College in One Hundred Objects

To celebrate our landmark 160th anniversary in 2014, we undertook various projects to highlight the legacy of this extraordinary institution. These projects brought together pupils, Guild members (alumnae) and staff in a shared tribute to our distinctive values and atmosphere.

This particular project brings together the collection of items, places and even animals that make up 'College in 100 Objects'. Our grateful thanks go out to all of those who shared their stories in order to create this compilation of treasured memories; there were many more submitted than we could use. I do hope that you find this collection as interesting, varied, rich and evocative as I do.

Eve Jardine-Young (Class of 1990)


The amphitheatre was built in the Quad with funds donated by Guild.

Fifty tonnes of stone, the original Quadrangle cobblestones and four cube crown quercus trees were used in the building project. Mrs Mary Blackburn, Chairman of Guild, opened it on 8 May 2004.

"When I arrived at College, it had only recently been built and the Queen then unveiled a plaque in that quad in the first year I was here. In my time here, it has been used as a playground for Lower College break, somewhere to take group photos and somewhere for musicians to perform. It is also very good at collecting rainwater!"

Becky Revell, Staff


"Having been fortunate enough to work with the Archives staff during the past two years, I have seen a rare glimpse into the history of College, almost since its inception. The Department stores a wealth of historic items, from Victorian science slides, through to original registers taken in class, to trunks, uniform, CLC china, Miss Beale's writing desk, photographs of staff, and far more. The Archives Department truly reflects the spirit, history and essence of College during its lifetime."

Ruth Armstrong, Staff


"The best place by 100 miles was the art department."

Willa Hilditch, 2013

Guild member Amanda Wakeley opened the Fauconberg Art Wing in 1999, replacing Fauconberg House, latterly a Sixth Form Boarding House.

The new art block enabled College to house all Art & Technology activities together, which had not been possible before.


Badges are given to all prefects, as well as some members of sports teams and societies. These are displayed with pride on College jumpers.

"Different badges are a demonstration of everyone's strengths and the diversity of the talents here at College. Badges are a part of who we are!"

Alexandra Beukers, LC3


"I don't know if we have a Banda machine lurking somewhere but I do have some of the sheets with purple printing - sadly they don't smell now but they are in varying degrees of legibility depending whether they were run off at the start or the end of a run!  Girls and staff here before photocopying became common will remember the smell of the banda fluid - as soon as you received your sheet you sniffed it and, if it had just been run off, it was still wet and smelt of the fluid so you were lucky - wonderful! There was no health and safety in those days! Staff will remember purple fingers from the "carbon" sheet, which you had to fix into the Banda (it often took many tries to get it right as you would put the master on the drum the wrong way round and print onto the drum not the paper!), or from the newly run off sheets. If you made a mistake on the master, you had to cross it out or start again. If we were lucky, we were able to produce multi-coloured sheets by slipping in another coloured "carbon" sheet for diagrams. When photocopying became commonplace in the 80s, I remember being told as a member of staff that we should use bandas as much as possible as it was cheaper than photocopying."

Debbie Vass, Staff


"The basement cloakroom at Hatherley, where in the lower forms we spent hours in the evening shining our shoes ready to be inspected, and where we talked incessantly, and much of our formative conversations took place."

Patricia Dunlop (Williams), 1971


"Green woollen bathing costumes with white stripes which could be taken off once a certain distance in the swimming pool was achieved."

Elizabeth Tanner (Bennett), 1962


"The colour of the blazer really stands out and represents the college to me, especially that we (SFC1s) are all required to wear one. Without the blazer a big part of the uniform seems to be lacking, and it loses its representativeness of College."

Pearl Tam, SFC1


Nominated by Isobel McGrigor, SFC2


Bookstation: College's emporium of stationery, greeting cards and gifts, affectionately known as 'Bookie'.

"Bookie! Thank you Bookie for always supplying me with colourful stickers, pens, badges and much more."

Lea Pensoy, UC5


Rather than carrying around money, each girl has a Bookie card which they use to buy items.

"Every single pupil in the school has a Bookie card and every single person loves Bookie. Everyone knows that nerve-racking feeling when you really need something from Bookie and you are hoping that your bookie card is in your pocket, when you feel in your pocket and there it is, a happy feeling comes over you."

Kate Hulett, LC1


"The bridge from the learning support corridor that leads onto the physics department. My favourite place in the school since 1s."

Bisi Adejumo, SFC2


"Brown outdoor walking shoes which had to be shined every single evening until you could see your own reflection! These had to be presented for inspection every day. When I look back it's unbelievable. This totally epitomises the disciplinarian approach of our Housemistress at the time!!!! How things have changed."

Rosalind Pearson (Taylor), 1966


The very small and 'warren-like' corridor between the Marble Corridor and the LC3 cloakroom.

"Definitely the Bunny Run! Its seemingly random changes of direction often caught one out, and attempts to breach the relevant flow of traffic were constant."

Arabella Cabot (di Iorio), 1983

"Where else has a useful short cut that was one way only? It held such magic but it was only a staircase for heaven's sake! How many times did we sneak up or down it trying not to get caught?! Wonderful!"

Glynis Myall (Hughes), 1978


Bunwell's house colours were black and pink. The tie and scarf were both black with pink stripes, and were clearly distinguishable. House colours play an important visual role in College for current girls, staff and Guild.

"I've never come across anything remotely similar and wish I had kept mine!"

Nicki Stuart, 1976


Positioned at the bottom of the Oxford Staircase, the bust of Dorothea Beale is in a particularly prominent spot and is noticed, respected and remembered by all.

"The woman who started it all and set in motion an unstoppable chain reaction that led to women's empowerment in the classroom and ultimately in the workplace. An inspirational trail blazer in women's education - not a bad role model for any Coll gal!"

