Object of the Week has featured many sinister looking items over the last few months. This week’s offering was designed for use on children.

OF all the measures taken to punish those who did not want to attend school perhaps the ‘truants clog’ at Whitby Museum is the most unusual.

Although it was designed to humiliate rather than injure, the wooden clog is heavy enough to slow down and bruise any leg daft enough to try to run.

This is the truant’s clog from the Mount School for boys which was situated at the top of Whitby’s Cliff Street.

The school started on Church Street in 1810, moving to Cliff Street in 1821 and was run on Lancastrian principles.

This was an educational movement led by John Lancaster (1778 – 1838) which used the monitor system.

A small number of older students were taught by the masters; and then they in turn taught the younger students.

In this way a small number of schoolmasters could teach large numbers of students across all ages, skills and abilities at low cost.

Though highly influential until about 1830, it was gradually replaced by the ‘lecture’ system in use today, with students grouped by age.

A girl’s school opened further down Cliff Street in 1824; both closed in March 1963 but are fondly remembered by many in the town.

The Northern Echo:

The Mount, after a period as an antique centre, is now a dance school and there is now a car park on the site of the girl’s school.

Ironically, John Lancaster himself was opposed to corporal punishment, and it is evidently from the time after his system had expired that this clog belongs.

It is not known exactly how old it is, but it was given to Whitby Museum in 1935.

Whitby Museum is situated in the stunning surroundings of Pannett Park.

The museum is presently closed, on government advice, but you can find out more by visiting their website www.whitbymuseum.org.uk or follow it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

* Object of the Week is a regular feature in The Northern Echo. If you have an object with an interesting, important, or quirky story to tell which you would like us to feature, contact Andrew White via email on andrew.white@nne.co.uk or leave a message on 01325-505054.