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The Queen Mary’s Association

Spring 2016 Volume 1, Issue 1

Mary’s Mail The newsletter of the Queen Mary’s Association


Editors Letter Happy 90th Anniversary “The new Woodard preparatory school at Duncombe Park opened on May 5th 1925…. Of the 23 girls present 12 came to us from Queen Ethelburga’s school” So started the very first edition of the Queen Mary’s Magazine. Fast forward to 2015 and the school has moved to its current home at Baldersby Park and there is nearly 270 girls on roll ranging from 2-16 years of age. I am very proud to of been asked to take over running the Queen Mary’s Association I hope you will enjoy this magazine and if you were able to join us for any of the events in the last couple of months you loved seeing your old friends and reliving your Queen Mary’s school days. I would love to hear any feedback you have about the magazine and events as this is your association. I would like to add here an important note, and that is this association is for everyone connected with the school wherever they attended the school at. Events at Duncombe are open to girls from Baldersby and vice versa. I also hope you will understand that we no longer have the access we once had to Duncombe Park and whilst we would love to have events there regularly it is now run on commercial grounds and at the moment we don’t have a large financial reserve to make this feasible. We hope in the meantime you will support the other events we hold as these will hopefully make events at Duncombe possible. My contact details can be found on the back page of the newsletter and I would love to hear from you! Yours Cathy Baker (2004)

QMA Online

How the school became known as Queen Mary’s

We are now online! Our Facebook There are numerous groups on Facebook. They are both closed groups so you will need to ask to become a member search for them as follows General Alumni:- Queen Mary’s School Alumni and Friends Duncombe Alumni:- Duncombe Park Girls (and boys) Email

Queen Mary’s is not actually 90 this year but it is actually only 85. It is actually the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the school formerly known as the Woodard School at Duncombe. The school did not get its current name until July 1930 when the following announcement appeared in the Times newspaper “The Dean of Westminister (Provost of the Woodard Corporation, Northern Division) has received an intimation that the King has been pleased to command that the school at Duncombe Park shall in future be known as Queen Mary’s School”. In the hall at Baldersby Park there are two portraits one either side of the main staircase one is of Queen Mary of Teck and the other is King George V. These full length portraits are on loan to the school from the Royal Collection. In 1944 Queen Mary’s son George VI , his wife Queen Elizabeth and their daughter the then Princess Elizabeth (now the Queen) visited the school and the soldiers camped in the grounds. Queen Mary was born in 1867 and died in March 1953 at the age of 85 just ten weeks before her granddaughter Elizabeth’s Coronation.


School Report 2014-2015 Mel Chapman 2004, Head of Admissions & Marketing

2015 has been another fantastic year at Queen Mary’s, not only because we celebrated the school’s 90th Anniversary, or because we got a marvelous new Head, but also because of the wonderful array of successes throughout the school. Within the classroom, the GCSE results were once again outstanding, with an 84% A*-C pass rate which is 20% higher than the national average. As a result of this, over 25% of the S3’s were offered awards at their next schools. Mrs Cameron has introduced a Brain Busters Club (although some of the girls prefer Geek Club) as an enrichment activity for those brighter girls which has included a visit from Cokie Van Der Velde, the Barclays Woman of the Year. Many of the well-known faces are still spreading their magic including Mr Carter, Miss Pearson and Mrs Hannam. Outside of the classroom, things are more exciting than ever! We had 36 Area representatives last year across 5 different disciplines, of which 2 girls made it into the regional teams. For such a small school, that is an unbelievable achievement. The Queen Mary’s girls remain as dedicated and determined as ever. With Outdoor Education now firmly in the curriculum, the girls are being exposed to more team-building and leadership activities than ever before. This has had an immeasurable effect of their confidence. The newly instated Zip Wire saw every child travel down it during the Summer Term, including Mr MJ himself with the Head Girl on Speech Day – ever the joker! Music continues to be a resounding success, with the Year 5 and 6 choir being crowned the winners of the Wharfedale Music Festival, and the Chapel Choir featuring on Radio 4. The usual array of beautiful concerts throughout the year have kept us all going, and the 100% pass rate in the ABRSM Music exams for the past 5 years must be some kind of record! Riding is an ever-growing strength at Queen Mary’s. With over 100 girls riding every week. Two of our girls rode at Bramham Horse trials this year, and Lillia Schaible won the Novice Show Jumping in the National Schools Equestrian Championships – pretty good going for our small but mighty school! Fundraising is at the forefront of Mrs Cameron’s mind, and we have already raised over £1,400 since September for Candlelighters, the School’s charity for the year. The girls have been busy baking, and wear wigs in order to generate money for this fantastic cause. It is so lovely to see more familiar faces back at Queen Mary’s, both amongst the parents and the staff. We now have 4 old girls beavering away behind the scenes here and countless parents who can talk for hours about their memories of either being at Duncombe Park or Baldersby Park. These generations of QM girls are lovely to witness. The school still welcomes around 30 Skellfield girls back to the school every June for a reunion. Their oldest member is 100 now, lets hope the QM association can rival that in years to come!


