the Hall was a private Girls (Finishing) School
accommodating about 30 pupils
It was not until 2015, it was
drawn to my attention that Smallbridge was the home of a school
during the period 1950 - 1970
Because of its remoteness from the village, I have gleaned very
little from the parishioners apart from " yes, there was
a school down there"
So I had to search for information elsewhere, and Google was my
Unfortunately, the only evidence of
the existence of the School appears to be on Friends Re-United (FR) and
I have currenty sent out emails to all those ladies on FR who have registered
as being at the school
If you can supply any information on
this subject, then do let me know via the Contact
dated 1876 indicates a Boat House on the river
I was informed that this was still in existance in the 1950 and 60`s
and regularly used by the school
Taken from the School
DESCRIPTION OF SMALLBRIDGE
The house has been completely modernised
and is centrally heated throughout. It is furnished as a home where
girls between the ages of 15-19 years can reside and take courses
of study which are intended to bridge the gap between leaving school
and taking up their training or making homes of their own.
A special Course is arranged for
girls from abroad who wish to study English.
About thirty students can be accommodated,
consequently the classes are small and individual attention and
interest is given.
There are three terms in the year
beginning in September, January and April.
Principal :-Mrs. P. M. NEWTON, Ministry
of Education Teacher's Certificate
English and Current Affairs: Mrs. O. G. PRIEST,B.A. Hons. (Cantab.)
Sir BASILBARTLETT, Baronet, M.A. (Can tab.)
French and German: Mrs. P. P. HIGHAM,B.A.
Hons. (Oxon.), F.l.L.
Spanish, Italian and German: Miss P. EATON,M.I.L.
Biology: Mrs. J. E. AMBLERB, .Sc. (Nottingham).
History: G. K. BETHAME, sq., B.A. (Cantab.)
Geography and Mathematics: R. C. HINE,Esq.,
Min. of Ed. Teacher's Cert., Academic Dip. Geography.
Religious Education: Rev. IAN Dunlop, M.A.
Commercial Subjects: Mrs. M. THOMPSON(Pitman's
Art and the History of Art :Miss G. MAGUIRE(Dip.
Speech Training: Mrs. J. HARMAN, L.R.A.M.
Music: Mrs. C. BOWEN-GRE'EWOOD,L.R.A.M.
Dancing and Deportment: Miss J. V. TITLOW,F.D.T.A.,
Needlework and Bridge: Mrs. J. IVANYI
Cooking and Liberal Studies: Mrs. P. M.
NEWTON,Ministry of Education Teacher's Cert.
Lnder the personal guidance and supervision
of Mrs. Newton, who is herself a qualified teacher recognised by the Ministry
of Education, and a fully qualified graduate staff, girls can pursue the
1. For the General Certificate of Education, Ordinary Level, in
(a) English Language (c) Biology (e) History
(b) English Literature (d) French
For the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level in
(a) English (b) French (c) History
Tuition in other subjects, at both levels, can be arranged at an extra
2 For the Lower Cambridge Certificate
of Proficiency in English for students from abroad. The progress of
our students and the achievement of good results in whatever subjects
or examination they take is of the utmost importance.
To balance the purely academic work, the aim of the training in Smallbridge
is to give the girls poise and self-confidence. In acquiring ease and
grace of manner we hope to promote a happy and well-balanced personality
which together with academic distinction will equip them thoroughly for
their business and social life.
Courtesy. Deportment and Social Etiquette, including Conversational Fluency,
are an integral part of everyday life in the school, but to help achieve
this balance our students can also combine their Academic work with:
1. Elementary Cookery, Flower arrangement,
and all the duties pertaining to the hostess.
2. Needlework and Dressmaking to help a girl improve her appearance and
cultivate her dress sense.
3. A Shorthand-Typing Course.
All students attend Lectures in History
of Art, Current Affairs and Liberal Studies. Incidental lectures in other
subjects are arranged throughout the year.
Art Appreciation, Musical Evenings, with visits to Concerts, Theatres
and Art Galleries in London and Cambridge, are arranged to supplement
the cultural background. The approximate cost of the Excursions involved
in these activities is £25 per term.
Golf, Riding and Swimming facilities are within easy distance of the house.
There is a hard Tennis court in the grounds.
