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Latest News

As members know, we had to cancel the 2020 Reunion and were unable to arrange one in 2021.

If it is possible to plan a Reunion Lunch in 2022 we will update members after the Team Meeting in March 2022

From time to time members ask us for assistance in finding friends with whom they have lost touch. These requests are on our “Find a friend” page and we would ask all members to check them out in case they can assist.

Amendments and additions are made to almost every page of the website regularly during the year to reflect the activities of the Association and of its Management Team. Please do check out all pages to benefit from these updates.

Newsletters are no longer circulated. Instead, members are briefed regularly on changes and updates to this website.

Members Database

The Members' Database will be updated regularly, and if in doubt, the 'How to Use the Database' guide is immediately below the link to the most recent database.

SMH ‘new’ Hall had a hopefully short-term incarnation as a Covid 19 vaccination hub in Autumn 2021.

The team running it apparently knew immediately that it had been a school hall because it ‘was so cold’! But then there weren’t 400 of them crammed in for assembly.

Those of us who were at school from 1970 on will remember the hall/chapel in happier days.

A superb multi-functional unit, planned under the leadership of Miss Davies (Noddy) it served as a Chapel in mornings and evenings, then one faced the other way for drama/musical events.

And the rest of the time it was a gym, indoor sports hall. The music ‘cells’ opened off it.

Vaccination Centre

September 2021. The future of our Association:

The four members of the present Management Team have indicated they do not intend to remain in post after March 2023.

The mandatory roles are Team Manager, GDPR Officer, Finance Officer, and Website Administrator (plus ‘other team members’ to support these roles). We have a full suite of documents setting out how these roles are currently carried out including guides to operating every aspect of our work which can be found at https://www.smhassociation.org/administrative-team.

Thanks to all the work of the current incumbents no role is onerous (in time or effort) but each one is essential.

We are seeking no fewer than four members of the Association who are willing to offer to join the present Management Team, shadowing the existing Team Members, with a view to forming a new Team by March 2023.

Please email smhaenquiries@gmail.com for any further information, or to volunteer, by 30th November 2021.

If we receive four (or more) confirmed offers to join the Team we will share the good news in December 2021.

If no volunteers come forward we will email members in December 2021 to share the outline of the agenda for our Team Meeting in March 2022 which will, in that event, take the form of a meeting to discuss the structured closure of the Association by March 2023.

We will share the update on this page at the beginning of December.

The remainder of the News for this quarter has been emailed to all members.

Updates to our Galleries and In Memoriam Pages have also been made.

June 2021. The death of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in April prompted a flood of reminiscences in the Virtual Common Room from those who had participated in the DoE Award Scheme. A £25 donation to the scheme, in the name of the Association was made on 14th April 2021. We also signed the online book of condolence 'in the Association's name'. A very sad loss in the same month – for all of us who remember her from school or from her service on many committees – was Kim Cook (Celia Kimmins 1956-60. Her obituary, including friends’ memories and some wonderful items written by her, has been placed on our website “In Memoriam” page. Updates to the site continue, including some new photos, (external views among them). The external views are open for all to view. Go to https://www.smhassociation.org/opengalleries to enjoy them. Other images are available for our members only – you will be asked for your password to view these.

Old Girl Judith Patten (1950-60) set us a wonderful example in May 2021 by walking

331,806 steps (her target was 310,000) to raise funds for “Anthony Nolan”. Every day,

Anthony Nolan saves the lives of people with a blood cancer or blood disorder. They do this by matching incredible individuals willing to donate their stem cells to people who desperately need a lifesaving transplant. They also carry out cutting edge scientific research, fund specialist post-transplant nurses and support patients and their families through the transplant process and beyond. If you have a few pennies to spare I am sure Judith – but more to the point those needing this charity’s support – would appreciate your donation. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/judith-gunton

March 2021 - We were pleased to add a lovely programme for a 1955 production of “The Boy with a Cart” which

Heather Johnson (Heald 1948-57) kindly loaned to us to scan.

The production also featured Penelope Wilton’s sister Rosemary, as Cuthman’s mother (acting definitely ran in that family!).  Jane Gillmore (Bayly, 1952-58), Ruth Wiffen (Bradbrooke, 1953-57) Judy Page (Coate, 1952-59), Dorothy Cook (Stranack, 1949-56) and Mary Phillpott (Howell-Davies, 1950-58) are some of the other OGs still with us who also took part. 

Heather also loaned us a prospectus of the school which was new to us. This type of document is always of interest so if you have any bits and pieces tucked away and can either scan them yourself or send them to us for scanning it would be much appreciated.  This prospectus was unusual not only in its format but because the name of the Head as printed had been crossed out and Miss H Robinson’s name written in. Frugality was always the watchword, it seems!

 

We are delighted that we continue to attract new members, including Marion Paton (Fardell, 1952-58) Another new member joined us because she was looking for information on her ‘examination boards’. Within ½ hour of joining the Virtual Common Room Kate Light (Holt, 1994-96) had the answers she needed. By one of life’s strange coincidences, within a week of this Amanda Hunter (Worgan) who left in the same year, contacted us with the same query. So we were able to add her to the members’ list and point her straight to the answer! What a great network we provide – because of YOU.

