Ely High School 1905-1972: 1936 School Magazine extracts



As this Magazine goes to press the world is still freshly conscious of the passing of King George V. No tribute to him has been left unpaid; we would therefore but briefly, though sincerely, associate ourselves with "the best that has been thought and said" of one so widely loved and respected.

At the same time we would offer warm-hearted greeting to his son King Edward VIII.

Thirty-one years ago this School was founded; for its first thirty years, up to December, 1935, the Dean of Ely has fathered it as Chairman. Dr. Kirkpatrick has now left us for his well-earned retirement at Bournemouth. All that he has done for the School is too widely recognised to need comment. We would couple with our good wishes for his health and happiness, the warm thanks of thirty years of Pupils, Staff and Parents for the great care and considerate interest he has always shown in everything concerned with the School.

An Old Girl sends the following tribute:

"Few Old Girls can have seen and heard the Dean as Chairman at as many Ely High School Prize Givings as I. At seven Prize Givings I was a pupil ; afterwards, for a time, a Governor, privileged also to witness his calm, progressive work in the Committee room. Now for the last four years I have attended Prize Distributions as a parent, and it is with great pleasure that I express our deep appreciation of the many years of service given by the Dean as Chairman.

A wise, penetrating mind, an encouraging and sympathetic understanding are among the attributes he brought to the task a task that he turned into a loving service.

The Dean's dignified and welcome figure is familiar to all who have belonged to the School: but especially to those connected with the present School will remain the memory of his farewell at the 1935 Prize Giving. Shortly he reviewed the first launching of the School, its ups and downs, its progress, its growth in numbers, the building of traditions and striving towards the best. Finally he spoke of the truest service, bidding us one and all " Be faithful to this your day - serve your generation." His words are strengthened by the example of his own years of most faithful service."

We offer a very warm welcome to the Dean's successor as Chairman of the Governors, Canon Evans, who has already for some years done much to help us as a friend and a member of the Education Committee.

My dear Girls and Old Girls,

Fortunately a foreword is something gloriously undefined in length and character, and so I may appropriate a part of it as a most convenient travelling notice-board.

I am leaving Ely this term, as most of you will know, to become Headmistress of Loughton High School (Epping Forest). That my love is very far from leaving you you will also know, but matters of that kind cannot be worded, much less pinned to this notice-board.

My notices are these: (1) Girls who have been at School in my time, I hope you will still write to me as freely as you have done in the past, telling me your news, asking for help or reference in obtaining a post, or what you will. There is only one change - my address, viz.: High School for Girls, Loughton, Essex, but if you want testimonial or reference please state the month and year in which you entered and left School, and the date of your birth, as the Roll Book will not be accessible to me so easily. (2) Old Girls who have developed that splendid habit of revisiting us in School from time to time, do keep it up. I am sure that you will be welcome and it means so much to the life of a school for all generations to keep in touch. (3) Members of the O.G.A. I urge you, with new fervour, to remember your Annual Subscriptions due each July, for if you do not I shall, alas! not see you when I come to the Old Girls' Gatherings, as I hope to do. And new School leavers, see that you join the Association when the time comes (not forgetting our new London Branch, for Loughton is only 11 miles from Liverpool Street).

Changes usually are the heralds of new progress and I am sure that will be so for the School I have loved so much and shall never forget.
Yours ever affectionately,


Head Girl ... ... Ruby Lodge.

Prefects. - Marjorie Sparrow, Betty Norfolk, Patricia Atkin.
Sub-Prefects. - Vera Cropley, Lois Yarrow, Winifred Houghton., Hilda Ames, Megan Cogbill.

The School Year.

Royal events have made this School year exceptionally, memorable. Mention has already been made of the Accession of our new King. We have taken part in two National holidays to celebrate the wedding of the Duke of Gloucester and above all King George V's Silver Jubilee. Owing to our scattered area we were unable to do anything collectively on Jubilee Day but all took part in home activities of various kinds.

This School year has had an unusual share of change and growth. We were greatly distressed to hear that Miss Verini will be leaving us at the end of term, but at present we are making the best of the few weeks we still have together and at her request will not write yet of her departure.

