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 Post subject: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 Jul 2017, 23:38 
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Good evening from sunny South Yorkshire! This week’s discussion book is The Wrong Chalet School, first published in 1952. Covering the summer term just after Carola, this book follows fourteen year old new girl Katharine Mary Gordon as she joins the Chalet School in confused circumstances. Meanwhile, Blossom Willoughby earns herself the enmity of one Jennifer Penrose. Notable events:

Katharine Mary Gordon, daughter of two missionaries working in China, has been travelling about with her artist Aunt Luce, but is now to go to school. Aunt Luce had resolved on sending her to the school run by her old friend, Miss Wilson, but could only remember that it was called the Chalet School. Enquiries reveal that there are two possible candidates: a Chalet School in Tanswick with a brown and orange uniform, and a Chalet School off the coast of Wales with a brown and flame uniform. Aunt Luce decides on the Tanswick branch because she prefers the sound of the brown and orange uniform.
At Paddington, after a mad rush to get back to England from Brittany and buy Katharine’s outfit, Katharine and Aunt Luce spot two groups of girls in brown coats. One group has bright orange tunics, the other has brown tunics. Aunt Luce is certain that the school she had picked had brown tunics, and she parks Katharine with that group to that effect. As Miss Burn, on escort duty, has a Mary Katharine Gordon on her list, she believes the names have merely been entered the wrong way round, and Katharine joins the St Briavel’s Chalet School train instead of Tanswick.
On the train, Katharine sits with a group of girls which includes Hilary Wilson, Meg Whyte and Elinor Pennell. The latter’s father is in the Admiralty, and she knows that the Gordons have been arrested by the Chinese Government. She quietly asks Katharine if there has been any news, and Katharine replies no.
The girls arrive at the school, and Katharine is assigned to Leafy dormitory with Hilary, who continues to sheepdog her. After Kaffee – at which Hilary explains a new finishing branch of the school will be opening next term – the girls are sent for in groups to unpack. Katharine is summoned with Hilary and several others, and Matron demands to know where her trunk is. Katharine explains about the rush before the start of term and that her trunk was only sent two days ago, and Matron groans when she learns that Aunt Luce is an artist.
Katharine takes the entrance tests and is placed in Upper Fourth. At a Games period with Miss Burn, Katharine plays a few games of tennis with Blossom Willoughby, Elinor and Madge Watson, and everyone is impressed at the standard of her playing.
After a few days, two trunks arrive at the school, one addressed specifically to the school at St Briavel’s, the other only for ‘South Wales’. When summoned to unpack them, Katharine only recognises the things in the ‘South Wales’ trunk as her own. The other has very girly things she does not recognise at all. She suddenly wonders if she was supposed to have gone to the Tanswick school instead, and if so, what has happened to Mary Katharine Gordon, owner of the girly trunk, who should be at the St Briavel’s CS.
Miss Annersley rings up the Tanswick branch, but is assured that they have no Katharine Mary Gordon missing, and that the Miss Wilson of the school is in hospital for an operation and cannot be spoken to. Miss Dene checks the files for their own school, which state that a Mary Katharine Gordon, daughter of Dr John Gordon of Singapore, was entered. Katharine confirms that her father was based at Singapore before moving to China. Miss Annersley eventually decides to write to Aunt Luce through her bank, and Katharine will continue at St Briavel’s in the meantime. Miss Annersley also applies to her cousin, Edgar Mordaunt, to see if any news can be had of the Gordons.
Katharine and Hilary, who had been sent to help her unpack, are sworn to secrecy and rejoin Upper Fourth for an art lesson, where Katharine unintentionally sends Hilda Jukes into fits of laughter by unconsciously wobbling her nose like a rabbit while concentrating on her drawing, enraging Herr Laubach, who sends her out of the room.
During prep that evening, the Heads send for Katharine, having received a letter from a solicitor named Mr Mathieson, explaining that his ward, Mary Katharine Gordon, is with her mother in America and will not be joining the school until at least half-term, or possibly September. Katharine asks what will happen if she is not entered for either Chalet School, and the Heads assure her she will stay where she is until they hear from Aunt Luce.
A package of letters for various people at the school arrives from Jo, who has taken her entire family plus Sybil to join the Russells in Canada. She describes the voyage over and how everyone is in blooming health, and reveals that, as she is now well on in her pregnancy, she has been forbidden from doing the return voyage until after giving birth, which means at least October, but most likely not until the following year. The girls will be attending the La Sagesse convent for the duration so as not to lose any schooling.
Wing-Commander Mordaunt has so far had no definite news to report of the Gordons beyond a brief mention that Sister Gordon has been imprisoned with a group of Franciscan Missionary Sisters, and that Mary Katharine’s father has been imprisoned and dispatched to forced labour.
