Class clock goes back to 1914 at Doncaster school

Children from Toll Bar Primary take part in a centenary event.
Children from Toll Bar Primary take part in a centenary event.

A lot has happened since Toll Bar Primary School opened its doors to the first pupils 100 years ago this September.

A world war had just started – and another one followed a quarter of a century later.

In more recent times the school on the A19 suffered horrendous flooding when Toll Bar was inundated in the summer of 2007.

But now it is a time to celebrate the last 100 years of education in the village as the school year draws to a close.

Headteacher Jill Northwood said centenary celebrations were the culmination of a term of events to mark 100 years of a school which opened after Toll Bar parents protested about their children having to attend a school in Bentley New Village prior to 1914.

Although the actual centenary is not until September, the staff wanted the current Year 6 pupils to enjoy the events before they move up to senior schools.

Among the events were a 1914 dressing up day where all pupils and staff wore Edwardian-style outfits.

There was a walk up to the Bentley pit top, where many of the children’s ancestors would have worked, and a summer fair with Deputy Mayor Glyn Jones and chief executive Jo Miller among the guests.

“It has been a fabulous week and has been a real community event, not just involving the school.

“We have had former pupils, the oldest was 94, coming into school and helping us celebrate,” said Mrs Northwood.

She is convinced Toll Bar Primary will still be there in another 100 years, especially after it overcame the major setback of closure due to the floods of seven years ago.

They caused more than £500,000 worth of damage, which forced the school to decamp into a cluster of temporary structures known as modular buildings, put up on what was the school playing field.

Many of the pupils’ families had to make their homes in caravans.

The school wanted to ensure some sort of stability for the children in their disrupted lives so staff organised a number of after-school clubs to prevent children ‘from going straight back into a caravan’ when lessons ended.