This very long letter, from A.M.W.P., repeats the Sports Day news already reported by R.Y., tells of the hard practice for the Singing Comp (more of that will be revealed in a different letter), building up to the Poetry Comp (ugh!). It also reveals our total idolisation of P.H.S. (the poor woman, I hope she didn't suffer too much) and contains a couple of DR anecdotes as well as some other fascinating details of school life in 1960.
Sports Day that year was Saturday 26 March. My diary reveals that I caught the 2.20 Greenline bus home on Monday 21 March after successfully picking a lock in the History Room with a hairpin - this was with the full approval of Miss Page, who had lost the key.
Fri. morn 4th lesson
I do hope you got my letter - or rather, part of it! Wasn't I crazy? I just sort of forgot to put them in, those beautiful pages! I was in such a hurry as Steph and I decided on the last minute to try and dash out and post them after prep, so I just dashed back and put what I thought was all your letter, into an envelope. Jane Mc had got Mrs Weil's backdoor key, so we just hopped out when all was clear and put them in the letter box by the station. I got such a shock, as about 10 minutes after I had got back to Ward, the front door bell rang, and in walked Mrs Weil! She only wanted R.Y. for something, though, thank goodness.
I finished my needlework in time, and Elizabeth Onley ironed them for me. They didn't look too bad, but I very much doubt if they will fit me. Still, I can always give them to Mummy or Nansie, I have had offers from both of them. Everyone finished their needlework, including Jan!
We had our last Maths lessons this morning, not another until Tuesday May 3rd. What a pity. P.H.S. was mean (well.....!). She gave us a geometry test. We all complained of course, but she just smiled sweetly, said she agreed she was cruel, hard-hearted etc and that it was a disgrace to our trade union, but all the same we were going to have the test. We did, too.
Fri. evening, 8.45 p.m. Just had interview. DR in a very good mood, and was v. quick and quite nice to all! I had a good one funnily enough, but she said I had been v. "droopy" this term, and did I feel droopy. I'm not quite sure what she meant, but so long as she said "droopy", not "drippy" I am not particularly worried.
Sports tomorrow. I'm in the Ward Relay; pity you're not here, you would have been in it. If it rains, 2's are going to do their play to the Govs, they are rather cocky about it, but we don't really mind as it would be a horrid rush to get all our clothes and props ready again. Thank goodness you aren't here, for that reason only. I would not like to do it again at such short notice. (I was such a drama fanatic, I would have wanted to do our play, regardless of the inconvenience! Ed.)
Sat. evening. We won the Sports! Your card must certainly have brought us luck. Rosemary Cox was v. good indeed, winning the High Jump Class 2 & chucking Class 2. We all got such a fright before Elizabeth Onley's chucking. She "went all funny", couldn't see or stand up, and didn't go out until it was her turn. She did a beautiful throw, although she says she couldn't see anything. Elizabeth was also 3rd in the 220. Jane Norcock was marvellous in the 220, winning it by about 6 yards. She just dashed off in the beginning and kept it up the whole time. Poor Sarah Ram, she has had swollen glands for the last 2 days and after the Sports just collapsed and has gone up to the Infirmary. She won her Class II netball shooting, though! Liz tied first with Sarah Battye for the High Jump open but they only got up to 51 inches, while Rosemary jumped 55 inches. Apparently Rosemary has never jumped that high before. Delphine was rather good in her High Jump Class III and did some really beautiful jumps. She managed to break a pole, though! The Granny's were 3rd although at one point they were 2nd, but they dropped the ball.
Peggy came down as well, delighting various people including Rose, Liz, Ann Cooper and Rosemary Young. She also attended 3 of our Singing Practices and gave us useful hints. We are working very hard at the moment and are going to have at least another 4 practices tomorrow.
I haven't thanked you for your letter yet, sorry, I got carried away by the Sports. Thank you very, very, very, very, very much indeed. It was so nice getting a nice wad of letter from someone besides Mummy. I delivered all the letters, which were received with pleasure by all. Clare seems to be cheerful, I'm glad to say.
