Loughton County High School for Girls
Some of Our Teachers
Copyright © 2013 Susan Capes ·  All Rights reserved  ·  E-Mail: sue@loughtonchs.co.uk
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Mrs Dorothy Henderson  LHS 1967 - 1984
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.
(see Sports page)
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.
photo is from the 1950s teachers group
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Four teachers retired in 1984 - Mrs Henderson, Miss Gadd, Miss Loynes and Miss Wolff.
The following items are transcribed from the 1985 school magazine. There are also extra items about Miss Wolff following on from these pieces.
It is surprising that the gold-framed portraits of past headmistresses did not fall off the wall in protest when Dorothy Henderson was appointed Deputy Head in 1974. For the Mrs Henderson in the English Department at Loughton High School from 1967-72 was not exactly an establishment figure. Then, she was the staff-room rebel with red hair, full of energy and wit, ever ready to challenge any Loughton tradition that seemed 'stuffy'. These qualities were seen very clearly in her '0' and 'A' level teaching. Mrs Henderson was able to cut through the verbiage of accumulated lit crit' to the essence of the concept she was examining. She had, too, the uncommon ability to make difficult abstract concepts so simple and concrete that students gained confidence from secure understanding. Charts and diagrams have helped numerous students through the tangles of the plot of Bleak House, through the complexities of the irony in Romeo and Juliet and up and down the peaks and troughs of Macbeth's psychological state.
Mrs Henderson's skills as a parodist and poet were put to irreverent use in her teaching. One Sixth Form group was given an extract from Wordsworth's Prelude to analyse that they would not have been able to find in the poem. An Upper Sixth student received a leaving report in rhymed couplets. As Deputy Head her teaching was still very important to her. One year no-one wanted to tackle the formidable Dickens' novel on the 'A' level paper so Mrs Henderson volunteered. Thus began the absorbing interest in Tennyson, Gosse, Hardy and other Victorian writers that many former Sixth Form students will remember. Her scholarship and enthusiasm continue unabated but now, in retirement, adults receive instruction on Victorian sewers and cinder heaps. Hardly had Mrs Henderson had time to get into her stride as Deputy before she was challenged by the sad duties surrounding Mrs Delchar's illness and death. For two terms she was Acting Headmistress, until Miss P.M. Smith was appointed, when she returned to the position of Deputy. In her administrative duties Mrs Henderson astonished everyone with her speed, efficiency and attention to detail; staff and girls felt that she provided a secure stable framework for the running of the school.
There may have been headaches for her as Deputy Head, such as unexpected staff absence or the muddle occasioned by industrial action, but Mrs Henderson found her job absorbing and rewarding. Most of all she enjoyed the contact with people, helping girls with emotional problems (or essay structure!), helping staff to grow as teachers. Every day threw up a different problem and something new to laugh at. Throughout the difficulties of the years which saw the school change from Grammar to Comprehensive, Mrs Henderson enlivened staff room conversation with jokes and good humour: awful puns and witty comments.
All at Loughton High School, both staff and girls, would like to thank Mrs Henderson for the many ways in which she has helped and encouraged us. We wish her a long and happy retirement. It will not be a quiet domestic retirement - there is too much restless energy in her for that - but at least she will have the freedom to devote her time entirely to things she wants to do. She will even be able to read a novel or poem without making notes in the margin.
1967-72: Second in the English Department.
1974-76: Deputy Head.
September 1976-April 1977: Acting Head.
1977-84: Deputy Head.
Miss L. I. Gadd    LHS 1957 - 1984
Miss Gadd joined the staff of L.H.S. in 1957 as Head of Physics, later becoming overall Head of Science. When she came to the school, the present science block had not been built, and the Physics laboratory occupied part of what is now the library. Moving to the new building involved a complicated manoeuvre in which the apparatus was temporarily stored in the old gymnasium (since demolished). But whether they were taught in the old premises or the new, Miss Gadd's pupils learned to appreciate her wide knowledge of her subject and the clarity and enthusiasm with which she taught it. One of Miss Gadd's outstanding qualities is her wide range of talents which have been generously used in service to the school. She is a fluent German speaker, and as such has accompanied school parties to Germany. At one time, she directed the lighting for school plays and helped with other back-stage work, as well as taking part in various staff entertainments and sixth form pantomime; she even appeared on one memorable occasion as Queen Victoria in a school play. In addition, she has several times sung in the choir for "Friends of Loughton Music". Many hours have been devoted to coaching girls for life-saving awards, and to pool supervision, enabling keen swimmers to spend the dinner-hour in pleasant recreation. The smooth running of a school involves a good many time-consuming behind-the-scenes tasks, and Miss Gadd undertook her full share of these. Had it ever occurred to you to wonder who cuts up the thousands of pieces of string required to tie examination scripts? This was part of Miss Gadd's duties in her role of stationery organiser, an onerous job which included ensuring that a multitude of different kinds of exercise books, paper, mathematical instruments, chalk and board rubbers all reached the people who needed them. These are just some of the areas of school life to which Miss Gadd contributed. Generations of pupils and staff will remember her kindness, concern for individuals, unfailing common-sense and cheerful companionship. It is difficult to imagine the school without her.
B. McLellan
Miss L. Loynes    LHS 1969 - 1984  as teacher.
She also attended as a pupil from about 1936.
She appears on the honours boards when she obtained her G.R.S.M. in 1949
Miss Loynes came to LCHS as Head of Music in 1969. During the fifteen years which followed there can have been no-one in the school, pupil or staff, who did not in some way feel the benefit of her influence on the school's musical life. She gave help and encouragement to all her pupils, from the humblest First Year girl learning sol-fa to the potential virtuoso performer in the Sixth Form. A firm believer in the pleasure and value of music-making, she provided opportunities for countless pupils to take part in public performances that we have all enjoyed: concerts, recitals, joint productions with the Drama Department, an annual Music Festival. Under Miss Loynes' direction, school choirs reached truly impressive standards: a combined choir sang on several occasions in major public concert halls, an unforgettable experience both for those who took part and for those of us who were lucky enough to hear them.
Special mention must be made of the Friends of Loughton Music, an association formed during Miss Loynes' years in the school to provide support for the work of the Music Department. Parents, staff and many other musical 'friends' have given generously of their talents and their time, inspired by Miss Loynes' own enthusiasm and hard work. We should like to thank her particularly for the perfectly chosen music which provided daily up-lift for us all at morning assembly. And we shall long remember her familiar figure seated at the grand piano in the Hall, leading the school purposefully through the hymns. We wish Miss Loynes every happiness in her well-earned retirement.

