Friday, 12 October 2012

You think this rain is bad...

We've been having some pretty horrid weather in St Andrews the past couple of days. But take a look at these photos of when the town flooded in July 1916, and we thought this summer was wet! These photos show what happened when the Kinnessburn burst its banks.

Kinn.B 030
This photo shows Kinnessburn Road, taken from South Bridge Street (foot of Melbourne Brae).  On the right corner is A P Gracie, Wine Merchant, which is no longer there. The shop on the left is now Adamson Hairdressers.

Kinn.B 030.1
Here we can see the flooding at the  rear of the houses at the junction of Kinnessburn Road and Melbourne Brae.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Great Parasol Challenge

Umbrellas and parasols before repacking
Parasols and umbrellas before repacking

Over the last year, I have been working with two volunteers, Anne and Linda, to entirely repack our costume and textile collection.  This presented a huge challenge, previously there was no order to how the objects were packed - some boxes contained a quilt, a wedding dress, a victorian mourning gown, a pair of trainers and a top hat!

An early plan for parasol storage
One huge puzzle to us was what exactly to do with the parasols and umbrellas.  Previously they have been stored in an umbrella stand which had caused a few of them to deterioriate.  Space was a major consideration, so I was keen to use existing boxes on convert them into a suitable storage solution.

After consultation with the Scottish Conservation Studio at Hopetoun House, I came up with a plan which involved using plastazote to build supports inside acid free boxes. Another good resource for practical tips on packing parasols can be found here

So, on Tuesday the 9th October we set about putting this plan into action.  Thanks to all our careful preparation, the morning went exactly to plan, and the project has been a great success! First we built up two layers of plastazote.  We laid out the objects where we wanted them and drew outlines of them on the plastazote, and cut out the shape.  The umbrellas and parasols were then photographed and  wrapped loosely enough that they were not being forced closed, but tight enough to ensure that there was no strain being put on their spokes.  The wrappings also ensured that they don't touch eachother.  The ends were not sealed to ensure airflow into the interior.   Another two layers of plastazote were put on top, then a third on which we repated the process of drawing round the umbrellas and parasols.  You will notice that the boxes are not completely full to allow for the storage of some new parasols in the future. We do have some smaller and larger parasols, and some broken ones that will be packed into another box in a less standard arrangement.

All the parasols and umbrellas were photographed and await the addition of labels which will include their descriptions and photos, after which they should be safely stored for a longtime to come!

layer 1 pre-wrapping
layer 2 pre-wrapping
all wrapped up!
Here are the parasols / umbrellas with their labels on:
The plastazote was bought from PEL, and we used their Neutral PH Adhesive to glue the supports together. 

Monday, 27 August 2012

Autumn Fair 2012

This Saturday, 1st September, The St Andrews Preservation Trust will be holding its Autumn Fair!   Stall include arts and crafts, cake and candy (yum!), bric a brac, second hand books, plants and vegetables, and lots more. 
Fingers crossed for sunshine, but if the weather is not in our favour, the Fair will be held accross the raod in All Saints Hall.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Lights On Fife : Photography Competition

Lights on Fife : Help us illuminate the gems in the kingdom’s rich and diverse museum collections

Fife Museums Forum invite you to take part in a photography competition and make your own individual contribution to celebrating the fascinating, inspiring and varied heritage, art and culture of the area.  Over the course of September we hope you’ll visit as many of Fife Museums as you can (or at least the one closest to where you live or are holidaying!) and take photographs of the wonderful things you will see there.  We would ask that you stick to inanimate objects and don’t start snapping fellow visitors, no matter how wonderful they are! 

Why not make the most of Doors Open Days and visit participating museums over three Sundays (2nd for East area, 9th  for Central and 16th  for West Fife) in September.  For more information see

Send your best picture to the forum via

Get ideas, keep up to date with the competition and eventually see the winning results on our ‘We Love Museums in Fife’ Flickr Page.

The winning entries will receive prizes and feature in an exhibition to be shown at several of Fife’s fantastic museums over the coming months.

This competition is open to all ages, is free to take part in and will close on the 30th of September 2012.      
We look forward to seeing and sharing the results.

