St Elphin's School logo


On this page
Apron 1961/2
Badge 1920s
Boar's Head Carol

Certificates & Exam Papers 1922-1976

Dinner & Dance 1968
Hockey Team 1915
Home Mission News 1952
House of Commons 1968
Leaving Girls Song 1961
Letters to Parents 1950s & 1960s
Mathematics Book Prize 1923

Maud's Handwriting! 1967
Music Competition 1977
Oxford English Dictionary 1964

Prayer Book 1963
School Concert 1976
School Regulations 1940s
School Reports 1948 onwards
School Song
Sewing Bag 1961/2
Sewing Basket 1967-1973
Signatures 1938
Time Capsule 1933-2008
Trunks 1963-1977


In addition to the School Magazines there are lots of other publications and photos that have been issued over the years which will be added to this page as, and when, I locate them. As I gather more photographs and/or details of one topic they will be moved to a separate page.

A number of items were sold off at auction in July 2005 so if any of you have any such items and are willing to photograph them for the website please contact Liz Donlan.

To help make it easier to find items on this page, there is an index in the box to the right. Simply click on a specific item and you will be taken to it!

There are further items on the Memories page so please make sure you look there as well.


The Leaving Girls Song – July 1961
Thanks to Jane Bealby (neé Walker), Gresford House, 1955-1961, who sent me, in October 2021, a package with lots of goodies from her time at St Elphin's. Amongst them were the words for The Leaving Girls Song. We believe that it was sung to the tune of "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" which is a coincidence as I am now living in Co Tipperary!!

1. Our school days are done and ended
And here we go
With a pint from the Square and Compass
And a fag from Mrs Jo.
Some gention violet from Mrs Chapman
And a kiss from Frank du Fer
And an unsigned letter from Miss Harrison
That's all you'll get from her.

2. Goodbye to flapping Loo Loo
With her unsupported 'Humm'
Farewell to Mlle Keller
With her figure forward thrust
Mrs Rotter, we seen the last of
No more dissected frogs
And no more stew made of horse meat
And no more smelly bogs.

3. It's a long way to Denstone College
It's a long way to go
It's a long way to Denstone College
To the sweetest boy I know
Goodbye to Old St Elphin's
Goodbye to the Crown Square
It's a long long way to Denstone College
But my heart is there.

4. "Ye gods and men and little fishes"
Spits out the fiendish Schmitt
6A! Keep your voices down
When you talk we can hear every bit
There must be no litter
If there is you'll go to Maud
The training college can have you
They'll love you, I'm sure.

5. Mrs Kitchen is very tidy
That's why she hates 6B
For we have orange peel
And fags ends up to our knees
She says "It's quite revolting"
And we don't use 'Sellotape'
And if we must sit on our boaters
Then they'll lose their shape.

6. So we leave you sad and morbid
After many happy years
And when we think of all the fun we've had
We can't restrain our tears
So cheerio girls, and keep your chins up
And have a real good time
'Cos soon it will be your turn
Just as now it's mine.


School Song – sung again in 2012, 2015 & 2019!
Thanks to Gill Haywood (neé Prescott), the words of the School Song are below. We have found that some girls can vividly remember it whilst others weren't even aware there was a School Song (Liz Donlan included!!). The School Song has been sung at the last three major reunions in 2012, 2015 & 2019 in the main school building by over 100 ex-pupils and staff!

In February 2013, the author of the school song got in touch – Elisabeth Ward. Elisabeth was in Wilson House from 1953 to 1960 and wrote the words of the school song in 1959/60. Elisabeth was amazed that the song was still in existance.

1. Gathered once more together,
At the end of another term,
We’ll set the echoes ringing,
With voices strong and firm,
We’ll all sing together
In praise of those gone before,
And singing, remember with sorrow
The faces we’ll see no more.

2. Though there’s been strife among us,
Yet will our ranks hold fast..
We’ll hand our heritage onwards
Down from the first to the last.
Whether in pain or laughter,
Our friendship has bound us strong.
We’ll value more hereafter
Traditions we’ve kept so long.

3. Others will fill our places
Dressed in the old blue and grey,
Down through the years they'll be singing
Words that we're singing today.
Others may prove more clever,
Our efforts may seem in vain
But we'll stand together,
Our loyalty we'll maintain.

