Wright Family Album

Doris' reflections on school and college days

Previous page

In 1920 the family lived in a house used by CMS missionaries in Herne Bay until our father came home and was offered the living of St Mary's, Boulton on the outskirts of Derby and I started school in the locality.

When he became bishop we moved to Birmingham and again I went to a local school. It wasn't until we moved to Shudy Camps in 1925 that I went with Betty, Phil, Basil and Hugh to St Michael's. Betty had been there before, as a little girl at 'The Nursery' so she could settle down in the same form as her old friends. All was new to me but I was in the same form as Eileen (Clarke). She was head girl of the form and always had good marks because her writing was beautifully neat (and still is!) and she was a very good reader. She was an outstanding pianist too. I was horribly shy and my only good subject was arithmetic. My highlight was the holidays at Shudy. My friend Betty Richards (now Sewell) came to spend one of the Easter holidays there with us. Rosemary Britton was sometimes in the form above me and sometimes in the same form.

St Michael's School, Limpsfield, Surrey.  1. The front   2. From the air  3. The chapel   4. The Dining room   5. From the common   6. From the tennis courts   7. Part of the grounds
1.  2.  3.  4.  5.  6.  7.

My schooldays were much like other girls' of our generation -a mixture of pleasures, pains, pleasantnesses and unpleasantnesses. In 1932 I managed to matriculate which meant I could go on for the next two years to study for the higher Oxford Certificate. Unfortunately I was the only one so all my English, History and Maths lessons had to be one to one - not easy when English was in the headmistress's study at 2pm in front of a warm fire in a comfortable armchair!

In 1934 I went to King's College, London. The first year was a repeat because London University wouldn't accept Oxford Higher Certificate and I had to take the London Intermediate in the same subjects. So it wasn't a strenuous time.

I joined the college ladies rowing club at Putney for a year, learning to row in fours, catching crabs and suchlike. After a year I gave it up: first, it was too expensive travelling from north to south London on a Saturday, my monthly allowance being only 2 - 15s. That had to cover all my fares, food, clothes, outings, etc. My tram fare to central London was 2d and, if I was in funds, my lunch at King's was 7d - roast lamb rib, potato and veg. When broke I had to rough it on a 2d Mars Bar. My parents certainly couldn't afford to give me a larger allowance. Secondly, I decided I didn't want to become a look-a-like of all the other women in our rowing club - very manish, with large muscles and eton-cropped hair!

Four of us went around as a group - Sheila, Joyce, Daphne, and me and on two occasions we hired a cottage at Shanklin in the Isle of Wight for happy holidays together and a third year at Chideock in Dorset.

After graduating in 1937 and a year's teacher training at King's College I took a job as history teacher at St Brandon's Clergy Daughters' School in Bristol. When war broke out the school was evacuated to the Bishop's Palace in Wells. A lot of the girls and staff were billeted out in surrounding houses: Audrey, the French teacher and I, with a few girls, slept at the Dean's house. The Dean and his wife were charming people.

Doris' memories    Doris' reflections on her war years

Basil's memories

David's memories

Next page
Back to Contents          Britton Family home page