Extended school holidays for children

[Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph: July 26th, 1919]

On Wednesday [July 23rd, 1919], at a meeting of the Luton Education Committee, a letter was read from the Board of Education informing the Committee that the King had expressed a desire that in commemoration of the peace some extension of the school summer holidays should be granted to the schoolchildren.

Councillor Barford said the Peace Celebration Committee were contemplating “doing something for the children,” and it might be possible to arrange for a children's day to be held during an extra week's holiday. To get this into good working order, however, it would be necessary to ask the teachers to form a committee to collaborate during the vacation, because the arrangements would have to be made while the schools were in recess.

He suggested the teachers should be asked to nominate three ladies and three gentlemen to help in arranging for festivities immediately after the holidays.

The Chairman (Councillor Warren): “We understand Lady Wernher is likely to do something. Is that what you are referring to, or something else?”

Councillor Barford: “I have heard nothing about Lady Wernher and the children, only about Lady Wernher and the discharged sailors and soldiers.”

Mr Carter (Secretary): “The difficulty is the schools close tomorrow.”

Mrs Slatter questioned whether they could expect the teachers to get back for the tea to the children, and it was pointed out that many of them did not go away just for a fortnight's holiday, but went home.

There were approximately 9,000 children for whom festivities would have to be arranged, and Mrs Fyson said they must have the hearty support of all the teachers in all details, for the teachers were a great factor in the success of any children's gathering.

After some discussion it was decided that the normal holidays should be extended by a week, and any festivities arranged should take place later, on or after the schools had re-opened.

[The children's celebration finally took place in the grounds of Luton Hoo on September 18th, 1919.]