4. After our names are forgotten
The School in the hills will stay,
Years will not dim the memory
Of our friends that surround us today.
May we all stand forever,
United in hope and aim
That nothing in life shall sever
The ones that have built her name.


Time Capsule 1933 to 2008
Please click here to see more images of the items found.

Workmen at the new St Elphin's Park development in Darley Dale got a surprise in March 2008 when they unearthed a 1930s time capsule. David Boden was removing part of a cellar at the former school when a package containing an old exercise book, some tissues and a rusty tin emerged from the dust. After some detective work, the girls who buried the 'capsule' in 1933, were traced.

Mollie McColgan, now in her 70s, said: "Being contacted about something like this is fascinating – I can recall some of the girls whose names are in the book as if it were yesterday."

Kevin Taylor, Baggaley Construction project team leader, said: "Finding a bottle of ink and some blue tissue doesn't sound very exciting these days, but to them it was probably quite daring."

The time capsule and exercise book are currently in the display cabinet in Front Hall in St Elphin's House.


Music Competition 1977
In 1977 two Music Competition medals were given out by Miss Rees-Jones (Music Teacher 1968-1977). Alison Vernon-Tomlinson (Kennedy House, 1975-1977) was highly honoured to be one of the recipients and still has it in her possession today. Alison's mum suggested that they get the medal engraved which was a good idea as it has helped us to identify the date today!


School Concert 1976
The School Concert was held annually. The 1976 concert would have been held in the dining hall (The Stopford Hall) and, as can be seen in the programme, the majority of performances were solo which would have been extremely nerve-wracking for the performers. Having said that, it was also an honour to be picked for the School Concert.

Liz Donlan (neé Bailey) recalls being picked to play a recorder duet with Louise Barbour in 1972/3 and because Miss Robinson, Head Mistress, wasn't able to attend, they had to perform again in front of her!

Click on the image to the right for the full programme
Supplied by Helen Miller (nee Simpson) _________________________________________________________________________________

St Elphin's School Visits The House of Commons 1968
Rosemary Levick-Marson (Powys 1963 - 1969) recalls.....

"I was doing Economics with a class run by Mrs Woolliscroft. There was a joint trip with one group going to Wimbledon and one to the House of Commons.

The sitting MP was James Scott-Hopkins, later to be Knighted, who, later, resigned his Derbyshire North Constituency to be elected an MEP.

On arrival we were met by James Scott-Hopkins who showed us round the Houses of Parliament, including taking us up Big Ben which chimed whilst we were in the bell tower! From memory the Houses weren't sitting and I am sure we actually went into the Commons Chamber and sampled the sitting – however, this could have been a figment of my vivid imagination! I think we also peeped into the Lords.

After lunch two pairs (the clever ones!) were allowed to visit the Visitors Gallery to see, the then, Government in action. We had a private room for the meal.

The bus dropped the Wimbledon group off before arriving at Westminster and then we returned to collect them."

Click on the image above to see the menu
Supplied by Rosemary Marson (nee Levick)


link to Dinner & Dance invitationDinner & Dance 1968
Thanks to Beverley Grierson for supplying a copy of the Invitation to the Dinner & Dance to be held in The New Hall (otherwise known as The Stopford Hall) on Friday, 5th July, 1968! Please click on the image to see the full invitation.

It's interesting to note the price of the tickets - 30/- each (£1.50)! The time was 7.30 for 8.00pm with cars due for pick-up at 1.00am. There was a maximum of 250 allowed – it would be interesting to know if it was fully booked and whether there are any photographs of the event still in existance? Also, if anyone, or anyone's parents can remember going it would be nice to hear about the event - please contact Liz Donlan with details and/or photographs.




1967 – 'O' Level Chemistry Results
Miss (Heather) James, Chemistry teacher from 1963 to 1968 has found a piece of paper with her pupils 'O' level chemistry results from 1967 together with some hand-written comments. Those of us who were at St Elphin's between 1958 and 1975 will recognise the hand-writing as that of Miss Robinson who was Head Mistress during that time!



School Reports – 1948 onwards
Liz Bailey-Donlan was the first to take the plunge and put her full school report, covering her time at St Elphin's from 1967 to 1973, on the website. It's interesting to note that, although it says at the beginning that reports will be made three times a year, they were actually only done twice a year! In the year 1972/1973 Liz is recorded as being absent for 20 days - this was due to her starting 3 weeks late at the beginning of the Autumn term as she was in hospital.

