Howdenshire History

Former Headmaster of Alexandra Street School, Goole: William Brook

Goole History > Goole People & Families > William Brook 


From the Goole Times, 17th June 1938:



To many of the older men in Goole the news of the death in Hull last Friday of Mr William Brook, at the age of 88, will be received with real regret, mingled with reflections of their early school days.

It was on 17th January 1876 that Mr Brook first became known to the boys who attended the first day of school at the then new Alexandra Street School. Mr Brook's own record of that day, in a log-book, which is still preserved at the school, states:

"School opened with 161 scholars, 93 of whom were from the Wesleyan School. Staff: William Brook, headmaster, Henry Lindley, assistant, John H. Armitage and William Spink, probationer teachers. The following morning R. G. Bickerton began as a candidate, and Charles Crump as a probationer teacher."

Mr Brook remained in Goole twelve years and during that time he became known to almost everyone. In three months the number of boys attending his school had risen to 227, and in the log-book, carefully kept by Mr Brook for twelve years, there are details of school life which many of the pupils of those days would delight to read. Misbehaviour in class, records of examinations, names of distinguished visitors, special holidays - all are recorded in Mr Brook's hand, bringing back memories of fifty and sixty years ago.

Without any trace of emotion, Mr Brook ended his association with Alexandra Street School in the following words: "31st December 1887; Today closed my connection with this school, after being headmaster for twelve years."

In those twelve years the school had grown until it held over five hundred boys, who were taught by Mr Brook, eight assistants, and three probation teachers.

Mr Brook left Goole for Hull, where he had been appointed an inspector under the Hull School Board. When he left Goole the School Board of that day expressed their regret at his departure and said he left Goole without leaving behind an enemy. He was succeeded as headmaster by his assistant, Mr Lindley.

Mr Brook did not lose touch with Goole and his old pupils, and over fifty years afterwards was able to recall their faces and full names promptly on sight.

  Home   |   Family Research   |   Old Photos   |   Local History Books   |   My Local History Blog   |   Contact  
  Goole History   |   Howden History   |   Eastrington History   |   Snaith & Area   |   Local Villages   |   Yorkshire Emigrants  
Copyright © Amy Butler & Susan Butler 2014. All Rights Reserved.