Julia Wild, 1984


"The Chemistry Lab - exciting experiments and the smell of 'bad egg gas'. Was it sulphur dioxide?"

Jane Fitzsimmons, 1948


"The sticky currant buns we used to get once a week at morning break, with our little glass milk bottles. The tricks we used to play to try to go round again and get another one – house scarves wrapped round the face, swapping ties, taking coats off or putting coats on, etc. They hardly ever worked!"

Tamsin Shelton (Barr), 1984

Although the break time treats have changed over the years, the techniques tried by girls to get a second treat have not!


Displayed above Main Entrance and in various places around College, the crest serves to remind girls, staff and visitors of our heritage.

"It greets me each morning as I enter College. This serves to remind me daily of the College motto and I used the colours in the crest to design the Bellairs tie and scarf, when I founded Bellairs in September 1999."

Tracey Black, Staff


"A very useful way to carry everything we needed for the day, as well as to and from our houses. And, of course, the very sensible rule by which we had to carry our sack in our right hand on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and in our left hand on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays so that we didn't end up lop-sided."

Mary Ellison (Allt), 1949


Girls dumped their sacks in specified spots in College at various times of the day before heading up to the houses. Porters would safely deliver the sacks to the girls so that they didn't have to carry them.

"I can still picture the heaps of fawn canvas sacks piled by the door. It rather epitomised the drabness and simplicity of the daily routine. At the same time, when something went wrong and your sack wasn't there it was a rare opportunity for exploration when you had to go looking for it in other possible places."

Caroline Swain, 1979


"Mendelssohn's Cornelius March being played with gusto by Mr Sanders on either the piano or organ at the end of every leaving prayers. I'd never heard it before, so it is uniquely associated with Coll in my memory and I only have to hear the opening bars 'Da, da, da-da-da-da, da' to be transported back to the PH and particularly to my final day, when a large, unruly group of us on the balcony, sang it out loud under the glaring eye of Miss Hampshire, who from that moment no longer had any authority over us!"

Dragana Hartley (Lukic), 1973


The Covered Way linked the Princess Hall to West Wing. This was built at the same time as West Wing in 1937 (originally housing the Junior and Kindergarten Departments). It was later removed as it was prone to flooding.

"The Covered Way because it was the only place you could run in College!"

Jane Phillips (Douglas), 1967


"The object which I think epitomises CLC is part of the College logo, the daisy. I think it embodies various qualities to which students should aspire. These include individual strength and also that created when linked with others (remember childhood daisy chains?). The simple white and yellow colour creates a powerful visual impact and the circular structure of the flower consists of layers of petals, each of which could be interpreted as a quality we would wish to see in the totally rounded character of all CLC students."

Margaret Stamp, Guild Honorary Member


"If you sit on the windowsill of one particular window in the dance studio, you can see all the rooftops of college, from the Astronomy Dome to Biology, and if you are lucky and it is a clear day, the hills are often lit up with sunlight behind those roofs in the morning. After prayers on Wednesday mornings I am nearly always early for my theatre lesson, and, upon arriving, make a beeline for that windowsill to wait. Below is College, the hustle and bustle, the business, the different buildings beginning to teach their different lessons, and yet if you raise your eyes slightly, all that fades to the bottom of your vision as you see the sunlit hills above and beyond. College is creating the foundations on which our aspirations and dreams can stand: those dreams are always in the background to our daily life in College, and if we ever can't find the point to all we learn, all we need to do is look up."

Helena Hughes, SFC1


"My favourite place in College was my desk space in the corner of the Sixth form Art Studio. This was by the window at the bottom of the wooden stairs, and the room may well not exist by now! This art studio was the territory of the sixth form only, and was presided over by Mrs August, Head of Department in my time. I spent a good proportion of my time there both painting for my A level, and studying my other subjects. It was a private space in a large school, and mine. An amusing incident (at least I thought so!) was when Miss Hampshire was taking the Fire Officer around the building, and, I subsequently learned, clearly having difficulty convincing him that the place was safe. They were in the room before I could retrieve my cassette tape player which was playing Pink Floyd at some volume. The machine was plugged into a power point on the opposite wall, quite some distance. This had necessitated in 2 joins in the lead which I had carefully achieved by joining the wires securely, and then binding with Elastoplast as I had no insulation tape. The Fire Officer's face was memorable, and Miss Hampshire went purple.... I retrieved the player from Miss Hampshire on the day I left, with some difficulty. I was embarrassed to have caused trouble to Mrs August who was great fun, and an inspiring teacher."

Heather Freeman (Tomkinson), 1977


The Beale memorial, erected in 1908, is a key focal point on the Marble Corridor in the heart of the College. It is a constant reminder of our second and longest standing Principal.

"This is where I like to stop and reflect. I love her wise words; they remind me that past, present and future are all linked."

Amanda Thiselton, Staff


"Miss Beale’s desk was placed on a dais so that she could supervise all the teaching that was taking place. The design also incorporated metal runners so that she could easily push the desk out to go and speak to anybody in the hall if she thought that something required her immediate attention. It was popularly known throughout the College as her ‘throne’ and, as such, was a symbol of her lengthening ‘reign’ as Principal which inevitably invited comparison with that of Queen Victoria’s reign over her empire. An original photograph of 1876 shows us that a tall wooden canopy over the desk gave the space some authoritative grandeur. In 1883, an organ was built above the desk to celebrate Miss Beale’s silver wedding to College and, as a result, this original wooden canopy over the ‘throne’ had to be altered so that the pipes could be fitted above it. At around this time curtains were hung either side of the dais to protect the occupant from draughts and to provide a degree of privacy. Portions of these curtains (made from William Morris’s bird pattern fabric) still survive in the Council Room and the Archives Display Room today."

