News from the PHC Archives: Part Seven

News from the PHC Archives: Part Seven

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The move to Temple Dinsley

In 1935 Princess Helena College moved from Ealing to its current home in the village of Preston, Hertfordshire. Here we share an extract from the 1935 edition of the school magazine, where the Head at the time, Miss Prain, reflects on the move…

It is only a year since a taxi deposited me, the housekeeper and two maids at the door of a big strange empty building, noisy with workmen and saturated with dust, and I wondered if it would ever get the same comfortable, familiar, friendly feeling that welcomed one at the Ealing PHC, even in its holiday garb of dust sheets. There need have been no doubt – in an incredibly short time chaos was routed, strangeness vanished, the adaptations necessary to new conditions were discovered and the life of PHC flowed on at Temple Dinsley as smoothly as before, and what is more, all the stronger for the change. Today house and gardens smiled brightly through the haze of sunshine about everything and I knew they were waiting for the rush of young life which would flood them again in a few weeks, with the same aims and achievements, hopes and fears, laughter and longings from which we built up our associations with the old college at Ealing.

As some of you may have realised, it took courage and vision to make big change, to uproot PHC from its home of fifty years and plant it afresh as a country school, in such new surroundings: even more perhaps, to spend freely on making those surroundings as perfect as we now have them. But the results speak for themselves. The girls at school now would not for worlds go back to Ealing after enjoying the freedom and opportunities which Temple Dinsley gives them.

Perhaps one of the most pleasant results has been the number of Old Girls who, coming to see us, have felt that PHC in its beautiful new home is just right, something to be more proud of than ever, and theirs just as much as the old place was. Nearly 150 Old Girls came to the Garden Party on 25 July: it was delightful seeing them again, and my only regret was that in so many cases there was no time for more than the first greeting. Do come again, more individually, whenever you can – Hitchin is really quite easily reached from London, and you will always be very welcome, even to the extent of being met at the station if we can possibly manage it!

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