Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A few of my favourite things (so far)

Whilst sorting the boxes I have come across some wonderful items. Some of the highlights have been:


- a French exam paper circa. 1930

- an order of service for the school's bicentenary service held in Westminster Abbey in 1926 

- a book of excellence from 1890-97.

This particular booklet belonged to a J Barber
The French exam paper fills an entire booklet (perhaps because it was used for several years?). Having glanced at some of the translation exercises, I am amazed at how much language has changed! The vocabulary is probably more difficult compared to what I was expected to learn when doing French GCSE, but the sentence structure is really what struck me! Much of it is written in a very convoluted way. Was this really how people spoke? Or was it just a test of one's ability to construct a difficult (and bizarre) sentence in another language?!

Westminster Abbey is a very special place for all Godolphins. Every year a commemoration service (known affectionately as commem.) is held here. It as a service of thanksgiving and a chance for the girls to pay their respects to their founder,  Elizabeth Godolphin, whose tomb lies in Westminster.

The school crest is proudly displayed on the front
This order of service from the 1926 bicentenary service is not the only copy in the collection. Many of them have found their way back to the school. It was clearly a memorable service for all the Godolphin girls and Old Girls (ex-students) who were part of the school's life at the time. Hence so many held onto their order of service and didn't see fit to throw them away even after a clear out. They are safely part of the collection now.

 The book of excellence or the 'excellent' book, as described on the front, contains the names of girls who exceeded regularly in a particular subject. Dating from the late 19th century, it is the oldest item I have found in the collection so far...

It is interesting to note the different subjects the girls did: arithmetic, algebra, grammar and drawing to name but a few. This is an item that may be of great interest to those who know a relative that studied at Godolphin between 1891-97 as they might find a familiar name among the pages and pages of names in this book. 
My hope for the electronic record is that it will make items like this easier to find. A researcher will be able to search for a particular date and find the exact locations of all the items with that date. Something that has not yet been possible with this collection.

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