The Jubilee History of Greenhead High School, Huddersfield: 1909-1959 (1973) by K.M. Cocker

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1909 = 1959



compiled by K. M. COCKER, M.A., Senior History Mistress

with an additional section covering the years to 1973.

with acknowledgments

to writers in the School Magazines, to Miss Lloyd who designed the Cover, to Mrs. Greenwood who typed the Manuscript, to the Staff of Huddersfield Public Library and to those well-wishers who prefaced the 1959 publication.

Thanks are expressed to the Old Girls’ Association and the Parent-Teachers’ Association for generous financial assistance.

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GREENHEAD HIGH ScHOOL—aerial view before 1960

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Jubilee History


When the Jubilee History of Greenhead High School was produced in 1959 no-one could foresee that in 1973 we should be producing an up-dated version to record the full life of the school, before it changes its character and becomes a mixed sixth form college. In all the years of its existence Greenhead High School has provided an excellent education for the ablest girls in the town who have progressed to an ever wider and more varied range of higher education courses and careers. The high standards have meant much to the girls who have passed through the school and these and the reputation it possesses must be preserved for the benefit of the young people of the town for whom it would be wrong to deny the opportunity of similar education. Next September, Greenhead College comes into existence as part of the over-all post-16 provision of full-time education in Huddersfield : the other establishments being Huddersfield New College and Huddersfield Technical College. At Greenhead College we shall offer as wide a range of courses as possible for boys and girls who will be progressing to universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, the professions, industry, commerce or else- where. There will be an increased emphasis on self- discipline and self-organisation as the students pass through the College, which will be a semi-adult community for those who by choice continue their full-time secondary education. These young people should have an excellent preparation for higher education, careers and life in the twenty-first century. The name of Greenhead lives on and is associated with the best in education that Huddersfield has to offer.


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I am grateful to Miss Cocker for writing the history of the school and glad to see it published with substantial financial help from the P.T.A. and the O.G.A. I am delighted to

be asked to write a foreword.

There are now more than 6,000 old girls of the school, scattered, like many families in our day, round the world. The true Greenheader is outgoing and responsible, stalwart and trustworthy ; she is cheerful and purposeful. She realises that because much has been given to her, much is required of her. She is less concerned about what she can get, than about what she can give. She knows that if she shares with others the best that is in her, she strengthens


In all of this she is helped by her parents who care deeply about her education and who give a great deal to the school. They realise, as I did, what wonderful work is done there. The Staff are devoted; their scholarship, their good teaching and their creativity are exceptional.

And now, ‘the old order changeth,’ and with the Governors’ blessing, the school becomes a mixed 6th form College. Its achievements and potential in 1959 motivated the Ministry of Education to re-model the building. Its

achievements and potential in 1973 will ensure its success

in the new framework.

I am glad and grateful to have been Headmistress for 14 years, and I have the greatest pleasure in sending my good wishes to all concerned in this new and stimulating

enterprise. MARGARET OWEN.

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Page Two Greenhead High School


We shall look back when we are here no more, Above the turmoil of the breathless game, Some memory or echo of a song Above the laughter and the song which never dies, Will bring before us half-forgotten days Above the quiet of unbroken work Then all red-lettered as they fled along. Oh! let the cry of “ Honour ”’ ever rise. Refrain. Breeze of the field, gleam of the sun, Refrain. Breeze of the field, gleam of the sun, Well remembered faces and laurels hardly won Well remembered faces and laurels hardly won Will be with us till our working days are done. Will be with us till our working days are done.

Peggy Madden. Rev. S. Swirre.

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Jubilee History

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The Jubilee History


Greenhead High School 1909 - 1959

King Edward VII, King George V, the uncrowned King Edward VIII, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II—the political events and social changes of five reigns have been reflected in Huddersfield as elsewhere, and these on the national and local stage form the setting for the development of Greenhead High School. ‘“ We shall look over fifty years, seeing an educational community within the community of the town. This in turn, is integrated with our country and the Common- wealth, and affected, too, by the international relationships of this half-century.

In 1901 the population of the County Borough of Huddersfield was 95,047. Girls between the ages of 5 and 13 were receiving elementary education and some attended the Higher Grade School in New North Road and Fartown and Longwood Grammar Schools, but no secondary school for girls had been established as in Leeds and elsewhere. By 1901 the G.P.D.S.T. had founded 38 schools including in Yorkshire one in York and one in Sheffield, but when the Act of 1902 laid on local authorities responsibility for the provision of secondary education, the situation in Huddersfield was difficult indeed. Not only was there

controversy about the type of education, whether a technical curriculum or a more humanistic one would be the more desirable, but religious differences embittered the dispute and special arguments related to the education of girls.

The newly established Education Committee under its chairman, Alderman J. E. Willans invited a report on the local situation and constructive proposals from one of the most outstanding educationists in the annals of English History : Sir Michael E. Sadler, M.A. (Oxon.), Hon. LL.D. (Columbia), Professor of the History and Administration of Education in the Victoria University of Manchester. This report, which was ready in December 1904, is a compound of idealism and shrewd common sense.

‘There is an old proverb,’”’ Sir Michael Sadler says, ‘“ that “an ounce of mother wit is worth a pound of book- learning,’ but what is meant by book-learning ? “ If it be asked, ‘ does Huddersfield believe in education ?,’ may it not be said, and greatly to its credit, that in the kind of ‘education’ which weakens individuality and impairs practical efficiency, Huddersfield assuredly does not

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believe . . . but the highest kinds of practical efficiency depend upon a combination of five things—-knowledge, imagination, judgement, perseverance and personal skill.

‘“ Huddersfield needs a first-rate public High School for Girls. The improvements in secondary education for

girls should keep pace with those made in the secondary education for boys. The social and intellectual benefit which Huddersfield would derive from a first-rate public High School for Girls would be great indeed . . . Thirty years ago, Huddersfield was in the van of progress in regard to the secondary education of girls. The Hudders- field Girls’ College which was a sister school to the Huddersfield College for Boys, was I believe, one of the first unendowed girls’ high schools of a public character in England.”’ Public support, however, had been withdrawn and this school had become a private concern. A new beginning had to be made.