Miss Tatiana Wolff   LHS 1951 - 1984
Thirty-three springtimes have come and gone. The world has spectacularly changed. Men have walked on the moon and wobbled in space -great doings; great days. And one regular, faithful worker has hurtled under London 12,540 times. In the Guinness Book of Loughton High School Records stand other achievements of this traveller, apart from single handedly keeping London Transport solvent. She has used enough red ink to drown a small village; has dropped enough papers and books to stun a small regiment, and has carried Three Bags Full with enough persistence to make Baa Baa Black Sheep look like a boastful weakling. Miss Wolff- our congratulations. You have won the survival prize. She's enjoyed it all, actually. Her enviable temperament shrugs off irritations and pressures. She comes up laughing - and it's catching. The laughter shakes her totally and you have to help her out. She loves words used well and thoughts that touch the depths. For her, teaching has never been a ritualised communication of facts - it has been a sharing of experience, an enlightenment, an exploration of civilised values, and many a girl has reason to thank her for it. She has in her time played many parts: teacher, Head of Department, Senior Teacher, Head of Sixth, bicyclist extraordinary, Pantomime witch, and, as one of her classes call her, - "Nan", just like one of the family. Now she can turn from teaching to follow her many interests, and the candle need not burn at both ends. As she heads for home on the 12,541st journey, her three bags full will be jammed tight with memories for her and affection from us. She has her place at Loughton for ever, and, if she gets what she deserves, it will be springtime all the year round.                                                                                               D.Henderson.
The following is a compilation of Miss Wolff's own memories,
that Christine has put together from various School magazines
Miss Wolff remembers………………….
In 1977 when teaching she felt it was essential for everyone to sit comfortably when reading.
So I would hand out ‘Moonfleet ‘and then encourage the Seconds to sit comfortably when reading, which they assured me was on the floor - under the desks.
They disappeared from view and I went round, dipping down to ask each girl individually if she was enjoying the book. They enjoyed the SITUATION enormously;
and the Headmistress, on her well nigh daily visits to my classes, would come in to find a curiously inhabited room: the occupants mostly hidden and the teacher
bending down”
Whilst well known for her daily use of the underground little did we know of Miss Wolff’s driving escapades and the impact on a concert at St Bartholomew’s.
Again in 1977 Miss Wolff reveals:
“For a time I owned an upright Ford popular De Luxe model. I drove with L plates s it was the Suez crisis and driving tests had been cancelled. On one of my first
drives to school, I boldly offered the Head a lift and went straight into one of the school gate posts, levelling it to the ground. ”We will have to see the Caretaker”
the Head said laconically.
The car ended up a write off one night in May on the way to a Choir concert at St Bartholomew’s. “Two of your staff have just been wheeled into Barts”, the
verger said to the Head. She spent two hours with a policeman in the waiting room while we were treated for shock. Finally  we were ushered out to her, bloodied
but unbowed.”
And in 1982 Miss Wolff remembers a school production of Macbeth that must have taken place in 1956.
"I had been at Loughton for five years when celebrations of the school’s 50th anniversary came upon us and it was decided that one of the features was to be a
Staff entertainment. This consisted of a series of sketches culminating in a spectacular production of ‘Macbeth on Ice’. The parts fell into place neatly. The two
Scots on the staff - Mrs Daines and Miss Chisholm - were typecast as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. ’Out, out damned spot’ sounded well in a Scottish accent and
Miss Chisholm’s long hair looked right when she was in her nightie and socks, ’sleep-gliding’ elegantly round the stage, rubbing her hands vigorously. As there
were three members of the English department - a threesome that lasted unchanged for ten years - we just had to be the witches. I enjoyed the cauldron scene
but regretted one thing: that, being a witch, I could not join in the great surge of Birnam Forest up the Hall. That was the crowning moment of the show. The
doors at the back opened and at least a dozen members of staff in full tartan outfit and on roller skates shot down the gangway, which had been left clear in the
centre, waving branches over their heads….. There had been weeks of secret practice after school in the gym, with all girls strictly banned from the vicinity, and
the Staff skated with expertise and gusto.”
The following two photos are scanned b&w copies of the pages from Choice Magazine, November 1995 and are reproduced by kind permission of the magazine's editors.
click to enlarge into a pop-up window
then click again to enlarge further
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Lines on the Underground can still be found on Amazon but beware of the USA sellers charging silly money
Miss Leigh and
Miss Slingerland
Miss Florence James LHS 1939 - 1969
Miss Leigh came to the school at the beginning of the autumn term in 1965 and left at the end of the summer term in 1982. She had been a most active member of staff, Head of the Geography Department, an Upper Sixth form tutor and long-serving Examination Officer. She also took groups of girls on educational visits to West Germany and reports on these were put up in the Entrance Hall for the edification of the school. Miss Leigh's lessons were marvels of quietness and efficiency - all her pupils respected her and appreciated the personal interest she took in them. Many of them still keep in touch with her. Nerves in the examination room were soothed by her calm efficiency and help. Miss Leigh was never obtrusive in what she did. She was always calm and unhurried and instilled those qualities into the girls who were lucky enough to be taught by her. She was very much respected and greatly missed. We thank her for all she did and wish her well in her retirement.
MISS PAULINE SLINGERLAND joined Loughton High as the head of the P.E. department in 1960 and remained there until late 1982. During these years, she was a major force in the improvement of the sports facilities and a great many athletic achievements came out of this. When she first came to the school, the gym classes Miss Slingerland held were in a small dark Nissen hut, with very little equipment and only enough space for half the class at one time. When it snowed, a deputation was sent into the gym to sweep the snow off the floor! This makes the chilly feet in our present gym pale into insignificance in comparison! In 1962 the Nissen hut gave way to a new gym, which had been partly designed by Miss Slingerland. She also organised and ran the very first school fete, helped to raise money for a heating system in the school pool and instigated the sale of ice-cream in school to help funds. Under her expert tutelage, the tennis team reached the final of the Aberdare Cup five times and won the Essex Shield time after time. The school also distinguished itself in swimming, badminton and gymnastics. Miss Slingerland still found time to play for the West Essex Hockey Club, introduce and rim the West Essex Swimming Gala and run the County Rounders for seven years. We all wish her happiness and hope her health is soon fully restored. She has given us so much, quietly and efficiently. The school was her whole life and her love and understanding for her pupils was the spur to carry on despite the cost to her health.
We thank her and wish her all the very best.
These items and the drawing are taken from the 1983 School magazine
Beginning in 1963, Florence James and her friend Winifred Berry performed Recitals for Two Pianos to raise funds for Oxfam's Project for building wells in underprivileged countries. The duettists are seen here with friend and former Headmaster, David Hollingworth.
They continued to perform even after retirement and raised well over £6,000 - not much by today's standards, but a significant sum at a time when you could easily buy a house for that amount.
For more about Miss James, have a look at the Music and the Christmas pages to see how she transformed music at LHS
The one name that echoes down the years when you think of music at Loughton is that of Miss James. Even those who started at school after she retired in
1969 know her name and of her influence on music at Loughton. Miss James must have been the longest serving Head of the Music department at school.
From 1906 music was taught by Miss Hall herself but in the autumn term of 1907 the first music mistress was appointed. That lady was Miss Maud Okell who
had known Miss Hall before coming to Loughton. Miss Okell retired due to ill health in 1930.
Miss Okell was replaced by a Miss Eve who was a pianist and a violinist who stayed at Loughton until her marriage in 1939. Under her, the orchestra started
by Miss Okell continued to flourish and she increased the school’s collection of musical instruments to include violins, cellos, and a double bass.
Miss Florence I James succeeded Miss Eve in 1939 at the time of the outbreak of war and stayed for 30 years. It was under Miss James that music became an
integral part of school life.
Miss James’ tenure represented a key change in Loughton’s approach to music but it had very humble beginnings coinciding as it did with the start of the
Second World War. The school day was inevitably disrupted with small groups in school at different times of the day. Singing became a natural solution to
cope with the uncertainty of the period and the accompanying lack of facilities. From this little acorn great things grew!
It was also at the start of Miss James’ tenure that the form of the Christmas service, that we all fondly remember, was established.
In 1942 the Epping Forest Youth Music Association (EFYMA) was started to “do something for our young people during these difficult years" (Miss Anne Black,
I assume a district representative behind the formation of EFYMA).
In 1944 Loughton Girls were invited to join the boys at Bancrofts in a performance of Bach’s Jesu, priceless treasure. This led to the birth of the Combined Choir
on 27 September 1945 when a Youth concert was performed at Bancrofts. The tradition of the combined choirs lasted for many, many years.
The reputation and reach of Loughton’s singing was probably at its zenith in the late 1940s/ 1950s Auditions and subsequent recordings at the BBC were held
with Loughton’s first broadcast being on 10 February 1945 (see the Music page for one’s pupil’s recollection).
In 1947 Loughton was invited to sing at the Church of Saint Bartholomew the Great (Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices) thus giving birth to another tradition, and 
also at St Martin-in-the-Fields and other locations including St George’s Hospital, Hyde Park Corner. The Choir in its heyday worked with Karajan, the London
Philharmonic Orchestra and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, Sidonie Goossens, George Malcom, the Carter String Trio and conductor John Railton.
As well as formal performances, this period saw a greater number of in school music lessons such as the guitar with Robert Spencer and regular outings to the
Robert Mayer concerts to the Royal Festival Hall.
None of this would have been possible were it not for Miss James, or Flo, as she was affectionately known.
Miss Heald wrote in the 1970 school magazine:
"It is of course impossible in a sentence or so to convey all that Miss James did for the school and the local community during the thirty years she was at
Loughton. The orchestra, the combined choirs, instrumental groups and individual pupils all bear witness to her indefatigable energy and skill. The concerts and
recitals she arranged in London and elsewhere, linked as they were on many occasions to social work, were received with delight and profit by discerning
audiences. Miss James indeed ranks high among the many members of staff who have given outstanding and loyal service to the school; no one has given
more liberally of her time and talents"
In the same magazine others wrote:
"Tribute must be paid to the encouragement and help given by Miss James to her many pupils who have taken up music as a career. That she has so many ex
pupils who are now professional musicians in one sphere or another shows how her incredible enthusiasm and energy influenced the musical life at LHS.
There are so many more things……the Carol Service, school concerts, two piano recitals with Miss Berry. How Miss James found time to fit in everything we
shall never know: but we hope that she enjoys the easier pace of retirement and finds time now to do all the things that had to be put on one side before,
because, as we were all aware and for which we are all grateful, LHS always came first"
(Bridget Alexander Upper VI 1969-70, Catherine Lamb Upper VI 1969-70 and Barbara Caldow)
The following year Jill Turnbull Upper VI Alpha wrote:
"At the end of the summer term 1969 we said farewell to Miss F James who had been at LHS for so many years. The event was not allowed to go unremarked,
and at a farewell concert we were able to thank her for her untiring efforts in the musical life of our school and wish her a long and happy retirement."
Miss James’ successor was Miss Lois Loynes a former pupil of Loughton High.
We believe Miss Florence Isabel James was born in May 1909 and died in 1984 aged 75.
This entry in a book of remembrance is from the Musicians Chapel at St Sepulchre's Church, Holborn Viaduct, in London.
This is their website
click to enlarge
Miss Cowmeadow   LHS 1921 - 1956
The following is taken from the school magazine, Autumn 1956.

