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News from the PHC Archives: Part Five

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Records of Princess Helena College through the ages, originally printed in the 1989-1990 school magazine…

1839 – 1840
Annual Report

…with regards to the wards, the committee have to report, that one…was permitted to be withdrawn…her intractable disposition had occasioned more trouble and vexation…They have also to announce the recent removal of another…she exhibited such a strong spirit of insubordination, and such a defiance of the rules of the establishment in maintaining clandestine correspondence with a male cousin that…upon discovery of this latter offence, it was unanimously resolved to dismiss her instantly, and restore her to the care of her mother, who had been summoned to attend, and was in readiness to receive her. It affords the committee much satisfaction to have learned, that the conduct of this Ward was strongly reprobated by all others who were of an age to understand the folly it betokened in herself, and the injury it might have occasioned to the Institution; and that her short association with them, instead of having been attended with any evil result, has only been the means of trying and proving the solidarity and correctness of their principles. They indulge the hope also, from the sense of her fault which she manifested upon her removal, that this mark of censure, which could not consistently with the nature and regulations of the Society be less severe, will, by the Divine blessing, prove useful to her for the future; that it will show her the necessity of observing, though in different situation from what she might have attained, candour, cicumspectness, and self-control; and that hereafter she will acknowledge it as a happy circumstance that she was received, though but for a short time, into this Institution, where, owing to the vigilance and discipline exercised, a timely check was given to her in a course of folly and indiscretion, from which, if persisted in, the worst consequences might be apprehended.

1889 -1900
Magazine

Two new subjects have been added to the school curriculum – Chemistry and Greek. Mr G.S. Newth of South Kensington Science Department, gives the Chemistry Lectures and makes them most interesting to his class by numerous beautiful experiments.

Miss Allnutt conducts the Greek Class and we hope some day that a P.H.C girl will go from us to one of the colleges at Cambridge or Oxford and will reflect as much credit on her school as Miss Agneta Ramsay did on hers. (Agneta was the only candidate placed in the 1st Division of the 1st Class of the Classical Tripos at Cambridge in 1887. Women had been allowed to sit the tripos examinations since 1880 but could not receive the degrees which they had earned till 1948, even later than at Oxford.)

1939 – 1940
Miss Prain, Headmistress, cut out and sewed the black-out curtains for all 279 windows and 9 skylights in School House. Girls living at Dower swapped rooms with School House staff, so that they could answer the call of the air-raid sirens and troop into the cellars with their gas-masks. After France has fallen the chalk-pit in Plantation Wood (now full of refuse) was roofed, providing shelter, should the school be set on fire by incendiary bombs, with electric light installed and plenty of tinned food stored. Boys from Watford Grammar School occupied the house in their summer holidays and worked on nearby farms. Miss Mary Beattie, who thirty years on would chair the Board of Governors, cooked them breakfast and supper.

black and white photo of the princess helena college school magazine


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