Primary School

Long Drove / Station Road

The current primary school has a long history dating back to its origins in the mid 1800s. It appears to originate from a school linked to St Marks church. The first notice of the Ten Mile Bank school in the Treasurer's account book is dated 1844.

The original location of the school was in the building that is now the village hall. The current building was probably built sometime between 1911 and 1914. It does not appear on the 1879 ordinance survey map.

It is built from a orangish red brick with a slate roof. There were originally several tall elaborate chimneys, and would have been heated by burning coal or wood. In the absence of electricity the lighting would have been by means of gas or oil lamps. Due the fumes from the heating and lighting, and the air exhaled by several people inside, public buildings such as schools would be designed with a ventilation system that included a vent in the roof located on a turret. This turret vent still exists today and can seen in the picture here.


The school which had recently been taken over by the L.E.A. moved from the village hall to its current site on 6th July 1914. It is said that the children were marched down the road from the old site to the new one. Henry Edward Elderkin would have been schoolmaster at this time. For earlier history of the school see the village hall.

Preparation for the move to the new school premises had obviously been underway for quite some time beforehand. There were several letters of communication between Elderkin to the assistant secretary discussing things such as furniture and supplies.

On the 20th April 1914 there was a letter to Elderkin from the assistant secretary asking what furniture was in the present school which could be transfered to the new school. In this letter it stated that the new school contains in the mixed department;

  • one classroom for 48
  • one classroom for 40
  • two classrooms for 32 each

Dated April 27th 1914 there is a letter from Elderkin responding to a previous letter dated April 10th. In it he states; "I called to the attention of the architect what I consider inadequate supply of water there is a tank for 800 gallons in a dry day would become exhausted. The remedy is to get the river commissioners to lay a pipe from the river." He also raised the issue of a bell. Stating there is no public clock and that children live a long way from the school but can hear the bell a mile off. "There is a bell in the present school which the owner would probably dispose of."

In this letter Elderkin lists the furniture in the present school;

Children's desks now in use but not advised for transfer to new school. All have been used for many years and all have seats too far back. Now used for St IV. Seat 20 children.
4 old desks different makes now used for St I & II
4 desks used by St II seat 24
2 desks used by St II seat 12
3 desks used by Inf seat 18
1 desk used by Inf seat 7
Five came from Hilgay village school when new school was built, not advised for transfer.

Not Advised for transfer
1 old chair
1 brown chair cannot be repaired to be safe
1 old harmonium, dilapidated, used occasionally, been in the school for 40 years.
3 cupboards in the upper school, 1 in bad condition

infant room is a good cupboard
work table used by children for cutting out

For infants acc 65 two rooms 35+30
can be transfered
table and chairs to seat 24
table and chairs to seat 41
teachers desk and chair

On 1st May 1914 there was an order to the London and Provincial Furnishing Co., St Stephens Street, Norwich, for two folding tables to be addressed for; the head teacher, Ten mile bank school, Ryston station. This would have been the railway station at Fordham.

In a letter to the assistant secretary dated May 22nd 1914, Elderkin spoke of 24 dual desks and six packs of tables and chairs. Where he stated owing to the state of progress he thought better not to unpack them. He went on to say "It is desirable that more furniture be sent, our station is Hilgay G.E.R. less than one mile from the school. These goods were sent to Ryston 3 miles off and moreover a toll of 3/4 had to be paid to get them over the bridge."

There was a response to Elderkin dated 13th June 1914, where the assistant secretary appologises and states in future remainder of the furniture will be sent to Hilgay.

Dated July 17th there is a letter from Elderkin stating a blackboard had been left in the wall at the old school. It had been promised to send; 1 blackboard and 2 easels. "been in school a fortnight and they have not arrived"

In a letter dated 5th September 1914 to Mr H. Porter, from Assistant Secretary, is it stated the salary for a male pupil teachers for a two year apprenticeship is £17 during the first year and £20 during second year.

In a letter dated Oct 7th 1914, to assistant secretary, Elderkin states the fireguards had not arrived. However, in a further letter dated Oct 28th he states that 7 fireguards had arrived.


In June 1916, a grant was obtained for a sewing machine of value £12.

In December 1916 Miss Browne returned after illness. When she was away no sewing could be done with the older girls and no gardening with the older boys. Miss Browne is leaving.


Jas Bowker took up the role of head teacher from January. Staff is listed as;

  • 1 certified assistant (lady)
  • 1 uncertified assistant (lady)
  • 1 supplementary assistant (lady)
  • 1 certified head (male)
  • 1 monitoress

There are 162 on roll. 51 Are infants.

By November 1920, Edwin Rose is chairman of managers.


By the 7th of February 1925, T. Dodgson was the head teacher.


