Loughton County High School for Girls
Copyright © 2015 by Susan Capes · All Rights reserved · E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sport was a very important part of life at Loughton High and girls with particular talents were encouraged to take part in competition with other schools and to compete, if they were able, at county or national level
Some especially successful girls made it to International level
Some sporting success stories can be found below.
Even during those very 'proper' early days of the school,
girls can be seen having fun in what looks like a sack race.
Those of us with no sporting ability whatsoever (that was me! - Sue) were still encouraged to be a part of the events.
I remember going along to netball matches carrying a big bag of oranges to cut up for half time.
When our girls were playing at Junior Wimbledon the whole school were trundled off in coaches to offer support
though I distinctly recall being more interested in the strawberries and cream than I was in the tennis.
I'm sensing a food theme here, what with the oranges above ..?..? It was nice to have a day off lessons though.
Loughton, Tennis and the Aberdare Cup
The third Baron Aberdare, Clarence Napier Bruce (1885 to 1957) was an active tennis player and was U.S.A. Amateur Champion in 1930 and of the British Isles in 1932 and 1938. He played eighteen times for Great Britain in the Bathurst Cup and six times won the Coupe de Paris.
In 1937 he was appointed chairman of the National Fitness Council, an early attempt at a sports council in England and was also involved in the organising committee of the 1948 London Olympics. The National Fitness Council was short-lived and was dissolved in October 1939. However this period was a time for the promotion of sport and physical activity in general and for girls in particular.
The Lawn Tennis Association (L.T.A.) became increasingly involved in schools tennis in 1941, for example, with the formation of the Junior Lawn tennis club whose objective was to provide competitive play for young players. The following year a Girls Schools L.T.A. was formed open to all comprehensive, grammar, independent and secondary schools - there was an equivalent organisation for boys. The Aberdare Cup is a Girls National School Tennis competition which was set up in 1942 and is still going strong (2015) with a re naming to the Girls National Championships. The L.T.A. website records details of the winners of the Aberdare cup since 1969 but prior to this the systems were paper based. However the winners’ names are all engraved on the Aberdare Cup itself.
The format of the cup is to place schools into regional groups - eg Scotland /North of England, Yorkshire/Lancashire, East Region, South/ West London and so on. The winners of each of these regional groups then play one another in a series of group matches and then the top teams from that contest the Aberdare Cup itself at Wimbledon.
Loughton has over the years been quite actively involved in the Aberdare Cup and has produced a number of players of note.
Dianne Oakley - won Nestles school tennis ladder in September 1965 and reached the Junior Wimbledon finals 1966
Susan Oakley qualified for Junior Wimbledon 1966
Barbara Shepherd qualified for Junior Wimbledon 1966
Debbie Jevans successful at Junior Wimbledon 1978 and active at the championships from 1976 to 1983. Her best performance was in 1978 when she reached the quarter finals of the women’s’ event.
Jane French qualified for Junior Wimbledon and won in 1962
Celia French qualified for Junior Wimbledon
Sally Dolden qualified for Junior Wimbledon
Jane Burnage qualified for Junior Wimbledon
Tina Sawyer qualified for Junior Wimbledon
The Aberdare Cup
Luckily a school sports fixtures diary exists for the period 1954 to 1973 and we can definitely see LCHS involvement in the cup in 1961. Any participation in the immediate post war period was unlikely as the 1946 school magazine tells us that “ hay on the courts prevented any play but this season we are hoping to resume practices and matches”. By 1948 the magazine proudly announces “we now have a very fine hard tennis court” and by the early 1950’s the LCHS girls seemed to be getting plenty of practice in. Loughton’s hey day in the tournament ran from the late 1950’s to the mid 1970’s with a total of at least nine/possibly ten appearances in the final.
Most of the information on Loughton’s performance in the Aberdare Cup comes from our own school magazines. The dates given here refer to the magazine issue - sometimes a magazine contains the report for the previous summer and sometimes the magazine was for a calendar, rather than an academic year so sometimes it is challenging to work out when the matches were actually played! Any verification of the facts presented by the school magazines would be appreciated.
The first mention of the Aberdare Cup comes in the 1958/9 magazine reporting the Head Mistress as saying “ our first tennis team reached the East of England finals of the Aberdare cup at Wimbledon; our first couple were not defeated and played in the Doubles Championship at Wimbledon where they reached the All England final.”
