THE 1930's


“There are so many names — I’ve often wondered what happened to them.” Jeannie Carr ’59-’66

Do you know became of any of your teachers? If so, please contact lhs.alumnae@gmail.com

This is what we know so far.

Miss Tweedie.
“I left Lawnswood High School in 1956 and went to The Yorkshire Training College of Housecraft (YTCH) 1956-59 to train as a Home Economics teacher (called Domestic Science or Housecraft in those days!).

I then taught at Silver Royd High School, Leeds (now called Wortley High School) from 1959 to 1962. I went to teach at Lawnswood in 1962, and left in 1967 to go on the staff of The Yorkshire College of Education and Home Economics, Leeds and which was soon to become one of the founding colleges of a new institution of higher education - Leeds Polytechnic. (Leeds Polytechnic was formally designated in 1970.)”

Miss Tweedie has been able to give the following information regarding other teachers:

“Miss Goodall lived in Wakefield, but died a few years ago.

Miss Kelsey was a member of the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus. She and her sister shared a home in Adel for many years. After her sister’s death, Miss Kelsey moved to live with her nephew and his family near Leamington Spa. Sadly, she died in August 1999 after a period of illness which necessitated her being in hospital.

Miss Heap lived in Calverley, Pudsey. A few years ago she was fitted with a replacement hip and was recovering well until she was knocked down in a road traffic accident. She died a few days later.

Mrs. McClintock moved from Leeds to Otley some years ago. I don't know if she stil lives in the area.

Miss Clayton founded the Lawnswood Singers, which was originally made up of Alumnae from Lawnswood High School. The group is still in existence.”

Miss Armes
The full story of Jane Armes, who taught science at Lawnswood from 1922 until 1940, can be found on the
Miss Armes’ Story page. Newspaper accounts of the death of Jane and her sister can be accessed from there. The sisters were lost at sea when their passenger ship, City of Benares, was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1940.

Miss Clayton
Mrs. Agnes Grisdale née Clayton.
Miss Clayton was born in 1916. At one time she was a pupil at Lawnswood High School. Together with Mrs. Dove (another OG), she wrote the School Song for the Centenary Celebrations in 1954. After a lifetime of teaching music and singing (twenty-two years of it at Lawnswood), she retired from teaching and married Mr. Grisdale, the organist at Headingley Methodist Church. After Mr. Grisdale’s death, Miss C went to join Miss Holden in a retirement home in Windermere.

Click here to see the following documents:

i) A reference written by Herbert Bardgett during the time Miss C was teaching at Eastlands School.
ii) Mrs. Grisdale’s application for membership of the British Federation of University Women. The application was made whilst she was living at Windermere and gives a brief résumé of her career.

There are many photographs of Miss Clayton and the choir accessible from the ‘Photographs’ page. There are also lots of items about her and the choir on the ‘Documents’ page. Additionally, you’ll find anecdotes scattered throughout the site; many of them on the ‘Teachers’ page and ‘School Song’ page.

Thanks to Kathleen Wood, we have an audio recording of Mrs. Grisdale being interviewed by Radio Leeds. I don’t know when it dates from, but it’s after her marriage which was on the 9th September 1967. The interview’s nothing to do with Lawnswood High School, but it’s a decent quality recording of approximately five minutes. She speaks of a concert that she’s about to present at Leeds Town Hall. The concert is to be performed by The Headingley Methodist Choir and the Huddersfield Youth Brass Ensemble. Click here to hear it.

Mrs. Dove
As Constance Hodgetts, Mrs. Dove was a pupil at the School. She wrote the words to the School Song. She died in December 1998 in Middlesex. Mrs. Dove was 78 and left behind a husband, daughter and two grandsons.

Miss Holden
Melicent Holden: October 1903 to May 1992.
Miss Holden was Head Mistress at Lawnswood from 1938 to 1960. After retiring, she moved to Windermere, where she was eventually joined by Mrs. Grisdale (Miss Clayton). Click here to see a précis of Miss Holden’s career (kindly loaned by Kathleen Wood). Anecdotes about Miss Holden are scattered throughout the website.

Miss Kelsey
Edith Mabel Kelsey: November 1908 to August 1999.
Kindly loaned by Kathleen Wood are two documents relating to Miss Kelsey's death in 1999. These are

i) a letter from Miss Kelsey’s nephew notifying Kathleen of Miss Kelsey’s death, and
ii) a funeral eulogy giving much information about Miss Kelsey’s life.

Anecdotes about Miss Kelsey are scattered throughout the website (mostly on the ‘Teachers’ and ‘Lessons’ pages).