Fife Museums Forum

Participating Venues:

Terms and Conditions  
1.      The competition is open to anyone
2.      You must be the copyright owner of any works submitted
3.      All submitted images must have been taken in a museum in Fife
4.      Multiple entries are permitted.
5.      Some objects may not be suitable for photographing, please consult individual venues photography policies.
6.      The photographer must have permission from those featured in the submitted image.
7.      All submitted images must be accompanied by the photographer’s full name, date of birth and contact details.
8.      Although the competition runs throughout September 2012, photos taken prior to this date are permitted for submission.
9.      Submitted images remain copyright of the entrant, however the Fife Museums Forum reserves the right to publish the images in related print and online.
10.  All entrants agree to take part in publicity related to the competition.
11.  Submitted images that the Forum deems to be offensive in any way will be disqualified from the competition.
12.  Any entry found not to comply with the Terms and Conditions will be disqualified from the competition.
13.  All entries submitted after 30th September 2012 will not be counted.
The rights shall be applied to all existing and future media including but not limited to: hard copies, CD Roms, DVD-Roms, computers, servers and the internet, and press and marketing networks.
By entering this competition you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Behind the scenes

By Linda Clifford

Behind the scenes at the museum is great fun on Tuesday mornings. This is when Jennifer the curator, Anne Thorne and Linda Clifford get together to explore the secrets behind the curtain in the back room at 4 Queen’s Gardens: otherwise known as the offices of the Preservation Trust. The treasures hidden there can be fascinating or mundane and some can even be “whoever would accession that?!” but they are never boring.

In 2011 Jennifer decided that she would like to sort out all of the costume collection and store it in a more user friendly fashion. So one fine week in August the work began but no-one realised just what a task they had taken on. Do any of you know how many pairs of shoes, or the number of hats, or the quantity of mourning clothes the museum possesses? Well, now, thanks to Jennifer’s new system you can soon find out BUT woe betide any of you if you decide to open and examine any of them - there is a lot of work involved in repacking them. Jennifer taught us the correct way to pack and store costumes in tissue paper and then into the appropriate box. Slide-out drawer boxes were provided for the shoes and small accessories with hat boxes purchased for the many items of headgear. No future curator will have any problems finding just what they are looking for in the costume store.

Jennifer then turned her attention to the picture collection – another monumental task. Every picture has been photographed (photographer Anne Thorne at work here, and again this was a learning curve to figure out the best angle to do the picture justice) and they now all bear a label with a photo and description making them easier to identify when required for an exhibition. Anne and Linda are now able to find their way around when repacking items from exhibitions but there is still a lot to do and Jennifer is sure to find more and more tasks for the enthusiastic duo.

The article below was written by Volunteer Frances Humphries for our Volutneer Magazine "The Museum Times".


by Frances Humphries

As a youngster I was told of two toll houses in St. Andrews.  I lived close to one – the Argyle Street Toll (called the Argyle Port Toll) which was at the beginning of Hepburn Gardens at the short drive-way down to Cockshaugh Park and which is still there.  At this one I also remember the horse trough and the weigh-bridge which were sited at the side of the cottage. The second toll which had disappeared was on Abbey Walk, opposite the Cottage Hospital at the corner of Abbey Walk and Balfour Place (called the Shorebridge Toll). The other toll I was familiar with was the one on the Guardbridge Road which is still in place. (not of course in St. Andrews).

A group of museum volunteers have been working in the museum store at Queens Gardens.  Joy Steele was my partner and we worked away opening boxes, checking the content to make sure they were accessioned (with a number) and were what they should be.  One of the days we were working our way slowly through a box of documents when my eye caught an address on a letter dated 1821.  I could not believe what I saw -  THE TOLL HOUSE, LARGO ROAD.  Was this just a house name or was it a toll house?  I thought long and hard about it and decided it was logical to have a toll on the main road leading from St. Andrews to Largo.  Having read many books on the history of our town I had no recollection of seeing anything relating to a toll house on that road.  The next step was to try to find some confirmation of this.

This I found in a Valuation Roll of 1915 – there it was Toll House, Largo Road. The entry stated ‘old tollhouse and garden owned by James Ritchie, solicitor, and tenanted by Andrew Kirk’.  I then started to read The Roads of Fife by Owen Silver (published in 1987) and although I could not find anything written about this toll there was a map showing the tollbars recorded 1817-1850 with the three in St.Andrews and all being in use in 1816.