Matron, sitting with the staff in the study one evening, hears a noise from Wallflower dormitory – which includes the Dawbarn twins and Maeve Bettany – on the floor above, and goes to investigate. The girls hear the study door banging, however, and are in bed by the time she gets there.
The next day, Mary-Lou tells the Dawbarns off for making so much noise, and Lala Winterton overhears. She tells her sister Polly about it, who in turn tells Bride Bettany. Bride, anxious to avoid any rows between Maeve and Head Girl Peggy, decides to investigate matters herself with Tom and Julie Lucy. They catch the Middles practising jiu-jitsu, and make them promise not to do it again or break the Lights Out rule. Matron catches the Seniors as they are going back to their own dormitory, and they tell her off the record what happened.
A letter from Aunt Luce arrives for Katharine from Barcelona, giving the British Consulate at Palmas as a vague address at which to contact her, and Miss Dene dispatches a wire to the consulate asking for Aunt Luce to contact the school at once. The letter contains no news of Dr and Mrs Gordon, much to Katharine’s disappointment. However, Miss Annersley receives a phone call from her cousin just then, with news that Mrs Gordon is being sent to Hong Kong and will soon be sent home, and that Dr Gordon is working in his old job in Manchuria. A relieved Katharine bursts into tears and is dispatched to bed.
A week later, Aunt Luce announces she will be returning as soon as possible, and a Guide camp is held on nearby Kittiwake Cove. Priscilla Dawbarn swims near a group of jellyfish and is badly stung before being rescued by Miss Burn.
Games Prefect Joan Sandys debates with the other prefects about what to do with the Tennis Six, as Julie Lucy has fallen out with tummy pains which Matron believes is a grumbling appendix. After some discussion, they decide to test Katharine and Blossom, and put the better of the two in the Six and the other as the reserve. Katharine wins a place on the team, with Blossom as reserve.
Upper Fourth work hard on the rock garden as part of their gardening lesson, and Blossom notices that Jennifer Penrose and her gang do no extra gardening at all. She gives her unvarnished opinion of them and shames some of them into going to do some, but Jennifer and two others refuse, and go on with reading Gone With The Wind, the forbidden book they were sharing. Miss Everett hauls them over the coals the next day, and the book is also discovered in Jennifer’s locker. She is heavily punished, including put into Isolation, and blames Blossom for everything, vowing revenge.
The day of the tennis matches against Camden House arrives, and during a match Nita Eltringham falls and wrenches her arm and shoulder and dislocates her collarbone. Blossom is called for but is nowhere to be found, so Katharine, who has already played her match, steps in instead.
It transpires that Jennifer, seeking revenge on Blossom, managed to escape Isolation long enough to get hold of Janice Chester and send her to Blossom with a message that Herr Laubach wanted to see her in the art room. Blossom had gone, and Jennifer had locked her in. In desperation, Blossom uses a bust and a stool to smash a window and get out, but by then Katharine has stepped in to win the match for the CS. One of the Camden House girls also confirms the news about Dr Gordon to Peggy Bettany.
That evening Miss Annersley tells the school at large what happened to Blossom and how she smashed a window to escape, and questions each of the girls about their whereabouts that afternoon, including Jennifer, who, while stunned that Blossom went to such lengths to get out, lies that she had nothing to do with it. Janice Chester, when questioned, is unable to identify who the girl was who gave her the message. Over the next day or two, Jennifer begins to have nightmares and goes off her food, much to Matron’s astonishment.
Aunt Luce finally arrives at the school and explains that she had intended for Katharine to go to the Tanswick Chalet School, but while she had written the letter to enrol her, she had never actually posted it, and so Katharine had never been entered for either school. She reconfirms the news about Dr and Mrs Gordon, and agrees to keep Katharine at St Briavel’s until Mrs Gordon returns home.
Jo writes from Canada with the news that Mary Katharine’s father has died of typhus – Madge being in contact with his wife, who was an old schoolmate – and the Heads fear for the other Dr Gordon, Katharine’s father. Aunt Luce, when applied to, believes that the two doctors may be distant cousins.
Meanwhile, Matron sends for one of the Heads, as Jennifer has had another night of nightmares and has been crying uncontrollably all morning. Miss Wilson goes to see her, and Jennifer weeps about Blossom’s face covered in blood. Astonished, Miss Wilson sends for Blossom, who reassures Jennifer that she is perfectly fine, and Jennifer confesses that she was responsible for locking her in the art room. After settling things with Jennifer, Blossom entreats Miss Wilson not to punish her any further, and Miss Wilson agrees.
The school holds a pageant on Kittiwake Cove for the end of term, written by Jo, who also confirms that they will not be returning from Canada until the following April, and also hints that Robin, who has been forbidden from doing any more settlement work, has new plans. The Margot Venables prize is won by Tom Gay, and Mrs Gordon finally arrives home, with the news that Dr Gordon has escaped and is also making his way home.

