Can still be seen on Google Earth Street View…
‘I do know they had a generous offer for this building and land before it became derelict, while the plans were going through for the new Lift building at the rear.This guy wanted to develop it into a small hotel,retaining all the front wall containing the windows, doors and tower also the two dwellings by its side, then building from this to the rear,the playground as a forecourt. They turned him down and refused his offer, then let it fall down. ‘
SCHOOL IN THORNE, PAST AND PRESENT
Fieldside School was initially known as The Board School and was built in 1877; Fieldside was known as North Field in those days. This school was one of Thorne’s splendid buildings and very significant to its history.
The school was L shaped, with a separate entrance and classrooms adjoined to therear of the main building. The first house adjoining the school was originally used as accommodation for the Headmaster, the front ground floor were his offices. In later years, the offices were still used for purpose and the remaining rooms were used for storage. The second house was originally used to accommodate the staff and later housed the caretaker and his family.
There was an entrance at each end of the front of the building, one for boys and onefor girls. The tower, which was 40 feet high, held water tanks in order to operatethe ‘new fangled’ flush toilets below. These were removed in the early 1950s and new toilets were installed in the playground at the rear of the building. Cloakrooms with sinks and running water were then installed at each end of the main building and the adjoining building at the rear.
In the early days the school was heated by coal burning, guarded stoves in each class room; in 1950, coal fired central heating was installed and radiators replaced the dated stoves.
In the early 1970s, Fieldside Junior School was deemed obsolete until in 1973 when Doncaster College shared the school with DMBC and used it for further education purposes. Unfortunately, the building was very badly neglected by both Doncaster College and DMBC, no attempt having being made to keep the building in good repair and became classed as a dangerous Grade II listed building.
In the early 2000s, a developer came along and made an offer for the land and building, intending to build back from the façade, therefore retaining the features. He planned to build a hotel or apartments, whichever DMBC would agree to. The offer was turned down and the building started to fall down. Sadly, Fieldside School was finally demolished in 2007.
Tucked away behind Fieldside Junior School where all small children would be safe, was Fieldside Primary School, also built in 1877 in the same style as the junior school. This school had outside water flush small toilets and coal fired guarded stoves in each class room.
The Assembly Hall in Fieldside Primary School,
To accommodate the ‘baby boom’ in the early 1950s, pre fabricated class rooms wereerected to the rear and side of the main building of the school and coal fired central heating was installed to supply all the buildings.
The Secondary Modern for Boys School opened in 1931, sited at the rear of the primary school and facing North Eastern Road. The school was built around a quadrangle. There were indoor toilets and cloakrooms and coal fired stoves in the classrooms. These were replaced with coal fired central heating in 1950.
In 1973, when the new Comprehensive system was introduced in Thorne, this school was renamed NorthFieldSchool. For the first time since the school was built both girls and boys were taught here from the age of nine to thirteen years. The school was closed in 1996, by this time being surplus to requirements. This building was demolished in the mid 2000s, eventually to be replaced by a small group of residential properties by the year 2013.
The Grammar School was officially opened in 1930 by Princess Mary, the small gold coloured spade which she used to plant a small oak tree in the grounds is on display in the Trinity Academy. The main part of this building still exists on Church Balk and has now been converted into residential apartments, mews type houses have been built on the school’s tennis courts to the front of the building, St Nicholas Mews.
In 1930, the girls were transferred to the newly opened Grammar School.
William Brookes, a tanner of Thorne, willed the finance to build the school, also land and buildings to be rented, the proceeds used for the employment of a master to teach the boys. The parents of all the boys except ten, paid tutoring fees, the ten boys who were tutored free were from some of the poorest families in Thorne.
In 1930, the children from the Brookes Trust School, later known as the Old Grammar School, were transferred to the new Grammar School to continue their education. The Old Grammar School was then used only as an annexe for Fieldside School, the odd class was taken there and school dinners were also served. The school was then abandoned in the 1970s, after a while the school and accommodation was sold to private owners.
The Old Grammar School and accommodation, Grade II listed, is looking in a very sorry state, and, unless drastic steps are taken to save this building, Thorne may lose yet another significant historic building.
The Travis School on Church Street was opened in 1866 and was one of three schools provided by Henry Travis. The other Travis Schools were to be in Hatfield and Wroot. He willed two farms which were situated on Thorne Levels, the proceeds of which, were to be used towards the founding of the schools.
The Fieldside and the Travis Schools were the only elementary schools in Thorne until 1939. In the 1970s this Grade II listed little school was used as an annexe for the Grammar School for a while until it was found to be surplus to requirements and was left abandoned for a while until the early 1980s, when it was thankfully saved by our famous local sculpture, Byron Howard. Byron and his wife restored the building while converting it into their home. We now have attractive luminous corbels in the bell tower watching over us, this building is surely one of the land marks of Thorne.
The Green Top School was built on ‘The Hall’s’ field on Southfield Road in 1938 and was opened in 1939. It was built and equipped in a very modern style, way beyond its time. This school had its own cook house and dinner hall in the grounds and catered for the Travis School children at lunch time.
There have been many extensions to the school since 1939. The school taught three to eleven year old children at that time and continues to do so.
Since this school was built, four more schools followed in order to accommodate the growing number of children of the growing population of Thorne. These schools were positioned in the north and the south of Thorne for the convenience of the residents in these areas.
The Peel Castle Primary School, on Peel Castle Road, built in the late 1950’s and opened in the early 1960s, a modern single storey school which catered for primary age children. This school became surplus to requirements in the early 1980s and is now the local Pentecostal Church.
Brooke Primary School, on Wykegate Road, was named ‘Green Lane School’ in the beginning, a single storey modern school. This school was built and opened in the mid 1970s when the Comprehensive system was implemented. This school provided education for nine to thirteen year olds at that time. These days, three to eleven year olds are taught here.
The King Edward School is a single story modern school and was built on King Edward Road in the late 1970s at the time of the beginning of the Comprehensive System when nine to thirteen year olds were educated here, These days, three to
eleven year olds are taught here.
After the influx of the Comprehensive era which began in 1973 in this area, the
Grammar School, being the only secondary school in Thorne was seriously extended.
By the early 2000s the original buildings of this beautiful old school were becoming outdated. The extensions appeared to be a little ‘careworn’.
Academy. Historic items such as the spade which was used by Princess Mary for the planting of the oak tree at the opening ceremony of the Grammar School in 1930 also the War Memorial Plaque and stained glass window were moved to the new school and re dedicated.
This school is ultra modern, complete with up to date equipment, first class education and training of young adults. The sports facilities and training are outstanding. Another land mark of Thorne.
Compiled, written and illustrated by Viv Bothamley
Coloured Photographs by Cathy Daniels, Lisa Miller and Stephen Jones
©Thorne Conservation Group
THE CASE OF THE MISSING MILE STONES
The Grade II Listed milestone attached to the front wall of Fieldside School disappeared in the mid 1980s, it was a Mid C19, flat headed plaque with raised lettering in three panels which read – THORNE in the top panel – Selby 15 in the lower left panel – Bawtry in the lower right panel, the same type of milestone disappeared from Foundry Lane across the road. They were painted white and black. Lots of people reported the milestones as missing to both Thorne Council and the Police. They knew about it and just gave a shrug of the shoulders as if to say – so what? Every small aspect of Thorne’s past history should important to us.
Who would want these antiquities of Thorne? I feel they are not far away; perhaps they could be returned to their rightful places in the dead of night – no questions asked.