Southwold Railway Trust Archive of Wenhaston

History Note #18: Mr Sales

History Note #18: Mr Sales
The notoriously strict Headmaster of Wenhaston School

He was Headmaster at the school for 32 years. He was a strict man, maintaining discipline as he saw fit. He was appointed 12 April 1886.

For the first 15 years he made regular claims for extra pay for evening classes and annual increases, usually falling on deaf ears!

One makes notes from the minutes of the Governors and here are a few examples:
25 February 1903 Parent complains of treatment of child.
25 March 1903 Punishment of child considered excessive. Head told to be more considerate.
28 March 1904 He complains that he and his staff are harassed by Managers.
14 May 1904 Miss Smith appointed as Assistant Teacher but can only teach infants. Mr Sales not satisfied so asks for her removal. Miss Smith not happy and complains of unfair treatment. Not the first time his staff makes that comment!
In 1906 he gets a pay rise of £5 a year!
22 April 1907 A letter from a parent that Mr Sales told class ‘If the children did not learn their bloody scriptures he would half kill them’. Complains on the language, but the Governors said the charge was unfounded.
5 October 1911 Some of the best produce in the school garden has gone missing. Head will keep a close observation.
10 January 1912 Another complaint. Mr Sales canes a boy that both his hands were ‘swollen black and blue and a piece cut out of his knuckles and the nail of his thumb was black from the blow’.
9 December 1914 Complaint of treatment of Willie Sheppard and also that children were not allowed to put on hats when they go outside the building for drilling.
15 December 1914 Managers agree that excessive punishment was given to Willie Sheppard. Mr Sales instructed to write a letter of apology.
15 February 1915 Mr Sales expresses regret and promises to tone down the punishments in future.
18 December 1915 He is rude to visiting drill instructress!


I was told by Mrs Battle that once the pupils staged a strike by staying outside the school in the road. After a while the girls gave in and attended the school. However the boys stayed out and the next day the ringleaders were caned in front of the school!
Mr Sales dies on 15 September 1918.