Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH Forum)

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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fra828
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Re: Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH For

Post by fra828 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:14 pm

Although I saw a kind and human side to Miss Morrison, I remember getting negative reports from her even though I thought I had done quite well.

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Re: Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH For

Post by Kim2s70-77 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:11 am

She always wagged her head from side to side, with a big shock of white hair and shiny red cheeks, and said things like "D.V.W.P. - Deus volente; weather permitting!" or "Pictures are hung; people are hanged" or "You can - but MAY you!" etc . I liked Fatty M.

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Re: Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH For

Post by englishangel » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:17 am

Kim2s70-77 wrote:She always wagged her head from side to side, with a big shock of white hair and shiny red cheeks, and said things like "D.V.W.P. - Deus volente; weather permitting!" or "Pictures are hung; people are hanged" or "You can - but MAY you!" etc . I liked Fatty M.
My daughter said that to me yesterday, you don't think she might be a reincarnation do you? No, I didn't think so. My education must have rubbed off on her.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

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Re: Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH For

Post by Angela Woodford » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:22 am

You should have seen her, Kim - our new Form Mistress, new to the School in Sept 1965. BJM seemed utterly huge to us, sitting there on the podium as we rushed in to bag our seats; with what must have been long, long silvery salt'n'pepper thin braids intricately wound about her head! I had never seen a woman with such a hairstyle.

I still can't look at a waste-paper-basket without thinking "WPB!" in a Miss Morrison voice!
"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: Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH For

Post by Angela Woodford » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:23 am

Two thoughts - one good, one bad.

From the "heartache" point of view, I had a letter recently from a girl whom I'd always considered confident, poised and pretty wonderful... "My memories of Christ's Hospital are very unhappy ones. I left feeling unintelligent, unaccomplished and unworthy. I spent several years in psychotherapy recovering from it". That's so terrible. How little sometimes we realised about each other.

Then "hygeine". Well, sort of! I seem to have met quite a few women my own age who have awful problems with their feet, due to wearing fashion shoes from teens onwards - commiserated last week with someone clomping along in a post-hallux-vulgus-surgery Jesus sandal. How I disliked those hefty brown boys' lace-ups which seemed so unattractive! But, I admit that my feet are in pretty good shape. Do any other Old Girls agree?
"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: Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH For

Post by anniexf » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:02 pm

Angela, I agree totally with your correspondent as I had those same feelings of worthlessness for decades; I've also undergone most forms of therapy, from ECT to counselling. However, I've found this Forum to be the most effective, cathartic one of all.

Re feet: No! I've got bunions!!! :( (but I'm still very active - CH taught me to endure pain...)

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Re: Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH For

Post by englishangel » Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:56 pm

My daughter was born with Hallux valgus in both feet but her left foot was so bad by 13 that her knees were knocking together.

She always had shoes held on by laces or a strap and never had heels.

I took her to the doc who referred her to the chiropodist who took 6 months to make shoe inserts and by the time they were ready her feet had grown a size and they didn't fit. Our GP wouldn't refer her for surgery 'until she stops growing' (she was 5'10'''). I did have a friend whose daughter was operated on at 14 and had to have it done again at 17. So I waited until he was on holiday and took her to the (young female) locum who referred her immediately. Fortunately it was so bad that her Dad's company medical insurance covered it so she had it fixed the week before the Easter holiday of the year before GCSE.

Within 6 weeks the cast was off and 2 weeks later she was singing and dancing in a 'Musicals' evening at school. Now 7 years later her toe is as straight as the day it was done.

She still wears 'sensible' shoes and being tall feels no need to wear the currently popular vertiginous heels.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

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Re: Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH For

Post by kerrensimmonds » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:27 pm

Lucky daughter, Mary!
My similar problems developed much later in life, beyond the timeframe for parental intervention, and are now deemed to be inoperable. Aged 63, I am awaiting (privately) fittings for knee to heel callipers, ankle braces and foot splints - all of which will need to be fitted within bespoke shoes. And all this is just to stop the problems getting worse. There is little hope of correction. I don't suppose the shoes will be very elegant and I can't see me dancing on any stage again!
Ho Hum. Bunions, yes! Who would have thought this of me, all those years ago when I was 18 and excelling in all sports at CH?
Don't read this as self pity. Far from it. I remain upbeat at all times and conscious that in the general frame of things I am so much more fortunate than others.
But, Munch, I don't think our clumpy school shoes had much to do for or against my present situation - though I am glad that your feet and ankles seem to be bearing the test of time!
Kerren Simmonds
5's and 2's Hertford, 1957-1966