The resolution that “in the opinion of this Committee it is desirable forthwith to provide a secondary school for girls ’’ was carried, in spite of the opposition of the Huddersfield Trades and Labour Council, who protested, “believing the step to be at the present juncture unnecessary.’ After “the committee had been jogged several times from Headquarters,’ the project went for- ward, ‘ Willan’s Folly,’ some folks called it, but it was evidence of Christian wisdom, and the School gratefully recognises its debt to Alderman J. E. Willans. We ‘the Nineteen Fifty-Niners ’ are a part of “‘ the future genera- tion,’ who, Professor Sadler foretold, “‘ will be thankful to those who planned the school and authorised its erection.’

On Thursday, 27th February, 1908, the Foundation Stone was laid by Alderman Willans on the Greenhead

Greenhead High School

site, which seemed “ an ideal one,” three acres, one rood in extent. The weather was boisterous but the stone was duly laid, a bottle being placed beneath it containing copies of two local newspapers, a halfpenny, a three-penny piece, a shilling and a florin. The Borough Engineer, Mr. K. F. Campbell, M. Inst. C.E., was the architect and the cost was estimated at £12,500.

In the 1931 magazine Miss Hill recorded with acknow- ledgements to Mr. P. Ahier, the previous history of the site :—December 7th, 1931. ‘‘ To-day, the twentieth and sixteenth centuries have been linked by the presentation to the School of the new platform-furniture—the twenty- first Birthday Gift of the Staff and Girls—for parts of the Chairs are made of the old oak beams of the first Greenhead Hall (1523).

‘“. . . In connection with the first Hall, it is interesting to note that among the visitors was the Rev. Robert Meeke—Vicar of Slaithwaite, who, in his diary, refers to having had a disturbed night at Greenhead, ‘it was a great wind and the frequent clapping of a door kept me awake, so frail is the outward man and so insufficient the comforts of this world that a very small thing will hinder rest and comfort.’

‘The Hirsts who were owners of Greenhead were compelled to leave their ancestral home owing to the heavy fine imposed upon them by the Commonwealth authorities for having supported Charles I during the Civil War.

“In 1720 the Second Hall was built and was described as ‘a house of three gables and a square enclosed garden

in front with two old-fashioned ball-topped gate posts.’

‘In 1745, at the time of the Young Pretender’s Rebel- lion, ‘ General Oglethorpe lodged at Greenhead.’

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Jubilee History

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“The Third Hall—_1820—-was demolished and in 1907, on its site, our school was erected.

“Tt is evident from the Records that the residents of the three Halls played an important part, not only in local administration, but also in the affairs of their country, and it behoves us to prove a worthy link between such a past and our School of the future.”’

* *k * *

“At bottom,” said Professor Sadler, “the welfare of our secondary education will depend on the kind of men and women we get to teach in our secondary schools.”

Greenhead was very fortunate. On November Ist, 1908, Miss B. E. Chambers, M.A. (Dublin), was appointed to be the first Head Mistress. Miss Chambers was born in 1875. She qualified at Girton College in 1897 for the Cambridge degree in mathematics, before, however, women were admitted to the status of graduates at the University. She therefore took the M.A. degree at Dublin in 1906 and after gaining valuable experience in five girls’ schools, she came to Huddersfield in 1909 from St. Leonard’s School, St. Andrews. She was a woman of high ideals and strong personality. Women who taught under her carried her influence into the schools where they became Heads ; her old girls were quickly reaching out into professional careers and appointments overseas, showing, as she did, a courageous self-reliance. This came, in her opinion, first by complete merging in the group. No Speech Day turned its spot-lights on individual achievement, no prizes were given. In the 1912 and 1913 magazines, the contributions were anonymous. The School Motto, “‘ Honour before was accepted by all. But individual develop- ment was required from every pupil, and the full extent of Miss Chambers’ educational scheme can be seen in the

independent school she established at Maltman’s Green when she left Greenhead in 1918. Old Girls from Green- head were welcomed there. Some went as pupils, many others as visitors and some joined the staff.

In the year when Miss Chambers died, 1945, one of her former pupils wrote :—“‘ In her passing there has gone a vital personality and a great educationist.’’ She recalls, “that vivid personality—-her freshness, her zeal, her abounding generosity, her amazing intuitive psychology and her eternal youth . . . She knew and cared for every- one of her girls . . . We grew up to believe in ourselves, and nothing seemed too high or too difficult to achieve under her inspiration.

“We all remember . . . the farewell words which never varied, reminding us that the holidays which were now beginning were really for our Mothers’ sakes and not for ours, and urging us to see to it that our Mothers got a real good holiday . . . Something she said to me has never failed me: ‘ When life is difficult and you cannot see your way ahead, just live for ten minutes at a time, and live that ten minutes as well as ever you can. And when you have done that, go on for another ten minutes, and then another until the darkness is lifted and the way is

clear,’ ”’

The School opened with a Staff of nine regular mistresses, three visiting mistresses and two visiting masters. In the fifty years of its existence there have been over 250 members of Staff, who have brought their high quali- fications and varied personal gifts to the service of the School. Although length of service is not the only measure, and indeed, no adequate assessment can be made, it seems appropriate to record by name those whose working life has been for the most part devoted to Greenhead :

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Greenhead High School

Page Six Be As Wee a ik otha, es 1909—1938 eee i POR a ORS Oe: 1912—1936 eee oe ea a A ae 1917—1950 Pare oe. ea i a 1917—1947 ee ee a ee ee 1918—1950 Be Ue ia a ak, a a 1917—1944 Fe TO i ae i 1920—1945 Be a a es 1920—3 and 1926—1962 ee RO i a ae 1920—1951 TR ay he 19241947 PION ie Oy: oti gee 1926—33 and 1935—-1965 Pre AL eee has. iy. ea TN 1928—1963 Bee a me Og dy i 1929—1949 Wee ee ee Se ee 1930—1959 Pee Fre 8 pe gE at he 1934—1971 rk ee 1934—1961 Pee ee eer ee Fe 1938—1966 ee ee et 1943—1970 Tee CY, 7, ee ea ee 1945— ee te ee ee er 1951—

The School was opened on Friday, 15th January, 1909, the ceremony being performed by Lord Stanley of Alderley. 236 pupils assembled on Monday, 18th January. Since then about 5,250 girls have been entered on the registers.

