Herts Memories

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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Herts Memories

Post by englishangel » Tue May 24, 2011 8:22 am

I found this while trying to find something about the dates of the Hoddesdon site for spoonbill

I don't think it has been posted before.

http://www.hertsmemories.org.uk/page_id ... p221p.aspx
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Re: Herts Memories

Post by Angela Woodford » Tue May 24, 2011 9:09 am

This is very strange!

There was no "Mistress of the Wardrobe" called Veronica! :o SWSNBN, along with DR, was in charge of the many changes of uniform which we endured.

Where is the "Susannah" dress? It was beloved, and on one occasion DR dressed somebody in it for "The Story of the School".

The picture with the Duke looks a bit agonised, doesn't it? Although I'm delighted that, on the very very right, I can see just a sliver of Miss Morrison!

Thank you, Mary, for discovering this!

Veronica, Veronica.... no! Anybody remember a Mistress of the Wardrobe? Perhaps SWSNBN concealed an assistant in Nines who later rose to Power?
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Re: Herts Memories

Post by englishangel » Tue May 24, 2011 9:29 am

My thoughts exactly Angela. Though SWMNBN retired in 1971 or so, so perhaps Veronica Humphrey was lurking in the background ready to take over. I don't think there is anyone on here who was at Hertford at the relevant time. We are mostly either 60's -early 70's or 80's.
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Re: Herts Memories

Post by Katharine » Tue May 24, 2011 10:07 am

Thanks Mary. The girl in the coatfrock is wearing the wrong stockings! They should be the ghastly lisle stockings! When we got our BAs we were promoted to having silk stockings for Sundays only!

The replica uniforms were brought on several times while I was there. One year there was a madrigal group singing for Speech Day and they wore them, another Speech day the Lord Mayor was a descendant of a much earlier one. I think there was a record that his ancestor had been served sweet wine and biscuits or some such and girls were dressed in the costumes of the period to offer the modern equivalent to him.

I don't remember any assistant lurking in Nines.
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Re: Herts Memories

Post by su523 » Tue May 24, 2011 12:00 pm

The other thing that is odd about this is that I can't recognise the room in the first photo. Does anyone else remember a room that looked like this?

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Re: Herts Memories

Post by MKM » Tue May 24, 2011 12:07 pm

Lovely photos. I like the slightly cross-looking "I've drawn the short straw again" stance of the girl in the gym slip.

I think Veronica Humphrey must be the lady I met at the great Hertford reunion a few years ago. She insisted that I would be sure to remember her, but I really didn't. I suppose few people are as memorable as SWMNBN.

I don't remember the room in the first photo either. The display of mugs on the shelves, and the oddly-placed display cabinet make it look like a museum, but the desks suggest a working classroom. Is that a school-bag lurking under the desk in the foreground?
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Re: Herts Memories

Post by englishangel » Tue May 24, 2011 12:58 pm

I think that room may be the geography room. I think it was the only room with double doors and desks.
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Re: Herts Memories

Post by phyllis » Tue May 24, 2011 3:07 pm

Just thought you might like to know that the replica uniforms were made for the play 'The Pattern of Charity' performed at Hertford as part of the Quartercentenary celebrations in 1953. There is a photograph of one scene from the play in the book 'Christ's Hospital Four Hundred Years Old' which depicts a time in 1778 before the girls left London.

From L to R : the teacher is I think portrayed by Audrey Earl and the 'pupils' that can be seen are: me; Zoe Coleman (sadly deceased); Sheila Hopper (lost contact); Rosemary Dallenger and Ann Evans (lost contact). We are all wearing replica 'Susannah' costumes but several different types of uniform were made. I fitted my costume 'til I left and I remember once being made to stand for ages in the niche in the library wall to be photographed by members of The London Appreciation Society, visiting Hertford.

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Re: Herts Memories

Post by Katharine » Tue May 24, 2011 4:09 pm

englishangel wrote:I think that room may be the geography room. I think it was the only room with double doors and desks.
I thought the desks there were double ones?
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Re: Herts Memories

Post by Kim2s70-77 » Tue May 24, 2011 5:46 pm

I vividly remember the visit by the Duke of Gloucester in '76! The school was spiffed up and painted for the occasion - and we were all to put on a bit of a show to impress him. I was doing Biology A level - and it was decided that we would do a rat dissection, in order to REALLY impress him (I know, right????). At the appointed time, our scalpels were duly wielded and the flayed animals staked to their wax tombs. The Duke walks in - immediately goes completely green and beats a very hasty retreat - acknowledging that he was in fact quite squeamish about that sort of thing. Fastest Royal visit I ever saw!! Poor guy.

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Re: Herts Memories

Post by Angela Woodford » Tue May 24, 2011 6:15 pm

But - Elizabeth - do you remember a Veronica Humphrey "Mistress of the Wardrobe"?

If she claims she was in position in 1969, I would say - not -
"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: Herts Memories

Post by fra828 » Tue May 24, 2011 8:28 pm

I think there was a teacher called Mrs Humphrey at the school around that time, did she not teach needlework after swnbn left? I would not place her as early as 1969 however. Maybe she was hovering in the background (and who wouldn't with swnbn around!) and poised to take over when the latter left. But this still doesn't solve the mystery of why no-one has any memories of her!

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Re: Herts Memories

Post by englishangel » Tue May 24, 2011 10:24 pm

Oops, sorry Kim/Liz, I forgot you were at Hertford at the relevant time.
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Re: Herts Memories

Post by Jo » Tue May 24, 2011 11:12 pm

There certainly was a Mrs Humphrey at Hertford during my time. She didn't teach, and during SWMNBN's time I guess she was probably Assistant Wardrobe Mistress, or possibly she was Wardrobe Mistress reporting to SWMNBN who had a wider brief that included teaching needlework as well. Mrs Humphrey took over as indisputable Wardrobe Mistress after SWMNBN's retirement and the new needlework mistress, Mrs Newbold, had nothing to do with the Wardrobe or uniforms. She used, as I remember, to wear a tailored grey suit. And yes, she now lives in the retirement flats in the school hall and met people during the first Hertford Museum reunion in 2008, though I missed her because I arrived too late.

I suspect part of the reason people don't remember her is that we didn't know her name was Veronica, so that rings no bells, and because until 1971 she was very firmly in SWMNBN's shadow, although once she acceded to the heady heights of Wardrobe Mistress in her own right, she could be quite forthright too.
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Re: Herts Memories

Post by englishangel » Wed May 25, 2011 12:35 pm

There you are then, SWMNBN cast a very strong shadow.

And Jo apologies to you as well, you were there at he relevant time.

Certainly in the photo she looks very forthright, and wearing a very nice blue tailored suit.
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