Webb's Factory School

  • 23 Mar 2021
  • Trade and Industry
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The only Factory School in Worcester was at the Horse-hair Carpet Mill. Children were used to supply hair to the weaver's hand, and they like others working in mills elsewhere, worked long hours for little reward. Yet, Edward Webb had a particular concern for the children, and he provided an evening school and library for some 40 poor female children. After  10 or more hours in the heavy atmosphere of the mill, the lessons must have been an arduous task.

The school was started in 1846 in part of the factory in Bull Entry (nearest to High Street). The building had once been a public house, then a Gospel Hall, and subsequently, or at the same time, an Adult School, but had been used by the firm as part of the factory.

A schoolmaster was supplied and by 1849 the number had risen to 50, all voluntarily attending, and complying with the only condition of entrance 'that they wash before they come in'. In the 1860's the school was principally for boys. It continued until the 1870 Education Act rendered the school unnecessary.                                                                           

In the 1900's one of the work's foreman had attended the school.