DR

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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Re: DR's House

Post by Jo » Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:38 pm

Angela Woodford wrote:We've just been having a most interesting HOGOF debate, as Jude has posted a very interesting aerial picture of the Hertford campus photgraphed from behind School Hall.

I was looking also at the size of DR's house.

Did anybody ever actually see over this house?

I know that the big right hand (If you were facing out from the front door) was the dining room, because I once did an evening's prep there, babysitting for DR's invalid mother. But was there a sitting room on the other side? It seemed such a huge house for one woman. I wonder what the other rooms were like?

As DR couldn't cook, I imagine a lovely kitchen gone to waste!
There was a sitting room on the other side. I was never there in DR's time, but Miss Tucker let us watch The Pallisers on her TV on Sunday evenings. It was also in that room that she broke the news to me that my grandmother had died. She was very kind. I imagine the kitchen must have been behind the dining room but I never saw it. I was in the dining room once when I had to do a university entrance test and for some reason that was deemed to be the most suitable place. She didn't invigilate but left me to it, and just came back to take my papers when the time was up.

I think if you went into the back of DR/Miss Tucker's house from the ante-room, that led into her study, and thence into the sitting room. Then there would have been a hall inside the front door, with the dining room the other side of it, and presumably the kitchen behind. I have no idea about upstairs though.
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Re: DR's House

Post by fra828 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:10 pm

Jo wrote:
Angela Woodford wrote:We've just been having a most interesting HOGOF debate, as Jude has posted a very interesting aerial picture of the Hertford campus photgraphed from behind School Hall.

I was looking also at the size of DR's house.

Did anybody ever actually see over this house?

I know that the big right hand (If you were facing out from the front door) was the dining room, because I once did an evening's prep there, babysitting for DR's invalid mother. But was there a sitting room on the other side? It seemed such a huge house for one woman. I wonder what the other rooms were like?

As DR couldn't cook, I imagine a lovely kitchen gone to waste!
There was a sitting room on the other side. I was never there in DR's time, but Miss Tucker let us watch The Pallisers on her TV on Sunday evenings. It was also in that room that she broke the news to me that my grandmother had died. She was very kind . I imagine the kitchen must have been behind the dining room but I never saw it. I was in the dining room once when I had to do a university entrance test and for some reason that was deemed to be the most suitable place. She didn't invigilate but left me to it, and just came back to take my papers when the time was up.

I think if you went into the back of DR/Miss Tucker's house from the ante-room, that led into her study, and thence into the sitting room. Then there would have been a hall inside the front door, with the dining room the other side of it, and presumably the kitchen behind. I have no idea about upstairs though.[/quote

That's brought back a couple of memories, Jo. It was DR who called me into her office one afternoon to break the sad news that my grandmother had died. She was very matter of fact about it, distant even, but she let me ring home. I didn't go home for the funeral, I have always regretted that I was never given the choice. I wonder if Miss Tucker gave you the choice Jo? Infact I just went back to lessons that afternoon as if everything was normal, I think I was in shock.. the next day I cried for hours, alone. For some reason I had a cubi to myself that term and I hated the loneliness. I re-took my O level Biology in the dining room when Miss Tucker had just started. There were loads of interruptions, telephone ringing at least twice and even cleaners coming in and out! No wonder I failed with an H the lowest grade at that time! Mrs Oliver seemed shocked when I told her about all the distractions I'd had during the exam, she said she could probably arrange for me to take it again. In the end we decided to leave it till the summer -when I passed at 3rd attempt -taking the exam with the others. Where did we take our exams, was it in our usual classrooms?

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Re: DR's House

Post by Katharine » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:15 pm

fra828 wrote: Where did we take our exams, was it in our usual classrooms?
In my time, A levels were taken in the big classroom in the VI form block, behind DR's house. Was that big enough for O levels?
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Re: DR

Post by englishangel » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:10 am

Did we not take O Levels in the school hall? I really can't remember.
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Re: DR's House

Post by Angela Woodford » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:52 am

fra828 wrote:[
It was DR who called me into her office one afternoon to break the sad news that my grandmother had died. She was very matter of fact about it, distant even, but she let me ring home. I didn't go home for the funeral, I have always regretted that I was never given the choice. I wonder if Miss Tucker gave you the choice Jo? Infact I just went back to lessons that afternoon as if everything was normal, I think I was in shock.. the next day I cried for hours, alone. For some reason I had a cubi to myself that term and I hated the loneliness. I re-took my O level Biology in the dining room when Miss Tucker had just started. There were loads of interruptions, telephone ringing at least twice and even cleaners coming in and out! No wonder I failed with an H the lowest grade at that time! Where did we take our exams, was it in our usual classrooms?
A family death, the news broken by DR, matter-of-fact and distant; how typical. You should have been allowed the opportunity of going home for the funeral! What a sad mis-handling of such a situation on her part. Every sympathy!

Goodness, taking an 'O' level in that Dining Room with interruptions going on and ruining your concentration! That was unfortunate.

I had to re-take Bio too - the exam was set up for me in a smallish room in the Old School and I was lucky - the room felt as if it had a good atmosphere, the table and chair were at the right height and hooray - I'd got the Iris Rhizome to draw again and it turned out much better than my previous effort. Merce had come to invigilate, and I felt pleased that one of the Important Mistresses had been sent. :roll: (Maybe she'd been pleased for an opportunity to catch up on some of her own paperwork?)

