I had a wonderful day on Friday celebrating the 125th Anniversary of my old school's old girls' club...you might need to read that twice. During the 1970s I was a fortunate to be a pupil at very special school, Mary Datchelor Girls' School (MDGS) in Camberwell, South London. Sadly it closed its doors for the last time 33 years ago. My Mum was also a pupil and I really had hoped that one day my own daughter might get the chance to attend. Sadly that was not to be. I will not get into politics here but let's just say that a change in government in the mid 1970s led to the closing of most of the grammar schools in England. MDGS was a very small school (just 90 pupils in each year) and could not have existed in its location as a comprehensive. Rather than change the whole character and ethos of the school the governors decided to close it in 1981.
Mary Datchelor founded her school in 1877 to educate girls from poor backgrounds. Some years after it opened it found itself in financial trouble. The Clothworkers' Company (one of the ancient London livery companies) stepped in to become a benefactor and took over the management of the school. There is a link to it here . It played a very large role in the life of the school. Despite the school closing so many years ago the Old Girls' club is flourishing with new members joining each year. It now has over 850 members. That is quite extraordinary for a school which no longer exists.
On Friday 180 old girls plus some distinguished guests gathered for an afternoon tea at the Clothworkers' Hall in London. Our old school buildings in Camberwell were turned into luxury flats many years ago. The Clothworkers' Hall is a beautiful building near the Monument, a really interesting part of the city where ancient buildings meet modern ones and all seem to coexist perfectly well.
The photo below is the court where the hall is situated. It has been rebuilt on this site 9 times, the last time it was damaged was after extensive bombing during the 2nd World War. The coat of arms is very interesting as it is also seen on our school badge. Our school motto was also the same, "My trust is in God alone". We were to spot this theme many times during out visit. The last time I visited the hall was in 1977 when the 6th form were invited to celebrate the schools' centenary. The only memory of the building I have from this time was of the stone staircase inside.
Just around the corner is The Monument where the Great Fire of London is remembered
I have digressed...so back to the Clothworkers' Hall......we were greeted at the entrance
and went inside to collect our name badges. There were also commemorative mugs which had been commissioned for us to buy.
At 2 pm we made our way up the stairs to the reception rooms. This was the staircase I remember from 1977 with lovely tapestry wall hangings.
Here is our Motto again or should I say that of the Clothworkers!
We enjoyed sweet and savoury delicacies.
Special MDGS serviettes had been printed
even the seats have the motto in gold...
Time, as always, was not on our side and before we knew it was 5.30pm and time for us to make our way home after the most extraordinary afternoon. I would really like to thank the organizers again for all their hard work in bringing this event to life. I now have some wonderful new school memories to treasure and it was so appropriate l that I shared my day with my dearest friend Karen.
For my card challenge today I decided to make an inspirational tag of the day, bringing together some of my memories and based on a very thought provoking Tim Holtz quote stamp......here is a sneak peak
Below is my tag in its entirety. I photographed it on the pages of my favourite book of piano music from my days in the 6th form at school; Scott Joplin's Piano Rags. My piano teacher and I used to also play duets of this, happy days. I still play "The Entertainer" even now.
......................... and hear laughter............................
........................................................ and music.
I would like to enter my tag into the following challenges;
A Vintage Journey fond memories
Country View Nature's Glories
Natalie and Amy Rubber stamping
Visible Image Anything Goes
Crafting Musketeers Anything but square
Penny Black and More anything goes
Stamping Sensations anything goes
Totally Gorjuss don't be square
Pan Pastel UK colour palette I have used the colour palette of my school uniform ie navy,yellow/gold
I hope you enjoyed my little piece of history I have shared here today. Thanks for visiting.
Bye for now,