Entertainment at Rosemarket School

The school was more than just a school between 1800 to 1900, it was the centre of entertainment and events for much of the village and the local area. 

This was where they put on shows and concerts, all of which were run by the local villagers, teachers and scholars and included fundraising for the infirmary (hospital) located in Haverfordwest and raising money for the local men fighting in the war.

There had been many performances held in the school throughout the years and these were reported in the local newspapers. It appears some great performers were living in Rosemarket in the day.

Many of the same performers appear regularly when these events happened and were organised by Mr Cattanach, headmaster of the school.  The Cattanach’s have been mentioned in many articles throughout their attendance at events at the school.

  • Mrs Thomas
  • Miss Llewellyn
  • Mr R John
  • Mr J Russan
  • Mr Jenkins
  • Mr J M Thomas
  • Mr Cattanach
  • Mr W Nash
  • Mrs B Cattanach
  • Mr Jenkins
  • Miss Herbert
  • Miss K Mathias
  • Mr Williams
  • Master H Lewis
  • Mr E Morgan
  • Mr George
  • Mr Rees
  • Mr King
  • The Local incumbent Vicar would also take part in some of the performances.

The following are articles from newspapers reporting on historic events in the school.


7th September 1883

The Sunday School after being closed for a considerable time in consequence of the illness of the late Vicar, was reopened on Sunday, the 19th instant, under the superintendence of Mr W J G Avery. As Mr Avery is assisted by efficient teachers, the future of this school is of great promise.

A treat was given in the National Schoolroom on Thursday, the 30th, to the children of the school and choir of the church, who put in an appearance in good numbers.

The children and teachers marched through the village, the boys carrying banners, flags, the girls very handsome bouquets of flowers.

On their return to the schoolroom, an excellent tea was in waiting which was done full justice to, the whole being of superior quality, cake, bread and butter, and tea.

The management of the tea was ably conducted by the Misses McLaren, Morris, and Avery.

Tea being over, the party repaired to the Beacon where all sorts of innocent games were carried on, and an abundance of prizes competed for, there being a prize for everyone and two and three for some. Dr Symmons of Neyland, one of the visitors, was a host of fun in himself, and did his best to make everyone happy.

The day being spent, the party once more returned to the schoolroom, and after the usual votes of thanks and singing of the National Anthem, the company separated, very highly pleased with the day's enjoyment.


January 4th 1888

An entertainment of a secular character was given by the Church choir assisted by a few of the Day Scholars in the schoolroom last in day evening.

In the regrettable absence of the Vicar through illness, Mr Cattanach took the chair, and Mrs Jones of the Vicarage ably presided at the piano.

The charade, Cinderella, Robin Hood, and Aladdin proved that some of the elder members of the choir possessed considerable dramatic tact and ability. The others in their singing and recitations did exceedingly well.

Mr Cattanach who sang with his usual clearness, pleased the audience willing them to join him in the choruses of his comic songs.

Instead of the usual votes of thanks, spontaneous cheers were given for the Chairman, Mrs Jones, and performers after the rendering by all of God save the Queen.

A huge list of entertainment performed by the children and residence from the village. 


March 8th, 1901

On Sunday evening, March 3rd, the choir of the Church were robed in surplices for the first time. There was a large congregation.

At the afternoon school on Sunday, February 24th, the scholars of the Church Sunday School received their prizes.

They were awarded according to attendance, repetition of collects and for general good conduct.

The Vicar (Rev. J. H. Davies, M.A.), and his lady performed the function, the former giving an encouraging address to the scholars and the latter handing over the prizes.

This school is increasing very much, and there are now over 70 on the books.

Mr Cattanach assisted the Vicar, and Mrs Cattanach and Miss E. Kees (teachers) helped in the distribution for the lower classes.

The Vicar desires the assistance of more teachers in his important work.

It has assisted much in bringing candidates for the confirmation this year.

We understand that Mr Cattanach does not intend to seek Election at the forthcoming Parish Council Election.

Mr A. B. Cattanach, son of Mr Cattanach of Rosemarket, commenced duties as Assistant Master in the Higher-Grade School, Leicester, last, Monday.

He has lately passed the London University Matriculation examination. His friends at Rosemarket wish him every success.


May 9th, 1902

A grand variety entertainment will be given in the schoolroom on Wednesday, May 14th, reserved seats 1s/6d (Front/Back Gd).

Some of the best talent in Pembrokeshire will take part. There will be vocal (comic included) Instrumental (piano, mandolin violin and banjo soles).

Also, vocal duets, recitations and reading.

The receipts will be applied to providing the Day School children with useful and ornamental mementoes at the time of the Coronation festivities in this Parish.

Mr W.M. Davies J.P. (Treasurer of Day School), will preside, and the Vicar will give an address as regards the object of the entertainment. This effort is intended to be only a help towards making the occasion a memorable one with the children when the great event takes place.


May 23rd, 1902

A first-rate entertainment, organised by Mr Cattanach, was given in the schoolroom on the evening of Wednesday, May 14th, for the purpose of aiding to provide the day school children with some mementos of the Coronation, which is now in every one's mind.

Mr Davies, Esq, J.P, presided in an able manner, and the Vicar (Rev. J; H. Davies, M.A,), in an excellent speech, spoke of the object of the entertainment.

He also sympathetically alluded to the comparatively sudden death of Master Hugh Davies (which occurred on the Monday previous), who was greatly beloved by all in the neighbourhood, and who, when at school, was an especial favourite in the day school entertainments.

The programme was substantial and good and must have highly delighted the audience for we have seldom had the pleasure of hearing better.

Space will not permit us to give a detailed account, but we append the programme.