Rachel Roberts, College Archivist


This frieze features eleven inspiring women from literature, history and myth. Tennyson's poem entitled 'Dream of Fair Women' and Chaucer's 'The Legend of Good Women' influenced this theme, but College chose the individual ladies. In 1901, Mr J. Eadie Reid of the Art Department painted the ladies in sections in his studio. They were later deemed unfashionable and were covered up until 1979, the year in which College celebrated its 125th birthday.

"Looking at those graceful women has given me pleasure and interest, no matter how inspirational the speaker! The painting is a potent reminder of Miss Beale's belief that her pupils' environment was important and that it should be as good as any adult's."

Jackie Anderson, Guild Honorary Member


"The Duck-billed Platypus which was in a glass box in my class, 2c. I've seen a real one in New Zealand since then."

Jennifer Graham (Langley-Smith), 1956


Fencing was in fact one of the first sports to be offered to girls at College; our Archives department has photos of girls fencing in the 1890s. This is a sport that has been taught across the centuries, and continues to instil excitement and determination in girls.

"I took up fencing as a beginner in SFC1 when I arrived at College, under the expert coaching instruction of Professor Northam who has coached generations of CLC fencers over the years. For me, this symbolises the excitement, joy and fellowship which comes with facing a new challenge, and my deeply held belief that you are never too old to learn something new.

Eve Jardine-Young, 1990, Principal


"I like nothing more than being at field on a Saturday afternoon, perhaps standing by the big oak tree, and looking around to see all of the pitches full of girls playing sport. The green and white of the CLC kit, the other bright colours of our opponents kit, and lots of cheering parents socialising and supporting on the sidelines. If I’m really lucky I can also go into the sports hall and see badminton matches taking place, and a gala or some recreational swimming in the pool."

Vickie Wilkinson, Staff


The small details such as the floor grates around College, particularly those in the Marble Corridor and the Music Department, are an innate yet unassuming part of our heritage.

"Providing a beautiful environment in which to learn was something Dorothea Beale felt strongly about. They are such a small insignificance, but for me the intricacy of the floor grates around College show a passion that was put into even the minutiae, reflecting the same passion that is put in by every member of the College community in everything they do in support of the College goals. It is the little details like this that make me remember that I may be just a little piece of the jigsaw, but without each one of us College would not be quite the same. (Additionally, they may once have held the College heating system but now they artistically hide many hundreds of metres of electrical and internet cabling which allows College to function on a daily basis – even 160 years later they still have a purpose which benefits the College community.)"

Claire Brocklehurst, Staff


"The naughtiest, most difficult and funniest Tutor Group I ever had, as a goodbye present, gave me a smiling, group photograph of themselves, carefully framed. The girls left half a decade ago: three out of seven are still regularly in touch with me and all but two are still in constant touch with each other. The photo sits on my shelf in S211 and epitomises College for me; the reason why I love College."

Paola di Robilant, Staff


"The front steps, the College name and crest above them. I will never forget walking up them on my interview day and looking up and thinking “Wow, I cannot believe I am about to be interviewed to work here”. I then remember leaving at the end of the day and walking back down the steps then looking back at the crest (feeling somewhat bedraggled after being put through the mill!) and thinking “I really hope this isn’t the last time I see those steps and that crest”. Every day I walk up the steps it still takes my breath away that I am part of all that the sign and crest embodies and I still get the same feeling of reverence as I climb the steps - I hope it never fades."

Alexandra Nestor-Powell, Staff


"In the morning it represents safety and sanctuary. The outside world remains outside. You are through into the College community and nothing alien can get to you. In the evening, it represents freedom. It's your time now. Escape to the house and your space. The teachers cannot get to you. Everyone at College knows what the Garden Gate is. No-one who isn't at College knows. Every member of Guild will be able to picture the Gate and have memories of passing through. It represents friendship and helpfulness. Where the LC1s can genuinely help the SFC2s. 'Do you know the number?' Or giggles as your best friend fails to enter the code four times in a row. It represents heart-thumping misbehaviour. Where you sneak out unobserved. Guarded during compulsory lectures to prevent escape. The entry point of choice to smuggle in the accoutrements of pranks. The Principal holds the gate open for the gardener, who holds the gate open for the girls, who hold the gate for science technicians and so on, all day. Everyone uses the garden gate. Not like other doors. The name rings of summer, of roses and sunshine and cucumber sandwiches and lemon squash and cotton dresses and croquet lawns and fluffy white clouds. Yet in winter, the gate guarantees there will be virgin snow inside, College's snow, preserved for our community. The Gate is where the public peer into College and try to imagine what happens inside. The Garden Gate delimits the college, keeping us safe and it connects us to the world, whichever function we need. We have the number and the Gate will serve us well." Piers Todd, Staff "The place that epitomises College for me is the Garden Gate. Every time I walk through I am reminded of my first day in Lower College, and how much College has shaped me as a person. It symbolises the start of a new day, and the beginning of new opportunities and adventures that could lead me anywhere I choose."

Eleanor Porritt, 2007


The manicured gardens in the centre of College play a part in everyone's day to day activities; girls gather on sunny break times on the grass and cross it when heading to lessons. They meet at 'The Tree' when heading up to their houses or Field. Staff also walk across the gardens en route to meetings and lessons. They provide a sense of tranquillity to all.

"I came from a perfectly ordinary junior school, where we ran around playing games during break. It was a huge culture shock for me to be expected to spend break times walking the paths (as far as I remember we were not allowed on the grass, even in the summer) and converse politely with a partner. This was how College was in the fifties, beautiful, but very formal and well-mannered…"

Gill Bomber (Breminer), 1959


"The place that epitomises Coll for me is the Glenlee garden. The object is a pair of nail scissors. My punishment for talking to a Boys' Coll student in the street was to cut the grass with the scissors. A very worthwhile way of spending a Saturday afternoon! Thank goodness things have changed since then."

