton, Essex, in 1883. He took over from John M. Proctor who was rector from 1878. This was one year after Puckle’s School closed and reopened in a building a short way from the church, as Laindon Park School. But the rector who was in position, when Puckle’s School finally closed was Revd. John F. Collis, who became rector in 1852. The last schoolmaster, James Hornsby, held the position for forty-eight years, from 1829 to 1877, so would probably have known Revd. Collis well. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any photographs of James Hornsby, John Collis or John Proctor and the first rector whose photograph I’ve ever seen is of Beaumaurice Stracey-Clarke.
I was contacted a few years ago by someone who is descended from Beaumaurice Stracey-Clarke and who was researching her family tree, which was very exciting. And it must be strange for her to know here ancestor worked in Laindon in St. Nicholas Church. I recently found out where one of my ancestors worked in the late 1800s and also, that I’d been in the particular establishment (more of that in another post!).
James Hornsby and his wife Catherine, as well as John Collis all appear in my ebook, ‘Daffodil and the Thin Place’, although many of the characters are fictional. If you’d like to read the story, you can buy a copy of ‘Daffodil and the Thin Place’ here on the Muse It Up Publishing website. All profits will go towards the renovation and upkeep of the St. Nicholas Church building. #MuseItUp #DaffodilAndTheThinPlace