The Tennis captain, Jill Hewitt, wrote
“The First V1 created history in L.H.S tennis by being our first team to enter for the Aberdare Cup, offered by the L.T.A for competition among the girls’ schools in the country. They reached the area finals, thus winning the chance of playing at Wimbledon………….The team owes its success to enthusiastic practice and support, and to untiring encouragement, and would like to thank all those who have supported them so well.” The day at Wimbledon was attended by 200 girls and many members of staff. The Loughton team included two of the French sisters. The 1959 tennis team photo is more than likely taken at Wimbledon.
“The First V1 again entered the Aberdare Cup competition and reached the area final, which this year was played at Queenswood School. The team gained their place in these finals by decisively beating Sarah Bonnell and Downham School , at home, in the first round, and by winning against Woodford County High, St Monica’s, and Felixstowe College, although these matches were much more testing.”
“The first V1 were knocked out in the third round of the Aberdare Cup by Felixstowe College for Girls.”
The team “played outstandingly and also won though three rounds of the Aberdare Cup and having won the semi-finals competed in the finals at Wimbledon for the first time ever. They played well winning the East of England cup, but losing the Aberdare cup to Tunbridge Wells”. Amongst our team were Jane and Celia French who played at Junior Wimbledon. This report suggesting that this was our first time in the final seems at odds with the 1958/59 report.
1963 The Head Girl wrote “Successes in the field of sport continued and a thrilling climax to the Tennis team’s excellent season was their participation in the final of the Aberdare Cup at Wimbledon, where, cheered on by most of the school, they came third.” The Tennis captain, Margaret Shephard, added “In the Aberdare Cup the first team retained the East of England Cup, winning a place in the final at Wimbledon. Here the first pair, who were originally second pair, repeated last year’s performance by winning all their matches. The final resulted in a win for Queen Anne’s Caversham, Edgbaston School coming second, Loughton Third and Hunmanby Hall, Filey, fourth. Although we did not win the cup the players and 396 girls who came to watch thoroughly enjoyed their visit.”
By Autumn 1964
The tennis captain, Celia French writes
“The First V1 once again won the Eastern Area of the Aberdare Cup, thus qualifying for a place in the final at Wimbledon. Here they were supported by nearly half the school, but in spite of valiant efforts only came 2nd, losing to Millfield”
“We had the excitement of going to Wimbledon once again for the final of the Aberdare Cup. ……………after a shaky start the team played well, and came second once again. This is the fourth time we have won the Eastern area trophy, and had the honour of representing this part of the country at Wimbledon.”
LCHS lost in the first round of the Aberdare Cup
“The senior team was once again fortunate enough to reach the final of the Aberdare Cup. The team did not have much opposition among local schools and it was not until the area final that exciting tennis was seen. The team were greatly encouraged by the loyal support from more than half the school going to Wimbledon and the players were sorry they could not reward the school by winning the cup.”
The Head Girl wrote “The Senior Tennis team won their way through to the final of the Aberdare Cup at Wimbledon by winning the East of England section. School is beginning to regard the Cup final at Wimbledon as an annual event to which we have a permanent invitation.” The Tennis captain, Susan Oakley, also recorded that “The 1st team once again reached the final of the Aberdare Cup and went to Wimbledon. This was the sixth time that we have been, but we have yet to win the cup.”
“The senor team have maintained a high standard of play throughout the season and once again reached the final of the Aberdare Cup, where they were placed third after a very enjoyable day’s tennis.”
“The senior team reached the area final of the Aberdare Cup and came a very close second to St Paul’s. Although the team did not reach the final at Wimbledon the result was very pleasing as it was due to much hard work”.
“The First Senior team reached the area final of the Aberdare Cup. At the end of the day, we had tied first and, as a result had to be obtained, a percentage of the sets won to the sets played was taken. Unfortunately, we lost by a very narrow margin and so missed playing in the final at Wimbledon.”
“The 1st Senior tennis team …………after just losing the area finals of the Aberdare Cup last year…..won the Eastern Area Finals and went through to Wimbledon. Here, after a strenuous day’s play, we were only just beaten by Millfield, thus coming second in the country.”
“The senior team…………again reached the final of the Aberdare cup, for the ninth time, when they were placed third after a very enjoyable day’s tennis.”