Lynda Hare (Henderson), 1969"


"The tree near the sports centre and right in front of Glenlee's back garden. I think this school is like a tree. The roots of a tree are like the technicians, staff in Porter's Lodge, staff in the kitchen and some staff that we don't know that are helping us from 'behind the scenes'. In a tree, they are hidden by the soil and that's why we don't notice them. The trunk is like the Principal, the teachers, our housemistress and the matrons. They are easily noticed by students, so that's why I say they are the trunk which is noticed by everyone. The branches are students, and in the summer when the leaves (nutrients) are delivered through the trunks to the branches, it's like when the teachers teach us. With so many students, it makes the crown of the tree, making it beautiful. There aren't any leaves right now because it is like when we have holidays and the tree is having one right now!"

Joycelyne Sun, LC1


Miss Grant was celebrated in various ways when she retired in 1960 – for her cat Pussolini, her motorcycle Huc Illuc (Here and There), her tortoises and addiction to travel. She gave the two tortoises (named Huc and Illuc after her motorcycle) to the College garden.

"I used to look out for Granny Grant's (my Latin mistress) tortoises Huc and Illuc in the Coll Gardens! It was always a treat to spot them when walking to and from a lesson through the gardens."

Mina Bowater (Jacqueline Marriott), 1961


"Those delightful knickers, terrifyingly ever-present (even next to the bed every night with the damp flannel in case of fire)…you never can be too careful."

Sarah Markham (Smith), 1979

Green knickers were a staple item of the College uniform for generations. Nowadays, College has a more relaxed attitude towards underwear!


"They were obligatory on the uniform list when I started here. None of us have ever worn them but they have remained a constant in my tuck box throughout my time at CLC."

Fran Neale, SFC2


The Music Department houses numerous practice rooms spanning three floors. On the ground floor, there is also a large music room (previously where the Kindergarten was taught). The entrance to this wing is particularly striking. In 1882, the Cheltenham Examiner praised the new, stately front door and commented on the new 50 foot high entrance hall with its broad staircase which was 'more in keeping with the importance of the structure than the original entrance in Old Well-lane'.

Nominated by Ann McCarter (Iestyn Williams), 1957


Hats were mostly worn on official College occasions, for church and, in some eras, whenever girls were out in town.

"I would like to nominate my hat (or 'helmet' as it was known!!). I still have it in a hat box above my wardrobe - looking as perfect and new as when it was bought from Daniel Neal's in Cheltenham in the summer of 1976. It conjures up so many very happy memories for me - when we wore it (at the start of term, for church, Speech Day etc) and the fact that it still has my nametape in it, sewn by my mother. My daughter asked to borrow it not long ago for a fancy dress party but I'm afraid I was too worried what state it might be returned in so I said 'No'!"

Charlotte Forrest (Moore), 1983


"My daily passage along the Marble Corridor on my way to or from Prayers takes me past a small drawing of sheep by the sculptor, Henry Moore. This drawing, created with a humble ball-point pen and chalk, shows a ewe and her lamb grazing in a field. It is one of the many sketches Moore made of the sheep he could see when looking out of his window at his home in Much Hadham in 1972. He became very familiar with their rhythmic movements, the rounded forms of their bodies, the comforting sounds of their grazing. They also developed strong human and biblical associations for Moore, the sight of a ewe with her lamb evoked the mother and child theme, a large form sheltering a small one. For me the drawing of sheep evokes a sense of comfort and tranquillity with its rounded solid forms and its pertinence to the Cotswolds. More than anything I love its simplicity and timelessness. The fact that Moore sketched each individual sheep with the same care and concern is for me a reminder of the teacher/pupil relationship at CLC."

Fiona James, Staff, Art


"Where lots of debate and discussion goes on about fixtures."

Elliot Foweraker, Staff


"It is always an effort (relatively) to stretch the hand to grasp the knob, and open the door with an obvious twist of the arm every time I come back from school, or from holiday."

Jennifer Laurence, SFC2


"I would like to nominate the Victorian human skeleton that the Biology department used to have with its circular curtain. I believe it is now in the Art department. It is right and wrong on so many levels – why does a school have the skeleton of a real human being and where did it come from? (We used to tell girls it was a past pupil who didn't behave, as a joke!) Why did it have a creepy curtain that you could draw back to reveal it? Yet having a skeleton in the classroom to explain structures and anatomy was so useful and previous generations wouldn't have had the advantage of modern plastics from which to construct one."

Ann Martin, Staff


"It is something which every girl in school possesses, from 1s right up to SFCs, so unites the whole body. Planners are different for every year group, uniform varies, but hymn book is something uniform and hasn't changed much over the years."

Alexandra Kirienko, SFC2

"It is the one thing that I have seen every day since I started college in LC1 and I think it is the one thing I'll remember most when I leave."

Lidia Dynes Martinez, SFC2


"In Fauconberg House, a fossil of an Ichthyosaurus hangs on the wall, having previously been displayed in the College Museum. It is an unusual specimen, roughly 185 million years old. Ichthyosauruses were underwater predators which looked like fish but were not; they breathed air. They lived in large numbers in the warm, shallow seas that covered the Cotswolds in the Jurassic period. A larger, incomplete Ichthyosaurus skeleton was unearthed during the digging of boarding house foundations in 1899 but was swapped for our current display version some years later. Essential restoration work of this fossil was completed by Roger Vaughan, Geology Conservator at the Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery, and was funded in part by a grant from the Summerfield Trust."  

Eve Jardine-Young, 1990, Principal


"We wear our jumper every day, no matter what season, what time, how old we are. The jumper has been with us no matter what we have experienced throughout our CLC life, 'living' every day and is spiritually with us whenever we are sad or happy. We learn to be more mature, both physically and psychologically, under the protection of the jumper. The green colour represents the colour that symbolises our college. Dark green symbolises the colour of the earth. Having this green jumper reflects the multicultural nature of the students at our school, living together happily and respecting each other's cultural background."