So, thoughts on Wrong? Thoughts on the mix-up with the Tanswick school? Do you like Katharine as a character? What about all the tennis stuff and Jennifer’s vendetta?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 00:30 
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The plot, with a girl who turns up who isn't actually entered at the school, is quite similar to Carola, the previous book, but I suppose EBD wanted to use both ideas and thought she wouldn't be able to once the school had moved to Switzerland. Plus the arrest and expulsion of foreign missionaries from China was in the news around this time, which would have given EBD the idea for the background.

The mix-up seems to depend on a whole string of coincidences - two Chalet schools, two Miss Wilsons, two Drs Gordon, two Katharines. Plus it requires Katharine's parents to be uncontactable. Each time I read the book, I'm never sure I've understood exactly what happened.

But actually Katharine ended up at the right Chalet School; from what we learn about the Tanswick school subsequently, it wouldn't have suited her at all. It's rather surprising Mrs Gordon wanted her to go there; she doesn't seem the sort of person who'd be in favour of free discipline. I suppose EBD also already had in mind the storyline in Bride, with the Tanswick school joining the CS.

Other than the initial mix up, not a lot happens in this book. I'm not that interested in the tennis. What makes it enjoyable is Katharine being such a likeable character. A thoroughly nice, ordinary girl. And we get some of Bride's gang, too.

And I love Aunt Luce. We have a whole spectrum of guardians in the Island books, from Mrs Bain to Cousin Maud to Aunt Luce. She's scatty, but she has a successful career, and she's done a very good job with Katharine. She treats her as an equal instead of laying down the law as Cousin Maud did, and she facilitates Katharine's interests - doesn't Katharine say Aunt Luce played tennis with her?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 07:36 
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I love Aunt Luce as well :lol: .

The initial plotline is absolutely ridiculous. It's absolutely farcical. Why would there be another two Chalet Schools in South Wales? Wilson is admittedly quite a common name so, OK, maybe there were two Miss Wilsons, but the similar uniforms is pushing it, and the CS having a Mary Katharine Gordon who didn't turn up but was supposed to and a Katharine Mary Gordon who wasn't supposed to turn up but did ... come on :lol: .

I quite like the naughty book plot, because that is very realistic. Most people sneakily read naughty books at that age! But the art room plot annoys me - and foreshadows the sort of thing we get later on, when Jack is punished because someone else locked her in the bathroom and Val is blamed for being kidnapped. Blossom was given a message that Herr Laubach wanted to see her. Was she supposed to ignore it on the assumption that it was a trick designed to get her locked in the art room?!

I do really like Katharine as a character. And hooray for a tennis storyline!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 11:35 
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JayB wrote:
The mix-up seems to depend on a whole string of coincidences - two Chalet schools, two Miss Wilsons, two Drs Gordon, two Katharines. Plus it requires Katharine's parents to be uncontactable. Each time I read the book, I'm never sure I've understood exactly what happened.


Basically Aunt Luce writes the letter to the Tanswick school to enrol Katherine but she forgets to send it.

