Our school and its history

St Asaph VP Church in Wales Controlled Infant School is situated in the Cathedral city of St Asaph in the beautiful Vale of Clwyd in North Wales.

Our school was founded by Thomas Vowler Short, who was Bishop of St Asaph between 1846–1870. He was responsible for establishing two Church schools of which the VP was one, built in 1863 at a cost of £1,800.

The original infant school was sited on what is now the Cathedral car park. Initially our school building accepted children aged 7-14 after they had completed their time at the Infant school. The schools were later combined into what is now the VP Infant School with children attending from ages 4-14 and later ages 4-11. In the 1970s it was decided to build a new Junior school on the Ashly Court estate and this was opened in 1977 which resulted in the VP School becoming an infant school for ages 3-7.

In November 2013 we celebrated 150 years of learning here at St Asaph VP Infants with a concert in the Cathedral.

We presently have 113 children on roll in 4 classes - Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

Below, our former Caretaker, Mr Dewi Mortimer, talks about the school's history and recalls his own days at the school.

"I started school at the age of 4 in 1942 in the Infants.  It only had three small classes, the babies and classes 1 and 2.  The Headmistress was a Miss Harrison with teachers Miss Pearce and Miss Roberts.

At the age of 7 we went to the 'Big School' as it was known (the VP school now) with Headmaster Cecil Edwards, Miss Beattie Jones, Miss Wynne and Miss Hodgkinson.

The original school building of large stone can still be seen.  The brick, wooden and other parts were added at a later stage to look as it is today.

The boys entered school from the back (todays only entrance), the girls from the front.  Although the playgrounds were separate for the boys and girls, the classes were mixed: the girls all together in one half of the room, the boys in the other half.  Boys and girls never sat next to each other although on one occasion a girl was put to sit next to me as there was no other desk available.  The boys called me a 'sissy' and other names - come playtime big fights followed by - you've guessed it - the cane!  To this day I always remember that girl's name: Margaritta Hodgkinson.

The classroom desks and benches seated two pupils.  You lifted the lid to reveal a small compartment for books, pencils etc, with small inkwells.  If you blotted your exercise book by using too much ink, you had the cane across each hand!

There was no school uniform in the 1940's.  Boys wore short corduroy trouser, grey socks and boots - you were 'posh' if you had a pair of shoes - with home knitted jerseys.  The girls wore thick material skirts with, again, home knitted jerseys.  If you had younger brothers or sisters they wore your 'hand-me-downs' when they became too small for you.  Times and conditions were really poor and hard in those days.

Every playtime the boys played football or cricket, the girls hopscotch or skipping.  I remember one incident very well.  I kicked the football over the fence into the council offices, straight through one of the windows.  Before the ball even hit the window I was off in the opposite direction at full speed, but one of the school 'snitches' had seen what happened and told the Headmaster it was me.  Within five minutes I'd had 'six of the best' - which was nothing new to me.  I also had to pay for a new window - two shillings (ten new pence) which was four weeks pocket money.

We had a way of dealing with 'snitches': we'd wait for them on the way home and give them a 'bashing' which was very effective.  They never told on us again!

The school's football team was a sight to behold!  A right bunch of ragamuffins with no kit, only the clothes we wore for school.  Our main and only opposition was a team from Eryl Hall, which was a private school in those days.  They had a full football kit: yellow shirts, white shorts and football boots, things we only dreamed of.  If we lost 25-nil we did well, 25-2 and we really excelled ourselves.  Our undisputed claim to fame was we were always muddier and dirtier at the end of the match.  Happy days!

Having experienced school life at the VP in the 1940's and again in the 1990's as its Caretaker, I know which era I preferred - the 1990's!"