Thursday, 9 August 2012

A Tribute to Miss Evelyn-Smith and her colleagues...

Miss Evelyn-Smith arrived at Godolphin School in 1925. Of all the teachers at Godolphin, the archive paints the clearest picture of Miss E-S. Among some documents I found this CV which at first didn’t seem to be identifiable. Miss E-S’s name doesn’t appear anywhere. 

How many people do you know that have bee-keeping on their CV?!
However, on finding the document below, it became apparent that the two belong to each other. Domestic science training and training at Swanley Horticulture College appear on both papers with the same dates. So, although the CV has no name, the presence of this second document allows us to assume it belongs to Margery Evelyn-Smith!
Miss Evelyn-Smith's examination certificate
This 3rd document further cements our assumption that the CV is Miss E-S’ and what is more, if we’d wondered what subject Miss E-S  taught, the Teachers’ Registration Council certificate of membership states her teacher training was in domestic science. I think we can safely assume that Miss E-S was a domestic science teacher. However, as you’ll know from reading my previous blog, she was very involved in Godolphin School’s drama productions as well as other aspects of school life. In some of the memoirs I have been perusing lately, the bond between teachers and students is clearly very strong. These mistresses devoted their entire lives to the development of the girls.
Many girls were sent here because Godolphin had a reputation for providing a broad education where young women were encouraged to think for themselves and shine. Mary Cartwright, one of the first female mathematicians, began her study of mathematics at Godolphin, in a time when elsewhere girls were not ordinarily taught such subjects.  
A Godolphin history mistress was quoted in The Graphic (15th July 1922): ‘now that women have votes we have no time to waste over military campaigns. Future citizenesses must be prepared for the intelligent discharge of their civic duties.’ This was all part of a broad education that set the girls up to face the world. I believe it was teachers like Miss E-S who devoted so much of their time not only to teaching but to extra-curricular activities that made Godolphin such a fertile ground for learning. The harmony between work and play enabled the students to flourish.
I have just begun to catalogue the photo albums in the collection and this harmony can be felt very strongly here. In my next post I will be sure to include some of these images. Many a tea party, a sports match and a teacher have been captured in the girls’ school snaps. Including a tiny one of Miss E-S herself...
A lacrosse match of the 1920s – a sport at which the current students still excel

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