Miss Riddoch
“Miss Riddoch — I saw her the day after we moved to Wetherby. I touched her on the arm and asked if she was indeed Miss Riddoch. She looked at me for a moment and said “Jean!” And there began a friendship between Stephen (my husband) and me and her. She had lived in Hyde Park, retired and married her driving instructor. He died within the first year of their married life, so now she was Elsie Ashworth and living within minutes of our bungalow. She was extremely kind and knowledgeable about the arts and poetry. She had been in Paris in World War I as a Queen’s Nurse. She was well travelled — art courses in France, USA and Russia. In Russia she packed her passport and was only allowed to come home because she was in an organised tour!

... “In her early eighties she decided she would go back to her roots and moved into a cottage in Keith (N.E. Scotland). Whilst on holiday at Pitlochry we went to see her. No good phoning as she was almost stone deaf and used an ear trumpet! She was delighted to see us and we managed very well, but she wouldn’t use the trumpet. Some cousins lived nearby and we did appreciate them taking the trouble to let us know of her passing — in her 90s, I think. I came to love her — almost a mother figure. In spite of her deafness, we kept in touch by letter.” Jean Dunbar ’31-’39

“Miss Riddoch: when we adopted our son 49 years ago she bought him a vest! She left her car at the bottom of our cul-de-sac — (not long after marrying her driving instructor) — hadn't put the handbrake on so as I saw her off at the gate it was slowly disappearing down the hill!” Janet Rawlins ’38-’44

Old Girl Janet Gazard née Wightman ('53-'61) has supplied the following information. Thanks Janet.

... “Jenny Leach now Mrs John Dixon. English Dept.
Has lived in Ilkley for many years. She moved from LHS to lecture in English at Margaret McMillan College, Bradford - and was later appointed as English Advisor in Bradford with special responsibility for Libraries, Media and Drama. Both she and John are very involved in U3A in the Ilkley area. Jenny is also a most learned member of the Wharfedale Naturalists' Society. A collection of her fortnightly column for the Ilkley Gazette was published in 2008 - Nature Notebook by Jenny Dixon - A Wharfedale Year. Jenny was extremely ill about 18 months ago but after a major operation and prolonged recuperation seems to be enjoying a new lease of life. Long may this situation continue.

... “Margaret Luford. English Dept.
Margaret left LHS to lecture at Doncaster College of Education. When this closed she moved to teach at Harrogate Ladies' College. Margaret now lives in her home village of South Milford.

... “Ruth Haley-Holden. (A married daughter and son and several grandchildren). French Dept.
Moved from Leeds to Newcastle - Ponteland, where she still lives. Ruth was, for many years, involved in Braille translation and remains committed to church activities.

... “Joy Norwood. History. Deputy Head.
Joy moved from LHS to lecture in History at Bedford College of Education where she also became Warden of a student residential house. Joy retired to Gloucester to be near her mother and friends and later returned to Bedford where she still lives. Unfortunately she has suffered, for many years, from extremely severe arthritis making movement painful and restricted. Despite it all she remains the Joy we knew and loved!

... “Barbara Needham. (2 children) English Dept. - after my time!
Went from LHS to West Leeds Girls' High School as Head of English - then to Head of Sixth Form at Allerton High School. Barbara retired to the Ilkley area where she is involved in music and painting.

... “Pat Hunt. (2 children) History after my time!
Has retired to Norwood Edge on the moors beyond Otley.”
Janet Wightman ’53-’61

“Miss Clayton married the organist at Headingley Methodist Church and became Mrs. Agnes Grisdale. She retired in the early seventies to a sheltered housing development in the Lake District to be near Miss Holden. Both died several years ago.” Miss Longworth ’60-’76

“Agnes Clayton came to join her [Miss Holden] & they lived at Calgarth for some years. Miss Holden died first, of a stroke some years ago, Agnes relatively recently. I remember them both with tremendous affection.” Gilly Marshall ’55-’62

“Miss Clayton married James Grisdale who was organist at Headingley Methodist. He was a wonderful organist and played for our wedding at St Chad’s. Miss Clayton was a very distant relative of my mother and when James died and Agnes retired to the Lakes, my parents visited her there until she died a few years ago.” Gail Scoffin ’59-’66

“Sometime in the early 1970s, I popped into the Halifax Building Society on Commercial Street and saw Miss Clayton in the queue. I went over to her and said hello. I was never in the choir, and I don’t think she remembered me. However, I said who I was, and she asked me what I was doing now, etc. I told her where I was working, and then, with all the nonchalance I could muster, airily added, “Of course, I’m married now.” “So am I”, snapped back the reply, leaving me quite speechless.” Sandra Baker ’59-’64

