John Harper EXPOSED

By Tom, Jack, Praise, Faith, Gabriela, Maisie

North Street School’s first headmaster John Harper

John Harper was headmaster at North Primary School for 28 years, from 1894 to 1922. We analysed old school photographs and medals that were awarded at the time.

One of our sources was a lady called Margaret Gilbert, she went to North when captain Twyman was the headmaster. Her mother and two uncles Herbert and Frederick Laccohee went to North when John Harper was the headmaster.

We looked at a census record which gave us more information about the Laccohee family [Margaret’s family]. Girls wore aprons to cover their clothes because they did cooking and only did a weekly wash.

We looked at a picture that showed us that there was a wall dividing the playground, so the boys and girls didn’t play together.

Girls playground

We have read Herbert Laccohee’ s reference letter written by John Harper. When Herbert left school when he was 13, he became an apprentice carpenter.

At the time of John Harper these are some of the teachers names: Miss Beard, Miss Ashley, Mr Bate and Mr Andrews .

From 1913 – 1922 there were no uniforms.  North usually won the swimming competitions.  They were also very good at netball.  Princess Mary got married in 1922 and the school had a day off.  This was the same year that John Harper retired.

There were 668 students in total in 1906. 

One girl went down an ice slide and dislocated her thumb. The teacher put back in with a book and she fainted.

They played skipping or marbles in playground.