School History

HISTORY OF CCHS

While writing my own personal memories of CCHS, I got interested in its earlier history. It is an integral part of Chelmsford and I became interested in the history of my home town (a city since March 2012) after dismally flunking my third form "Chelmsford and Basildon Project" in Integrated Studies! While queuing in the corridor on the way to morning assembly I often admired the photos of former headmistresses that hung on the wall near the school offices.

There is a book about the school's history by Mary Kenyon (A History of Chelmsford County High School, published 1982); various individual "Old Girls" memoirs printed in the school magazine; and notes and photos in back issues of local/county newspapers and information in local history books. During my schooldays, we had regular visits from Miss Cadbury who described her time as headmistress at CCHS. As a child with asperger-type traits (social skills deficits that made me wonder if I'd been born on the wrong planet!), school wasn't the happiest time of my life, but it was a formative time and it is interesting to look back on. This page is an unofficial history of CCHS with the decades put into the context of historical events.

Historical Context

Chelmsford’s population increased rapidly between 1801 and 1851 due to the arrival of the railway (1843) and the canal that gave access to a river port at Heybridge Basin. By 1901, the population had increased from just under 8,000 to over 12,000. It had become a commuter town for London clerks and a home to engineering companies such as Marconi, Hoffman (RHP) and others, some of whom had their own railway sidings. With agriculture in decline, land was turned over to housing for the town’s increasing workforce. It already had a boys’ Grammar School (King Edward VIth aka KEGS) and was not entirely without girls’ schools. The 1851 Census listed the Misses Fitch as running a boarding school for 26 young ladies at Sutherland Lodge, Baddow Road. A little later, there were two private girls’ schools on New London Road, one run by Miss Dunn and Madamoiselle Montet and the other by Miss Bird. The Forster Education Act (1870) resulted in a greater interest in educational reform. The building of a girls' school in Chelmsford had been mooted back in the 1880s when a committee were unsuccessful in enlisting the help of the Education Authorities. The clergy, an educated class, played a large part in promoting education.

CHELMSFORD HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, MUSEUM TERRACE (FOUNDED 1895).

Between 1895 (the founding) and 1902 (the latest newspaper reference) there was a Chelmsford High School for Girls run by Miss Turquand-Sharpe. Initially sited at 9-10 Museum Terrace, New London Road, it was a much more modest establishment than the Girls’ High School later established at Broomfield Road. Museum Terrace was opposite what is now Marks & Spencer and was demolished to make way for High Chelmer.

Essex Newsman, 1st June, 1895
A Successful Opening. Miss Turquand-Sharpe, late of Cheltenham College, and of South Hampstead High School, has successfully opened the Chelmsford High School for Girls and Kindergarten, at 9 and 10 Museum-terrace, New London-road. The school has begun with good numbers, and boarders have even had to be refused.

There are accounts of the first prize-giving ceremonies in 1895, 1896 and 1897, and it’s noteworthy that men speak on behalf of the women present! There were prizes for Conduct and Elocution. Literature, Music, Needlework and modern languages also featured. A number of girls passed Public Examinations. The school was successful and the prize-giving speeches commended its Principal and expressed a need for larger premises.

Chelmsford Chronicle, 20th December, 1895
CHELMSFORD HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS. PRIZE DISTRIBUTION, &c.
An interesting gathering took place at the London-road Schoolroom, Chelmsford, on Wednesday evening, in connexion with the Chelmsford High School for Girls, and Cambridge House School. These schools, which are under the same management, with Miss P. Turquand-Sharpe as principal, have only been open two terms, but they have made rapid and satisfactory progress. This is especially the fact with regard the Kindergarten class for young children. The proceedings on Wednesday commenced with a pianoforte trio by the Misses Benson, Lucking, and Thrift. Then followed a violin solo by Miss Bessie Lucking, after which the Kindergarten class went through some drills and games. A pianoforte solo was contributed by Miss Mabel Moss, and a recitation, “The singing of the Magnificat,” by Miss Beatrice Williams. The Mayoress then distributed the prizes as follows: High School:- Form IV., Beatrice Williams; form III., Daisy Pertwee; form II., Margery Furbank. Division II., Isabel Furbank. Conduct prize, Mabel Moss; music, Annie Belcher; first place in examinations, Evelyn Rayner. Cambridge House School—Class I., Margaret Headland; class II., Ethel Catt; class III., May Shoobridge; conduct, Alice Shead; music, Julia Thrift and Maggie Benson. Miss Helen Catt, one of the pupils, presented the Mayoress with a handsome bouquet, and Mr. W. Chancellor, on behalf of his mother, replied to a vote of thanks, passed on the proposition of Mr. C. Williams. Light refreshments were then handed round, alter which the second part of the programme was proceeded with as follows:- Cantata, “Wandering gypsies,” High School Singing Class, pianoforte solo. Miss K. Belcher; recitation, Miss Helen Catt; dialogue, the Misses F. Williams and D. Hasler; song, Miss E. A. Williams; selection from “As you like it,” by the following members of Miss Ethel Taylor's High School Class:- The Misses Goward, I. Ratcliff, Williams, M. Ratcliff, and G. Metcalfe. The concluding portion of the programme was as under:- Solo, Miss Margaret Headland; recitation, Miss Mary Catt; solo, Miss Ivy Thurlow, part song, Cambridge House Singing Class. All the items were extremely well rendered.

Chelmsford Chronicle - 25th December, 1896
CHELMSFORD HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS. PRIZE DISTRIBUTION. SUGGESTION FOR NEW BUILDINGS.
The annual Christmas concert and prize distribution of the Chelmsford High School anal Cambridge House School successfully took place at the London-road Congregational schoolroom on Friday evening. There was a goodly attendance. The hall had been very prettily decorated by the school staff and pupils. The programme opened with a round entitled “Where mountain lops by the High School Singing Class, who later gave a cantata, "The Fairies’ Festival,” in which a solo was sweetly taken by Miss Rayner, and a duet by the Misses F. Williams and E. Young. A pianoforte duet was well rendered the Misses Quilter and Thrift, and the recitation "Waterloo" was successfully contributed by Miss Maggie Phillips. Miss Mabel Moss met with deserved applause for her pianoforte solo, "Simple Aveu,” as did also Miss Mildred Williams for a similar item, “Pas Redouble." The kindergarten drill and songs were excellently executed, and a recitation by Miss Laura Furbank and Master Sidney Houston was enthusiastically applauded. In a selection from “Alice in Wonderland" the parts of "Alice,“ "The Gryphon," and "The turtle,” were well undertaken by the Misses Isabel Furbank, E. Young, and H. Catt respectively. The duet, "Husarenritt," was accurately played by the Misses Benson and Curdling, and befittingly recognised. The pianofortc solo, “The mermaid – Wind and wave” was very tunefully rendered by Miss Julia Thrift, as was also that entitled " Meere-strand" by Miss W. M. Dunn. A selection from "Hamlet," in which the Queen speaks to Hamlet of his behaviour, while Polonius listens behind the arras, was ably given, the chief honours falling to Miss Mary Catt, as "the Queen," and Miss Ada Haylock, as "Hamlet," while Miss Ethel Catt and Miss Gladys Metcalfe did all that was required of them as "Polonius'' and "the Ghost” respectively. Miss E. A. Williams sang very prettily "The songs the children sing," and an encore was loudly demanded. The part song, "The home of the wind," concluded the programme. During an interval, light refreshments were dispensed, and the Mayoress (Mrs. Chancellor) presented the prizes and certificates as follow: High School. - Certificates: Senior Cambridge, Mabel Ratcliff; junior, Maggie Benson,. Dorothy Whitmore, and Ruth Young. – Form prizes: fifth, Beatrice Williams; fourth, Beatrice Vickridge; third, Maggie Furbank; second, Ethel Young.— Conduct prize, Mabel Moss; music, Mildred Williams. Cambridge House School. - Class prizes: first, Ethel Gaudy; third, Connie Spalding; music, Julia Thrift and Maud Quilter; elocution, Edith Stripe. This done, Master Sidney Houston handed the Mayoress a basket of beautiful flowers.

Mr. Chas. Williams thanked the Mayoress for her attendance on behalf of Miss Turquand-Sharpe, the principal, remarking that there was abundant evidence of the school having made good progress and afforded sound education. He added that there was a feeling that a more suitable building should be provided for the school. In conclusion Mr. Williams said he should like to hand a prize to Miss R. Young, who secured the second place in the school. [Applause.] Mr. Wykeham Chancellor briefly expressed Mrs. Chancellor's pleasure at being present. Later in the evening Mr. J. B. Pash proposed a vote of thanks to Miss Sharpe and her assistants, saying he hoped the suggestion for improved school premises would be taken up. — Mr. Fred. Taylor, in seconding the vote, said he thought the idea might be soon carried out. —Mr. C. Mollan Williams replied on behalf of Miss Sharpe.

Chelmsford Chronicle – 24th December, 1897
CHELMSFORD HIGH SCHOOL "AT HOME." A VERY PLEASANT GATHERING. IF THE MAYOR WERE ONLY MARRIED!
The annual "At Home" of the Chelmsford High School, conducted by Miss P. Turquand- Sharpe, was this year held in Ballroom of the Shire Hall, and was a marked advance upon its predecessors, excellent as they have been. The company on Wednesday evening numbered fully 200, and their appreciation of the programme presented could not have been more cordial. Those who took part in the entertainment gave evidence of most careful training. Though, almost without exception, they were very young, they did what was expected of them with confidence and ability. The programme opened with a creditably rendered pianoforte duet by the Misses Abbott and Thrift. A kindergarten song followed, the solo being well taken Miss Ethel Hawkins. Miss F. Remington gave a pianoforte solo, the music of which was written by Mr. F. Scarsbrook, and this met with a good reception. The famous trial scene from Shakespeare's ‘Merchant of Venice’ was really admirably recited, the dramatis personae being : —Duke, Miss Young; Antonio, Miss Mildred Williams; Bassanio, Miss Gladys Metcalfe ; Gratiano, Miss Ethel Catt; Shylock. Miss Ada Haylock ; Portia, Miss Mary Catt; and Nerissa, Miss Avis Fawkes. The vocal mazurka, "Gipsy Chorus," by the Junior Singing Class, was a worthy finish to the first part of the entertainment. In the interval a term's needlework was shown by the pupils, the articles being very pretty and indicative much patience the part of those responsible for them. Part two commenced with Rossini's quartette, "Guillaume Tell," by the Misses E. and M. Williams, M. Curdling, and B. Lee. Kindergarten recitations were given by Sidney Houston, Norman Fawkes, and Theo. Barker. "Whims," pianoforte solo by Schumann, was very carefully played by Miss Julia Thrift. Miss Evelyn Rayner next sang very prettily. "The Fairy Ring," by the following ten little girls, evoked much applause : The Misses L. L. Coleridge, King; Gwen. Adams, Queen; H. Catt, Blue Bella; G. Spalding, Puck ; M. Poole and M. Barnes, attendant fairies; D. Hasler, F. Williams, M. Poole, and E Young, mortals. Miss E. A. Williams sang, very charmingly, "Rondel," receiving an encore in return. A minuet was very gracefully danced by the Misses A. Haylock, E. and H. Catt, M. Poole, E. Rayner, M. Quiiter. G. Metcalfe, and E. Abbott. A pianoforte duet by the Misses W. M. Dunn and E. A. Williams was very skilfully executed. The concluding item was a cantata by the High School Singing Class, the solos being taken by the Misses Edith Williams, K. Rayner, and G. Spalding respectively, the role of the fairy queen being sustained by Miss F. Williams.

Between the second and third part of the programme the prizes and certificates were distributed by the Mayoress (Miss Cramphorn) as follows: Form V. Prize given by the Mayoress, Miss Ada Haylock (head girl).— Forms IV., III., and II. The Misses Muriel Curdling, Frances Williams, and Lilian Curdling respectively.—Class I. Miss Julia Thrift. —Conduct prize. Miss Kathleen Houston.— Music prizes, The Misses Evelyn Rayner and Mary Thrift. —Oxford University senior certificates, The Misses Beatrice Williams, Maggie Benson, and Mabel Moss. Passing this examination confers the title of Associate of Arts. Pitman’s shorthand certificates, The Misses Mildred Williams, Dorothy Whitmore, and Ruth Young. At the conclusion beautiful basket of flowers was presented to the Mayoress by the pupils, who also gave a choice bouquet to the principal of the school, Miss Sharpe. Mr. Chas. Williams then proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the Mayoress for her kindness. He said she was always ready to do duty, and he was sure that on this occasion she had done it in a very graceful manner. [Applause.]

The Mayor (Mr. T. J. D. Cramphorn), in response, expressed the great pleasure it afforded his sister to accept the invitation for that evening, and present the prizes to the girls who had so richly deserved them. He was sure the entertainment provided was far beyond their expectations, and reflected the greatest credit on Miss Sharpe. [Applause.] The parents must certainly feel delighted to see what progress their children had made under her guidance. [Applause.] They all hoped the school would continue to prosper, and he only wished it were endowed like the Grammar School [note: KEGS]. [Applause.] It was very plucky of Miss Sharpe to undertake the work she did without any funds behind her other than her own resources. His worship then went on to refer to the strides education had made during the past twenty or thirty years, and said that whereas in his day children regarded their school with distaste, now he believed they were interested in the work and tried to emulate one another and obtain as much knowledge as they could, combined with a due proportion of amusement. If he was a married man, which, as they knew, was not—and had a family, he should like the girls to attend Miss Sharpe's establishment and the boys the Grammar School. [Applause.] He should like them to be taught modern languages rather than Latin and Greek, but was of opinion that they should learn English properly before either. Shorthand and typewriting, too, were subjects that should form part of the curriculum of every school quite as much as the pianoforte and violin. [Applause.] In conclusion, the Mayor proposed a cordial vote of thanks to Miss Sharpe, observing that that lady had gone to an immense amount of trouble to make the concert an enjoyable one, and her efforts had been crowned with conspicuous success. [Loud applause.] Mr. Williams returned thanks for Miss Sharpe, who, he said, had done her best to bring the school to its present state of efficiency. She hoped that her future efforts would be equally successful. [Applause.] The evening was brought to a close with an impromptu dance.

After this, the printed accounts were much shorter – in fact they were adverts placed by the school. In 1897, 11 out of 12 girls passed public examinations, but here’s no mention of how many girls passed in 1898, 1899 or 1900.

Chelmsford Chronicle – 21st January, 1898
CHELMSFORD HIGH SCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN. Principal—MISS P. TURQUAND- SHARPE. DURING 1897 Twelve Pupils were for Public Examinations and Eleven Passed, including three for Senior Oxford and two for Senior Trinity. NEXT TERM BEGINS JANUARY 21th.

Barking, East Ham & Ilford Advertiser, Upton Park and Dagenham Gazette – 10th June 1899
CHELMSFORD HIGH SCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN. Principal— Miss P. TURQUAND-SHARPE. PUPILS prepared for Public Examinations. In 1897, out of 12 sent in 11 passed, including 3 Senior Oxford and 2 Senior Trinity (one Honours). Vacancies for Boarders. Half-Term commences June 13. Pupils can enter any time.

Essex Newsman – 26th January 1901
Miss Helen and Miss May Barnes were prepared the Chelmsford High School for the recent Trinity College Intermediate Examination. Both passed with honours. Advt.

Chelmsford Chronicle – 29th March 1901
CHELMSFORD HIGH SCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN
Principal – Miss p. Turquand-Sharpe. Assisted by Trained and Certified Mistresses. A large percentage of Candidates passed in Oxford and Trinity Examinations. Fees from 1-and-a-half Guineas. German Conversational Lessons. Term commenced Jan. 22nd. All Candidates prepared last year for Public Examinations passed, the Oxford Junior and Senior 1st Division and those for Trinity Intermediate with Honours.

