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.