Girls, girls, girls


Form VI A 1938, Otago Girls High School

Recently, I rediscovered a photo of my grandmother and her classmates in 1938, hidden in one of my family history books. On the reverse, in my grandmother’s scrawl, are written the names of her fellow schoolgirls.

As I recognise my grandmother, Gwen and her best friend, Daphne in the front row of the picture, I believe the girls in the photo are as follows (L-R):

BACK: Phyllis Jones, Joyce Clayton, Kay Bell, Pat Johnson

FRONT: Daphne Morrison, Pauline Gapper, Merle Wildey, Gwen Buchan, Molly Spackman

Phyllis Jones, Joyce Clayton, Kay Bell, Pat Johnson, Daphne Morrison, Pauline Gapper, Merle Wildey, Gwen Buchan, Molly Spackman

The photo seems to have been taken on the main entrance steps of the building as seen here in a more recent photo on the Otago Girls High School website:

Otago Girls High School via school site

Hopefully, some of these girls’ family members will see this photo here one day.

Punishment Book

I am fortunate enough to have access to the log books for Rayne School in Essex. Although I have no ancestors from these parts, they still make for fascinating reading. One is ominously labelled, ‘Punishment Book’ and contains genealogical treasures within. Unfortunately, quite a few pages are missing but the pages from May 1923 to May 1933 survive and record the names of children and their offences.

The majority of punishable behaviour seems to consist of persistent inattention, talking and unspecified ‘misbehaviour’. But sometimes a tiny bit of detail is given forĀ our amusement. William Childs, for example, received 2 strokes on the hand with a strap for ‘Damaging Phyllis Gilder’s hat’. Lucy Yeldham ‘deliberately’ broke a ruler and promptly received 2 strokes. Thomas Coe, Leonard Carder and Harold Dawes each got 2 strokes on separate occasions for ‘Wasting Time’ (this one particularly makes me chuckle).
The same names tend to keep cropping up. Often in trouble, William Livermore at one time received 4 strokes for throwing a lighted match at a girl. This didn’t seem to deter him as he was given 2 more strokes a month later for ‘Striking matches’. The Livermores seemed to be a difficult family as Stanley Livermore (possibly William’s sibling) was once given 2 strokes for biting J. Newman and Ernest Livermore was also punished a few times.
Another repeat offender, Albert Olley got 2 strokesĀ for ‘Squirting dirty water over girls on way home from school’ and then two more the next day for ‘Again interfering with girls on way home from school’, among many other offences.
I plan to catalogue the names in this book and will probably list them here for any one researching family in Rayne.

[image source unknown]