Barking, East Ham & Ilford Advertiser, Upton Park and Dagenham Gazette - 11th May 1901
CHELMSFORD HIGH SCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN. Principal—Miss P. TURQUAND-SHARPE. PUPILS very successful in Public Examinations. GERMAN CONVERSATIONAL CLASS (Adult) by a German Lady. Fee, 10s. 6d. Pupils can enter at any time. All candidates prepared last year for Public Examinations passed the Oxford Junior and Senior 1st Division, and those with Trinity Intermediate, with houours.

Chelmsford Chronicle - 6th September 1901
All the candidates prepared at Chelmsford High School have passed in the first division. Miss M. Hasler, Miss G. Spalding, Miss F. Williams, seniors ; Miss J. Fawkes, junior. The pupils prepared for senior Trinity were also successful. Miss P. Turquand-Sharpe will be at home Sept. 16th. School re-opens Sept. 17th.

Chelmsford Chronicle - 6th June 1902
The pupils at the Chelmsford High School, conducted by Miss Turquand Sharpe, were granted a day's holiday, while the Grammar School was closed in the afternoon [to celebrate the end of the Boer war].

Chelmsford Chronicle - 19th September 1902
Classes for the Senior and Junior Examinations are now being formed at the Chelmsford High Schools. English Mistress Int. B.Sc. Prizes to successful pupils. For particulars apply the Principal.—Advt.

Reporting then lapses. The September 1902 report was in the form of an advert. I could not find any accounts of the school’s activities after September 1902. The story of girls’ secondary education resumes in 1905 with proposals for a new girls’ secondary school.

In 1902, Balfour’s Act abolished School Boards, and (in the case of Chelmsford) transferred most secondary education to the Education Committee of Essex County Council, chaired by Edward North Buxton, formerly of the London School Board. There was found to be a serious deficit of Girls’ Secondary education and Pupil-Teacher education. Secondary School standards were inspected and enforced by a newly-created Board of Education, but this education was for those able to afford it andfor those who won a free scholarship by passing the VIth standard elementary level examination. Scholarship children also faced the snubs and curiosity of those who paid for a place. Some scholarships were later funded by trusts and awarded to able pupils in a particular parish.

Barking, East Ham & Ilford Advertiser, Upton Park and Dagenham Gazette - 27th May 1905
CHELMSFORD’S HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS.
With regard to the draft for a new Girls’ Secondary School in Chelmsford in connection with Jeffery s Endowed School, Great Baddow, the Chelmsford Higher Advisory Sub-Committee having objected that “it was undesirable that Jeffery’s Endowment should be mixed up with the proposals for the Girls’ Secondary School at Chelmsford,” the Schemes Committee passed the following recommendation:— “That this Committee object to the proposed scheme, and are of opinion that it is desirable that Jeffery’s Endowment should be appropriated for scholarships for Great Baddow and district to be held at the Chelmsford Grammar School and the Girls’ Secondary School to be established at Chelmsford.” They also recommended that the Chelmsford Advisory Committee be requested to submit proposals for carrying the scheme into effect. The draft estimate included the following —Cost of buildings, £5.000; fittings, £1.000; site, £2.000; total, £8,000. The estimated annual expenditure was £1,481; and receipts were estimated as under: - General penny rate, £857; special penny rate, Chelmsford, £300; customs and excise, £643; total, £1,800; balance to the good, £319, thus leaving reserve for special classes and contingencies for the district. The balance excludes the Baddow Endowment of about £100 per annum, which, it is hoped, will be secured for the girls’ school. - The recommendation was carried.

CHELMSFORD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, BROOMFIELD ROAD

The 1900s

The Edwardian Era (1901-1910) is often romanticised as a golden age of summer afternoons and garden parties and the heyday of the British Empire. It was a period of industrialisation and technological change (wireless, powered flight, cars, wax cylinder recordings). Britain had a rigid class system. This decade saw a more militant style of women's suffrage (women campaigning for the right to vote in elections). Women's clothing included long skirts, long-sleeves, and corsets, however a greater interest in sports (especially among the leisured classes) saw clothing become less restrictive during this era. Good deportment was considered important for young ladies. Career opportunities for educated women were limited (teaching and nursing being respectable occupations) and married women were expected to give up work, though they often participated in "good causes" and widows might have to return to work.

1903: Essex County Council, based at County Technical Laboratories (County Hall) inaugurated grants for science teachers, laboratory accommodation and County Scholarships. It was looking for a 2-4 acre site, within a mile of the railway station, for a Girls’ High School. The field found turned out to be close to the boys’ grammar school already established on Broomfield Road, to the north of the town.

1904: Messrs Chancellor, architects well known throughout Essex and with offices in both Chelmsford and London, submitted their first plans. These were grandiose and were rejected as too costly.

1905: Michael E Sadler publishes his "Report on Essex Education" setting out the need for good secondary schools for girls in Essex and a need for better education serving agricultural areas. He considered that good "all-round" schooling should be promoted rather than study of the classics. Meanwhile, the Essex Education Committee (E.E.C.) required the cost of the building to not exceed £5,000. The site would cost a further £2,000 and fittings were estimated at £1,000. This meant the cost of building and kitting out the school was not to exceed £8,000. It should be designed to take 100 paying scholars. The Higher Education Committee anticipated an annual expenditure of £400 and a maintenance charge for 150 pupils at £13 each, less fees at £6 to £10 and grants of £1,350. At the time, average pay for a school mistress was around £100 and with an annual increment, after around 10 years’ service, could rise to a maximum of £200. However there was no job security and many school mistresses left the profession when they married.

Typical ladies' hockey outfits in 1906.

1906: Messrs J Young and Sons of Norwich submitted a Tender that met the Education Committee's budget: £6,472. The Capitation Grant was fixed at £1 on the first 50 payers, with 10 shillings on those following.Chelmsford County High School for Girls (CCHS) was built. The Foundation Stone was laid on 20th June, 1906 and recorded in the Essex County Chronicle: “Armed with a silver trowel and an ebony mallet, Edward North Buxton, Whig brewer and benefactor, Chairman of the EEC "than whom”, as the High Sheriff said, “there is no man in Essex more industrious”, then laid the stone in the name of God. His speech reflected that Chelmsford was one of the first towns in Essex to do something for the education of its daughters. In his speech at the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone, the Mayor of Chelmsford recalled that more than twenty years earlier a committee had been formed to enlist the help of the then Education Authorities in founding a Girls’ High School in Chelmsford, the county town of Essex (now a city). It is fitting that the date has since been observed as Commemoration Day with a service at the Cathedral.” The Mayoress of Chelmsford held an "At Home" in tent on the grounds for the large number of ladies and gentlemen who attended.

Chelmsford Chronicle, February 2, 1906
PLANS passed included those submitted by the Essex Education Committee for the erection of a High School for Girls on the east side of the Broomfield Road.

Chelmsford Chronicle, February 2, 1906
HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, CHELMSFORD
Builders desirous of TENDERING for these NEW BUILDINGS are invited to send in their names to F. WYKEHAM CHANCELLOR, Architect, Chelmsford, on or before MONDAY, the 12th FEBRUARY, 1906.
J.H. Nicholas, Clerk to the Essex Education Committee.

Below is a transcript of the speeches at the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone on 20th June, 1906. The names of two attending dignitaries will be familiar to scholars up until the 1980s: Chancellor and Tancock were the names of two of the "houses."

Chelmsford Chronicle, 22nd June 1906
GIRLS' SECONDARY SCHOOL FOR CHELMSFORD.
FOUNDATION STONE LAYING.
The foundation stone of the Girls' Secondary School, which is being erected at a cost of about £6,500 in a meadow on Broomfield-road, Chelmsford, was laid on Wednesday by Mr. E. North Buxton, chairman of the Essex Education Committee. There was a large attendance of ladies and gentlemen. After a reception of Mr. Buxton by members of the Chelmsford Higher Education Advisory Committee, the Rev. T. L. Papillon, chairman of that committee, congratulated the town and neighbourhood upon the prospect of a long-felt want being supplied - the provision of a sound and liberal education for daughters of the professional and middle classes who could not afford to send them to expensive boarding schools, or maintain a resident governess at home. The demand for such teaching was increasing in view of the greater number of careers now open to women, and some better equipment than merely good intentions was necessary. There was a growing feeling that girls should have at least as good an opportunity of a cultivated training as was open to their brothers. The demand had got beyond the private effort on a small scale, and it was necessary that it should be met to a certain extent by public funds. He would not like to see all private efforts extinguished by such schools as the one they were wishing good fortune to. They wanted a certain amount of variety and elasticity in education, which should not be tied too tightly with official red tape. Education had suffered grievously from want of organisation, but there was the fear that future they might have too much organisation, and, therefore, he welcomed any retention of independent effort. The school would absorb the work done at the pupil teachers' centre at Chelmsford, but it was not to be merely a glorified pupil teachers’ centre. It was to be a school with a higher and wider aim to benefit the residents of the town and neighbourhood by offering the very best education. He hoped the curriculum would be liberal and varied - neither too literary nor too utilitarian - and that it would include all instruction conveyed in the veiled term of domestic economy. It should include teaching of languages, English history and literature, a subject hitherto grossly neglected in most of the higher boys' schools, and the elements science.

He heard a story on Tuesday the effect that a telegram was handed in at a certain post-office addressed to someone in Ceylon. The young lady at the post-office handed the telegram back and said ‘you must put in the country - you must add France ' [Laughter.] He hoped this school would, by its success and its atmosphere intelligence and culture help to increase the importance attached to education by the general public. In England we suffered from people caring so little about it. These institutions, by creating a public interest in education, might remedy that defect. [Applause.]

The Mayor of Chelmsford (Alderman Chancellor), in describing the building, said that far back as 1885 a strong committee was formed to call upon the society in London for the erection of these schools to help them to get one at Chelmsford, but the authority could not see their way to do this. The Local Higher Education Advisory Committee then took the project up, and purchased that site, which contained about three acres. There would be a central entrance to the school, to be used upon public occasions, and on either side would be entrances for the senior and junior girls respectively. In between would be the assistant mistress's room, and at the other end would be the rooms of the head mistress, with four class rooms, to accommodate 25, 25, 20, and 30 girls respectively.

There would be two staircases leading to the first floor, as a precaution in case of panic. On this floor would be a lecture-room, to accommodate 30 girls, a science-room, large assembly-room, which would hold 160 or 170 people, and art rooms. There would also be a luncheon and a cookery room, as the committee considered it essential that girls should be taught to cook a chop or a potato. [Hear, hear.] The heating would be by radiators, and electricity would be the illuminating power. The building would be decorated with red brick and stone. In the playground it was hoped to have a gymnasium. [Applause.]

Mr. Buxton was then handed a silver trowel and ebony mallet, gifts from the architects, Messrs. Chancellor and Son, and with these tools he proceeded to “lay" the stone. After the ceremony he declared the stone "truly laid in the name of God.” Following prayer by the Rev. Canon Lake, Mr. Buxton said Chelmsford had never been backward in educational ventures, instancing the Grammar School, the Science and Art School, and the County Laboratories. The new girls' school would crown their efforts. He had sometimes had to oppose the desire of Chelmsford to gather into its borough all the good things, but he had a sneaking admiration, even when opposition, of the splendid and energy with which the Chelmsford workers pursued their objects.

In looking back, as he could to some extent, over the last 60 years, to the energy which had been thrown into the educational progress the country, it struck one what an enormous amount had been done for the boys and how little for the girls. He was delighted to think that Chelmsford was among the first towns the county to break that tradition. He need give no advice as to the teaching, as they had a peculiarly capable committee. They all valued Mr. Papillon’s immense knowledge of education, and it was a real gain to the county that became a member of the Essex Education Committee. Mr. Tancock was another of their most valuable members, and was their old friend Alderman Chancellor, whose perennial youthfulness astonished them all. [Laughter and applause.]

The Rev. O. W. Tancock, in moving a vote of thanks to Mr. Buxton, said the School would be equipped with every convenience, and he hoped the parents would support the Committee by finding no small faults at the beginning. [Applause.] Mr. C. W. Parker, High Sheriff of Essex, seconding the motion, said there was no man in Essex more industrious and hardworking than Mr. Buxton. [Applause.] Mr. Buxton briefly replied, after which the Mayoress of Chelmsford held an at home in a tent on the grounds.

Chelmsford Chronicle, 30th March, 1906
NEW SCHOOLS FOR CHELMSFORD, SPRINGFIELD AND MALDON
Reports were made as to progress in regard to the conveyance and transfer respectively of the site at Chelmsford for a Girls’ School, Broomfield-road [. . .] It was decided at Chelmsford to pay Mr. W.R. Thorndick £5 as compensation for giving up possession of the field purchased.

Barking, East Ham & Ilford Advertiser, Upton Park and Dagenham Gazette, 29 September, 1906
It was resolved that the salary of the head mistress of the new girls’ secondary school at Chelmsford be fixed at £200 per annum, rising to £240 with capitation grant.

Chelmsford Chronicle, 30 November, 1906
NEW GIRLS SCHOOL AT CHELMSFORD
HEAD MISTRESS APPOINTED
The CHAIRMAN announced that Miss Mabel Frances Vernon Harcourt, M.A., Girton Coll., Cambridge, of the Girls’ high School, Notting Jill, had been appointed head mistress of the new girls’ secondary school at Chelmsford. Miss Harcourt had a distinguished career at the Oxford High School, Holloway, College, and Girton College, Cambridge, where she obtained a first class in the modern languages tripos. She is a daughter of Mr. A.G. Vernon Harcourt, formerly Lee’s Reader in Chemistry at Christ Church, Oxford.

The Vernon-Harcourts are listed in the Peerage as a relatives of the Vernon Baronetcy. Miss Harcourt’s father was Augustus George Vernon-Harcourt (1834 - 1919) and her mother was the Hon Rachel Mary Bruce (d. 1927). Augustus became a president of the Chemical Society. Mildred Edith and Mabel Frances were twins, born on 26th September 1874. Mildred and Mabel attended the Oxford High School for Girls. In May 1891, Mildred and Mabel (Year V) both received Oxford and Cambridge Joint Board Examination Higher Certificates for French, German, History and Maths, and both won the Council’s Prize and Certificate, and Mildred won the “Ada Scholarship” for good conduct and proficiency in German. In May 1892, now in Year VI, both girls won the “Ada Benson” prize for good conduct and it was Mabel’s turn to win the “Ada Scholarship” for good conduct and proficiency in German. Both received Oxford and Cambridge Joint Board Higher Certificates in French, German, English and Maths, and once again, both won the Council’s Prize and Certificate. After following their different paths, both died in October 1965 aged 91.

Mabel became Headmistress of the Chelmsford County High School for Girls. On 26th December 1910 she married William Arthur Price (d. 13 May 1954), the son of Rev Bartholomew Price, Master of Pembroke College, Oxford. When she married she was expected to retire from teaching and devote herself to family life. The couple had children whose names are not recorded in the peerage lists. Mildred graduated with a Cambridge Master of Arts and served in World War I as a nurse in France and Italy. She was mentioned in despatches. The Globe of 11th March, 1916 reports that she was awarded the Royal Red Cross for her work as a Sister of Queen Alexandra’s Ambulance Organisation. It was presented to her by the King at the investiture at Buckingham Palace. She translated “Le Pontifical Romain. Histoire et Commentaire by Pierre de Puniet” into English (“The Roman Pontifical, a History and Commentary, translated for the Benedictines of Stanbrook by Mildred Vernon Harcourt” published 1932 – seemingly 8 volumes).

1907: CCHS was officially opened in May, enrolling 44 pupils. The first Headmistress was Miss Mabel Vernon Harcourt, formerly Headmistress of the Pupil-Teacher Centre (which occupied a one-room building formerly the town's Grammar School). The management Committee (basically a board of Governors) was Chaired by Canon Papillon and advised by Mr Chancellor. Money was set aside for a caretaker's lodge and the school grounds. After being accepted as pupils to the new Chelmsford High School for Girls, the pupils - who were mostly from small privately run schools – had to report to the Essex County Council Offices in King Edward Avenue, Chelmsford. There they sat a simple examination and were interviewed by the newly appointed Headmistress, Miss Vernon Harcourt. The girls were different ages and had reached different standards so Miss Harcourt had to assess them and decide which form each girl would join. When opening day came, around 70 girls arrived at the school and were at directed to their different class rooms. There they met the Mistress in charge before being escorted to the Dining Hall where Miss Harcourt and the School Governors led prayers and greeted the girls. From the start, the girls saw how orderly their schooldays would be the high standard that they were expected to set at Chelmsford's new school.

