The Building of Meldreth School

At a meeting of Meldreth Parish Council on 30th October 1903, under a motion proposed by Mr H O S Ellis and seconded by Mr G W Bindloss, “it was resolved that there being no schools either for boys or girls in this village the time has now arrived for building schools and that the Cambridgeshire County Council’s attention be drawn to this fact and they be now asked to provide new schools as soon as possible”.

The Purchase of the Land, 1908

It was not until 1908, however, that three roods of land for the school site were purchased from St. Peter’s College at a cost of £130.  The County Council then invited tenders for the building of the school and the lowest tender- of £2284 – was accepted.

Funding the School

It was agreed by Cambridgeshire County Council’s Education Committee[1] to apply “to the local Government Board to borrow, for as long a period as the Board will allow, the sum of £2770 for the cost of Meldreth School as follows:

Purchase of site   £130
Builder’s tender £2284
Architect and Quantity Surveyor    £92
Clerk of Works    £25
Furniture and Law costs   £149
Total  £2680

and that seven-tenths of the loan be charged on the Parish of Meldreth”.

In July 1909, the Clerk of the Education Committee reported the receipt of the sanctions of the Local Government Board to the borrowing of the following sums:
£159 Purchase of site of school at Meldreth.  Period of repayment – 60 years
£1991 Erection of school at Meldreth.  Period of repayment – 30 years
£120 Furniture for school at Meldreth.  Period of repayment – 10 years.
The loan carried interest of 3½% per annum.

Protest by Ratepayers

The building of the new school was not without controversy.  On 8th May 1909, “a representation was made by 39 ratepayers of Meldreth against the amount proposed to be spent on the provision of a new Elementary School in that Parish”.

The Plans for the School

The plan shown below is amongst those drawn up for the building of the new school and school house.  The original plans may be viewed at Cambridge Archives.

[1]  The Minutes of the Cambridgeshire County Council Education Committee are held in the Cambridgeshire Collection.

Meldreth Primary School Plans
Cambridgeshire Archives

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