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BBC looking for 1950s pupils from Ashbourne

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: February 05, 2013

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A RESEARCHER from the BBC is appealing for people in the Ashbourne area to help her find out more about schools in the area.

Rehannah Mian is searching for former pupils and teachers at Ashbourne Methodist Primary School and the village school at Yeaveley in the 1950s.

Ms Mian, who works for the BBC programme Inside Out, is trying to get in touch with people in the area after finding an old documentary in the BBC archives.

She said: “I found a documentary on a film reel from 1955.

“It was about a special schools report as a lot of schools at the time were more than 50 years old and becoming not fit for purpose.

“They were comparing ‘slum schools’ with the modern schools.

“One of the schools featured was in Yeaveley and the main school was Ashbourne Methodist Primary School.

“There’s footage in the town including the town hall.”

“I’ve got the documentary on a dvd and I’m hoping someone can help me work out which footage is of which school.”

The documentary examines the so-called ‘slum’ schools in the 1950s, examining rural schools which were often under-funded.

The programme cites problems such as poor lighting, over-crowding, cramped conditions and lack of heating at older buildings in comparison to the host of post-war schools newly built in towns and cities which provided state-of-the-art learning facilities for children.

The documentary clearly features a class of children at Ashbourne Methodist Primary School who are learning by gaslight.

Ms Mian added: “It’s for a 10 minute Inside Out film looking at the schools back then.

“I’d like to see if I can find some people who were on the film or went to those schools and bring it up to date.”

A clip of the footage is available to view at www.ashbournenewstelegraph.co.uk.

People with memories of being a teacher or pupil at Yeaveley school or Ashbourne Methodist Primary in the 1950s and who would like to assist in the reseach can contact Ms Mian via email at rehannah.mian@bbc.co.uk.

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