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1892 Album – M. J. Heywood

In July 2012, having seen our website, Karen Turner contacted me regarding an album of her Great Aunt – Mary Jane Heywood – from 1892! The album contains poems, autographs, quotes and drawings from Mary's friends wishing her well. Mary attended Warrington Training College, which Karen understood to also be known as St Elphin's.

Karen had written to Cheshire County Council in 1986 and they replied on 12 March, 1986 stating:

....."The school you mention was the St Elphins School, also known as the Clergy Daughters School or Warrington Training College. It was founded in 1844 "to elevate the pupils above the station in life to which their poverty would necessarily have degraded them. An education is provided for them which is superior in every respect to that of ordinary private establishments".

"The site of the school was on land next to St Elphins Church at the end of Church Street, Warrington (see map). The buildings are no longer there and the land is now part of St Elphins Park. In 1904 the school moved to Darley Dale Hydro, near Matlock, Derbyshire. One of the reasons for this was that "the atmosphere grew more smoke-laden and less fitted for a residential school"......

[Liz Donlan comments: Although the letter from Cheshire County Council doesn't acknowledge it outright, the quote in their first paragraph is a direct quote from The Story of St Elphin's School 1844 - 1944 by Margaret L. Flood M.A. (T.C.D.), Pg 10]

Karen had noted that most of the notes in the album refer to "WTC" – Warrington Training College and was further convinced she was on the right track when she saw the drawing which linked up to a photo she had seen on another website – see images below.

As it was thought the album would not scan in very well, Karen's husband kindly photographed each page – all 80 of them – which were put onto a disc and promptly sent to me in August 2012. Unfortunately, some of the photographs didn't show up too well as the album consists of coloured pages and some of the text and/or drawings were extremely feint and, as a result, no further progress was made.

Thankfully, in January 2013, Karen got in touch again and she agreed to send the precious album to me (by recorded delivery of course!) with a view to me attempting to scan in the pages. I am delighted to say that the scans, in the main, have come out extremely well and I am now able to share this album with you.

Although most of the pages have "WTC" or "Warrington Training College", together with the date, pages 12 and 42 actually has "St Elphin's College" on them. Page 64 has some dried pressed leaves and, amazingly, these are still in situ - although, as can be seen, parts of them have become loose.

Overall the album measures 155mm wide by 200mm and 20mm thick – please click here to see the album in full!

I am sure you will find this album of autographs, drawings, poetry and quotes absolutely fasincating and my grateful thanks go to Karen Turner for allowing me to share this with you all and, more importantly, for entrusting it to me for scanning purposes.

Liz Donlan

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