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The photograph was taken in the driveway to York House
Seated centre is Adeline Agnes Slade the founder of York House School. Her daughter Dorothy is seen standing on the far right of the third row. Her other daughter, also Adeline Agnes, is standing far left on the third row.
“Any child who went to Slades had the kind of education which really fitted them for top middle class society.” The boarders dormitories were on the third floor and in almost a scene from St. Trinians one of the maids would recall; ‘Something came by my window one night and I looked out to see some of the girls who had been out in the grounds, tying sheets together and hauling themselves up to their bedrooms.’

Samuel Adams was born at Hanslope in 1799 and at Guilsborough, Northants., on January 9th 1829 he married Sarah Moore. She was born at Ravensthorpe, Northants., and with Samuel being a farmer they made their home in Long Street, Hanslope. The following year a daughter was born, Ann Agnes. She married Edward Slade of the village. Born at Hanslope in 1824 he was an agricultural engineer and wheelwright and in 1851 they had a son, Edward Adams Slade. Around 1854 Ann began a boarding establishment for girls at their home of Hales Folly Farm, Wig Lane, Hanslope and a few years later the pupils boarding there would be Elizabeth Higgins, born in 1847 at Stoke Goldington; Helen Higgins, born in 1849 at Stoke Goldington; Ann Stones, born in 1847 at Hanslope, and Mary C. Hill, born at Northampton in 1849. Also a housemaid was employed by the name of Sarah Harry, born at Hanslope in 1843. Edward Adams Slade seems to have followed an engineering career and as an engine fitter at the railway works at the age of 20 was lodging at Wistaston Road, Monks Coppenhall, Crewe. There the head of the household was 31 year old James Wild, his wife being Sarah, aged 33. Meanwhile at Hales Folly Farm Edward’s father was also pursuing a mechanical livelihood as an ‘engine fitter.’ His wife was still the principal of the boarding school, where 22 year old Annie Kall, born at Hamburg, was now an assistant governess. Aged from 8 to 18, and including a six year old niece, there were now 16 scholars boarding at the school. One was from the Cape of Good Hope, and also at the school were a cook and a housemaid; Ann Hicks, age 20, and Sarah Webb, age 17. One of the boarders was 17 year old Adeline Agnes Wheeler, who in the census in 1861 was recorded as being a visitor with four year old Thomas Robert Wheeler at the High Street home in Hanslope of William Warwick, a baker aged 47, and his wife Sophia aged 37. Adeline had been born at Banbury where in 1876 she and Edward Adams Slade were married. As for the boarding school, now farming 14½ acres, and employing one boy, some time between 1877 and 1881 Edward Slade moved to Great Linford Place, where his wife now ran the school. Living with them was her mother, Sarah, who was now an annuitant. Also residing at the school were 22 year old Anna Ludar, born at Cologne, a teacher of German and French; Emily Green, age 18, born at Fenny Stratford, a teacher of drawing; and 12 boarders, including Florence Green, age 16, born at Fenny Stratford. Also at the school was a lady’s help, 16 year old Jessie Race, born at Northampton, and two servants. By now Edward Adams and Adeline had moved to the north and in 1879 their son Guy was born at Birkenhead, Cheshire. A daughter, Adeline Agnes, was then born in 1881 at South Shields, where in 1884 another daughter, Dorothy was born. In 1891 the family were then living at 20, Chaloner Grove, Westhoe, South Shields, where the household employed a female general servant age 16. Edward was employed as an engine wright whilst as for his parents they were now resident at The Elms, Wolverton Road, Stony Stratford Edward senior was a general labourer whilst Ann ran a ladies school at the premises. A granddaughter was living with them and there were five female pupils aged from 9 to 16. The following year Ann died and it then seems that Adeline Agnes, her daughter in law, came with her children to live in the town. Indeed, in her future correspondence she would write; ‘I took the house no. 77 High Street, Stony Stratford Michaelmas 1892. There was no agreement as to duration of any tenancy. No written agreement has ever been signed.

