Ancestry UK

Sunderland Day Industrial School, Bishopwearmouth, County Durham

In 1884, the Sunderland School Board opened a Day Industrial School in a former private residence at 9 The Green, Bishopwearmouth. The School provided daily meals and education to the town's many children who 'were living in a very neglected condition, never attending school, belonging to an extremely poor class, and too ragged, filthy, and miserable to be admitted into the ordinary schools.' A building was taken and adapted for the purpose. The premises were described as having 'large and well ventilated class rooms, lavatory, baths, apartments for the superintendent and caretakers; good office and work shed, engine and boiler, and good exercise ground.' The establishment was certified to begin operation on June 7th, 1884, with accommodation for up to 200 children. The superintendent was Mrs E. Goldsworthy, who was to hold the post for the entire life of the School's existence. Mr Goldsworthy acted as outdoor officer.

A report on the School in 1897 noted that the classrooms and dining-hall were pleasant and bright, but there were no separate washrooms for boys and girls. The property's former stables served as workshops, but the flooring in the wood-chopping room and adjoining yards adjoining needed asphalting. There was a fine playground. The boys' industrial training comprised carpentry and joinery, wood-turning and wood-chopping and they produced articles for use by other School Board establishments. The boys also helped in general cleaning and kept The Green in good order. The girls learned needlework, helped in the kitchen and scullery and did the washing and ironing. Marching and dumb-bell drill were carried out. The boys made good use of the playground and even on Saturday afternoons, after School had finished, some of them could be seen playing football with bare feet. The boys played football matches in the public park, and held their own well. In the summer, the boys made good use of the sea, which was only about a mile from the School. No treats were provided in the summer, but some of the children managed to qualify for Sunday School and other treats. There was an annual concert and prize giving, and a good dinner was given at Christmas.

The School was formally closed on January 8th, 1906. The building no longer survives.


Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.

  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.


  • None noted at present.