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Re: Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH For

Post by kerrensimmonds » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:27 pm

Blooming sensitive keyboard sent this twice and I couldn't work out how to delete.
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Re: Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH For

Post by Angela Woodford » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:58 am

Ann, I'm sorry to hear that you too had to contend with those appalling feelings of "worthlessness". It's a story that we've heard so many times, and for which help has been sucessfully and unsucessfully sought. I agree that this Forum has been of inestimable value! I have written away a lot of painful feelings, which didn't really emerge until middle age.

That's strange, isn't it? I think after leaving Hertford, I must have felt intoxicated with freedom, and exhilerated with the novelty whenever I was told that I was doing well. I had not received praise and personal reinforcement since pre-CH childhood. However, those old wretched memories rose back to the surface in (thinks...) my late thirties. I was conditioned to feel a stupid, time-wasting, worthless failure at CH - especially by DR - and there they were, those paralysing emotions; still somewhere in my unconscious. jazzlegs has recently advised us towards a greater silence regarding personal feelings, but I feel that writing frankly has been brilliant for many of us. Who understands a Hertford Old Girl as does another Hertford Old Girl?

It sounds as if the psychotherapy received by my correspondent was really helpful.

Feet! I was dismayed to hear of bunionisation from Ann! I've always felt convinced that those sensible clumpy CH shoes were good for me. Goodness knows what fashion shoes I would have chosen as a teenager in the outside world. Now that conviction is wavering a leee-ee-tle bit... :?

I remember also that my flattish feet and inward leaning ankles were picked up at Squizzing by the late nice efficient Miss Westhorp, and I was put down for "Feet" in the gym. I didn't succeed too well at picking up bamboo canes with my toes and grasping/throwing bean bags with my feet - but the treatment must have brought about an improvement!

Oddly, my feet have changed a bit. They have become a size smaller, but wider! In heavy disguise, I slunk into a "wide-fitting" shoe shop last summer and was pleased to find some flattie sandals which weren't too matronly at all.

Hooray!
"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: Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH For

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:49 pm

On Old Blues Day, I am taking part in a Debate --- on "It was better in my day"

This is likely to be treated in a humourus manner, but on reading the tales, both good and bad about Hertford (Some of which, make me shudder !)--- I would hope that people at CH these days --- both Male and Female, would have happy memories of their time at the School.

It may be for this reason, that the Proposers are both from Barnes (A and B) and were there in the 40s.

It might have been interesting, for us to have been joined by an ex- Hertford OB --- but perhaps not so jolly ?

My memories are pretty rose-tinted, which may be due to a) Insensitivity or b) Old age or c) Dementia !

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Re: Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH For

Post by englishangel » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:08 pm

or all three Neill?
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

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Re: Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH For

Post by Angela Pratt 56-63 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:48 pm

No, Neill - not all of us have awful memories of our time at Hertford. Of course life wasn't perfect - is is at school anywhere? I loved my years there,appreciating the closeness to friends and what I felt were the good intentions of DR and the rest of the staff. Yes, the school was old fashioned(not suprising in 400 years...) and I didn't agree with all other opinions especially staff but does any schoolgirl or boy!
I'm not saying i don't doubt other people's experiences, but I do feel they give a distorted view of life at Hertford. Hey, aren't there any other people out there who could contribute their memories and express their feelings?

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Re: Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH For

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:41 pm

See what I mean ------ it is a good subject for debate, although I appreciate that bringing up sad memories of sad times, should, perhaps be avoided.

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Re: Hertford hygeine, hierarchies and heartache (from CH For

Post by anniexf » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:23 pm

Angela Pratt 56-63 wrote:
I'm not saying i don't doubt other people's experiences, but I do feel they give a distorted view of life at Hertford. Hey, aren't there any other people out there who could contribute their memories and express their feelings?
There must be thousands of Hertford OBs out there; why so few here? Most people have access to the internet now so one might be forgiven for thinking that anyone who had the "Hertford experience" would want to reminisce, whether in a pro- or anti- sense, with fellow OBs. Odd that; even my old primary school has more former-pupil members than Hertford does. There are even 5 from my final year class. None here from my Hertford year!
Theories, anyone?

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