Bures and Wormingford Church of England services can be attended, or the
Church in Bures, as well as the Roman Catholic Church in Nayland.
This is in the hands of a competent local Doctor who can accept private
or National Health patients.
No uniform is required, pupils should be provided with the practical kind
of wardrobe they require at home.
can be provided at a small extra charge or students can bring their own.
are £225 per term, inclusive of tuition, residence and all facilities
at the Hall, and are payable in
advance. Bursaries up to £25 per term are awarded at the Principal's
Laundry is 6 guineas per term.
Use of piano, 1 guinea per term.
Use of sewing machine, 1 guinea per term.
Use of typewriter, 3 guineas per term.
A term's notice in writing is required
before the removal of a student. This notice must be received within the
first fortnight of the term. Failing this a full term's fees for the following
term must be paid.
TO REACH SMALLBRIDGE HALL
From Liverpool Street Station trains leave frequently for Colchester,
Marks Tey, or Bures, and cars can meet trains at any of these stations.
Visitors from London should proceed on the A.12 to Colchester then on
the A.133 for seven miles. at Wormingford turn sharp right at the turning
signposted to Wormingford Church and follow the lane through for I mile,
when Small bridge Hall can be seen on the left.
The port of Harwich is 20 miles away. Cars and escorts can meet students
there if it is desired, or at London Airport or the Air TerminaL
Interviews by appointment only.
This text has been obtained using OCR software on the prospectus,
apologies if I have missed the odd spelling error
School Cleaner/Housekeeper lived
the the property on the right as you enter Smallbridge Drive
This may well have been the De-Laine family. Iris De-laine, being the
They had previously run the Village Dairy
and One Bell Public House before
moving to Smallbridge
One of Smallbridge Cottages was owned by
Mrs Newton the Principal, which was allocated to the School Cook
STUDENT OR STAFF MEMORIES
These memories were very kindly donated
by an ex pupil at Smallbridge:-
It was a private school. It was what
was described in those days as a finishing school/school or young ladies!
It was also like a crammer and girls could take O Levels and A Levels.
We also had lessons for cookery, flower arranging, sewing, typing and
learning to become the perfect hostess!!
We had weekly outings to Colchester
where we would shop and then meet up at Thoroughgoods (?) a restaurant
in Colchester. We sometimes went for Sunday tea to a local tea place.
We were allowed to cycle around Bures and girls would have riding, golf,
tennis lessons or just use the schools boat on the moat. Socials
were held with the local boys school (I think it was called Copford Boys).
This boys school was an establishment very like ours.
We cooked for and hosted quite a few
functions (curry lunches etc) for charities and many locals and friends
of Mrs Newton attended. I remember a formal social ball/party where the
girls were able to invite boys to attend.
Soon after I left I heard that the school
had closed. I kept in touch with Mrs Newton for a bit and a few of us
arranged a reunion but then a years later I heard she had died.
Very happy memories.
=============================================================================================== This note donated by a resident
at Mount Bures
John used to work at the Church`s seed depot at Arger Fen which is on
the same road out of Bures as the School.
John can recall often seeing students walking back from the village.
It was not unusual to see a young lady with a heavy suitcase who had arrived
by train, walking along the Nayland Road
A lift in his grain lorry was often met with enthusiasm to shorten the
A year at Smallbridge School
Lavinia Samuel from Monaco very kindly
submitted this information
I was at Smallbridge Hall School in 1967 as a finishing school student,
cramming to take 7 "O"levels and 3"A"levels in a year,
having been in French school from 10 till 15 years old. I passed all my
exams with flying colours aged 16. The Headmistress, I think called Mrs.
Newton, was very disappointed that I didn't go to Oxford as they wanted
me. Girls I remember : Sally Carmichael (daughter of actor) Jenny Marshall..
It would appear that the school had a working
relationship with the Copford Glebe School
Copford Glebe School opened in 1958, which developed into a school with
53 pupils from 15 different countries over the next 14 years.
Robert William Gaspard (1905 - 1997), Founder and Headmaster of Copford
Glebe School, 195869, Principal, until its closure in 1972
Possibly located at the vacated Copford Vicarage in Rectory Rd.
One notable student was Salem Mohammed
Bin Laden, the half-brother of Osama Bin Laden
Newspapers record him starting as a student circa 1960.