Essex County Chronicle, January 25th, 1907
ESSEX EDUCATION COMMITTEE.
Chelmsford Higher Education) Advisory Committee.
County High School For Girls, Chelmsford.
This new High School will be, it is anticipated, opened early in May next. A Preliminary Prospectus giving details of the School, and Instruction proposed to be given, will be supplied upon application to the Head Mistress, or to me the undersigned. The first Entrance Examination will be held at the County Laboratories, Chelmsford, on Friday, the 12th April next, at 10 a.m. The Head Mistress, Miss M. F. Vernon Harcourt. M.A. will attend at the County Laboratories on Saturdays, the 2nd and the 16th February, from 2.30 to 4 p.m., and will be glad then to see the Parents or Guardians of Girls, and to give any information respecting the School. Miss Harcourt’s present address is 32 St. James-square, Holland Park, London, W., and communications may be sent to that address.
J.H. Nicholas, Secretary, County Offices, Chelmsford.
17th January, 1907.

Essex Newsman, 1st February, 1907
TO GARDENERS
The Essex Education Committee invite Tenders for Taking Up, levelling, and Relaying Turf of the Playing field at the County High School For Girls, Chelmsford. For full particulars apply to Mr. F. Wykeham Chancellor, Duke-street, Chelmsford, on or before the 7th February, 1908.
J.H. NICHOLAS, Secretary, County Offices, Chelmsford
30th January, 1908

Essex County Chronicle, February 15th, 1907
CHELMSFORD HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
The new county high school on the Broomfield-road, Chelmsford, is rapidly nearing completion, and it is proposed to open it on the 1st May next. The building will be fitted up with all the latest improvements in school fittings, heating, lighting, and ventilation. It consists of a large assembly hall, four class rooms, art and cookery rooms, science laboratories, students' luncheon room, and common rooms. There is also a spacious field tor games and sports, and a large cycle house is to be provided. Miss M. F. Vernon Harcourt, M.A., the head mistress, will shortly take up her residence in the town; in the meantime she will be glad to supply parents and guardians proposing to send their children to the school with any information relating thereto upon their communicating with her at her present address, 32 St. James's-square, Holland Park, London, W. The committee of management have been appointed as follows:— Chairman, the Rev. Canon Papillon; Miss G. Bartlett, Mr. W. Bewers, the Rev. James Burgess, Mr. F. Chancellor, J.P., Mr. W. Dennis, Mrs. Gilmore, Mr. A. R. Pennefather, C.B., J.P., and Mrs. T. H. Waller, with Mr. J. H. Nicholas as secretary. Miss Harcourt will attend at the County Offices, Chelmsford, to see parents to-morrow (Saturday) afternoon from 2.30 to 4.0 o’clock.

Essex County Chronicle, February 15th, 1907
ESSEX EDUCATION COMMITTEE.
Chelmsford (Higher Education) Advisory Committee.
County High School For Girls, Chelmsford.
This new High School will be, it is anticipated, opened early in May next. A Preliminary Prospectus giving details of the School, and Instruction proposed to be given, will be supplied upon application to the Head Mistress, or to me the undersigned. The first Entrance Examination will be held at the County Laboratories, Chelmsford, on Friday, the 12th April next, at ten a.m. The Head Mistress, Miss M. F. Vernon Harcourt. M.A. will attend at the County Laboratories on Saturday next, the 16th Instant to see the Parents on any matters connected with the School. Miss Harcourt’s present address is 32 St. James-square, Holland Park, London, W., and communications may be sent to that address.
J.H. Nicholas, Secretary, County Offices, Chelmsford.
14th February, 1907.

The Essex Newsman, February 23, 1907.
ESSEX EDUCATION COMMITTEE.
Chelmsford (Higher Education) Advisory Committee.
County High School For Girls, Chelmsford.
CARETAKERS
Applications are invited for the post of CARETAKERS of the above School. The appointed must be MAN and WIFE without encumbrance [without dependent children]. They will be required to take charge of the building and grounds and be responsible for the cleaning and proper care thereof, and to give their whole time to the duties. A house will be provided on or near the premises. The wife must be a good plain cook and the man must understand the working of a hot water heating apparatus. Salary for the joint appointment 27 shillings per week, with house, warming and lighting free.

Applications, together with copies of not more than three Testimonials, to be sent to me on or before FRIDAY, the 1st March, 1907.
J.H. Nicholas, Secretary, County Offices, Chelmsford.
19th February, 1907.

The Essex Chronicle, Friday May 3rd, 1907
COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS AT CHELMSFORD OPENED BY SIR WM. ANSON.

The new County High School for Girls on the Broomfield-road, Chelmsford, was opened on Wednesday by Sir Wm. Anson, Bart., Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education in the last administration. The School, for which the architects were Messrs. Chancellor and Son, of Chelmsford, is designed to accommodate 150 girls. It consists of a main block having a frontage of 92 feet and an average depth of about 60 feet, and is practically divided in the front and back blocks, with a corridor between them. The front block contains on the ground floor in the centre the principal entrance, with a classroom on either side for 25 students each, and at one end the head mistress’s room, and at the other end the under mistress’s room.

The back block includes one classroom for 30 and another classroom for 20 students, with a stone staircase, a storeroom, and girls’ cloakroom at either end. Corridors give access to all these apartments, and the main corridor is entered at one end by the senior girls, and at the other by the junior girls. On the first floor the front block contains a chemical laboratory, a physical laboratory, a lecture-room, and a preparation room between them. At one end will be another classroom, and at the other end the girls’ luncheon room. The back block contains the assembly hall, calculated to hold at least 170 persons. At one end facing the north is the art room with store, and at the other end the cookery room with storeroom attached. On the ground Moor the lavatories are contained in two separate blocks, with a cut-off corridor between them and the main building. The classrooms will be fitted with single desks, the laboratory with working benches, and all other fittings throughout will be or the latest type.

The drainage has been arranged so that by manholes the whole of the drains can be inspected and cleaned out, and is all connected with the public sewer. The water service is from the borough main, and is connected on to the various cisterns required for the proper distribution of the water. The ventilation has been carefully considered. Fresh-air inlets are provided in all the apartments, and ducts for the abstraction of foul air are constructed over the corridors and where necessary, into which the vitiated [oxygen-depleted] air is drawn from the various rooms, concentrating in the central turret, where is placed an electric fan, which can be switched on and off at pleasure.

The building throughout is lighted by electric light, but gas has been introduced to serve the gas stove in the cookery-room, and for the chemical laboratory. A hot water boiler is placed in the basement, and from this circulating pipes are laid to the radiators in all those rooms which are not heated by open grates. Radiators are also placed in the corridors and offices. The building is substantially constructed in brick, the exterior elevations being faced with red brick with stone dressings. The roofs are slated, and the flats are covered with Val-de-Travers asphalt. In order to secure safety as far as possible, the whole of the floors between the two storeys are fireproof — the Frazzi system being adopted. All the working rooms and corridors are lined with glazed tiles dado high, and the floors are laid with Jarrah wood blocks. A considerable area round the building has been tar paved, so as to afford a dry playground.

The site is well situated within a short distance of the railway station, and contains a little over three acres. It is proposed to build a caretaker's lodge, with bicycle shed attached, and it is hoped that in the near future a gymnasium may be added. The plasterers’ work at the school was ably earned out by Mr. G. T. Bedingfield, of Moulsham-street, Chelmsford.

The School has cost £10,000. The County Council made a special grant of £1,500 towards it, and the rest of the money comes from that available for the district for higher education, and includes that from the penny rate for higher education levied by the Town Council of Chelmsford. The builders were Messrs. Young and Son, of Norwich, their contract being at £6,270. Mr. Geo. Cook was clerk of the works. The cost of furnishing was £850. The site, extending to 3 and one quarter acres, cost £1,900. This is the first public high school for girls only established by the Essex Education Committee, and it starts on Monday next with 78 scholars. The fees per term are £3 3s.

There was a crowded company for the opening, which took place in the assembly hall. The guests on arrival passed between lines of the cadet corps of King Edward VI. Grammar School, forming a guard of honour, and looking extremely well in their grey uniforms. Copts. Rivett and Solbé were in command. Canon Papillon, vicar of Writtle, and chairman of the Chelmsford (Higher Education) Advisory Committee, presided at the opening ceremony, supported by Sir Wm. Anson, the Mayor of Chelmsford (Ald. Chancellor), Mr. E. N. Buxton, chairman of the Essex Education Committee, Miss M. F. Vernon Harcourt. M.A., Girton College, Oxford, head mistress of the School, the Rev. Canon Lake, rector of Chelmsford, and the Rev. Canon Swallow, head master of Chigwell School and a member of the Essex Education Committee.

Among those also present were Mr. Andrew Johnston, chairman of the Essex County Council, Mr. Champion B. Russell, the Rev. Canon Ingles, Mr. J. Herbert Tritton, the Rev,. Canon Hulton, the Rev. C. Edmunds, the Rev. C. W. Howis, the Rev. J. Burgess, Mr. F. W. Rogers, M.A., head master of Chelmsford Grammar School, Mr. Herbert W. Gibson, the Rev. H. Ham, Mr. Geo. Jackson, Mr. R. Hasler, Mr. J H. Nicholas, M.A.. secretary to the Essex Education Committee, Mr. W . Chancellor. M.A., one of the architects, the Rev. B. Wright, Mr. T. Clarkson, the Rev. E. A. Hort, Dr. Wallenger, Mr. J. G. Bond,Mr. A. G. Maskell, Mr. G. W. Taylor, Mr. F. Wells. Mr. S. Wells, Mr. J. O. Thompson, the Rev. T. K. Richards, Mr. W. Stunt, Mr. W. Bewers, Mr. Hy. Marriage, Mr. F. H. Owers, Mr. Joseph Ratcliff, Mr. C. Byford, Mr. W. Dennis, Mr. J. B. Pash, Mr. W. Cowell, Mr. W. H. Pertwee, Mr. W. E. Poole. Mr. J. E. Scrivener, Dr. J. P. Atkinson. Mr. J. C. Smith. Mr. R. P. A. Mumford, the Rev. E. Bean, Mr. E. North, Mr. J. Gleave, Mr. F. J. Weaver. M.A. (head master of the Braintree High School), the Rev. J. M. Giblin, the Rev. J. B. Plumptre, the Rev. Dr. Clark, Mr. F. Richardson, Mr. G. H. Silverwood, M.A., Mr. Eustace Chancellor, the Rev. W. H. Carroll, Mr. E. Finch, Mr. T. Howell, Mr. A. Neville, Mr. W. F. Catt. Mr. F. G. Taverner, Mr. A. J. Appleton, Mr. A. Driver, Mr. H. Sworder, Mr Fell Christy, Mr. A. Fairbairn, Mr. C. R. Finch, Mr. H. Haylock, Mr. F. Collins, Mr. F. R. Fry. Mus. Bac., Mr. T. W. Manning, Mr. Wodehouse Garland, Mr. A. R. Cardozo. Mr. F. H. Dennis, Mr. J. W. Howarth, Mr. G. T. Bedingfield, etc.

Among the ladies present were the Mayoress of Chelmsford (Mrs. Chancellor), Mrs. Buxton, Mrs. Johnson (wife of the Bishop of Colchester), the Misses Chancellor, Mrs. Gilmore, Mrs. Vigne, Miss Tritton, Mrs. Waller, etc.

The Governors of the School are the Rev. Canon Papillon, Miss Bartlett, Mrs. Gilmore, Mrs. Waller, Mr. Chancellor, the Rev. J. Burgess, Mr. W. Bewers, Mr. A. R. Pennefather, C.B., and Mr. Wm. Dennis, Mr. J. H. Nicholas, M.A., is the secretary.

The staff of the School comprises:— Miss M. F. Vernon Harcourt, M.A., Girton College, Oxford, Head Mistress; Miss Boothby, B.A., Miss Boutflower, B.A., Miss Hope Mitchell, Miss Haylock, and Miss Jackson, assistants; Mr. A. B. Bamford, art master.

The Rev. Canon Lake having offered prayers for blessings upon the building and its work, Canon Papillon hoped the large attendance was an earnest of the interest that, would continue to be shown in the new institution. He welcomed those who were present, and regretted the absence, among others, of the Bishop of Colchester, Canon Tancock, Mr. A. R. Pennefather, C.B., Mr. F. West, and the Rev. T. M. Mundle. The school supplied the want of a public school for the higher education of girls, to fit them for the immensely varied number of careers now open to women. The schools already existing had done their best in the circumstances, having no public funds behind them, and there were many who felt much gratitude to Mrs. Slader and others for what they had done. [Applause]

This was to be a secondary school, to which would be sent a number of pupil teachers. It was not to be a pupil teachers’ centre, with a few other pupils added. It would be open to all able to profit by it, irrespective of class or of creed. The religious teaching would be what was generally understood to be undenominational, but regular religious instruction would form a part, of the daily curriculum. He asked on behalf of the school, and of those to teach in it, for indulgence and forbearance at the outset. [Hear, hear.] With confidence that all were doing their best to make it a success, it would doubtless soon be all they could wish it to be. Public interest would be its most effective power, and he hoped the school would prove a valuable link in the County Council’s system of education. [Applause.]

Mr. F. Chancellor, of Messrs. Chancellor and Son, described the building as it is described above, and the Chairman then called upon Sir Wm. Anson to open the building. That was not the first time, said the chairman, that he and Sir Wm. Anson had been in the same boat together. He had at home a pewter pot secured by him in a four-oared race in which Sir William was cox. [Applause.] Later than that, Sir William had had a more difficult job of steering — he had steered an educational measure through the House of Commons. [Applause.]

Sir Wm. Anson said no one could underrate the importance of high schools for girls in places like that, having regard to the views now entertained as to the education which women should receive. He supposed that, after all the talk and all the excitement there had been about education in the last twenty-five or thirty yean, nothing was more remarkable than the difference between the education afforded to women now and that which they had the opportunity of enjoying, say, in the middle of the nineteenth century. No one could fail to rejoice that opportunities the same in character should be afforded to women by means of education such as had hitherto boon afforded to men. Perhaps it was a little unfortunate at the beginning of this movement that the ambition of women should be to have precisely the same education as men. A variety of education was desirable, and he hoped they would establish, with a basis of humane culture, that necessary variety which would be demanded by taste or individual interest. Women had taken up education with enthusiasm. If anything they needed to be restrained rather than spurred on. Girls, unlike boys, wanted no constant encouragement to pursue their studies. They were apt to attempt too many things at once and to work for too many hours in the day. Therefore, if they were not properly cared for and restrained, they might injure their own health, and, in a minor degree, they might sometimes be the cause of anxiety to others. It was hardly necessary to enlarge upon the value that the wider range of education gave to girls and women of to-day as compared with such a range of accomplishments as the smattering of foreign languages, the entrance, and little more, upon the field of music, or of drawing or painting.

One never wished to dwell too much upon the practical aspect — the commercial value of an education - as compared with its importance as a development of the faculties, but they knew that nowadays there were a great many fields of work open to women for which they could adequately prepare themselves in such establishments as that. Teaching was a branch of activity in which women were particularly qualified to excel. Some people were born teachers; some with an adequate training could be made tolerable teachers; and some could never teach anybody anything because they could never make their mind meet the pupils' mind. There must be sympathy and that instinctive perception, that delicate sense of the attitude of mind to the wants and the feelings of another which was more the happy possession of women that it often was of men. For that reason he was glad to hear that that high school was going to take a part in the preparation of the teacher. A teacher must be constantly learning, and in that school she would he set in the way of learning and given an interest in the acquisition of wider knowledge. Women were taking much more part in public life, mainly of a local character, than they used to do. They were proving themselves most useful coadjutors. There was another educational force which women might set in motion. It was constantly complained that our Universities and our public schools were not doing their duty; that they were not producing either the industry or the learning they ought to produce. They must remember that the Universities had to deal with the material sent by the school, and the school with the material supplied by the home, and if the home looked upon education from a purely practical point of view and asked what was to be got immediately as a pecuniary advantage, he did not think the education of this country would prosper. The influence of women on the home was paramount, and they might bring upon the home that steady, consistent influence for good which might alter the whole attitude of our people towards education.

