37690: Balallan School Correspondence: Free Breakfasts, 1888

Letter from School Board of Lochs, Stornoway, 10 February 1888 to Balallan Public School, County of Ross

Dear Sir

Free Breakfasts

At the last meeting of my Board, a letter suggesting a scheme for providing free breakfasts of porridge for the children attending the Public Schools in this Parish was submitted and considered. The Board cordially approved of the suggestion and hoped that it would receive the hearty support of the Teachers. They also instructed me to send to you the following extracts from said letter, dated February 2nd from Mr J Tocher, Headmaster, Buddle School, Wallsend;

"With regard to the porridge breakfast scheme, I do not know of any thing better adapted for real necessity than it. I had been about 2 or 3 weeks giving these breakfasts, when a local reporter published a report of what we were doing, in the Newcastle papers".

Letters of sympathy

…sympathy with money and postal orders came from far and near…. I received also considerable quantities of cast off clothing, much of which was mended and altered by my female teachers to fit. We also got quantities of old shopkeeping material that some of the drapers could not sell and this was made up into suitable articles of dress by the teachers and given to the naked. The large quantity of porridge we used required two large set pots – our own washing pot and our Janitor’s, thoroughly cleaned. It was brought into the room and ladled out from the pails into dishes – each recipient bringing a plate and spoon. One pail of porridge on average will be found quite sufficient with a little milk or treacle. The girls took their turn washing out the dishes.. The boys scrubbed the pots.

A supply of oatmeal will be sent to your school in a short time.

Yours truly

For Clerk

The Teacher

Public School, Balallan

This scheme was also adopted by schools in Pairc

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