Duncombe Revisited 25.04.2015 Our first event of the 90th Anniversary Celebration was Duncombe Revisited on the 25th April 2015. The day started with an open afternoon at Duncombe Park for alumni. The girls, and a host of old teachers (Including three sets of heads!) were given free reign of the public side of the house and the terraces. It was really lovely to hear how the school had changed in the intervening thirty

years since the school left in 1985. 80 people attended the afternoon with many staying for a chapel choir concert in the evening. We were able to have this event at Duncombe Park due to the generosity of the current Head Chorister Beth Smarts family and their friends who paid the fee for us to have the building for the afternoon and evening. Many friendships were renewed and the whole house reverberated to “Can you remember when….” as ever the Mahogany Stairs were out of bounds. Many old girls (and chapel choir!) were excited to hear about Duncombe Park being the setting for Parades End starring Benedict Cumberbatch and how it made it to the final two for Downton Abbey. The Concert consisted of a range of choral pieces everything from “Wild Mountain Thyme” to “Under the Sea” from the little Mermaid. The audience heard two pieces commissioned especially for the chapel choir “The Three Kings” by Chilcott and “Laus Trinati” by Potts. As well as the choral pieces there were also instrumental pieces from the music awards holders including some solo pieces and some ensemble pieces.

Introducing Mrs. Carole Cameron Summer 2015 saw Mr & Mrs Mckenzie-Johnston retire for the second time. Whether Queen Mary’s heads actually retire is a discussion in itself, the number of former heads who have been approached to contribute to this magazine is testament to that. Mrs Carole Cameron comes to Queen Mary’s, from Queen Margaret’s at Escrick where she was acting head. Before that she was deputy head (Pastoral) at Queen Margaret’s. Prior to that she was head of Highfield, the prep school for Harrogate Ladies College, educating children 4-11. With a degree in geography, an MA in Education (Management) and the National Professional Qualification for Headship, Mrs Cameron worked in schools in Nottinghamshire, London and Leeds before spending ten exciting years in International Schools in the Caribbean while her family lived in Grenada and the Cayman Islands. Mrs Cameron is keen to welcome old girls back into the school and is already planning with the QMA to organise more events in 2016. She has already had several meetings with the QMA and is really interested in hearing about the history of the school and stories from the alumni


The Downton Connection? For those not in the know Downton Abbey tells the story of the Crawley Family and their servants at the fictional Downton Abbey in North Yorkshire. The series has over the previous five years become one of Britain's biggest television exports . Julian Fellowes creator and writer of Downton Abbey has never confirmed which house he had in mind when he wrote the series, but many clues in the story line would suggest it is in between Ripon and Thirsk. Lord Fellowes is no stranger to this area as he attended school at Ampleforth in his youth. A road sign in an episode of series four further narrowed the location of Downton Abbey to somewhere around Topcliffe. Now there is only one house in that area which could be the basis for Downton Abbey– our very own Baldersby Park.

