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 Post subject: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 10 May 2017, 13:45 
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Not just in the Chalet School, but I sometimes wonder what single female teachers who lived in a boarding school for most of the year did with themselves during the two month Summer break.

Obviously if parents were still alive and there was a family home to go to, that was okay. But otherwise it was a long time to land in on a married sister or cousin or whatever.

Women in those days usually wouldn't have been able to buy a house on their own, and while some may have inherited a house they would surely be in the minority.

So I was just wondering where people like Miss Annersley or Matron would have spent long holidays? (Bill, I know, had a cottage of her own).


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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 10 May 2017, 13:46 
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I imagine often it would have been a case of shorter stays in several places


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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 10 May 2017, 13:58 
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True. But that must have caused problems for teachers who didn't have many relatives or friends. They must have slightly dreaded the holidays and the feeling they were foisting themselves on people they weren't that close to.

I suppose some of them might have gone to boarding houses or cheap hotels for the duration.


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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 10 May 2017, 14:52 
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Some would save up so they could travel around Europe. They might take photographs to be used as a slide show next term. I recall some of our (non-boarding)teachers doing that.


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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 10 May 2017, 14:58 
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I suppose that's why you often read, in old novels, of teachers going on 'walking holidays' together. It was a cheap holiday that avoided the awkwardness of staying with distant relatives or casual friends, the loneliness of going off somewhere on your own, and the expense of a hotel or guest house.


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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 10 May 2017, 22:14 
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We know Matey used to go and visit her sister and family, and even after her sister died she visited her brother-in-law. It's often mentioned about Hilda visiting school people for a time - she stayed with the Bettanys after Christmas for one night in Bride, and before that had been staying with...Daisy, I think before that. She and Molly got on so well that they must have met often, probably at Madge's, as we do read about both Nell and Hilda visiting the Russells. Hilda also had a female cousin she visited, and then the long-lost cousin she discovered after Peggy got the wrong train would give her another option. But I have no doubt she also visited other countries after the war, and probably sometimes went to Nell's cottage with her. We know Nell and Jeanne de Lachennais did a lot of climbing together in the holidays.

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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 11 May 2017, 01:14 
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At the school meeting at the start of New, Hilda said she'd been called back early. She said it was lucky she had been staying in Rome for the holidays. I think a lot would have taken the chance to travel. And on the Tyrol years some of them did have pupils with them for the shorter break, so we're working. I think a lot would have travelled or stayed on the Continent, especially if you aren't on escort duty. It does sound like a lot went home to parents as Teddy said hers spoilt her when she did go home in New

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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 11 May 2017, 10:37 
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In those days it wouldn't have been a problem just for teachers in boarding schools. Several of our unmarried mistresses (in the 1960s) lived in rented accommodation and spoke quite naturally about going 'home' for the holidays ie to their parents'. And school never started on a Monday, and always finished on a Thursday so that the staff had Monday morning (before a staff meeting) and Friday to travel. If you look in Winifred Darch's books set in day schools in the 1930s, you can see the way that teachers expected to live (I think The New School and Hilary is quite a good example. And one of Josephine Elder's adult novels (Lady of Letters?). I haven't read it for ages, but I imagine that South Riding also deals with the question.


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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 11 May 2017, 10:41 
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Doesn't Bill stay at the school for one long holiday? But that was during the war so maybe it wasn't safe to travel.

Vintagejazz wrote:
I suppose that's why you often read, in old novels, of teachers going on 'walking holidays' together. It was a cheap holiday that avoided the awkwardness of staying with distant relatives or casual friends, the loneliness of going off somewhere on your own, and the expense of a hotel or guest house.


Would there be the option to stay at the school? You would only really need one room/bathroom and then cook for yourself. It sounds a bit sad, but better than the alternative of overstaying your welcome with distant relatives.

But Penny Rest sounds like a boarding house and a pretty nice one at that.

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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 11 May 2017, 11:32 
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Yes, now you mention it, she had obviously spent Christmas alone at the school in Lavendar Laughs. I presume the Maynards or Russells would have invited her over on Christmas Day, but it still sounds a little bit lonely.


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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 11 May 2017, 11:58 
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It says she had had several invitations and had declined them all as she wanted some peace. Perfectly understandable to an introvert like me to be honest, but if she did want some company for an hour or two, she only had to stroll along to the Round House or Plas Gwyn and she would have been warmly welcomed.

The big charm of the CS universe is that the network of Old Girls and other contacts is so huge and open and welcoming that nobody associated with the school is left out in the cold no matter what. If a mistress wanted to spend the whole of the holidays in one place, someone would have a room handy. If she wanted to visit a few different people, she could. It's a bit idealistic, but a really nice idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 11 May 2017, 12:34 
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It is lovely Aquabird, and something I like about the books. Unlike real life, where once you leave school that's it, you're out in the big bad world now, in CS land there's still this kind of sheltered aura around the old girls. You feel that any of them could come back at any time and be welcomed into the fold, found a bed, given a role in the school, and basically pick up where they left off if they wanted to. Eustacia, for example, who was lonely and not very well, was immediately given a home with the Maynards.

But for boarding school teachers in real life, I imagine the Summer holidays must have been a bit lonely for some who didn't have family or close friends. I wonder did some of them lie and say they were looking forward to staying with good friends, and then spend the holiday skulking around Eastbourne hoping no one would see them and realise they were staying alone in a B&B for the entire holiday?


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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 12 May 2017, 19:14 
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I saw job adverts recently in a magazine for teaching staff and pastoral staff at a boarding school.

From these adverts it seemed that the teaching staff were only involved in teaching and lived outside the school.

There seemed to be a lot more staff similar to matrons employed who did live in and had quite good accommodation which they could use all year.

There were even staff to superintend the social life of the girls and arrange birthday celebrations etc.

Changed days.


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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 13 May 2017, 02:48 
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I imagine that on-site school staff could easily run up against even generous overtime laws, with in classroom time, preparation, marking, and the need for the students to be supervised outside of school hours.

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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 13 May 2017, 20:48 
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From what a former housemistress at my school once told me (long after I'd left!), she just stayed at the house and filled it with her own guests! And the non-resident staff would have either stayed in their flats (rented or otherwise) or gone to family or friends.


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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 13 May 2017, 21:54 
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Now that would make a great drabble :lol: . Mistresses inviting their mates to use the CS as a free hotel.

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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 14 May 2017, 19:32 
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Alison H wrote:
Now that would make a great drabble :lol: . Mistresses inviting their mates to use the CS as a free hotel.

Funny you should say that, Alison. In ND Hilda has her friend MA staying with her at the moment! Never thought of it as using the CS as a free hotel. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 15 May 2017, 06:43 
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Sometimes there were pupils who could not go home, for instance, from overseas, and then possibly some of the mistresses would have had to take turns staying with them during the holidays (not necessesarily CS, but in other books, children from India etc)

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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 15 May 2017, 14:06 
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Yes, I've read about that in other school stories. It never seemed to happen in the CS. I suppose Madge, and later Joey, were always on hand to invite any waifs and strays to stay during school breaks.

I suppose some teachers might have been glad of the excuse to stay on at the school during the holidays, rather than having to find friends and relatives to put them up. A bit sad though.


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 Post subject: Re: Where did teachers go during the long Summer holidays?
PostPosted: 15 May 2017, 17:11 
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I don't think teachers would be very pleased at having to stay at school to look after pupils, though they had to do this in the Tyrol years, taking them to Salzburg etc so that Madge and Jo could have some time together. In other books I have heard of 'Holiday Homes' for pupils whose parents are overseas.


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