THE OPENING OF THE SCHOOL —from the first number of the magazine :—

‘ The public history of the Huddersfield Municipal High School for Girls begins on the 15th January, 1909, the day on which—after months of toil and thought the school was formally opened by Lord Stanley of

Alderley. The date is one to be specially marked in the chronicles of the school ; the day itself was one that none of us who were present will ever forget.

The ceremony took place in the afternoon, but the morning was filled with the preparations that must inevi- tably precede such a ceremony. On that morning, most of the girls entered the new building for the first time ; everything was new and strange ; they had to find their places in the cloakrooms and in the class rooms, to make acquaintance with the mistresses, to hear something of what lay before them on that day and on the days to follow. They found everything planned out and arranged, no smallest detail forgotten ; so that from the first they saw that the school life was to be one of order, method and forethought. The proceedings for the afternoon were briefly rehearsed ; each girl learned where she was to go and what she was to do, and how she was to vanish swiftly and silently afterwards ; then we all separated.

Early in the afternoon of that cold and snowy day, all were back again, the girls now in the white dresses that are invariably associated with all school functions every- where. In due course Form after Form filed into the Hall and took up its allotted place to wait with what patience it might, until at last the moment arrived and with it the distinguished guests. Lord Stanley accompanied by the Mayor of Huddersfield (Ald. J. Holroyd), the Secretary for Education (Mr. O. Balmforth) the members of the Education Committee and others, was received by Miss Chambers and ushered on to the platform ; then followed other visitors in a seemingly endless stream, until every corner of the Hall was filled.

In his address to the assembled company, Lord Stanley referred to the activity in educational matters by which

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Jubilee History

Huddersfield had long been characterised and congratu- lated the borough on the energy and public spirit which had led to the organisation of the three schools opened on that day. The other schools were Huddersfield College, now only for boys since 194 girls of varying ages up to 16, were transferred to Greenhead, and Hiullhouse Central School (Mixed). He further dwelt at some length on the prime importance of recognising individuality and encouraging initiative whenever and wherever they might be found, and on the immense value of enthusiasm as a driving power both for teachers and for pupils. Lord Stanley’s address was followed by short speeches from Alderman Balmforth and Miss Chambers and at the close of the proceedings the girls gave three cheers for Lord Stanley and the Education Committee, and for Miss Chambers and the Staff.

After the majority of the girls had filed out, a short drill display was given under the superintendence of Miss Shadbolt, and the company then adjourned for tea, which was served in the common room and the dining-room. A great number of Huddersfield residents availed themselves of the double opportunity of inspecting the new school buildings and of making acquaintance with those whose work was to be carried on within its

At the opening, a gift of pictures was received from Lord Stanley and other friends of the school, and these have been augmented from time to time. Gifts have also been made of statuary and furniture. It was felt that an obligation lay on all to enhance the beauty of their surroundings and for many years one and sixpence “ Kyrle money’ was paid by every pupil each term from which pictures and vases might be bought. (The Kyrle Society was founded in 1875 by Miss Octavia Hill and her sister

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—-no relation of our second Head Mistress—-and named after a seventeenth century Philanthropist. This society was a fore-runner of Miss Hill’s splendid ‘‘ National Trust ”’ for the preservation of England’s beauty-spots). The Library too, has constantly been built up by grants and presentations. Although he was not present on the Open- ing Day, Sir Michael Sadler was able to visit Greenhead twice after becoming Vice-Chancellor of Leeds University. Many other much-honoured visitors have addressed the school sharing their scholarship with those who aspired to follow in their steps.

1910 saw the beginning of the new reign. On this and on subsequent occasions members of the school were present to hear the reading of the proclamation. They were later among the loyal citizens who welcomed the Royal visitors, King George V and Queen Mary, in 1912 in Greenhead Park, and in 1918 in the Town Hall, when Her Majesty spoke to the Head Girl, Gladys Cotton. (Rumour has it that the Queen enquired to which orphanage the girls belonged). May 6th, 1935, was the Jubilee of King George V and the girls received gifts of chocolate and fountain pens. Eighteen years later on the occasion of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, each pupil received from the Hudders- field Education Committee a New Testament and a penknife. Many of the girls who were then in school had formed part of the “ E.P.C.”’ tableau and massed drill at Leeds Road Football Ground, when Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the town.

* ** * *

The First World War ended with a violent and recurring epidemic of influenza which necessitated the closing of the school in the Summer and Autumn of 1918 and

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ALDERMAN J. E. WILLANS, LL.D., J.P., 19068. ALDERMAN J. L. Dawson, M.A., J.P., 1958.


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Miss B. E. CHAMBERS, M.A., 1909-1918. Miss A. Hitz, M.A., 1918-1946. HEADMISTRESSES.

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. P. Downerty, B.Sc., 1950-1957.

Miss D. A. Fincu, B.Sc., 1946-1950. Mrs. H. R


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STAFF 1958.

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Miss M. B.Sc., 1957-1971. Mr. J. C. Hopeson, B.A., 1972. HEADMISTRESS. ACTING HEADMASTER.

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STAFF 1973.

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PREFEcTS 1973.

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Jubilee History

again in 1919. Into this period of difficulty came Miss A. Hill, M.A. (London), to be Headmistress for 28 years. She was 37 years of age and had already been Headmistress of Devonport Municipal Secondary School for seven years.

It was a time of optimism—an optimism which was itself a dedication of the survivors to those who had given their lives for their ideals between 1914-1918. The Fisher Act of 1918 spoke of the “ progressive and comprehensive development of all forms of education.” <A 1917 Circular had introduced School Certificate and Higher School Certificate as public examinations which could replace the Oxford and Cambridge Local Examinations, and on which the candidate could obtain exemption from Matriculation. State Scholarships were introduced in 1920, and _ local authorities made grants for University courses. Students had already gone forward to Oxford, London, Leeds and elsewhere—the first of the graduates now numbering nearly 300, who have entered the professions, gaining their high qualifications as a result of the excellent foundation laid at Greenhead. Their letters in the Magazine have opened magic casements to those still at school. More than twice their number have gained Diplomas and Certifi- cates in many different fields. As headmistresses, teachers and lecturers, as doctors, nurses and physiotherapists, in music, in elocution and in art, and not least as wives and mothers, Greenhead girls are serving the community. Professor Sadler had insisted that “‘ due weight ’’ should be given, “ to the importance in a woman’s life of the skilful and thorough discharge of domestic duties.’’ Many girls have profited by the classes in Domestic Science and one Old Girl is co-author of three very successful textbooks for the training of the housewives of tomorrow.

