4. Seaton Burn First School

As Seaton Burn grew, the need for education grew with it.

The first school in Seaton Burn was built in 1851 and was known as Seaton Burn British School. It later became Seaton Burn Colliery School, coming under the jurisdiction of the Longbenton School Board.

The School

The well-remembered school was built by Amos Gray of Wideopen. It was opened on 13 April 1878 by Mr. S. C. Crone, Chairman of the Longbenton School Board. The ceremony was followed by a holiday in the afternoon and a concert in the evening. The master was gratified with the ample supply of books and apparatus, and the segregation of naughty infants from the rest of the school!

The children enjoyed the common positions of responsibility -milk monitors, ink monitors (to make up ink and fill up ink wells), and coal monitors (to shovel the coal into the boiler room). The burn monitor was the unfortunate individual whose job it was to retrieve balls from the nearby Seaton Burn that had been kicked in by fellow pupils.

In 1943, the headmaster was John A. Short, earning the school the nickname ‘Shorty’s College of Knowledge’. His reputation was somewhat better than that of William Sheldon, headmaster 1892, who was a stickler for punishment, as a school song describes:

     Mr. Sheldon’s a very good man
     Teaches his scholars as well as he can
     Reading, Writing, Arithmetic,
     But he doesn’t forget to use the stick.

The school closed in 1995 and was demolished soon after

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