We were very sorry to lose Miss Hay and Miss Simpson after we had valued their work for so long, and we wish them every success in their new work. The Preparatory also was sad at having to say goodbye to Miss Catley after four years. We welcome in their places Miss Saunders, Miss Tacon and Miss Armstrong and also Miss Thomas who has come as an additional mistress since our numbers have again increased.

We are now 286 so that our buildings have had to be increased accordingly. A Geography Room, used by Lower IVb. as a formroom, and a formroom for Lower IIIa., have been built on the front lawn. While the building was in progress the School was unable to house everybody, so a scheme of leaving one form to work at home every day was tried and proved quite successful though we were all thankful to get back to normal life again with no more hammering, especially Lower IVb. who had to change rooms each day and keep their books in the confiscation cupboard.

We have had some beautiful presents. We thank Miss Simpson for the lovely gramophone she has given us; we are really proud of it. Again we thank Mrs. Wright for the painting of Assisi done by her late husband - the only original painting the School possesses. The Dean very kindly left us some interesting and valuable books when he moved from Ely. Besides these presents our School equipment has been extended by the purchase of all epidiascope which has roused much interest.

To our delight our concerts have continued this year and we have been lucky to have visits from Seymour Whinyates (helped by Anne Mines), Helen Henschel and Valentine Orde, the two last of whom we begin to look upon as old friends. Mr. Middleton had his usual warm welcome when he came for Carols again this year on our last afternoon before Christmas. We hope to send in a Choir for the Cambridge Musical Festival this March with the exciting addition of one song entirely self trained, conducted and accompanied.

Miss Dunn kindly came from Cheshire to judge the Gym. Competition in which Upper IVa. won the Senior Cup and Upper 111a. the Junior. Lectures are recorded by the Odds and Ends Club.

Again the Summer Fete was held in glorious weather; plays recorded by the Dramatic Clubs, and dancing on the lawn provided, as usual, the special entertainment, besides the Exhibitions of work and Home-made tea.

The Summer Term has been made more exciting than ever by our regular use of the new Ely Swimming Pool. The usual expeditions to local places of historic interest have been made; some of the Seniors had an exciting and energetic Geography expedition with Miss Roy, of which an account is given elsewhere, and Form VI. are looking forward to an expedition to Cambridge with Miss Verini in the near future.

Last but hot least in our Annual Events we should mention that our School Magazine for 1935 was selected, unknown to us, for the International Exhibition held in England last August at Oxford. We shall have to try very hard to keep up this standard.

Speech Day, 1935.

Miss Grace Hadow very kindly came from Oxford on November 28th to speak to us and to present the prizes. The Dean of Ely, for thirty years the Chairman of our Governors, was with us for the last time, in his official capacity. Alderman Payne assured him of our gratitude for all that he had done in the cause of education in this district, and gave him our best wishes for his retirement.

Miss Verini in her report, described the activities and achievements of the School and its members during the preceding year. In mentioning the concerts and lectures which we had been able to enjoy, she emphasized that such things as these contribute to the development of mental power and the building up and enriching of personality, in so far as they as they meet with vigorous response and provoke creative effort. Music, art, handwork and games, so regarded, are not mere entertainment, but a vital part of education.

Miss Hadow, in her address, referred to the many sides and many interpretations of education, and went on to speak more particularly of education as a training in citizenship. True citizenship, in a democratic state, she said, meant taking an interest in other people and sharing in the responsibility for the conditions in which we and our fellow citizens live. If this were to be achieved we should need such qualities as understanding of other people that is based on real knowledge, ability to see things from other peoples' point of view and a sense of humour. Miss Hadow's speech was stimulating in that it first made us laugh and then made us think and we are grateful to her for both experiences.

During the afternoon the following songs were sung:
White Birds, The Rising of the Lark, O dear, what can the matter be (Traditional), by Forms Upper and Lower III.; Bed in Summer, Windy Nights (Blook), by Forms Lower IVa. and b.; The Fairy Folk (Handel), There's an Island (Gluck), Water Parted (Arne), by Forms Upper IVa. and b., Va. and b.