Perhaps they had talked too much about education. There was the sort of person who called himself or was called an educationalist, as if education was a separate and exceptional interest which if a man possessed he was entitled to describe himself by a particular name. One might as well go about calling himself a moralist because he attached some importance to the moral affairs of life. Education should be less in our mouths and more in our minds. We should take it as a matter of course that every boy or girl ought to be an educated person, and should regard the acquisition of knowledge and the humanising of their beings as part of the ordinary duty of life. They knew how zealous Governments, local authorities, and teachers were to promote education, and they must accept education as a great and almost overwhelming influence in life. They must believe in it, and then if the people of this country would come not merely to talk about education as a necessary external thing to be applied to the boy and girl, but as a part of life, then they might have an educated people. It was his pleasure to declare the school open.

Miss Vernon Harcourt, the Head Mistress, in an eloquent speech which caused a great impression, moved a vote of thanks to Sir Wm. Anson. She hoped the girls would leave that school with open eyes and hearts for all that was good and true and beautiful in books and nature and human life. The influence of home and school when they pulled together was very much more than doubled. She regarded the Education Bill which Sir Wm. Anson piloted through the House of Commons as the charter for schools of that kind.

Mr. E. N. Buxton seconded the vote of thanks. He believed Chelmsford was always first in the county. Somehow, they had in their municipality the right grit, and seemed to get the cream of everything. [Laughter.] Take a little drive round Chelmsford, and see the several handsome buildings due to their municipal enterprise — largely owing to the Mayor, whom he congratulated on that beautiful building, so admirably designed for the purpose, and by no means the only educational building which owed its charm and appropriateness to Mr. Chancellor’s skill. They all hoped the girls might pass golden years in that school, and he appealed to the people of the neighbourhood to give their support and comradeship to the new Head Mistress. [Applause.]

The Rev. J. Burgess, Congregational minister of Little Baddow, supporting the motion, said it was nearly 20 years since he came to Chelmsford, and he regarded that as the proudest and happiest day of all. The Rev. Canon Swallow, head master of Chigwell School, said that was the 32nd anniversary of the commencement of his work in Essex, and he was glad to join in that ceremony and that expression of thanks to Sir Wm. Anson, to whom they owed so much. He (Canon Swallow) was a profound believer in the undenominational system. [Hear, hear.] In that school a great deal would be got out of simple Bible teaching - more than some of their friends on platforms would have them think. (Hear, hear.] He was sure that the gifted lady whom they had chosen to be head mistress would raise the standard of religious life in that great city of Chelmsford. His description of the town was only a prophecy. [Laughter and applause.]

Sir Wm. Anson, responding to the vote, said the lines which Miss Harcourt laid down for the conduct of the school, the cordiality with which the school was evidently supported, and the good advice which Canon Swallow had given to parents and governors (which no doubt would be taken), seemed to promise well for the future of the school, and he hoped Miss Harcourt would find herself at the head of an enthusiastic body of students and teachers, and that generation after generation might work up to educational heights to which they at the beginning of the twentieth century were hardly able to aspire. [Applause.]

The Chairman thanked the Head Master of the Grammar School (Mr. F. W Rogers, M.A.) for the martial display made by his cadet corps. [Hear, hear.] It was gratifying to observe how the boys were prepared to look after their sisters. [Laughter and applause.] Mr. Buxton thanked Canon Papillon for presiding, the Mayor seconding the vote.— Mr. Buxton said it was a great satisfaction to have the Canon on the Essex Education Committee, and to have him so ably lending the Local Advisory Committee. [Hear, hear.] The company afterwards inspected the School, and were entertained to tea by the Mayoress of Chelmsford, Mrs. Chancellor.

Barking, East Ham & Ilford Advertiser, Upton Park and Dagenham Gazette, 4 May, 1907
OPENED BY SIR W. ANSON, BART., M.P. –
The County High School for Girls, which has been erected on the Broomfield-road, Chelmsford, at a total cost of about £10,000, was formally opened by Sir William Anson, M.P., on Wednesday afternoon, in the presence of a large number of parents and persons interested in Higher Education. The Rev. Canon Papillon, chairman of the Chelmsford (Higher Education) Committee, presided, supported on the platform by Sir W. Anson. The Mayor of Chelmsford (Alderman F Chancellor, J.P., the architect of the school), Mr. E.N. Buxton, chairman of the Essex Education Committee; Miss F. Vernon Harcourt, the head-mistress; Canon Swallow, and Canon Lake. Those also present included Mr. Andrew Johnston, chairman of he Essex County Council; Mr. Champion; B. Russon, chairman of the Country Higher Education Committee; Mr. C. Jackson, chairman of the County Training of Teachers Committee; Mr. H.W. Gibson, clerk of the County Council; Mr. J.H. Nicholas, secretary to the Essex Education Committee; Mr. Geo. W. Taylor, J.P., chairman of the Chelmsford Education Committee; Mr. F.H. Owers, the County Accountant; and many others. The Chelmsford Grammar School Cadet Corps formed a guard of honor outside the building.

The school is designed to accommodate 150 girls, and is divided into front and back blocks, with a corridor between them. The front black contains on the ground floor the principal entrance, with a classroom on either side for 25c students each, and at one end the Head-mistress’s room and at the other end the Under-mistress’s room. The back block includes one class-room for 30 an another for 20 students, a store room, and girls’ cloak and changing room at either end. On the first floor the front block contains a chemical laboratory, a physical laboratory, a lecture room, and a preparation room between them. At one end is a class-room and at the other end the girls’ luncheon room. The back block contains the assembly hall, to hold at least 170 persons. At one end is the art room with store, and at the other end the cookery room, with store room. The class-rooms will be fitted with single desks, and the laboratory with working benches, and all other fittings throughout will be of the latest type. The drainage has been arranged so that by manholes the whole of the drains can be inspected and cleaned out, and are all connected with the public sewer. The water service is from the Borough main; and the ventilation has been carefully arranged on most modern lines. The building is lighted by electricity. A hot water boiler is placed in the basement, and from this circulating pipes are laid to the radiators in all those rooms which are not treated by open grates.

The building is substantially constructed in brick, the exterior elevations being faced with red brick with stone dressings. The roofs are slated, but the flats are covered with Val-de-travers asphalt. The whole of the floors between the two stories are fire-proof. The working rooms and corridors are lined with glazed tiles, dado high, and the floors are laid with jarrah wood blocks. A considerable area round the building has been tar-paved, so as to afford a dry playground. The site contains a little over three acres. It is proposed to build a care-taker’s lodge, with bicycle shed attached, and it is hoped that in the near future a gymnasium may be added.

Canon Lake have read prayers, the Chairman welcomed the visitors, and said he hoped the large number present was an earnest of continued interest in the future work of the school, such interest supplying more than anything else the motive power for educational machinery. He expressed regret at the unavoidable absence of the High Sheriff (Mr. C.E. Ridley), Canon Tancock, mr. Pennefather, J.P., Mr. F. West, J.P., C.A., and the Rev. T.M. Mundle. He added that the new school supplied a want which had long been felt in the district. It was now recognised that women required an education which would fit them for the varied careers open to them. [Hear, hear.] The Pupil Teachers’ Centre in Chelmsford would be transferred to the new school, for the County very properly required that such schools would do their part towards the general education of the county. The school, however, was not to be a pupil teachers; centre, with a few other pupils added to it. In it the future teachers of elementary schools would be brought into contact with a wider system of education. The school would be open to all, irrespective of class or creed [Hear, hear.] That was essential when a school was largely supported out of public funds; but religious instruction of an undenominational character would form part of the daily curriculum. [hear, hear.]

The Mayor having given a description of the building, Sir William Anson, M.P. the late Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education, said no one could over-rate the importance of a high school for girls in a place like Chelmsford. Nothing was more remarkable than the difference between the education afforded to women now and that which they had the opportunity of enjoying in the middle of the 19th century. No one could fail to rejoice that opportunities of the same character should be offered to women as were offered to men. [hear, hear.] It was a little unfortunate that in the early stages of this movement the ambition of women was to have precisely the same education as men. They would have to be engaged for some time in picking to pieces systems of education which had hitherto prevailed for men, and he hoped they would establish on a basis of human culture that necessary variety in education that might be demanded by the taste or interest of the individual. [hear, hear.] No doubt women had taken up education with enthusiasm; and, if anything, they needed to be restrained rather than stirred on. One never wished to dwell upon the commercial value of education as compared with its importance as a development of the faculties, but they knew nowadays that there were a great many fields of work open to women for which they could be adequately trained in institution such as this. Teaching was a branch in which women excelled. Some people were born teachers, some with an adequate training could be made tolerable teachers, and some could never teach anybody anything because they could never make their minds meet their pupils’ minds. [Hear, hear.] There must be sympathy and that instinctive perception, that delicate sense of the attitude of mind to the wants and feelings of another which was more the happy possession of omen that it often was with men. For that reason he was glad that the school was going to take a part in the preparation of the teacher. [Hear, hear.]

A teacher must be constantly learning, and in that school she would be set in the way of learning and given and interest in the acquisition of wider knowledge. Women were now taking a larger part in public life, especially of a local character, than they used to; and they had proved themselves most useful co-adjutors, more particularly in education matters. There was another great educational force which women could set in motion. It was said that their Universities and public schools were not doing their duty, but they must remember that the Universities had to deal with the material sent them from the school, and that the school had to do with the material supplied from the home, and if the home looked upon education from a purely practical point of view and asked what was to be got immediately as a pecuniary advantage, he did not think the education of the county would prosper. The influence of women on the home was paramount, and they might bring to bear upon the home that steady consistent influence for good which might alter the whole attitude of the people towards education.

They had talked a great deal about education – perhaps they had talked too much. There was a sort of person who called himself an ‘Educationist,’ as if education was a separate and exceptional interest, which, if a man possessed, he was entitled to describe himself as an ‘educationist.’ One might as well call oneself a ‘moralist’ because one attached some importance to the moral affairs of life. [Laughter.] Education should be less in our mouths and more in our minds. Every boy or girl ought to be an educated person. They ought to regard the acquisition of knowledge and the humanising of their being as part of the ordinary duty of life. They knew how zealous and anxious local authorities, the Government, and teachers were in promoting education, and they must accept educations as a great and almost overwhelming influence in life, they must believe in it. Then if the people of this country would come not merely to talk about education as a necessary external thing to be applied to boys and girls, but as a part of life they would have an educated people. [Applause.] he then declared the school open.

Miss Harcourt proposed a vote of thanks to Sir William Anson, and asked for the co-operation of managers and parents in her new duties. Mr. E.N. Buxton, in seconding the resolution, congratulated Chelmsford upon its enterprise in connection with the school and other public buildings, and alluded to the valuable services rendered by the Mayor as architect. The Rev. J. Burgess and Canon Swallow seconded the resolution. The latter said religion must be the basis of all secondary school education. He was a firm believer in the undenominational system in these schools. There was a good deal more to be got out of the simple Bible teaching than sometimes some of their friends, when they spoke on public platforms, would have the think. [Hear, hear.] The proceedings concluded with thanks to the Chairman, proposed by Mr. Buxton, and seconded by the Mayor. The Mayoress afterwards entertained the company at tea, Messrs. Hicks, Son, and Co. being the caterers.

The school has been erected from plans prepared by Mr. Wykeham Chancellor. All the plastering work has been carried out by Mr. G.T. Bedingfield, Moulsham-street, Chelmsford.

Essex Newsman, June 22, 1907.
COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, CHELMSFORD.
An Entrance Examination for Girls entering the School next September will be held at the School at Ten a.m. on Saturday, the 15th July, 1907. Particulars of the school may be obtained from the Head Mistress, who will be glad to see parents any Friday afternoon between 2.30 and 4.0 or or another times by appointment.
Mabel F. Vernon Harcourt
County High School, Chelmsford.

The school roll later contained 76 pupils aged 12-18 divided into Forms IIIa, IV and V. Most of the pupils came from small privately run schools in the area, especially the Pupil-Teacher Centre, but there were some “Scholarship Girls” who won their place by passing examinations (and whose families would not have been able to afford private fees). Those accepted as pupils had to sit an exam at the Essex County Council Offices in King Edward Avenue, Chelmsford and also be interviewed by Miss Vernon Harcourt. The girls were placed in one of the 3 forms depending on their exam results.

There was no school uniform as such, apart from a white straw hat with a navy band around it and the Essex crest. Attire conformed to the Edwardian style: teachers wore floor-length skirts while the pupils wore ankle-length skirts. Most wore black worsted stockings. Those able to afford better wore black silk stockings. Buttoned boots were worn outdoors while flat games shoes (gentler on the polished floors) were worn indoors.

During this era, the school had its first male teacher; Mr Alfred Bamford (1857-1939) who was the Art Master. The pupils studied for their Preliminary for Elementary Teachers' Certificate, the Cambridge Senior Local Examination and the London Matriculation. A few of the girls aged 16-18 attended only on Tuesdays as they were already Student Teachers.

Mrs Brundle provided a good dining hall lunch because some pupils came from long distances. Some cycled, some drove pony traps (which were lodged at the stables of the Red Cow Temperance Hotel on the corner of Broomfield Road and Rainsford Road). Some arrived by train, there being more local branch lines then there are today. Some walked over a mile to catch a bus or train into town. Those with a particularly long commute lodged in Chelmsford during weekdays over winter.

Barking, East Ham & Ilford Advertiser, Upton Park and Dagenham Gazette, 29 June, 1907
TRAIN SERVICE TO CHELMSFORD -
The Higher Education Committee considered a letter from the Board of Education with reference to the bad train service for pupil-teachers from the Billericay district attending the County High School, Chelmsford, and a sub-committee, consisting of the Chairman and Mr. G. Jackson, were appointed to approach the G.E.R. Company on the matter.

Essex County Chronicle, September 6th, 1907
Essex Newsman, September 7th, 1907
ESSEX EDUCATION COMMITTEE.
CHELMSFORD (HIGHER EDUCATION) ADVISORY COMMITTEE.
COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, CHELMSFORD.
Head Mistress: Miss M F. VERNON HARCOURT, M.A.
Assistants:
Miss A. H. Mitchell, Camb. Higher Local Hons.
Miss E. Boothby, B A.
Miss M. B. Boutflower, B.A.
Miss Haylock, for Art and Needlework.
Mr. A. B. Bamford, for Art Subjects.

This Day School has been established by the Essex County Council to provide a good Secondary Education for Girls between the ages of 12 and 19.

Tuition Fee, Three Guineas per term, and five shillings per term for School Stationery and materials. Lunch and light refreshments are provided at the School at cost price. The next term will commence Tuesday, the 17th September. An Entrance Examination will be held on Monday, the 16th Inst., at 10 a.m. at the School. This term commences the School year, and it is very desirable that parents should now enter their children in order that they may take advantage of a full year's curriculum. Miss Harcourt will attend at the School on Friday and Saturday, the 13th and 14th instant, from 2.30 to 4.0 pm., and will be pleased to interview parents or guardians intending to send their children to the School. Copies of the Prospectus and Registration Forms may be obtained from the Head Mistress or the Secretary of the Essex Education Committee.
J.H. Nicholas, Secretary, County Offices, Chelmsford.

Essex Newsman, 21st September, 1907
THE MICHAELMAS TERM at the County High School for Girls began on Wednesday, 101 girls being present.

1908: Old Girls’ Society was formed by the first girls to graduate from CCHS. Minimum age reduced from 11 years to 10 years.

