Book reveals teacher's punishing schedule

A notebook donated to the East Riding archives service has helped paint a grim picture of teaching in the 19th century.

It features anecdotes about a notorious schoolmaster Richard "Dicky" Fewson, who taught in the Long Riston area between the 1820s and 1870s.

Punishments Dicky meted out included "the basket", in which the child was hauled up to the roof by ropes and suspended there in a basket.

Other offending scholars had to place their nose in a hole that had been bored into the bench, and await a clouting.

"Potato Scuttles" involved suspending two boys in scuttles tied to a rope over a beam. The boys balanced each other and neither dared move for fear of breaking the rope.

Collections officer Sam Bartle said: "Fewson's behaviour as a teacher would rightly be condemned nowadays. But interestingly, the notebook reveals that Dicky was highly respected by his pupils and the wider community, and he was well known for producing good scholars, with a high standard of academic ability. In his own rather eccentric way, he cared about the education of his schoolchildren."