Despite never receiving any kind of confirmation of enrolment, information on where, how and when to catch the train and what to pack, they manage to get all of Katherine's things and go to the correct station on the right day at the right time. They also send off the trunk to the Island CS.

At the station, there are groups standing round from both CS. Because the uniforms are so similar, Aunt Luce picks one which happens to be the ... dah dah ... wrong CS.

The questions of how they know what to bring, what to buy and where to go to catch the train, are simply swept under the carpet. Even if we assume that information is in the prospectus (and a darn large booklet that would be), how do you not wonder why the school never writes to confirm enrolment, or ask for term fees? I realise there were no emails etc back then, but why not make a phone call?

When Aunt Luce finds the discarded letter she meets up with Miss Wilson. That was the chance to explain how she knew all the above stuff I have just mentioned. Because for a scatty brained person to get all those elements right is pretty darn clever :D

Alison H wrote:
Was she supposed to ignore it on the assumption that it was a trick designed to get her locked in the art room?!


Poor Blossom is screwed either way. If she ignores it assuming there's no way Herr Wathisname would be at the school on a weekend, she'll get told for being disobedient. So she goes and then gets told off for being so gullible.

I suppose she could've asked another teacher "Is Herr Wotsit here because I've just received the strangest message." But then she'll be told off for being a nuisance and to go get ready for the tennis match.

Cheers,
Joyce

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Last edited by Joyce on 19 Jul 2017, 02:30, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 14:58 
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To add the the coincidences - a flood at the CS that destroyed the paperwork that might have resolved the mixup, the Head at the other CS having died and/or changed jobs, and both of the schools taking the exact same train from the exact same station. Not to mention that Aunt Luce would have to have not noticed that they hadn't paid the school, and that they had received no confirmation of enrolment, no instructions or supply lists or questions about Katharine's previous education...

One thing that puzzles me - both Carola and Katharine show up with no uniform, but are quickly outfitted, which implies that the school keeps a complete set of uniform in all sizes. But my impression in other books is that the girls buy their uniforms separately, and arrive at school in them (Jacynth certainly does).

I like both this book and the preceding one, but I think they suffer a bit from having such similarities. Both features girls whose father is a doctor working abroad, are cared for by spinster aunts who travel, and arrive at school in odd ways. Both are good natured girls who are eager to come to school, and are brown haired, blue eyed, and pleasant looking without being pretty. And later, both are games prefects and both want to become PT mistresses.

The forbidden book and slacking on gardening are fun plots- in my day, it was Flower in the Attic and Clan of the Cave Bear that were passed around. I think I had read both Gone with the Wind and Forever Amber by age fifteen, with no adult complaints, however.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 17:22 
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This book has the distinction of being the first CS book I ever read at the age of 9 or 10 and I will always have a soft spot for it. At that age I thought all the fuss about a woman in another country who never appeared ludicrous. I remember thinking "why do they think so much of her?"

Is this also one of the books where Joey sends sweets from Canada? Just dawned on me recently that it was published in 1952 and sweet rationing did not end in Britain until 1953 so the sweets would have been very welcome.

I suspended belief over the mix-up. Liked the bits about Katharine's dresses as I did the bits about Lavender's dresses and Joan's dresses in other books. Why, on all other occasions do the girls seem to wear identical dresses in the evening? It actually makes them more of individuals having their own style of dresses in the evening.

As others have said it looked as if EBD had two quite similar ideas for books - Carola and Wrong - and used them both. Good, because I really enjoyed both. Carola and Katharine also seem to me quite similar characters. Both quite tough really, maybe Carola more so, who can stand on their own feet.

Loved Aunt Luce but wonder if Blossom is another beautiful girl EBD seems to have taken a dislike to. Is she not used in the whispering campaign against Peggy?

An apt book to be discussing just after Wimbledon and one of my favourites.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 19:27 
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Blossom is one of those girls who's always described as 'heedless', isn't she. Well liked, good natured, but known to be unreliable. She repeated the gossip abut Peggy out of thoughtlessness, not malice. Even when she's a prefect she's having to be chased for missing library books, and there's a bit of 'oh well, it's just Blossom' about it.

