St Elphin's School logo


Latest News.....


Heritage Open Days at St Elphin's Park –
Thursday 6th - Sunday, 9th September, 2018

As part of the 2018 Heritage Open Days, St Elphin’s Park will, once again, be opening its doors to the general public. As this year’s theme is Extraordinary Women, focusing on stories and achievements by women that history has overlooked or forgotten, it was thought fitting to involve the old girls and staff of St Elphin’s School – the former use of St Elphin’s Park.

There will be a display on two floors of memorabilia from St Elphin’s School including:

•  Display boards with old photos from school days
•  Scholarship boards
•  Head Girls board
•  Selection of school photos from the 1920s through to the 2000s
•  General photos from school days
•  School magazines from 1925 and from 1934 to 2001 inclusive
•  Tables with school memorabilia in front hall, the telephone lobby and Head
   Mistresses landing
•  Display cabinet in front hall with items of memorabilia including a time capsule
   and various tropies
•  St Elphin’s School Memorial Quilt with guest book for signing
•  Uniform

Led by Liz Donlan, who will be on hand throughout the four days, she will have the help of her husband and other old girls to talk to visitors and assist in undertaking hourly tours round St Elphin’s House and the grounds. The opening hours are:

Thursday, 6th September, 2018:         12pm to 5pm (tours from 12pm to 4pm)
Friday, 7th September, 2018:              10am to 5pm (tours from 12pm to 4pm)
Saturday, 8th September, 2018:           10am to 5pm (tours from 12pm to 4pm)
Sunday, 9th September, 2018:             10am to 4pm (tours from 10am to 3pm)

This is a golden opportunity to arrange to meet up with other old girls or staff whilst having a coffee, snack or meal in The Bistro (formerly the staff room). If any old girls are able to offer help with tours round the site or to talk to visitors about the school and their time they will be more than welcome. I am particularly looking for help over the weekend - please drop me an email ( if you are able to help.

Liz Donlan (nee Bailey)å
Pupil, 1967 to 1973
St Elphin’s School



Christmas at St Elphin's

Looking for somewhere to book your Christmas party this year? Or maybe you'd like to relax whilst someone else does the cooking for you this Christmas Day? Either way, The Orangery Restaurant at St Elphin's Park has something to suit everyone with gluten free and vegetarian options also available.

Let your hair down and relax as you dine in elegant surroundings.  Enjoy 2 or 3 courses from their set Christmas menu and tuck into tempting treats whilst soaking up the ambiance of their Orangery Restaurant this Christmas. They use fresh, seasonable produce to ensure that only the best is served to their customers. Their delicious food, friendly service and stunning surroundings will be sure to create a night to remember and set you in good spirits for the lead up to, or wind down from, Christmas day.

Whether it's a work party, family feast or just a Christmas get together with friends – they have Christmas covered and it couldn't be easier to book with them. They require just a £10 deposit per person when booking, with the option to add on one of their drinks packages. These can be placed on your table ready for your arrival, so there will be no need to queue at the bar!

St Elphin's understand that December can be a busy month so they are also offering 10% discount (cannot be used with any other offer) for parties booked for late November 2017 & January 2018.

Why not choose this time to link up with other Old Elphinians and let's see lots of mini reunions taking place – don't forget to take photos and go and sign the Guest Book by the St Elphin's Memorial Quilt on the first landing.

Heritage Open Days at St Elphin's

Heritage Open Days is England's largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers. Every year for four days in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – and it’s all FREE.

Some of you may remember that I took part in the Open Days held for the first time at St Elphin’s in 2013 which was when I originally set up the display cabinet in front hall with school memorabilia. A number of you also popped in to say hello and helped on the table I also had in front hall.

St Elphin’s Park are once again taking part in this event which will take place from Thursday, 7th September to Sunday, 10th September, 2017 inclusive. I am delighted to report that Sue McClean, General Manager at St Elphin’s Park has asked me to take a major part in this year’s event as she would like to focus it more on the historical side of St Elphin’s School. Mike and I will be there for all four days and we hope as many old girls as possible will come along – in a way it will be like an informal school reunion!