Naomi Chan, SFC2


From the 1930s, the roof of West Wing was a playground for the junior school. Juniors did not enjoy this for long however, since it was requisitioned during the war. In 1944, shortly after the juniors had returned, the decision was made to raise the age of entry to 11. However, the playground continued to be in use for many more years by the girls in Lower College.

"The earliest memory I have of college was playing on the roof of the 'junior school' at 'playtime'."

Judith Bacon (Crabtree), 1956


"Even though I am still in 1s, I will always remember that it was my first tutor room and lots of people have their lessons there as well many clubs which meet up there and discuss many subjects."

Marissa Otsubo-Chhoa, LC1


This oak table was given in memory of Mary Gore, Dorothea Beale’s secretary and friend, as part of the 1904 Golden Jubilee celebrations. Mary Gore served as Miss Beale’s secretary from 1875 – 1901.

"I remember Gladys Aylward coming to speak about her experiences and she brought with her a little boy or girl who clambered under and over the crossbeam of the table throughout the talk. I hope this memory is substantiated by other old girls - I don't think I've dreamt it!"

Alison Shaw (Reed), 1973


"My own piece of CLC is always with me in our garage, and has survived several house moves. Somehow we cannot part company, as we were together on so many playing fields, not always successful; I well remember a particularly convincing defeat at St. Mary’s, Calne, round about 1960! I refer to my trusty lacrosse stick made of wood and fashioned with leather thongs, a world away from the sophisticated modern versions. It had to be greased regularly with ‘lax grease’ and of course, inspected! I am so grateful that such rigour has not been lost on me during my life, and although we may look back with amusement, it is to the immense credit of College that its ethos of excellent habits and routines in everything we did may permeate our future lives. I am by no means faultless, as I have not greased my lax stick lately!"

Diana Hodgson (Wardle), 1965


"Bringing news and contact from home."

Heather Coupe (Barlass), 1974


"I would like to nominate the little letter box that’s at the junction between the Marble Corridor and the Milky Way. I walk past it every day and think about how long it’s been there and when it stopped being used. It has a worn label that says 'Letters for Posting – Staff Only' and is held on by two of the oldest drawing pins I have ever seen."

Ruth Davie, Staff


"For me it was the College Library that sums up all that was happy for me at CLC. I loved its peace and quiet, the beautiful stained glass vignettes in the windows, the smell of leather bound books and the small tables in the balcony with windows looking over the gardens. It was where I worked best and felt the greatest contentment, even when struggling with Latin Unseens! Memories of walking to and from the library in the twilight of a summer's evening across the lawns."

Gaenor Davies (Lloyd), 1962


This room was originally called the Great Hall, and had a drastically different appearance; it was built in a Victorian Gothic style with an imposing organ above Miss Beale's desk and high vaulted ceiling. In 1958, it was altered. The end result was as it stands today; the current Lower Hall on the ground floor, and new science laboratories on the upper level.

"The place in College that is very close to my heart is Lower Hall, because I was writing the entrance exams in there last January. It means studying at CLC and patiently reading a book during a free period in Lower Hall, where a year ago I was nervously writing a paper."

Ekaterina Nikolaeva, LC3


The Magnolia Tree stands in the lower garden. It was planted in 1954 by HRH Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, on her visit on the College Centenary.

"It changes throughout the seasons, providing shelter to the ducks and also bringing such beauty during the spring."

Karin Jones, Staff, 2013


This 95 metre-long corridor is paved with black and white marble. Along it, in niches in the walls, stand statues of eminent women.

"Silence! Walking to the side, never in the centre. Prefect checking everyone for clean shoes, tidy hair, uniform worn correctly, straight seams (stockings!) and more... as we filed past to prayers in the Princess Hall each morning. This epitomised CLC for me."

Frances Ritchie, 1960


This tiled area between the Marble Corridor and the Music Department took its name from break time activities as milk and buns were given to girls here.

"The height and spaciousness, the echoing acoustic (especially in the silence of prayer lines); the way it connects the music wing to the rest of the school; the stained glass windows visible from the lovely wooden staircase."

Sue Armstrong (Harris), 1985


Miss Beale acquired her tricycle in 1898. She disliked bicycling when it first became fashionable, but later changed her mind. A pageboy pushed Miss Beale up Bayshill Road on the tricycle each morning. She then cycled down the road, much to the alarm of any morning traffic since both her eyesight and hearing were impaired by this time.

Nominated by Julie Wright, Honorary Guild Member


The Music Department spans many floors. On the ground floor there is a large room and many smaller practice rooms. There are more of these smaller rooms on the two floors above. The woodwork, door panels and stained glass are a particular feature of this part of College.

"It is one of the reasons I chose to come here - because it had the best music department."

Claire Stephenson, LC1


"Hockey is my favourite sport!"

Holly Dhillon, LC1

'New Astro', a synthetic sand-dressed astro-turf pitch, was opened in 2003 by Simon Mason, Great Britain Hockey Men's Goal Keeper, and it has played a big part in raising the profile of Hockey at College. There is tiered seating next to the pitch, which makes 'New Astro' an ideal location for the many tournaments and fixtures it hosts each year.


Astronomy, initially taught by visiting male lecturers, has been part of the College curriculum since the late 1850s. There is a spiral staircase at the end of the Marble Corridor that leads up to the Observatory, built at the same time as the Princess Hall in 1897.

"The view from my office looks directly out on this beautiful structure. It gives me inspiration when I have none!"

Clare Rimell, Staff


"My silver pendant from the 125th anniversary"

Sue Armstrong (Harris), 1985

There is mention of the 125th Anniversary Pendants in the 1979 College Magazine: 'Medallions were designed by Sarah Cutler, Amanda Elms and Heidi Flanders and were manufactured by the Birmingham Mint, and will be issued by the end of June. These will be a permanent memento of the 125th Anniversary year.'