In ten years the School had increased to nearly 500 and

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County Councillor E. Talbot’s prophecy, made in 1908, that the School would be inadequate was found to be true. For a time some classes were held in New North Road Baptist School Room. In 1917 “ as building is forbidden, the large house, Longdenholme, a few minutes’ walk away, was taken by the Education Committee.’’ The “ few minutes walk’’ was an ordeal in rain and snow and ‘ boisterous weather,’ and it was considered a danger at the outset of World War II, but Longdenholme is a place of delightful memories, and it was finally left in 1954 with considerable regret. Its fine library is remembered in the plaque to Mr. Ernest Woodhead on the door of our present Library. There, not only Advanced Course lessons took place, but memorable Form-Parties, when fires blazed in the capacious grates, plays were performed and there was dancing in the ex-coach-house which had become the Hall. Senior girls learnt to entertain and Staff endured their ‘ gaucheries.”’ For some girls, enticed by back stairs and balconies, Longdenholme will mean forbidden exploits and explorations though even Greenhead had its provocative prohibitions. (A new one at this time was “ The Roman Arch ’’—in reality the Hypocaust floor and flues from the Roman Camp at Slack. It is now in Ravensknowle Park).

The division of the School, the Fourth Forms and the Arts section of the Sixths being at Longdenholme, led to

the formation of the Houses, which at first had a meeting

each month. The names seem curious now, but were chosen by the girls. Each patron typifies an ideal of service. St. Hilda—the love of learning. St. Clare—care for those in need. The Earl of Montrose—loyalty to the King. General Gordon—responsibility for backward peoples.

Recently two new Houses have been formed with the

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Greenhead High School

names Darwin and Churchill. Competitions of every kind for the House Shield have been held. St. Hilda, Montrose and St. Clare have each won it ten times, and Gordon eight. The House Captains are now elected from Lower VI and the work they do is a valuable training in responsibility

and leadership.

In 1920 the name “ Greenhead High School ”’ replaced

that of the ‘‘ Municipal High School for Girls.’’

It is well-known today that the cessation of war does not bring “ peace and prosperity.”’ In 1921 the Geddes Act reduced expenditure in educational fields by one- third and a Board of Education Circular had already recommended army huts. Writing in 1948 one author commented that classrooms of this kind were still in use in schools! Writing in 1958 we must still include four huts as form rooms at Greenhead—-difficult to heat, chilly to approach and inadequately insulated against the sounds of the next-door lesson !

Proposals for a reorganisation of schools to include all pupils over 11, were made by Sir Charles Trevelyan, the President of the Board of Education in MacDonald’s first Labour Government, but this proposal was not em- barked upon in Huddersfield. A co-education Grammar School was opened at Royds Hall. After this West Riding Scholars, the “ train-girls,’’ ceased to come to Greenhead. Conditions otherwise were the same : free-places or reduced fees were given to those who were in need. The others paid fees (about £6 6s. Od. a year). Huddersfield had its 11 plus selection test many years before this became a national system, and anticipated also the 1932 recommend- ation, when special places with a means test replaced the free places. Occasionally, too, transfers took place from the Selective Central School to the Grammar School.

Educational re-organisation in Huddersfield was not delayed only for financial reasons ; religious prejudice played its part. This was reflected in the exclusion from the curriculum of Religious Instruction, a fact which Miss Hill very much deplored. At one time classes were held after school, but at last permission was obtained for them to be included and Miss Hill abolished week-end home- work, realising that in many homes this would be done on


On the 2lst and 30th anniversaries of the School, services, interdenominational in character, were held in Huddersfield Parish Church. As each girl left Hudders- field for college, Miss Hill tried to ensure that links were preserved with her particular religious group in the new environment. Many of the girls have begun their social

service in Church and Sunday School. Closely connected with this is the charitable work which the School has

fostered. Under Miss Chambers the Old Girls helped in Play Centres, those at school sewed garments for the poor. In both World Wars, a tremendous amount of knitting was organised. Gifts in money have been systematically sent to the Save the Children Fund and its successor U.N.I.C.E.F., and to Spastics, the Huddersfield Cinderella Fund, St. Dunstan’s and to many other organisations. In much of this work, it was the need of children less fortunate than themselves that was brought before Greenhead girls, for example the little Basque boys from Spain who were living in Almondbury in 1937.

Interest not only in the children but in international affairs in general has been maintained as a result of the founding in 1922 by Miss Wallhead, of the Junior Branch of the League of Nations Union. It has been succeeded by the Council for Education in World Citizenship.

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Jubilee History

Members of these societies have learnt from _ school meetings and those organised by the Leeds and District Association, of the problems and great constructive efforts in international co-operation. In connection, too, with their French and German studies, many girls have been abroad. School correspondents are resident the world over ! An Old Girl was selected from the British Red Cross Society to hold a Princess Elizabeth travel scholarship in Rhodesia and after her return the Queen honoured her by an invitation to Buckingham Palace. In 1955, Hudders- field and the French town of Besancon in Franche Comté, ‘““ adopted ”’ each other in the system of “‘ town-twinning ” and a special connection is being fostered between the young people of these places. School journeys have been arranged to Belgium, France and Germany.

It is impossible to describe all the outings, which figure so much in personal reminiscences, but for girls of 1924, Wembley was a memorable experience—the great Empire Exhibition: India, Burma, Ceylon, Hong-Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa! Buddhist Shrines, a diamond mine, the Queen’s Dolls’ House and many wonders more! A tour round London and residence at Dollis Hill House—they are all graphically described in the magazine article. In 1926 all the school went to Giggleswick and saw the Eclipse (as so many did not !), from the railway siding where the special train was halted. Visits to London were made in 1934 and 1937 and to Whipsnade in 1938. In Festival of Britain Year the whole school enjoyed a day in York.

Many outings have been connected with one or other of the societies: scientific, natural history, debating, musical, classical and the rest. In recent years inter- school meetings have been promoted. The S.C.M. has

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established an inter-school Branch for Sixth-Formers, arising out of its bi-ennial conferences. For many years, girls attended the Camps for Schoolgirls organised by the Federation of University Women and in the years following the war, Miss Patch took parties to Agricultural Camps in the farming areas near York. When Dr. Varley’s second excavations were taking place on Castle Hill in 1947, a party of Greenhead girls was allowed to assist and their “‘trench’’ proved rich in Norman pottery, and ‘““ despite the blisters and aching backs we did not regret having gone.’

