The owners of the old Harrington Infant School got quite
a surprise when they started work on renovating the
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
Also in that
roof space, there is a very substantial steel water tank
- unused for, possibly, 50 years.
It is handmade with riveted seams.
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.
displayed photos of the caps below - please click on
each image for a larger view.