 

It took more than a bit of lockdown to

prevent fifteen of the Girls of 1950-60

from getting together! Judith Patten

kindly sent us this great Reunion photo,

taken by Nicky Bruton.

Top row: Judith Patten, Nicky Bruton

(Bennetts), Anne Bethell (Valentine),

Louise 'Chubby' Crawford (Nixon)

Next row down:

Patricia Doswell (de Juanes), Lamorna

'Morny' Pike (Pritchett), Sue 'Foxy'

Reynolds (Redwood), Rosemary 'Tubby'

Tyron (Buck)

Going down:

Jill Steiner (Soundy), Mary Cunliffe

(Cole), Jan Strachan (Dunnett), Amanda

Hobson (Hobson Jones)

Bottom row: Mariota 'Oats' Fardell (Gresty), Elizabeth Colin Jones (Williams), Suzy Duncan

Sadly Ann 'Milly' Martin (Slaughter) and Carole Williams (Bartlett) were unable to join on this occasion.

If others of you have managed to meet up virtually, please do tell us.

 

Thank you so much, all of you who have bought ‘lines’ in this year’s 100 Club!

Congratulations to the first three months’ winners.

2021’s first prize is £17.70/month and second prize is £11.80/month. So even a second prize comes close to recouping the cost of one line!

Prize winners are notified individually and results are published in the Common Room.

100 Club rules are available here.

If you would like to join for 2022 then please email Lis Eastham:  smha100club@gmail.com and she will put you on the list for next year.

 

The full notes from our annual Team Meeting (held virtually, on 6th March 2021) and our suite of administrative documents, can be found on our Administration Page. They include the SMHA accounts for 2020. We encourage all members to review the accounts. As always, you have until September to query anything, following which they will be formally approved. We’re most grateful to Sian Spencer who was able to liaise with the Independent Examiner electronically to get these signed off; also to Melanie Heidler for her input.

 

Our Virtual Common Room on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/SMHAclosed/) is as busy as ever and we welcome new additions.

To join in simply click the link above and, when prompted, enter your email address as the answer to the question.

Facebook is only one aspect of our networking. Please be assured that this website and your quarterly e-mail news updates are just two other ways those members unable/unwilling to use FB are able to enjoy. We remain committed to communicating with each of our 1000+ members and this includes telephone calls and letters to those with no internet access if they have requested it.

 

Some local members have been asking us what the scaffolding around the main school building over the winter of 2020/21 was for. Thanks to Sue Carnochan we can report it was ‘just’ for painting.  Sue also confirmed that the tiles from the floor of Charlotte Elliott’s Arbour are still in situ and are being well conserved.

January 2021 - Various amendments to the website continue, including the addition of further photos and documents unearthed from members’ lofts, basements, garages and trunks and we very much appreciate these, which add to our on-line archive and to the pleasure of members looking at these pages. If you find anything we might like, please contact us! We have the facilities to scan items, if you wish, and can return hard copies / reimburse postage.

2021 brought with it a reduction in our Team membership. “Now we are four”. We would love to hear from more recent leavers who may wish to be involved even on the fringes of our work. While we’re all very happy to undertake the duties running the Association involve, we are not immortal…Please contact us to find out more.​

We still have ten or so members with no access to the internet. Through the good offices of our members most of these now have ‘twins’ who contact them from time to time to keep them abreast of the news. Sadly, at the turn of the year, this included passing on the news of the loss of an Old Girl, Marigold (June) Mack, whose obituary has been added to our In Memoriam page. Memories of June came back to us from two or three members to whom we emailed the news and two of them offered to telephone/write to contemporaries who are not online. The Team regards it as crucial to ensure that members are not disadvantaged too much by not having access to our website (etc.). If anyone in any of the following areas would like to be a ‘twin’ please contact us.

Haywards Heath; Ipswich; Colchester; Shoreham-by-Sea; Lymington; Southampton; Peacehaven; Woburn Sands

We write, each year, to those who do not have SMH ‘twins’. The news is compiled by a member, topped by a brief note from our Team Manager, tailed with a summary of the accounts and printed and posted through the kindness of other members. A real team effort. Thank you all – you know who you are!

 

In 2020 we welcomed our first Old Boy – Simon Standage – in June. He is a “notable former student” who began his career as a violinist of great distinction with lessons at SMH in 1947/8. Simon was one of several who found us through the new website; another being the son/brother of Joan Nolda (Drury, 1927-35) who was a ‘Nellie Jones’ scholar  / Rosemary Matthews (Nolda, 1953-60). Rosemary “Nol” died in 2010 but her memory lives on in the minds and hearts of her contemporaries. He was fulsome in his praise for our camaraderie and efficiency.

Earlier items originally featured in Latest News can be found in our History and Items of Interest as well as in Galleries. Please do progress from this page to look round the whole site to maximise your enjoyment.