Gisburn Primary School

Head Teachers

Pre 1898 to 1901 Mr Alex Mack.
1901 to 1908 (7years) Miss Edith Pye.
1908 to 1911 (3) Miss Jane Esden.
1911 to 1921 (10) Mr Percy Parkinson.
1921 to 1933 (12) Mr Reginald Pye.
1933 to 1962 (29) Mr John S.Precious.
1963 to 1967 (4) Mr Jack Cross.
1967 to 1985 (18) Mr Dan Packer.
1985 to date Mrs Jackie Hargreaves.

School History

Gisburn National School room opened in 1875, in the building which is now Gisburn Festival Hall. The building accommodated 118 children at 8 square feet per child. By 1905, 76 children were registered on the school roll. Prior to this there was a school in the churchyard.

Gisburn new Council School opened in its present location on September 27th 1913. The total cost of the school and house including the land (purchased from Lord Ribblesdale) was £1,721. Half this cost was met by the West Riding County Council, the remainder fell on the local rates. The money was borrowed at 3.5 per cent, repayments were spread over a period of 30 years. The school was built to accommodate approximately 100 children, and became a County Primary School on the 23rd August 1949, admitting children up to the age of 11 yrs only.

In 1933 Gisburn School was described as "The finest school in the area which ought to have an 'up to date' lighting installation". The two principle rooms were without any light at all, and on dark mornings the teachers could not give the usual lessons but had to stand by the windows and read to the scholars until full daylight came. In the afternoon in winter it was often dark too at 3 o'clock. Oil lamps of sufficient power would cost an estimated £17.10s, Electric lights would cost an estimated £25. The County Authority were to be asked to install electric lights in the school. 

Second World War and evacuees

The second world war made a significant impact on school life. The school roll fluctuated frequently between 1939 and 1945, as evacuees from Bradford, Manchester, London and Brighton (danger zones and bombed areas) came and went.

At one point there were 37 evacuees in the school. Temporary seating and desk accommodation had to be squeezed into the schoolrooms. Temporary teaching staff were sent from Bradford and Brighton. The head teacher Mr J S Precious, was required to be absent from school on several occasions in his capacity as the local reception and billeting officer. Local policeman P.C. Bromwich visited the school occasionally to inspect the Gas -Masks and their boxes, and give children drill in putting on and taking off masks with a 5 minute wearing period. 'Anti Splinter material was pasted onto the inside of external windows, and to both sides of all internal windows throughout the school to help prevent injury through flying glass in the event of bombing. Air Raid warning practices were frequently held, and several Air Raid Warning "Red Alerts" were given. Children had to be assembled in the school yard and dispersed to houses in the village until the "All Clear' siren was given. When neighbouring Chatburn was bombed, children were required to lie down on the floor "Top to Tail" in the corridor, as there was insufficient time for them to be evacuated to the village.

School Dinners

School dinners were first served at Gisburn school on the 28th August 1944. The cost was 5d (2p) per day and meals were transported in containers from the "Bamoldswick Kitchen". Arrangements went well on that day with the exception that meat pie and cabbage were short in quantity. The new scheme was to cover a period during which Gisburn schools own kitchen was to be built.


In 1941 during the "Annual dental treatment" 86 children were treated, 117 extraction fillings and 25 OT (possibly "other treatment")  were recorded.

School attendance in Gisburn was often disrupted due to a variety of illnesses. The school was closed in 1880 due to a measles epidemic. Whooping Cough, Influenza, Measles, Scarlet Fever, "The Sickness" and "a dreadful skin disease which resembles very much' the itch', " are all recorded at the beginning of this century.

Employment !

The following are a list of typical entries in Gisburn school log book regarding employment of children at the end of the last century:

27th June 1898 Attendance this morning is 74, several boys were employed in the Cattle Market.
19th Sept 1898 Attendance today has been bad owing to many of the boys being engaged in the Cattle Market.
14th Dec: 1898 Nearly all the boys in the first class are absent owing to being engaged as "Beaters" for a party of shooters.
7th July 1899 Attendance fallen due to Hay Harvest.
11th Sept 1899 Many boys away from school, employed by a party of shooters.