Ruth Parsons-Wallhead was the next to take the plunge. Ruth was at St Elphin's from 1948 to 1950 and was in Kennedy House.

Anne Carsons (Aunt to Caroline Wareham, 1971-1974, Kennedy House) was at St Elphin's from 1948 to 1951.

Please click on the front covers below to view the school reports in full.

St Elphin's School Report St Elphin's School Report St Elphin's School Report St Elphin's School Report
Caroline Wareham
Liz Bailey-Donlan
1967 - 1973
Anne Carsons
1948 - 1951
Ruth Parsons-Wallhead
1948 - 1950

St Elphin's School report booklet1979
We learnt of the passing of Miss Stevenson in January 2022. After leaving St Elphin's School she went on to become Head Mistress at Jersey College for Girls. In June 2022 the Librarian and Archivist from Jersey College got in touch with me as she had come across a few documents relating to St Elphin's which she duly sent on to me.

One of the items is a small (A6 in size) report booklet which I had not seen before. On the front cover is space to fill in name, form, house and which terms it applied to. Inside are individual pages for Subject, Art, P.E. and Games, Musical Instrument, Speech and Drama, House Report and Headmaster's Report. In view of the last page (Headmaster's Report) we are assuming that the booklet was introduced by Mr Pollard. Please click here to view it.


Sewing Basket 1967-1973
photo supplied by Liz Donlan (neé Bailey). Liz was at St Elphin's from 1967 to 1973 (three years in Gresford House and then three years in Powys House).

This was the sewing basket Liz had at St Elphin's and is still in use today - 2020 in the Republic of Ireland, having moved there from the UK in 2019!




Sewing Bag and Apron 1961-1962

Jo Salsbury-Halliday made the sewing bag and apron in sewing classes when she was in Lower III in 1961-1962.


Oxford English Dictionary 1964
One of the many items which most girls had was a Dictionary – often the Oxford English version.

Right: This dictionary was given to Angie Marrows (neé Tye) in 1964. Angie was at St Elphin's from 1963 to 1968, initially in Willowdene and then in Gresford House. Many of the girls were very possessive of their belongings and would write the name of their house on each item – as Angie has done below!


School Trunks 1963-1977
Gill Haywood's (neé Prescott) trunk. Gill was at St Elphin’s from 1968 to 1977, initially in Willowdene and then in Kennedy House.

How many of you can remember all the school trunks lined up on Long Corridor (Long C) at the end of each term? Even with school trunks there was a little rivalry amongst the girls as to who had the best trunk as there was a mixture of brand-spanking-new, state-of-the-art ones; second-hand ones; or hand-me-downs from older sisters!
Left: Angie Marrows' (neé Tye) trunk. Angie was at St Elphin's from 1963 to 1968, initially in Willowdene and then in Gresford House.

Below: Angie's weekend case. Visiting Days were held throughout the year when girls were allowed to go out for the day. In sixth form girls were allowed to stop overnight.


In September 2013 Anne Marie Robinson-Harrison (Powys House, 1968-1975) came across her old school trunk whilst clearing out.

At the time of publishing this photo (6th October, 2013) no-one knows what "Car 211" refers to – any offers?








St Elphin's School trunkIn August 2019, Sue McClean, General Manager at St Elphin’s Park contacted me. She had had a visit from a gentleman and his daughter who had acquired an old trunk that they thought belonged to an old girl of St Elphin’s School. It came from an antique shop and they were on a mission to follow its history and try to put a face to the name and maybe date the trunk. The name on the trunk is “Miss Janet Lynn McGinty”.

St Elphin's School trunk



I have passed on the information that Janet was, indeed, a former pupil and was in Wilson House in the 1970s. Are any of you in touch with Janet? If so, please let me know as I’m sure the gentleman and his daughter would love to hear from her.

Please click on either image to view larger versions.


Prayer Book 1963
In addition to a dictionary, many girls also had the Holy Bible and a Prayer Book. Right: Aptly named 'The Big Three' by Angie Marrows (neé Tye) Angie, amazingly still has her original books. She was at St Elphin's from 1963 to 1968, initially in Willowdene and then in Gresford House.






