Caps off to Harrington Infant School!

The owners of the old Harrington Infant School got quite a surprise when they started work on renovating the building.

They told us that, whilst pulling the ceilings down above the toilets (girls end of the school) they were filling the first wheelbarrow - Jonathan unearthed a hat which had the name "Jack Newton" written in it.

When they were on the 5th load another three caps were found!

Above each room there is a hexagonal hatch, likely to have been for ventilation. It is thought that, at one time, the caps had been thrown up there as the ceiling is 10 or 12 feet high.

Also in that roof space, there is a very substantial steel water tank - unused for, possibly, 50 years.
It is handmade with riveted seams.

After very carefully washing the caps in lukewarm water, they very kindly brought the caps to Beckstone Primary School
to show Mr Warbrick and the pupils.

After a little research we think we may have found out that Jack Newton was born John Newton in 1908.
He lived with his parents John and Isabella Newton and his 3 sisters Isabella, Annie and Ada on Moorclose Road.
He would probably have started school in 1913.

We also think that Coogan's hat makers are still in existence in Ireland - watch this space for more information!

We think that 3 of the caps are probably from the same era, but the small, hessian-lined cap looks to be much older.

We have displayed photos of the caps below - please click on each image for a larger view.