The next question was where was this Toll House?   Unfortunately I have so far been unable to definitely place this.  I spoke to an 87 year old St. Andrean who remembers her mother talking about a toll house at the beginning of the Canongate, roughly where the telephone box is now to be found. How accurate this is I do not know but I will continue to look for answers.

Toll houses were built beside the toll-gates and acted as both house and office for the person employed to collect the tolls.  These tolls were used for the upkeep of the roads. Many of the toll houses were simple cottages but a few were of a distinctive design with a round room.  An example of this is the one found on the Guardbridge Road.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

12 North Street

Fig. 1 12 North Street before renovation in 1937
The Museum building is as interesting as the exhibits it is home to. Since starting work for The Trust I have been fascinated by its various incarnations and uses. Visitors regularly enquire as to its original layout and how the rooms were used after its conversion into a family home. Recently I obtained copies of the plans for the building pre and post renovation in the late 1930s from the University of St Andrews Special Collections. This has cleared up a lot of things that have puzzled me about the building, as well as introducing me to some new ones! Some facts we had long presumed about the building have proved to be false as well – probably the first time I have not minded being proved wrong!

First, to give you a potted history of the building itself. The site on which it stands is in one of the oldest settled parts of the town, dating back to c.1140 – the time of the foundation of the Burgh of St Andrews. Although there has been a dwelling on this site since around 1140, the present building probably dates from the late 1600s. Originally built to house one family, records show that during the 18th and 19th centuries the house tended to be owned by wealthy St Andrews merchants who let the property to families from the fisher community.

Ownership of the site is unknown until 1576. The house that stood here then belonged to a John Reid and was described as having on the east side “The Archdeacon’s Yard or Garden” (Dean’s Court), and on the south side, the “Great Tenement” known as the “Old Inns”. 

Fig. 2 12 North Street and the adjoining property prior to restoration
Image courtesy of The University of St Andrews Special Collections
The census records of 1851-1891 indicate that, by this time, No.12 North Street was a four roomed dwelling, with each room containing one family of up to nine persons. Two outer doors (now converted into windows either side of the remaining door) served the two homes on the ground floor, and the third, centre door opened onto a staircase which led to the first floor accommodation which had a net-loft above (Fig. 1).  

The Government’s attempts to eradicate slum housing in the 1930s saw a demolition order being served on No.12 North Street. In 1937 it was saved by a local architect, James Hoey Scott. Scott bought both No.12 and the adjacent property, creating a large family home. Although the buildings were altered considerably, Scott was determined to retain old features wherever possible. A keen antiquarian, he rescued many objects from other condemned houses and placed them in his own home. A good example of these are the marriage lintel above the fireplace downstairs and the recycled posts from a four poster bed which hold up the minstrel’s gallery upstairs. During the reconstructions, a woman’s skull, thought to be that of a teacher, was found in one of the walls.

One of the earliest restoration of its type, No.’s 12-20 North Street served as an example to other private restorers. In 1938, the Medical Officer of Health’s report to the St Andrews Town Council declared that “the alterations which have been effected comprise one of the best illustrations of what can be done towards preserving old buildings which I have ever seen”.

In 1962, the house was purchased by The St Andrews Preservation Trust and remodelled into its present form, a remodelling made possible by a generous bequest from Miss Janet Low. It has been a museum since 1977, though previously the Trust had used it for exhibitions, calling it the “House Museum”
Fig. 3 Floor plan of ground floor 12 North Street prior to restoration
Image courtesy of The University of St Andrews Special Collections

The plans for the building pre-renovation, (Fig 2) show the exterior of the building as we understood from photographs (Fig 1); it was harled, there were three front doors, no front garden, a pend running between it and the adjacent property and much fewer windows on the back. The plans prove what we had presumed about the building being over three floors with the loft being used for drying nets, and that the central doorway led to a staircase. The first thing that surprised me was the “washhouse” marked on the plans – what is now a reconstructed chemist shop in the museum (Fig 3). I had always thought this to be an addition by Scott, who refers to is as his “sun room”. The plans also show two outdoor W.C.s in the back garden, separate from the original building, of which I have never heard anyone talk of. I have always been curious about a strange part of the wall in the back garden that contains red brick when the rest is made of stone, and appears to have been painted at some point. It seems that this is the likely spot where the outdoor toilets stood.

