1936-39 MARGARET BROWN NÉE TAYLOR

I was very amused and interested with your letter! I think is a great effort on your part – and you may have some fascinating remembrances!

I recall you going through great misery because Eva M. was commissioned to buy your clothes at one point (because of your mother being abroad) and you hated her choice!!

Yes, I was so glad I looked up Anne Anderson (nee Harvey) only about 6 months before she died (finding myself staying with a step-sister in Farnham). We had a lovely chuckle together and I was so sad to see her death. I never had `Polly’ as a Housemistress, though she struggled to teach me Divinity! And was a dear lady. Old ‘Eva’ I had of course for my Housemistress in Fawcett for all of the 4 years. I never found her very approachable – or warm – but I know she was doing a hard job looking after us all. I think she ran an excellent House, with the standards of the day, and fed us well; but I look back at much of it all in almost uncomprehending wonder!! And although I was reasonably happy at the time with friends etc., I hated the complete lack of privacy (used to read my library books in the loo!), life totally ruled by bells – and the clock – the cold! Cold washing water, cold silk shirts on Sundays! Far too much emphasis on games (especially hateful cricket in summer!); going to bed early on summer evenings with the sun shining outside it seemed! Although I never suffered, I think girls could be cruel, and snobbish about some girls, and there was no idea of training us to be future wives and mothers. In fact, we were all supposed to behave as if the male race didn’t exist! And weren’t we all young for our ages – and kept that way! Do you remember those fantastic `dances’ when we all danced round with each other?’

I have kept in touch all these years with Jane Cullen (nee Greener) – went to her Golden Wedding about 5 years ago, and am Godmother to her eldest child (she had 6). Good luck to your research! I have rambled on; perhaps omitted to say in all fairness that I think we had a very good education and a good grounding in my love of literature, poetry and music – even if I didn’t perhaps realise it at the time.

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