1909: 89 of the pupils are fee-payers. 35 are scholarship pupils. Ages range from 10-20. A School Hostel is proposed, allowing girls to board during the week rather than travel. The First School Magazine was compiled. It began with the words “Although the school is still only in its third year, we have decided to begin a school magazine. We hope it will be a means of keeping those girls who have left school in touch with those still there, and with this idea we gladly welcome contributions from past or present girls.” This is published annually except for the 1914 - 1923 period (i.e. the First World War and its aftermath).

In 1909, Canon Papillon resigns and Sir Richard Pennefather CB becomes Chairman of Governors. Canon HE Hulton becomes a Governor and takes an interest in sporting facilities. PE at the time comprised netball - learnt from a textbook! - and "drill". Drill was rather gentle and graceful stretching and posture exercises done in the form rooms. Occasionally it might be a more vigorous drill on a tarmac area. Canon Hulton proved some tennis nets. Several clubs are formed: Games, Choral and Art.

Chelmsford Chronicle, 9th April, 1909
It was reported that the L.G.B. had sanctioned the following loans:- [. . .] Application is also to be or had been made for the following:- Chelmsford high school (excess expenditure), £1,015. {This indicates that the £1,015 loan had not been sanctioned at the time of the report.)

Essex County Chronicle, May 14, 1909.
ESSEX EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tenders For Coal And Coke.
TENDERS are invited for the SUPPLY of KITCHEN COAL and BECKTON COKE to the CHELMSFORD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOK GIRLS, for the year beginning 25th June, 1909. Tenders must reach me not later than MONDAY, 17th May, 1909. The Committee do not bind themselves to accept the Lowest or any Tender.
J.H. Nicholas, Secretary, County Offices, Chelmsford.
30th April. 1909.

Essex County Chronicle, September 10, 1909.
ESSEX EDUCATION COMMITTEE.
CHELMSFORD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
This DAY SCHOOL has been established by the Essex County Council to provide a GOOD SECONDARY EDUCATION for GIRLS between the ages of 10 and 18.

The NEXT TERM COMMENCES on WEDNESDAY, the 15th September, 1909. An Entrance Examination will be held at the School on Tuesday, 14th Sept., 1909, at Two p.m., and the Head Mistress, Miss M. F. Vernon Harcourt, will be pleased to interview Parents or Guardians intending to send their children to the School, between Ten a.m. and Twelve noon and Two and Four p.m. on the same day, and also on Fridays in term between 2.30 and 4 p.m.
J.H. Nicholas, Secretary, County Offices, Chelmsford.

Chelmsford Chronicle, 24th December, 1909
CHELMSFORD HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
The committee approved the principle to open a hostel in connection with the school, and also approved boarding regulations.

The 1910s

This decade saw the start of the reign of George V (1910-1936) and also the First World War which began the erosion of the once rigid class system. It also saw rationing, more women in the workforce (albeit temporarily during the war years) and some women gained the right to vote. Women's clothing changed, giving more freedom of movement and flexibility. For shorter journeys, the bicycle was becoming a popular and practical alternative to horse-power.

1910: The School Hostel, run by Mrs Smylie, opens at 39 Broomfield Road, Chelmsford. Pupils living some distance from school could live there during the week. Miss Vernon-Harcourt retires to get married (and becomes Mrs Price). This era had a rigid class structure. Teaching and nursing were the two occupations considered most suitable for respectable unmarried woman at that time, but they were expected to give up their work/career when they married and to manage a household.

Chelmsford Chronicle, January 7, 1910.
ESSEX EDUCATION COMMITTEE.
CHELMSFORD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
This DAY SCHOOL has been established by the Essex County Education Committee to provide a GOOD SECONDARY EDUCATION for GIRLS between the ages of 10 and 18.

The NEXT TERM COMMENCES on THURSDAY, the 13th January, 1910. An Entrance Examination will be held at the School on Wednesday, 12th January, 1910, at Two p.m., and the Head Mistress, Miss M. F. Vernon Harcourt, will be pleased to in-terview Parents or Guardians intending to send their children to the School, between Ten a.m. and Twelve noon and Two and Four p.m. on the same day, and also on Fridays in term between 2.30 and 4 p.m. A Hostel will be opened on January 12th, at Glebeside, Broomfield-road, Chelmsford, to provide boarding accommodation for girls attending the school. Particulars may be oobtained from Mrs. R. Stewart Smylie, Glebeside.
J.H. Nicholas, Secretary, County Offices, Chelmsford.

The Essex County Chronicle, October 7, 1910.
University Extension Lectures. — The Chelmsford Centre of the Oxford University Extension, had the first Autumn meeting on Wednesday afternoon, when the Rev. Herbert Dale, M.A., rector of Hornchurch, gave an excellent and very interesting lecture on “William the Silent” and the stirring times in which he lived. The lectures are given in the large hall of the Girls’ County High School, and there was a very good attendance at this, the first fortnightly lecture of the course. The Librarian wishes to announce that most of the books recommended are in the Chelmsford Library.

edith bancroftThe Essex County Chronicle, November 18, 1910
A DISTINGUISHED SCHOOLMISTRESS.
It has been a task of some difficulty to select a head mistress for the County High School for Girls at Chelmsford out of nearly a hundred and twenty suitable applicants. The Joint Committee of Governors and “higher educationists,” however, appear to have performed their duty with great satisfaction in recommending the appointment of Miss Edith M. Bancroft, B.A., at present second mistress at the Redland High School, Bristol. This school occupies a fine old Queen Anne mansion, built in 1710. Educated in the school, Miss Bancroft stayed till she was head girl, and won the leaving scholarship granted by the Council, in the same year gaining an Entrance Exhibition at the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire. Entering into residence, she worked for the London degree of B.A., which she obtained two years later, in Latin, Greek, English, and Philosophy. At the end of her first College year she was a prize student in English language and literature, and at the end of her second in psychology and ethics. On leaving College she became an assistant mistress at the Redland High School, first in the Middle School, and later in the Senior. In 1903 she attended the Summer School of Pedagogies 'for teachers in secondary schools held at Oxford, and on her return to Redland became head of the Middle School, a department in the High School including over 120 pupils. Subsequently came her appointment as second mistress of the School.

Miss Bancroft has been one of the two senior mistresses in charge of the school boarding-house. She has taken a specially active part in the Literary and Debating Societies and in arranging plays and training pupils for the annual dramatic performances. Keenly interested in educational questions, she has for over five years been a member of the Executive of the Association of Assistant Mistresses in Public Secondary Schools. In 1908 she was elected President of the Association, and in 1909 was re-elected for a second term of office. Accustomed to public speaking, especially on educational subjects, she was in March, 1909, one of seven speakers selected for a deputation to the President of the Board of Education at Whitehall on the subject of the status of women inspectors under the Board. In addition, Miss Bancroft has frequently written articles for the educational and general Press. From time to time she has contributed articles and verses to Punch, and in March of this year she wrote by request an article on Pensions for Assistant Mistresses for the pages of The Queen. I understand that she is keenly looking forward to taking up her new work in Chelmsford. She was in the town for the week-end, and was very favourably impressed with its attractiveness, thinking it beautifully wooded.

The Essex Chronicle, November 18, 1910
CHELMSFORD_GIRLS' SCHOOL. NEW HEAD MISTRESS.
A Joint Committee on Saturday selected Miss E. M. Bancroft, B.A., second mistress of the Redland High School for Girls, Bristol, for the headship of the County High School for Girls at Chelmsford, vacant by the resignation of Miss Mabel F. Vernon Harcourt, M.A., and will recommend the appointment to the Essex Education Committee at their next meeting. There were 117 applicants for the post.

Miss Bancroft was an exhibitioner at the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, and specialised in English, Latin, and Geography. She holds the B.A. (London) degree, first division, and possesses certificates for model drawing, chemistry, physics, and mechanics. She was the prize student of her year in English, and has gained prizes for psychology and ethics. In 1891 she became an assistant mistress at the Redland High School, where she is now the second mistress. As head of the middle school there for six years, she has had the supervision of a large and important department. Apart from her actual scholastic duties, Miss Bancroft takes great interest in educational questions, and for over five years has been on the Central Executive of the Association of Assistant Mistresses, the members of which are drawn from secondary schools. In 1908 she was elected president of the Association, and the following year was re-elected, delivering her presidential address in January last. As president, she visited many important schools to give addresses and to preside at educational meetings. Last year she was one of the speakers of a deputation from the Association to Mr. Runciman at the Board of Education.

The Essex County Chronicle, December 2, 1910.
Miss E. M. Bancroft, B.A. Lond., second mistress Redland High School for Girls, was appointed head mistress of the County High School for Girls, Chelmsford, at the advertised salary of £200 per annum, with two annual increments of £20 each, and a capitation grant of £1 on the first fifty paying scholars and 10s. on each paying scholar after that number.

1911: Miss Edith Bancroft becomes the second Headmistress. There are 140 pupils. In 1911, the uniform comprised a white blouse, navy gym slip, navy knickers, black stockings and in summer the girls wore a straw boater kept in place by elastic under the chin. They had three pairs of black shoes: a pair for outdoors, a pair of gym shoes for games and a pair of “Mary Jane” slippers for indoors so they didn’t damage the beautiful wood flooring. If any of the shoes were lost they were put into a “forfeit” cupboard and the girl had to pay one half-penny to get back her lost article. This was an incentive to look after one’s property. Gym equipment comprises ropes and balance forms – more geared to teaching young ladies to be graceful! A VIth Form is formed for the 11 members of Va who had passed their Cambridge Locals. The Motor Omnibus Co starts a bus service from the railway station to the school, arriving at 09.25.

The Essex County Chronicle, March 8, 1911
LONDON MATRICULATION EXAMINATION
The pass list of the Matriculation Examination of the University of London contains the names of the following Essex students [. . .] Emily W Picking, Chelmsford County High School.

The Essex County Chronicle, October 18, 1911.
THE CHURCH AND WOMEN’S VOTES.
A meeting in connection with the National Union of Woman’s Suffrage Societies was held at the Shire Hall, Chelmsford, on Wednesday. [. . .] Miss Bancroft, head of the County High School for Girls at Chelmsford, said all good causes had been travestied, but she doubted whether any good cause had been so much travestied, maligned, and misinterpreted as Women’s Suffrage.

Barking, East Ham & Ilford Advertiser, Upton Park and Dagenham Gazette, 11 November, 1911
Sir Richard Pennefather, C.B., chairman of the governing body, presided at a gathering of parents and pupils at the Chelmsford County High School for Girls on Friday, when the head mistress, Miss Bancroft, presented a satisfactory report of the work during the past year, and the Mayoress, Miss Cramphorn, distributed the certificates won by pupils in public examinations.

Barking, East Ham & Ilford Advertiser, Upton Park and Dagenham Gazette, 23 December, 1911 Canon Hulton has presented a complete edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica to the Chelmsford County High School for Girls for use in the reference library.

1912: A Sixth form is created with 9 girls.

The Essex Chronicle, April 26, 1912
Chelmsford County High School. —The Committee resolved to support the Governors in their application for a reduction of the percentage of free places required by the Board of Education at this school. The question of a further building grant to this school was adjourned.

The Newsman, Saturday, August 31, 1912
The Class Lists of the Cambridge Local Examinations, held in July, include the following. The + Indicating that the examiners were satisfied in spoken French :—

Honours, students under 19 – Class II: E. Clist, Chelmsford County High School. Class III: +A. D. Chell, +M. Hodge and +C.E. Pollard, Chelmsford County High School.

Chelmsford Chronicle, 1 November, 1912
Salaries Question. —The following scale of salaries was adopted for assistant teachers in County Secondary Schools holding a University degree or its equivalent, who have had teaching experience in a Secondary School or have served satisfactorily the probationary period prescribed in the county form of agreement with assistant masters: - Men, initial salary from £130 to £180, maximum salary £250; women, initial salary from £100 to £150, maximum £200. The initial salary in each case to be determined by qualifications and past experience after consultation with the Headmaster or headmistress. Increments are to be discretionary and made on the recommendation of the Headmaster or Headmistress, confirmed by the Governors, and not to exceed the rate of £10 per annum. Exceptional experience and merit in special cases may be recognised for salary beyond the scale.

Chelmsford Chronicle, 1 November, 1912
CHELMSFORD HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS. ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL YEAR.
The annual report day of the High School for Girls, Chelmsford, was held Friday evening, when the certificates gained during the year were presented to the winners by Miss Bartlett. Despite the foggy evening, there was a large attendance of parents and the elder scholars. Miss Winifred Picking, the School Captain, handed Miss Bartlett a bouquet of violets and lilies, representing the School colours — blue and white. The winners were: —

University of London Matriculation Examination : First class, Winifred Picking; second class, Clare Turnage, Hilda Wisbey.

Cambridge Senior Local Examination: Second class, honours, Elsie Clist; third class honours, Dorothy Chell, Peggy Hodge (Margaret), Cecilia Pollard; pass, Dorothy Cowers, Rosalie Smith, Ethel Pulley, Sybil Waller, Dorothy Picking, Bessie Hodge (Elizabeth),Winifred Scrivener. Miss E. M. Bancroft, the head mistress, in her annual report, said the year began in hope and ended with encouragement. The tone of the School was sounnd and healthy, and the standard of honours was high. There was a strong corporate feeling, and the prefects responded loyally and intelligently to the responsibilities placed upon them. The high numbers, which were becoming almost an embarrassment, had been maintained, and the new school year had opened with 140 names. At present she was forced to use all the resources of her ingenuity in order to provide satisfactorily for a growing school in a building which was rapidly becoming too small.

The standard of work, especially in the lower forms and in the weaker subjects of the upper forms, had distinctly risen. The policy of sending only the elder girls for public examinations was being followed. Up to sixteen the girls were tested by their own school examinations. Miss Winifred Picking, who passed the London Matriculation, had obtained a County Major Scholarship of £60 a year for three years, she being the first Chelmsford girl to whom this honour had fallen. (Applause.) Miss Picking was continuing her school course before proceeding to a university.

Eleven candidates — the whole of Form Va., save one, were sent in for the Cambridge Senior Local, and there were no failures. (Applause.) The results were one second class honours, three third class honours, and seven passes.

Marked progress had been made in the games of the School. In the Tennis Tournament of Essex Secondary Schools, the School played West Ham successfully, but by suffering defeat from Romford they lost the champion shield which they gained the previous year. Among the various School Associations the Voluntary Art Club was opening resources to many girls. The concert of the Voluntary Choral Society realised a profit of over £15 for the Games Club. The School choir won the competition for girls' secondary schools at the Central and East Essex festival, and second prize was taken for adult female choirs.

They had said farewell to Miss Boothby, who had been the staff since the School began, and who had been appointed on the staff of the Good Hope Seminary in Cape Town. The editorship of the School magazine now passed into the hands of Miss Galloway, and Miss Boothby’s place as form mistress and specialist teacher in history had been taken by Miss Mackenzie, who was educated at Clifftown High School and Girton College, Cambridge, where she took the Historical Tripos of Cambridge University. (Applause.)

Miss Bancroft also thanked her colleagues for their efficient help and pleasant comradeship, and added that for the first time they had been able to make a sixth form, which consisted of nine girls, all of whom had passed the Cambridge Senior Local, and who were doing more advanced work. Miss Bancroft urged the importance of allowing children to enter at an earlier age. Too often she received requests for the admission of children well on in their teens, who had learned French, no mathematics, and very little of any literary subject. It was too late then for them to be able to receive the full benefit of high school education. It grieved her to think of shutting out backward children; the only real way reform was to begin the work at a much earlier age. It was also important, in these days of demand for efficiency, that the years of school life should not be shortened. Her ambition was not merely to see the school increase in numbers or to place more and more girls successfully upon examination lists, but that the School should be the place where ideals should be conceived which should give a meaning and interest to the whole of life, where faculties of many sides should be developed. (Applause.)