No mention of the Aberdare Cup in school magazines
Loughton were defeated in the first round of the Aberdare Cup by Ilford who were the eventual winners.
Loughton lost early in the Aberdare Cup.
Lost in the second round of the Aberdare Cup
1982 and 1983
No mention of tennis in the school magazine
Loughton lost in the first round of the Aberdare Cup.
Loughton lost in the first round of the Aberdare Cup.
Loughton lost in the second round of the Aberdare Cup.
Archive of L.C.H.S. magazines
Christine has once again excelled herself with this research into tennis at LHS and with particular reference to the Aberdare Cup. Information online about it is very sparse so she has done an wonderful job!
Mrs Marjorie Daniel
Marjorie Daniel played hockey for England in 1952 and 1953, and got 7 caps.
The programme for the Wembley game on Saturday 8 March 1952 England v Scotland
said: Marjorie Daniel (Essex) Left half ( Result: 9 - 2 )
Clubs: Brentwood Old Girls and Woking Swifts.
Also another new cap. Diminutive in stature but terrier-like in her work.
Is a P E Mistress at Loughton High School. Recently married.
The programme for the Wembley game on Saturday 14 March 1953 England v Belgium
said: Marjorie Daniel (Essex) Left Half ( Result: 11 - 0 )
Clubs: Brentwood Old Girls and Woking Swifts.
Gained her first international badge in the England v Scotland international here last year.
A physical education mistress at Loughton High School.
Information is from the Archives of the National Hockey Museum
Many thanks to Pat, Mike and Nan at the museum for researching this
In the 1950s, LHS had a sporting teacher in the form of Mrs Daniel:
The Autumn 1952 school magazine tells us:
“ We offer our congratulations to Mrs Daniel, one of our Physical Education mistresses, who was this year selected to play hockey for England.”
In the Autumn 1953 magazine it is reported that:
“One expedition was to Wembley to see the Women’s international Hockey match against Belgium. Mrs Daniel played left half in the English team, ably supported by a bevy of some two hundred red, white and green scarves with loud voices.”
In the Autumn 1954 magazine it reports:
“People took particular interest in the I.F.W.H.A conference and tournament held at Folkestone in October in which Mrs Daniel played for England, and in the hockey match at Wembley to which seven coach-loads of people went to watch England beat Scotland.”
1952 Wembley Programme
Click a photo then scroll through with the arrows
Result of the match
England 9 - Scotland 2
Please send me your sporting memories (and photos if possible) to include on this page
Loughton High School had the rare fortune to possess its own swimming pool.
Funds were raised by teachers, pupils, local donations - anything that would help.
One source of income was the sale of this beautiful card showing the sixth form staircase.
The pool was eventually built and it opened in 1922
||Re-opening after World War II
Pupils had a Marmite relationship with this pool. I loved it because swimming was one sport I was good at. Others loathed it for being bitterly cold with a lot of slimy leaves and floating creatures in!
Anne Wells (LHS 1952 - 1957) emailed me some of her memories, amongst which was the following:
Buns at break time - wonderful memory - (food again!-Sue) and being rather upset and snooty about having to share our swimming pool with children from other local schools. Oh dear!
There are dozens of comments on facebook about the yummy break time buns and the bun tickets we had to exchange for them.
Elizabeth (Liz) Long took her swimming to Olympic level
Elizabeth was the winner of the Ladies 440 yards championship of England and also the winner of the Girls 220 yards championship of England.
She swam in the 1964 summer Olympics in Tokyo swimming in the final of the 4 x 100m medley relay with team mates Jill Norfolk, Stella Mitchell and Mary Anne Cotterill, where GB finished 5th in the final.
She also swam in the of the final individual 400m freestyle and finished 6th.
She was in the team for the 4 x100m freestyle relay, but they didn't make it past the heats.
Liz was also in the Commonwealth games winning bronze in 1962 in Australia in the 440 yards freestyle.