When Miss Cowmeadow retired in September 1956, she had completed thirty-five years of service to the school.  Like a signpost on one of the many roads she has travelled over, she pointed the way of endeavour in many directions.  Not content with urging the young up the steps of geographical knowledge, she stimulated them to widen their horizons in a variety of ways.  In her early days under Miss Hall she devoted herself unsparingly to the Girl Guides, and indeed, since the school company was disbanded she has never lost interest in the movement.  As to the geographical expeditions, holidays and harvest camps she has organised, it would be impossible to count them, just as it would be beyond anyone’s power to compute the delight given to innumerable girls by her introduction of them to Switzerland.

With the same untiring energy she has worked for the school social service, and many are the good causes that have benefitted from the inspiration she has given the girls to throw themselves into its activities.  But perhaps most of all she has been interested in the U.G.S. (Union of Girls' Schools) and in this, as in all her activities, her persistence and her persuasive tongue will be sadly missed.

We wish her every happiness in her retirement which we know is bound to be a busy one.  From her cottage perched high on the top of York Hill she will be able to look down on the village and think of a busy life which has done so much for the benefit and pleasure of others.
A medal won by Miss James for piano playing. The date is unknown but it must have been when she was a child
Miss Silvester     LHS 1920 - 1957
From the Autumn 1957 magazine

Miss Silvester

It was with a great sense of loss that we said goodbye to Miss Silvester on her retirement in July.  For most of her 37 years at L.H.S. she has been head of the Science Department, and more even than that; she has devoted herself heart and soul to the welfare of the school in its many aspects.  Perhaps most of all we shall think of her in connection with social service, for her life is dedicated to service of the highest order.  Never was there a good cause for which she was not ready to organise activities to bring it aid or financial benefit, and by her vigorous leadership inspire others to follow her good example.

