Watford Field junior school log book, May 27, 1943
Headteachers' logs can make entertaining reading but they are also precious historical documents (page 9). There is often a Pooterish quality to the earliest records that state-funded schools were obliged to keep from the 1860s - "Today we returned five empty ink bottles to the manufacturer."
However, these apparently humdrum notes provide evocative pictures of a time when school years were punctuated by visits from local gentry, travelling circuses and deadly diseases.
Today many pre-1953 logs (50-year restrictions usually apply) can be read not only in libraries but on the web. If you click on a page and breathe deeply you may even catch a faint smell of boiled cabbage and disinfectant.