Update From The Archives - Lent 2021
It’s been another busy term here in the archives and I am pleased to have been able to continue the work whilst working from home during the current lockdown. In exciting news, it shouldn’t be too long until the Peeper’s Pie magazines we have for St Joseph’s School are digitised. I plan to put them on the ‘Digital Material’ section of the archive catalogue for you to be able to browse and I’ll be able to share more extracts through the archive Twitter account!
The fascinating range of enquiries I have received over the past term has really enabled me to continue learning more about the Princethorpe College site and the people for whom the Princethorpe Foundation Schools have played such an important part in their lives. I hope that you enjoyed this month’s #ThrowBackThursday post on Princethorpe Connect reading all about the early days of Crescent School. While the Grounds Team have been hard at work restoring the Nut Walk, I have also taken the opportunity to research the names that the St Mary’s Priory grounds were known by – I soon discovered that whilst there was a wide range of flora and fauna within the grounds, the Sisters weren’t necessarily quite so imaginative in their naming. According to the Peeps magazine, alongside the more familiar Lime Walk and Nut Walk, there was also an Acacia Walk, Ilex Walk, Holly Walk and Laurel Walk for the girls to explore - all within the enclosure of course. Here’s a challenge for you - can you remember where any of these places were? Did you have your own names for the grounds after it became Princethorpe College? Let me know at @PFdn_Archives on Twitter.
I mentioned in my last update that each of the Year 7 classes get an introduction to the history of Princethorpe and the Benedictine nuns that founded St Mary’s Priory as part of their Religious Studies classes. One of the key messages that I try to convey in the session (and in any of the events I’m involved in) is that the records and objects in an archive help to tell a story. Based on the items I had carefully selected, the pupils drew lots of good conclusions about life at the Priory. All of the pupils really embraced the lessons and asked excellent questions, but I was so impressed with the follow up work that Mr McCullough’s class produced. His pupils went away and created their own ‘archive in a box’ and then discussed what they knew about the person from the items they had selected. Well done to all of Year 7, especially 7XM! Thanks also to Kieran McCullough for sharing these photographs.
Following on from the successful Virtual St. Mary’s Priory Reunion, I was delighted to be able to meet some Old Princethorpians that are now living in Hong Kong and the Far East in November online. I used the archive slot to share images from the archives relating to the campus and extracts from the Princethorpe magazines to bring back many happy memories and lots of stories. I wanted to give a special thanks to Nelson Tam who kindly completed the Boarders’ Questionnaire and shared some photographs of the college from his time here. If you would be interested in sharing your memories of boarding at any of the Foundation schools, the short questionnaire is still available here: Boarding Questionnaire.
I hope that you all stay safe and I am very much looking forward to meeting those of you who have crossed (or travelled back across) the Atlantic and now live in the USA at the end of February at their Virtual Reunion!