Some students mentioned from 1929 were;

  • Oliver Baker
  • Alfred Bunnett (son of Earnest Bunnett, of Ouse Bridge Farm, Denver Sluice)
  • Marjorie Gordon
  • Kathleen Green
  • Ivy Handley
  • Leslie Harrington (fractured arm on 23rd July)
  • Asenath Laws
  • Alice Pope (father was a horseman)
  • Mary Rayner
  • Evelyn Robinson
  • Phyllis Thurling
  • Leonard Turner (fractured a collar bone as a result of a fall while playing)

In 1929 there seems to be the first mention of Sidney Batson conveying the children from 100 foot bank to Ten Mile Bank school. He appears to have taken over from Mr Coats in 1927.


Some children mentioned from 1930 were;

  • Mary Barret
  • Marjorie Batson
  • Kathleen Coats
  • Marjorie Cobbins (daughter of May & Edward Rayner)
  • Sidney Cornwell
  • Brian Dodgeson (son of Thomas Dodgeson, schoolmaster)
  • Raymond Gordon (son of Arther Gordon)
  • Kathleen Green
  • Alfred Greef
  • Leslie Harrington
  • Cyril Macro
  • Jessie Marshall
  • James Miller (son of William Miller)
  • Asenath Laws
  • Nora Leonard (daughter of Susan Leonard)
  • Harry Reynolds (son of J. W. Reynolds)
  • Mary Ellen Reynolds (daughter of J. W. Reynolds)
  • Nellie Reynolds (child of J. W. Reynolds)
  • Leslie Rayner (son of May & Edward Rayner)
  • Evelyn Robinson
  • Stewart Rose
  • Eric Stone
  • Grace Spinks
  • George Taylor
  • Edith Turner
  • George Watkins
  • Charles Wilkin


Some students mentioned from 1931 were;

  • Maguerite Day
  • Marjorie Gamble
  • Pearl Horley (or Harley)
  • Edith Pease
  • Eric Rose
  • Adelaide Wake
  • Gus Yarrow (absent from school with a sore knee, fall in playground)


In a letter dated Sept 16th 1935, Dodgeson states; "I admitted this morning eleven children to the infants department. In the two classes of infants there are now 58 on roll." He was asking for more tables and chairs.


There was a letter dated Feb 4th 1937 asking for two large door mats to be supplied to Ten mile bank school for the two entrance doors. Clifford Rose of Hawthorn House was correspondent.


It is approximately this time when Miss Baldwin started working at the school (see 1955 below).


A united service for WAR WEAPONS WEEK was held in the school grounds on a Sunday a week before it was detailed in a newspaper article on 3rd May 1941.


Mr T Dodgeson, Headmaster, leaves the village/school.


It is about this time that Mr Day became headmaster.


The coronation committee met at the village school to discuss the disposal of the surplus money raised for the celebrations and it was agreed to erect a bus shelter as a memorial of the event. The Journal, Friday, July 3, 1953


Mr W Day, who had been headmaster of Ten Mile Bank Primary School for two years left the village on Wednesday 25th August.


The primary school sports were held in Wellington House Field, lent by Mrs G Howlett. The shield was won by Drake house. The Journal, Friday, July 22, 1955.

At the annual prizegiving Miss Baldwin who was retiring from the school was presented with a wireless set from the school and staff, and a set of traveling cases from old scholars. She had served at the school for 27 years. Mr R Chamberlain, headmaster, also presented Mrs Balwin with a gift of money, the remainder of the contributions. Mr T Dodgeson paid his first visit to the village since he left in 1944, accompanied by Mrs Dodgeson. He spoke of the 16 years he worked together with Mrs Baldwin. The Journal, Friday, August 5, 1955

The same article mentions a visit to Ouse Bridge Farm and the Norfolk show. Also that swimming lessons had been given in the River. And the house system had been reintroduced.

In this year there appears to be five classes and also mention of classes 2b and 3b. So could there have been as many as seven classes? Some of the students are listed as prizewinners;

Class 1 Class 2 Class 2b Class 3 Class 3b Class 4 Class 5
Malcolm Hall
Shella Cornwell
Colin Turner
John Bedford
Ann Armsby
Barry Rayner
Pamela Battleday
Kathleen Timbers
John Harvey
Trevor Hall
Terry Robinson
Paul Loughlin?
Stanley Robinson
Jenifer Lake
Margaret High
Vivien Horton
Raymond Wright
Wendy Cowlan?
Joanna Chamberlain
Michael Hall
Phyllis Hills
Maureen Shaw
Marion Harvey
John Lloyd
Malcolm Cutworth
Pauline Taylor
Pauline Scott
Doreen Hall
Christine Sayers
Pauline Leonard
Susan Harnwell
Valerie Starling
Carole Groom
Martina Chamberlain
Beryl Taylor
John Robinson
Patrick Burton
Robin Mackender
Ivan Jeftrey
Barrie? Rayner
Christine Driver
Elizabeth Faulkner
Tony Harwin

In the evening the school sports team took part in a competition at southery and came third. Kathleen Timbers won the high jump clearing 4ft 3ins and Ivan Jeffrey threw the cricket ball 81 yards one foot winning the event.


