1937-39 JANE CULLEN NÉE GREENER

I have certainly not “long forgotten” you! And I shall always remember your arrival at Fawcett House, younger than all of us. I thought how plucky you were, coming from far-away Antigua to boarding school like that. (Not that you probably had much say in the matter but anyway you were brave and cheerful). I was so pleased to get your letter and most interested in the reason for it. Undoubtedly fine things were instilled into us, and at our most impressionable age. Eva had the greater influence on me, as she was Housemistress for the-three years I was at Godolphin. I can only remember Polly as being second Housemistress my last term; otherwise the only contact was in Divinity classes. That was enough to make one very fond of her. It would be hard to imagine anyone being unaware of her goodness and kindness. Eva’s influence on me was profound and to a certain lesser extent, I think, on my elder sister Rosamund. In trying to quantify it (although that’s probably the wrong word) the main things that impressed me at 13-16 were fairness, firmness, kindness, humour and shrewdness. She had great insight, and treated us all in an individual way. This penetration could be most disconcerting, couldn’t it? But for me, for one, she showed me myself, and what I should do about it, and I shall always be grateful. She was perhaps more a woman of the world than some of her spinster contemporaries, having travelled the world a bit. In fact it was on board a ship coming, I think, from Australia via the West Indies, that my father met her. On hearing she ran a House at Godolphin School my father straightaway entered his daughters, and never looked at any other schools: That says something for Eva’s personality, for my father was a strong character, and not short of energy and ideas. By the time she died (I was fortunate to be able to go to her service) a whole generation was probably considering her ideals old-fashioned, but high standards like hers stand the test of time and remain as goals well worth the striving for – and perhaps all the more so in a world so vastly different from Eva’s when she first arrived at Godolphin. It was this enormous change in our world that prompted your letter, and I seem to have come back to it naturally rather than by design. I don’t know if these thoughts were what you had in mind, or whether you wanted something more personal and individual – but here’s for starters! Anyway, thank you for writing. I really enjoyed hearing from you and I hope you will collect the sort of material you want for your recollections.

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