Much of the out-of-school work done by members of Staff is not only for the purposes of general education, but is especially for the benefit of girls whose family circum- stances are more restricted and opportunities more circum- scribed. England’s economy was strained between the wars and the benefits of the Welfare State had not yet been established on their present scale. Girls both at school and later, were often faced with difficulties arising from ill-health or expensive training. It was to cater in some way for these that Miss Hill established the Health Fund in 1922 and the Careers Fund in 1930. Both were founded from money from large-scale bazaars, Greenhead Fair raising £720 and ‘“‘ The House that Greenhead Built ”’ (drawing room, conservatory, dining-room, bedroom, bath- room, nursery, kitchen and larder) £434. The Old Girls have greatly benefited from these Funds.

On its 21st Birthday, the school was given the great privilege of holding its Party in the Town Hall, a privilege repeated for the 25th anniversary, and one which succeeding Mayors have kindly continued. In 1953 Mrs. Doherty proposed that the older girls would prefer to invite boy friends as guests, so the Party is now in two parts : Form

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1—4 hold theirs from 3.30 to 7.0, and at this a humorous entertainment is provided by Upper Sixth. Later in the evening the Seniors and Old Girls bring their partners to a Dance.

The most important Town Hall event is, however, the

School Speech Day. The first one was arranged by Miss —

Hill in 1919. In the hands of Miss Spikes and Miss Townsend it became an occasion worthy of the musical reputation of the town, and many distinguished men and women have graced the platform. The School Song written by P. Madden was set to music by the Rev. S. Swire, M.A. Recently the Greenhead Carol has been sung (words by K. M. Cocker and music by E. W. Towns- end). During the War, Speech Day was held in the after- noon, the 1939 one in July, 1940, and another twelve months later in the School Hall, only certificate-holders and badge-winners being present with their parents. Instead of the Party, Old Girls addressed the School at Prayers on January 18th, and homework was excused.

The first premonition of war came with the training of Air Raid Wardens in 1938. The re-assembling of the school for the Autumn Term in September, 1939, was delayed while air-raid shelters could be constructed in the grounds. There followed the modification of the winter- hat rule to allow the wearing of a gas-mask, practices with storm-lanterns in the shelters—mercifully here never in actual use! Huddersfield was neither an evacuation nor a reception area, so schooling was very little disturbed, and the tedium of wardens’ duties and fire-watching was a small matter compared with dangers and difficulties else- where. Miss Hill and the Staff formed a rota and slept in the school, which was so eerie at night! Staff stayed in the holidays to assist in play-centres where children were

Greenhead High School

in adult care. Girls left to join the various Women’s Forces. One Old Girl was a survivor from the torpedoed

““ Athenia.”’

Immediately before the War, Mr. H. Kay, M.A., had

been appointed Director of Education with a programme of Schools development and re-organisation which was long overdue. This was again halted and the 1944 Butler Act laid down the post-war scheme for the country as a whole. Miss Hill was persuaded to continue a little longer in office, but in 1946 the school said “‘ good-bye ”’ to her with feelings of great gratitude and affection. Fortunately she has stayed in Huddersfield and we are very happy to have her with us on all school occasions.

“We of the School,’ wrote the Head Girl and two deputies, “‘ are very sorry indeed to lose Miss Hill, who has been the corner-stone of school life for over twenty-five years. All the girls who have passed through the School know how much they owe to her, as she took a personal interest in every girl and was always ready to help to over- come difficulties.’’ Letters poured in from far and wide to the Head Mistress who had been “such a _ good friend to us all.’’ The Staff, too, know her kindliness : ‘She has a warm, human sympathy with the aspirations, perplexities and misfortunes of young and old and this sympathy is shown wherever possible in a practical way.” We must feel as we tell the story of the years from 1918- 1946 that “ the record of the School under Miss Hill attests her achievement ’’—they are the achievements of a Head- mistress who practised the life she taught her girls to follow—the life of Christian service.

At the same time, Greenhead lost its School Secretary (1913-1945), Miss Alice Haigh. ‘‘ Greenhead without Miss Haigh ? It isn’t possible! ’’ wrote one of her colleagues.

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Jubilee History

“ T don’t think Miss Haigh has ever failed us . . . She has often been likened in the Staff-room to a walking encyclo- paedia . . . yet the description does not do her justice for it does not take into account her sympathetic kindliness. She was a wonderful person.’”’ The O.G.A. knows it still as they turn to her again and again. She was elected as the first Chairman of their Committee in 1957.

*K * * *

Pending the adoption of new plans for secondary education in Huddersfield, Miss D. Finch, B.Sc. (Lond.), was transferred to Greenhead from Longley Girls’ Central School, and was Head Mistress for four years. Miss Finch had always been a believer in the capacity of women to play an effective part in public life and both she and Miss Hill, as President and Committee members, have made tremendous contributions to women’s societies and to many charitable bodies in the town. As Headmistress of Green- head, Miss Finch quickly won the respect and affection of those with whom she worked . . . we appreciated her sincerity and balanced judgment, but perhaps most of all that sense of humour which always appeared at the right moments. ”’

On Miss Finch’s retirement in 1950, Mrs. R. Doherty, B.Sc. (Lond.), became the fourth Headmistress and remained at Greenhead until 1957, when home responsi- bilities took her back to London where she joined the Staff of Goldsmiths’ College as Lecturer in Mathematics. These seven years were years of less financial stringency. Mrs. Doherty was herself a keen gardener and much was done to improve the grounds and to furnish flowers indoors with a real sense of artistic arrangement. She was also interested in modern furnishings and was able to plan

Page Twenty-three

changes in the buildings which included a much-needed Staff cloakroom (omitted in the original design !), and the modernisation of some of the laboratories. Upper Sixth very much appreciate her adaptation of the old Fives Courts into a form-room and comfortable Common-Room. The greatest addition was of a “ new block,’ named by Alderman Dawson “ Rosemary House,’ 1954. Although less than originally proposed, a kitchen being abandoned for a large room for washing up, there is a new dining- room and four subject-rooms with adjoining stock- cupboards. The dining-room seats about 176 girls so there are two sittings for dinner, which is still sent from the central kitchen. It is also used as a music-room. The various colour schemes introduced in this building have since been extended to the old school.