The sixth series of Downton Abbey will be the last one and according to the Topcliffe Millennium Book, Baldersby Park ceased being a family home in 1927. This series of Downton Abbey will be set in the late twenties . In 1927 Baldersby Park was sold to Skellfield Girls school. If Baldersby Park is actually Downton Abbey it makes it all the more amusing that Queen Mary’s first home Duncombe Park got down to the final two to be used as the filming location. Eventually losing out to Highclere Castle . In December 2015 Cathy got the chance to visit Highclere and got chatting to Lord and Lady Carnarvon and they discussed with her about the real location of Downton Abbey. When she mentioned she was from near Thirsk they asked if she knew Topcliffe….. Julian Fellowes perhaps revealed the truth to them

When Churchill Came to Tea November 6th 1941 was a very special day in the life of Queen Mary’s School when it was paid a visit by Winston Churchill. He was there ostensibly to visit the troops stationed in the grounds of Duncombe Park. But Churchill was warmly received by Queen Mary’s School who he made a special effort to wave to . Here is how the visit was covered in that years school Magazine written by Joanna Roche who was then age nine– some details are blackened out due to wartime restrictions! “On Thursday morning after break, Miss Bowen told us she wanted to cheer the girls of IV.B1 for keeping a good secret and she said that Mr Winston Churchill was coming that very afternoon to ………………. And we could go and see him at about 4.15 in the afternoon. The best place to see him was along on the wall by the Open Temple. After we had seen all, we could go back to School, and look out of our dormitory window s to see him …………… In the afternoon Mrs Reid said we must wear outddor shoes or galoshes and cloaks, caps and sweaters. At last the time came and we had tea and after tea we got ready and got into a long line in two’s in the stone passage. When we got to the Open Temple we could not see because of a twee which was in the way, so Mrs Reid went down the wall to ask if we could come down. We could, so we all went down, some of us by the steps, and some jumped fown, and we all stood along the top of the bank by the drive I think we must have waited quite 15 minutes before he came. There were two motor bicycles in front and a car, and then he came his transport was a brent gun carrier with a flag flying on it and two soldiers by the side of him in red hats. Then came a lot of cars behind him.


After he had gone we turned and went up by the school gates. He went right up the plain…………. Then he came back again. By this time it had started to rain so the hood of his car was put t up and we could not see very well, but we were all thrilled by his visit”


Your News This is the part of the Newsletter where you cans share your news. If you would like to appear in this section next year please send it to the address or email address on the back of this newsletter.

1925-1950 Judy Snowdon Left 1942 Is living in Wiltshire where she volunteers at Sailsbury Cathedral on Fridays as a tour guide. She is currently heavily involved in the events celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. Sailsbury Cathedral is home to one of the four remaining original copies of the Magna Carta. She remembers Churchill visiting the school in 1941 Barbara Penheath (Nee Howard-Vyse) 1943-1947 Has fond memories of her time at Duncombe Park. She is unable to attend the reunion but sends her best wishes to all. Ann Clarke (Nee Dalton) 1946-1949 Is currently living close to Ripon. She has very happy memories of the school and remembers playing along the terraces. She is looking forward to attending the reunion and June is interested to hear news of Susan Thompson from near Peebles who was a very dear friend of hers at school. 1950-1965 Miranda Armitage OBE (Nee Knox) 19501953 After Queen Mary’s Miranda went onto Benenden. After Beneden she trained as a secretary which enabled her to work her way round the world for three years– in places a diverse Canada, New Guinea, Australia and India– where she travelled home from on a bus over the Khyber Bus. She then spent the next five years working for the British Red Cross in London eventually becoming Deputy Director of the Junior Red Cross in which capacity she led two delegations behind the iron curtain. In 1969 she married Geoffrey and returned to live in Yorkshire. She went onto have three daughters Rosalind, Katherine and Olivia within 3 years and 3 days of each other. She continued her work with the red cross and in 1997 was awarded an OBE and her

fifty year service badge in 2014.

Sally Mirrington ( Nee Taylor) Left 1964

Alexandra Holford DL (Nee Bell) 1956-61

Celebrated her 40th Wedding anniversary last year and has 2 children Emma and James. She also has two grandchildren

Is married with two children and two grandchildren. She was high sheriff of North Yorkshire between 2011 and 2012. She is currently involved with the charity “Live Music Now” and other local commitments Elizabeth Coomer 1958-1962 Is living outside Bolton in Lancashire. She is still in touch with Angela Taylor (Nee Henderson) but both Angela and herself would love to get back in contact with Jenny Sutcliffe (1958-1961) who went onto Wycombe Abbey. Moira Beveridge (Nee Adamson) Left 1962 Writes to share the sad news that her twin sister Pauline (Poi) Nicholson (1962) passed away in February 2013 of Dementia related illnesses Susan Hosegood (Nee Gale) Left 1962 Sue has now retired and is busier than ever. She has taken up beekeeping and describes it as a whole new world. She has four grandchildren, two living in Shropshire and two currently in Warminister but moving to Northern Ireland soon. Her husband is still working but gradually reducing her hours so she is still doing her secretarial work. Sue has recently returned from driving Route 66 with her cousin and their mutual flatmate– it was a fascinating trip with plenty of giggles and from all accounts they got “their kicks down route 66”

