Mr W Smith – Notable Career of Public Service

March 1924

Mexborough and Swinton Times, March 29

Mr W Smith.


A Conisbrough Headmasters Retirement.


Notable Career of Public Service


Mr William Smith, headmaster of the Morley Place Boys School, Conisbrough, retires at the end of this month, after nearly 33 years service in that capacity. He and Mrs Smith are going to spend their retirement in Harrow on the Hill.

Mr Smith went to Conisbrough in September 1891. He was born at Riddlesden, Keighley, and gained a Queens scholarship, went to York Training College after a period of preliminary training as pupil teacher at the Riddlesden National School, where he himself gained his primary education.

On leaving college. He got a temporary appointment at Skipton, and then went to Sheffield, where he was a member of the first staff of the newly opened Huntsman┬┤s Gardens New School at Attercliffe which was then regarded as the most up-to-date elementary school in the country, and had 840 scholars on its books in the mixed department. That was in August 1884. There Mr Smith remained until his removal to Conisbrough.

For the appointment of headmaster of the Morley Place School at Conisbrough, Mr Smith was the successful one of 250 applicants. At the time of this appointment, the school was in a none too flourishing condition. In January last the school was inspected by one of His Majesty┬┤s inspectors. The following is an extract from his report, in which he mentioned Mr Smith’s impending retirement:

“after 33 years devoted and thoroughly efficient service in this school it is very gratifying to recall that right up to the end of his service… His zeal, enterprise and enthusiasm remains unabated. His admirable influence upon the children and staff, together with the earnest and through training given to the boys, has been such as to make a lasting impression upon their lives and characters. Throughout the school. The spirit of right endeavour is happily fostered, the habit of industry is form, and all the work is commendably painstaking. In the oral lessons there is a mental alertness and cheerful keenness in co-operative effort that reflects good tone and discipline.”

On receiving his resignation, the local District the Education Subcommittee instructed their Clerk to write an appreciation of Mr Smith’s services and the following is an extract from the letter:

“The record of the school is a high testimony to your efforts, and the Committee are well aware of your constant endeavour to obtain the best results possible. It was also noted with particular satisfaction that during the whole period of your service, your attitude to the parents, staff and scholars has been one of unvarying courtesy, consideration and tact. The Committee realise that it will be very difficult to replace you, and heartily join in expressing the wish that you and Mrs Smith may be spared for many years to enjoy the well earned period of retirement.”

Apart from his great success in his schoolwork, Mr Smith has taken a very active part in local affairs. He was the secretary of the committee who arranged the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Conisbrough and was on the committee, which arrange similar celebrations on the Coronation of King Edward. During the war. He put in a great deal of hard work as honorary secretary of the local War Relief Committee, from its inception to the winding up of its affairs. For a time he was honorary secretary of the Belgian relief committee locally. This work was in addition to that involved in managing the school war savings, and that of the secretarial office of the Recreation Hall War Savings Association.

Among the many other offices Mr Smith has held are the treasurership of the local Convalescent Home Committee, the treasurership of the local branch of the League of Nations Union, and membership of the management committee of the Conisbrough Nursing Association.

As a Churchman he has done a good deal of work in connection with the Conisbrough Parish Church and was elected people warden in succession to the late Mr William H. Jones. He has made a special study of Conisbrough’s history, and more especially that of its Church and Castle.

In March 1921, he was returned at the head of the poll in the South Ward, on the formation of term he missed only one meeting of the Council.

One of the pripleasurable activity yes until more than the issue of you ncipal changes. Mr Smith a scene take place in Conisbrough during his lengthy stay there is the erection of three new schools, for which the necessity was created by the tremendous increase of population. His interests have always been largely wrapped up in the children, and he has done much work during industrial stoppages in relief work among the children.

It his own professional sphere, Mr Smith’s energies have also found outlet. In conjunction with Mr John Forrest, he brought about the formation of the Mexborough and District Association of the national Union of Teachers, and was its first secretary and treasurer. For many years he was also the press secretary. He has been president of the Association

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