A newspaper article talks about sports day at Ten Mile Bank school. It mentions three 'houses', Nightingale, Cavell and Drake. These would be groups that the children are put into to compete as teams. There seems to have been at least four houses, Nelson being the other. These houses are assumed to be named after two famous nurses, Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell, and also Fancis Drake and Horatio Nelson. Later by the 1980s the teams had been changed to the Red team and the Blue team.

Playing field circa 1958courtesy Pete Rayner

The building originally had several tall chimneys, but these are all but gone now. Historic maps indicate the playing field did not always exist. One newspaper article talks of sports day being held in Wellington House field.


This year was the Queen's silver jubilee, and the school seems to celebrating it. Some of the children in this picture are; Kevin Brown, Russel Moore, Andrew Rudd, Gavin Marshall, Thomas Malkin, Richard Fletcher, Tracy Starling, Jenny Mansell, Sidney Mansell, Clive Whitehand, Gillian Weeds, Gary Spalding, Lorraine Brown, Daniel Scofield, Dianne Yarrow, Kate Stokes, Karen Peacock, Mandy Peacock, Toby Write, Matthew Starling, Linda Mansell, Beverly Gordon, Daniel Scofield, Paul Muffet, Hazel Martin and David Robinson.

In the center of the picture at the back you can see one of the folding partition walls. The two large rooms had these partitions allowing the rooms to be divided off for individual activities or opened up for large group activities such as lunch or gym time.


At a sports and fun afternoon at Ten Mile Bank Primary School several new events were introduced including bicycle races, space hopper races, backwards and forwards races and welly throwing.

The team cup was won by Blue team with 165 points and presented to David Robinson (team captain). The individual boys cup was won by David Robinson and the Girls winner was Sarah Little. The cups were presented by Mr M. Starling (governor).

Some of the winners are listed in the table below.

Winner of the fathers race was Mr Robinson and the mothers race Mrs Flemming.

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6
Philip Rudd
Graham Groom
James Welfare
Darren Ebbs
Lindsay Butcher
Ann Weeds
Alexander Flemming
Sarah Little
Elizabeth Burnham
Daniel Shimmin
Caroline Smyth
Alan Houghton
Robert Hedgecock
Lisa Muffett
Joy Whitehand
Matthew Marshall
Tracey Rayner
David Robinson


Some of the teachers from this era were; Mrs Wollaston, infant class teacher, Miss Pearson Headmistress, Mr Bell, headmaster and Mrs Stringer Headmistress. Other staff were Mrs ELy, cook, Mrs Robertson, playground assistant and Mrs Batson, caretaker.

Teachers are Mrs Stringer (left) and Mrs Vivian Wollaston (right).


At some point around this time a green school uniform was introduced, see the photo gallery at the bottom of this page. The image printed on the sweatshirts depicted the recently designed village sign. Today the school is known as Riverside Academy, and the current uniform is purple.


John Ward, Headteacher, leaves his role after seven and a half years. Mr Ward said farewell to pupils, staff and parents during an special assembly. He left the school on a high after achieving a good rating in the ofstead report. You can read more at: Lynn News, 29 July, 2013

Judi Jarrot took over as head of both Ten Mile Bank and Hilgay schools in September 2013. Lynn News, 01 Feb, 2014

We can see from the picture that some of the outbuildings have been removed. The old brick bicycle shed that still existed in the 1980s is now gone.

2014 One Hundred Year Celebration

The school celebrates 100 years at it's current site. Mrs Judy Jarrot is current headteacher. An estimated 300 people enjoyed tours of the school. School govenor Ray Houghton attended the school and shared his experiences as coal boy. Other staff members at this time were Oliva Petherick (teacher), Maria Higgins and Leah Herbert. Lynn News, 30 July 2014

Car parking spaces at the front must have been created sometime after July 2009.

2016 DEMAT takes control

The Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust (DEMAT), took control of both Ten Mile Bank and Hilgay primary schools in January 2016. Shortly after DEMAT announced plans to close Ten Mile Bank school, whose 34 children would move to the primary at Hilgay. But parents formed an action group to campaign against the closure.

In a report produced by DEMAT in January 2017 it was stated that the school would remain open until at least August 31st, 2019.


An 85 year old Ernie Germeney returns to visit the school. He was accompanied by Natalie Bressani who taught at the school at some point. Eastern Daily Press, 20 March, 2017

Current Headteacher is Mrs Turner.

Photo Gallery