Fig 4 Photo of the back of 12 North Street before new windows
were added.   Interestingly, the outside W.C. can be seen
in this photo, but no one had noticed them before!
The second set of plans show Scott’s proposed alterations to 12 North Street and the adjoining property. You can see the obvious alterations he made by simply looking at the outside of the building; that is the bricking up of the close between the properties, the addition of a front garden and the conversion of the two of the front doors into windows. At the back of the building you can see his drastic plan to increase the number of windows in the buildings. In fact, there are actually two more new windows than are proposed on the plans! The museum building went from having four windows to eight, and the adjacent property went from six to eleven! Scott obviously liked natural light. Original window lintels can still be seen in the walls of the rear of the building beside the modern lintels that replaced them, though these were installed long before Scott’s alterations.

Fig. 5 Floor plan of the building after renovation
Image courtesy of The University of St Andrews Special Collections

I had wondered how the two properties were joined together, and my suspicions were proved correct when the plans revealed that there was a doorway between the two where the Post Office display now is in the museum (fig. 5). I was very surprised to notice that there was no staircase on the museums side of the plans at all! The staircase that is now in the museum must have been added during the conversion back to two separate properties in the 1960s. Interesting also is the provision of quarters for a maid, Scott was clearly a man of money.

In the museum collection is this odd watercolour (Fig 6) of the interior of the building when it was in use as a family home; I have never quite been able to figure it out as it shows so many features that do not now exist. Now that I have the plans to compare it too, I can see that is shows a fireplace which is now covered up by the staircase installed in the 1960s. It also shows the view through to the adjacent property, now bricked up.

Fig.6 Watercolour of interior of 12 North Street when it
was in use as a family home
Fig. 7 The same view today, showing the bricked up doorway
and addition of the staricase where a firplace used to stand.

There is no mention on either of the plans for the outdoor privy which was restored by the Trust around ten years ago. The plans show that the garden extended only to the first wall, and it is possible that the privy was classed as belonging to another property.

There are still many many things that intrigue me about the building – I would love to know how it was laid out when it was first built, surely if it was built for one family it would have no need for three front doors? Downstairs in the museum you can see the names of polish soldiers carved into the beams as well as polish insignia nailed to one of the posts – does anyone know how they got there? The gardens is a jigsaw of small parts of land acquired by the trust at various different points over the last 50 years, it would be interesting to know to whom the land was originally intended to belong to when the properties were built. The list of questions is endless, and something tells me the building has not given up all its secrets quite yet.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Arsenic Poisoning

I recieved the following enquiry recently and though it would be worth sharing such an interesting story.

Robert Pratt's butchers shop on Market Street c1870.  Not the butcher who
manufactured the poisonous sausages!

Is it true that a butcher in St Andrews once poisoned University students by putting arsenic in his sausages?

In a word, yes.   On Friday January 15th 1943, a batch of poisonous sausages killed two people and a dog in St Andrews with a further 115 cases of illness. The victims’ names were Claude Arthur Cuthbert, an officer in the Royal Observer Corps, and Susan Garland Ryan.  Up to 115 residents of St Andrews were affected by the sausages – a large batch of them went to St Salvator’s halls of residence!  The sausages were traced back to J. Martin and Sons, Butchers at 2 South Street St Andrews.  

Further inspection of the sausages and of samples from the deceased showed that the original batch of sausage meat contained roughly 100 grams of arsenic per lb.,  Remnants from this batch were apparently mixed with fresh sausage meat to make a second batch of sausages with considerably less arsenic, and this was then mixed again to make a third batch.    It was sausages from the second and third batches that were supposedly consumed by students and staff at St Salvator’s Hall. –Apparently they ate them in toad in the hole.   Approximately 90 men fell ill, some quite seriously.   Reports state that the first batch of sausages contained up to 600mg of arsenic each, it is remarkable that only two deaths occurred as as little as 200mg of arsenic can prove fatal.

An investigation followed and no source of arsenic could be found on the butcher’s premises and no explanation could be given by employees as to how it got into the meat.  No chemist shop carried the amount of arsenic required for the quantities found in the sausages, and no laboratory or store had reported a theft.   Restrictions under the Arsenic Act 1851 meant that all sales of arsenic had to be recorded, but even this could not give a clue to the origins of the poison.   The case was never solved.    Many have speculated over the years on dark motives for the crime, a common one involving the serving RAF officers that were enrolled as students at the university at the time.   But, it is much more likely that the poisoning was accidental, and no one was ever prosecutated of the incedent.   A follow up study of survivors in 1978 showed no long term chronic problems that could be attributed to the incident.

