New Forum Section - Hertford 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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jtaylor
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New Forum Section - Hertford Memories

Post by jtaylor » Sun Oct 23, 2005 7:26 pm

This section has been added following a request from a Hertford Old Blue, who was keen to see a section devoted to memories of the Hertford School.

If you spot a topic elsewhere that you feel should be in this section, please point it out to me, and I'll move it.

Cheers,

Julian
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englishangel
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Hertford

Post by englishangel » Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:55 am

Well that worked Julian.

I have only come across 3 other people from Hertford here and we have already posted in things like 'Teacher memories'.

Prove me wrong people.

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Hertford section

Post by Alexandra Thrift » Tue Oct 25, 2005 3:36 pm

It's not going to happen overnight Englishangel. I only recently looked for and found this forum, and quite frankly nearly didn't bother to post as it was too difficult to find anything remotely relevant to my experience of C.H.It was almost like a forum about another school !! That coupled with the "jolly" ethos of the forum as expressed in the Moderator guidelines made it seem like , well, just more of the same...Denial and cover-up about what Hertford was REALLY like for those of us who survived.

I am very impressed with what "Rebel" was brave enough to voice to which I could completely relate.I wonder if she's still around or pops in from time to time ?

Maybe this forum is not the place to explore the " darker" side of life at Hertford....but it would still be nice to easily find posts relevant to our memories and maybe to come across old friends.

By the way, I discovered that I actually owned a copy of DR West's " autobiography"...The Other Half...or whatever it's called. I looked up the sections that " Rebel" quoted and realised I remembered something of those suicide incidents.....couldn't believe how "matter of fact" DR was about them...er well I could actually ! Anyhow I will settle down and read the whole book when I have time. Actually I'm already fascinated to find out about Sir Harry Vanderpant...tried to "google" him but nothing came up.Miss West describes him, in her autobio. as not only being very generous to the girls school but also "very fond" of herself. She also mentions how he had a penchant for the red-headed girls, always noticing when there was a new one! Do you remember his bearded bronze bust, which stood at the bottom of the stairs to the dining hall ?

I did check my private messages. Er ...you had written me one line ( or was it two?). I haven't figured out how to private message you, yet! In fact I haven't read any of the instructions. I'll get around to it at some point.

I have left this post here for you to find but I will also put a copy in the " Hertford Section " which only started a couple of days ago. :D

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Hertford

Post by englishangel » Tue Oct 25, 2005 5:01 pm

I have emailed Julian and I am going to email people on the Friens Reunited , hertford section about this.

I was sure there must be an autobiography of DR but as my parents have never given me a copy I didn't know about it. (They were extremely proud of me going to CH and were always giving me books.)

At least one of the girls who attempted suicide (and left aged 14) is on FRU which really surprised me.

She seems to have survived very well.

I remember DR being all coy about being in New York with a man, he walked on the outside of the pavement.

However as no man could measure up to St Paul I expect walking alonng the 'sidewalk' was all it was.

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Re: Hertford section

Post by palgsm93 » Tue Oct 25, 2005 5:55 pm

Alexandra Thrift wrote:...That coupled with the "jolly" ethos of the forum as expressed in the Moderator guidelines made it seem like , well, just more of the same...Denial and cover-up about what Hertford was REALLY like for those of us who survived.

I am very impressed with what "Rebel" was brave enough to voice to which I could completely relate.I wonder if she's still around or pops in from time to time ?
Julian and I don’t like moderating, and we do it as little as possible. I spend my moderating time fixing those darn QUOTE \QUOTE tags that go wrong – that’s about it!

The guidelines are really there just to stop it turning into a rant forum, which would make it a bit boring for everyone after a while…

As for rebel, I’ve been wondering that myself – where are you?!

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Not meaning to criticise Palgsm

Post by Guest » Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:23 am

...I'm quite sure you mods do a great job ! I agree that interminable whingeing would be very boring. I may have a little moan here and there though.

I should also correct the title of D.R.West's autobio., which I've now dug out of my bookcase.

It's called " Half to Remember" , and is actually a very interesting read on many different levels. For me , and I suspect for any Hertford Blue who was there during the time of D.R., it's very evocative. The book is written in exactly the disciplined style in which Miss West ran the school, and the attention to the detail and minutiae of boarding school life is incredible.Thus far I have only dipped into it, but I now intend to read it all and recommend it.I bought it at the special " Hertford" Old Blues Day last April for about 50p !

I am still in touch with several C.H. friends and we have had very many cathartic " reminisce and rant" sessions with accompanying bottles of wine, over the years. I spent my 50th birthday last year on holiday with a few friends including two from C.H. ( one with hubbie and son aged 12, and one with her daughter aged 32.....and they were in the same year at CH, I was a year older and my son is 13 ! ) We had a brill. time.

