Revisiting Archival Sources, School Buildings and Personal Memories
The West Riding Education Authority existed from 1889–1974. It was already known as an innovative education authority even before Alec Clegg took office in 1945. The images on this page serve to illustrate further aspects of our project. Lottie visited Airedale School, which is now known as Airdale Infant School and Airedale Junior school, on 26th January 2017 along with former pupils Alison Drake and David Wilders and their former teacher Dot Else. David Wilders is a former miner who was injured in a mining accident and now works as an artist and arts educator.
Please scroll down on this page for further images and text on participants who have helped us better understand the West Riding Education Authority under Alec Clegg, including Barbara Megson, Mel Dyke, Margaret Brooke, Ruth Nettleton and Rosemary Devonald (née Smith). There are also further archival drawings by children from 1962 and recent art work produced by Airedale pupils, in a workshop led by David Wilders.
For a 2018 journal article by Cathy Burke on the subject of Alec Clegg and the development of his ideas see ‘Humanism, modernism and designing education: exploring progressive relations between Australia, New Zealand and the West Riding of Yorkshire 1930s–1970s’ History of Education, Journal of the History of Education Society, Volume 47, 2018 Issue 2.
For a 2019 journal article by Lottie Hoare on the subject of the teacher Muriel Pyrah see Muriel Pyrah: sources and myths from a West Riding of Yorkshire school, 1967–1972 History of Education Review, Vol. 48 No. 1, pp. 109-121
The website is currently in the process of being updated to include further details on the artist Ruth Ewan’s Yorkshire Sculpture Park exhibition ‘Asking Out’ at the Longside Gallery for the Summer and Autumn 2019. Ruth Ewan’s installation recreates Muriel Pyrah’s 1972 classroom at Airedale School. Ruth’s artist book includes text and interview transcript contributions from former pupils, from Helen Pheby, Head of curatorial programmes at Yorkshire Sculpture Park , and Lottie Hoare. The book is designed by Sam Blunden with a selection of photos from the National Arts Education Archive. More details to follow.
The first image above is a collection of artworks produced by current pupils at Airedale Infant School in a workshop initiated by David Wilders. Next there is a collage of the natural world, from the 1970's National Arts Education Archive, Alec Clegg collection. The subsequent image shows David Wilders, Alison Drake and Dot Else touring the current Airedale school buildings and David using an old photograph to try and establish which classroom Muriel Pyrah had taught in during the early 1970s. The final image above shows early morning scenes from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park which now surrounds what was formerly Bretton Hall, an innovative teaching training college which Clegg was instrumental in founding in 1949.
(Right) An early morning scenes from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park which now surrounds what was formerly Bretton Hall, an innovative teaching training college which Clegg was instrumental in founding in 1949. (Left) Alison Drake and Dot Else touring the current Airedale Junior School building.
(Right) Mel Dyke with David Attenborough – an illustration from Mel Dyke's book Grimethorpe Revival (2013) which touches on the contributions of the Clegg and the Attenborough families to 20th century education. Mel discussed these memories further with Lottie Hoare in May 2017; (Left) Barbara Megson in April 2017, former teacher and HMI, discussing with Lottie Hoare, Barbara's work with Alec Clegg for the publication Children in Distress (1968). Revisiting this book Children in Distress has also inspired our project seminar at the Faculty of Education, Cambridge on 15 July 2017.
Two images of Margaret Brooke, (Top Left) from May 2017, when she discussed postwar educational reform with Catherine Burke and Lottie Hoare.
(Top Right) dating from the 1960s, when she became head teacher of Three Lane Ends Infant School in Castleford, Yorkshire.
(Bottom Left) Pamela Marley, Customer Service Assistant at Castleford Library, discussing her memories of being a pupil at Airedale School Castleford, during the 1960s, with Lottie Hoare, July 2017. Pamela is seated in front of a display of Henry Moore's small sculptures at Castleford Forum Library and Museum. (Bottom Right) The Entrance to Castleford Library which opened in 1905, with support from Andrew Carnegie.