Monday, 23 April 2012

A Grand Fancy Bazaar

Academic Group at Fundraising Bazaar 1895 SAAPT P00l. 111
On Thursday 22nd August 1895, a "Grand Fancy Bazaar" was held in the grounds of United College by the Marquis ofBute. This event was intended to raise money to clear the debts of the University ofSt Andrews Students' Union. It included a variety of different forms of entertainment, amongst which was a shooting gallery and Gypsies. But, most interestingly, the programme included, as The St Andrews Citizen newspaper advertised, "Edison's three latest marvels - the Phonograph, Kinetoscope and Kinetophone". Research suggests that this was the first time Thomas Edison's Kinetophone had made its debut in the United Kingdom. The Kinetophone was a box which housed a series of moving pictures, which, when viewed by individuals through a peephole, showed what we understand today as 'film'. 

At the time, The Citizen said of this exhibition "all who took the opportunity of testing on this first exhibition in the United Kingdom, are loud in its praises". The Kinetoscope, which would often play at fairs and travelling exhibitions, housed a moving series of photographs inside a box viewed privately by individuals through a peephole. A number of the early films for this device still survive today, including a film of the celebrated European strongman 'Sandow', many of dancing women (like 'Carmencita') and another film ntitled 'Boxing Cats'. These short films, under a minute in length, borrow heavily from vaudeville. They highlight movement, display bodies in motion and from the outset presented the opportunity for men and, in particular, women to 'safely' view forbidden subjects. The Kinetophone connected the Kinetoscope to a Phonograph audio player. However, the Kinetophone would prove to be a very short-lived and unprofitable technology. There were sporadic appearances afterwards, for example in Dundee and Edinburgh in December 1895. At Edinburgh, the films shown on the Kinetophone included Edison's Highland Dance and 'a "Trilby" Burlesque dance to the accompaniment of music' . It is likely that these films would have been available to those attending the University Bazaar in August 1895.

Cinemas at this time tended to be little more than side shows to other attractions. Travelling shows, like the Lammas Market in St Andrews, often had tents that had been adapted to show short films. Enterprising fairground showmen saw the early potential of cinema and began to incorporate cinematographic shows with their other acts. Early films were not the motion pictures we know today, instead they showed simple shots of everyday life, usually with little narrative, which tended to be of local interest and were very much aimed at the working classes.
The Grand Fancy Bazaar would mark the start of the town's interest in the moving image; an interest that over the next 117 years has seen film played in strange and wonderful places from a converted church to purpose built cinemas.

For more information about cinemas in St Andrews, please visit

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Early Days at St Leonards

This article was written by one of our volunteers for the January 2012 issue of our Volunteer Newsletter.

Early days at St Leonards

By Betty Bushnell

Queen Mary's, St Leonards School Library
by Malcom Patterson
By the mid-1860s St Andrews had lost the last of its small private schools for the education of “gentlemen’s daughters”. In any case, the whole status of women was to undergo an enormous change within the next few decades (The American Suffrage Association predates the British, dating back to the 1860s and must have led to stirrings in Europe).

St Andrews’ Professors had wives and daughters who, if they had not themselves been among the pioneers at the College at Hitchin which was the forerunner of Girton College, Cambridge, they would have had friends and relatives there. In fact, Rachel Cook, daughter of the St Andrews’ Professor of Hebrew was one of the first six students at Hitchin, where she would have met the Aberdonian, Louisa Lumsden.

These Professors – and other professional men – were eager to give their daughters a Public School education equal to that which they gave their sons, rather than the very limited education previously thought appropriate to them.

