1927-1939

1927-1939

Stained glass window that was given by past and present pupils (1906 - 1927) to mark the move to the Eltham Hill site. The window was designed and executed by a former pupil of the school.
Stained glass window that was given by past and present pupils (1906 – 1927) to mark the move to the Eltham Hill site. The window was designed and executed by a former pupil of the school.

The work and tradition of the old school continued unchanged on the new site. In the summer of 1929, the move was celebrated by the ambitious production of an open-air pageant in the school grounds, depicting the History of Eltham. 1930 brought the first major change in teaching staff with the retirement of Miss Bramwell. She had guided the school since its first day and, with her clear ideals about the importance of education of women, had created a school noted not only for academic achievement but for service to others and the development of artistic, musical and sporting talents.

As Miss Bramwell’s successor the Governors appointed Miss Iris Ozanne. She had been the Senior English Mistress at Putney Secondary School and was formerly a lecturer at the Sorbonne. She was embarking on the difficult task of following a well-loved and highly successful first headmistress. She was to remain at Eltham for 22 years and guide it through its most testing times. She took over a school grown from 40 pupils to 470, including a Sixth Form of 32 girls taking advanced courses.

"Hoop Dance" display - 1933
“Hoop Dance” display – 1933

The 1930’s brought the retirements of several more well-loved and respected members of staff who had been with the school since its beginning; Miss O’Toole in 1932, Miss Smith in 1936 and Miss Campbell and Miss Canter in 1938. They had all joined the school in 1906 or 1907 and had devoted their lives to laying its foundations and building up its traditions. This retirement of the original founder members of staff must have felt like a break with the past but Eltham Hill was joined in the twenties and early thirties by a number of teachers who were to stay for the remainder of their teaching careers. There were several who had themselves been early pupils including Miss Lake, Miss Bayley and Miss Kelsey, thus maintaining the link with the foundation of the school.

Life continued in a tranquil way during the thirties though there was great sadness in 1936 when Miss Bramwell died after several years of ill health following her retirement. The years were punctuated by examination successes, sports activities, music and drama, and visits abroad. More girls were going to university though some were still excluded by financial difficulties. In 1937 the school gained the first of many L.C.C. Travel Scholarships. In 1935 pupils had joined other London children in The Mall to see the Jubilee Procession of King George V and two years later had watched the Coronation Procession of King George VI. By 1938 the international situation was becoming serious and after the Munich crisis of September 1938, the shadow of war hung over the school.

View of the Field from the West Front - 1935
View of the Field from the West Front – 1935
Chemistry Laboratory - 1935
Chemistry Laboratory – 1935