There was considerable consternation in 1950 when the S.S.E.C. introduced far-reaching changes in the system of public examinations, introducing the General Certificate of Education. In typical British fashion, however, the accumulated experience of the Examining Bodies and of the teachers adopted the new proposals without sacrificing the solid achievements of the earlier Certificates. At Green- head the suggestion was made that in some subjects girls proceeding to Advanced level should begin a pre-sixth course in the fifth form, and by-pass the Ordinary level.

_ This has resulted in a good deal of change in the curriculum.

As a result of the abolition of fees by the 1944 Act and the increased demand for teachers and also the better pay in that profession, more girls were staying on into the sixth form. For those who would not perhaps achieve the Advanced level a General Course was arranged, which many have found most useful at college or in training for nursing.

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It was felt that the time had come for a change in the School uniform. The Gym tunic has long given way to shorts and shirts so in its place a pinafore dress was intro- duced. The summer frock was also changed—a blue floral pattern being chosen. The passage of years has seen the

pig-tail change to the pony-tail, and if now the hair is.

worn “up, it may be the fashionable “ dough-nut ”’ of a Third-former and not due to the decorum of the Sixth!

In September, 1957, Miss M. Owen, B.Sc. (Lond.), took up her appointment as the fifth Headmistress of the school.

* * * *

While it is realised that the greatest achievements of the school are the least spectacular, lying as they do in the fields of character and scholarship, yet Greenhead has made a cultural contribution which extends beyond its walls. Physical Education, Dramatics, Art and Music have fostered interest and skills which enrich the life both of the individual and the group. Sir Michael Sadler wrote : ‘“ The real success of the School would depend in consider- able measure on the provision of a good playing-field where school games could be organised for all pupils.’ When the building was opened in 1909, Lord Stanley felt regret that the hall and gymnasium served a dual purpose, even though it was equipped with “ portable appliances of the latest type for Swedish drill.’”’ After fifty years the same difficulties face the staff responsible for Physical Education.

Among the most valued mementoes possessed by many Old Girls are the Games’ Colours won for outstanding performances in Hockey, Netball and Tennis and indeed their proficiency is remarkable! Year after year the Games Captain bewails, ““ we have no good field of our own.’ ‘“‘ Two new grass courts at Greenhead and one at Longdenholme—a not very satisfactory provision for 480

Greenhead High School

girls ’’ ; “‘Games are making no progress at all as the accommodation is so League fixtures were played “‘away’’ as “the West Riding League would not pass the hockey-field for The keen (and the not- so-keen !) trailed to Gledholt, to Leeds Road or to Wellfield Road. When Greenhead Park courts were constructed some use of them was obtained. In 1930 the school raised £100 towards levelling the adjacent field in Greenhead Road. During World War I, “school games had been difficult this year (1918) as our large field was required for potato-growing.’’ Squads of diggers sallied forth in games periods! In 1933 another £100 was raised towards asphalting the new tennis and netball courts. These were the days of the World slump and money for such projects was very difficult to obtain. In 1958 three new hard courts have been made. The Town Hall was the scene of many Physical Training Demonstrations when drill and vaulting were combined with dancing and eurhythmic exercises. A swimming Gala was held for many years before classes were begun in 1932 in school hours, first at Ramsden Street and then in the fine new Baths in Cam- bridge Road. Many girls have obtained the R.L.S.S. awards. It is often interesting to see outstanding grace and ability here not necessarily shown by a girl in other activities. Greenhead has often held many of the inter- school trophies.

One of the oldest photographs is of “Scenes from produced in 1910 by the Staff with Miss Chambers as Miss Betsy Parker, “‘ whose entrance was the signal for a new outburst of enthusiasm.’’ Many of the mistresses were keenly interested in Dramatics, and some were themselves notable members of the Thespians. They brought their talent to school productions and were admirably supported by the Art and Needlework depart-

Page 29

Jubilee History

ments in stage effects and costumes. The school hall and platform have always proved difficult. In 1913 it was felt that many people could not have seen the Greek Chorus work in “ without some raised seats at the back of the Hall. The most memorable productions were “The Piper’ by J. Peabody The Knight of they Burning : Péstle Lathe: Plays): of St. Francis ’’ by L. Housman and “ Brer Rabbit and Mr. Fox ”’ by, Deannier (1927), “Maeterinck’s:'‘' The Bhie Bird ’’ in 1935, ‘‘ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ’’ and ‘Through the Looking in 1939 and “ 1066 and All That ” by Sellar and Yeatman in 1947. The previous year the Juniors had performed “‘ The Magic Well ”’ a play written specially for them by Miss Beard who was often the producer of the school plays. Staff and Old Girls contri- buted dramatic entertainments at the Birthday Parties when they were held at school.

The war interrupted the bigger productions and Miss Dawn's suggestion was eagerly adopted by the Sixth Form that they should get up a play themselves. Ever since “ Pride and Prejudice ’’ in 1948, these have proved most successful, and have recently been “ pushed in ”’ after the completion of G.C.E. Advanced examinations at the end of the Summer Term. Hectic rehearsals and the making of costumes have resulted within a fortnight in productions which would have graced far more experienced companies ! There is better stage lighting and the back exit from the Hall is a great improvement.

Sir Michael Sadler’s intimate knowledge of the folk of these parts is seen in a special recommendation. ‘“ Part- singing is the art of the West Riding. No other part of the country excels to the same degree in this form of artistic expression and I would urge that in all departments

Page Twenty-five

of education and not least in the Girls’ High School, this great natural gift of the countryside should be carefully developed and trained . . . Education which prepares for life, should give a due place to skilful training in the art most characteristic of the district and most congenial to the talents of the majority of the pupils.’”’ And what a debt the generations of Greenhead girls owe to Miss E. Spikes and Miss E. W. Townsend! In addition to the great programmes rehearsed for Speech Day, Concerts have been given in the Town Hall, the first in 1924. In 1937 and again since the war, the Choir has sung in B.B.C. programmes. A special Choir competed in the Blackpool Festival in 1921. Each December a Carol Service is conducted by Upper Sixth. Piano lessons have never been given at the School, but Mrs. Kaye had her first pupils for string classes in 1936 and there has been a great expansion along orchestral lines since 1947. In 1956 the Junior Section won a First Prize in the Pontefract Musical Festival. One of the school members of the Huddersfield Youth Orchestra became a percussion player in the National Youth Orchestra. Musical appreciation has been fostered by societies and by special concessions for the fine concerts in the Town. The gramophone of 1924 became the radiogram of 1948, and in recent years the Choirs have raised the money for the purchase of a Bechstein Grand Piano. A few girls have made music

their career. Dame Clara Butt and the great composer Gustav Holst have both visited the school.