The Overland Shield is presented to the house that wins the most points during sports competitions throughout the year. A total of 26 different competitions over 11 different sports make up the Overland which the nine junior houses compete for. The Shield is presented in the summer term.

"It is the emblem of the competitive spirit of CLC and yet it also represents the unified spirit and teamwork between members of a particular house."

Elizabeth Chan, SFC1


This grand wooden staircase leads from the Marble Corridor up to the Oxford Room. Girls who were studying for the Oxford Senior examinations used to be taught here.

"Once only accessible for those girls who had gained a place at the prestigious university, it is now the centre of the main College grounds and can be used by all girls. It demonstrates how, as a school, we have developed and moved forward yet not lost the essence of who we are and why College exists. With Miss Beale's memorial plaque and bust at the bottom and the offices of both the VPA and VPP at the top, the rich history of College and its pursuit of a pioneering education for young girls is never forgotten, yet the drive and vision of CLC, to enable its pupils to be flexible and resourceful in today's global and ever changing world, remains at its core."

Annabel Lawrence, SFC1


At several times of day the pavements of Parabola Road are full of girls walking together from their houses to the main College site.

"Parabola Road – the mass of girls and chatter in the morning as the girls travel from the houses to College."

Ann Jackson, Staff


"Between the ground floor and first floor in the Music Department is a trapdoor which, in conjunction with a block-and-tackle, is the only way to get pianos in or out of the first floor rooms as the staircase is too narrow. It is one of these virtually hidden details of the College buildings which nevertheless provides a strong historical connection as it makes me think of the ingenuity of the Victorian designers, as well as reminding me that this particular part of College, with its double doors and small rooms, was purpose-built as the Music Department and is still used as such. Maurice and his team at A1 Removals have been moving pianos for College for years. This is another reminder of how inter-connected College is with the local community and how so much happens behind the scenes to make the smooth day-to-day running of College possible."

David Jones, Staff


Entitled ‘The January Room’, this photograph was taken by Gail Wigley, College Photographer and Photographer in Residence, 2004 – 2006. It is a lightjet print and the title was chosen because the origin of the word January comes from ‘Janus’, who was the Roman god of doors and gates. Janus symbolised change and was often worshipped during the transitional periods associated with birth, marriage or death.

"When I spotted this image it intrigued me and excited me. It was such a contemporary image in contrast to so much of what we see at CLC, and so appropriately sited (by the artist herself). I love the idea of looking back and looking forward, implicit in the mythology of Janus, the God of beginnings and endings. Having made a life-changing move by returning to the UK for a new beginning in my life, this had special significance for me."

Judith Renfrew, Staff


Margaret Lupton (1871 - 1956) was a Classics tutor and 'Head of the Cambridge Room' at College between 1893 and 1898. She left to get married in 1898 and the pastel portrait (by Marie Miles, Head of the Art Department) was presented to Miss Lupton as a wedding gift. It was given to College by her daughter, Mrs I Peacock in June 1981.

"I have passed her picture and said good morning to her - as she seems like a friendly face - every year for the last 20 years on the way to the Religious Studies office. She hangs on the wall as you go up the Oxford Staircase."

Gaynor Grove, Staff


The Princess Hall, named after Alexandra of Denmark, the Princess of Wales between 1863 and 1901, was originally called the New Hall, but its name was soon changed. It was designed to seat 1,600 and was constructed as a steel frame hidden within an ornate pitch-pine framework.

"The Princess Hall has been the heart of CLC for generations. Visiting now, as a current parent of two daughters at CLC, I appreciate that the coming together of the whole of College as a community every day had a profound effect and gave me a strong sense of belonging to a community. I love having the opportunity to be there now for a concert or a service and to enjoy the sense of timelessness and spirituality that seems to reside in its features and the eternal optimism as the green curtain is whisked back by a new generation of talented and confident young women."

Louise Terry (Cranna), 1981


"Because when it opens the whole building stands up!"

Eve Wiltshire, UC4


This was a Golden Jubilee gift in 1904 from St. Hilda’s College, Oxford (founded by Dorothea Beale) and is made from oak rafters taken from St. Mary the Virgin Church, Oxford, during rebuilding. The motto carved on the side, ‘non frustra vixi’ (I have not lived in vain) is the motto of St. Hilda’s College.

"As a new Committee Prefect, I remember the incredibly daunting experience of having to read the Lesson at morning College Prayers from the Lectern in the Princess Hall. There were those terrifying moments of walking up the narrow, slippery wooden steps onto the stage for that first time, arriving (safely!) at the Lectern and then seeing this sea of faces in front of you - and knowing that your whole future was to be determined by your performance in the next 5 minutes! That Lectern will still send shivers down my spine now!"

Susie Trenary (Cooper), 1962


The original organ was built in 1900 in memory of Miss M Belcher (a former member of staff who became Head of Bedford College). It was barely adequate for the size of the Princess Hall and in 1958, when the organ in Lower Hall was removed, parts of the two organs were amalgamated with a new keyboard and the pipes placed under the PH stage. The current magnificent European oak organ (constructed in 2006) was stained to match the existing pitched pine, with the front organ pipes finished in polished tin. There are 2,342 pipes ranging from 4.9 metres to treble pipes smaller than a pencil.

"My most vivid and lasting memories of College are of Dr Sumption in full flow with some Bach Fugue, leaping from one end of the organ bench to the other, totally in the moment, seemingly oblivious to us all. For me it was very impressive and due to his wonderful performances (I think daily), I have been a big fan of organ music ever since!"

Prudence Stojadinovic (Reading), 1961


"The small haven in the Princess Hall, behind the curved, green curtain, street side, where I often lurk, just before Hymn Practice, like a nervous actor."

