KEEVIL Primary School in Trowbridge are celebrating their 150th anniversary of educating the children of the town.

Built in 1868 and opened in 1869, children came to the school from Bulkington and Keevil, as Steeple Ashton had it’s own school at the time.

The road from Bulkington was very dirty in the winter and very dusty in the summer and the walk was two miles each way.

When the fields flooded or there was snow, the Bulkington children often didn’t attend school.

There are also recollections of how, when it rained, one of the teachers would take all of the wet clothes from the Bulkington children and try to dry them on the coal burner before it was time for them to go home again.

The school log books only go back as far as 1901, but they give a good picture of how children lived at the turn of the century:

The logs read: "July 5 1901: Attendance not so good. Hay harvest.

"July 11 1901: Government report – the children are orderly and are making on the whole satisfactory progress in the elementary subjects, but the object lessons are only fair.

"March 2 1906: Attendance in the infant room continues to be very poor. Many of the children seem to be suffering from yellow jaundice.

"February 12 1912: 50 cases of mumps reported overall at the school."

Later in the log books, many visits from school nurses, medical officers and dentists show how the health of children became a more nationalised priority. Outbreaks of diphtheria and mumps became a thing of the past.

Historically children at the school were caned, usually on the hands but sometimes on their backs. There was a punishment book used to log the corporal punishment administered to the children and the reason the children were being punished.

The latter entries being ‘slaps with ruler on both hands’ administered because a group of nine boys threw mud at each other and on the walls of a passageway.

The harsh sounding punishment book may have been left in the 1950's but many other traditions are remembered and celebrated at the school today.