Well, Lucy Adlington (who IS the History Wardrobe) does. And so do I. On Sunday afternoon I was at The Red House in Gomersal with friend Clare to be entertained again by Lucy and Meridith in the latest History Wardrobe World Premiere presentation Jolly Hockeysticks!
“Jolly Hockeysticks is a simply smashing show about school days and school stories, whether you’re a fan of Malory Towers or Angela Brazil. Our blue-stocking Headmistress celebrates the often-untold tales of pioneers in education for girls, while the irrepressible school pupil models school uniform and gym kit galore!”
Miss Bullocks addresses the class
Enter Miss Bullocks headmistress, complete with cane, in gown and mortar board, sensible shoes and starchy blouse and the show (and the fun) began. With examples of girls school uniforms since the 19th century and throwing in other school memories which most of us could relate to, unlike school lessons, 90 minutes passed in an instant.
Meridith Towne alias Bunty Applebottom
Some of us actually liked our gym slips!
Our famous navy gym knickers – complete with hanky-pocket
Lost in St Trinians
In first year needlework we all made a pinny or apron for second year cookery
School sportswear – much the same as mine
First Day at Grammar School, 1963
The Blue Stocking!
The afternoon was not entirely devoted to school girls but Lucy also presented us with brief resumé of women’s education from the 18th century Circle of Bluestockings
“The Bluestocking Circle may have started out as a coherent London-based group, but in the 1770s and 1780s the bluestockings developed into a broader social and literary network in which friendship, charity and female education were celebrated as the foundation of modern civilised society, both in London and the regions.” [source]
to women at university and facts like this:
“Studying at a women’s college at Cambridge or Oxford, and passing the examinations, did not mean that women received degrees. To use Girton as an example, the college was not linked to the University but maintained an unofficial relationship with it until well into the twentieth century. Women were not awarded degrees on an equal basis to men at Cambridge until 1948, partly because if women had degrees they would also have the privileges that came them, i.e. equal status, voting rights and a share in the governance of the institution.” [source]
Women at University in the early 20th century
The session was rounded off with a run down of women (many of whom most of us have never heard) who have played a prominent role in our education through the years. And Lucy ended with a quote from Malala Yousafzai (and I think it was this one):
“I speak not for myself but for those without voice… those who have fought for their rights… their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated.” [source]
Where are they now?
I’m in Norfolk now and I’ll be meeting up with third from the left on the front row on Monday.