1965-1979 Jane Wyrill (Nee Chapman) Left 1966 Is married to Stephen a dairy farmer. She looks after all the young calves as well as working for Age UK in Northallerton. She has 4 Grandchildren Zara (4), Thomas (2), Isaac (2 1/2) and Poppy (1)

1980-1989 Rosalind Kirkland (Nee Armitage) Left 1983 Rosalind married William Kirkland in 2012. They have a son and live in Oxford. Rosalind attended Newcastle University and gained a degree in Geography. She worked for the British Red Cross for some seventeen years and was dispatched on various assignments in North Kore, China, Mongolia and latterly in many African countries. Currently she is a trustee of the Women’s Sport Trust which is a charity dedicated to attracting sponsorship and promoting the future success of women engaged in all aspects of sport. She continues to undertake research projects for the Red Cross.

Jayne Purser (Nee Hustler) Left 1984

Gail Turner Mooney Left 1963 Gail has recently received a letter from HM The King of Spain awarding her the Encomienda of Isabel La Catolica for her work over the year promoting Spanish art and culture through lecture and study tours. This is the Spanish equivalent to the CBE. She will receive the award in October from the Ambassador. She works as an independent art historian and lecturer and was inspired in this career by Miss Vanes. She is married and due to her husband working for Reuters lived abroad for many years until 1990. Jayne has been living in Hong Kong since 1996 with no plans to return to the UK.


She met her husband Rupert in Hong Kong and they were married at home in Scotland in 2001 where Mrs Belward read a lesson. Jayne is now the proud mummy of Emily (9) and Edward (7). With their cat and dog they live in a remote part of Hong Kong’s New Territories which is only accessible by boat. After spending twelve years in banking in Tokyo, London and Hong Kong, Jayne spent seven years working for law firms doing business, practice and corporate development. She now spends her days running a membership association from home managing the Schools programme for the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation and ferrying the children around. In her spare time she is a leader with the local Brownie Pack and also helps with the local Beaver Colony. Katherine McCarthy (Nee Armitage) Left 1984 Katherine married Cian McCarthy in 2006 and they live in Kinsale in County Cork, on a small holding. They have five children born within 3 years and 3 weeks of each other– a son and a daughter followed by triplet sons! Prior to her marriage, Katherine worked as an occupational therapist having graduated from the University of Northumbria. In 2000 she took part in the BT Global challenge Round the World Yacht Race with the yachts rounding both Capes and visiting Boston, Buenos Aires, Wellington, Sydney, Cape Town and La Rochelle before returning to Southampton in 2001. In 2003 she completed the 6 day Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert.

Juliet James (Nee Gurney) Left 1985

cator/ guide for deaf blind people and guide for the visually impaired. She also does some cleaning and ironing. She is a huge fan of racing and is a member at Hexham but the highlight of her year is going to Ascot. She is the proud aunt of three wonderful nieces. Sasha York (Nee Straker) Left 1988 Married Christy York and lives in Long Marston. She is mother to three boys, Woody (13), Charlie (10) and Arthur (5). She worked in the city of London as a bond trader from 1991 to 2001. She retired to become a full time mother before moving to Yorkshire in 2007. She is currently managing Hutton Wandesley Estate alongside her husband. Her three great loves are her husband, her children and gardening and she would love to become a garden designer.

Victoria Potter Nee Chapman Left 2002 After Queen Mary’s, Tory attended St. Aidan’s in Harrogate. Although her time at the school was a little turbulent due to a serious car accident, she obtained good A levels and after a gap year working in banking, Tory attended Leeds Met University to study PR. On graduating, she tried her hand at a number of roles, before realizing that teaching was really her call in life. She returned to Queen Mary’s as a PE teacher in 2008. She married a local farmer James Potter in July 2010 and has two beautiful

Sarah Taylor (Nee Masterman) Left 1989

After leaving QMs she did her A Levels at St Peters in York and then studied Sociology at Reading University. She is currently living in Northumberland with her husband Sean and her two boys Isaac (11) and Oscar (9). She works for Sage (UK) where she looks after the Customer Relations team. Sarah is running (or maybe walking) the Great North Run at the end of the year.