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Hertford thread/page

Post by Euterpe13 » Wed Oct 26, 2005 1:54 pm

Actually, I think this is a good idea, if only for catharthis ... for those of us who left CH before the unification in 1984, it is sometimes difficult to relate to comments from younger members, as the Herford school had little or no contact/knowledge of Horsham, or what went on there.

Exceptions were those of us who had brothers at Horsham, and even then the gap in experiences and amenities was enormous. We didn't even have the privilege of a distinctive uniform, so the later O.Bs have us at an advantage.

We, on the other hand, enjoyed a fine, reactionary upbringing ( hands up all those who remember the " tampax talk" - not to mention blues and linings...), when the rest of the country was in the throes of " free-love" and " flower-power" - it's amazing we didn't turn into achoholic drug-addicted nymphomaniacs within 6 months of leaving the place ! We are talking about a school where " flirting" with one of the town-boys through the fence behind the Chapel could get you sent home...

However, on the up side, and from what I gather from contemporaries , this very oppression is what has made us tolerant and egalitarian women, adults and mothers .... so stuff that one, Aunty D.!

Enough ranting - cheers to us all !
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Re: Hertford

Post by J.R. » Wed Oct 26, 2005 2:41 pm

englishangel wrote:I have emailed Julian and I am going to email people on the Friens Reunited , hertford section about this.
Feel sure this should get more 'girls' here, angel. There appear to be loads on the 'Friends' site
I remember DR being all coy about being in New York with a man, he walked on the outside of the pavement.

However as no man could measure up to St Paul I expect walking alonng the 'sidewalk' was all it was.
You must tell more about this 'DR'. I have found many references to these dreaded initials. Was she REALLY that bad ?
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Attn: Euterpe 13

Post by Mid A 15 » Wed Oct 26, 2005 2:51 pm

Sorry to intrude on the Hertford thread, but just wanted to advise Euterpe 13 that Nick Boyd has posted his photos of the Prep play and rugby team, with her late brother Peter featuring, on the CH Photos thread.

They are quite a long way down though so she might have missed them.

She made an appeal for photos a month or two ago.
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Hertford

Post by englishangel » Wed Oct 26, 2005 5:47 pm

Not an intrusion. if you read all of Euterpe's note you would have ssen that we are friendly, thoughtful and broad-minded.

We comment on your psots, so why shouldn't you send us messages. The more the merrier I say.

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Post by Mid A 15 » Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:05 pm

Fair enough! However with a wife and 3 daughters regularly giving me grief I have to be careful! :wink:
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Hertford

Post by englishangel » Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:08 pm

Mid A 15 wrote:Fair enough! However with a wife and 3 daughters regularly giving me grief I have to be careful! :wink:
You poor thing. :lol:

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Re: Attn: Euterpe 13

Post by Euterpe13 » Thu Oct 27, 2005 8:49 am

Mid A 15 wrote:Sorry to intrude on the Hertford thread, but just wanted to advise Euterpe 13 that Nick Boyd has posted his photos of the Prep play and rugby team, with her late brother Peter featuring, on the CH Photos thread.

They are quite a long way down though so she might have missed them.

She made an appeal for photos a month or two ago.
yes, Nick also kindly sent them to me direct - am going to print up for my Mother ( Peter died in 1987).

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Re: Hertford

Post by Euterpe13 » Thu Oct 27, 2005 9:00 am

J.R wrote:
englishangel wrote: I remember DR being all coy about being in New York with a man, he walked on the outside of the pavement.

However as no man could measure up to St Paul I expect walking alonng the 'sidewalk' was all it was.
You must tell more about this 'DR'. I have found many references to these dreaded initials. Was she REALLY that bad ?
DR = Dorothy Ruth West , Headmistress of CH/Hertford, youngest female HM in England when she was appointed( previously taught at Roedean) , former England cricketer ( which is why we played cricket, and in fact did so very well, thanks to her ) , who initially was probably very progressive for her time, but did not evolve with the years. Taught R.K., totally obsessed with St.Paul ( she was obviously blind to the fact that he was a total mysoginist) with the result that much of her attitude to us was based on his teachings.
If you fitted into her "ideal schoolgirl" mould ( think asexual Enid Blyton), you were OK - if not , then she was a bane. I won't deny that she did a lot of good things for the school, and cared about her charges, but she also did an enormous amount of harm through bigotry and lack of imagination.

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Post by J.R. » Thu Oct 27, 2005 9:07 am

Many thanks for that 'potted' history, Euterpe13.

I take it, she is/was also a spinster ??

I'm afraid I always have my doubts about people in a set profession who are single.

It's a bit like Catholic priests, but that's another story !
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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