I'd also got The Digestive System which I'd just done again with Miss Jukes for Home Economics, the subject previously known as Cookery. Miss Jukes claimed the credit for my Biology 'A'. On and on she went for at least a couple of weeks; about how Her Teaching had got me through... :|

I remember taking 'O' levels in 1969 in the Sixth Form Rooms - an alien envronment, where the desks and chairs scraped distractingly on the polished floor, and one scribbled away, hot day after hot day, with the background summer sound of the mower endlessly making its way up and down The Field. I even remember my position on the far back left of that room for Maths. I'd finished early, natch, so wrote a careful explanatory letter to the examiner, explaining my difficulties with Maths and how dear Mrs Thomas, although a sweet woman, had never addressed these difficulties in the slightest but tactfully ignored me.... whoops, here I go again! I had hoped that maybe the Marking Authorities might have got back to DR. I would have managed to explain to DR why I'd done so badly via an alternative route! Probably the examiner felt too depressed by the enormity of my dyscalculia to do anything but award me a 'U'. Or maybe a 'V' for neatly underlining my correct name on page 1.

However - DR's house. I wonder who lives there now? It would have been such a lovely family home. I'd like to think of DR's grim Study being put to some really nice happy use - a children's playroom maybe? :D

I wonder how those Housemistresses felt. All they had was a bedroom and a sitting room! And there was DR with a whole big house to herself!
"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: DR's House

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:50 am

Angela Woodford wrote: I wonder how those Housemistresses felt. All they had was a bedroom and a sitting room! And there was DR with a whole big house to herself!
This was the norm at most institutions. It was one of the perks. Certainly at Horsham too (though married housemasters had respectable houses). Probably borrowed from Oxford and Cambridge colleges, where Fellows have "rooms" (though often quite luxurious ones) while the head of the college has a "lodge", usually a fair-sized mansion.

I think, what's more, that housemasters had to pay rent. I'm sure the Headmaster's House came/comes with the job.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: DR and Staff housing conditions

Post by Angela Woodford » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:08 pm

The Housemistresses really did lose out!

I can't think that they had to pay rent...? They were mostly women in what you'd maybe call "reduced circumstances"? It's been written before that they were recruited from the ads at the back of "The Lady" mag, along with domestic servants, nannies and companions - they can't have been paid very much!

The Mistresses seemed to have much nicer quarters - some sharing houses, admittedly! Peering into the front doors of Jukes/Wilson or Nellie/Rutherford if sent for by them, they appeared to have done up their houses in very nice taste. Housemistresses never even had a little kitchen or bathroom to themselves, although I believe there were improvements made for them some years after I'd left.

I always pitied poor Nutto; alone at the bottom of the Music School with the hideous cacophany of multiple practisers and lessons most of the day!

Dr can't have bothered with her kitchen if she had to go to the Cookery School to be taught rudimentary skills by Miss Jukes.
"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: DR

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:46 pm

I'd forgotten that your housemistresses were our matrons. Mind you, our matrons had quarters comparable to housemasters. Slightly better, if anything, because their rooms were in the centre of the house blocks, away from the dormitories.
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Re: DR

Post by englishangel » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:08 am

My grandmother died during the Christmas holidays and I made my mother promise on pain of death not to tell the school so I didn't get any 'sympathy'. The following term was the only time I ever got an even slightly unfavourable DRs report " you don't seem to have been very attentive this term Mary!" so someone noticed some change in me.
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Re: DR

Post by fra828 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:02 pm

I was lucky in my Bio second retake , third time lucky. I had been revising in detail about the eye, for some reason, and there it was -first question on the paper! I think I got a grade C which was a decent pass.

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Re: DR

Post by Angela Woodford » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:44 pm

Katharine wrote: They are her initials Dorothy Ruth West, every notice she ever put up anywhere in the school was either initialled DRW or had her name as D R West on it, always in blue ink - not blue black or black but a particular shade of blue.


Katharine is right!

DR's signature stays in my mind, as I sometimes get out my CH Bible to look something up, and there it is... " The Gift of the Governors of Christ's Hospital to Angela C Marsh, July 5th 1971".

I love ink ( :roll: ) and wonder what ink DR did use. ISTR that her signature on documents around the School were in a slightly lighter softer blue than the signature in my Bible. I wondered if the Bible signature is in Diamine Registrars Ink, absolutely bulletproof and supposed never to smudge, but I tested it with a tiny bit of cotton wool - it smudges! It looks like nothing more exciting than Quink Blue to me! Perhaps DR had run out of her usual shade when signing her way through all those Gift Of stickers.

(I'm just ordering a bottle of Herbin Poussière de Lune for myself. I wonder if it will help me write in French more easily?)

Maybe another DR's Mon will remember seeing an ink bottle on her desk. DR's handwriting was quite attractive. Typically firm penmanship!
"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: DR

Post by pagray » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:30 pm

Does anyone know where/how I can get a copy of Half to Remember? I am writing some stories down for my (grown-up) kids and trying to remember more of the CH tales of my youth (1949-55 at CH Hertford). Thanks for any help or pointers to where I can get a copy. Pamela

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Re: DR

Post by anniexf » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:09 pm

Hi Pamela, I could lend you my copy if you like. I'll send you a PM.

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