Thursday, 10 February 2011

School desk


In common with the rest of Salts Mill, Saltaire, the Bookshop is filled not only with books but also with unusual treasures.  I am deeply fond of this old child's desk.  It reminds me of the desks we used at Primary School, though our chairs were separate, not linked as this one is.  But we had wooden desks with lids that lifted for storage inside - and they still had holes for inkwells, though we didn't use them (fountain pens had moved on to ink cartridges by then!)  I remember that at the end of every term half-an-hour was dedicated to polishing our own desk lid - with real beeswax polish.  You can imagine the fun we had!  I have often wondered if this particular desk has found its way into the Mill from the Victorian Factory Schools that Titus Salt introduced into Saltaire.  Haven't we come a long way?  I haven't been into a Primary School for a while but I would not be surprised to see suites of computers these days.

18 comments:

  1. Oh that does bring back memories. In my first school year (age 7) I had a desk just like that one, in one piece with the chair. Then we got new ones.

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  2. I had one similar to this at school. For some reason there was a little hole in the bottom of the enclosed compartment as well. Thus, with a bit of thought and preparation, you could launch a small marble, through the inkwell hole so that it would run down a carefully placed track if books and rulers and emerge out of the bottom of the desk into your waiting hand. No wonder I can't speak French.

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  3. Good Morning Jenny how great that you found your way to my little blog, I'm SO glad that you enjoyed it!
    Ah! This photograph of the desk reminds also of Primary School, I can distinctly remember sliding into those bench seats. Only ours were double desks, where you sat next to your best friend if you were lucky. We did still have dip pens and inkwells in those little holes so I must be ages older that you I think ;)!!

    Many many thanks for visiting, I'm trying to remember if I've ever been to Saltaire. I think I must have it being not far from Hebden Bridge. Take care.

    Kind regards Jane

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  4. That desk looks just like the ones I remember from my early school years, too (although at the time I certainly wasn't enamoured with it!)

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  5. Thats a gem and sure does bring back memories. I remember having an inkwell like that and it was before fountain pens. We used a pen and nib and the ink would blob on your work and then there was trouble with the teacher. I had plaits at school and the kids behind would put the end of my plait into the ink well.
    Thanks for the memories.

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  6. We had the same, but with two places. what I remember is the hole for the ink bottle; We used to write with "porte-plume", (sorry, I don't find the english name) we had to take ink from the little white pot to write with; and my fingers were always blue at the end of a school day! :)

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  7. Thanks Jenny;nostalgia strikes again. I used one of these and we had ink and wells in that hole for a while, and school issued pens to dip. Did we ever get ink on our books and clothes!

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  8. I also had a similar desk when I was little. I take my grandson to school every morning (he's 6 years old) and they have tables instead of desks and of course the computers!

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  9. This is fantastic and I believe it's exactly like the one I used at Primary School, the same school where my mother studied and everything remained the same. :-)

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  10. You've really captured the textures so nicely on this, the desk and the floors just pop. ~Lili

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  11. In secondary school, we had desks in the classrooms. The inkwells were there, but were only used to hold odd bits of rubbish and hastily concealed sweet wrappers! When my mum was at primary school though, she was the ink monitor, with responsibility for filling the ink wells each morning!

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  12. I love old school desks. During my first couple years of grade school in an old country school, we had desks that linked like that, but did not have tops that lifted. They were stationary with a shelf underneath to store books and papers. All the desks in each row were connected. Fun memories!

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  13. I had desks like that, many with carved inscriptions showing that they'd been around some twenty or thirty years.

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  14. I would like to pretend that I am too young to remember desks like, that, but, alas, my grade school had them, too. I think I was in the seventh grade in a new school before having modern desks and chairs.

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  15. BTW, you would indeed like Hill-Stead in the summer. On Wednesday evenings, they host poetry-reading in a sunken garden at the side of the museum.

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  16. Nice lighting in this shot! I'm in education, our desks are nothing like this nowadays, and sadly we don't have much in the way of computers either.

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  17. I sat at desks just like this for many years! Lovely photo.

    [It always shocks me how many posts I've missed when I come around... not out of lack of interest, just overloaded... but when days turn into weeks, it's a big ouch! I'll look at all, but may not comment on each.]

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  18. oh my word, i have the same desk in my Garage. it also has the metal fold down book support.

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