I feel a bit sorry for her, because she's a lively, gregarious girl but she's going home to be a companion to her mother and help with her delicate brother when all her peers are off to pursue further education and careers. I think she's about the last girl we hear of who was 'going home to help Mummy,' wasn't she?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 23:06 
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I think the basic plotline around Katherine's arrival at the CS is a bit farcical and doesn't stand up to serious scrutiny; but EBD was a good enough writer at the time to pull it off and it does just about hang together. I'm not so sure about the Blossom/art room bit, any well trained CS girl is surely going to respond to what they think is a message from a teacher.

However I think the smaller sub plots are all well written, and the tennis storyline is engaging, so I rather like the book. Aunt Luce us pretty cool too, maybe we are due a thread about guardians?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 02:27 
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JayB wrote:
I feel a bit sorry for her, because she's a lively, gregarious girl but she's going home to be a companion to her mother and help with her delicate brother when all her peers are off to pursue further education and careers. I think she's about the last girl we hear of who was 'going home to help Mummy,' wasn't she?


Her mother was Rosamund Atherton who you would hope would encourage her daughter to do more than nothing.

Blossom jokes about being a mannequin which I suppose would equate to being a model or an instagram 'celebrity' now :D

I think you are right - the notion of going home to be a mother's help was going well out of fashion by Blossom's day.

There is a conversation somewhere about how 'wicked' it is that girls who 'don't need' to work to take jobs from girls who do. Is that really EBD's attitude? Because she does change pretty quickly.

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 07:56 
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By the 1950s, there was very little unemployment, whereas, in the 1930s, unemployment was as high as 35% in some parts of the UK - and I assume everywhere else as well, as the Great Depression hit. So I can understand that viewpoint changing.

In Oberland, they're still talking about "not needing" to work, but they're really the last year that it happens with. Bride, Julie, Nancy, Tom etc were all going to be getting jobs, and Blossom was a couple of years younger than them. Jem Russell and Julian Lucy were two of the wealthiest dads, and there was no talk about their daughters just "going home". It's a shame for Blossom.

It's Elinor Pennell who becomes Head Girl, out of this group, and she hardly features at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 08:49 
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Joyce wrote:
There is a conversation somewhere about how 'wicked' it is that girls who 'don't need' to work to take jobs from girls who do. Is that really EBD's attitude? Because she does change pretty quickly.
It was changing even as she wrote it, by the sound of it. That was Enid Sothern talking in Goes to It, published in 1941:
Quote:
I'd never meant to do anything but stay at home and help Mums. I've no need to work, and Dad says it's absolutely wicked for girls who have plenty to take the work from girls who haven't. With this wretched war on I want to be a VAD as soon as I'm old enough. But that's got to wait a year or two unfortunately.
Although VADs (Voluntary Aid Detachment members) were best known as nurses and other hospital workers, in World War Two they also worked as radiographers, pharmacists, clerks and laboratory assistants, so when the war was over and everything was so different, Enid might have found that she was a girl with a career in spite of her upbringing.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 11:28 
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exile wrote:
I think the basic plotline around Katherine's arrival at the CS is a bit farcical and doesn't stand up to serious scrutiny; but EBD was a good enough writer at the time to pull it off and it does just about hang together. I'm not so sure about the Blossom/art room bit, any well trained CS girl is surely going to respond to what they think is a message from a teacher.



The Blossom/Art room bit is a rehash of an incident in Carnation of the Upper Fourth (1934) Carnation is due to play in a tennis match, gets message from a junior to go and see the Art mistress, gets to the Art room and is locked in on purpose. Her escape isn't so spectacular as Blossom's - just as well, Art room is top floor of school! - Art mistress comes in for something so Carnation dashes out and down to tennis courts. Meanwhile, first reserve slips and sprains wrist, 2nd reserve goes home with sick headache, next has broken racquet strings, just as they are about to start Carnation dashes up and can play (interesting scoring "they lost the game by one point to three") - and they win thanks to some brilliant play by Carnation.

Suppose EBD didn't think anyone who read Carnation - published 18 years earlier - would still be reading school stories and remember the plot!


Last edited by ivohenry on 19 Jul 2017, 22:53, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 11:58 
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In relation to last post - That's what EBD thought!

I have never really thought about it before but it must have been quite depressing for Blossom having to go home to help with a frail little brother. Of course, he was her brother and she would have loved him and that would make a huge difference. Also the fact that her presence would give the little boy some pleasure would have eased things for her, and the Willoughbys do seem to have lots of money, so there would have been help and material comfort but it was not the kind of happy, carefree existence Peggy was going home to.