An interesting lecture, illustrated lantern views, followed, on “Bohemia and its part in the story of the Reformation.” The lecture was delivered by Miss T. B. Reynolds, B.A., geographical expert and author of repute, and a former college friend of Miss Bancroft's. The discourse was exceedingly interesting and instructive, and at times quite exciting Dealing with the history of the Bohemians, Miss Reynolds described them as highly cultured, and, in matters educational, in advance of England, with a widespread love of music. The part the Bohemians played in the Reformation principally surrounded the celebrated Huss, who, born of very poor parents, and developing wonderful signs of learning, became Rector of the famous University of Prague. When first sent to this seat of learning he was so poor that had to lie on the bare ground, and used to earn money singing at church services. The seed sown Wycliffe was carried to the university by two Oxford students, and the great reformer's writings were studied by Huss, who preached them in the native language of the Czechs. The Romish Church, which at that time had fallen to a very low state, forbade the Wycliffe utterances and writings, and as Huss would not give in he was finally summoned before the Council of Constance, and, after a farce of a trial, was branded a heretic and burned at the stake. The Czech followers of Huss were indignant at this cruel death of their national hero, and an army was formed which became the terror of Europe. Peace was finally obtained, but the spark kindled by Wycliffe, and fostered into a flame by Huss, was carried to a flaming torch by Martin Luther.

Thanks to the lecturer and Mr. Wykeham Chancellor, who manipulated the lantern, were heartily carried on the motion of Mrs. Waller, seconded by Mr. Frank Richardson.

Essex Newsman, 23 November 1912
"THE MIKADO CHELMSFORD." GOOD ACTING AT THE HIGH SCHOOL.
On Saturday the members of the Chelmsford County High School Old Girls' Society gave a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's well-known musical comedy, "The Mikado.” The cast was follows:- The Mikado of Japan, Miss Galloway; Nanki-Poo, B. Bushell; Ko-Ko, Miss Phillips; Pooh-Bah, Miss Spikes; Pish-Tush, Miss Willey; Yum-Yum, K. Driver; Pitti-Sing, W. Hale; Peep-Bo, B. Katisha, D. Western; chorus of school girls, E. Drury, F. Larkin, H. Hazell, D. Davis, D. Pinch, E. Southgate; chorus of men, K. Coleman D. Smith, L Davies, K. East, A. Bacon, D. Scrivener, R. Smith, C Turnage; pages, D. Rodd, S. Hasler; accompanist, Miss Everitt L.R.A.M., stage manager, Miss Phillips.

The parts throughout were clearly and effectively realised, in spite of the fact that men's parts had to be taken by female voices. Miss Phillips as Ko-Ko and Miss Spikes as Pooh-Bah were highly successful. As Katisha, D. Western had a part which demanded considerable dramatic power, and her conception of the character was good and sustained. The part of Yum-Yum was charmingly enacted by K. Driver, whose fresh rendering was full of grace. As Nanki-Poo, B. Bushell admirably realised the part of a graceful, love-sick swain. Miss Galloway's rendering of the Mikado was characterised by a judicious blend of fun and dignity, and the obsequiousness of Pish-Tush was very amusing. The tone of the choruses was good throughout, and their enunciation of the words clear. The voices blended well, and the spirited singing of the opening chorus and of the Finales of Acts I and II bore witness to their excellent training. The whole performance owed much to the sympathetic work of the talented accompanist, Miss Everitt. The staging of the piece was distinctly good. The colour scheme was well thought out and pleasing, and the dresses very pretty. The credit of a very admirable performance must be divided between the Old Girls, who gave so successfully so considerable a work, and Miss Phillips, to whose stage-managing ability and careful training much is due.


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1913: First Speech Day held in the Shire Hall, having outgrown the school hall. there were 150 pupils and plans to accept a further 100. CCHS now provided a superior education - and certainly a more modern one - than many private schools.

On Friday 7 March 1913, the Chelmsford Chronicle reported on the dearth of teachers, in part due to the National Union of Teachers who seemed to be deterring young people from entering the profession. Previously, schoolmasters had looked with pride on their “noble profession” and had encouraged their own sons and daughters to follow them. By 1913, things had changed and young people were seeking better paid professions. The best brains were being lost to teaching, and the other brains were not good enough to be wanted by the teaching profession. Speaking about the Superannuation [i.e. Pensions] Act of 1908, Mr. Lloyd George had said: "Considering the part which the teaching profession plays in the life of the country, and how much the future of the nation depends on the increased efficiency of the profession, I think that those who belong to it have been very shabbily treated in the matter of superannuation [. . .] I regard [the dearth of teachers] as a disaster to the State, and it is vital, in the opinion of the Government, that something should be done to improve prospects of teachers. I do not believe that even now we shall be treating the profession as honourably and as liberally as other countries do."

Under the pupil-teacher system, an 1840s refinement of the monitorial system, intellectually promising scholars (usually aged 14 to 18) simultaneously taught younger pupils while receiving their own secondary education from the school’s head teacher. These teaching apprentices received a small salary and some had attained high places in the teaching profession. On the downside, these adolescents were thrust in teaching before they were educationally or emotionally ready. On the plus side, a head teacher could see whether a pupil teacher had potential, however there was no guarantee that the pupil teachers would get employment after their apprenticeship was finished. At the time, the system was well suited to more isolated rural areas lacking a secondary school.

The National Class Teachers' Associations had approached the various Education Committees of the country and asked for favourable revision of the existing scales salaries. However the ratepayers, who funded the salaries, did not know anything about the teaching profession. To them, a class teacher was a person who worked at school for five hours a day, for five days a week, and enjoyed about three months' holiday each year. That description only applied to assistant teachers. There was still the impression that the only real teacher in a school was the head teacher, and that all class teachers were vastly inferior to him/her and were just grown-up pupil teachers. By 1913, times had changed and class teaching had become a distinct profession. The class teachers were expected to remain up-to-date by reading and travel and to be interested in all things connected with their pupils. Education Committees needed to recognise this change and offer salaries that rewarded class teachers.

The Essex County Chronicle, March 7, 1913
MATRICULATION EXAM. ESSEX SUCCESSES.
The pass lists are issued of the Matriculation Examination of the London University held in January. The Essex successes are as follows:- Second Division – Dorothy Winifred Gowers, Chelmsford County High School

Some of the races in the early sports day are unfamiliar nowadays, or are consigned to primary school sports/games days. They are a far cry from modern school athletics events. At that time, vigorous sport was considered unfeminine, and long skirts (plus corsets for the senior girls) were an encumbrance. Nevertheless, sports were an important part of school life, contributing to physical health and team spirit. The “Chariot Race” was usually two team-members pulling a sack on which the third team member sat. The “Affinity Race” was a form of three-legged race. The “Potato Race” involved moving potatoes, one at a time, from one place to another. The “Late for School Race” (or Hurry up for School race) involved getting dressed as you ran on the straight track - running from the starting line to your shoes, putting them on, then running to your coat/blazer and put it on, then run to your school bag and pick it up, then sprint to the finish line. As the photo shows, girls’ high jump was quite different to modern high jump – more like a “ponies popping over a fence” (to borrow Miss Pattison’s description of poor hurdling technique).

Girls' athletics at CCHS would have looked a bit like this in the early days. Above is a typical gym costume in 1912.

The Essex County Chronicle, May 30, 1913
The annual sports of the Chelmsford County High School for Girls took place in the School Grounds on Saturday, before a large attendance. The team flat race for the cup, won by IVa last year, was again won by the same form. C. Marks proved herself the champion of the school, and IVa, won a competition for the best form. Prizes were given by Miss Lawes, Mrs. Christy, Mr. Haig, Mrs. Hodge, miss Spikes, Mr Rodd, mr F.H. Owers, Mrs. F. Chancellor, miss T. Halpern, Miss E.M. Bancroft (the headmistress), Mr. Wallis, miss Phillips, the old girls, the staff, etc.

At the close the prizes were presented by Mrs. F. Chancellor. The judges were Dr. Alford, Mr Wykeham Chancellor, Mr L. Christy, and Mr Thos. Hay. Miss Phillips and Miss Spikes were the starters, aided by members of the Sports Committee, prefects etc. Results:-
Throwing net-ball (junior), 1, M. MacMarland; 2, M. Green.
Throwing net-ball (senior), 1, P. Hodge; 2, C. Marks.
Throwing cricket ball (junior), 1, A. Arnold.
Throwing cricket ball (senior), 1, M. Cleale; 2, B. Straight.
Decorated bicycle I Luckin-Smith.
100 yards flat race (over 14 years) 1, M. MacMarland; 2, E. Owers; E. M. Wenley.
100 yards flat race (12-14 and a half). 1, O. Cutts; 2, C. Miller; 3, H. Matthews.
100 yards flat, race (10-12 years). 1, M. Shenstone; 2, J. Petts.
Junior running skipping, 1; M. Shenstone; 2. D. Rodd.
Running skipping (senior), 1, D. Rippon; 2, C. Marks.
Egg and spoon (junior), 1, M. Jeffreys, 2, E. Hodge.
Team race 1, Form IVa. (holders).
Slow bicycle, 1, I. Luckin Smith; 2, F. Goodliff.
Egg and spoon (senior), 1, R. Smith, 2, K. Upton.
“Late for school” race (senior), 1, W. Arnold, 2, D. Colyer.
“Late for school” race (junior), 1, J. Petts, 2, O. Cutts.
High jump (junior) 1, A. Arnold, 2, M. Green, special prize, J. Petts.
High jump (senior), 1, K. Upton; 2, C. Stokes.
Sack race, 1, M. Haig, 2, V. Wallace.
Form skipping teams, 1, Form II, 2, Form IVb.
Potato race (senior), 1, O. Wheaton, 2, N. Waller.
Walking race, 1, L. Fowler, 2, L. Bowie.
Potato race (junior), 1, C. Miller, 2, O. Cutts.
Quarter-mile flat, 1, M. Hodge, 2, M. Green.
Obstacle (junior), 1, E. Carter; 2, E. Wedekind.
Three-legged race, 1, M. Scrivener and M. Taylor; 2, E. and M. Wenley.
Hidden treasure (juniors), 1, F. Richardson.
Hidden treasure (seniors), 1, C. Marks.
Obstacle race (senior), 1, C. Marks; 2, K. Steele.
Chariot race, E. Owers, M. Scrivener, and M. Davies.
Affinity race, 1, L. Bowie and B. Wright, 2, M. Jeffreys and P. Green.
Bicycle egg and spoon, l, B. Straight, 2, M. Taylor.
Bicycle potato spearing, 1, M. Spalding, 2, E. Wedekind.
Visitors’ race, girls, Lilian Bradridge.
Visitors, race, boys. L. Rippon.
Old Girls race, E. Smee.
Tug-of-War, Greens (captain, P. Hodge).
Consolation (senior), P Coward.
Consolation (junior), G. Smith.
Obstacle race for fathers and judges, Mr. Christy.
Final round of tennis tournament (under 14 and a half), l, F. Goodliff, 2, M. Davies.
Final round of tennis tournament (over 14 and a half), 1, B. Straight, 2, A. Arnold.
Final round of net-ball tournament, 1, Form IVB, 2, Form VB,
Special prize, Form VA.
Final round of Old Girls' tennis tournament, 1, D. Smith.
Champion girl, C. Marks.
Champion form, Form IVB.

Essex County Chronicle, July 11, 1913
ESSEX EDUCATION COMMITTEE. CHELMSFORD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
The Autumn term, which is the First Term in the School Year, COMMENCES on the 18th SEPTEMBER, 1913 and, owing to limited accommodation, parents who intend sending their children to the School then are advised to at once notify the Head Mistress, MISS E.M. BANCROFT, County High School, Chelmsford.

Essex County Chronicle, August 1, 1913
CHELMSFORD HIGH SCHOOL HOSTEL.
It is somewhat difficult to view the charges in connection with the administration of the Chelmsford County High School Hostel from the standpoint of those members of the Education Committee who expressed the view that 15s. a week is an inadequate charge for girls who use the hostel. At the same time it is easy to agree with them that that institution should be self-supporting. It seems rather that an inquiry is necessary to ascertain why the hostel does not pay its way. There are hundreds of young men and women working at the great industrial concerns in Chelmsford who do not pay more, indeed some pay less for food and lodgings, than 15s. a week, and the question suggested is that if the people who lodge the young men and women in question can afford to do so and make a profit, it ought not to be difficult for a large institution, which can buy largely [buy in bulk], and therefore cheaply, to do so, too. Anyhow, it seems that year after year the ratepayers are called upon to make up the de-ficiency on the running of the hostel, and it certainly seems a question for inquiry how that comes about. It might also be asked why Chelmsford should be called upon to contribute towards the maintenance of the young people attending the County High School. Any deficiency there may be ought, it seems in fairness, to be paid by the district sending the scholars.

Essex County Chronicle, October 10, 1913
GIRLS’ HIGH SCHOOL. - The County Council on Tuesday decided to apply for a loan of £2,308 in respect of enlarging the County High School for Girls.

Essex Newsman, November 15, 1913
CHELMSFORD HIGH SCHOOL. DISTRIBUTION CERTIFICATES. ENLARGEMENT CONTEMPLATED.
The annual distribution of certificates in connection with the Girls' County High School, Chelmsford, was held the Shire Hall this afternoon, Sir Richard Pennefather, C.B., chairman of the Governors, presiding over a large attendance. The Chairman said that during the past they had had a new scheme of governing approved by the Education Authorities and by the Essex County Education Authority, under which their number of Governors had been increased from ten to fifteen. Miss Bancroft, the headmistress, was very pleased to announce that they had 150 girls in the School to-day. They were only permitted to take in 150, unless the Board Education closed their eyes, which perhaps they might do. They felt the School must be exceedingly popular that within such a short space of time they had reached their maximum. That fact had led the Governors to very closely consider whether they ought not to enlarge the School. Their contemplated enlargement would provide for 100 additional scholars. He did not think 250 pupils any too many to provide education for in a town which had a population of 18,000 and served altogether a population of 40,000. The one difficulty in the matter was the want of money. He was very much afraid that the ratepayers of Chelmsford would have to pay for an enlargement of the School, and he was not at all sure that would not involve them putting their hands little deeper into their pockets than they were doing at that moment. The Mayor had remarked to him, "In Chelmsford they never mind spending money on a good cause," but then the Mayor was really talking about the paving of the roads. (Laughter.) He hoped, however, the ratepayers would back them up when they presented the bill and said they wanted to enlarge the School, and not grumble at (Hear, hear.)

In her annual report, Miss E. M. Bancroft, the headmistress, said that at the opening of the year in September 1912, the number of pupils on the school register reached 140, considerable increase on the previous year. At the end the year there were 135. On that, their very first Public Speech Day, there were 150, which was the number for which the School was originally designed. There had been no changes in the staff. In public examinations, the year’s record was satisfactory. They sent in only the older girls for public examination. It was being more and more strongly felt by those who were expert in the education of girls that junior examinations of necessarily low standard, however imposing in number, were not only intrinsically worthless themselves, but injurious on account of the strain they entailed upon young and growing girls. In their senior work they endeavoured, and she thought successfully, to avoid the fret and strain of examination fever. List of awards –

Cambridge Higher Local Examination.— Class II., honours, science group. W. Picking; Class III, honours, French language and literature, R. Smith.
London Matriculation. — D. Gowers, D. Chell.
Cambridge Senior Local Examination. - Class I. B. Brown (distinction in botany), bracketed 1st; passes, C. Christy (distinction in botany, bracketed 3rd, C. Gowlett, C. Hart, C. Marks, K. Steele.
Medals for Games. — Silver medals: All round excellence: Senior, D. Chell; junior, M. Jeffreys. Bronze medals: Hockey, netball, and cricket, C. Marks; hockey, M. Taylor, N. Waller; cricket, D. Chell; tennis, C. Hart, J. Luckin Smith.
Lady Rayleigh distributed the certificates, and spoke on the improvement in education.