Seen as the nearest building on the right, York House in the High Street accommodated the school from 1892 until 1902.

The house was taken with a mutual understanding that it should be used for a school. York house had supposedly been named after John York, a local banker, for whom the house was built in 1840. His partner in banking was William Oliver and in 1830 there were Oliver and York Banks in Stony Stratford and Newport Pagnell. As a pupil of her mother, in 1895 Adeline passed the Trinity College London junior piano exam, held on November 29th and 30th but the following year the death occurred of her brother, Guy. Her mother continued to run the ladies school in the High Street at York House, where in 1901 there were Elizabeth Buckeridge, a governess age 26, born at Tetbury, Gloucestershire; Anne Marchant, single, a lady help, age 23, born at Bozeat; Rose Friend, single, age 21, a governess, born at Canton, China; Minnie Swan, a domestic servant, single, age 19, born at Stony Stratford; Gertrude Higgins, a boarder age 15, born at Stoke Goldington; Caroline Wheeler, a boarder age 15, born at Banbury; Daisy Hedger, a boarder, age 13, born at Great Linford; and Winifred Hedger, a boarder age 11, born at Great Linford. Dorothy Slade was also a pupil of her mother but, with this being the year of her first teaching appointment, her sister was now a teacher at a day and boarding school at 97, Struet, Brecknock St. John the Evangelist, Brecon. Also working away was Edward Adams Slade, their father, who as a seafaring engineer was lodging at 21, Albury Street, St. Nicholas Deptford. In 1902 Adeline would vacate 77, High Street for the reasons given in the following letter, which dealt with disputes over the condition of the premises;

York House School
Wolverton St. Mary.
Stony Stratford
Jan 13th 1903

Dear Sir

I thank you for your suggestion of survey and arbitration now to hand. I have been away from home.
I hold bills and memoranda of every trifle which was done or transacted during my tenancy of that house, and I cannot accept your suggestion.
Mr. Ancell declined to pay for any renovation in the house unless I would take it on a 7 years lease. I declined and paid for much of the renovations myself The exterior became much too grimy and dilapidated before I left it for me to keep up my business there.

I am

Yours faiththlly

A.A. Slade

York House School

Wolverton St. Mary

That year, 1902, she transferred her school to Clarence House in London Road, which, to include a brewery house, daiiy and large vinery, had been built by John Oliver, a local banker. Renting the property on a yearly tenancy (Michaelmas) of £50 per annum she named the premises York House, but of the previous York House disputes were still ongoing, as apparent in this letter;

York House School, London Road. It would be tempting to think that the seated figures are Edward Slade and his wife Adeline, the principal. Perhaps her daughters, Adeline and Dorothy, are standing behind her. After the closure of the school, in March 1963 the deeds of York House were handed over to St. Giles' Youth Club which, to raise funds to buy their first stereo cassette player, in 1977 invited Keith Chegwin, from the television programme 'Multi Coloured Swop Shop,' to open their bazaar at York House. Waiving his fee he said he would appear for only his expenses but he enjoyed the occasion so much that he waived those as well.

‘York House, I took the house no. 77 High Street, Stony Stratford Michaelmas 1892.
There was no agreement as to duration of any tenancy. No written agreement has ever been signed.
The house was taken with a mutual understanding that it should be used for a school. There was not a window blind to any window in the house when I took up my residence there. There were blind rollers which were kept on hand and left in the house when I vacated it.
I wrote an offer to Mr. Ancell to renew the soap tray of the bath at the time I first heard his complaints about that being broken. The bath has been several times
re-enamelled and the bathroom painted at my expense. I hold receipts for re-papering, painting etc. nine rooms in that house.
All broken windows were made good at my expense before tendering the key to Mr. Ancell. The square of rolled glass in the roof of the lavatory was as Mr. Ancell’s workmen left it. I hold bill for mending all broken plaster.
Refer to kitchen.
The slide drawer to the range was sent to be fitted with a new knob previous to my vacating the house - was detained by the blacksmith until December 1902 and was then delivered to Mr. F. Ancell. A new top to grate was cast and left in the house (kitchen) when I vacated it.
The cupboard door had no lock when I took the house.
The copper lid was a rotten broken one when I took the house.
A tennis lawn of less than the regulation size was made on the vegetable garden at my expense with the approval of the landlord.
In 1893 I obtained Mr. Ancell’s permission to remove a bank and a growth of brushwood to obtain a fill size tennis lawn, that was done. It was also necessary to add a side path to the lawn to make it full width, and grass was allowed to grow. That is left as it was used.