Dominic Hawley, Staff


This room is situated on the Marble Corridor and was originally Dorothea Beale's dining and sitting room. It is now used by staff and girls alike for reflection and meditation.

"It is a place you can go for peace and silence and a method of escaping everything for a few minutes. You don't have to be religious to enjoy the tranquillity of it and it is my favourite place in College."

Georgie Carson, SFC2


"The object that I best remember is the little printed booklet which gave the name of each girl in the school, her year level and where she came from. I remember being completely entranced by the exotic names of places (Istanbul, Port-of-Spain, Singapore, Kampala, Lagos, Suva, Aruba) and it did my geography a lot of good! I don't know if CLC still does this, but it made a major impact on a girl from Cheltenham and sparked a great urge to travel. I have since lived and worked in the Netherlands, the USA, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji, apart from visiting many other places. In the 1960s there was almost no one in Cheltenham who was not white, so the diversity at CLC was extraordinary and made a lasting impression. Interestingly, my husband is half Fijian and half Chinese."

Sarah Mar (Vincent), 1969


Formerly, the Rose Window was the major decorative feature of the large Upper Hall (the home of Division II) before its conversion into six separate classrooms in 1930. The Rose Window was then located in one of the classrooms.

"I love the fact that this beautiful object is part of my work environment: though we cannot measure the impact that the window has on the girls and staff who teach and learn in there, I feel certain that we work in there in a positive, purposeful and calm manner because of it. Sometimes the window has to be concealed behind a blackout curtain for optics experiments: I think this symbolises true College spirit - education before beauty!"

Vicki Brandon, Staff


The Sarasvati statue is positioned at the top of the Oxford Staircase, near to the Vice Principal's office. This statue was donated to College by Tara King, Senior Prefect, 1991 – 1992. Sarasvati is the wife, or female counterpart, of Brahma and is the goddess of all creative arts.

"I have chosen the statue of Sarasvati for three reasons. First, it is something I use in my teaching each year. The LC3 girls study religious art in Christianity and Hinduism and the statue’s presence gives an excellent opportunity for those girls to see some Hindu art in the flesh, in College. Second, it sits (or, rather, stands) in complete contrast to its surroundings: the very traditional Oxford Stairs, the Beale bust and memorial, the large bookcase with antique tomes of literature. It reminds me each day of the history of this College: moving from a somewhat provincial girls’ school in the mid-19th century to the international and multicultural community it is today. The statue was a present from a previous Senior Prefect, Tara King, which I have always found a particularly appropriate gesture. Finally, the statue itself is of the goddess of the creative arts. In a world where the ‘STEM subjects’ seem all-important, and so often the nutrition of music, drama or philosophical discussion is seen as second-rate, it is so wonderful to have, at the heart of the College building, a beacon and statement of another path."

Ben Forward-Davies, Staff


During the Second World War, all the buildings were commandeered. Juniors stayed at Seven Springs House. Cowley Manor and Brockhampton Park were also used to house girls.

"I loved the freedom of Seven Springs House. Every weekend was spent roaming through the woods and making houses, climbing trees and going for long walks. The wonderful Houselady was Miss Wills Brown and her deputy was Miss Hadfield. Every Sunday evening we would go into the Playroom in our Dressing Gowns, wrapped up in a blanket, (or sit under the copper beech tree in the summer term - it was always fine and hot!) and WB would read the stories she had written about 'Mr Peabody'. I often wonder what happened to these imaginative stories. We begged her to get them published. We also found time to go in the bus to be taught in what is now the West Wing, of course!"

Jill Baron (Featherstone), 1950


This statue was given by the six Miss Morrison sisters who were all at College between 1881 and 1892. Their names were Frances, Gladys, Ethel, Hilda, Winifred, and Edith. The 1891 College Magazine records that they expressed a wish to give a memorial of their long connection with College. In the niche at the corridor entrance is a statue bearing a lamp, with 'Verbum tuum lucerna' on the base.

"My grandmother was one of the six Miss Morrisons who attended CLC - her name was Ethel Maud Morrison. It gave me pride and comfort each day seeing this statue - donated by the family - on leaving the Princess Hall after our morning prayers, knowing that my family had been there before me. My mother also attended CLC."

Linda Upfill (Burkill), 1971


"My special object from CLC days has to be the Slab, for the name alone. I can't even remember what it is, but that it was a significant esoteric place - obviously why the alumnae magazine bears its title!"

Jennifer Fox (Maurice), 1956


"My overwhelming memory of my time at Coll was triggered when my two sisters, Jane Stanley and Elizabeth Cooper and I returned for one of the leavers' anniversaries. The trigger was neither a place, nor object, but my sense of smell! As soon as I entered the PH I knew exactly where I was. Perhaps it was the smell of the wood, the polish, but immediately I was back in time to when Mr Gilbert played the organ for the procession out of the PH in the mornings. Also, entering certain classrooms, I was immediately whisked back to cold winters when we were allowed to wear games socks over our American Tan tights and our games jumpers to keep us warm. I am not sure what the smell is but I know I have never smelled it anywhere else other than certain classrooms. The odour within the gym of plimsolls will never be forgotten! The Science labs spoke for themselves, with the smells of chemicals and the whiff that the bunsen burners gave off. Strangely enough when we had tea at St. Mags I did not recall any olfactory sensations at all. I wonder if anyone else remembers what College used to smell of? I bet it smells much fresher these days!"

Clare Benson (Evers), 1969


Sir Edward Burne-Jones created these cartoons for the Frideswide window in Oxford's Christ Church cathedral. St Frideswide, the patron saint of Oxford, was a devout princess who lived in a pigsty for three years after being pursued by a pertinacious suitor. It was later speculated that this story showed how women could be heroic and simultaneously remain focused on their own desires.

