Loughton County High School for Girls
Christine's Chronology
A brief history of the County High School for Girls, Loughton, Essex
1876   12th January Mary Elizabeth Hall born in Cheadle, Cheshire
1888 to 1892   Mary Hall was a student at Manchester High School
1890s   Mary Hall studied Maths, Economics, Latin and French at the University of Manchester
1894   19th May - Eleanor Marguerite Verini born in Hampshire
1901   Mary Elizabeth Hall, who was to become Loughton High School’s first headmistress, was living in Chorlton, Cheshire, working as a teacher in a private school.  - possibly
in Long Mills Derbyshire.
Mary trained under Sara Burstall who was the second Headmistress of Manchester High School, a school attended by the Pankhursts of suffragette fame.  Miss Burstall wrote
several books on education, including: English High Schools for Girls: Their Aims, Organisation, and Management (1907), Impressions of American Education (1909) and The
Story of Manchester High School (1911). In 1911 she served as President of the Association of Head Mistresses. At the 1914 Loughton speech day which Miss Burstall attended it
was said that no one living had done more (than Miss Burstall) to bring about the present condition of education amongst girls. It seems that Loughton was to be at the
forefront of  girls' education.
1902   Education Act gave Essex County Council the power to create the school
1903   Mary Hall awarded an MA in Economics by the University of Manchester
1904   April - Mary Hall appointed as an English Teacher at North Manchester High School.
1905   The Essex County Chronicle of 24th November reported that
It was proposed to establish a secondary girls’ school at Loughton which would
also be a pupil teacher centre. The secondary girls’ school was actually to be
started next term in York Hill House on which a short lease has been taken.
The site for a permanent building has been obtained about 200 yards from Loughton
Station and the proposed new school would be ready in 18 months or 2 years.
1906   January - The school opens in York Hill House, Loughton with Miss Hall as head. Miss Maud O’Kell seems to have accompanied Miss Hall to Loughton as an assistant
1908   The school moves to the Alderton Hill site in Loughton. The Essex Newsman of Saturday 9th May 1908 reports
“Professor Sadler opened the new High School for Girls erected by the Essex
Education committee at Alderton Hill Loughton”
Professor Sadler could well have been Michael Sadler who was an historian and educationalist. He worked at the University of Manchester.
The new building in Alderton Hill was designed by Herbert Tooley.

1909   May - Madeleine Elgiva Heald born in Doncaster.

1909    Announcement in the Essex County Chronicle on 16 July that the new term at Loughton would start on 20th September that year. At this time the school had a junior
department for girls aged between 8 and 12, and prospective pupils had to sit an entrance exam.

1912   December - The first Loughton speech day held at Lopping Hall. Chair of Governors Mr F Dent JP said
“the object of the school was to turn out a girl who was equipped for life in every way”

1912   Formation of the school’s own Girl Guide troop. We know that in December 1927 Miss Hall was a member of the HB Committee for Schools and Guide Cadet Companies.

1913   December - 115 pupils

1914   December - The third Loughton speech day held at Lopping Hall. 154 pupils

1917   Pupil numbers increased so much that an additional temporary building was required

1918   Full time education became compulsory from age 5 to 14.

1919 - 1923 LHS uses part of Braeside School as an annexe while construction work is carried out on the new extension

1922   January  - 21st anniversary of the school opening and Speech Day. Miss Hall said the last twenty one years had been marked by a ‘spirit of comradeship and service’.

1922   Opening of the school swimming bath

1922   December Miss Verini first registered as a teacher

1923   Miss Verini publishes Yuletide Revels in Merrie England with MA Lewis

1926   January - Speech day held at Lopping Hall. The School orchestra played under Miss OKell, teacher at the school and long-time colleague of Miss Hall. It was announced                         
that a new playing field would be purchased at a cost of £250

1929   By this time the school has three Girl Guide companies attached to it.

1930   New Assembly Hall built - it is assumed that the school no longer used Lopping Hall as a venue for Speech days

1931   February - Winifred Jean Delchar born

1932   One of the first ‘Old Girl’ governors Miss Kathleen Hutchin is appointed

1933   There are 446 students attending the school

1935   Friday 22nd November Announcement in the Western Times that Miss Hall “for more than 30 years headmistress of Loughton High School for Girls “ was retiring.

