The present handsome and commodious schools which were built by the Maddock family in memory of the Rev. Robert Maddock who died in India, where he was a Missionary, were opened on May 7th, 1869. A stone tablet let into the wall bears the monogram R.N.M.
On this occasion a Wellingtonia was planted in the school garden by the Rev. S. Maddock, to commemorate which the following beautiful lines were written by Miss Anna Letitia Waring - author of "Father, I know that all my life" - who was a friend of the Maddock family.
The Planting Of The Wellingtonia
Bring forth the sapling forest tree
While yet the hand and heart are strong
And press the earth about the roots
And bid it live and flourish long.
Memorial Tree of Sire and Son
Of him who has the victory won
And him whose race is well-nigh run.
Long may it live - the Pastor's Tree !
Long shade with branches widely spread
The Village School we fondly raise
In memory of the sainted dead.
Thence may the lowliest of the land
Go forth in many a goodly band
As "Trees of Righteousness" to stand.
Nor all unfitting here to place
The Tree which bears a warrior's name.
A warrior's might the Christian needs
For battle-fields unknown to fame.
Oh friends ! Ye too the foe shall chase
If trusting in a Saviour's grace
Ye fight the Fight and run the Race.
These lines illuminated and framed are hung upon the schoolroom wall.
The Schools were enlarged in 1912 by the addition of a large classroom, at a cost of about £600. There is now accommodation for about 180 children.
The sun had set upon that garden fair
Where nightingales oft sang at eventide,
And one who loved them stood beneath the trees
And listened to their song and called them to his side.
But he had willed to leave all he had loved,
And sail away across the stormy main,
"Farewell," he said, "One day I shall return
And hear and see my nightingales again."
Once more 'tis eventide, a summer night,
But silence reigns within that garden fair,
The breeze alone sends forth a murmuring sound
That dies away upon the scented air.
A vessel lies at anchor far away,
And one there is who counts he soon will be
Once more upon his own dear native shore
And hear the nightingales' sweet melody.
But ere his eyes could see the great white cliffs
God's messenger had called his soul away,
No more his ears would hear that song so sweet
That he had listened to at close of day.
But it was said by some on summer eves
They heard again the birds sing sweet and clear
And midst the trees where he was wont to stand
Once more his nightingales now hovered near.
Frances Ann Baynham
There was a deeply-rooted conviction in the Maddock family that the nightingales which Mr. Robert Maddock loved, and which used to sing in the Vicarage Avenue became silent when he left for India. But from the day on which the news of his death reached home the nightingales began again to sing.
He died on the eve of his intended embarkation for home.
The first Geography lesson given here (at the old schools) was undertaken by Miss Maddock as she has told me. This was the manner of it :-
"Now children, this is a map. A map shows us the shape of a country. This is England where we all live. Towards your head, at the top of the map is the North, to your feet is the South. On your right hand is the East, on your left hand is the West. Now children, tell me what is towards your head ?"
Chorus of smiling children, and many hands raised :
"If you please, mam, my feet."
This building was erected by me (M.S.H.) in memory of my parents for a men's recreation and clubroom and various religious and other meetings. It was opened by the Vicar, the Rev. Thomas Woodhouse and the Rev. A. Stogdon, of Barton Stacey, on Monday, October 6th, 1883.