Thrybergh Ravenfield Dalton

South Yorkshire England

            Pronounced locally Thrybur  Old English Triberg

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I would like to say welcome to the children and Staff of the School who are using the site to research the history of Thrybergh. Please consider this your page, contact me should you have any questions, or would like to add information on this page.

Please note this is not an official School site, anyone wishing to contact the School should do so via the School contact  information





The influx of miners and steelworkers into the area contained many people of the Roman Catholic faith, a large number being of Irish descent, after a long hard fought battle with the then education authorities, the church finally got the go ahead to open a Roman Catholic school, and St. Gerard's was opened in 1928.




The Rt. Rev. Dr. J. R. Cowgill
Bishop of Leeds
Formally opened and Consecrated
St Gerard's School
Wednesday 5th November 1928





"You people in the mining districts have my greatest admiration for the way in which you support your School".









Report of the opening from the Catholic Education News Letter at the time


In the presence of a large concourse of people, including Priest from various parts of the Diocese, the Bishop of Leeds [ The RT. Rev. Dr. J. R. Cowgill ]  formally opened and consecrated a new day School adjoining St. Gerard's Church, at Thrybergh, on Wednesday afternoon. Subsequently an address was given in the School hall by the Rev. C. B. Warren, P. P. , O. B. E., of Siladen, who the case for Roman Catholics in regard to education in plain terms.
The School which had cost  8, 500 to build, is a two storey structure, capable of accommodating  300 children. There are the usual class rooms and a large assembly hall which can be used for concerts, a Kitchen , cloakrooms etc.
Prior to the opening ceremony there was a lunch at the Crown Hotel, Rotherham, at which about 80 were present.
There was a brief religeous ceremony both before unlocking the door and in the large hall before members of the public were admitted. These were conducted by the Bishop. The hall was crowded when the Bishop took the chair for the subsequent proceedings. He was accompanied by Ald. Mrs. Chambers [ chairman of the Secondary Education Committee Bradford. ] , the Rev. C. B. Warren, P. P., O. B. E., Canon Beazley, and Father McAdam. In the hall were also Fathers Sumnell, and Hawkswell [ Leeds ] Goaley [ Bradford ] Gallon [ Attercliffe]  Moyniham [ Deepcar ] Grogan [ Sheffield ] White [ Sheffield] Vos [ Maltby ] Gosse [ Rotherham ] Canon Leteux [ Denaby ] O'Shaughnessy [ Cudworth ] Mulcahy [ Wombwell ] Flynn [ Doncaster ] Bentley [ Doncaster ] Richardson [ Leeds ] Henigan [ Leeds] Brannigan [ Sheffield ] and Cleary [ Sheffield ]
Others present were Dr. Chidlow, Mr J. P. Crehan, Mr J. Collins, Mr. J. H. Townend J. P. C. C. , and Mr. A. Adcock.
The Bishop said it was a most glorious [ missing text ---- ] which he thought they must congratulate Father McAdam [ Applause ] Father McAdam had had courage which he was afraid few of them would have shown had they had to tackle such a task, He had had the loyal co-operation of the people of his Parish, however, and that had encouraged him to no small extent. He [ the Bishop] must therefore congratulate not only Father McAdam, but also the people of Thrybergh as a whole for the way in which they had supported the scheme for the building of the School, which was really a very great work. They had now a School second to none he was told- and he was prepared to believe it- in that part of the World. It was undoubtedly as good a School as anyone could wish to have.


He was pleased to see also that the School had been most generously furnished by the West Riding County Council. He would say in praise of that body that when they were beaten they took it with a very good grace: they had furnished the School which they did not want to begin with excellently. He wished some of the speakers who had " held Forth" in the Leeds Town Hall had been present that afternoon to see for themselves how Catholics in that part of the World were meeting the difficulties of building schools. [ Applause. ] They would then have understood how earnest Catholics were in their demand for schools for their children.
He understood the school was full already. " We shall have to begin to extend before long" he remarked  amid laughter and applause. " when we get some more money. The times we are passing through are extremely difficult. Honestly I do not know how you are able to meet the expense of building a school of this kind. You people in the mining districts have my greatest admiration for the way in which you support your School".
In conclusion his lordship said the school had been inaugurated under such happy omens that it was sure to prosper, and Father McAdam would have cause to be prouder than ever of his people.

