David Willacy describes education is Sedgwick in years gone by

For more than 200 years our village of Sedgwick has had a privileged education system.

It was made available by the Wakefield family. They were extensive landowners and manufactures of gunpowder here.

For my generation the business of learning began at Crosscrake Church of England primary school in 1939.

By 1945 an entrance examination had to be taken for a place at a local grammar school, Kendal or Heversham at the time. A bus pass or a grant towards a bicycle was made available for transport to get there.

For my ancestors here, in circa 1870, there was a girls' school with up to 60 pupils. It was totally supported by Mrs Nancy Wakefield, wife of W.H Wakefield of Sedgwick House.

The small boys under six years of age could attend the girls' school, and then it was a hike to Levens Boys School, which was situated opposite the church.

For the older generation, there was a reading room, situated in a semi-detached cottage at the start of Wellheads Lane. The village blacksmith lived in the other semi-detached cottage.

The more prosperous residents made books and old newspapers available. In an evening, the cottage fire would be lit and under the light of an oil lamp they would be able to sit and exchange local gossip etc. No gambling was allowed.

By circa 1900, the Sedgwick girls’ school was closed down and the pupils then went to the former Tithe Barn at Crosscrake. This had been enlarged to form three large classrooms for all the parish children aged five-14 years of age.

For myself, I took the grant to buy a bicycle to enable me to attend Heversham Grammar School. This was followed by six years part-time education at Lancaster College of Further Education. The courses I took were in joinery and building.

At 21 years of age, in 1955, I was conscripted to serve two years' national service in the Army with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers. Most of that time was spent in Libya, training for desert warfare. This was at the time of the Suez War.

Today the education available to children is much wider, due to there being many mixed schools locally.