Solway Plain - past and present by the Holme St Cuthbert History Group



Holme St Cuthbert School Garden, early 1900s

The children at Holme St Cuthbert School have a tradition of gardening, which goes back nearly 100 years. The instigator was Mr Andrew Wilson, Headmaster from 1911 to 1931. Within three months of taking up his new post, he had gained approval from the school managers and a grant from the Longcake Charity ‘To establish and maintain a school garden’.

School Logbook entry

Mr Wilson was obviously very keen. The entry in the school logbook for 4th December 1911 lists the gardening tools that arrived that day and noted that they started gardening that afternoon.

Holme St Cuthbert School Garden, 1930s

In Spring 1912, Mr Wilson and the older boys set about creating a fruit plot in the glebe field below the church. On 2nd April, they planted 25 apple trees, 5 pear trees, 6 plum trees, gooseberry bushes, blackcurrants, redcurrants, and raspberry canes.

Gardening tools
Some of the original tools are still in use.

At first only the boys were allowed to garden and the girls had to do sewing with Miss Allen. By June 1912, the girls were allowed in the garden. The girls tended the flower gardens, while the boys grew vegetables and fruit. They both learnt the skill of grafting roses and the boys learnt how to graft fruit trees.

Holme St Cuthbert School girls with garden produce

The boys were allowed to sell the vegetables they grew. In October 1925 the older boys received 37/6d. for their efforts.

Holme St Cuthbert School, interior 1950s.

This photograph taken in the early fifties shows the old wooden desks used in the school, probably the same desks were used by many generations of children who attended the school.

 School group in playground, 1960s

This photograph shows the whole school with their books and certificates, probably a road safety talk from the local police.

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Gardening at School