Apparently the Study enjoyed themselves with Miss Gerrard and P.H.S. I managed to catch a few fleeting and unnoticed glimpses.
8's went up to dinner yesterday, after all, although we had previously been told we were going to have it in Ward because of the Govs. But they managed to fit another table in, amongst 1's, 2's, 3's & 4's tables. You can imagine what a squash it was. Goofy had put all the plates, bowls etc on the wrong tables too, so there was chaos. We ended up with 7's cloths, our cutlery, 2's glasses and 3's plates! Joy of joys, P.H.S. went up to dinner. She looked very nice in a royal blue woollen dress with a little Peter Pan collar and a little bow at the neck, a straight skirt and three-quarter length sleeves. She wore those nice light-colooured high heeled shoes. Aren't I observant? I didn't stare at her the whole time, though, whatever the description seems to imply. She was just sitting in a convenient position, such as I didn't have to turn my head. She also watched the Sports & came and said well done at the end when we were all crowded round Carole & and cup. Poor Carole, she was crying with pleasure! Miss Mercer surprised us all by appearing in a coloured jumper, a grey straight skirt & very high really stilleto heeled black suede shoes! She could walk on them, too!
Sun. morning 6.0 Woke up at 5.15 this morning, and I am now so bored I must do something. I'm going to my first Holy Communion this morning. I do hope all goes well and I don't do anything silly. I might, knowing me, and I should hate to.
We have only got a few more lessons, just Monday morning. Gym, Singing, English and a double free! In the afternoon there is the Singing Comp, and sticking & licking starts first thing Tuesday morning, with the Poetry Comp after break. I am not going in for the Poetry Comp but Stephanie is. She is saying one about Christmases from that Dylan Thomas book. It's similar to your August Bank Holiday one. I wonder if they were out of the same book? Nicky is going in for it, after being press-ganged by Miss Whitcher. Last Friday in formtime, Nicky, Stephanie & Jaqueline had an agreement of the "I will if you will" kind. Stephanie & Jacky kept it up, but Nicky wasn't going to, so Miss Whitcher used a little persuasion, as she said the "agreement" had been made in her hearing. So poor Nicky is now going in for it & feverishly learning a "pome".
Oh, I've just remembered, on the bit of letter that you didn't get (sorry again) I told you about asking P.H.S. to the Prep Service. Well, on Monday morning I was going across the playground & I bumped into her. I really did practically bump into her as I was looking at the ground & thinking about something else. I just threw caution to the winds and asked her. She said she would have loved to come, but she had an orchestra practice that night & she couldn't really not go. She said she would rather come to the Prep Service than "scrape her violin" but she just couldn't avoid it. As it turned out, I'm so thankful she couldn't, for DR than told the staff that she would rather only Wardmistresses and Form-mistresses went, so Miss Stephens did not go with Liz. She had to say sorry, she didn't think she'd better as DR seemed against it. It would have been ghastly if P.H.S. would have had to say that.
12.15 p.m. Elizabeth Onley has just gone for her bus. I do hope she's back for tomorrow. With you gone as well, it is going to be awful. We had a grand singing practice from 9.30 to 10.40 but Rose is going to take another practice some time today.
It was a nice service at Early this morning. As there were about 120 of us, we had both the Mr Walkers and we didn't finish until 9.0.
Jan is going out today & says her mother will post this for me so I will give it to her at 3.30.
2.40 p.m. Just back from walks; Miss Holmes took it. P.H.S. hasn't taken a single senior ward walk since she has been here! And I don't expect she will take any of the odd walks we get next term.
Stephanie, Margaret and I are going to try and meet on the Monday after we go home and have lunch together & look around the shops etc. I wish you could come, I know they wouldn't mind at all, but I don't suppose you would be able to come, would you?
I must stop now or I'll never get a letter written home.
All my love, Angela
Well done, all of you who managed to read all that one! What a marathon and I hope there weren't too many typos.
Jennifer Bore, 5's and 8's 1953-1960