1936   January - The Essex Chronicle reports that approval has been given to erect a pavilion on the playing field at a cost of £400

1936   Miss Verini takes up the reigns at Loughton. She was previously head at Ely High School.  87 applications were received for the post, then shortlisted to 7. The
appointment of Miss Verini was confirmed from 1st May 1936. She was an English Language and English Literature graduate of Oxford (Class 11) She also had the Cambridge
teacher’s diploma and a Board of Education certificate.

1944   Education Act: Introduced tripartite system of grammar schools, technical schools and secondary modern schools. Pupils were to be allocated by results of 11+ exams. All
pupils were to have free secondary education until the age 15.

1945   September Miss Heald arrives as head. She was a graduate of Newnham College, Cambridge. Miss Verini had left to become Principal of the Cambridge Training College
for Women later to become Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge.

1947   Assumed the start of the Combined Choir with Bancrofts School

1951   School Certificate and Higher School Certificate examinations were replaced by O levels

c1956   Loughton High involved in a BBC recording of Hansel and Gretel with Bancrofts

1962   Miss Hall died. It was said at her retirement that Miss Hall loved her school at Loughton - she lived for it and had striven and fought for the things she thought right.

1962   Opening of new gym (and replacement of its predecessor a Nissan hut!)

1963   Loughton High competed in TV’s Top of the Form. The Show ran from 1948 to 1986, being on television from 1962 to 1975. Loughton narrowly lost its heat to a Boys
Grammar school from Hull. Our team were Deborah Howard, Susannah Howard, Barbara Mason and Charlotte Perrin

1966   January. Loughton High is 60 years old. A service was held in the  school to celebrate conducted by Canon EF Hudson Rector of Ingatestone 3000 crocuses are planted in
the school grounds in celebration and commemorative events are attended, amongst others, by Miss E M Verini, former and second headmistress of the school.

1966   Loughton High win the inter school quiz (The Laurie shield) beating Buckhurst Hill Boys into second place. The Loughton team were Janice Grover, Margaret Woskett,
Josephine Parker and Gillian Griffiths.

1966   Friday 13th December Loughton High perform at St Martin-in-the-Fields as part of the Combined Choir with Bancrofts. It seems the Combined Choir had been active for
18 or so years at this point.

1967   Involvement with Buckhurst  Hill boys in a performance of Richard III

1968   Involvement with Buckhurst Hill boys in a performance of A Man for all seasons

1968   Tuesday 24th May Loughton High perform at St Bartholomew the Great as part of the Combined Choir with Bancrofts

1969   Friday 9th December Loughton High perform at St Martin-in-the-Fields as part of the Combined Choir with Bancrofts

1971   November - Miss Heald receives her OBE at Buckingham Palace

1972   January - Bomb hoax at Loughton High School. Miss Heald said ‘the whole incident was very tiresome - an irresponsible thing to do’.

1973   67 years after it opened Loughton High forms a Parents Association under the chairmanship of Mrs Delchar. Was there a forerunner of this though?  In 1933 a parent
was in existence as it raised £500 for the school scholarship endowment fund.

1974   Loughton High School under threat of demolition but survived

1976   September Headmistress Mrs Delchar dies. Deputy Head, Mrs Henderson, takes the reigns

1977   January - Miss Patricia Smith, Mrs Delchar’s successor, appointed.

1977   3rd May to 24th May  Portrait of Miss EM Verini painted by Patrick Phillips RP, displayed by the Royal Society of Portrait Painters,

1979   September. Loughton High due to change from 3-form selective entry school to 4-form comprehensive.

1985   Appointment of Miss Christine Manning, last head of the old Loughton High

1987   9th July Miss Verini dies, notice published in The Times 11th July 1987

1989   The demise of Loughton High, it was rebranded as part of Epping Forest High School before becoming Roding Valley High.

2003   March Miss Heald dies, memorial service held at St Mary’s Church Loughton on 26th June.
Copyright © 2013 by Christine Spencer and Susan Capes ·  All Rights reserved  ·  E-Mail: sue@loughtonchs.co.uk
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