For many years unofficial accountant watching over the finances of the numerous social activities in school, she herself feared she might be remembered only in connection with money, and indeed that stern control of figures and mastery of intricate accounts might easily have won her an important place in the business world.  Yet money itself she despised and was only interested in it for its power to aid the good causes she supported.  She need not fear; she will be remembered with affection by all; she will be remembered for her wisdom and kindness, her integrity and her refusal to be satisfied with the second-rate.  Her name will stand as one of the foundations on which the school is built.
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Miss Mather

Among the many who have devoted themselves to the service of L.H.S. the name of Miss Mather stands with the foremost.  Educated there herself, she was one of the fortunate few to know the school in its early days when under Miss Hall’s leadership it was started in York House, and many a time in recent years has she kept the school enthralled on the School Birthday with her tales of the past.  She witnessed the removal to the present building in 1908, and since her joining the Staff in January, 1919 she has seen the addition of the Hall and the Library Wing as well as the acquisition of the filed by the station and construction of the Swimming Bath.  A historian with such intimate knowledge of the school’s history, Miss Mather has spent most of her professional life in working untiringly for its welfare; she never spared herself, whether in her arduous task as Second Mistress or in organizing many historical expeditions or visits to conferences on world affairs; indeed it is impossible to record her many activities and interests.  With her commendable wisdom and firmness, both in and out of the classroom, Miss Mather showed a sense of humour and unfailing kindness; no one ever applied to her for help in vain.  On the pages of the school’s history her name is written in gold. 
Miss Dorothy Mather   pupil at LHS from 1909 - 1912
                                      teacher at  LHS 1919 - 1953
from the 1953 school magazine
and from the 1961 magazine:
Miss Dorothy Mather, whose recent death is mentioned in the preface of this magazine, has a very special place in the esteem and affection of members of our school. She was a pupil here from 1909 to 1912, when she left with a Drapers' Scholarship to read for a History degree at Queen Mary College, London University. After training in Cambridge, Miss Mather spent all but two years of her teaching life here. She served as Senior Mistress with all three Headmistresses. Many are those who will remember her with gratitude for her wise counsel and her sympathetic interest in personal problems, as well as for her teaching. Miss Mather had many years of experience as Senior Mistress before I was appointed, but it was characteristic of her selflessness and generosity that she was so ready to give her loyalty and support to someone who was much younger than she was herself. For me her help and advice and her knowledge of the school were invaluable. She was a very kind and a very human person, always thoughtful for the welfare of others, both staff and 10 girls. Until her death she was a valued member of the Old Girls' Association: she served on the committee and she was always ready and willing to undertake the many tasks which she was so frequently asked to do.
Miss Mather's service, however, was not limited to L.H.S. for throughout her life she gave her talents generously to the church. St. Mary's and St. Michael's churches in Loughton will miss her most, but she was a great believer in Christian unity and she worked zealously as the secretary of the Loughton Council of Churches for many years. She gave her time and energy too to help. the fund for the preservation of Essex churches. For a time Miss Mather lectured to teachers in training at South-West Essex Technical College. She never spared herself and even on the day before she died (15.10.61) her thoughts were always for others, either for any she knew who were ill, or for the wellbeing of those who nursed her with a devotion she so richly deserved.
Hers was indeed a life of untiring service and she radiated the happiness that sprang from her deeply-rooted Christian faith. Now, as a former member of the Loughton clergy wrote to me in a tribute to her, "How she must be enjoying Heaven with so great scope for her talents, and how busy she must be."
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Miss Kathleen Ayres   pupil at LHS from 1907     teacher at  LHS 1917 - 1953   
but still visiting the school in 1981 !
When Miss Ayres left L.H.S. in July after thirty-six years of faithful service it seemed as if some of the gaiety of life had gone with her, for not only had she trained gymnasts, led many teams to victory, and instructed innumerable holders of Royal Life-Saving Society medallions, but she had shown a lightness of heart which had eased many a difficult situation.  That this was rooted in a deep-seated courage will not be a surprise to those who know that during her training at Chelsea she had a terrible accident which threatened to ruin her career.  Thus her sense of fun was of great benefit in many ways, from her early days on the Staff when her lithe figure was to be seen striding through the corridors, enveloped in a purple gown over her purple tunic, to those occasions of ecstatic delight when she performed her often-demanded golliwog dance to an appreciative audience.  Nevertheless it must not be forgotten that her teaching has produced generations of physically well-trained girls who have distinguished themselves in all games and saved life from drowning.                                                    C.M.V.
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Miss Darch (1884 - 1960) taught at Loughton from  September 1906 to April 1936 and was the only mistress to be interviewed and appointed by the Governors - the head had no part in her appointment. She was obviously also one of the first teachers appointed. She was primarily a teacher of English Literature but also taught French and some Scripture. It was Miss Darch who began the handwritten(or manuscript) magazine several originals of which still exist. She was also the driving force behind the school’s many drama productions. Below is the transcript of a letter she wrote back to school after her retirement at 52 and photos of a presentation folder given to her by Loughton Old Girls when she left. She died in 1960 aged around 76.

Letter from Miss Darch:


Before I left Loughton various friends expressed the hope that I should find enough to do in my retirement.  One youthful well-wisher (was it in IV Upper B) hoped that I should have a cat or dog to cheer my old age “as it would make such a nice companion.”

Well, I feel that this is an opportunity both to thank these kind people for their good wishes and lovely presents (No! my dears, the hens will not arrive till September, so I am not enclosing any eggs with this) and also to let them know that even without hens I have plenty to do.

The greenhouse, for example, arrived in time for me to be able to raise and then plant out some delightful seedlings.  The garden indeed is more than one person’s job.  I am not the one person, but merely a rather amateurish “more.”  However, I gathered most of the black currants the other day and made a successful boiling of jam.  Indeed, I do a good deal of cooking.  Last Saturday morning I made Irish stew, scones, rock buns, fruit pudding, boiled custard  (not that wretched “powder” kind), baked custard, and  -  but I think that was all.

Then, of course, I am going on writing, and here my new desk and V. Lower B’s pen come in nicely.  I don’t know whether the publishers will like “Elinor in the Fifth,” but if they do, perhaps some of you will buy it next year.

So you see that, though I have the dog, and also a lovely pair of budgerigars, I don’t really need them to give me something to do.          W.D.
Miss Winifred Darch    LHS 1906 - 1935
click images to enlarge them
photos of a gift to Miss Darch by LHS girls
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Miss Beryl Blomfield    LHS 1964 - 1983
Click to
                                 MISS BLOMFIELD: FROM CLASS ROOM TO STAFF ROOM

         When Miss Blomfield left L.H.S. last summer it was for the second time, for she had been a pupil here from 1937 to 1944. Her own schooldays must have been very different from those of the pupils she taught here later, since most of those early days were during the war, and though Loughton was neither a reception area for evacuees nor an evacuation zone from which pupils were sent to safer places, there were many problems for pupils and teachers alike. Disturbed nights. from air raid warnings as well as interrupted lessons during the day made studying difficult, but in spite of this, Miss Blomfield gained a place at Oxford, to study Mathematics.
         After teaching elsewhere for a time, she returned to L.H.S. in 1964, as Head of Mathematics, a post she held for some years before becoming Deputy Head in charge of Curriculum and Timetabling.
         With the growing size of the school and the reorganisation necessary when we turned comprehensive, this became an increasingly time-consuming job. However, she could always find time for the extra effort needed to change plans so that if at all possible, every IIIrd year girl could be fitted into her own choice of IV year options, even if it meant staying up into the wee small hours to do so, rewriting a major section of the time- table.
         The re-organisation of the buildings caused even greater problems. Not only did have to keep track of which rooms were out of use because of rewiring and which were closed for alterations, so that we all had somewhere to work, there was also the gigantic task of moving furniture from place to place. This meant ordering the removal men and the vans, making sure they knew what had to go where in this building and what was to go in the Annexe (now the VIth Form Centre). It also meant keeping an eye on the deliveries of vast quantities of new furniture and equipment and getting it all into the right places.
         Those of us who were here during those years are fully aware of the debt we owe her for the hard work she put in to making the transition so successful.
         An accomplished mathematician herself, Miss Blomfield was able to impart to others some of her own feeling of enthusiasm for the subject. I'm sure that many generations of her pupils have reason to be grateful to her for showing them that Maths isn't just a dry collection of figures, useful for helping out other subjects, but that it is worth studying for its own sake; and that even for a "girl of very little mathematical brain" it can also be fun
         We wish her every happiness in her well-deserved retirement.
The following is taken from the school magazine in the summer of 1984 - written by Miss Gadd
These two photo articles below are courtesy of Graham Frankel of BHCHS
Miss Blomfield at BHCHS (1959 - 1964)
Photo by Dick Green, around 1960
on this page:

Miss Ayres
Miss Blomfield
Miss Chisholm
Miss Coles
Miss Cowmeadow
Mrs Daniel
Miss Darch
Mrs Dyson
Miss Eckley
Miss Gadd

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This lovely photo of Miss Darch when she was younger (taken from the group photo) is the best we have found.
Miss Heald wrote in the 50th edition (1970/71) of the school magazine:

Miss Chisholm retired last July after thirty-two years as Head of Modern LanguagesDepartment. Her name will always be linked with that of the German School at Hann Munden.  Our association with this school began in the early days after World War II and still continues. By arranging exchange visits and correspondence with girls at Hann Munden and elsewhere, the Modern Languages staff, under Miss Chisholm’s guidance, was always mindful of the need to try to contribute to better international understanding through personal friendships. Miss Chisholm will be remembered with gratitude and affection.

Miss Chisholm donated snowdrop bulbs to the school that same year.

The school magazine the following year (1971/2) had the following note in the Old Girls’ Association notes:

“The winter meeting was very well supported and Miss Chisholm, who had retired the previous July, was present to receive a cheque from the O.G.A. We heard later that she had bought a William Bartlett folding breakfast table with two side drawers - she says everything about it is perfect for her room.”

The following is taken from the Loughton and District Historical Society Newsletter No 169, March/April 2006
by Chris Pond  http://theydon.org.uk/lhs/Downloads/LHS%20169.pdf    Page 5

Emily Chisholm (1910-1991)
Emily was a longstanding member of Loughton Methodist Church. She taught French and German at Loughton County High School for Girls, and lived in Lower Park Road, in the maisonette now occupied by one of our members. She was associated with the ecumenical community at Taize, and translated much of their liturgy chants and music. She took part in numerous groups concerned with Methodist and ecumenical prayer and music, and attended the Hymn Society. Her hymns are in the modern idiom: John came a-preaching by the Jordan River -  'People! You've just got time! and the Advent carol, The holly and the ivy are dancing in a ring. 
The Holly and the Ivy supplanted the older traditional form of this carol in Hymns and Psalms. I have to say, speaking personally, I prefer the traditional form. Emily also composed a hymn (Easter Eve) in 1987 for the opening of the new church. This had a somewhat obscure first verse!

And this obituary from the Hymnology Society:
Emily Mary Chisholm

CHISHOLM, Emily Mary. born Airdrie, Lanarkshire, 1 July 1910; died Buckhurst Hill, Essex, 11 Feb 1991. She was educated at Glasgow High School and the University of Glasgow. She was a modern linguist, who also studied at the Sorbonne, Paris, and at Universities in Germany and Austria. After a short period teaching at Airdrie, she was appointed in 1938 to Loughton High School for Girls, Essex, where she later became Head of Modern Languages, remaining there until retirement in 1970.

Source:  http://www.hymnology.co.uk/e/emily-mary-chisholm
Miss Emily Chisholm    LHS 1938 - 1970
"The end of the 1974 school year saw the retirement of Miss Thomas.
In both the day-to-day running of the school and in teaching, Miss Thomas had put into practice her beliefs based on a deep appreciation of classical values. By drawing parallels between the ideas expressed in literature and present-day experiences, she made Latin and Greek Literature most interesting and enlightening subjects. Her calm, unflappable nature and her tactful handling of all situations coupled with her enthusiasm for all school affairs will be sorely missed. Life in Loughton will not be the same without her."

Sue Dyson Upper VI
Head Girl

The following was taken from the school magazine of 1986:

(This is part of what Stephen Thomas said at the funeral of Miss Helen Thomas who was Deputy Head of LCHS  from 1953-1974 and who died last year.)- 1985

Over the last few months I have heard Helen talk about the things which she thought of as important, both to her personally and in a more general way: she talked about her work, her pupils and her colleagues; she talked about her travels; she talked about those activities which she had taken up more recently, such as her art class and her classes in philosophy and literature; she talked about her friends; she talked about her family.

During this time it became immediately apparent just how much affection Helen both gave and inspired. Every post brought messages of encouragement, the visiting hours were crammed with those who had travelled sometimes very great distances to see her.

Some of her former pupils came; one of them later wrote to Helen describing her approach as a mixture of kindness and firmness. It is obvious from what she added that Helen made a lasting impression on her pupils: one refers to an occasion when Helen was teaching Vergil and was defending the actions of Aeneas in leaving Dido, to a sceptical class. Helen’s argument was so convincing that the memory if not the detail of it lasted long. Another wrote to Helen recently to say that Helen had set standards and introduced her to a world she would otherwise never have known.

Helen travelled a great deal; I think it was curiosity that took her away, and although I can only imagine her enthusiasm and her energy while on her trips, she regaled us frequently with the encounters and experiences she had had, to the extent that we might have travelled with her.

Another aspect of Helen’s life that became even clearer in the last months was her vast array of friends, and the extent to which she both supported and was supported by them. Helen, it seems, had a talent for making and keeping friends, whether they met at university or later. I cannot presume to say what each meant to the other, but I know that such friendships were among the most important things in her life.

It is commonly said of those who have not married that they have no family. Such a narrow definition of the word could not apply to Helen. She had a close family. Even the idea that Helen had no children would in some sense be false, because she has been intimately involved in the upbringing at various times of two generations of children, to all of whom she is irreplaceable.                     
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Miss Helen Thomas    LHS 1938 - 1974
In no particular order - the way the web-builder program is set up it's easier for me to add new entries at the bottom. Use the links on the left and the 'back to top' boxes to navigate around

afternoon I have been in Ashington at the funeral of Miss Darch. I took the footpath back from the church to the house where she has lived for the last forty years and the walk in the brilliant sun, under Chanctonbury Ring, gave me a quiet chance to think of her and me and all of us, and our relation to each other. I was a schoolgirl when she first took me home with her to stay with her newly retired parents. Honeyden had just been built and when Miss Darch saw it she had been frankly disappointed. Just a box, she said. She had a great feeling for romantic appropriateness and it would have suited her better had there been a touch of pedigree about it - and perhaps a roof of Horsham stone. She was always very downright in expressing her preferences, and what she said was often as uncompromising and angular as this 'box of a house'. But today the house, settled comfortably in its matured trees, weathered, mellow and benign, was much as I found Miss Darch herself when I last visited her in health at Easter. The gentleness and kindness, which we knew were always there, shone from her like to-day's October sunshine.

