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Red Lion Street (Mixed) Wesleyan School

Empire Day, radio and a peace exhibition
Mechanics Institute, Burnley Robert Wade

Mechanics Institute, Burnley
Robert Wade

The celebration of Empire Day was an important event in the school calendar throughout the interwar period. In 1923, pupils heard messages from King George V by means of a gramophone, and the Headteacher ‘spoke to the children on the meaning of our empires, and dwelt on the importance of everyone trying to be a worthy member of so great a Commonwealth.’ A play was performed on Empire Day in 1931 and the following year the school organised a pageant with songs.

The school used the media to educate its pupils. In 1928 a wireless was installed. The Logbook recorded that children will be able to ‘listen to the various broadcasts initiated by the BBC. Experiments will commence today, when about twenty children will listen to lectures on History and Literature.’ Pupils also attended the cinema to view films on health, an issue that was important in East Lancashire schools in the interwar period. The Mechanics Institute hosted public lectures and Missionary Exhibitions. There are no references to any League of Nations activity. However, in November 1937, senior classes visited the Peace Exhibition in the Wesley(an) Bandroom.

References/Further Reading:

Red Lion Street (Mixed) Wesleyan School Logbook, 1909- 1940. Archive ref: SMBY 21/3, Lancashire Archives.