Is living in Northamptonshire with her husband Matthew. She has two children Hector age 9 and Olivia age 6. She runs her own interior design com- 1990-1999 pany Juliet James Interiors specializing in very Alice Foster (Nee Gillespie) Left 1992 bespoke residential commissions Is now married to William Foster and has three children Johnny born in 2009, Rollo born in 2011 Olivia married Andrew (Sid) Inglis in 1999 and they and Alfred born in 2014. have a daughter and two sons. Her husband was Joint Headmaster of Ludgrove Prep School in Wo- Isabel Dawes (Nee Bourne-Arton) Left 1995 kingham for 7 years but in 2013 was appointed After leaving QM’s Isabel went onto Downe House headmaster of Elstree Prep School in Berkshire. and then onto the University of Edinburgh. She is Olivia is employed full time in her supporting role married to Harry and has a 1 year old daughter having worked in public relations before her marIndia riage. Olivia spent her GAP year in Ecuador before graduating with a degree in Modern Languages Catherine Shuttleworth (Nee Armour) Left 1996 from Durham having spent her year abroad in Catherine married Ben on the 4th June 2011 and Santiago Chilie. now has two children. William was born on the Venetia Charlton Left 1985 14th May 2013 and Chloe was born this year on the 16th April. Is living back in Hexham and enjoying reconnecting with old friends. She is a self employed communiOlivia Inglis (Nee Armitage) Left 1985


daughters Sienna and Emilia who are following in their mothers footsteps as Queen Mary’s girls. Cathy Baker Left 2004 After Queen Mary’s Cathy went on to Queen Elizabeth's in Darlington. After that she went to the University of St Andrews where she had a whale of a time and graduated with a MA (Hons) in International Relations. Cathy is currently working for Asda as the Community Champion for the North of North Yorkshire as well as managing various businesses social media accounts. Prior to that she indulged her love of Politics by working for Richmond Conservative Association where she got to work alongside the Rt Hon William Hague whilst he was Foreign Secretary. In 2012 she represented the UK in Mexico with Girlguiding UK. 2016 is a year of change and in September 2016 she will be starting her initial teacher training at a primary school in Guisborough

Melanie Chapman Left 2004 After leaving Queen Mary’s , Mel went on to St Aidans in Harrogate before attending the University of Manchester where she studied International Business. As part of her course she spent a year in industry with “Toys R Us” where she impressed so


Your News much they hired her as a graduate manager when she graduated. After Toys R Us she worked in Harrogate for a small toy manufacturer before returning to Queen Mary;s 3 years ago as Head of Marketing and admissions. She is engaged to be married to Captain Ken Davey formally of the Royal Engineers and the wedding will take place in April 2016.

Emma Clarke Left 2004

Metropolitan University and completed her London and begun her formal training at the PGCE at Northumbria. She now works for the prestigious Leiths School of Food and Wine. Royal Grammar School in Newcastle teaching everything from gymnastics to hockey, Staff Jessica Morgan Left 2008 Canon McFadden Jess graduated in 2014 from Leeds University with a degree in History of Art and is living and working in London in advertising (after a successful internship at AMV BBDO). She also worked for 6 months as a paid intern with the UN in Rome working on the UN Climate Conference in Lima (COP), before coming back to London

Enjoyed returning to the school for the dedication of the school chapel to St Cecilia. He is very sorry to be unable to attend the reunion.

Emi Collin Left 2011

Alyson Baker 1999-2000

Margaret Jandrell English Teacher 2001-2006 Left Queen Mary’s in July 2006 and had her son the following November. She says life is treating her well.