I like Blossom and I do hope there was some pleasure in her day-to-day life. Do we hear anything more about her after she leaves school?


Last edited by Audrey25 on 19 Jul 2017, 12:03, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 12:03 
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The only mention I can think of is in relation to Beth Chester's marriage - someone says she'll be Blossom's aunt. Implication is she is marrying Rosamund's brother Noel Atherton, though we aren't actually told who she marries.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 17:39 
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Joyce wrote:
They also send off the trunk to the Island CS.


Katherine's trunk is labelled:

Chalet School, South Wales,

while the other trunk is fully addressed. The poor labelling of Katherine's trunk may explain the delay in delivery.

The coincidence too far for "Carola" is term starting on the same day that the passenger ship leaves Southampton.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 19:22 
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I enjoyed both this book and Carola - both seem to be the sort of girls that 'fit in' really well. I liked the tennis aspect too and the description of the matches. My own school had 18 grass courts (and only the first six allowed to play on No. 1 court!) and we would have a tournament every year and the whole school would troop out with chairs to watch the final.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 22:31 
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Were there no laws at the time preventing businesses from having the same/similar names? Just remembering a tiny little kiosk called 'Star Box' or something similar being hounded by Starbucks to change its name.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jul 2017, 02:39 
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bythebrook wrote:
Joyce wrote:
They also send off the trunk to the Island CS.

Katherine's trunk is labelled:
Chalet School, South Wales,
while the other trunk is fully addressed. The poor labelling of Katherine's trunk may explain the delay in delivery.


So someone at the post office just picked a school and went with it? Again, noone in this whole mess thinks to make a phone call :D

Oh well, I guess if they did we wouldn't have a story.

exile wrote:
Aunt Luce us pretty cool too, maybe we are due a thread about guardians?


I love Aunt Luce - she's totally nuts. And her saying she doesn't think much about the pubs just comes out of nowhere.

And one thing that always puzzled me was the way Luce says Katherine can get hold of her through the bank.

Years later Neil Shepard tells Grizel the same thing - that letters sent to his bank would be forwarded to him. Were banks really used as semi post offices back then? And wouldn't they have enough to do?

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jul 2017, 02:46 
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Joined: 07 Oct 2004, 12:14
Posts: 63
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Joyce wrote:
bythebrook wrote:
Joyce wrote:
They also send off the trunk to the Island CS.

Katherine's trunk is labelled:
Chalet School, South Wales,
while the other trunk is fully addressed. The poor labelling of Katherine's trunk may explain the delay in delivery.


So someone at the post office just picked a school and went with it? Again, noone in this whole mess thinks to make a phone call :D

Oh well, I guess if they did we wouldn't have a story.

exile wrote:
Aunt Luce us pretty cool too, maybe we are due a thread about guardians?


I love Aunt Luce - she's totally nuts. And her saying she doesn't think much about the pubs just comes out of nowhere.

And one thing that always puzzled me was the way Luce says Katherine can get hold of her through the bank.

Years later Neil Shepard tells Grizel the same thing - that letters sent to his bank would be forwarded to him. Were banks really used as semi post offices back then? And wouldn't they have enough to do?

Cheers,
Joyce

Yes, banks really did hold mail for Expats and travellers(at least the wealthier ones!). In fact even when I first came to Australia, not quite 20 years ago, many banks and post offices were willing to hold mail for backpackers and the like who had no fixed address. Back in the days of EBD of course post offices didn't have all the extra duties like selling insurance, banks didn't have all the credit issues to deal with, the service was a lot more personal and so lent itself to things like mail holding.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Wrong Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jul 2017, 09:12 
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Admiring Tom's latest effort
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Posts: 870
Location: SE England
Quote:
So someone at the post office just picked a school and went with it? Again, noone in this whole mess thinks to make a phone call :D


The trunk was sent by rail, not by post, and someone did make a phone call - Matey did. It's said that when Katharine's trunk didn't turn up, she hassled the railway people by phone. Presumably they had the incompletely addressed trunk and were wondering what to do with it, and Matey's phone call led them to decide it must be meant for the St Briavel's CS. (Mary Kate's trunk had also evidently been delayed, for whatever reason.)


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