"My nomination would be for the St Frideswide cartoons by Sir Edward Burne-Jones. I did my history of art dissertation on them and although I'm not sure I did that well, I remember being utterly astounded that a work by such a famous artist was in my school and I could just go and ask to have a look at it!"

Emily Cartlidge (Howarth), 1994


Nominated by Susan Treggiari (Franklin), 1957


The piano was given to College in 1978 as the result of a bequest from the estate of Miss Gladys E. Runge, who was Head of Music between 1934 and 1954.

Nominated by Claire Lloyd-Smith, Staff


"I have taken the risk of appearing greedy and nominating as my most memorable object team teas after home games. Oh, what a spread! Egg and cress sandwiches, sausage rolls, brandy snaps, meringues, Victoria sandwich, toasted tea cakes.....the list reads like Ratty's picnic from 'The Wind in the Willows'. No other time in the week would we see quantity or quality like this. True it was not exactly "good nutrition" but calorie replacement never seemed to do any of us any harm in our youth even though we may not be able to indulge like this anymore! Somehow it was an object of school pride to produce a good feast for the visiting team. Away games had the fun of travel, and sometimes even missing a disliked class to get to the destination in time, but I never played at a school where the team tea ever touched our own!"

Geraldine Trevella (Goode), 1977



"My chosen object is a crate of 1/3 pint bottles of milk, all silver-topped with white straws poked through. (I hated milk and always tried to swap my bottle for someone else’s currant bun!)"

Ruth Kenward (Tristram), 1972

"Small bottles of tepid milk with sticky bun at break time - can still hear the lady in charge saying

"Hurry along now, quickly.""

Judith Juniper (Kirby), 1963


"It is a lovely part of college, with the stained glass windows in the office doors, and I particularly like the grand antique bookcase that stores old books. It's a peaceful area overlooking the pond and I can imagine, in times gone by, students and staff reading books from the bookcase in the ornate chairs on this landing."

Lisa Collins, Staff


"It's a place where girls meet or wait for each other; I think it encapsulates the idea that, despite the business and intensity of our school day, we are actually part of a community who will stick around for each other. I also like the way you can see it from almost every window... I feel like it has a very solid, reliable but also beautiful presence in our school."

Sophie Coleridge, SFC2

"I think for me it would have to be 'The Tree'. The amount of times in Lower Coll the words "meet you under the tree" were uttered! Sums up many memories of walking to Field and back to the house for lunch. Also the worry about what to do when your walking partner was away! I always look at it when I walk past school and it evokes many memories!"

Eleanor Porritt, 2007


The creeper covering the front of one of College's iconic buildings is cherished by many, especially during the autumnal months when it turns a fiery red.

"Up the Oxford staircase and on the way to the Geography department, one of the large windows has been open for so long you cannot shut it. A piece of ivy from outside has grown through the window. I believe that this is very beautiful, as it shows just how old the college is. The girls today will not be the first to have noticed the window, and won't be the last either. This is very important to me, as it gives me a sense of community and history."

Charlie Scott, LC3


Wardrobe houses College's large collection of costumes and accessories from Drama productions through the years.

"I have strong memories of a place few got to see.
A place I'd go whilst everyone else was at Tea.

At the entrance of the Princess Hall, hiding beneath the pipes
Was a room packed so full to please all types.

Locked behind wooden doors, a room tucked away.
A Wardrobe of clothes fit for any dramatic play.

The gowns were genuine, the memorabilia was real.
Dresses in Taffeta, uniforms in Teal.

Gas masks, tiaras and brooches galore.
It could have been a museum, so much to explore.

A collection donated over decades gone by.
A selection of memories from shoes to a tie.

I was fascinated by the selection and remember it well.
I hope I remind people of this room with the poem I tell."

Belinda Freeman (Carter), 1996


The first recorded purchase of land adjacent to Well Place for use as a playing field is in the 1929 – 1930 volume of Council minutes. Subsequent additional pieces of land were bought over the next couple of years and were levelled for use as tennis courts. The 1935 – 1936 volume of Council minutes records that a large part of Well Place was converted to a hard surface to enable matches to take place during the Autumn Term.

"My place is Well Place because it is where I learn netball and I really like it."

Lara McGlone, LC1


"The fabulous wide wooden floorboards just outside the Head of Physics office on the staircase going up next to archives. It epitomises College for me because they are old, unusual, traditional and beautiful, but still used every day by our current students and staff."

Sue Morton, Staff


"I think that one very important object is the roll of honour containing names of the men and boys linked to CLC that served in the two World Wars. It is a special moment when names are read out in the Remembrance Sunday service, where we commemorate lives lost and reflect upon the lives of students during the war. It reminds us of the most tragic losses in history. I think this is special, especially in the centennial year of the beginning of WWI."

Jade Lam, SFC1


There is mention of the library from editions of the College Magazine published in the late 1880s. It was, however, drastically different to the Main Library that we know today. At the turn of the century, Miss Faithfull planned for the walls to be panelled in oak, and for wrought ironwork to be installed. We cannot be exactly sure when the wrought iron spiral staircase was installed, but the Spring 1909 Chronicle records that the fittings were complete.

"Such a symbol of elegance, leading me to my haven in the narrow gallery overlooking the Library, the smell of old books, the slight chilliness, a world away from the hustle and bustle of College life."

Elsie Hui, 1983


"I used to look out of my tutor room and think to myself I wonder what they will discover today, I would see girls running to beat James Hole's late register, girls queuing up to enter school, some with excitement of the day ahead, others still wiping the sleep from their eyes. I would wonder what are they busily talking about, why does that little girl need so many bags, how does she carry that, what are they wearing for mufti today...? If I drive past in the vacation, I still imagine girls crossing. It was for me (still is) the first sign that the day had begun and that each day holds so much promise."

David Gamblin, Staff