A.A. Slade’

By order of the trustees of the late W. Johnson, York House, the freehold residence and grounds in London Road, came up for auction at the Cock Hotel on the evening of May 22nd 1905. For £810 it would be purchased by the tenant, Mrs. Slade, who, ‘Assisted by Highly Certificated Resident Governesses,’ now advertised her school as providing ‘First Class Educational Advantages at Moderate Fees.’ By 1907 Edward Adams Slade had moved to live with his family at the school, where in 1911 also resident was his widowed father, Edward, who was now described as a retired engine fitter. Adeline Agnes and her sister Dorothy were now both school mistresses and also at the school was Elsie Bond, a boarder age 33, employed as a teacher of English Kathleen Tennison age 19, a boarder and teacher of English and French; and several boarders as pupils, plus a cook and a housemaid. Edward Adams Slade had found employment in the Smith Shop at Wolverton Works. A skilluil musician, being very able with the brass viola, in his younger days he had been much sought after for concerts, and at the annual dinners held by the Smith Shop the program would never be complete until he had given his contribution. In 1913 on August 21st the earlier school accommodation of York House, in the High Street, was registered as the Conservative Club, whilst at the new school premises in 1915 Edward Slade died. That year on February 1st his granddaughter, Dorothy, was registered with the Teachers Registration Council whilst her sister would be registered on January 1st 1923. In 1919 Irene Harris, who later became Mrs. Irene Butler, began work as a maid at the school. There the boarders were only allowed three slices of bread and margarine and a glass of water for their supper but as Irene would later recall; “They used to love me to take them something up to their dormitories at night. We used to take them cakes and tarts and sandwiches and all sorts.” Mrs. Slade continued as the proprietor of the school until in 1928 her daughters shared in the position. With nine pianos in the house Adeline gave music lessons whilst her sister possessed an artistic talent. En fact Dorothy was a driving force in the school, outside of which she took a keen interest in the town’s parochial affairs. She was a member of the St. Mary’s Parochial Church Council and would be involved in several positions in local organisations, particularly with the Literary and Debating Society, and the League of Nations Union. However, her sister took less interest in such matters. As for the pupils, ‘The older girls used to sit and study in the conservatory, surrounded by pot plants and strawberries, and the cook used to bring them out a cake to eat while they worked.’ In fact Irene’s sister Dorothy would be employed at the school as a cook, with the cake mixture having to be prepared in a white bath, as the only receptacle large enough to hold all the ingredients. At the school Miss Mary Sansome was a companion to Mrs. Slade who having been ill for some time died on the afternoon of May 5th 1931. The ftineral took place on Friday, May 8th at St. Mary’s Church with the interment taking place at Calverton Road cemetery. Her daughters would now continue the ladies school as joint principals.

'Miss Dorothy' would be remembered with affection by many of her pupils, as testified by this appreciation;

'To the scores of ex pupils, among whom I am privileged to be numbered, the memory of schooldays will remain with them always, for with the sweet and lovable personality and enduring patience that Miss Slade possessed, she helped the children under her care to grow up in an atmosphere where work was worthwhile and where everything that was beautiful and true in life was all-important. Not only did she aptly train them academically but also morally, and one learns the importance of this latter training after school days are over and life has to be faced away from the shelter of school and home. The numbers of pupils that have passed under her care are now scattered in all parts of the country and indeed of the world but they certainly have a link with each other by their memory of "Miss Dorothy" as she was known to them. For many the words of the school song, "Forty Years On," that were sung with such vigour at the end of each term, have been fulfilled or nearly so, and for her they have indeed come to an end. But the love and appreciation of many who had the privilege of knowing her have gone with her at the end of a most useful and worthwhile life in the service of others."

