Talbot Heath travelled back in time to the 1930s last week for a fascinating talk on architecture and design featuring Talbot Heath School. The main hall was transformed into a 1930s tea room to listen to Margaret Richardson, OBE from the Lutyens Trust. Music by Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and George Gershwin greeted Old Girls, staff, parents and pupils who had gathered to learn about the architect who designed the school, Sir John Hubert Worthington (1886-1963) and pupil of Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens (1869-1944).
Ms Richardson spoke of how Bournemouth High School for Girls moved to a new site in 1935 and changed its name to Talbot Heath, and how the Headmistress at the time, Cicely Frideswide Stocks, chose an architect that embodied the most exciting and stylish design elements of the age. In fact the school’s Boarding Houses, two of which are now the Pre-Prep and Junior department, were designed to resemble a butterfly from the air, as the age of flight was just taking off. Girls from the Lower School at that time even became actively involved in the bricklaying!
The current Head, Mrs Holloway, said how thought-provoking the talk was, and it gave the school community, ‘a deeper appreciation of the quality of the building.’ She added, ‘We are very proud to have such a beautiful learning environment.' In a newspaper report of the time the school was considered, ‘the envy of the kingdom.’ Indeed Talbot Heath is a 1930s gem to be treasured.