Plumbing and Heating

Inside the School


  • There was no toilets indoors. The toilets were outside and had no running water or sinks or toilet paper.
  • Everyday water had to be fetched from the pump for the teacher’s tea and from a water barrel across the road for washing dishes and “flushing” the toilets
  • The children loved to get the job of “flushing “ out the dry toilets with water as they were outside missing school.


  • The classrooms were heated by an open fires. If you sat near the front you were warm and if you were at the back you were cold.
  • Children brought a sod of turf to school to pay for their education
  • One boy came early to school and lit the fires
  • Lack of heat meant every winter children got chilblains among other illnesses.


  • Children sat on benches and stored books under the desks. The floors were timber and were swept each day by the children. Furniture was sparse. The windows were high so the children wouldn’t  look out!
  • Juniors used slates and chalk and older children used pens and nibs.
  • The teacher mixed ink from powder and this was poured into ceramic inkwells on each desk.
  • Children used blotting paper to dry their writing but it was really hard to write neatly and not blot the page .