New National Schools at Helme.
The opening of the new National Schools and master's house at Helme took place on Whit-Monday last. They are built in memory of the late Charles Brook, Esq., of Healey House, by his sons and daughters. According to the Government requirements they will accommodate about 130 children, two convenient class-rooms, separate lobbies and lavatories, yards, &c. They have been built by W.C. Barber, Esq., of Halifax. The contractor for the same has been Mr. Nimrod Earnshaw, of Meltham ; the sub-contractors being Messrs. Wm. Myers and Son, Jas. Wilkinson, and Abraham Lockwood, of Honley ; and Messrs. Preston, of Meltham. The Rev. F.G. Blomefield, prependary of St. Paul's, London, and chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, preached a most excellent sermon at the afternoon service from Isaiah xxxiii. 6 v., at the close of which the congregation proceeded to the schools, preceded by the teachers and choir, clergy, churchwardens, and school managers. The vicar opened the proceedings with prayer, and then called on the Rev. Arthur Brook to explain the provisions by which the school was secured for the "moral, intellectual and spiritual welfare of the parish of Helme for ever."
William Brook, Esq., of Ordsall, as the senior trustee for the carrying out of the above provision, then expressed on the behalf of his brothers, sisters, and himself, the great pleasure they felt in thus providing fresh educational advantages for the parish, and at the same time perpetuating the memory of their late honoured father ; and then handed over the same to the parishioners. The gift was thankfully received on behalf of the parish by Mr. William Bamford, one of the school managers, in an appropriate speech. The vicar then stepped within the main entrance, and formally took possession, and called upon all present to join him in repeating the "Apostles' Creed," and thus testify at the very crossing of the threshold to the Christian principles and doctrines which were intended to be taught both at the day and Sunday schools to be hereafter held therein, and the ceremony was closed by singing the doxology. At five p.m. about 240 sat down to a very excellent knife and fork tea, kindly provided by Mrs. Brook, of Healey House, the arrangements being admirably carried out by the Sunday School teachers and 1st class scholars. At the parish meeting in the evening excellent speeches were delivered by the Rev. Canon Hulbert, Mr. Churchwarden Mellor, Rev. Arthur Brook, Rev. George Hough, Rev. J.S.E. Spencer, J.W. Carlile, Esq., the Vicar, and other friends. The several speakers made most appropriate and touching allusions to the Christian consistency and benevolent sympathy which always characterised the life of him in honour to whose memory the buildings have been erected. It may be well to mention that in this district there is accommodation for one in three of the population, double the Government requirement.