Local History Society

 Families: James Hayward, Headmaster


The 'Reading Mercury' announced the resignation of James Hayward as Headmaster of the School as follows on March 19th 1921:

"The managers of the Arborfield and Barkham School have appointed Mr. W. J. Venable [sic], of Brimpton, to succeed Mr. J. H. Hayward as head master. Mr. Hayward, who has held the mastership since 1903, has resigned, having obtained an appointment under the London County Council."

The May 7th edition recorded a presentation made at the School just over a week earlier:

Arborfield and Barkham: Presentation to Head Master

Mr. Hayward, who has been the head master of the Arborfield and Barkham School for nineteen years, and whose resignation has already been announced, left last week, and before his departure he was the recipient of several presents from his many friends in the two parishes. On Tuesday, April 26th, the parishioners of Arborfield presented him and Mrs. Hayward with a handsome clock. On Wednesday the Womenís Institute arranged a reception and dance, and on Thursday afternoon, April 28th, the managers, teachers and scholars gave him a handsome and useful suit case. The presentation took place at the school at the close of the afternoon school. Mr. John Simonds, chairman of the managers, presented, and there were present the Rev. J. A. Anderson and Mrs. Anderson, the Rev. P. H. Ditchfield, correspondent of the school, Miss A. Simonds, etc.

Mr. Simonds spoke of the service which Mr. Hayward had rendered for so long. The speaker said that he had lived in Arborfield all his life, and remembered the school being built in 1871, before which time there were two small schools in the two villages. He remembered the old master of the Arborfield school marching the children to church with a stout walking stick in one hand and a little cane in the other. When the new school was built Mr. Austin was appointed, Mr. Webster succeeding in 1878; he ruled till his death in 1902 [aged 48; he was buried on April 19th], when Mr. Hayward, who had acted as Master ever since, was appointed. He had done good work for the school, and had earned the friendship and goodwill of his neighbours and the affection of the children, and they were all very sorry to lose him. They wished him every success in his new appointment.

The Rector of Barkham said it was a really sad day and he did not like partings, especially with one who for 19 years had lived amongst them, and to whom the children owed so much for their education. Nineteen years was a long time, the best part of a manís life. The post of a schoolmaster was a very responsible one. They were fortunate in having a church school, wherein children were taught not only the "three Rís", but religion also, and how they might grow up to be good young men and women, and he was sure the children would be grateful to Mr. Hayward for all the care he had bestowed upon them. As correspondent of the school he had been greatly helped by Mr. Hayward, who was an excellent man of business and always faced difficulties with good humour and cheerfulness. Both the managers and teachers and the scholars all wished him much happiness and success in his new post under the London County Council Education Committee. They could not allow him to leave without some little present of his happy time in the Arborfield and Barkham School.

The presentation was then made by Mrs. Edwards, and Miss Taylor, who for many years had served on the staff of the school.

Mr. Hayward then replied, thanking all who had contributed to the present, and giving a touching farewell to the children, many of whom evidently felt his departure very much and were moved to tears.

The Rev. J. A. Anderson gave a stirring address to the children, and expressed their thoughts on parting with their kind teacher, and their good wishes for the future. The chairman then called on the children to give three cheers for Mr. and Mrs. Hayward, and the meeting terminated.

Mr. Verrall, of Brimpton School, has been appointed Mr. Haywardís successor, and he will begin his work at the close of the Whitsun holidays.

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