The audience was rather sparse, which is an exceptional thing in Rosemarket.

The causes were

(1) The death referred to,

(2) The amount of sickness in the parish, some families being prostrate with influenza.

The programme consisted of as follows:

  • Pianoforte duet, (selected) Messrs Davies and Mabel song, 'Blasted young aristocrat'.
  • Mr Cattanach sang, 'I don't know which to choose'.
  • Miss Morse sang, 'Killarney',
  • Mr J. Griffiths duet, Convent bells,' Messrs Davies and Mabel sang, 'Love's old sweet song'
  • Mr E. Griffiths; recitation, 'Doctor's fee,'
  • Mr W. Evans; sang, 'How father laid the carpet on the stairs'.
  • Mr Drake sang 'Good-bye daddy'.
  • Miss K. Morse: sang, 'He felt a draught'.
  • Mr W. Phillips duet, 'Peace and war'.
  • Miss Thomas and Mr Evans sang, 'how stupid some men are'.
  • Miss F. Morse; sang, 'Excuse me'.
  • Mr Morris. Part 2. Sang, 'Death of Nelson'.
  • Mr Heir sang, 'Lucky Jim'.
  • Mr J. Griffiths mandolin solo, 'Ora Pro Nobis'.
  • Miss Hart: sang, 'When I was a boy at school'.
  • Mr Drake; recitation, 'Watty the barber'.
  • Mr S. Morris; sang, 'The lads in navy blue'.
  • Mr J. Griffith sang, 'Dick Whittington’s Return'.
  • Miss Thomas sang, 'Dinah'
  • Mr Morris. 'God save the King"


17th August 1906

An excellent entertainment in aid of the day school treat fund, given by the Neyland Snowflake Minstrels, was held in the schoolroom on Wednesday, the 8th instant.

The room was packed, many failing to gain admission.

Every member of the troupe is to be congratulated on the successful way the entertainment was carried out.

Mrs Cattanach, of Leicester, contributed, and sang splendidly two songs, being encored.

Mr Cattanach, the master, also sang, and was encored.

The Vicar (Rev. T. A. Thomas) made an able chairman.

Friday, the 10th, was a great day with the day school children. After enjoying a capital tea, leaving certificates, medals, and prizes, were kindly given out by Mr Sketch, chairman of the Pembrokeshire Education Committee.

He made a most adhesive and encouraging speech and was loudly cheered by all present. The procession with banners and about 100 flags then took place, and it was a grand sight.

The games were held in a field kindly lent by Mr Henderson. Before dispersing each child had a bun.

The poor old women were not forgotten by the Squire (Mr F. L. Lord Phillips) who provided them with tea.

The following had leaving certificates with good characters Clara Morgan, George Evans, James H. John, Annie Morgan, Mary J. Pawlett, Maggie Griffiths, William Evans and these gained medals or prizes or both for attendance and good conduct.


2nd June 1909

There having been much extra expense incurred in removing and levelling obstacles in order to join the new burial ground to the old churchyard and other necessary improvements, a concert was held in the schoolroom on Wednesday, May 26th.

In consequence of the unpropitious state of the weather (which was greatly needed and very beneficial to the country) the audience was small.

The concert musically was a great success, although some intended singers could not attend. Most of the performers answered to encores.


22nd November 1916

A very pleasant, dance was given at the schoolroom on Friday night by Mrs Morris, of the British Prisoners of War.

In spite of the inclement weather there was a large attendance. Mrs Morris was assisted by Mrs Morris, Bastleford, Mrs J. Morris and Miss Morris.


25th April 1917

A social was held in the Schoolroom on Easter Monday night in aid of the Haverfordwest Infirmary. In spite of the counter attraction at Houghton the affair proved to be quite a success, and the sum of £3 3s has been forwarded to the Haverfordwest Infirmary.

Valuable assistance was rendered to the Committee by Mrs S. Rees, Mrs M. Rees, Mrs Phillips and Mrs Jenkins, who undertook the supper arrangements.

Praise is also due to L. Cpl Reggie Vaughan, of the Welsh Regiment, who provided excellent music, which was greatly appreciated.


7th November 1917

CONCERT A most successful concert was given in Rosemarket Schoolroom on Tuesday, Oct. 30th, by the Signal School Concert Party of Hearston Camp by kind permission of Colonel King.

The members of the party displayed considerable talent, and every item was excellently rendered.

The duets and quartets were greatly appreciated, Cpl McAllister, with his comic songs, was loudly applauded.

At the close of the concert, the vicar heartily thanked the men for their kindness in giving the village a great musical treat.

In reply to Cpl Baker, on behalf of the party, said they were always pleased to help in a good cause, and that it in no way interfered with their military duties, but served to introduce something cheerful into the present very serious nature of life.

The men were afterwards entertained to supper.

The proceeds, which amounted to £10 10s, are to be devoted to sending parcels to the boys of Rosemarket on active service, and the very hearty thanks of the parish are extended to the Signal School Party for their valuable assistance in so good a cause.


16th October 1918

Presentation.  A very pleasing function took place at Rosemarket School on the 10th inst. when Mrs. John Morris, one of the teachers, who is leaving Rosemarket was presented with a silver-plated teapot by the Church choir, and also with a silver-plated cruet, with cut glass bottles, by the scholars.

Mrs Morris has, during the last three years, endeared herself to the scholars and choir by her geniality and usefulness.

The Vicar, Rev. T. A. Thomas, occupier, the chair, and spoke in eulogistic terms of Mrs. Morris work both in church and school.

Mr T. A. Thomas, in a charming little speech, then made the presentation on behalf of the choir and Mr Davies, one of the teachers, in a few well-chosen words, presented the cruet on behalf of the scholars.