Is still teaching Maths at a Catholic School on Emi is now studying Comparative American Teesside. Her husband Bob was Chairman of Studies at the University of East Anglia in NorHambleton Council in 2013 and Alyson was wich. She is now the captain of University proud to act as consort to a wide range events Lacrosse Team. everything from a garden party at Buckingham Palace to opening the annual May Fair in Elizabeth Morgan Left 2011 Northallerton. She is proud that daughter Cathy is going into the family business! Elizabeth is in her first year at Uni studying History of Art. She took a year out teaching In Memoriam English in Thailand with a York charity, Karen We have heard of the passing of the following Hilltribes Trust. She continues her love for Queen Mary’s Girls. Our sympathies are with Music returning for second year in 2015 to their families. Where possible we have got an teach Double Bass at Uppingham Summer obituary from either their Friends or family School, and also playing anf singing at Warwick in the Orchestra and Chamber Choir. Shelia Cardwell (Nee Todd) Left in 1934

After Queen Mary’s Emma went on to Yarm School. She worked as an actor for 3 years after graduating with a BA(Hons) Performance. She is now retraining to be a paediatric nurse and still sings in the 1940s singing duo, The Blitz Sisters, with which she performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and on BBC Radio 2. The Blitz Sisters released their first CD in December 2016 and has had amazing reviews. You can purchase it on their website Sarah Turner 2011

Olivia Chapman Left 2009 Olivia moved onto Ashville college after completing her GCSE’s a Queen Mary’s. Here she continued with her passion for Netball and grew to realise that her life’s passion was teaching sport. She went onto study Sport at Leeds

Shelia died last year and her daughter Ann writes to tell us of her passing. She says her Since leaving Queen Mary’s Sarah has studied mother had fond memories of her time at for her A levels at Ripon Grammar. After that Duncombe and will be attending the events in she went on to work a ski season as a chalet spirt . host in Val d’Isere which was a great learning experience both on the piste and off it. On her Susan Burn died in 2011 return Sarah got a job as a catering assistant at Janet Needham 2011 Bettys gaining further experience in her chosen career path of a chef. She has moved to


New Members We would like to welcome our newest members of the Association their names and destination schools can be found below. The girls gained some fantastic GCSE results, with 84% of pupils achieving 5 or more A*-C grades, this was nearly 20% higher than the national average. The association hopes that they are settling into their new schools. And we look forward to meeting them at future events. Emily Airey Stokesley School

Georgia Fitzgerald Sedbergh

Anna Petit Askham Bryan

Megan Anderson Milton Abbey

Amelia France York College

Jasmine Roe Queen Elizabeth’s Darlington

Eleanor Bardsley British School in Brussels

Jessica Frankland Barnard Castle

Beth Smart Ripon Grammar

Polly Barker Millfield

Phoebe Greensit Ripon Grammar

Ellie Straughan Gloucester College

Georgia Brown Pocklington

Georgina Hammond Teesside High School

Olivia Surtees St Peter’s, York

Abigail Cady-Ross Milton Abbey

Isobel Higginbotham Ampleforth

Elana Ward Uppingham

Gabriella Carberry Sedbergh

Georgiana Kessell Ripon Grammar

Jessica Ward Uppingham

Bethan Davies York College

Emma King Ashville

Emily Weston Sedbergh

Harriet Duxbury Sedbergh

Hannah Lightfoot Giggleswick

April Wimmer York College

Annabel Eaborn Queen Elizabeth’s, Darlington

Charlotte Martin Ripon Grammar

Lois Wright Fettes

The following girls gained scholarships to their respective VIth form schools. Jessica Ward Sports Scholarship Gabriella Carberry Academic and Sport Scholarships Harriet Duxbury Heads Scholarship Georgia Fitzgerald Heads Scholarship Emily Watson Heads Scholarship Emma King Music Georgia Brown Heads Scholarship Hannah Lightfoot Academic Scholarship

Alicia Fitch-Peyton Sedbergh

99 S3 Receiving their GCSE Results August 2015


Queen Mary’s School 90th Anniversary Reunion Baldersby Park 21st June 2015 The 21st June surpassed the wildest expectations of anyone who was involved in the planning. We had over 100 old girls from all generations of the school from the girls who left in 1942 right up to girls who left in 2013. There were also a good spattering of heads and former heads as well as some current and former staff. It was an incredibly enjoyable day and one of the things people appreciated the most was the display of all the school photos down the kitchen corridor as well as a display of all the school magazines from 1925-2014 Joanna Grant an old girl wrote a poem that summed up the day, which she has generously agreed to allow us to reproduce it here.


