The School Rules

Share your memories and stories from the Hertford Christ's Hospital School, which closed in 1985, when the two schools integrated to the Horsham site....

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Angela Woodford
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Angela Woodford » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:42 am

Brilliant! Another potentially splendid article for the New Old Blue!

Please get writing, Miss Gravett!
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Kim2s70-77 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:22 pm

I would have LOVED to have heard those insights!!

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Re: The School Rules

Post by Angela Woodford » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:09 pm

I'm trying to think of the young Mistresses I remember...

Miss Gravett certainly, Miss Ling (Games) Miss Griffith-Williams (Languages), Mrs Owen (Home Economics), Mrs Trotman (Art) in the DR days. Then there was Nurse ? who had Edward, an appealing baby. (I was so sorry to hear that smashing Miss Westhorp had died.) How about in the Miss Tucker days? Or, with the Hertford/Horsham merger on the horizon, were younger Mistresses more reluctant to join an institution that was winding down?

I felt sorry for the young Mistresses. I remember looking out of the dorm window late one summer night and seeing four of them running down to the tennis hard court for a game. They were laughing and messing about, and suddenly I saw them as just like us - full of life and escaping from the beady censorious eyes of their elders.

Remember Maggie's account of a young Mistress who lived in the the White House accommodation getting in really late - or early, more like - and being in dire trouble? It must have been terribly hard to maintain anything of a normal social life.

I'd love to know more about how they coped.
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

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Re: The School Rules

Post by midget » Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:37 pm

One way they coped was by keeping clear of Miss Mitchell. On the surface she seemed to be a bit past it, but underneath she was clearly one of the looking for trouble brigade. Maureen Harding started A level maths in LVI, but after a couple of weeks asked if she could give up because she was too scared ov Miss M. (Great, for her compulsory 3rd subject she did cookery, so one day a week we got a decent lunch.)
Some of them had a life outside CH. I know that Miss Martin (French) joined the local amdram/operatic soc., and Miss Bushell had her dog to take for walks.
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Angela Woodford » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:06 am

Then Miss Mitchell was a Maths Mistress?

I must say - doing 'A' level maths with the fiercest Mistress of them all - eek! No wonder clever Maureen opted out early!

That's rather nice that a member of staff was able to join the local dramatic society! It must have been an interesting outlet for her. Didn't they do an annual production at the Corn Exchange?

I'm trying to remember if any other mistresses had a pet. There was Miss Screen and Sarah the terrier, but Miss S was a Housemistress. Yes, yes, there was Piper, a hound-like dog! but who owned him? :?:
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

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Re: The School Rules

Post by anniexf » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:51 am

Angela Woodford wrote:Then Miss Mitchell was a Maths Mistress?

I must say - doing 'A' level maths with the fiercest Mistress of them all - eek! No wonder clever Maureen opted out early!
Miss Mitchell was indeed a maths. mistress, no doubt brilliant but totally devoid of patience with anyone who had the temerity to ask for explanations. She was brought back out of retirement to teach my O-level year, after the previous year's lady, straight out of uni I believe & totally unable to control the clever clique who disrupted the class, disappeared. I believe Miss M. was slightly deaf too.
A Hertford education? What a bad joke.

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Re: The School Rules

Post by Angela Woodford » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:15 pm

Terrifying, Maggie!

Hearing somebody saying "Out of Bounds!" the other day reminded me again of that annotated tattered copy of the School Rules which hung on the House Notice Board.

I know that there were some places listed as Out of Bounds, but I can only remember one - behind the Chapel, where the most daring girls ventured to Talk To Boys through the railings.

Where else was Out of Bounds?
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

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Re: The School Rules

Post by Kim2s70-77 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:00 pm

Isn't "out of bounds" a magnificent expression. So Joyce Grenfell-ian! Wasn't any of the perimeter area 'out of bounds' - ie, behind the Infirmary, the Art school or the Music school etc?? Basically - anywhere near the wall, or escape routes!

While on the subject - why did the barbed wire and broken-glass-studded wall tops slope INWARDS??? That always made me feel like we were being kept in - rather than intruders being kept out! No wonder the Hertford townies thought we were a juveile detention center/ prison etc

Btw, :offtopic: I have just landed the part of Sister Aloysius in "Doubt". I think DR will be an influence in my interpretation of the role!! :backtotopic:

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Re: The School Rules

Post by Fjgrogan » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:06 pm

The area at the end of the school field beyond the line of trees, known as the shrubbery, was out of bounds, although the Guides sometimes used it for campfires etc. I and some others were once in trouble for talking to some younger boys over the wall there - presumably they were in the back garden of one of the houses. The odd thing is that we were reported by the mother of one of the boys who was a cleaner in the school - no idea why; perhaps she thought that we might lead your lad astray?!
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Jo » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:32 pm

