Yesterday, the Year Nine Museum Project group were privileged to be able to welcome back Lynn Ferris to the school for the first time since the 1960s. Lynn Ferris attended the Cheney Girls Grammar School in the 60s when it had recently moved to the site. It occupied the area of the school we now call C-block (named after Louisa Chadwick, a much-loved headmistress of the Oxford Central Girls School, which became 'Cheney Girls Grammar School' when it moved to the Headington Hill site in 1959).
Lynn had brought a range of old uniform items, including a navy blazer, with the motto "vitam impendere vero", which means "to pay one's life for the truth", and is a quote from the Roman satirist Juvenal. She had brought a summer dress, as girls wore different uniforms in summer and winter, and a pair of sport shorts, which were navy and made of very rough wool. She bought a panama hat and belt with a pouch where "dinner tickets" would be stored, and which all girls wore. She also brought her school scarf.
Lynn showed the group photographs of herself at the school, both in groups, and with friends. In one, she and a friend were standing outside of a caravan, which was actually the Sixth Form area! She explained how the school was much less diverse at the time, and how you would have to leave at the end of a year if you didn't pass the exams. Speaking to students from Cheney Technical School (which resided in W block) was not allowed, and the teachers were almost all female. Women were expected to be unmarried in those days to be teachers.
She explained how the careers options for girls were very limited in the 1960s compared to today, and how difficult it was to find a job after leaving. Things like detentions sounded very similar!
After showing her items, and answering questions from the group, she was given a tour of the school, both the bits she recognised, and new buildings.
Lynn has very kindly donated all her items to the Rumble Museum and we will be putting these on display in the canteen very soon. We are very grateful to her for all her time, and hope she enjoyed her first visit back to Cheney after such a long time! Thank you to our Year Nines who were wonderful hosts to our guest and her friend.