Chelmsford County High School 1913, before north and south extensions are added

Essex County Chronicle, November 21, 1913
CHELMSFORD HIGH SCHOOL. ENLARGEMENT CONTEMPLATED. LADY EAYLEIGH'S ADVICE.
The annual distribution certificates in connection with the Girls' County High School, Chelmsford, was held at the Shire Hall Friday, Sir Richard Pennefather, C.B., chairman of the Governors, presiding over a large attendance. The Chairman was supported by Lady Rayleigh, Mrs. Champion B. Russell, Mr. W. Chisenhale-Marsh. J.P.. C.A., chairman of the Esses Education Committee, Mr. F. Dent, C.C., Canon Hulton, Ald. F. Chancellor, J.P.. Ald. J. O. Thompson, Canon Lake, Mr. J. H. Nicholas (Secretary of the Essex Education Committee), Councillor L. F. Christy. Mr. G. J. Taylor, Mrs. Gilmore, Miss Bartlett, Mrs. Waller, Miss Lake, Mr. F. Richardson, and Miss E. M. Bancroft, the headmistress.

The Chairman said that during the past year they had had a new scheme of governing approved by the Education Authorities and by the Essex County Educatiou Authority, under which their number of Governors had been increased from ten to fifteen. It was extremely gratifying to find the school continuing increase. They began in 1906 with 74 girls; to-day they had 150. (Applause.) They were much indebted to Miss Bancroft and her able staff for what they had done. They were only permitted to take in 150, unless the Board of Education closed their eyes, which perhaps they might do. They felt the School must be exceedingly popular that within such a short space time they had reached their maximum. That fact had led the Governors to very closely consider whether they ought not to enlarge the School. Their contemplated enlargement would provide for 100 additional scholars. He did not think 250 pupils any too many to provide education for in a town which had a population of 18,000 and served altogether a population of 40,000. The one difficulty in the matter was the want of money. He was very much afraid that the ratepayers of Chelmsford would have to pay for an enlargement of the School, and was not at all sure that would not involve them putting their hands little deeper into their pockets than they were doing at that moment. The Mayor had remarked to him, "In Chelmsford we never mind spending money on a good cause," but then the Mayor was really talking about the paving of the roads. (Laughter.) He hoped, however, the ratepayers would them up when they presented the bill and said they wanted to enlarge the School, and not grumble at it. (Hear, hear.)

In her annual report, Miss E. M. Bancroft, the headmistress, said that at the opening of the year in September 1912, the number of pupils on the school register reached 140, a considerable increase on the previous year. At the end of the year there were 135. On that, their first public Speech Day, there were 150, which was the number for which the School was originally designed. There had been no changes in the staff. In public examinations the year's record was satisfactory. They sent only the elder girls for public examinations. It was being more and more strongly felt by those who were expert in the education of girls that junior examinations of necessarily low standard, however imposing in number, were not only intrinsically worthless in themselves, but injurious on account of the strain they entailed upon young and growing girls. In their senior work they endeavoured, and she thought successfully, to avoid the fret and strain of examination fever. Homework was carefully graduated according to age, and overtime was forbidden. The report went on to praise the splendid University Scholarship work of Winifred Picking, who with the help her Major Scholarship was now beginning her college career at Girton, working for the Science Tripos. In competing for a Girton Scholarship she measured herself the best candidates from the best schools and thereby honourably closed a school career of six years, during which she had earned the affection and respect of her teachers by her quality of work, her loyalty to the school, and her readiness to serve it. (Applause.) Four of the five student teachers who attended the course of Oxford Extension lectures on English architecture passed the examination at the close, two with distinction and one obtained the prize given at the Chelmsford centre. In sport, the efforts of Miss Phillips and her colleagues in maintaining sound ideals in games and raising the standard of play had been unsparing. Having referred also to the work of the boarding-house under Miss Knibbs and Miss Russell, Miss Bancroft said the burden of responsibility in the school year been made lighter by the ready support and co-operation, not only of the Governors but also of the parents. She always felt that a kind and helpful atmosphere surrounded the school. (Applause,)

The Chairman then requested Lady Rayleigh to distribute the examination certificates and sports prizes. At the close her ladyship was presented with a bouquet by Cynthia Hart, captain of the school. List of awards:-

Cambridge Higher Local Examination.— Class II., honours, science group. W. Picking; Class III, honours, French language and literature, R. Smith.
London Matriculation. — D. Gowers, D. Chell.
Cambridge Senior Local Examination. - Class I. B. Brown (distinction in botany), bracketed 1st; passes, C. Christy (distinction in botany, bracketed 3rd, C. Gowlett, C. Hart, C. Marks, K. Steele.
Medals for Games. — Silver medals: All round excellence: Senior, D. Chell; junior, M. Jeffreys. Bronze medals: Hockey, netball, and cricket, C. Marks; hockey, M. Taylor, N. Waller; cricket, D. Chell; tennis, C. Hart, J. Luckin Smith.

Lady Rayleigh gave a very sincere address to the girls. She was very pleased to see how the school was prospering. The girls were very lucky that they were born in a generation which had such schools. Education had improved very much and they were getting the benefit of it. They were much better taught, and the lessons were much more interesting; In fact, in the old days she did not think they even tried to make the lessons interesting. The town of Chelmsford was giving them this good education, for without the support of the town they could not have had the school. She exhorted them to love their school, then their town, and then their country. They had a good country, which had been a good mother to them and they had duties to her in return. (Hear.)

They would soon be going into the world, and must think of what they were going to do. Some would go into professions; some would marry and have families, and the noblest and best thing that any woman could do was have a happy marriage and a large family, and bring them up well. (Hear, hear.) That would be a very good answer for a woman to give when God asked her at the last what she had done. Let them not rest until they had done something well. Whatever they did was worth doing well. Let them always avail themselves of opportunities of doing good. There was the possibility of emigration, and that was an excellent thing for many people. What she really despised was anybody who did nothing. Her ladyship went on to give advice to future wives, telling them to make themselves of use in the home, to learn to cook well, to manage the house well, and to do everything else well connected with the home. Continuing on the same lines, Lady Rayleigh said there were always people more unfortunate than themselves whom they could help. They must never be content until it was a happy and prosperous world, and whatsoever their hand found to do, let them do it with all their might. (Hear, hear.) In conclusion, her ladyship complimented singers on their very good tone, the part-singing being very nice indeed.

A vote of thanks to Lady Rayleigh was proposed by Ald. Chancellor, who hoped parents would let their girls stay at school as long as they could. Both in the girls' and in the boys' schools the pupils left the year before they ought, a year which was often the most valuable for education.

Mr W. Chisenhale-Marsh, in seconding, said that to one who spent a good deal of time in trying to grease the educational wheels of the county it was a great encouragement to find Lady Rayleigh setting the seal of her satisfaction upon the success which the school had already attained. Though on the Education Committee they had been unable to meet the Governors of the High quite so liberally as they could wish, he hoped they would be able to do so before long. He trusted the girls would take a great deal of interest in their school gardens, as there was nothing so elevating as the study of gardening in all its branches.

The motion having been unanimously carried, a similar compliment was paid to the Chairman, the motion of Ald. Chancellor, seconded by Ald. Thompson. Some excellent songs were sung by the school choir.

Essex County Chronicle, December 26, 1913
CHELMSFORD SCHOOL QUESTION.
The revised proposals for the extension of the school buildings at the County High School, Chelmsford, at an estimated cost of £3,832 3s., were considered. These pro-posals include : Two additional classrooms, assembly hall, to be used also as a gymnasium, domestic economy room, and two classrooms, additional cloakroom accommodation, additional lavatory accommodation, enlargement of bicycle shed, alterations to art room. Canon Papillon moved adoption.

Mr. F. Dent moved that the proposals be referred back to the Finance Committee to see how the expenditure was to be met. He did not desire to delay a necessary work, but he was obliged to remind them of the history of this matter. The proceedings had been irregular, and he thought it was necessary to move this amendment. In the early part of the year the governors of the Chelmsford High School found their numbers increasing, and that they had to increase the accom-modation. They brought up plans for this extension at an estimated cost of about £4,000, and suggested as a means of meeting this expenditure that they were entitled to a sum of £1,400 in addition to the usual county grant.

A special committee went into this matter of finance, and a report was made by the County Accountant, after which the committee came to the conclusion that this claim for arrears of £1,400 could not be entertained. They were of the opinion that the Chelmsford district could not afford this expenditure, and that the increased accommodation must be limited to what was absolutely necessary viz., classrooms, and that the gymnasium and central hall must be regarded as desirable luxuries which the district could not afford. The Higher Education Committee adopted that report, and recommended an expenditure not exceeding £2,400 on this extension. Now plans had been approved by the Plans Committee involving an expenditure of over £3,800. The Plans Committee ought not to have recommended plans which involved so large an expenditure beyond the original estimate without some reason being given. They might find the Chelmsford district in the same position as at Maldon and Braintree, where they had overbuilt them-selves. Before they sanctioned this expenditure they should satisfy themselves that the money could be found without hampering the other needs of the Chelmsford district.

The Rev. A. J. Sacré seconded the amendment. No such thing had ever been mentioned to the governors as the maxi-mum basis of £2,400. Mr. Chancellor would say that he (Mr. Sacre) was not on the governing body in April, and so did not hear it, but, if so, the ordinary courtesy should have been paid him of taking the new member by the hand and informing him of all the circumstances of the case, and not hoodwinking him with figures. (Laughter.) He was not going to be led in the dark and asked to vote for a thing they had not had an opportunity of taking into consideration.

Mr. F. Chancellor said Mr. Sacré was generally all right in the end. (Laughter.) He could not understand why Mr. Dent opposed everything they did at Chelmsford. He called Mr. Dent's attention to the report from the Accountant, in which he explained how the money could be found — by adding a halfpenny rate to the county rate. The plans had been approved by the Board of Education, by the governors, by the Plans Committee, by the School Buildings Committee by the District Sub-Committee, and by the Higher Education Committee. What further investigation could possibly be required? They had been examined and discussed till they were tired. In the report before the Committee the figure was £3,600 — not £2,400, as Mr. Dent stated.

Mr. Waller: After that report the Committee said the figure should not exceed £2,400. Why do you go beyond that?

Mr. E. North Buxton: Every one of us wants to see the county town as beautiful as it can be, and its schools as good as they can be. At the same time, there should be equality of treatment in the various places, and what is essential and necessary at Chelmsford schools should be essential and necessary elsewhere. The most important addition here seems to be the assembly hall, but this Committee has hesitated a great deal in providing assembly halls at other schools, and has advised that for purposes of economy they should be left out. But, most important of all, there is the question of principle. When you have had a definite estimate accepted it is a very strong measure indeed to exceed that by 50 per cent., and it is a dangerous precedent. (Hear, hear.)

The Chairman said the Committee found that they could undertake the additional expenditure, and, therefore, the assembly hall was added to the second scheme.

Mr. J. H. Burrows said Mr. Dent had made an excellent point, and he would suggest that in order that the work should not be hindered, the report be accepted subject to the Finance Committee being satisfied that it could be done out of funds at the disposal of the Committee.

Mr. Dent's amendment was carried by 15 votes to 11.

Mr. Burrows then moved a further amendment that the plans be accepted subject to the Finance Committee being satisfied that the expenditure could be met out of funds at the disposal of the District Committee.

Canon Tancock seconded this, and said he was sure the district was willing to meet any necessary expenditure for such a purpose.

Mr. Chancellor said he was willing to accept this amendment — it would then have been approved by every possible committee. (Laughter.)

The matter was therefore referred to the Finance Committee, as suggested.

1914-1915: A gabled extension and an Assembly Hall (now the Gym) are built at the southern end and there are classes in "Swedish Gymnastics," a type of gymnastics that used no apparatus and was a mix of calsthenics and exercise. A gabled extension housing additional classrooms is built at the northern end.

Miss Bancroft also taught scripture and, according to reminiscences of old girls, in each of her lessons she drew chalk lines that represented the Tigris and the Euphrates. The girls compared the drawing to a deformed pitch-fork. Miss Bancroft also had a nervous habit of playing with her long chain necklace - she gathered it in one hand and dropped it in a heap into the other hand, juggling it from hand to hand all the time. This reflected her nervous energy!

The Essex County Chronicle, March 27, 1914
ESSEX EDUCATION COMMITTEE. TO BUILDERS & CONTRACTORS.
Proposed Extension of the Chelmsford County High School for Girls.
Tenders are invited for certain AD¬DITIONS to the above School. Persons desirous of Tendering must send in their names to the County Architect, 73 Duke Street, Chelmsford, on or before MONDAY, the 6th day of April. 1914, and enclose a cheque value £2 2s. as deposit for the Bill of Quantities. The deposit will be returned after the Contract has been signed to all Contractors who send in a bona fide Tender.

Plans, Specification, and Form of Con¬tract can be seen at the Office of the County Architect after this day, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., on any working day except Saturday. Any Tender recommended for acceptance will be subject to the approval of the Essex County Council and the Local Government Board.

A Bond of £200 for the due and proper completion of the work will be required from an Approved Guarantee Society. The Committee do not bind themselves to accept the lowest or any Tender. Sealed Tenders, endorsed “Chelmsford County High School.” must be sent to the undersigned on or before FRIDAY, the 24th day of April, 1914.
J. H NICHOLAS, Secretary, County Offices, Chelmsford.
March, 1914.

1914 - 1918: School continues to operate throughout WW1 and takes in Belgian refugee students. Forms have designated "shelters" in areas away from windows or outer walls. When the air raid hooter sounded, girls on the ground floor sat under their desks. Girls on the upper floor went downstairs and lined either side of the main corridor. Those in the school hall (which became the gym) had to file out and lie flat by the hedge. School magazine ceases publication due to shortage of paper.

1915: Preparatory Department opens for girls aged 8+. The school acquires a second-hand typewriter. There are 27 weekday boarders and a new hostel was opened on Maltese Road. There is no Speech Day in this year.

“On November 14th, 1910, for the first time I walked down Broomfield Road. The red brick building, standing in its pleasant grounds, was pointed out to me. "That," said my guide, "is the Chelmsford High School." I looked upon it with the eager interest with which we see things that are destined to become the most familiar objects of our daily life. But I knew that in looking upon the building I did not see the school. On January 18th, 1911, I saw the School itself as it stood before me assembled for prayers, I looked upon over one hundred and twenty faces, now all well-known to me, then unfamiliar. Yet I was conscious of many whom I could not see.

Our School is young, but for over three years many builders have day by day been building it. For the real Chelmsford High School is a house not made with hands. Each teacher, each child, who has entered the School since its doors were opened, has added to the structure. Every stroke of faithful work has left its trace, every piece of work, however small, of poor and careless workmanship has marred its beauty. Even the youngest child has left some mark for good or ill upon the School she has helped to build. Already some have done their work within, its walls and passed beyond its gates. But their work remains, and in virtue of that they still take their place within the School. "I am a part of all that I have met," says Ulysses in Tennyson's poem, and the old Chelmsford girls as they go forth into the world are themselves a part of the School they have left, and the School they leave is henceforth a part of them. Thus even now our boundary wall does not contain the School. And year by year the past teachers and old girls will form an increasingly important section of the School. They will be a shadowy throng outside her walls, caring for her fortune, glorying in her successes, sympathetic in her difficulties. And the School will respond. She will be proud of her daughters when they give her cause, glad in their happiness, thankful for their usefulness and pitiful in their perplexities. Those who have once shared our work and have striven here with earnest and loyal endeavour never truly leave the School, and save as a happy wish they need never say, "Farewell," Edith M. Bancroft

1916: Attendance rises to 178 pupils. School Hall (which later became the Gym), new classrooms, and Domestic Science room were formally opened. School Hostel has to be expanded. Winifred Picking is the School’s first University success: First Class Degree in Natural Sciences at Cambridge and her name is entered on the School's Rolls of Honour. The school rooms are used for extra-curricular activities, for example courses on "economical cookery" during wartime. At this time, the public was being urged to use frozen meat, since fresh meat was in short supply, and the cookery courses taught how to make better use of vegetables.