Then on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 17th 1933 at the speech day and prize giving at York House they intimated that they would be severing their connection with the school at the end of July. Control would now pass to their cousin Mrs. M. Ogilvie, who after a period at Warwick High School had been on the York House teaching staff for a time. As for the present staff, Miss Rudd B. Sc. would take the place of Dorothy in teaching Botany and Geography. At the prize giving ceremony Mr. B. Fletcher B.A., of Leeds City School, presided supported by his wife, who had been a former member of the York House teaching staff Mrs. Fletcher presented the prizes, after which in a short speech one of the Misses Slade included “My sister and I have had a very happy life here among the hundreds of girls who have passed through the school. We carry away happy memories to our new home, ‘Holly Cottage,’ Snitterfield, Stratford-on-Avon, and there we hope you will visit us. We hope also that Christmas will bring us the usual budget (sic) of letters - 150 or more.’ As for Mrs. Ogilvie, she said that it gave her great pleasure to be there and that she had always loved York House. She hoped that in the coming years they would work together, play together “and be very happy indeed.” Miss Bosworth, a member of staff, then drew Mrs. Fletcher’s attention to a table under the shade of a weeping willow tree. There beneath a white cloth was hidden a present which the staff and scholars hoped the Misses Slade would accept as a token of appreciation. This was revealed to be a beautifully designed dinner and tea service in English china, and deeply touched the Misses Slade returned thanks, saying that whenever they used the service they would think of York House, and all the girls attending there. Following the singing of ‘40 years on’ hearty cheers were then given for the Misses Slade and ‘for York House School, for all the bricks, for everybody who has been in it,’ and for Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher, and the old girls present and absent. Then followed a rousing cheer for Mrs. Ogilvie, after which the singing of a verse of the National Anthem brought the proceedings to a close.’ Retiring to Holly Cottage with his daughters would be Edward Adams Slade, who alter a short illness died there in August 1934. Under Mrs. Ogilvie, York House continued to flourish as a boarding school and in 1935 was advertised as a boarding and day school for girls and young boys. Preparation for public exams was undertaken and there were senior, junior, kindergarten and nursery departments. Classical dancing and elocution could be provided at moderate inclusive fees. ‘Telephone Stony Stratford 113.’ The school also contributed to good causes, such as in July 1939 when for the ftmds of Northampton General Hospital a first class concert and dancing display was given by the pupils. This should have taken place in the school grounds but due to the weather was instead transferred to the Regent Hall, where amongst the some 200 people in the audience were Charles Buchel, the famous artist, and Dr. and Mrs. Watney-Roe of Kensington. They were the parents of Miss Roe, who as a teacher at the school had supervised the making of the dresses by the pupils. At Snitterfield, Dorothy was now undertaking a great deal of historical research and would write a history of the village. Indeed she would be responsible for a compilation of the history of the village that in a national survey by the WI. was to gain second prize in the Warwickshire competition. She died aged 73 at her home, Holly Cottage, on December 21st 1956. The funeral service took place at Snitterfield on Christmas Eve and the following year on September 24th a memorial service was held at St. James’ Church, where in the service the vicar dedicated a silver Chalice, Paten and Cruets which had been presented to the church by the old pupils. Indeed many had come a long way to attend and after the service they were welcomed by Miss Adeline Agnes Slade at a tea in the village hall, given by the ladies of parish. York House School apparently closed in 1957 and after being empty for some years on the evening of Monday, March 4th 1963 the deeds of the premises were handed over to St. Giles’ Youth Club. The building had been purchased as the first part of a four phase scheme to provide the town with a youth club that be unique in county, and the subsequent story has been fully written up elsewhere. The story of the school then came to a final close when Miss Adeline Agnes Slade died at Snitterfield on May 3rd 1973.