Upper VI. Stella Ager, Daisy Audus, Mollie Clarke, Daphne Drayton, Audrey Fisk, Margaret Plumb, Ivy Steadman (Higher Certificate), Dorothy Partridge (Science).
Lower VI. Grace Thompson (Gymnastics).
Form V. Elizabeth Howard, Betty Norfolk (General Work), Patricia Atkin (Geography, History and Science), Sylvia Milbank (Cookery, Needlework and Mathematics), Winifred Yarrow (Cookery).
Upper IVa. & b. Ruby Morley, Megan Cogbill (General Work), Ida Murrell (Latin and History), Kathleen Finch (Gymnastics), Ruby Taylor (History), Winifred Hiblin (History and English), Olive Chapman (Scripture), Peggy Fuller (History), Mary Hobbs (Gymnastics).
Lower IVa. & b. Joyce Appleton (General Work), Margaret Law (Latin, History, French and English), Marjory Soar (Geography), Joan Hayward (Science), Gladys Lowe (Mathematics), Ruth Waddington (Gymnastics), Pamela Goodin (Cookery), Joan Sharpe (Art).
Upper IIIa. &b. Gillian Enderby, Gwen Harris (General Work), Inez Lambert (General Work and Music), Janet Curtis (History and Scripture), Freda Kerridge (Geography and Gymnastics), Kathleen Norman (Geography and Music), Ruth Norman (Geography and English), Marjorie Brown (Art), Ivy Ellwood (Gymnastics), Muriel Peacock (Mathematics).
Lower IIIa. & b. Eveline Caton, Myrtle Lavender (General Work), Shirley Binnion (Scripture and Geography), Elsie Neal (Scripture and History), Cicely Collin (Mathematics), Audrey Fenn (Art), Audrey Smith (Mathematics), Ruby Whymer (Science)
Form II. Celia Lambert (General Work), Gaynor Manley (Art), Mary Titterton (English).


Group Awards:- Form Gymnastics (Senior) Upper IVa.
  Form Gymnastics (Junior) Upper IIIa.
  House Hockey Cup Etheldreda and Knut Houses.
  House Netball Cup Hereward House
  House Tennis Cup Alan House

Examination Successes, 1934-35.

Cambridge Higher Certificate, July, 1935.
Stella Ager (English, French, Subsidiary Botany), Daisy Audus (English, History, Subsidiary French, Latin), Mollie Clarke (Botany, Mathematics, Subsidiary English, Zoology), Daphne Drayton (English, History, Subsidiary French, Latin), Audrey Fisk (English, French, Subsidiary Botany), Margaret Plumb (English, History, Subsidiary French), Ivy Steadman (Botany, Mathematics, Subsidiary English, Zoology).

Letters of Success:- Dorothy Partridge, Nellie Rayner.

Cambridge School Certificate, December, 1934.
Vera Cropley, Winifred Houghton, Marjorie Sparrow, Lois Yarrow.

July, 1935 - Patricia Atkin, Jean Bolton, Sylvia Davis, Olive Fenn, Elizabeth Howard, Betty Norfolk, Audrey Ray, Rose Street, Winifred Yarrow.

County Intermediate Scholarship. Elizabeth Howard.

The Preparatory Day.

The afternoon began with the Christmas story which we tried to show in miming and tableaux whilst one of us read the story from the Bible.

Between the scenes we sang carols, our audience singing too, and at the end we all joined together in singing "God my Father, loving me, gave His Son my Friend to be."

After changing into school clothes we returned to the hall for the Prize Giving. Mrs. Evans very kindly gave away the Prizes. Canon Evans spoke to us of a ladder which each of us has to climb - the ladder of Life -by which we climb from home and school to the outside world and to the highest point of all.

We had an exhibition of handwork in our classrooms which our friends visited on their way home.


Form Ia. B. Keating (General Work), N. Binnion (Handwork).
Form lb. M. Adams (General Work), D. King (Nature Study).
Transition. J. Macdonald (General Work).
Kindergarten, E. Mann (General Work).


Although we lost our older Guides at the end of last Summer Term we still keep up our numbers and we are busy working for badges, especially Toymakers', Musicians', Knitters' and Sicknurse. We had four recruits last term and three are enrolled and working for 2nd. Class.

