Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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Mr Charles Doland Crisp

Headmaster of Ryde Upper Grade School 1892-1898
Mr Charles Doland Crisp was appointed headmaster at Ryde Upper Grade School on 3 October 1892, at a salary of £200 with an increase of £5 per year up to a maximum of £250.

A tribute in September 1895
To teach a person to swim is to render him a great service, as it cannot fail to be useful in after life, and Mr. C. D. Crisp, who has taken such pain in this direction with regard to the Upper Grade School, has certainly done a great deal of good.

During the swimming season this year, he has taught the art to no less than 74 boys, which is his record.  One hundred and eleven boys in the Upper Grade School can now swim, and the average weekly attendance at the bathing stage from the school (3 days) has been 151.

Mr. Crisp considers that he owes a great deal of this to Mr. E. H. Burrowes, H.M. Inspector, who was kind enough to include swimming as a lesson once a week in the school curriculum.

The total number of boys taught to swim since 1877, by Mr. Crisp, has been 348, a marvellous achievement.

From an article in “The Practical Teacher” December 1893 edition
An interview with Mr Charles Doland Crisp, F.R.G.S., Head Master of Ryde Upper Grade Board School.  It appears that Mr Crisp was born at Hammersmith in 1864, and had the advantage of attending the Practising School, Chelsea, and obtained both prizes for excellence in teaching, whilst studying at Culham College.  He was prominent in all manly out-door sports, and, in spite of a broken leg, left the college with a First Division Certificate.

His mode of teaching at the Ryde Upper Boys’ School, which he characterises as one of the best for quality in England.  A table is given of the subjects taught at the school, and the various methods adopted to ensure good attendance.  The writer pays this compliment to Mr Crisp’s character—“Mr Crisp aims high, toils assiduously, acts conscientiously, and speaks out fearlessly.” He also states that the boys are proud of their school   Mr Crisp has saved the lives of two teachers, and the wiry and alert schoolmaster has a disposition to assail all that is unjust.  It is stated that a coster once visited Mr Crisp in his class room for the express purpose of blackening his eyes.  Needless to say, the coster came out a sadder and wiser man, Mr Crisp’s knowledge of boxing then coming in extremely “handy.”  A capital portrait of Mr Crisp illustrated the article.

Mr Crisp played football for the Ryde Football team, saving many a defeat with his goal-keeping skills. By December 1893 Mr Crisp had become captain of the Ryde team, as well as a referee. In 1894 he was voted in as top referee for the Southern League. He eventually became secretary of the Ryde club.
Mr Crisp had begun his football career in 1878 and played against no less important teams than Derby County, Burnley, and Aston Villa.

He also belonged to Ryde Rowing Club, taking part in all club races and the local regattas.

He was a member of the East Medina lodge of Freemasons, also serving on many other organisation committees.

In December 1898, after some amazing good works in many spheres, for the town of Ryde, and which were chronicled almost every week, Mr Charles Doland Crisp resigned his headmastership to take up a position as the Organising Secretary and Agency Superintendent (London and Home Counties) of the American  Company, New York Life Assurance Company, at a salary far in excess of anything the Ryde School Board could afford to pay.  He and his family would remain in Ryde for just a few more months.

Source: IW Observer, The Practical Teacher, Football Chronicle & Census Returns
Image: RSHG Archive
Article: Ann Barrett