Hastings - Pearson School Photographs
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School Group Photographs by Pearson of Hastings
(born 1859 Great Chart, near Ashford, Kent) was primarily an "outdoor
photographer", travelling around Hastings and surrounding villages with
his camera. The taking of "School Group"
photographs was one of George Pearson's specialities. In an advertisement
published in 1905, George Pearson lists "Schools and Weddings
" as amongst his main categories of photography work. William Weeks
Pearson (born 1870, Ashford, Kent), George Pearson's step son also
took school group photographs. Although they were based in Hastings,
Pearson and William Weeks Pearson were prepared to travel to neighbouring areas to take "school
The examples of Pearson's school photographs illustrated below show pupils and staff of an elementary school situated in Hooe, some ten miles from Hastings. John Newport, (the grandson of John James Newport, the Head Teacher of Hooe School between 1895 and 1920) has discovered an entry in the Hooe School Logbook dated 24th November 1904 which reads: "The scholars were photographed this afternoon by W. Pearson, Hastings."
Children and staff of the Public Elementary School in Hooe, Sussex,
photographed by Pearson of Hastings (c1904). The village of Hooe is situated 3.6 miles from Bexhill-on Sea and around 1908, the
total population of the Parish of Hooe was less than 450. The
Elementary School in Hooe was formerly the National School. In the
1890s, the National School at Hooe provided education for up to 130
boys and girls, but by 1911 the capacity of the Elementary
School had fallen to 100. This photograph shows the Infant section
of Hooe School. John James Newport (1867-1946), the Master of Hooe
Elementary School stands at the right of the infant class, next to
his wife Mrs Emily Newport (1873-1958), the Head Teacher of the
Infant section of the school. An assistant school mistress and a
student teacher stand at the left of the infant class. There are
twenty infant children pictured, 19 boys and just one girl.
John James Newport was appointed Master (Head Teacher) of Hooe National School (which later became known as the Public Elementary School) in 1895, when he was around twenty-eight years of age. John James Newport was born in Marylebone, London in 1867. After a period in Hampstead in North London, John Newport took up the position of "Assistant Master" at the Newport National School on the Isle of Wight in 1890. It was on the Isle of Wight that John Newport met Emily Harriet Aslett (born 1873, Bromley-by-Bow, London). John and Emily were married in Cambridgeshire, towards the end of 1890. The couple set up home in Hampstead where their first two children were born. In 1895, after the birth of their third daughter in Pentridge, Dorset, John and Emily arrived in Hooe to run the local National School. John James Newport was the Head Teacher and his wife Mrs Emily Newport was in charge of the Infant School. John and Emily Newport held their senior positions at Hooe School until around 1920. The family home was at "Caritas Villa" in Hooe. John James Newport also wrote booklets on the local history of Hooe, including "Records of Hooe", which was republished in 1989.
William Weeks Pearson, the photographer, was based in Hastings, about ten miles away from the Elementary School in Hooe, but he was prepared to travel some distance to photograph his subjects. There were three or four professional photographers in nearby Bexhill-on-Sea, but Pearson was probably commissioned because the taking of "School Group" photographs was one of his specialities. In an advertisement published in 1905, George Pearson, William Weeks Pearson's step father, listed "At Home Portraits, Family Portraits, Groups, Schools and Weddings " as his main types of work.
The boys of the Public Elementary School in Hooe, Sussex, probably
photographed by William Weeks Pearson of Hastings (c1905). "Group I
" is inscribed in crayon on the reverse of this group photograph.
Twenty-three boys are featured in this photograph of Group One.
[BELOW] The girls of the Public Elementary School in Hooe, Sussex, photographed by Pearson of Hastings (c1905). "Group II " is inscribed in crayon on the reverse of this group photograph. Twenty-six girls are featured in this photograph of Group Two.
Kelly's 1905 Directory of Sussex states that Hooe's Public Elementary School was a mixed school for 130 pupils, but noted that the average attendance was 90. The three photographs show a combined total of 68 pupils. The 1911 edition of Kelly's Directory of Sussex gives the capacity of the school as 100 children and an average attendance of 77.
[ABOVE] The girls of the Public Elementary School in Hooe, Sussex, photographed by Pearson of Hastings (c1905).
|Thanks to John Newport for supplying these three school group photographs taken by Pearson of Hastings. John Newport is the grandson of John James Newport and Emily Newport who were head teachers at Hooe School between 1895 and 1920. I am grateful to John for providing the three school photographs and supplying information about his grandparents and suggesting a probable date for the group portraits.|
To view a set of school photographs featured on John Newport's Hooe Village website, click on the link below:
Class Group Photographs taken at Hooe School (1897-1917)
To visit John Newport's website on the History of Hooe Village, click on the link below :
|To read an account of the life and career of the two Hastings photographers George Pearson and his stepson William Weeks Pearson, click on the link below :|