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1960s & 1970s

1961-68 Kathy Gallagher


The classes were divided into three divisions, 1st, 2nd and 3rd.   Uniform rules were very strictly enforced. The Badges (prefects) stood at the school gates to check that the correct uniform was being worn, especially berets and gloves (navy for Winter and white for Summer). In addition, we had indoor and outdoor shoes and plimsolls, kept in separate lockers. Woe betide you if you put them in the wrong locker! 

As first years, we had to wear gingham pinafores all day - except for assembly or, funnily enough, dinner time (in case we messed them up!). In the second year we graduated to navy tabards - we felt so grown up in these. 

Gymslips were worn until the 5th form when we could wear skirts. We could also now ditch our long socks and wear nylons! (No tights around in those days).

Every week we went into the hall for the strange Notes ceremony. Your conduct for the week was read out and took the form of 'Very good', 'Good', 'Fair' or 'Unsatisfactory' - I managed to escape this last one!  Everyone then picked up the appropriate printed Note and walked around in a circle, replacing it on a pile in front of the Head.

Mother Davidson was my first Head, to whom we had to curtsey upon meeting her. Then came Mother Bunbury who kept a budgie in her room.

The three places where silence was the rule: the Head's corridor, the terrace (the path next to the library) and the Slip (a small passageway leading from the cloisters to what was the 3rd division block). 

It was strictly forbidden to enter a shop while wearing our uniform. One day after school in my first year, the Maths teacher caught me in a nearby sweetshop. My punishment was to miss the end of year film and instead to polish everybody's shoes in the cloakroom!

These are just a few of my memories. 

Ana Vartalitis

I would like to share an experience I had on retreat at the Abadía del Niño Dios, a Benedictine Monastery in Argentina, about ten years ago.

Brother Miguel asked me whether I was consecrated.  I immediately replied "Oh, no! I'm divorced, and I have a son... What makes you ask?" 

"Your attitude."

In the quiet of the night I realised it was due to the Convent: the processions in our veils holding candles while we sang going round the cloister fifty years ago! I still sing "Spirit of God" out loud occasionally.

SH in the sixties did not have the security it has now but, then, it did have a chapel...