Just n
ow, many will be re-living episodes, conversations, anecdotes connected with Miss Darch, but, even if it were possible to gather these all together, they would not add up to the whole of her or give to those who never knew her a true idea of this unusual person. She was very tall; with the gracefully-awkward movements of the girl who has grown too quickly; pale hands; a magnificent head, black-haired, with a fine brow and level, strong eyebrows over deep-socketed, hazel-grey eyes. Remarkable in looks, she was also remarkable as a teacher. Her strong preferences and dislikes left no room in us for apathy; we tolerated and even humoured her idiosyncrasies, and in doing so came under an influence that could neither be ignored nor forgotten. She had been bred in literature and bred it again in us: her memory for it was phenomenal.

We loved our play rehearsals. Miss Darch, in the young days of the school, established the tradition of the annual Shakespeare, and for many of us these plays were the fabric of our youth. The atmosphere of acting and play-reading enveloped us, long, long before the era of the professionally-equipped school stages. Our productions were naive by some standards but they were honest children-productions  and left at that. I could write for a long time on what they meant to me, both then and later.

Miss Darch, deeply read in the novels and verse of Walter Scott, was a romantic. She loved the colour, poetry and glamour of chivalrous ages; and as these were departed, she found a way of making new romantic types among her schoolgirls and their families. She could write easily and in a good schoolgirl idiom, and, once Chris and Some Others had been accepted by the Oxford University Press, she produced a stream of school stories with, for the first time and distinct from Angela Brazil, the ordinary High School as their backcloth. All Loughton, its Guides, its staff, its prefects, plays and games, was swept into print and the series could stand as an historical commentary on twenty years in a good day school for girls before the Education Act of 1944. The girls, good and bad, the families, rich and poor, the staff, kind and caustic, ran of course in types romantic types. The girl from the poor home would have a touch of good blood somewhere and the rich girl (probably nouveau) would, because of her wealth; enable Miss Darch to write of things her electric mind was fascinated by and enjoyed, and of tastes cultivated by and shared with her fastidious, literary parents.
Miss Darch never had much money and not a very great deal of worldly opportunity. Wonderfully, this only deepened her enjoyment of others' experiences. She revelled in our accounts of things we had done or seen. She savoured them as her own and delighted to pass on her enjoyment for other friends to. share. Her generosity was enormous. Her kindness was an inspiration. But her kindness and generosity were at their height for the young - the village babies, young girls, each new puppy.

Loughton was a special place while Miss Hall was its Headmistress, and when she retired Miss Darch preferred not to stay on - and her parents needed her
. Loughton then lost a very special person, the sort of person who creates a legend in the history of a school, like Elam at St. Paul's - unconventional, eccentric if you like, and individualistic to a degree unacceptable to an appointing authority of today; but today is the poorer.

Miss Darch's Obituary is taken from the 1960 school magazine:

Mrs Henderson
Miss James
Miss Leigh
Miss Loynes
Miss Mather
Miss Silvester
Miss Slingerland
Miss Thomas
Miss Wolff

You can read more about Mrs Daniel on the Sport page
Information is from the Archives of the National Hockey Museum
Many thanks to Pat, Mike and Nan at the museum for researching this
Miss Wolff died in the week before Easter (between 26th March and 3rd April 2015 - we weren't told exactly when)
Her funeral took place on 8th April 2015 and I was privileged to attend. The following is a summary of the very moving service:
I feel very privileged to have been able to attend Miss Wolff’s funeral today along with Catherine Furse, Bridget Strevens, Susan Moodie, Mary Redfern and Julie Loy, most of whom probably knew Miss Wolff better than I did.

The service at St Peter’s Church in Clapham was conducted by the Rev. Alexander Fostiropoulos in the form established in the 4th century by Saint John of Damascus as used by the Christian Church of the East, sometimes known as the Nestorian Church. Apparently it has changed little since that time though fortunately most of this service was conducted in English.

Miss Wolff’s coffin was open and she looked very peaceful and lovely though sadly not recognisable as our Miss Wolff. According to the Guide to the service we were given, “It is the custom that the coffin is open because the funeral is a meditation on death - one cannot appreciate light without darkness; nor hope for Resurrection without first thinking about death”.

We stood for the whole service holding our candles which were lit by the priest at the end of each row and the flame was passed along the pew. “The Priest gives his light to the congregation to symbolise the light of Christ and the faithful expectation that, although the departed is gone from this life, life eternal for her continues in the presence of God like a constantly burning candle flame”. We were not required to actively participate which made it easier to appreciate the simple beauty of the plainsong chanting and the small group of singers (2 men and 6 women) chanting the well-harmonised and unaccompanied responses. On several occasions the incense burner was swung round Miss Wolff’s coffin and towards the congregation and the Priest’s assistants, adding to the mesmerising atmosphere.

At the end of the formal part of the service we were asked to sit and Rev Fostiropoulos gave the eulogy which was very personal since he had known Miss Wolff for 40 years, and he mentioned that she had made a conscious decision to be baptised into the church when she was a student rather than just 'inheriting' her beliefs from her parents.

Miss Wolff was known as Tania to all her friends and family and the Priest referred to her both as Tania and as Tatiana (her proper name), mentioning her in conjunction with Saint Tatiana who died a young woman and by whom, he said, Tania would probably be introduced to God.   He described Tania as an extraordinary person, saying that it was a word he rarely used to describe anyone and so he had mused on what the ‘extra’ was in her case. He decided it could be summed up in three words - Service, Welcome and Joy.
Service because she had devoted her life to others, both in her teaching and in her service to the church and her giving nature towards everyone she encountered;
Welcome because she kept an open house and made everyone welcome, providing bed and food to anyone who needed it and throwing parties quite often, including for her 90th birthday just a few months ago;
and lastly Joy because he had never seen anyone smile quite as much as Tania and it was clear that the smile came from true Joy inside her which she shared with those she knew.
Rev Fostiropoulos then made the beautiful comment that Tania would live forever because she was remembered by God. (Thanks for the reminder of this Catherine).

We were then invited to come forward, one at a time, “to say farewell, venerating the Cross and the icon placed on the coffin, while the Thrice Holy Hymn is sung”.