In the Summer we had several tracks, and signalling and first-aid games in Barton Fields. However, we had the jolliest time when we went for a day's camping to the farm of Mr. Mitcham, to whom we are all very grateful. After having eaten our lunch of fried sausages, potatoes and boiled pudding, we set forth on the track of a make-believe murderer and his victim, and beat two policemen by finding them in a wood, for when we shouted that there were snakes in it, they soon came out.

This term we attended the Memorial Service for King George, which was held in the Cathedral.

Guide Camp, 1935.

We were invited by the Sevenoaks Guide Coy. to spend our last camp in West Hougham a small country village between Folkestone and Dover. When we arrived there, after a long but interesting journey, a 'bus took us up to the camp site. After having pitched our tents we unpacked, carried out a few duties and where not sorry when our cocoa arrived and we hopped into bed.

Bathing was a welcome pastime during camp, and before we could bathe, we had to climb down the steep cliffs. On arriving at the bottom we crossed a level crossing, over which passes the "Riviera Express." We then climbed down some steps and reached our destination. This climb caused great excitement, as most of us were accustomed to flat fen country.

We experienced a few exciting adventures, including the game of smuggling, in which bandages acted as treasures. One morning some of us walked to Dover, and saw the Castle. We enjoyed looking at the old ammunition and pictures, which dated back many centuries. The floors were made of old flag stones, and in one room was an old well. In order to show us how deep the well was, one of the guides dropped a lighted match down it. We were greatly rewarded after trudging up the stone stairs, by the magnificent view we saw of the town and harbour, and the chalky cliffs of France.

After a week's enjoyable holiday we returned to the station, this time not in a stately fashion, but with our legs dangling out of an L.N.E.R. van.

The Geography Expedition.

Last term some members of the Vth. and VIth. Forms went on a Geography expedition to the hills outside Cambridge - the Gog Magogs. We took our dinner with us, and followed the instructions pinned on the notice board to wear shoes that did not produce blisters.

On reaching Cambridge we went first to the Polar Museum, Here we enjoyed ourselves immensely; we were able to set the actual letter written by Captain Scott when he was dying, and the types of boats and hunting, tools the Esquimaux use, There were some lovely staffed penguins and interesting models of the tents used near the North Pole. On the top floor were paintings by Dr. Wilson, of snow and ice and skies. The loveliest of all were those of the Northern Lights. We spent a busy three quarters of an hour here, and then caught the bus to the hills.

When we began our walk we soon left the flat alluvial plain of and Cambridge behind, the road began to rise, and in the fields we saw flints. We tried to make sparks by rubbing two flints together, but were unsuccessful. Soon we saw some chalk in a small pit, and we knew that we were on chalky soil. Miss Roy pointed out the scarps to us and explained them.

As we mounted the chalk the road became steeper, then we came upon a pretty little beech copse. Beech trees are associated with chalk for they need very little water and the soil suits them. The ground was covered by the shells of the nuts and they were lovely to crackle under foot. We walked for about half an hour, but then became so hungry we had to stop and eat. While sitting down, we noticed the very sparse habitation, and the long sweeping sky line. During our walk we also noticed the lack of water.

After dinner those with enough energy went on with Miss Roy to examine some more scarps ; the others remained to make notes and rest. As the time drew on we began to walk back, but Miss Roy and her party soon caught us up.

We had very little time to spare and were afraid of missing the bus, so we broke into as brisk a trot as our tired feet would let us. In the distance we could see that bus, so one of us - a heroine - actually ran and caught it, and they kept it for us.

We tumbled tiredly out of the train at Ely, dirty but happy, having enjoyed ourselves so much that we are hoping Miss Roy will be good enough to take us on another expedition in the near future.


President ... ... Miss Verini.
Vice-President ... ... Miss Fletcher.
Hon. Sec.:- Mrs. L. G. Taylor, 34, Prickwillow Road, Ely.

Miss Baird, W. Clements, D. Defew, G. Martin, W. Palmer, M. Prior,
G. Samuels, D. Waddington, G. Woolnough, P. Vail.