A day of great blessing By Joanna Grant Sunday was a special day for walking through my past, I found that precious memories are really made to last, I stepped back to my childhood and found an open door Where many old girls had returned to see their school once more Queen Mary’s School was once my home for so much of each year Although I struggled much with life my heart was happy here A quarter of a century has passed since our year leaving. Back then I found it hard to leave and went through so much grieving To walk back into yesteryear and see old friends once more Has been a joy beyond all words and caused my heart to soar I walked back round the dorms and room that housed me as a teen, My friends and I remembering how our young lives has been This school will always hold a place that’s special in my heart, For every girl was valued here and each could play her part Queen Mary’s tried to help each girl to flourish in her way It helped to mould me in the strengths I still maintain today We slept and ate and worked and played and lived within these grounds, Though many girls were disciplined for going out of bounds The Belwards were amazing Heads who cared for every Child, They loved me when my inner life was clearly running wild. I’ll always have deep gratitude for teachers who stood strong To help me navigate my pain when much was going wrong My school years were not easy times, but many helped me fight, And seeing them again today has filled me with delight I think the year group of my youth were way beyond the Best! A few of us returned today and really missed the rest For those who could not make this meet, its really been a while, And so I hope these pictures here will truly make you smile It’s 90 years since it began, but some things stay the same Queen Mary’s still remains a place that many love to name Reunions can bring much pain, but this one brought much pleasure It left me with new memories that I will always treasure


Mouse Hunt As you may be aware at one time there was a tradition for girls to donate furniture made by the world renowned furniture maker Robert "Mousey" Thompson when they left the school. Unfortunately the list of donors has been lost due to the passage of time. Working with the archivist at Robert Thompson, Cathy Baker, and the staff at the school have managed to create a list of 80% of the donors. Our thanks must go to the people at Robert Thompson and Nigel at the school for their invaluable support Below is the list of the furniture we cant currently match to its donor as well as a photo of the furniture in a hope to jog your memory. If you can help us match the donor to the piece of furniture either email us at or contact the school on 01845 575000 The list of furniture in full is on the Association Website. We will update it as names come in Small Chairs Refectory Chairs Dates on Chair

Initials on Chair

Dates on Chair

Initials on Chair










































Over the schools existence the alumni has given over 96 items of Mouseman furniture ranging from the aforementioned chairs to bookcases and a carved school crest. Many of this furniture is still used on a day to day basis by the school community, whether it is in the hall for daily assembly or in the chapel during Eucharist. The school is quite rightly proud of its collection of Mouseman furniture. The last piece donated to the collection was in 2012 and was a small octagonal table. It is hoped that the collection will be added to over the years. 12 Y

The school is home to one unique piece of Mouseman furniture that for years has provoked debate and thought about its design. That of the “Heads Chair” it was donated by MEH & PMH who we believe came from Aberdeen. The chair is based on the Monks Chair which according to the Mouseman website “ was originally designed and made for the Ampleforth College Library in the 1920s. Early examples can be found with a pair of monk's or saint's heads carved on either side of the curved back”. Like the early examples our Chair has two figures carved on it. However the figures on our chair are what makes it unique. On our chair there is a carving of Hitler and Stalin and either side. School legend has it that this chair was part of the war effort with the idea being that whoever sat in it gave Hitler and Stalin a bob on the nose whenever they sat in it. The chair is hopefully going to be appearing in a exhibition at Tennants in Leyburn in the new year of Mouseman Furniture. Like all Mouseman furniture the craftsmanship of the chair is of extremely high quality and it ( and the rest of the schools large collection of furniture) has stood the test of in some cases 70 years of school life.


And the Academy Award goes to...

Sunday 29th February 2016 was the day of the Oscars. For many the focus was on Leonardo Di Caprio’s quest for an Oscar. But more importantly it was the night a QM girl won an Oscar. Serena Armitage, who left in 1993, along with her colleague Benjamin Cleary won the Oscar for Best Short Film (Live Action) for their film The Stutterer. It was Serena’s first Nomination for an Oscar (it could be argued she is more successful than Mr Di Caprio at winning them!). The film is about a lonely typographer, for whom an online relationship has provided a much-needed connection without revealing the speech impediment that has kept him isolated. Now, however, he is faced with the proposition of meeting his online paramour in the flesh, and thereby revealing the truth about himself. Congratulations Serena from all at Queen Mary’s Serena is not the only Queen Mary’s girl to have a career in film. Hebe Beardsell who left in 2009 has already been in some high profile productions both on the small and large screen. In 2011 she played Ariana Dumbledore in the final Harry Potter film and has recently appeared in Happy Valley on BBC1 as Leonie. Hebe is not the only cast member in Happy Valley with a QM link. James Norton’s sister Jessica attended Queen Mary’s. Many Queen Mary’s girls have chosen a career on the stage or screen and we would love to hear about their achievements! As well as those in other fields.