The Rev. C. B. Warren

The Rev. C. B. Warren said Father McAdam and his Parishioners had given them a wonderful example of zeal and energy. " The school afforded excellent testimony of indefatigable industry and indomitable courage. It embodied the noblest of efforts of a self sacrificing Pastor and his flock, self sacrifice to the very limit of economic possibility. He was sure he voiced the sentiment of all present when he congratulated the Parish Priest of Thrybergh, and also the people on their very magnificent achievement.
The building stood and would stand for generations to come, as a monument to the one fundamental and eternal principle imposed upon parents, from on high - that they bring up their children in the fear and love of God." [ Applause ]

It was a matter of deep concern and very great regret to them went on the speaker, that they could not use eye to eye with the legislation of the country on the important question of education. The Church held [ missing text ]---- --- and demanded submission to all lawful constituted authority, submission to  the higher powers had ever been a leading principle in her teaching. [ missing text ]--- ---mission to teach all nations the saving truth. He himself came from heaven to proclaim therein was the charter of the Church educational; rights.

What did they understand by education. It was the development and training of the whole man, of all the powers and capabilities physical, moral, natural, and supernatural with which God had endowed him for the purpose not only of fitting him for a career of usefulness in this life, but also for the purpose of training him to attain that high and happy destiny designed for him in the life to come. The scope of education therefore, embraced everything that might contribute to the spiritual eternal, and temporal well being of humanity. The Church's age long experience testified that the child was the father of the man. Her duty had been to train children so that in old age they should not depart from their training, and that duty, faithfully accomplished in every age, brightened the annals of the Church's long and eventful history. 
In the beginning Mark established a school at Alexandria, and in the second and third centuries the Christian schools of that city had renowned men associated with them, men representative of the highest culture of the day. Ever since those times the Church's paramount business had been education. She had always given of the best of her efforts, the most brilliant of her intellects, and the richest of her resources to the cause of education. And they were today as deeply conscious of their duty and as sensibly alive to the needs for its execution, as were their forefathers, who began the long and glorious tradition, a tradition that was no mere history though but rather an actuality.




The school was adjunct to the home, it existed for the home, and so long as Catholic homes existed so long would there be Catholic schools. The rulers of the home had their duties and responsibilities, the most fundamental being that of the education of their children. There was in this country upwards of  9,000 Council schools magnificent [ missing text]---
national importance, as education undoubtedly was. If those schools gave the instruction to the children which catholic parents desired it would be an impertinence on their part to object, and under ordinary circumstances they would be able conscientiously to avail themselves of them. They did not however, though Catholics, had to pay for their erection. There at Thrybergh was a school, a public building designed for a work of national importance, which gave the instruction Catholic parents desired their children to have, and Catholics alone had to find the money for its erection. They paid their share to the Council schools and then they were told in effect to build their own schools.
Where was the equality of communal justice in that?  Was it right and just that they were engaged in a work of national importance should be denied equality and right with their fellow citizens. Was it just that they followed the dictates of their consciences, in the way God-fearing citizens did, they should be singled out and made to feel the indignity of inferior subjects, bond slaves roped to the chariot wheel of unjust oppression? They had heard of British justice but had experienced a sham, a spurious abstract pretence. What they demanded was the sterling concrete reality, and they demanded it from democracy today.
There were some who had made themselves notorious in their opposition to their schools. What they asked of all was that they would do towards Catholics as they wished Catholics to do towards them. They asked them to remember therights of minorities in matters of conscience were as sacred as the rights of majorities, and that any violation or infringement of those rights was unjust and oppressive.




There was a General Election on the horizon said the speaker. That was a constitutional method by which they might obtain justice and equality in the mater of their schools. Justice and equality were things of eternal value and he urged them therefore to stand solidly and soundly for them, rather than for material and temporal extravagance that parties promised. Above and beyond all party politics stood parental and communal justice.
Just now the country was like a huge convalescent  ward. The patients would soon be roused from their slumbers to partake of their medicine from various coloured bottles labelled "Unemployment Prophylactic." His advice was to keep them awake at by educating them on the question of right and equality. The matter was too vital to be relegated to the lumber room of political " touch me nots" Let them put party politics a side on that question because they were at issue with a law that denied them equality of right of citizenship in the conscientious education of their children. Their cause was just, and though they may fail it would still live on [ applause] and in Gods good time others would arise and bring the country's educational laws into harmony with the divine parental rights of communal justice. [ applause ]
On the proposition of Ald. Mrs Chambers, seconded by Mr. James Conroy, a vote of thanks was passed to the Bishop for presiding, and a similar compliment was extended to the Rev. C. B. Warren on the proposition of Canon Beasley, seconded by Mr. P. Corrigan.
Father McAdam also spoke acknowledging the many kindnesses and the support he had received at the hands of the Bishop.




 I would like to thank Mr. G. Hollinghurst the present Headmaster of St. Gerard's and his staff for providing the above article, several photo's and other information with regard to the history of St. Gerard's School
John Doxey






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