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John Meads from Northampton Mercury 3rd March 1905

British Schools (Council School) 1914

A large audience assembled in the British Schools, Burton Latimer, last night (Thursday) to hear the annual concert given by the scholars attending that school. Part I consisted of songs, recitations, and musical exercises by the infants, and the various items were excellently given, this part of the programme being produced under the supervision of Miss Gross (head mistress), Miss Hobbs, Miss Blake and Miss Meads.

After this came a very startling occurrence, for the senior scholars, about 60 in number, were being arranged on the stage to commence the second part of the programme, the platform gave way, and the scholars were precipitated to the floor, the boards and children being thrown into a heap. The audience could not see the occurrence in consequence of the curtains, but they were startled by the crash of the falling timber and the cries of the children.

Mr A C Harris, the head master, immediately realised the serious position, and quickly commanded all to be quiet, thus saving a panic from the audience crowding to the door to leave the building. The curtain was speedily raised, and the scene presented revealed the stage in a state of collapse and the children more or less mingled together amongst the wood work. They were quickly extricated from their precarious positions, and it was found that fortunately not one of them had sustained any serious injuries, although most of them were suffering more or less from the shock and fright. It was found impossible to proceed with the concert, and the audience dispersed, Mr C Barlow announcing that the performance would be repeated on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Upon enquiry we find that when the stage collapsed everything was in readiness for the raising of the curtain. The stage was noticed to dip in the centre and immediately collapsed. It had been erected upon desks and trestles, and upon examination it was found that the legs of the trestles had slipped out and caused the accident. The singular part about the affair was that the stage was all right during the morning and afternoon rehearsals, and the trestles should have proved of sufficient stability, seeing that on many occasions they have been used to form a platform for the whole of the members of the Britannia Band.

Mr A C Harris, Headmaster Miss Gross, Headmistress
Mr A C Harris, Headmaster
Miss Gross, Headmistress

Miss Sarah Meads Miss Elsie Hobbs (in later life)
Miss Sarah Meads
Miss Elsie Hobbs (in later life)

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