Careers Advice As mentioned above QM’s girls can achieve great things and be the best in their field. One aim of the QMA is to put girls in contact with others in their chosen profession. Whether it is to ask questions about a career or advice we want the QMA to become a valuable resource to both current girls and alumni. If you would like to be a member of our careers network please could you contact Cathy on the email address on the back page with your profession and how you would be willing for people to contact you for advice and questions. Who knows you might help our next Oscar winner!


Reliving the happiest days of your life on the happiest day of your life

The saying goes that your school days are the happiest days of your life. At the time you don’t always believe this but you end up looking back at them with great fondness. It is not surprising therefore that an increasing number of QM girls are choosing for the school to play a role in it. The Chapel choir sings at an average of 2-4 weddings a year. However the number of weddings they can sing at is strictly limited to term time and has to fit in with all the other commitments they have both musical and other school commitment. Nick Carter admits that he and the choir are unable to do all the weddings that they are asked to do but it makes Not many people get the chance to attend a school that has had two such beautiful homes. Whilst anyone is able to get married at Duncombe Park the opportunity to have your wedding at Baldersby is limited to those with a strong link to the school specifically old girls or the children of staff. The house in line with the schools strong Christian roots is available for religious ceremonies and the ceremonies can happen either in the Chapel of St Cecilia or in the Hall. The school offers the most flexibility for weddings during the holidays and receptions have been held both in the building and in marquees in the ground. In August 2014 Kara Sullivan (Now Darbyshire) chose to get married to her fiancée Andrew in the hall with a reception in a marquee in the grounds. Kara said “School was an obvious choice as it was a beautiful location with lovely grounds and was a different location to others I had been to”. It was a very special day with many QM Alumni in the congregation and bridal party. The wedding was extra special to the alumni that attended as it allowed them to show their partners where they spent their misspent youth and to relive their time at Baldersby Park. Kara and Andrew’s wedding was one of two held at the school that summer. If you are interested in holding your wedding at the school please contact Miss Mel Chapman on 01845 575000 to discuss availability.


Queen Mary’s Association About The Queen Mary's Association (formerly known as the Duncombists) is the Alumni Association of Queen Mary's School. Girls who finished the school automatically become members but we also would like to hear from those who may of left before they had to. We also would like to hear from old members of staff both teaching and pastoral. Aims The aim of the association is to foster friendship between alumni of the school and keep the family atmosphere the school is known for beyond the school gates. We invite you to join in this vibrant and growing community and help us make the association a relevant and natural extension of the school.

Queen Mary’s Association

Help wanted and Thank You! At the minute the QMA is run by Mel Chapman and myself (Cathy Baker) . We both love running the association but we would love it if anyone else could help. We would especially love someone who can do a better website than the one I have built and someone based in or around London or the south east willing to run events down there a couple of times a year. We would also like to hear your news and any ideas you have for events. Also please feel free to write articles for next years magazine as this magazine is YOUR magazine and this association is YOUR association. We are currently planning an event in London in the late spring/ early summer for all our southern and London based friends and alumni as well as some events closer to home. So please can you let us have your email address as this is the most cost effective way of us contacting you I would also like to thank the people who have helped us put this newsletter together  The Belwards, The Angus’s and The MJ’s thank you for allowing me to pick your brains and clarify many a half remembered anecdote. As well as Mrs Cameron for coming up with some ideas of how to advance the QMA  All the old girls who came to events, contributed news and got in contact to say thank you for taking on this task.  Nigel Johnson, thank you for helping me find missing bits of Mouseman furniture in the most bizarre places in the school  Emma, Kara and Milly for putting up with Mel and I talking about the QMA whenever we go out for dinner and to Kara (and Andrew) for the wedding photo!  Alison in the school office who constantly has her office invaded by me! I hope to see you all at an event soon Cathy

c/o Miss Cathy Baker High Crosby House Thornton-le-Beans Northallerton North Yorkshire DL6 3SR E-mail:


Queen Mary's Association Newsletter  

The 2016 Newsletter

Queen Mary's Association Newsletter  

The 2016 Newsletter