The Essex County Chronicle, March 10, 1916. Economical Cookery should, and doubtless will, great interest shown in courses of cookery lessons which are advertised in the Essex County Chronicle to-day, to take place at the Chelmsford County High School, under the auspices the Belgian Cookery Organisation, and arranged by Miss Emily Strutt. [. . .] at Chelmsford they will be in a new and beautiful kitchen, which will comfortably accommodate large gatherings. It will be noted that they will begin on Tuesday next, the simple economical lessons at 2.45 p.m., the good-class economical lessons at 10.45 a.m., and that the fees are cheap enough. We are told that ladies and their cooks will be shown how to prepare excellent dinner of three courses, at approximate cost of fourpence per head. Fancy dining half a dozen people for two shillings! Housewives will ask how the bare necessities of the feast can be obtained for any such money? For the answer to their question they must go to the classes and see. The ladies of the Belgian Menageres are wonderful cooks, and can conjure up meals "good enough for anybody" for a surprisingly small expenditure of cash.

Essex Newsman, 11 March 1916
Belgian Cookery Organisation (Incorporated with the National Food Economy League). FORTHCOMING LESSONS AT CHELMSFORD. The Belgian Cookery Organisation has arrange for a COURSE of 5 SIMPLE ECONOMICAL COOKERY LESSONS, suited to the requirements of households wishing spend as little as possible; also very helpful to anyone wishing to undertake Red Cross or Social Work of any description. These Classes will be held at the COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL, CHELMSFORD, 5 consecutive TUESDAYS, beginning MARCH 14th, at 2.45. The FEE for the Course will 5s.; Single Lesson, 1s. 6d. There will also a Course GOOD-CLASS ECONOMICAL COOKERY LESSONS the Same Days in the Mornings, a.t 10.45. The FEE for this Course will be 8s.; Single Lesson 2s. Tickets can be obtained in advance from Mrs. Edward Tufnell, Porters, Boreham, Chelmsford; Mrs. Tennant, The Priory, Hatfield Peverel, or can be bought at the door. Especial attention to the Cooking of Soups and Vegetables.

Essex Newsman, April 1, 1916.
SPEECH DAY AT COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS. OPENING of NEW PREMISES TO-DAY. This (Friday) afternoon the additions to the County High School for Girls at Chelmsford, recently completed, were formally opened with Speech Day proceedings, and entertainment. Lady French, wife of Viscount French of Ypres, was to have performed the opening ceremony, but it was announced that to her great regret and owing to illness her ladyship was unable be present: Among those present were the Bishop of Chelmsford and Mrs. Watts-Ditchfield.

Sir Richard Pennefather, C.B., chairman of the Governors, presided and, in making this announcement, read a letter and telegram from Lady French, who expressed her extreme disappointment at being unable to attend. She had looked forward greatly to the occasion, but very severe neuralgia, ear-ache, and other things made it quite out of the question at the last moment for her to undertake the journey. In her ladyship's absence, the ceremony of opening the new additions to the school was performed by Mr. E. North Buxton, J.P., D.L., C.A. A vote of thanks to Mr. Buxton was proposed by Mr. Frederic Chancellor, J.P., C.C., vice-chairman of the Governors, seconded by the Mayor of Chelmsford. The speeches referred to the flourishing state of the school, and its successful work under the headmistress-ship of Miss Bancroft. In the entertainment which followed, the school choir rendered charming songs, and Mons. Emile Doehardt, the famous 'celloist Brussels, played delightful selections.

Chelmsford Chronicle, 7 April 1916
HIGH SCHOOL for GIRLS, CHELMSFORD SPEECH DAY: NEW PREMISES OPENED.
On Friday afternoon the additions to the County High School for Girls at Chelmsford, recently completed, were formally opened with Speech Day proceedings, and an entertainment. Lady French, wife of Viscount French of Ypres, was to have performed the opening ceremony, but it was announced that to her great regret and owing to illness her ladyship was unable to be present. In her absence the opening ceremony was performed by Mr. E. North J.P.. D.L., C.A. During proceedings the following telegram was read from Lady French:— "My thoughts are with yon all. Wishing girls a happy day. French"; and a telegram was sent in reply.

Sir Richard Pennefather, C.B., chairman of the Governors, presided, supported by the Mayor (Ald. G. W. Taylor. J.P.) and Miss Taylor, the Bishop of Chelmsford and Miss Watts-Ditchfield, Canon Tancock, the Rev. T. M. Mundle, the Hon. Mrs. Champion Russell, Ald. F. Chancellor, J.P., C.C., Ald. J. O. Thompson, J.P., Mr. C. S. Richardson, Mr. W. Bewers, Mr. L. Christy, Mr. G. G.J. Taylor, Mr. J. H. Nicholas, Mrs. Waller, Mrs. Miss Bartlett, and Miss Bancroft, the headmistress.

The additions to the school, which are now in full use, have cost £4,518, and they include a hall, also utilised as a gymnasium, and two large blocks flanking the original building. The southern block includes two large classrooms, one below and one above, two smaller rooms, one being used for secretarial work, and one as a reference library. In the further block on the ground floor is the new junior school; above is a fine domestic science room, while a small greenhouse, for use in botanical work, has been added at the back.

The Chairman said they were disappointed that Lady French could not be with them. She had written a very nice letter to say that she would visit the school on some future day. The beautiful basket of flowers which was going to be presented to her, and which was made by the girls of the junior school, would kept for her. Nothing could be more suitable than that Mr. Buxton, who laid the foundation-stone nearly ten years ago, should take Lady French's place. They gave prizes.

The only things given were the certificates and some medals. They would very much like it if the liberality of friends in Chelmsford would give the means of founding leaving scholarships for girls going up to the Universities who wanted a little assistance. Since the foundation-stone was laid the school had grown in a very remarkable way. Their progress had been continuous, and he thought the reasons for that were, firstly, that there was such an excellent education given. Then there was a remarkable esprit de corps. He delighted to come there, and he always felt very much younger when he came and saw everything going on so pleasantly and happily. That was due almost entirely to the excellent staff, and they were fortunate in having a headmistress who had won the confidence, not only of the governors, but of the parents, and she had won the love and esteem of all the scholars.

The original building was for 150; they could now take 250. They had not yet that number, but hoped by the end of another ten years they would be meeting for a similar function, to celebrate a further enlargement. (Applause.) The school was maintained out the fees which the girls paid and the grant which the Government made, and did not cost the ratepayers a farthing, excepting that they had to pay what might be called rent—interest on capital and re-payment of loan. It was very satisfactory for them to know that theirs was the most economically-managed school in the county. (Applause.)

Miss Bancroft reported the work of the school for the past two years, there being no speech day last year. These two years, she said, had brought change, growth, and development in many ways. In March 1914, there were 137 full pupils with five student teachers taking part courses, a total of 142. To-day they had 158 full pupils, with 11 student teachers, a total of 169. In May last the age of entry was lowered from ten to eight, and a junior department for children between eight and eleven was created, under the charge of a specially qualified mistress, Miss Taylor. This department was rapidly growing. It had reached the number of 22, and five entries were already recorded for next term. The organisation of classes was now complete, there was a separate form for each year of school age. After referring to other uses of the new rooms, Miss Bancroft said they had in 1914 a very good year in the matter of public examinations - Cambridge Higher Local (women's examination): Two girls from the sixth form gained two groups each — B. Brown, French, science, 2nd class honours; M. Haig, French, English, 2nd class honours. From form Va. all twelve candidates for the Cambridge Senior Local Examination were successful in obtaining certificates, one in 3rd class honours, while distinctions were gained in botany and French.

In 1915 the school captain, C. Christy, gained her entrance into Girton College, Cambridge. From VIb. two girls passed the London Matriculation Examination. From Va. fourteen candidates were sent in for the Senior Cambridge Local Examination, and thirteen were successful, one in 3rd class honours. Chelmsford, she said, would represented at Oxford University in October next, when M. Haig would enter St. Hugh's, to work for the diploma in sociology. In games the school was successful both in 1914 and in 1915 in gaining the County Tennis Shield.

From the profits of school calendars, issued in 1915 and 1916, nearly £24 was realised, and this was spent as follows — £12 materials, which the girls made into clothes for Belgian refugees or for Belgian relief; over £9 was spent in wool, which in the Christmas holidays was knitted into comforts for the Essex regiments; between £2 and £3 worth of hessian was being made into sandbags. Each Christmas they had sent cases of toys to the children of Belgian refugees. Anonymous gifts from the girls' own pocket money, contributed each week, had resulted in over £35 being sent to the various war relief funds. The collection averaged about 11s. a week. Many of the Old Girls' Society were doing efficient service in Red Cross work, clerical work, and local beneficent enterprises, such as the Girls' Club.

Now the school set out upon another stage of history, stimulated by the ampler opportunities which their beautiful building afforded, and encouraged anew by the never-failing sympathy and help of governors and friends.

Mr. Buxton said from the laying of the foundation-stone ten years ago a very beautiful school, which had undoubtedly been a credit to the town, and had borne a character, which he ventured to prophesy on that occasion, as the premier girls' school of Essex. All the girls, even the youngest, would desire to maintain that repute, and enjoy it as they had the means and the power of doing. He listened to the extremely eloquent account which Miss Bancroft had given of the work of the school, and of the anticipations and admirations which she had for her pupils. It was a noble aspiration, and he trusted that in these difficult and dangerous times they would try to rise to her high ideals. It had always been a school of high ideals. Miss Harcourt laid most foundation, and they had every reason to be satisfied with her successor, Miss Bancroft. One of the most remarkable developments was the preparatory section, and girls could come there at the age of eight, which meant that they had a prospect before them less than 10 happy years in the school — all of development. One might extract from what had been said that the aim of the managers of the school, and Miss Bancroft especially, was that that was not merely a place for the acquisition of knowledge, but also, it was hoped, for the foundation character. (Applause.)

They hoped girls would go out into the world equipped not only with what might be called education, but with a sense of their responsibility of their functions in the future and a sense of their duty to their neighbours the world. It was remarkable what women had dene during the war in taking the places of men. They had shown their capacity for filling even very responsible positions. They did not know what the future might bring forth, but he was confident they would never go back to the old state of things. Women had so shown their power in numerous fields of action that they would retain their hold. He was delighted to see that at that school they not only worked hard, but played hard, and tried to excel in games, which was a very important part of their educaticn.

The education of the school was founded upon religion and morals, and not merely intellect and as they left the school they would do so very well equipped for the future. He congratulated Miss Bancroft and her very able coadjutors, and those who governed school, particularly the Chairman, whose splendid capacity for doing good he knew.

A vote of thanks was accorded Mr. Buxton on the proposition of Mr. F. Chancellor, seconded by the Mayor; and a similar compliment was paid to the Chairman, proposed by the Bishop Chelmsford, and seconded by the Rev. T. M. Mundle.

The Bishop of Chelmsford said it was, perhaps, more important that education should be attended to, watched over, encouraged, and stimulated at this period than at any period in their history. Whatever economies they had to make, he trusted they would not economise in education. Any money wisely spent education was, even in these days of financial stress, money laid out just as seed sown in the ground would bring forth fruitful crops. (Applause). They looked forward to a re-constructed England, and if ever that was to take place it must be the boys and girls now receiving education, who would take up the great and wonderful opportunities. (Applause).

In the entertainment which followed, the school choir rendered charming songs, and Mons. Emile Doehaerd the famous 'celloist, of Brussels, played delightful selections. The children had been excellently trained by Miss Lister, and Miss Allen was a capable accompanist. Below are the awards presented by Mr. Buxton:—

Cambridge Senior Certificates. 1914 Winifred Arnold, Constance Boyden, Winifred Brown, Jessie Cooksey, Phyllis Coward, Grace Goodey, Janet Hodge, Doris Rippon, Charlotte Stokes, Marjorie Taylor, Kathleen Upton, Olive Wheaton.
Silver Badges 1914 — Junior: Effie Hodge. Senior: Cynthia Hart, Clara Marks.
Bronze Badges 1914 – Edith Owers, hockey, tennis, netball; Beatrice Brown, cricket; Elsie Litchfield, cricket (captain. 1915); Vera Mason, swimming, Marjorie Scrivener, hockey; Amy Vipond, Nora Waller, hockey and swimming; Molly Wenley, netball; Olive Wheaton, netball.
Cambridge Senior, 1915 — Winifred Burrell, Marjorie Scrivener, Mabel Cleale, Helen Taylor, Ruby Dyer, Verna Walden, Toni Halpern, Elsie Litchfield.
Matriculation 1915 : Vera Mason, Hilda Matthews, Doris Rippon, Edith Owers, Kathleen Upton.
Silver Badges 1915. Junior: Nancy Everitt, excellent coaching and organisation, steady play in all games. Senior: Edith Owers, tennis champion, hockey captain, champion girl in sports.
Bronze Badges 1915. Lilian Fowler, netball; Marian Unite, hockey.

Essex Newsman, 30 September 1916
Miss Evelyn Franklin, elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Franklin, of the Homestead, Gidea Park, has been awarded the City of London Corporation Scholarship at her school in London. The scholarship, which is worth £15 per annum for three years, is awarded annually the results of a special examination held by the Oxford and Cambridge Joint Board. It is open to pupils in the school not over 16 years of age. Mr, Franklin is a Director of Messrs. Davey, Taxman and Co., of Queen Victoria Street, and Colchester, and formerly lived at Chelmsford, where he was valuable member of the Town Council, and the young lady whose success is now recorded was previously a pupil at the Chelmsford County High School for Girls.

1917: 200 pupils. During air raids, lessons continue almost as normal in air raid shelters under the concrete floor or well away from windows and outer walls. Thirty CCHS girls cycled in the snow to Writtle Agricultural College to help tabulate figures from County census papers for the War Office.

The Essex Chronicle, October 26, 1917.
Chelmsford County High School for Girls. — Canon Tancock was appointed a county representative on the governing body in place of Canon Sacre, resigned.

1918: Pupils are given a half-hour break to watch traffic parading along Broomfield Road at the announcement that the war has ended. Women over the age of 30 allowed to vote (but must meet minimum property qualifications). Sir Richard Pennefather and Mr Chancellor both die. Canon Tancock becomes Chairman of Governors. The Spanish Flu epidemic results in 3 fatalities at the school. Essex County Council purchase Army huts as temporary accommodation, the larger one becoming an art room and class room (the huts remain in place for 25 years!). An adjoining three-and-a-half acre field is annexed.

Chelmsford Chronicle, 12th April, 1918
ESSEX EDUCATION COMMITTEE
CHELMSFORD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
The SUMMER TERM will commence on TUESDAY, the 16th April, 1918. Applications for admission should be made to the Headmistress (Miss E.M. Bancroft) who will attend at the School to interview parents on MONDAY, the 15th April, from 2 to 4 o’clock in the Afternoon. Tuition Fees, £3 8s. per term for pupils residing in the County of Essex, and £4 19s. 6d. for pupils residing outside the County. A Prospectus can be obtained from the Headmistress, or from J.H. NICHOLAS, Clerk to the Governors, County Offices, Chelmsford.
8th April, 1918.

Essex Newsman - Saturday 01 June 1918
JASPER JEFFERY FOUNDATION.
THE GOVERNORS are about to AWARD 4 EXHIBITIONS : 2 for BOYS tenable at KING EDWARD VI. SCHOOL, CHELMSFORD; 2 for GIRLS tenable at the GIRLS' COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL, CHELMSFORD. Candidates must be residents of the Parishes of Great Baddow, Sandon,or West Hanningfield, and must not be more than 12 years of age on 1st JULY, 1918. Full particulars may be obtained of Mr. O. R. FINCH, Hon. Sec., Great Baddow.

On November 11th, 1918, Miss Bancroft summoned the school captain. Rumours of the end of the Great War had not been confirmed, but hooters would sound once it was official. At 11am the hooters sounded. Unperturbed, Miss Bancroft continued giving a scripture lesson and then assembled the whole school. Pupils sang “O God our Help in Ages Past” and then the girls were allowed a half-hour break. Most spent this time was spent leaning out of the school windows and waving at the traffic – which was mostly decorated with flags – as it streamed along Broomfield Road.

1919: Attendance exceeds 300 pupils. CCHS is overcrowded.

Early Floor Plan. Rooms 4 & 5 (with 13 and 13A above) in the north gabled extension which is separated from the main building by a door for "Juniors". Room 1 is extended with room 16 above as part of the south gabled extension; there is a disused door for "Seniors" at this end.

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