Mike Bayliss writes:
From FAREHAM PAST & PRESENT, Autumn 1990
The Lion, Dec. 1922:-
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL (cont.)
Two hundred years ago, just as is still the custom, the Headmaster of Price's School was appointed by the Governors of the Trust and the Vicar of Fareham; and I think it may amuse my readers if I give an example of the report of the governors on their choice of a new Head, dated 1724.
"Now know all Men by these Presents that we the present Minister of Fareham whose Hands and Seals are hereunto set by the Virtue of the Power to us given by the said last Will and Testament of the said William Price (at the request of John Barnard of Fareham who to the best of our and belief is a person of a sober Life and Conversation and fitly qualified for the purposes hereinafter mentioned). And by these Presents do Nominate Constitute Appoint and Depute the said John Barnard School Master or Teacher of the said school..."
All this time from 1721 to 1845, when the new buildings were erected, the little school had been going quietly on teaching thirty poor children dressed in 'blew cloath' to read their bibles and do simple sums. Talking of cloth, tailoring in those days must have been a much less costly trade than it is now. I have beside me an old account book entry, 'paid Kneller for 10 coats £2-10s – 1821'
About the year 1857, some of the land bequeathed in the will, which was situated round and about Elson and Hardway, was wanted by government for the Ordnance Department and the Admiralty, and it was sold to them at a high price which greatly increased the capital of Price's Charity and in consequence the yearly income was a great deal more than was needed for the maintenance of so small a school. In 1853 the Rev. W.S. Dumergue became Vicar of the Parish and now began a series of disagreements between the Trustees led by Vicar Dumergue and the Charity Commissioners, as to how the trust money should be best expended, which lasted for 28 years. In l859 a request was made that the grants be paid from the charity to the National C.of E. Schools, to Fontley School, and the Sunday Schools. This request was refused, excepting in the case of Fontley, who were granted £30 per annum.
In 1866-67 a covered passage was added to the School buildings, and the Master's garden was converted into a playground for the boys.
THE GAMES WE PLAY:- Football.
The usual receipt for a game of football is 'Take an inflated bladder in a leather overcoat, and mix it slowly with 22 young men in white tights; add a few bare legs, some thoroughbred kicks, a coroner's inquest and serve cold on a stretcher'. The game consists in kicking, in a large field, a hollow ball of the size of a big turnip or a small balloon. By-and-Bye, someone comes up who wants to kick the ball too. You run to and fro with him in the field and finally you fall down, each with a piece of the ball. The next moment, two of the players come and sit on your head, to prevent you from getting up again too quickly, while a third sits down on the other two. The next moment, you discover that the round substance you are holding under your arm is not the ball, but another player' shead and he realises at the same moment that he has grasped your porpoise-hide boots instead of the ball.
Doctors always say that football is a healthy, invigorating game, entirely free from danger.
ANSWER TO CORRESPONDENT:- Worried.
No, there is no danger in taking an occasional tannery-bath, provided the following points are observed: (a) Permission should be obtained first from the proprietors; (b) Clothes should be removed before immersion; (c) Grip the nose firmly between the finger and thumb of the left hand, and close the mouth.