It seems in 1965 Liz was voted Female Swimmer of the year
Thanks to Christine for these snippets
Tennis was popular at LHS and the tennis courts across the road had plenty of use, taking chances with the traffic on Alderton Hill to reach the hard courts (when they weren't being used for netball) or the grass courts on the athletics field
The Aberdare Cup had many LHS participants - you can read more about that here below - and some qualified to compete at junior Wimbledon
The 1959 Junior Wimbledon team included two of the three tennis-playing French sisters
Jane went on to win Junior Wimbledon as can be seen in this photograph taken from the 1963 edition of the Nestle Book of Tennis - "Match Point"
Sadly, Jane passed away a few years ago but she obviously inspired
her son who now works for the Lawn Tennis Association
Jane and Judith's younger sister, Celia, was also a keen tennis player. She and Jane competed in the Aberdare Cup on more than one occasion
|At Queen's Club
||from the Nestle Book of Tennis
Celia also features prominently on the website for her academic achievements, not least because she is now (since 2014) Dame Celia Hoyles
Another LHS Olympian is Shirley Netherway - 1937 - 2016 - (LHS 1948 ?)
who competed in Fencing at both the 1960 and 1964 Olympics
The Elizabeth Long Trophy is awarded to the top performing girl and boy who are 11 years of age on the last day of the Ulster Age Group Championships. The events counting will be the 100m in the 4 strokes and the 200m Individual Medley, scored as points - 11, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and for 1st to 10th place in finals or HDW events (Heat Declared Winner - ie: no final, just heats). The swimmer with the greatest number of points over the 5 events will be the winner. In the event of a tie the award will be shared. Points will only be awarded if swimmers achieve the qualifying time in the relevant event.
I received a lovely email (Mar 2015) from Shirley giving permission to use these items.
She told me:
"I ...... look back on a very active life devoted largely to fencing. Once fencing takes a hold of you it is hard to let it go and this year I will have been involved in all aspects of the sport for 60 years, both as an amateur and professional. My husband and I retired to Dorset in the mid 1990s and for a while I lost touch with my fencing, but it came up again when I was asked to do the fight arranging for an ambitious local amateur production of The Three Musketeers. There was so much interest after the show that I started a fencing club which is still going strong.
I remember Liz Long very well and .....I (too) took part in the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. The Olympic Village was so vast and our training so different that we never met up. I also remember Mrs.Daniel. I was useless at hockey, but there was great excitement when we were all bussed up to London to watch her play in an international match. It was probably the England/Belgium game in 1953 - a lifetime ago !"
Kim Hagger (born 2 December 1961) is a retired English athlete who competed mainly in the heptathlon and the long jump. She represented Great Britain at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
She was known for her complex theory on how to hold the javelin. from Wikipedia
Kim Hagger (LHS 1972 ? )
BBC Sport listed Britains all-time top heptathletes:
Jessica Ennis-Hill - 6,955 points (2012)
Denise Lewis - 6,831 points (2000)
Katarina Johnson-Thompson - 6,682 points (2014)
Judy Simpson - 6,623 points (1986)
Kelly Sotherton - 6,547 points (2005)
Kim Hagger - 6,259 points (1986)
Louise Hazel - 6,166 points (2011)
Julie Hollman - 6,135 points (2002)
Tessa Sanderson - 6,125 points (1981)
Joanne Mulliner - 6,094 points (1987)
Morgan Lake - 6,081 points (2014)
I have been unable to find any usable images of Kim.
Getty Images had 6 really great ones and I had a link on here but they've now disappeared and I haven't been able to find them again - they certainly don't appear on the Getty search any more.
Photos of Kim
Kim wrote an article on athletics for the 1977 school magazine
Kim won the AAAs national under 15 long jump title in 1975 and 1976, and the Under 17 title in 1977 and 1978. She also represented Great Britain at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
At the 1984 Olympics she finished eighth in the heptathlon
and in 1988 she finished seventeenth.
In 1986, she reached her peak at both heptathlon and long jump. As of 2014, this still ranks her sixth on the UK all-time heptathlon list (See BBC list below).
Later in 1986, she won the UK long jump title, before going on to win a bronze medal in the heptathlon at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. She also finished fourth in the long jump. Two weeks later at the European championships in Stuttgart, she finished ninth in the heptathlon. On that occasion she acheived a lifetime best long jump performance of 6.70 m.
In 1987, Kim finished ninth in the heptathlon at the World Championships in Rome.
In 1989, she won the AAAs national heptathlon title.
She won her final national title in 1991, when she won the AAAs Indoor long jump championship for the third time.