Angela Woodford wrote:
I'm trying to remember if any other mistresses had a pet. There was Miss Screen and Sarah the terrier, but Miss S was a Housemistress. Yes, yes, there was Piper, a hound-like dog! but who owned him? :?:
Miss Davis, the Bursar, owned Piper. He was a beagle. I think Miss Cordery had something big, white and fluffy, possibly a samoyed, but I'm not sure she lived in, so I suppose we only ever saw him occasionally if she brought him into school.
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Katharine » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:33 pm

I think I have said before that I don't remember ever seeing a formal copy of the School Rules. We were expected to learn them by osmosis or summat.

Some girls, but I can't remember who, were caught talking to boys through the railings behind the chapel. Ostensibly they were there looking after the pets. This heinous crime occurred in broad daylight, they were told by DR that they had to remember that they were now "of an age when accidents might happen" - in broad daylight, through railings :shock:
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Angela Woodford » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:29 pm

Jo wrote: I think Miss Cordery had something big, white and fluffy, possibly a samoyed, but I'm not sure she lived in, so I suppose we only ever saw him occasionally if she brought him into school.
It's come back to me! Miss Cordery did indeed have a quite large shaggy dog called Bobby and Miss Taverner owned a beautiful golden brown cocker spaniel called Benjamin Britten. He was a young dog, very sweet natured with a lovely domy head and soft floppy ears. I can't remember where I got to meet and stroke Benjamin Britten, but I know he was really gorgeous. :D

Miss Cordery and Miss Taverner lived out, definitely, but did they live together? I think they did!

Out of Bounds! Behind the Infirmary was definitely OK because that was our route into the place. Do you remember, Elizabeth, walking round to that heavy squeaking black door at the back, pushing hard on the brass knob and being blasted by the strong whiff of surgical spirit and pre-seeing-Sister anxiety?

We entered the Music School at the side - but the back was just a path and shrubbery. No attractions there to make it a place to linger!

I seem to remember the shrubbery at the back of the Field was technically Out of Bounds, but it was where mis-hit tennis and cricket balls ended up, so it was well rummaged through, and was a good place to while away a deadly 10 minutes of All-Out...
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

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Re: The School Rules

Post by midget » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:30 pm

What alovely expression was AllOut. I can just see the guards about to do a head count to ensure that noone was not getting their ration of FRESH AIR. So much compulsion all the time.
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Re: The School Rules

Post by englishangel » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:47 pm

Miss Cordery's hairy pal was I believe a Bernese Mountain Dog. She and Miss Taverner may have shared a house in Hertford, I have no idea. Miss Cordery retired to a little bungalow in Fairlight near Hastings, and Miss Taverner lived elsewhere but she visited often and played the organ at the very grand village church. (maybe still does)
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Re: The School Rules

Post by Kim2s70-77 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:57 am

Angela Woodford wrote:
Jo wrote: I think Miss Cordery had something big, white and fluffy, possibly a samoyed, but I'm not sure she lived in, so I suppose we only ever saw him occasionally if she brought him into school.
It's come back to me! Miss Cordery did indeed have a quite large shaggy dog called Bobby and Miss Taverner owned a beautiful golden brown cocker spaniel called Benjamin Britten. He was a young dog, very sweet natured with a lovely domy head and soft floppy ears. I can't remember where I got to meet and stroke Benjamin Britten, but I know he was really gorgeous. :D

Miss Cordery and Miss Taverner lived out, definitely, but did they live together? I think they did!

Out of Bounds! Behind the Infirmary was definitely OK because that was our route into the place. Do you remember, Elizabeth, walking round to that heavy squeaking black door at the back, pushing hard on the brass knob and being blasted by the strong whiff of surgical spirit and pre-seeing-Sister anxiety?

We entered the Music School at the side - but the back was just a path and shrubbery. No attractions there to make it a place to linger!

I seem to remember the shrubbery at the back of the Field was technically Out of Bounds, but it was where mis-hit tennis and cricket balls ended up, so it was well rummaged through, and was a good place to while away a deadly 10 minutes of All-Out...
There was an annexe in the Infirmary - with ground floor sick rooms that were great for illegally 'visiting' people "Up t'Inf". I think we were steered away from the back of the Annexe, because it was easy to knock on the windows and pass unseen and unsupervised notes and illicit goodies during "Rest". I loved being up t'inf! A luxurious day or two of reading without interruption (even if it was old Reader's Digests) or doing puzzles of Scottish castles and lochs (?Eileen Donan? castle was one, I believe!)

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