In 2018, St Mary's School, Cambridge celebrates 120 years of educating girls. It is a time to reflect on our history and inspiring ethos which continues to sit at the heart of everything we do. With reflection in mind, the digitisation of the St Mary’s School Log Book (1901-1927) by the Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge offers a unique opportunity for everyone to gain insights into the life and experiences of the very first St Mary's girls.
The original copy of St Mary's School Log Book was discovered, wrapped in acid free paper, in the basement of 'The Elms' our Senior School in Bateman Street, Cambridge. The Log Book charts the early years of our School from 1901-1927, recording key milestones and events term-by-term throughout the years.
Working with the Wren Digital Library part of the University of Cambridge and with kind permission of the Fellows of Trinity College, the original copy of the Log Book has been digitised.
The digital Log Book can now be accessed and explored by all and acts to preserve the unique content of this document for future generations of St Mary's girls.
The content is full of intriguing facts and historic highlights, including the move from Furness Lodge to The Elms in 1904. The first entry begins:
1901: 'In September of this year Furness Lodge (near Parker's Piece) was opened to younger pupils, the school then numbering about 12 boarders & 4 day-boarders. The day-school in Ashford House was also on the increase in spite of the difficulties of small class-rooms ... '
1903: 'During the Christmas Term there was an outbreak of Chicken-Pox in the School, but it was so slight that the patients considered it more of an amusement than an illness!"
1904 ('The Elms' Bateman Street): ' ... There were two new pupils Sybil Trafford and Audrey De Poix. Dorothy Le Brasseau came towards the end of the term. There were five pupils in all in the school as two of the old pupils had remained.'
1905: 'On Shrove Tuesday the pupils acted 'Two Old Maids'. The Duke of Norfolk came in the afternoon and gave the school a holiday... '
1910: 'Thurs Feb 17: Some of the pupils went to a lecture at Trinity College. The subject was: The Poets of the 19th Century.'
1912: 'Monday Jan 19th: Very cold - 23' of frost during the night. The Granchester Meadows had been flooded in preparation for skating and from now until Feb 6 lessons were abandoned practically every morning and we all went out skating ... '
An entry in 1917 brought news of some of the achievements of 'Old Girls' including Helen Ingleby, who studied Medicine and in 1914 went out to Cherbourg to work in the Women's Hospital, before returning to England to complete her training at the 'People's Hospital, Hyde Park Corner'. She was subequently appointed to:
'the role of House Physician to Dr Collins. She is also filling the role of Medical Registrar - one of the most desirable Hospital Appointments - & is combining the work formerly done by two men.'
Read the full Log Book