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Happy memories of 1950/60

The Cottage, to the east of the convent main buildings, and approached by a footpath from Cornwall Gardens
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

The smell of the polish

I attended Lourdes Convent between 1950/60 and have more fond memories than bad ones, although the names of Miss Lamb, Mrs. Dan and Miss Loakman can still give me nightmares. I have been reading some of the  memories of other girls who attended when I did, and can still smell the lovely polish they used on all the beautiful woodwork. I also remember the other not so lovely aromas coming from Mother Claire’s kitchen. I started in the old junior school and was one of the first to go into the newly built classes of what is now St. Bernadette’s School.

I was a ‘scrumper’

I am still friends with Camela Thiru who has lived in Ibiza for a time now. We keep in touch quite regularly but she’s the only one I do have any contact with from those days. I still live in Sussex and would like to say that most of my school days at Lourdes Convent were very happy ones, and the education certainly stood me in good stead for the rest of my life. I would like to remind the very nice gardener who has posted here, that he was quite correct about his suspicion of the missing fruit from his trees as I was one of those ‘scrumpers’. We needed some sustenance after Mother Claire’s inedible quinine.

Do you remember?

Do you remember schooldays at Lourdes Convent? Was the food really that awful? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • Hi Adriana, I remember you and Camela. Goodness, so long ago. I live in Australia. The names I recall are Sally and Pamela Mallam, Sally Sharpe, Maxime O’Reilly, Carole Greenwood and Diane Hilton. Memories flooding back.

    By Carol Cooney (Pocklington) (11/05/2014)
  • Just read the comments from Carol Cooney – I was a good friend of Camilla Thiru, Pamela Mallum and Sally Sharpe – same class as Sally who was a fantastic artist. I have been trying for a long time to trace Camilla who was over here in Germany with me in 1977.  Since then I believe she moved to Ibiza and contact was lost.  Adriana I believe lives in Brighton and was a close friend of hers.  I would love to get in contact with her once again – maybe someone has the latest news and could help me in my search?

    By Sally-Ann Schertle (26/06/2014)
  • I was there too as a boarder (was Dinah Michaelson) – and left in 1958. I too remember Mother Claire’s cooking – frozen fish cakes for one meal! Now living in Northern Ireland – still in touch with Pamela Mallam and Sheelagh Graham and Edwina Robey.  Anyone want to get in touch with me?

    By Dinah Shortt (19/04/2017)
  • I was also there as a weekly boarder (Anne Turner). My friends were Adriana, Camilla, Jane, Wendy and the Mallam girls. As a non Catholic I do not have fond memories of the way that I, as a high spirited girl, was treated by the nuns. They couldn’t cope with anyone who wanted to have fun.

    By Anne Yeats (14/05/2019)
  • I was Toni Budd and attended Lourdes Convent as a day pupil from kindergarten onwards to about the age of nine, when we moved to the Channel Islands.
    I also remember the ‘flasher’ on my walk back to school one lunchtime, and telling other children about it when I got into the playground! Huge fuss with the police involved.
    I still have some old school reports written by Mother Elizabeth and also still have samples of embroidery tiny cross stitch!
    I remember school plays, outfits made of crepe paper. I seem to recall I was a flower and in awful trouble because I tripped up and got muddied in a puddle and was sent to the back where nobody would see ‘my disgraceful appearance’!
    Personally I seem to remember loving school dinners and the tuck shop. Sorry to see no pictures of the grotto with the Virgin Mary at the very top of the driveway.
    I have some pictures of my first holy communion, threatened NOT to dirty my dress!
    Happy days, mainly, apart from being hit quite hard over the knuckles with a ruler at a very young age as punishment for not getting my joined up writing correct!

    By Toni Kemp (11/02/2020)
  • I was miserable – the strict regime was unbearable. I did escape Mother Claire’s Pea Slosh by going home lunchtime. I remember teachers Mrs. Metcalfe – sports, Miss Toomey, Mrs. Dann – sewing, Mrs. Langridge – Science, Miss Hamilton, and the dreaded Miss Tobin. I was friendly with pupils Elaine Schutz, Gina Filby, Susan Patching Mary-Rose White and Elizabeth Sansom. I remember Pamela Mallam, Janice Prosser and Dinah Michaelson.

    By Ruth Morton, 1/10/21 (01/10/2021)
  • I was a boarder from 1954 until 1959. I was just 7 years old when I started. When my daughter turned 7 I couldn’t imagine sending her away but I do have mostly happy memories. I remember that I was in Mother Elizabeth’s dormitory and later in Holy Angels dormitory. I remember Pamela and Sally Mallam, Wendy Wallace, and Virginia Tarkowska. I liked Mother Claire’ pea slosh but I hated fruit so would swap fruit for pea slosh when we could get away with it. I remember Miss Tobin, Miss Hamilton and Mrs Rogers who used to rap me over the knuckles with a brass edged ruler. I was in a production of The Water Babies and also did Irish dancing. I live in New Zealand now.

    By Jo Atkinson (Joan Baker) (29/10/2021)
  • I was a boarder from late 1943 to middle 1950’s (Christine Stannard) I have very fond memories of boarding there. Even today Mother Clares pease pudding gives me nightmares.

    By Christine McMullen (04/11/2021)

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