Representatives of Villages
D. Defew, Littleport; M. Prior, Sutton, Mepal and Witcham
W. Palmer, Haddenham, Stretham and Wilburton ; G. Samuels,
Little Downham; D. Waddington, Soham.

The Re-Union was held on Saturday, 20th July and was attended by several members of the Association. There are always present, girls from all years of the School's life, but we should like to see larger numbers and suggest that none should stay away fearing not to find a friend there. Owing to the different activities of the Summer Term in School, which prevent a wide choice of Saturdays, it is not possible to offer any other Saturday that is as convenient to the majority of Old Girls as the last Saturday of the Summer Term.

The Annual Meeting was held first and it was a great disappointment to all present that, owing to illness, Miss Verini was unable to be present. Miss Baird, therefore, very kindly took the chair and was supported by Miss Fletcher and members of the Committee.

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and signed. Gladys Woolnough was re-elected on the Committee and Phyllis Vail was elected in place of Elizabeth Kempton, the other member whose term of office ended this year.

Miss Baird reminded members that news for the Magazine was always welcome. She then spoke of the happenings in School during the past year, including the building extensions and the selection of the School Magazine for the International Education Exhibition, an honour of which all girls, past and present, were proud.

Miss Baird also announced the formation of the London Branch of the Association, a report of which follows this, and Miss Fletcher addressed the Meeting. Tea was served afterwards and then members were entertained by Gladys Woolnough and Avice Hatch with a sketch, much enjoyed, and for which our warm thanks are due. Mrs. Kisby gave a very interesting talk on "Bee-Keeping," after which, Miss Baird introduced the newer members of the Staff. We should like to take this opportunity of thanking Miss Baird for so kindly making the Re-Union such a success, and also all those members of the staff who helped on the day. A bunch of flowers was sent to Miss Verini from the Association for which she would take this opportunity to convey her thanks and to say that they looked beautiful for the rest of her time in the Nursing Home.

It is with much regret that we have just heard of Miss Verini's resignation. She has always taken the greatest interest in the O.G.A. and helped us tremendously, and I take this opportunity not only for myself but on behalf of all members of the E.H.S.O.G.A. of thanking her for all the interest she has shown in the Association and of wishing her health and happiness in her new school.
C. M. TAYLOR, Hon. Sec.

Note. - It is not possible to give the exact numbers of the Association, since a number of subscriptions are still outstanding, and if there is no response membership for these will be obliged to cease. Some members write that they have not received notices and Magazines ; these are sent to every member whose subscription for the year (due in July) has been paid, but if I have not been notified of changes of address I cannot be responsible for notices, etc., not being delivered. C.M.T.
Provisional date of Summer Re-Union— Saturday, July 25th.

Report from the London Branch.

The first meeting of the London Branch of the O.G.A. was held on January 24th, 1936, at the Y.W.C.A. Central Club, Great Russell Street, W.C.

As it was a new enterprise we were glad to see as large a number as twenty-two members attending. We were also very pleased to welcome Miss Verini and Miss Baird, who had come up from Ely for the occasion, and we shall always be glad to see Ely members as well as those near London.

It was nice to see, once again, three former members of the Ely Staff - Miss Parkes, Mrs. Haskell and Miss Hay. We had hoped also that Miss Fletcher would be able to come, but she was unfortunately prevented.

There was little formality about the gathering. We had a very pleasant room - the Blue Dining Room - where we chatted over coffee and biscuits, for which a small charge of sixpence per head was made. In the very informal meeting that followed Miss Verini expressed her hope that members of the London Branch would not be content with merely one official meeting annually, but would make arrangements among themselves for any social gatherings. Mrs. Raymond Jones very kindly offered us a large room in her house at Finchley for a Social and I am sure that members will be only too pleased to take advantage of this offer. Before the London Branch was actually formed Miss Fletcher gave a delightful party to a number of Old Girls at her home on Parliament Hill.

Towards the end of our evening we were shown over the Central Club by one of the Secretaries, and were all much interested in the various rooms and activities.

It is possible that there are still Old Girls in London who would like to join the London Branch. If anybody knows of such people I should be glad if names and addresses could be sent, either to Mrs. Taylor or to me. There is no subscription beyond the usual 2/- due each July to the O.G.A.

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