Forton Book

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Forton - St. John’s School and the Forton District


The following has been reproduced and edited (to reduce duplication in the related stories) with the kind permission of    Mrs Olive E Turner

This book is dedicated to her husband Mr K G Turner, in gratitude for his help and support and in celebration of their 50th year of marriage.

There has been a considerable interest in Local History over recent years. The growth in the number of books, brochures and pamphlets about  our own town of Gosport is ample evidence for this and the reason is clear to see. For Local History is about us our friends, out workmates, the people and places amongst which we live.

To download a copy of the Book left click, select save as on above.(Left Word 1.4mbs)  (Right PDF 1.2mbs)

The copyright remains with Mrs O E Turner, you may download and print, but please do not sell. Thank you

Mrs. Turner has added another to the number of books about Gosport and it is important because it tells the history of the Church Day School in Forton, and the way in which the community it has served has grown and developed. Although St. John’s. School has moved from its place adjacent to the church it has grown into a live and thriving community of pupils, staff and parents. It is good that this book has captured much of its ups and downs to its present position as a large Aided Primary School with close links with its parish church.

I am privileged to commend this book to you I  hope that you will renew your acquaintance with many friends and places within its page. I am sure it will give you much pleasure.

Garth Munro

Vicar of St. John the Evangelist, Forton 1955 to 1981. Chairman of the School Governors From 1956 to 1981.

Link to a Map Of Forton 1832

Chapter 1:       Introduction

During the 18th Century most children were still uneducated. Later, Hannah More started a Sunday School for children belonging to the Cheddar district This was so popular that she followed it with week day schools for reading, sewing and knitting. In 1780 Thomas Stock, an Anglican curate, helped Robert Raikes, a journalist, in opening four schools in Gloucester for tough children. This was the beginning of the National Sunday School Movement.

In Portsmouth, towards the end of the 18th century, a young man named John Pounds was working in Portsmouth Dockyard. In an accident at work his leg was severely damaged. Unable to continue his work in the ‘Yard' he started a cobbler’s shop in Highbury Street, Portsmouth. Sometimes he saw crippled boys and male special boots for them, as he had done for himself. Also, he noticed boys who wore no boots at all and who had ragged clothing. They played in the gutter, ignorant and uncared for. He felt that lie would like to help them and for years he did so, working quietly and almost unnoticed by anyone. He gathered round himself a band of about 40 or 50 such children who came, from time to time, to his shop where he taught them how to read and to write, the way to cook their own food and how to mend their boots. 

John Pounds’ House

(Parson Veck) The Rev. Aubrey Veck

- One day someone asked old John how he managed to get the boys to come to his little shop. In his quaint way, he replied, “I’ll tell you how I manages it. I boils a tater, you know, and puts it in my pocket and goes out and looks about till I finds a little feller who looks hungry. I then says to him, ‘will you have a tater my boy? ‘Yes' he says and I gives him one and takes good care that whilst he is eating it, I am slowly walking towards my house and when I gets there why, of course, he comes in too and whenever they once get into my shop they are sure to come again". In this way John Pounds founded what were to become known as the Ragged Schools. After John’s death in January, 1839, homes for poor children were founded in various parts of the country. NEXT PAGE


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