The study and appreciation of the life, works and times of Arnold Bennett

New Bennett plaque in Newcastle-under-Lyme

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A new plaque has been installed on the recently renovated old Orme Boys School, Newcastle-under-Lyme – Bennett’s ‘Oldcastle Middle School’ in Clayhanger – by the Newcastle-under-Lyme Civic Society. The remainder of the more recent school buildings have been demolished and replaced with student flats and apartments.

Photo credits Ray Johnson


A previous plaque made by Josiah Wedgwood was unveiled by Arnold’s niece Ruth Bennett on 26th April 2005.  It is now back up in the reception hall of the newly refurbished site.

Photograph credit Carol Ann Gorton


Bennett said of his education in ‘How I Was Educated’ (1930):

At school I was chiefly bored.  I went to three schools. The first is not worth mentioning. The second is hardy worth mentioning. [. . .] The third was better: a fair average “middle school (endowed).


From Clayhanger:

He had received, in fact, “a good education” — or even, as some said, “a thoroughly sound education;” assuredly as complete an equipment of knowledge as could be obtained in the county, for the curriculum of the Oldcastle High School was less in accord with common sense than that of the Middle School.


The school also appears in Bennett’s 1906 novel Whom God Hath Joined.

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