If the bottom of the article disappears try clicking the 'full page' icon next to the X on the toolbar
In the early 1970s a team from school took part in the West Essex Gazette Challenge Cup
In the photo: ? ; Laura Wilson; Anne Goatcher; Jeannette Hardy (with cup); Liz Daniel; ? ; Janice Wilton
Postings on facebook suggest that other team members were Dilys Inch, Susan Mann and Susan Haynes. Vicki Harding is also mentioned in the article
photo will enlarge
Diane Creevy (LHS 1955 - 1962) remembers being good at sport:
"I won my colours for rounders (would you believe!) in the 1st and 4th form, also for hockey and netball although I forget which years. I also played tennis, a couple of times against Jane French losing very badly, of course." You can read more about Jane French and her tennis here
She also told me this story, from her 4th year, she thinks:
"One particular Sports Day I was chosen with others to do a gym demonstration on the playing field (jumping over the 'horse' and other tricks). Do you remember the blue divided skirts we wore normally? Well on this occasion the gym teacher (Miss Slingerland?) decided we would only wear our navy blue knickers. My mother was horrified at the idea and wouldn't allow me to take part!!"
I would have thought that the divided skirts would have been fine for a public, outdoor display, though I do remember not being allowed to use any of the apparatus in the gym while wearing them - it was baggy navy knickers or no participation and an 'absent' mark in the register! (Sue)
Mrs Daniel was naturally very supportive of the school's hockey teams
and this is a note she sent to the team members one Christmas
Thanks to Barbara Randell for this. The photo will enlarge
The following images were kindly sent to me by John King, who collects medals
and tokens, especially those with Essex interest. He owns this medal
It was awarded to Nancy Parford in 1933 for Gymnastics.
I have not been able to find out any more from the school magazines other than that Nancy also played in the hockey team, on the right wing.
She is mentioned as Patrol Leader of Bullfinch Girl Guide Patrol in the 1933 magazine and the magazine also states that she was granted exemption from London Matriculation in 1932.
||Blazer Pocket possibly Juniors?
|various sports badges
These badges belonged to Patricia (Pat) Wilkins and are from the late 1920s/early 30s. They were generously donated by her daughter, Carolyn. The hat band, and sports blazer pocket show an LHS crest very different to the one we are used to and yet the ordinary blazer badge that Carolyn sent is the same as the one we know. The badges on the right are for sport - possibly the two hand sewn ones are LHS juniors - C (cricket) eleven and H (hockey) eleven. There has been some discussion on the LHS facebook page about all these and the different crest may represent the junior school which was part of LHS early on. The metal badge is LHSG not LCHS as I first thought - G for girls not C for county.
Pat, and her 5 years older sister, Christine, attended LHS along with their cousins Brenda, Mary (aka Peggy) and Emily (aka Melah) Nichols. Pat played hockey for the school, for Essex and for the East of England Counties. After leaving school she joined the Civil Service and was evacuated with them to Blackpool during the war. When her father died, she returned to Wanstead and became a part-time (evening) fire warden while still working ful-time in London. During her time in Blackpool she met her husband-to-be and they married at the end of the war. Their daughter, Carolyn, was baptised in Wanstead but the family relocated to the North-West of England when her father left the army. Whilst at LHS, Pat joined the school's Girl Guide Company. See some of her guiding memorabilia here. Some of her school books and geometry set are here.
Sheena Baird (LHS 1963 - 1970) joined the LHS fencing club at school.
" I'd been fencing since the age of 14 with a fencing club in Ilford. A member of the 1960 and 1964 Olympic ladies' foil fencing team called Shirley Parker ( née Netherway) lived in Buckhurst Hill and came to the school to do a demonstration. She won a gold medal as part of the ladies' team in the 1966 British and Commonwealth games and a silver medal there as an individual competitor . I can clearly picture her with fair shoulder length hair, early 30s and looking very pretty dressed in her white fencing kit. Some of the team visited her at her house once. After the demonstration I think she offered Miss Slingerland, our Head of PE, to start an after school club and some of us joined. I think we were about 16 or 17 years old at the time ... so lower 6th and it must have been about 1969 . I'm not sure who funded the equipment but I guess the school did. I won this trophy in the end of year competition ! I believe there's also a fencing trophy with my name on it at school. I think the club continued after we left and maybe Shirley was replaced by a coach eventually . I went back to school to give a talk when I was at university and there was the fencing trophy in a cabinet which suggested they still had fencing competitions at school."
Shirley died in 2016. Her obituary appears on page 33 of The Sword Magazine of April 2016.
The link to the magazine is here (this will open in a new window)