Category: Peter Hartingdon (Wharfe)
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Text from an article taken from a publication from around 1962. The photograph was taken in the craft room, boys woodwork and metalwork (girls were not included in these lessons at the time) Just peeking over the flue is me, Peter Hartingdon, standing next to Don Robinson the teacher at that time. Next to him is the headmaster Norman Barnard. I do not recall any of the boys names here.

"Down a pothole...up a rock face....munching sausages on a mountain top at midnight...skidding down snowy fells on home made sledges...camping...canoeing on the river! These are some of the out-of-school activities undertaken eagerly by the "delicate and maladjusted" children at Linton School near Grassington. Anticipating a visit to this special school run by Bradford Education Committee, I thought in terms of a hot house atmosphere, of pale, spindly legged children, zealously protective staff and the threat of the psychiatrist's couch.

I found instead a noisy bunch of youngsters leading an open-air life in a school with facilities on a parr with the best Public School. In their laughing, rosy-cheeked faces there was no clue to the reason why they were at Linton.

Children are sent on the advice of a doctor after parents have given consent. Of the 90 boys and girls now at the school, 75% are there for purely physical reasons. It may be Asthma or bronchitis, convalescence after a long illness, malnutrition, or some other cause of delicate health.

Pale cheeks brighten in the fresh air, legs grow sturdy with running over the fells, dark shadows disappear from under the eyes in the routine of early bedtime, and outdoor activities kindle keen appetites.

More vital than physical benefits for the 25% of the youngsters who are maladjusted is the security of life at Linton. In some cases the school has accepted a responsibility which parents find it difficult to meet and provides an ordered life and emotional stability for children from unhappy homes.

Fortunateley these unhappy children are in the minority, but they are among those who benefit most.

There is no better advertisement for the healthy life at Linton than the headmaster Mr. Norman Barnard. It is 18 monthe since he, his wife, and 3 of their 4 children moved into the Canadien Cedar chalet among the shingle roofed, maroon painted bungalows, which made up this little community amid 19 acres of grounds. What is the use of giving children a taste of clean, country living when at 16 or earlier some of them will return to poor homes and standards?

Mr. Barnard answered: "We can only hope we are setting standards that which they will remember when it is their turn to set up home, And there is always the chance that during their absence help offered by trained staff will succeed in improving home conditions".

You may wonder, as I did, if the physical benefits are worth the emotional upset undergone by a child leaving his parents for the first time, but children soon adjust to the new surroundings, and Mr. Barnard can only recall 2 children leaving the school because of homesickness.

Mr. William Sternwhite, headmaster for 20 years, established an atmosphere of security, of "being wanted", that still impresses the visitor. The teaching staff of 10, and 6 welfare workers, encourage the children to talk about their worries, and in the little tuck-shop, many confidences are shared with Mrs. Sheila Moorhouse, the school secretary.

Interest from model railways to leather work are catered for in the clubs held in the evenings, and there is even a beauty club for the girls during the winter. Films are shown at the weekends, there are games with other schools, expeditions to places of interest, camping weekends and organised walks.

"We try to encourage the children to do things they thought they were uncapable of doing", said Mr. Barnard, "It is surprising how soon they learn to overcome their dissabilities".

Linton School was built by the National Camps Corperation for short stays by young people, but the second world war intervened and it was used for evacuees. After the war, Bradford Corperation began using it for children who would benefit from an open air life. Five years ago it was bought for £20,000 and a costly scheme of improvements began. Now there are domestic science rooms, woodwork and science rooms, a swimming pool and playing fields. Next term the school will accomodate 120 children in 4 dormitories partitioned into small rooms.

Eyebrows of ratepayers may be raised at mention of the £35,000 cost, but in these days when millions are spent on perfecting techniques of distruction this seems a small price to pay for building lives."