We stood again as the bearers closed the lid of the coffin, screwing it in place, and we followed the procession out to the hearse. The close family then went with the Priest to the crematorium and burial ground while we were invited to the restaurant next door for soft drinks and food as Miss Wolff had requested and paid for herself - her last party - and our chance to share our memories of her.                                                                                
Sue Capes (nee Costley)
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Read more about Miss Wolff's retirement and her scrapbook here but don't miss the rest of the articles below!
This blue plaque to Miss Darch, was erected in the year 2000,
on the front wall of the old Loughton High School building, just above,
and to the right, of the centre entrance doors at Roding Valley High School
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Miss Christine Eckley    LHS around 1975
Miss Eckley taught an unusual combination of subjects - maths and dance (and drama?)

She is a member of Loughton Amateur Dramatic Society and while this is not strictly related to her teaching at LHS I am including information regarding her work for LADS from a National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) document found online:

Our fourth new award was given by Eleanor Glazer in memory of her daughter, Shelley Lemesh. Eleanor suggested an award recognizing the work of backstage members or helpers who, without payment and when not appearing on stage, have made an exceptional contribution in the last year to their production(s) whether stage crew, in the fields of props, costumes, sound, lighting or other fields. We decided to name this the Unsung Hero Award, and for the nominations to come directly from societies. We were overwhelmed by the response, and extremely impressed with the recommendations, all very worthy nominees.
The eventual winner was Christine Eckley of Loughton Amateur Dramatic Society. This is the citation her society sent in:
“Christine Eckley became a member of Loughton Amateur Dramatic Society (LADS) in the 1960s and was an excellent actress, dancer and singer. She acted in many of LADS plays and participated in musicals with other local groups such as Loughton Operatic Society and Thistles Musical Society. Unfortunately a number of years ago she retired from treading the boards due to ill health, as she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. This however did not stop her being an integral part of the society as she continued her role of LADS Wardrobe Officer that she has held since the early eighties.
Christine almost single-handedly produces all the costumes for LADS productions sometimes creating four costume plays a year from different periods, eg Tudor, Georgian, Victorian and 1920s, for up to 20 actors, often with several changes of costume. She does all this on a shoe string budget and is extremely skilled in adapting costumes, meaning that there is rarely any need to create things from scratch or hire costumes which would cost the society a lot of money.
Christine can always be relied on to give the director fantastic guidance on not only costume but also style of designs and deportment of actors. Not being a fan of the internet this impressive knowledge has been created from her commitment over the years to research through her collection of books and paper cuttings, the outcome of which is that her costumes always garner very favourable comment from NODA critics amongst others and this praise is well deserved.
Another job that Christine took upon herself was to look after the garages which house all of LADS’ props, wigs and furniture. These she purchased for this purpose, but only occasionally can she be persuaded to take rent for them. The reason for this may be because before these were purchased she used a considerable amount of space in her own flat to store this enormous collection!
Not only does Christine save LADS expenditure but she also improves the other side of the balance sheet as well. When there are not LADS costumes to create (and sometimes when there are) Christine uses her skills to create costumes for, and organise the hiring of costumes to other local societies, thus bringing in income to the society. Adding to this she is currently in the process of painstakingly going through the vast costume collection to find the garments that will no longer be of use and are fit for sale. So far this project has made over £200 but every estimate is that by it’s completion it will raise in excess of £1000. This is a testament to both Christine's eye for style and her meticulous approach to saving things.
Every society has someone that helps out and wants no thanks for the hard work that they do. However without Christine’s contributions over many years LADS would be much poorer in style, presentation and of course, financially. Christine has quietly gone about the business of dressing LADS shows for four decades, sewing into the night and during performances, to get each costume just right. Her contribution has been enormous, from this quiet, modest, gentle, friendly and hugely valued colleague. Next season will be the last that Christine does as LADS’ Wardrobe Officers but I know that even without the position she will still be very much involved giving needed advice, casting an acute eye and lending a skilful hand for many more years to come.”
source:   http://www.noda.org.uk/writeable/custom_uploads/25d9c531349a70d8b1ecbef72a39cced.pdf
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PLEASE NOTE:  This link won't open a new page, it will download a pdf document to your computer.  I have downloaded it myself in
order to include the information above and it is a genuine newsletter produced by NODA (see above) for the London region in August 2013.
Miss Eckley's award as reported in the Guardian Series newspaper
Staff List 1963 Staff List 1966
Staff List 1963 Staff List 1966
Does anyone have an earlier or later version of this staff list?
The following note is in the OGA section of the 1986 school magazine:
"Miss Gibson embroidered a hassock with 80,000 stitches which was blessed and received at St. Cecilia's, the Musicians' Chapel at St. Sepulchre Without Newgate, in memory of the late Miss Florence James."
Miss Betty Coles    LHS 1958 - 1971 and 1974 - ?
Miss Coles joined LHS in the summer term of 1958, having previously taught elsewhere.
She was an enthusiastic history teacher who didn't suffer fools gladly.
I (
Sue) remember her saying that she wanted to be Britain's first woman Prime Minister. She would have been brilliant and our recent batches of MPs would have been very firmly put in their places!
Very little is recorded of her time teaching at LHS, despite her popularity with her history students.
We know that she and Miss Blomfield shared a house in Epping Green for many years.
From her pupils' memories it seems that Miss Coles left LHS in 1971 to teach at Christ's Hospital Girls' School in Hertford, a day and boarding school providing the benefits of a public school education to pupils from less well-off families, but whether she wasn't happy in her new position or missed LHS, she returned in 1974 and stayed at least till 1977 though her exact year of leaving is, at present, uncertain. She does not appear in later panoramas but some teachers always tried to escape these!

Miss Coles died in August 2016.
One of her A Level students, Mary Redfern (Head Girl 1976/1977) had stayed in contact with her and attended her funeral as the sole representative of LHS. She has kindly written a tribute for us and sent a copy of the Order of Service, both of which are reproduced below.
On 7th September I attended Miss Coles’ funeral at St. Richard’s Church in Heathfield, East Sussex. Miss Coles moved to Heathfield following Miss Blomfield’s death, as they, and early on Miss Blomfield’s father, had shared a house for many years in Epping Green. I don’t think she had any surviving family. Apparently she was born in Edmonton North London in 1929, so she lived to be 87 years old.

The funeral was arranged by a friend of Miss Coles and Miss Blomfield’s from Essex- Kay Elson, who had known them for about 20 years. The other attendees were local people from Heathfield and the church, so I was in fact the only person there representing Miss Coles’ life as a teacher. I was therefore very pleased that I had been able to attend on behalf of everyone who has written such touching comments on Facebook (
reproduced below - Sue) and who enjoyed her lessons.

Miss Coles joined St Richard’s Church as soon as she arrived in Heathfield, about 8 years ago, having been a quietly loyal member of the Church of England all her life. The Vicar who officiated at the funeral therefore knew her and, when she had become too immobile to attend church, had been taking communion to her in her home. Both he and Kay Elson spoke about Miss Coles and it was clear that she retained her mental faculties to the end. She enjoyed doing the Times crossword each day, still enjoyed smoking, a glass of Merlot and a Tio Pepe!

