Tillington School
The National Society built Tillington School in 1838 and in the early years a fee of one penny or two was charged.  (There is, however, a hand written addendum in Volume I of the WI History of Tillington which states:  The school was not built by the Nat Soc; but was entirely financed and built by the ‘Misses Mitford’ (of Pitshill) on the guarantee that should it ever cease to be a Church School the land and buildings revert to Pitshill Estate.)

Originally the building had only one big room that was divided into two parts, boys and girls each having a separate porch and entrance. The room was heated by one big stove in the middle. Later a room at the back was added for infants and this included a gallery. The big room was enlarged by an addition at the church end and large windows were installed at both ends. The garden was taken from the cottage next door and made into the playground.
In early 1912 the large, main room of the school was deemed to be poor use of space and it was very difficult to heat in winter, when temperatures were often not much above freezing. It was decided to divide the room into two smaller classrooms and to make other improvements. In July 1912 Messrs J Boxall and W Bryder each tendered for this improvement scheme.  Mr Boxall tendered £387 -11s -0d and Mr Bryder £415 - 0s - 0d.  ‘It was unanimously agreed to accept the lower tender’.

During 1912 the school had a roll of 111 pupils and the average attendance was around 70 percent. The main cause of non-attendance was illness or infection of various kinds, but in autumn it was noted that several children were absent because they were employed as beaters on estate pheasant shoots. In addition boys often went potato picking and harvesting when the Squire needed extra labour. Perhaps because of large families school numbers continued to rise and in 1916/17 they reached 144. By 1931, however, they had dropped to 100.  This fall in numbers continued until by 1996 when there were only 22 pupils.  At this stage the school became uneconomical to run and West Sussex Education Committee decided that the school must close.  Closure came at the end of the summer term in 1966 and pupils were transferred to Petworth schools.
The School Log Book records that on 29 January 1912 the school reopened after a closure of six weeks following an outbreak of scarlet fever. During this time the school was disinfected. Normality soon returned and on 22 February the Reverend Goggs handed out watches and medals for good attendance. Unfortunately the school only remained clear of infection until June when by order of Dr Cameron, Medical Officer of Health for Chichester Council, it was again closed from 3 June to 24 June due to an epidemic of whooping cough. It appears that the parish was dogged by a variety of illnesses for on 22 February 1913 a further five-week closure followed the start of a measles epidemic.
Recollections by Sylvia Bucknall

In the house next to the school was a dear little shop where a dear old lady, Mrs Emma White, sold sweets.  She  was fond of children and often gave or charged less for their sweets.  The children went there from school to spend their pennies, half pennies or even farthings.  For a half penny one could get a long strip of liquorice. School concerts were given and enjoyed.  Once a year the children were invited to Pitshill for a tea party, taking their own mugs.

These are just a few photographic memories of the old school.

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Click image for a larger version
Click in the squares above for class photographs circa 1928
Only a few years later the school was demolished and replaced with council accommodation.  It is a pity that the impressive façade could not have been saved for posterity and perhaps incorporated into the front of the new building.
School subjects included arithmetic, English Composition, scripture, drawing, gardening, nature walks and drill instruction.  Cookery for the girls was also taught but required travel to Petworth
  The school records provide and interesting glimpse into school life during
the early years of the twentieth century