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Speech Days

An Annual Speech Day was held at the end of June/early July each year. This was the day when parents were proud (or not!) of their daughter(s) achievements, whereas the pupils were excited at the summer holidays which were imminent! Speech Days were also preceeded by a Commemoration Service in Bakewell Parish Church.

1923 Mathematics Book Prize
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).

1935 circa – Orations
The image to the left is a list of those delivering speeches at Prizegiving in the Whitworth Institute (supplied by Stella Allen and Mary Goodman). Stella thinks this was in 1935. As can be seen Stella herself did the French one and says that Mary should have done it but she refused, and so, Stella was chosen as second best!

It is also interesting to note that Penelope Fletcher did the English oration. Penelope married and became Penelope Mortimer, an author. Her book, About Time 1818 – 1939, includes a chapter on her time at St Elphin's which did not look favourably upon the school or the staff! However, we hope to include the chapter on the website in due course.

Please click on the left image to see a larger version.

1953-1959 Speech Day
Right: The Duchess of Devonshire presenting a cup to Sallie Hitchen-Gedye who was at St Elphin's from 1947 to 1954 in Powys House. Photo: H. Gill – supplied by Judy Hick-Thompson. Please click on photo for larger version.





1960-1964 Speech Day
The photo (above left), supplied by Christine Tew, was taken sometime between 1960 and 1964 on Speech Day where a marquee was erected at the end of the athletics pitch. Please click on image for larger version.
St Elphin's School speech day circa 1959

1961-1959 Speech Day
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 was this photo of Speech Day from circa 1959.

Please click on image to view larger version.

1967 & 1976 Prizegiving
Some of the prize-winners were also presented with a book of their choice. The following books were presented to Gillian Prescott-Haywood and Jo Salsbury-Halliday in their respective years at St Elphin's. The book shown to the right of each certificate was the one chosen by the recipient.

Speech Day Report 19791978 Speech Day Report by Miss (Isobel) Stevenson, Acting Headmistress
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.

Right is Miss Stevenson's Speech Day Report from October 1978 - something which I don't think I've ever seen before from any of our Headmistresses/master! It certainly makes for interesting reading and if any of you are mentioned in it please do not hesitate to get in touch.

1985 Speech Day
In addition to the 1985 Annual Speech Day programme there was also a list of the girls from Upper VI 1984-1985 who went on to University or to other courses and professional training.

Thanks to Imogen Turner-Hairsine, 1983-1988, for sending in this list for scanning. Please click on the image for a larger version.

1988 Prizegiving
Imogen Hairsine (neé Turner) was tidying up (2021) and came across two books which she thinks were presented in her final year at St Elphin's School in 1988.

The certificate, sadly, wasn't filled in on one of Imogen's books. However, I looked at the 1988 school magazine and found that Imogen had won the Latin prize as well as the English one.

English prize speech day  English prize book cover

Latin prize speech day Latin prize book cover

Speech Day Programmes:

To date, I have managed to track down the following Speech Day and Commemoration Service programmes and am sure you will enjoy perusing through them to see if your name is mentioned anywhere, as well as jogging your memory on long-lost friends. If you have a St Elphin’s Speech Day Programme which is not listed below and would be willing for me to scan it in for this website, please do not hesitate to contact Liz Donlan.

Please click on the images below to view the whole programme.

1924 1945 1949 1952 1954 1955
1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961
St Elphin's School 1968 Speech Day St Elphin's School 1969 Speech Day St Elphin's School Speech Day 1971 St Elphin's School 1972 Speech Day St Elphin's School 1974 Speech Day St Elphin's School 1975 Speech Day


1969 1971 1972 1974 1975
link to 1976 speech day programme Speech Day 1979 cover St Elphin's School 1985 Speech Day
1976 1979 1985 1992 1995 1996

Thanks go to the following for providing Speech Day Programmes for scanning purposes:
Audley Retirement Village – 1985
Bevis, Karen (neé Ashurst) – 1979
Larkins, Elisabeth (neé Ward) – 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961
Lewis, Catherine (neé Sutton) – 1968, 1969, 1972, 1974, 1975
Miller, Helen (neé Simpson) – 1976
Tew, Christine – 1952, 1992, 1995, 1996
Wallhead, Ruth (neé Parsons) – 1949
Wareham, Caroline – 1945
Winkless, Jennifer (neé Gray) – 1971

Please click on photo below to view larger version.

Commemoration Service Programmes:

St Elphin's School 1968 Commemoration Service link to Commemoration Service programme 1969 St Elphin's School 1974 Commemoration Service
1968 1969 1974 1977 1995

Thanks go to the following for providing Commemoration Service Programmes for scanning purposes:
Grierson, Beverley – 1969
Lewis, Catherine (neé Sutton) – 1968, 1974
Miller, Helen (neé Simpson) – 1977
Tew, Christine – 1995, 1996

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