I saw her in Epping Green just before she moved and she told me that there was a good Historical Society in the area which she intended to join. Apparently she used to organise regular minibus excursions there, which were meticulously planned, and an annual group Christmas Meal. It is good to think that she was able to carry on her historical interests for most of her life. Heathfield is in the midst of lovely Sussex countryside and I can remember Miss Coles writing to me about going for lovely walks there. However, it is quite hilly, so I imagine that that became a challenge. Kay Elson had visited her regularly and driven her to different favourite places in Sussex, so it is clear that she got some very positive things out of her move down there.

She took with her to Sussex her cat Sweet Pea and it was stressed that she had had a lifelong love of animals. I remember that she and Miss Blomfield had a series of dogs, including some Labradors, and she always took an interest in my Labs in our correspondence. I can visualise the two of them loading up their Mini Clubman at the end of a school day and driving home with piles of marking.

It is clear that at LHS, and I imagine at her other schools, one of which was Christ’s Hospital Girls’ School in Hertford, Miss Coles was the sort of teacher that you don’t forget. It was mentioned several times that ‘she did not suffer fools gladly’ and that she had had little time for the school hierarchy or bureaucracy. I learned at the funeral that Miss Coles had left teaching and become a Social Care Care Worker for the last few years of her working life. At first this struck me as strange for such an intellectual person, but she was very down to earth and I imagine that her no nonsense attitude could have been very attractive in a carer, particularly for people of her generation.

I was reminded at the funeral that Miss Coles and Miss Blomfield had a fantastic garden at Three Gates in Epping Green and that they had participated in the Open Gardens scheme. Miss Coles specialised in vegetables and was keen on digging. I had forgotten about the garden, but it came back in a flash alongside a recollection of visiting there not long after leaving school, and not long after learning to drive, with Janette Allen who had been in my History A level group and who lived in Epping. I have no idea why we visited, but I do remember that I knocked the gate post down! I had successfully suppressed that memory for some years...

So it was a happy rather than a sad experience going to the funeral and having a glimpse of Miss Coles’ final years, a long way away from Loughton County High and from her life in Epping Green, but still with the activities she enjoyed and with her sharp mind intact.
Tribute by Mary Lewis (née Redfern - LHS 1970 - 1977)
Here are some of the tributes from the LHS facebook page:

Hilary Plass:
An inspiring teacher! I remember her hearty support for Elizabeth I and obvious disdain for Mary Queen of Scots! R.I.P, Miss Coles

Megan Addicott (née Bennett):
She was one of the best teachers I had. I always looked forward to her lessons.

Carol Jones:
A truly inspirational history teacher. I remember I was very upset when she left LHS and wouldn't teach us A level

Sally Pribul (née Marchant):
I remember her bloodthirsty history lessons. I can't believe she was still with us - I left LHS in 1972!

Anne Ashmore:
Sorry to hear this news. Miss Coles was one of the most inspiring teachers I ever knew.
I had wondered if she was still alive when they found Richard III as she was a keen member of the Richard III society and I would think would have been thrilled with his discovery and reburial.  She gave me an enduring love for history that is with me to this day.

Jillian Wild:
I am sorry to hear this. I remember one year, the staff put on a series of sketches at the end of term. Miss Coles wore a doublet for her sketch. Amazing teacher.
There appears to be some uncertainty about when Miss Coles left/returned/left LHS judging by the comments on facebook. If anyone can give me definite years I'd be very grateful. A quick email would be well received :)
On Wednesday 11th January I went to  the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Miss Lois Loynes. It was held at the Church she attended regularly - Salway Evangelical in Woodford. Miss Loynes had no family of her own but there were about 150 people squeezed into the Church and some lovely tributes, by long-standing friends, to a lady who was frequently described as kind, helpful, giving and a devout Christian with a great sense of humour and who loved her cream teas! The choir of the Salway Singers, started by Miss Loynes and conducted by her up until 3 years ago when her mobility became impaired, gave a beautiful rendition of the hymn "In Christ Alone". Miss Loynes was 90 when she died so she had taken her retirement two years early in 1984 though she continued to teach privately. It was lovely to re-acquaint myself with two girls from my own year (65-72) - Louise Starck and Barbara Williams as well as Izzy Giles and Sue Routledge (née Ferrante) and to have a chance to chat to a former teacher as well - Christine Eckley. The photos show the order of service cover and the 5 of us "Old Girls" - Louise, Izzy, Sue, Barbara and myself (Sue Capes née Costley). I also had a chance to meet one of Miss Loynes' friends, Janet, who gave one of the tributes and who was taught by Miss Loynes at Walthamstow High School. The people at the Salway Church are all very welcoming and friendly and it was very clear that Miss Loynes was a part of their "family" and was loved very much.
Miss Loynes spent the last three years of her life at a Church care home in Woodford to which she moved following a bad fall.
It was here that she passed away, peacefully, in the early hours of Boxing Day morning - 26th December 2016
Louise, Izzy, Sue F, Barbara and Sue C
Louise, Izzy, Sue F, Barbara and Sue C
The following piece of prose was published in the school magazine of 1938 :
A Storm

Everything is still, as dusk overshadows the little hamlet in Norfolk. As yet the dusk is newborn, for only a little while ago the sun set behind the pine trees.
Overhead a screaming party of seagulls travel, and the sheep in the field cluster together beneath the friendly arms of the spreading oak tree. Even the usually peaceful cattle are restless, as though something terrible is looming near. The clouds which are blackening every minute, pass in different directions, some even moving against the wind.
A weather-beaten old farmer walks briskly along the little grey winding road, whistling a song. “ Aye, there’s a storm coming right enough,” he says. Upon reaching a little thatched cottage he opens the door and walks in, and entering his homely kitchen he sees spiders among the rafters. “ That proves it all the more,” he mutters.
A few minutes later the black sky is lit up with a vivid flash, and, immediately following, a deep boom of thunder echoes throughout the sky. Crash! Crash! come the sounds of thunder amid lightning very bright and vivid. The pine trees sigh and groan as their branches are bowed to the ground. Pit, pat, falls the rain against the windows of the cottage.
The following morning the sweet singing of the birds awakens the farmer, and peace again reigns throughout the countryside.

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Mrs Katherine Dyson  LHS 1959 - ?
Mrs Dyson was a very much respected and popular teacher of mathematics.

She enjoyed organising events for the school, including taking a group to Austria for what turned out to be a disastrous skiing trip, with poor ski instruction and a hotel shared with a boys school group. 
She also inaugurated the school gymkhana, being a keen horsewoman herself.

Her riding gave her many injuries which ultimately took their toll on her life but not until she had enjoyed many experiences after retirement and a move north.

Her daughter, Sue, a former pupil at LHS, has shared the entire funeral tribute to her mother, describing her very full life, and you will find it in full, unedited form here

Sue's own entry on the Pupils page can be found here.