“Miss Holden moved from Austwick to Windermere in the1980's; my husband, daughter and I were 'summoned' to afternoon tea. Daughter (about 13 at the time) quite apprehensive after the picture I had painted of my school days.
...“Tea was true afternoon tea with all the trimmings and eggshell-fine cups and saucers. Miss Holden proceeded to inform my daughter that she could have whatever she wanted first and if she preferred “fancy-me-knobs” as opposed to “plain-Jane” then that was fine, adding, “take no notice of your Mother dear, you have what you like”. Rather a more liberal attitude than I remembered from school days. When I remarked on this I was told, “It's different now dear!” (Was this a thwarted closet Granny?) She thereupon proceeded to flirt, quite mercilessly, with my husband, using those remarkable steel blue eyes to maximum effect — he was positively reeling by the time we left and their ‘affaire’ continued until her death.
...“I was quite staggered when she admitted she never read anything but, as she put it, ‘cheap thrillers’; perhaps that explained the fact that there was no pulling the wool over her eyes!”
Gilly Marshall ’55-’62

“During a visit to England from New Zealand in 1990, having caught up with LHS friends, Kathleen (nee Wood) suggested that I call in on Miss Clayton when I was visiting the Lake District. I had maintained contact with several of the LHS Choir members during my (then) 32 years years in N.Z., had attended choir practises on my visits to England and renewed acquaintance with Miss Clayton over the years, so I did call in to see her at her home in Windermere. As always, there was a warm welcome and she asked if I would mind her ringing another friend who would be pleased to meet me. Of course I agreed - not knowing who the friend would be. Imagine my surprise when a knock sounded on the door and in walked Miss Holden! walking with a stick. A bigger surprise came when she held out her hand and said "I remember you Mavis Webster, from many years ago" (in fact it was 39 yrs since I had left Lawnswood). I was incredulous that she remembered my name - as I never did anything outstanding - bad or good - for her to remember me by! Her eyes were still twinkling, clear and blue - and in spite of the stick her stance was still very erect. I spent a very pleasant afternoon reminiscing with them both and as I told them, my years at LHS were some of the happiest of my life and I have forever been grateful that I was lucky enough to have such a wonderful education and grounding for life - especially with Miss Clayton's inspirational music teaching.” Mavis Webster ’46-’51

“The photos of her in the website are wonderful particularly the one in the fox fur. She led a team of truly inspirational staff but it is only in later life that I've appreciated their skills and achievements in being the teachers of the fifties.” Rosemary Jordan ’54-’61

“Miss Hester Quirk. I think she taught History & English. She left in approx 1952-3 and went to teach at a girl’s school in Lahore, Punjab. A very quiet pleasant lady.” Catherine MacDonald ’49-’54

“Miss Quirk — I wasn't there when she was a teacher at Lawnswood, but I met her when she came to the ISCF and showed slides and talked about her work at Kinnaird High School, Lahore. She was a missionary with the Bible and Medical Missionary Fellowship (now called Interserve). She was a quite remarkable lady - I never forgot her. And met up with her again in a way that indicates how small the world is. The Bishop I worked for here in Australia in the sixties is English - Jack Dain. After his wife died in the seventies, he returned to England, and subsequently married Hester Quirk. They have been back for several visits, and we still keep in touch intermittently.” Lesley Hooper ’56-’59

“Re Mrs Mary Harris - later Moorhouse.
In my dental practice in Bath one day, a new patient came in and yes, it was Mrs Harris. She and her [new] husband had retired to Bath. Over the years I visited her and her husband, and heard how she had met Professor Alfred Moorhouse again and remarried. Her first husband had been killed in the war leaving her with a daughter. Again - I think they had met originally, as students at Cambridge. They married in 1972 and lived in Swansea where Alfred led a very distinguished career, refusing to go back to Oxford, because of the quality of life!! Anyway she and Alfred delighted in each other, both very good classicists and also became good Italian speakers. Unfortunately Mary ended up in a local nursing home with some sort of dementia. Arthur had obits in the national papers complete with photo in at least one.”

