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1845 school book

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Here's a couple of scans of a 30 odd page school exercise book written in 1845 by my GG Grandfather Benjamin Buckingham Styring . He was 13 years old at this time, and from a working class family. Evidence is leading us to believe that he may have attended The Sheffield Free Writing School. (School Croft) because he later married Lucy Kelvey, the daughter of the headmaster, Henry Kelvey.

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Wow, what a work of art! I can remember being taught joined up writing at school (it was always called 'real writing', was that usual or just our family?).

The teacher would draw 3 parallel lines on the board as a guide and we did the same in our exercise books. The letters sat on the middle line and the upper loops touched the top line, and the bottom loops the bottom line.

At grammar school we used fountain pens, but if you ran out of ink you had to use a 'straight pen, usually with a crossed nib, and some foul ink that was made up from a powder and dried to a horrible brown colour.

After years of using a keyboard for just about everything, I now get writer's cramp at the sight of a pen!

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Wow, what a work of art! I can remember being taught joined up writing at school (it was always called 'real writing', was that usual or just our family?).

The teacher would draw 3 parallel lines on the board as a guide and we did the same in our exercise books. The letters sat on the middle line and the upper loops touched the top line, and the bottom loops the bottom line.

At grammar school we used fountain pens, but if you ran out of ink you had to use a 'straight pen, usually with a crossed nib, and some foul ink that was made up from a powder and dried to a horrible brown colour.

After years of using a keyboard for just about everything, I now get writer's cramp at the sight of a pen!

I have rediscovered the joy of writing, it's not neat or anything, but all my jottings and research about Pubs and "stuff" in general is dome with a notepad and pencil, that's the real pleasure to me, writing with a pencil ... that and a bucket full of red wine obviously ...

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Here's a couple of scans of a 30 odd page school exercise book written in 1845 by my GG Grandfather Benjamin Buckingham Styring . He was 13 years old at this time, and from a working class family. Evidence is leading us to believe that he may have attended The Sheffield Free Writing School. (School Croft) because he later married Lucy Kelvey, the daughter of the headmaster, Henry Kelvey.

Very stylish and full of class.

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Very stylish and full of class.

And a hundred years later we were still being taught to write like that, - first with a pencil and then with a scratchy steel nib pen dipped in an inkwell; and a rap over the knuckles with a ruler if you were unlucky enough to make a 'blot'.

I remember my grandfather once giving me a couple of squares of crocus paper to clean my pen nib with before taking a writing test.

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And a hundred years later we were still being taught to write like that, - first with a pencil and then with a scratchy steel nib pen dipped in an inkwell; and a rap over the knuckles with a ruler if you were unlucky enough to make a 'blot'.

I remember my grandfather once giving me a couple of squares of crocus paper to clean my pen nib with before taking a writing test.

I've never quite got my head around Crocus, can you or anyone fill me in please ?

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I've never quite got my head around Crocus, can you or anyone fill me in please ?

It was a very fine abrasive - a bit like 'wet & dry', used for polishing cutlery in the old days when such stuff was made in Sheffield :)

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Wow, what a work of art! I can remember being taught joined up writing at school (it was always called 'real writing', was that usual or just our family?).

Yup - real writing writing it was for me too.

Marion Richardson style (joined up, but no loops, no fancy bits) was being taught when I was in the juniors. As far as I know it was adopted by all schools. We had a teacher called Mr Padley who was very keen on preserving the classic "Cursive Writing" as it is called. He had permission to give us extra lessons, so we in our class learned both styles.

I know there was a good reason for introducing Marion Richardson, namely to standardise pupils work and make an easier transition from individual letters to joined up writing. It did however mark a long slow downturn in standards. (Just my opinion)

Mr Padley's lessons stood me in good stead a few years later when I got first prize in the school handwriting competition. This got me entered into a national competition (or maybe just Sheffield I'm not sure) organised by (of all people) Brook Bond Tea. I came first in that as well.

Needless to say it was nothing to compare to Benjamin's book, and I'm afraid I let my writing slide many years ago.

If anybody wants the rest of the scanned pages let me know.

Edited - Found this picture of a Marion Richardson book

Edited by vox

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