The Heritage Days will be open as follows:

Thursday: 12.00md to 8.00pm
Friday:      10.00am to 8.00pm
Saturday:  10.00am to 8.00pm
Sunday:    10.00am to 4.00pm

In addition if any of you are able to come along and give me a hand for a couple of hours on any of the days – to talk to the general public then it would be very much appreciated!

There will be lots to see throughout the event:

• Display boards with old photos from our school days
• Scholarship boards
• Selection of full School Photos 
• School magazines from 1925 and 1934 to 2001inclusive
• Tables with school memorabilia in front hall, telephone lobby and Head Mistresses landing
• Display cabinet in front hall
• Memorial Quilt with guest book for signing

There will be hourly tours round St Elphin’s House and round the grounds.

Lunches and afternoon teas will be available each day and for any TOE members there will be a FREE glass of prosecco if booking afternoon tea – this will only be available on production of your membership card!

I will also be taking bookings for our next major school reunion which will take place in September 2018 – the date will be confirmed at the Heritage event!

All in all it looks set to be a fabulous few days and I am honoured to have been asked to take part so I do hope that lots of you will be able to come along at some point during the four days. You might like to get in touch with other girls from your year and arrange mini gatherings. Do you let me know if you’re planning on popping in – just so we have a rough idea of numbers.

I have been in touch with the editors of Reflections magazine and Matlock Mercury, both of whom are going to put some editorial in about the event. Matlock Mercury are publicising it in the form of a letter and this will have been done by the time you receive this newsletter. Reflections is due out at the end of August.

Liz Donlan


Discount at Edensor Tea Cottage
I am delighted to announce that Edensor Tea Cottage in the Chatsworth Estate are now offering 10% discount to all members of The Old Elphinians – on production of your current membership card.

"Edensor Tea Cottage and cafe is a licenced cafe open daily throughout the year serving breakfast, morning coffee, lunch and that all important treat of Tea and Cake or a traditional English afternoon Tea, with our home-made scones made using local Caldwell's Mill flour." Have a look at their website.



Another St Elphin's Meet-Up
Another min-reunion is being held on Thursday, 14th August, 2014 at Meadowhall shopping mall in Sheffield. We shall initially meet up at Starbucks for a coffee on the lower floor opposite M&S at 11.30am and then find somewhere for lunch.

If any old girls or staff wish to join us please let Liz Donlan know as soon as possible - or 07860 315300. To date Lizzy Atwell-Dickie, Josie Mead-Briars, Caroline Wareham, Sally Campbell, Penny Pass-Beresford (hopefully for coffee) and Liz Bailey-Donlan are going.

Another St Elphin's Meet-Up
Another mini-reunion is being held on Sunday 20th / Monday 21st July, 2014 at St Elphin's - centred around Claire Armstrong-Martin who is over in the UK from Florida. The itinerary is:

Sunday 20th July
3.30pm:  Afternoon Tea at St Elphin's
7.30pm:  Evening meal at the Grouse & Claret in Rowsley, Derbyshire

Monday 21st July
12.30pm:  Lunch at St Elphin's
5.30pm:    Visit to Liz Donlan's garden in Dukinfield, Cheshire

If any old girls or staff wish to join us at any (or all) the above please let Liz Donlan know as soon as possible - or 07860 315300. To date Lizzy Atwell-Dickie and Liz Donlan will join Claire at all events. Josie Mead-Briars, Alison Yates-Manning and Charlotte Brooks will be joining us for lunch on Monday.

Memorial Quilt is awarded a Merit
We are delighted to report that all Lizzy Atwell-Dickie's efforts in entering, collecting, taking and returning the Memorial Quilt from St Elphin's to Sandown Park have paid off. The Quilt was awarded a Merit and now has a Rosette proudly attached to it back in its home - on the wall at St Elphin's!

