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Edward Arden Barker

In 1956, The Guisborian posed the question ‘Who is the oldest old boy?’ In 1961, Mr Edward Arden Barker of Saltburn claimed that title.

Mr Barker, by then 91, could remember a School “which seems fantastic to the present generation” and in 1961 wrote a short article for The Guisborian magazine which is reproduced here:

“I was one of only 10 boys when I started at the school at the age of 8 in 1878. In those days, the School was a small building with alms houses, long since disappeared, attached to it.

The Headmaster was the Rev. Jackson and on winter days when there was a fire in one corner, the boys stood near the windows in late afternoon to see so that they could work on their slates. I remember also that six men and six women lived in the alms houses and the men wore frock coats with brass buttons. There was no homework and the boys had the whole of the Applegarth to play in.

I was 13 when I left the Grammar School and after another 3 years education, I started work at the National Provincial Bank in Whitby. I served the Bank for more than 40 years and was the Chairman of Saltburn and Marske Urban District Council in 1931-32”

Mr Barker died in 1963 and his niece presented a selection of her uncle’s books to the School Library.

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