In Art a School Christmas card has been designed since 1955 under the direction of Miss Lloyd. An ex-pupil of Greenhead has had her pictures in Exhibitions in London and Paris.

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Page Twenty-six

An Old Girls’ Society was formed in 1912 and its connection with the School has been a very happy one. For many years it was responsible for the entertainment at the Birthday parties, and its own Dinners and less formal meetings have been very much enjoyed. At the Dinner for several years, each guest received a posy, a fruit knife or some small gift sent by Miss Chambers with her affec- tionate regards. In 1914 it is recorded that the school cheered the announcement of the birth of Thomas Arthur Shaw, its first “ grandson’’ the son of Margaret Stott. Fifteen years later many Old Girls brought their “‘ under- fives to the first O.G.’s Babies’ Garden Party, which has now become an annual event. It is amusing to find photo- graphs of present prefects making their first appearance aged one (or less) in a pram!

Before Miss. Hill resigned she formed the Parent- Teacher Association, and in addition to the Annual “ At Home’ when Members of the Staff invite parents to discuss matters of mutual concern in the girls’ education, there have been a number of interesting lectures on such topics as psychology and careers.

The fabric of the School has been well cared for by Mr. Dannatt, Mr. Atkinson, Mr. Mr. O’Toole and their staff.


In September 1957, when Miss Owen was welcomed to Greenhead, two very big demands were made upon her— the first was to plan the School’s Jubilee celebrations in 1959. This was indeed a memorable year when four of our five headmistresses were present with many former members of staff and pupils for the great Town Hall Party, the O.G.A. Jubilee Dinner and the Service of Thanksgiving

Greenhead High School

in Huddersfield Parish Church. Good wishes and gifts poured in ; the record of them all is to be found in the School Magazine of March 1959—photographs with prose articles and verse expressing the happiness and loyalty of the members of the School and its friends. The generosity of the Parent-Teachers’ Association and of the O.G.A. made it possible to present each girl with a copy of the Jubilee History of the School compiled by Miss Cocker. As a new phase opens in Huddersfield’s Education policy, this second edition of the History brings it up to date.

In Jubilee year itself the Ministry of Education decided to use Greenhead as the prototype for the remodelling of a Grammar School on the existing site. Two years followed which evoked Miss Owen’s splendid mathematical powers of organisation, two years of demolition and reconstruction, of dust and noise, of plans made and discarded. Catalogues were consulted, ideas and costs set against each other by the Ministry, the Huddersfield L.E.A., the many contribu- tory firms and the Staff, and in spite of mistakes and disappointments a very fine school emerged with a spaciousness due to doubling the size without unduly increasing the numbers. The first and second forms were kindly accommodated at Spring Grove School until all could be gathered together again for the official Opening of the re-modelled Greenhead High School by Sir E. Boyle, Minister of Education, on Friday, February Ist, 1963 (and as on January 15th, 1909, how it snowed !)

A twin-purpose Hall for Assembly and dining, a large gymnasium, first-class laboratories, with an intriguing animal house !—these were new, but the transformation of the old building was the special delight. The former hall-cum-gym became a library which could grace a college. There was a fine Staff Room and a Sixth Form Common

Page 31

Jubilee History

Room, subject-rooms with the latest equipment and adjacent stock, a pleasing decor, enlarged windows, many improvements to the beautiful site entered through a new wrought-iron gate—-these made us all join the workman who said to our magazine reporters, “‘ It’s a lovely school, a first-class school and a good It provided a splendid environment for the scholarship, sportsmanship, and character-building of an out-standing decade.

Some of the women who had made great contributions to Greenhead died in this period : Miss Gilmore and Miss Wallhead (Mrs. Shott) (1962), Miss Hill (1963), Miss Finch (1965), Mrs. Greenwood (1967), Miss Hull (1968), Miss Alice Haigh (1969).

Staff changes included the appointment of more men, and more married women continued to teach. Television was a new educational technique and some out-of-school activities were more ambitious than before. They included two memorable cruises arranged by Miss Owen and Miss N. Mason to the Baltic Capitals in 1967 and to the western Mediterranean in 1970.

Modernity—the note was struck by the statuary, murals and other handsome gifts. A flying figure of Youth by Feter Feri stands high. on,,the,.,cormer .of); the new laboratoraries building and inside at the head of the stairs is a panel by Gerald French, an abstract ‘formula’ in lovely colour of chemistry, physics and biology. The Yorkshire artist, Janet Rawlins (Parfitt), made the collages ‘ Huddersfield ’ and ‘ The Centaurs’ and also the mosaic, ‘The Firebird.’ Miss Lloyd designed the weather-vane, A. G. Roberts the sculpture, ‘Conversation Piece,’ G. Kniveton the metal science trophy and David Leveson ‘ Rhythm’ in wood.

Page Twenty-seven

Modernity—the note was struck when Greenhead commissioned and gave the first performance of ‘ A Sequence of Shakespeare Songs’ by John Gardiner at Speech Day in 1964 and of his ‘ Viva la Musica’ together with David Barlow’s ‘ Magnificat ’ and ‘ A Morning Pastoral’ by James Brown in 1966. Sixth-formers produced plays by Christopher Fry, Giraudoux and Brecht. Miss Margaret Mason and Mr. Neville Atkinson jointly composed and produced the cantata ‘ Ruth.’

Modernity—scientific syllabuses changed and expanded in the nuclear age and the School turned over to the New Mathematics—leaving fathers ever more helpless as home- work assistants to whom one could turn !