Memorial Quilt goes to the races!
The St Elphin's School Memorial Quilt has been entered in its first competition - the National Quilt Championships being held at Sandown Exhibition Centre (Sandown Park Racecourse, Portsmouth Road, KT10 9AJ) from 20th to 22nd June, 2014.

It has been entered in a class entitled 'Memories' and the entry fees are being donated to the Alzheimers Society. TOE have kindly sponsored the entry fee.

Lizzy Atwell-Dickie will be collecting the Quilt from St Elphin's on Friday 13th June and returning it, as soon as possible, after 23rd June. Lizzy will be personally deliver the Quilt to the Racecourse on 17th June but the show itself doesn't open until the 20th June. She will also be taking the Guest Book with her, so if you can get to Sandown, please go! See here for further details.

If you're planning to visit St Elphin's to have a look at the Quilt then please be aware that it will not be there from 13th June until, possibly, the end of the month. I will keep you posted as to when it has been returned!


5% discount at The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop
The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop are offering 5% discount to members of TOE (The Old Elphinians) in their shop, deli or restaurant – on production of your membership card ONLY!


£3,000 donated to St Elphin's Primary School and St Elphin's Church in Warrington
Old Elphinians (formerly St Elphin's Old Girls' Guild) finally closes its doors when the remaining funds of £3,000 is split 50:50 between St Elphin's Fairfield VA CE Primary School and St Elphin's Church. More information.


B&B at St Elphin's
There are 2 double/twin guest rooms in St Elphin's House available for anyone to stay at a cost of £70 per room, per night including continental breakfast. Old girls and staff get a special rate of £60. However, if you are a member of The Old Elphinians (TOE) you will get an incredible rate of £50 - proviidng you produce your membership card (without it you will be charged £60!).


Memorial Quilt is hung at St Elphin's
The St Elphin's Memorial Quilt was hung on the wall on the first landing from Front Stairs in St Elphin's House – i.e. the landing of the Head Mistresses/Master's study. Lizzy Atwell-Dickie and Liz Bailey-Donlan were the first Old Elphinians to view the quilt in its new home on the 1st February, 2014. Morag Forsyth-Harrison, who joined the girls for lunch on the same day, was the first Old Elphinian to sign the guest book. Have a look at the photos on the Quilt page – at the bottom.



Memorial Quilt
Thanks to Ali Gracie-Biddiscombe and Jenny Gray-Winkless the St Elphin's School Memorial Quilt is abouts to depart Australia for its long journey to Hartington Hall, Hartington, Derbyshire. The quilt will unveiled at the Reunion to be held on Saturday, 12th October, 2013. The penultimate blog on the making of the quilt can be seen on the Quilt page.


Heritage Open Days
In conjunction with the National Trust there are various Heritage Open Days being held around the UK September. Audley St Elphin's Park are taking part in the event and will be opening St Elphin's House to the public on Friday 13th September and Saturday 14th September from 11.00am to 4.00pm.

Audley will be doing tours of St Elphin's at 12 noon, 1.00pm, 2.00pm and 3.00pm on both days as well as talking about the historical side of the building. In additiona Liz Donlan will have a table in Front Hall on both days with memorabilia of St Elphin's School. The Display Cabinet in Front Hall will also house various memorabilia items and these will remain in the cabinet on a permanent basis. I shall be assisted on the Friday by Miss Crook and on the Saturday afternoon by Mrs Outram!

If any Old Elphinians attend please make sure to come and say hello!


Portrait of Miss Robinson
We are trying to trace the whereabouts of any items which were sold at the auction held at the school in 2005 or, indeed, any items which were sold, or disposed of, outside the main auction. In particular we are trying to track down the photo of Miss P M Robinson (Maud) who was Head Mistress from 1958 to 1975. The portrait was hung on the wall going up Front Stairs from the main Front Hall - it can be seen by scrolling down to the second photo on the Front Hall page.


Return to top

link to twitterFacebook logo