“Miss Cherry (later Mrs Bodenham) is still alive and must be in her 70s. Apparently she left teaching altogether when she left Leeds. She had 3 sons and went on to run shops which sold hand-knitted garments first in the North and then the South of England. I was under the impression that Mrs Bodenham knitted them herself.” Margaret Bradbrook ’59-’66

“I once met her [Miss Gill] in the launderette some years later and introduced her to my husband John. “Ah! Husband!” she mused and obviously thought I was too young to have one.” Margaret Bradbrook ’59-’66

“Mr. Lund was the caretaker when I joined Lawnswood but I think he died sometime during my five years there. He was such a nice old bloke.” Beryl Midgley ’55-’60

“Did you know that Miss Sissons died of cancer she was only about 46?” Janet Ball ’56-’61

“Miss Kelsey had died at age over 90 some years ago. She died peacefully in a nursing home.” Polly Peller ’59-’66

“Miss Humphreys [maths] moved to the Dales when she retired and died some years ago in a Harrogate nursing home.” Polly Peller ’59-’66

“Miss Rowling - I met her again in 1969, and we kept in touch for a while, but she died in the early 70s.” Lesley Hooper ’56-’59

“When I went to live in Burley-in-Wharfedale (1971) I found her [Mrs. White] there, living alone in a council-run oap's housing development but by then I felt sure she wouldn't remember me so never approached her & identified myself (coward).” Jackie Rowe ’59-’64

“Mrs. Holden who taught French - she lived with Miss Norwood before she married. When she married, Miss Lynes moved in with Miss Norwood.” Margaret Eastwood ’59-’66

“Mrs. Hay also lived in Bramhope and asked to see my eldest son just after he was born.” Margaret Eastwood ’59-’66

“Miss Norwood went on to be the headmistress at Ralph Thoresby school at Holt Park (not to be confused with the old Thoresby school who wore maroon uniforms).” Margaret Collie ’59-’66

“It was Dawn Lynes who went to Ralph Thoresby as headmistress - don't know where Miss Norwood went. Miss Lynes sadly died of cancer a couple of years ago.” Margaret Eastwood ’59-’66

“I obtained a job at Ralph Thoresby H.S. with which the Middle School had merged. There, I found myself working for Dawn Lynes, a very caring Head, who sadly died a few years ago. I had many memories of her from Lawnswood. Several former Lawnswood staff had gone with Miss Lynes to R.T.H.S: Isobel Jenkins, Mrs Hunt [History], Miss Ullman and Mrs Rowe's husband.” Susan Thompson ’59-’66

“... sorry to hear about Miss Lynes - she was nice!” Polly Peller ’59-’66

“Mrs Rowe, the French teacher, went on to become Deputy Headmistress at Lawnswood. Eventually, she left to train as a psychiatric counsellor.” Sandra Baker ’59-’64

“… back in touch with Miss Hall (Evelyn Hall) in the 1980s. She was my form teacher and later my geography teacher. She came to visit me in Reinbek in the mid-80s and spent a long weekend with me. I drove her up to Kiel to visit the British War Cemetery; she laid some flowers at a fallen officer's grave (a lost love?). We had a lovely weekend with her and I kept in touch with her since then. Unfortunately about 1987 she contracted cancer and died shortly after that. I was very sad. However, I still remember you Evelyn and am grateful to you and the other teachers for a great education, it has stood me in good stead. You are now a few steps ahead of us!” Polly Peller ’59-’66

“Dorothy Höfler (now Lahann) was the German assistant at Lawnswood in 1964. She was considered very 'exotic' at the time, since she came from Berlin - then a divided city! When she was an assistant in Leeds she met Horst Lahann (from Hamburg) and married him. Since I studied in Birmingham and so did Jen Sugden, we bumped into each other again by chance in July 1970, one week before I was due to leave Birmingham Polytechnic and go over to Hamburg to take up a job here. Jennifer asked me to get in touch with Dorothy (now Frau Lahann) which I did as soon as I came here, and we have been very close friends ever since (it is 38 years now since I first met her!)” Polly Peller ’59-’66

“According to Dorothy ... she (Miss Leader — German) passed away some years ago!” Polly Peller ’59-’66


I feel that I must mention our school secretary. She has asked not to be named, but everyone who was at our School any time between 1951 and 1999 will know who she is. She started working at the school as soon as she finished her education. With immense dedication and commitment, she stayed in her post right up to retirement in 1999. This was the only job she ever had. She was there from the days before photocopiers, up to the time of computers. She has gone from old Bakelite telephones to digital mobile phones. We can only marvel at such staying-power and loyalty!

And what’s more, she and her sister still live in the same house in which they were born!

We remember you with great affection.

“She must have a longer continuous connection with the school than anyone else as she went straight from being a pupil into the office and remained there until her retirement some years ago.” Brenda Hawer ’43-’50