Left: Angie's Prayer Book was given to her on the occasion of her Confirmation on April 4th, 1963. Most of the girls were Confirmed in the School Chapel and their Godmother's invariably gave them a nice Prayer Book or Holy Bible.





Letters to Parents
Please see Letters to Parents for some fascinating letters to our parents!


Home Mission News 1952
Although not strictly related to St Elphin's we thought it would still be nice to include the front cover of this item as it acknowledges St Elphin's School.

Ruth Parsons-Wallhead, 1948 - 1952 Kennedy House, has sent in a copy of Home Mission News which was published in Lent 1952. The front cover features a design by "Miss Ruth Parsons who was, until 1950, ACS Secretary at St Elphin's School, Darley Dale."

Ruth has also provided photographs of the 1948 production of HMS Pinafore and the 1951 production of The Gondoliers.


St Elphin's School Regulations from the 1940s
Caroline Wareham's mum, Elizabeth Carson, passed away on 23 June, 2013. Caroline was in Kennedy House from 1971 to 1974 and Elizabeth was in Powys House from 1940 to 1944. Amongst Elizabeth's memorabilia of St Elphin's were the words and music to St Elphin's School Regulations! Please click on the images for larger versions.


Signatures from 1938
Mary Goodman was a pupil from 1934 to 1938 in Kennedy House. She was Head Girl 1937/38 and, upon her leaving, she was presented with a card (25cm wide x 35.5cm) with 139 signatures on from other pupils. Please click on the image to view a larger version.

We are particularly indebted to Mary who has provided so many items for the website and who is a member of The Old Elphinians which was formed in October 2012.

The original is now available to view in the Display Cabinet in Front Hall in St Elphin's House!


Boar's Head Carol
How many of you can remember the Boar's Head being carried into the dining room (Stopford Hall) at the Christmas meal? It was usually carried in by the Head Cook whilst the Head Chorister sang. As far as we can ascertain these were the words (kindly supplied by Laura Bennett):

The boar's head in hand bear I,
Bedeck'd with bays and rosemary.
And I pray you, my masters, be merry
Quot estis in convivio

Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino

The boar's head, as I understand,
Is the rarest dish in all this land,
Which thus bedeck'd with a gay garland
Let us servire cantico.

Our steward hath provided this
In honour of the King of Bliss;
Which, on this day to be served is
In Reginensi atrio.


Headmistress's Prize certificateCertificates and Examination Papers
We now have a good selection of certificates and examination papers which have been sent in to be scanned for the website – the oldest from 1922 and the most recent in 1976. If anyone else has any certificates please send them to Liz Donlan.

Click here to see the full collection.


Keats book coverMathematics Book Prize 1923
On 8th November, 2019 I received an email from Kerry Mogg to say that she was clearing out her grandparents house and had come across a book (Keats's Poetical Works) that she thought once belonged to our school. Kerry came across this website and, as a result, contacted me together with some photos of the book which belonged to Evelyn Moss in 1923 when Miss Flood was Head Mistress! Kerry doesn't think her grandparents went to St Elphin's so she is unsure how they came to have the book.

Needless to say, it is a fantastic find and I am so pleased that Kerry contacted me. The book was duly sent to me and TOE reimbursed her the postage. Considering it's age - 96 years old - it is in excellent condition. The book itself was published in 1921.

I am not sure what the two labels on the right hand page were for so if anyone has any ideas please contact me (Liz Donlan).

1923 Certificate

John Keats book


1920s badgeBadge from 1920s
Many thanks to Cam Field who, in September 2016, found a photo of this badge amongst her grandmother's belongings. Her grandmother, Kay Venables, went to St Elphin's in the 1920s.

We are not sure of the exact dates that Kay went to St Elphin's but she had a school photo from November 1920 which can be seen on the School Photos page.

Please click on the photo (right) to view a larger version.






1915 Hockey Photo
Peter Armstrong MBE, a former postman for St Elphin's School, attended the Archive Weekend at St Elphin's Park in October 2019, organised by Lizzy Dickie. He gave Lizzy a photocopy of a 1915 postcard of the hockey team of St Elphin’s School with the names of the girls on the reverse: Windly, Douglas, Harland, Tomisp, Bennett, Ashton, Armstrong, Gilbeam, Wichem, Champion & Tomlinson. Unfortunately, we don’t know the order in which they are named.

1915 St Elphin's School hockey team


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