And so began “St Andrews School for Girls”, launched by a School Council formed of like-minded members of both sexes and a capital of £900 with shares owned by ninety one individuals. They purchased the lease on two houses at the southern end of Queen Street (now Queens Gardens).  There was a long ‘playground’ stretching parallel to Queen Street, up to the garden of the Principal of St Mary’s which must have covered the present back gardens of most of the houses in the street – perhaps those houses initially only had the front gardens across the road.
This ‘playground’ was not intended as somewhere for the young women to stroll, “taking the air”, but as a serious games area where rounders and cricket could be played! The word ‘playground’ in this sense was still in use in the 1930s – and even later, the games pullovers were still called ‘playground jerseys’ in the 1980s.
Originally intended as Day School, the Council was persuaded by enquiries from Professors in Edinburgh and Aberdeen to house a few boarders or ‘House Girls’ as they were originally called.
On October 2nd 1877, Julia Mary Grant, daughter of the Principal of Edinburgh University, was the first of 10 boarders to arrive. She herself has described the journey she and her parents made that day. Taking a cab from their house in Edinburgh to the station, they alighted at Granton, where they travelled by ferry across the Forth to Burntisland. From there they took the train to Leuchars, changing to the St Andrews train (they may also have had to change at Thornton). They eventually arrived at St Andrews Station (where the Jigger Inn now is). They must have then taken the Cross Keys bus (horse-drawn) to the two houses in Queen Street – nowadays known as St Regulus, a University residence; a rather more difficult journey than in the 21st Century!
Next day, the ten House Girls and six mistresses were joined by thirty-four day girls. There was of course no central heating or electricity. They seem to have taken it in turns to have a coal fire in their dormitories. She herself writes, “The towel in my turret cubicle was sometimes frozen stiff!”
There was no school uniform as such, but her trunk was full of the garments  required by the list sent to her parents. It is worth recording: “Dark woollen stockings and cotton ones. Thick woollen combinations with high neck and long sleeves; this item repeated in cotton. Thick long-sleeved nightdresses, flannel petticoats, woollen petticoats, starched white petticoats.  Serge frocks for school and cashmere for Sunday, velveteen ones for evening, silky alpaca ones for parties. Lace boots, button boots. Long grey Ulster (raincoat) for weekday, camel hair coat for best. Hair ribbons, thick kid gloves, coloured silk mittens to match party frocks. Stiff linen collars and cuffs, and “yards of scratchy filling to sew into the necks and wrists of gym suits”.
By the time Julia left school in 1881 she had become Head of School. The rapid increase in numbers had led the Council to make a big decision. They were too cramped in their existing quarters and in much need of more room, particularly on the ‘playground’ side.
The decision was made to buy the property of St Leonards near the Cathedral, being the site of the University’s College of St Leonard and some of the College’s buildings. Only the chapel (then without a roof) was left in University hands. The school moved there and took the name of “St Leonards” in 1883, under Miss Dove, Miss Lumsden’s successor – they had been at Hitchin together.
Fifteen years later, Julia Mary Grant became the third headmistress, after previously having been an Assistant Mistress. Under her and her predecessor, Miss Dove, the school rapidly increased in both numbers and in buildings. The main teaching block was greatly extended with the addition first of a hall and gymnasium and a new wing which incorporated the clock tower, the Boarding House of St Rule (divided into east and west) next to the existing House of Bishophall, which had originally been built in the 1860s as a University residence, later becoming the residence of Bishop Wordsworth, a nephew, I think, of the poet. Also built during this period, a little further down the Pends, was the School Hospice, on the site of the New Inns or “Novum Hospitium”. This building was vastly expanded a few years ago to become the present Sixth Form Boys’ House (Ollerenshaw).

Finally, in the procession of building down The Pends, came the School Sanitorium (for infectious diseases; mumps, measles, chickenpox, scarlet fever – all spread rapidly through boarding schools until the last years of the 20th century). The Sanitorium became, much later, St Katherine’s House and is now part of St Leonards New Park, the Junior school of St Leonards. (During this period also, Tom Morris designed in the grounds a nine hole golf course. Archives give no details of exactly where it was – we continue to speculate.
Miss Grant retired in 1906, by which time there were 255 girls in the School and the younger ones had been siphoned off to North Street and The Scores where they had their own premises as St Katherines, the junior School of St Leonards.
Thirty years later when I was a pupil at St Leonards, a frail old lady dressed in black appeared one day on the platform at Prayers beside the then Headmistress; this was Miss Julia M. Grant, third Headmistress, whose portrait hung in the Hall. I did not at that time realise that she had been the first girl to enter the school in 1877. Much later, when I returned to teach, I began reading the history of the school and felt that I had a link with the very beginnings, having met (or at least seen) the very first pupil!