1968 was the year of MHuddersfield’s Centenary Celebrations as a Borough. Greenhead, whose O.G.A. in 1959 had given a ‘thank you’ to the Corporation in the form of a silver rose-bowl, once again invited the citizens to Open Days and joined in the athletics display in honour of Princess Alexandra. Huddersfield had greatly changed in this period and the pace of change has increased in recent years. Many mean decrepit premises have been replaced by well-planned housing and business areas which have been considered in relation to a fine legacy of nineteenth-century building seen again in its original beauty, cleaned of years of smoky grime and set off by flower-beds, trees and open spaces. But the people too are changing. The Town’s good record of varied employment has attracted a large immigration from Poland, the West Indies, India and Pakistan. The girls of Greenhead, whose horizons have always been widened by their own studies and travels, have assisted in the Home Tutor scheme for teaching English to Asian women and in the Summer Language School for some of their children. Other girls

Page 32

Page Twenty-eight

volunteered for Community Service in a ‘ Help the Elderly ’ scheme, invited handicapped children to share their parties and raised substantial sums for many charities by collections, plays, concerts, carol-singing and harvest sales. We were delighted to hear from Merril Hirst who worked in Israel as a ‘ Bridge in Britain’ scholar and from Judith Dyson, the School’s first V.S.O. worker who went to Northern


The School has always treasured the news which some of its members have sent in (often with a feeling of gratitude for early encouragement and good foundations). If some outstanding degrees and high appointments, publications and honours are listed here, it is always in the knowledge that they are only representative of a great many whose work and service have adorned so many fields.

Publications : RP BE in H. ‘ Boiler-making a Hundred Years Ago’ ............ H. Arnold ‘Plan Work and Enjoy Leisure ”........... G. Cocker and three school Cookery books in collaboration with a colleague.

ORI, ius Seiad K, M.i.Cocker ‘ The Religious Body’ and other books of detective ae oder K. H. McIntosh (C. Aird) Sis by ta. erga: edited by K. H. McIntosh ‘ King’s Pawn,’ ‘ Child of Time’ and other Historical TE So. A. Quigley (nee Armitage) Contributions to ‘ Nidderdale ’ .......... J. M. G. Dawson RAR Wire CRP ok cei A ca cies J. Berry

In the 1958 New Year Honours appeared the names of two sisters, school girls in Miss Chambers’ days: Dr. Katharine Hirst, O.B.E. (Senior Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health) and Miss Margaret Hirst, M.B.E.

Greenhead High School

(Tutor for Women’s Training Courses to the National Old People’s Welfare Council).

Very high academic honours and appointments have been won by Mary Garthwaite (Mathematics, Oxford) and by Julia Annas (Classics, Oxford), Karen Jones (History, Cambridge), Joan Coldwell (English, London and Harvard) now in Canada, Janet Fitton (Social Studies, London) now in Cairo, and many others. Fine careers in science have taken some Greenhead girls as doctors, nurses, physiother- apists to Edinburgh, London, Sydney, Borneo and elsewhere. Michelle Hine is a Pilot Officer in the R.A.F., Philippa Buckley’s hobby is as a glider-pilot and trainer. Rachel Whittaker works with Reuters in Fleet Street, Margaret Greenhalgh produces with the B.B.C. A fantastic variety of jobs and experiences! Readers, please keep School informed or a member of Staff, if you take the chance to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro! (Judith Mitchell, when teaching in Rhodesia), or scale the heights in your own particular way.

‘ Any system of education which replaces this one,’ said Miss Owen in 1970, ‘must develop the same qualities in the able minority. Even if we don’t select them, they will select themselves. And they will need the stimulation of good teaching wherever they are.’

In 1970 Miss Willis retired after nineteen years’ fine service to the French department and Miss Patch left to take up other work. She had devoted twenty-seven years to Greenhead in many different spheres both in school and in outside activities. The following year Miss Nancy Mason retired. Miss Mason had been senior Mistress since 1955 and she compiled an excellent photographic record of innumerable school events, many of which owed more

Page 33

Jubilee History

than was ever realised to Miss Mason’s untiring work and her very varied interests and skills. Shortly afterwards came Miss Lloyd’s retirement from the art department she had directed for thirty-seven years, training the artistic gifts of many girls and ready to put her detailed knowledge of custume and staging at the service of so many play- producing amateurs.

On March 29th, 1972, Mrs. Thatcher, the Secretary of State for Education and Science, confirmed that ‘ Greenhead will become a Sixth Form College.’ The intention had been known for some time and at Christmas 1971 Miss Owen left Huddersfield to become Headmistress of Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School. These supplementary pages bear witness to her important and fruitful period in the history of Greenhead, when she and her colleagues worked with devotion and success to educate in the very best sense of _ the word, more than a thousand of Huddersfield’s teen-age

Page Twenty-nine

girls who would go forward to a great role as British citizens. Very many thanks and warmest good wishes went with Miss Owen across the Pennines. Mr. J. C. Hodgson, B.A., became acting-Headmaster and in three terms of this office he won support and appreciation from both Staff and girls.

Now the Transition Period begins under Mr. G. L. Cooksey, M.A. The last selected entry of girls at eleven- plus has been made. As they ‘ grow out’ in the next four years more and more Sixth Formers will come in, and will establish Greenhead as one of Huddersfield’s mixed Sixth

Form Colleges.

The School O.G.A. plans to perpetuate itself for the time

being, still ‘looking back’ to ‘ days red-lettered as they fled along,’ remembering with affection and gratitude their

years as pupils at GREENHEAD HIGH SCHOOL.

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Page Thirty

Greenhead High School

Dorothy Jenkins Edith Marshall ...... Marian Draper ...... Ruth Buckley ..... Marjorie Moote ...... Marjorie Moote ...... Jessie Davis __...... Freda (zee... Margaret Hirst ...... Gladys Cotton. ...... Mabel Riley _..... Theo. M. Lowe ...... Dora Atkinson ...... Joan Pearson _..... Lilian Moorhouse

Kathleen Cocker Sheila Thomas ......

Janet Simpson-Smith. .....

Gladys Dougan Constance Haigh Mary Heaton ..... Joan Fenton © «.....

Maisie Park Enid au.

Sally Parkinson and Joy Shires

Audrey Hirst _..... Betty Shires «x. Mary Aspinall ...... Kathleen Pearson Kathleen Pearson Joan Milnes _.....

Mary Wilson. _.....








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