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News > Items from The School Archive > Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Letters from Pupils past and present featured in The Firefly magazine from the 1880s and 90s.

The Lower Cricket Ground in the 1890s
The Lower Cricket Ground in the 1890s


Graham Jones
Francis Elliott Kitchener brought from Rugby School the importance of sport in education. Letters from pupils past and present (mostly anonymous) featured regularly in The Firefly of the 1880s and 90s. Sport, particularly cricket and rugby football generated most correspondence. This correspondence dates from 1886.

Below: Extract from The Firefly Magazine 1886 relating to groundskeeping funds.

Below: Extract from The Firefly Magazine July 1897 about the condition of the cricket score board.

Below: Photograph of the Lower Cricket Ground, groundsman, roller and hurdle.

Below: A desperate plee for the improvement of the cricket grounds.

Below: An extract from The Firefly Magazine. An assertive statement made on behalf of those who wanted to practice more football.

Dear Mr. Editor,
We think we are expressing the opinion of many of the football players of the school in stating that the football is unduly sacrificed to cricket. Though half term has not yet been reached, we have already been obliged to give up all football, the excuse being, that the top ground may be fit for next term’s cricket. Granting that giving up football would make it fit for cricket (which it never will), is it right that that game should monopolize the whole of our close? The bottom ground is entirely given up to it the whole year round, and under these circumstances should not football have the use of the top ground during the whole of its season? Ought we to be surprised that our football is not as good as it should be, with this state of affairs. Hoping that some steps may be taken to remedy this serious deficiency.

We remain, yours truly,


We are very grateful to Graham Jones, former Head of Geography and current volunteer archivist at Newcastle-under-Lyme School, who has put together the content for these features.

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