James Lammas schoolmaster
James Lammas was born in Limehouse, London in 1842. Both he, and his wife, Elizabeth, became Certificated teachers of Elementary School and Mr. Lammas took up the position of Headmaster of the Mixed School at Hathern in 1866. Their three children, Arthur, Henry and Margaret were born in Hathern and lived in the School House next to the old school, now the Dispensary for the Surgery. Mrs. Lammas became Headmistress of the Infant School in 1877 until her death in 1899. For a short time their daughter, Margaret, was a pupil teacher at the school.One thing that stands out about the Lammas family is their dedication to their role through difficult times. It was very rare for them to take time off for illness. Mrs. Lammas became too ill to teach from April 14 1899. She died in July and the school closed for the holidays a week early as a mark of respect. When Mr. Lammas became Headmaster there were eighty children on roll, but by 1891 there were 240. Inspection reports of the time say that "The Master has too many Standards (year groups) to teach, and should be supplied with help at once." Mr. and Mrs. Lammas were the only Certificated teachers for most of this time, the remaining staff being made up of trainees and pupil teachers. Pay was very poor and staff were often absent, with Mr. Lammas often having to teach very large classes for long periods of time.
During his time as Headmaster Mr. Lammas saw the school closed on many occasions for up to three months due to epidemics of diseases such as diphtheria, chicken pox, influenza, measles, whooping cough, scarlet fever, blister pox and mumps. Six children died in the summer of 1902 after contracting diphtheria. Other ailments were bronchitis, tuberculosis and ringworm. The County Medical Officer of Health would visit the school, insisting on closure. In August 1891 children in Standard One (five years old)and above were expected to pay a fee of one old penny a week. Younger children did not have to pay. There was a large increase of under fives and only thirty eight out of one hundred and sixty eight children paid their fee. By the 26th. September Reverend Lawrance, Vicar and School Manager, announced that the school would be "entirely free". Children often failed to attend school for such reasons as harvesting and gleaning and caring for younger siblings. Snow and heavy rain also resulted in absences. Popular events in Loughborough and the area such as Loughborough and Castle Donington Races, the circus, troops marching through town and Loughborough Fair caused much absence. These absences constantly frustrated Mr. Lammas. As so many children were absent at Hathern Wakes the School Managers decided to give a week’s holiday.
The classrooms were enlarged in 1902 and 1906, and a gallery was removed from the Infant Room in 1898. James Lammas retired on August 2nd., 1906. The Report in the School Log Book states that "Mr. Lammas relinquishes the duties of his office after forty years service. The Rector visited and specially referred to this event." Edwin Fern became the new Headmaster. Mr. Lammas died in 1910. Probate was granted to his daughter, Margaret, and his effects came to the value of £65.