While the Continental girls were travelling to England Dollie Edwards the new Head at Carnbach was hard at work when the Senior Mistress Ivy Norman arrived.
“Ivy said Dollie throwing down her pen. “It’s lovely to see you. When did you get back?”
“Not that long ago but I thought I would unpack and get settled before seeing you, replied Ivy with a smile. “I knew once I did I wouldn’t have much of chance to get back to it.”
Dollie smiled, “Coffee or tea,” she offered.
“I would love coffee,” Ivy answered.
Dollie rang a bell and when Megan arrived asked for some Coffee to be sent to them. Megan bobbed a curtsey. “Yes ma’am,” she said.
“And some buns too, thanks Megan,” added Ivy. “I’m famished.”
Megan nodded and left and soon returned with the coffee and welsh cakes.
“This is gorgeous,” sighed Ivy biting into her cake.
You should feel privileged. Cook doesn’t often make these. Did you have good holidays?” Asked Dollie.
Ivy heaved a deep sigh, “yes I did,” she admitted, “after organising and getting things set up here it was a relief to have the last two weeks off.”
Ivy Norman stayed on at the school at the end of the previous term to get the school organised for the new term at Carnbach while Dollie had the first two weeks off before returning back. The two women worked together for another three weeks before Ivy left for her own holidays.
“Did you get all the new mistresses sorted?” Ivy asked.
Dollie smiled, eyes twinkling. “Yes,” she said, “and I finally found an Art Mistress two days ago. I must admit I was beginning to think we wouldn’t find anyone to replace Herr Laubach.”
“Who did you get?” asked Ivy with interest.
“A very old friend,” laughed Dollie, “a Mrs Anne Martin.”
Ivy’s eyebrows shot up. “Anne Martin,” she said perplexed, “but I don’t know anyone of that name.”
“She was Anne Seymour,” said Dollie, “surely you remember her.”
“Oh yes I do,” said Ivy emphatically, “she was Games Prefect after Joey and co left school, very good at Art if I recall. Whatever happened to her?”
“She went to Art school after she left and married a painter, Rob Martin,” said Dollie. They had two little girls, who are nine and eight, Laura and Sophie. Rob was killed during the War and poor Anne has been trying to cope on her own. Her parents and parent-in-law have helped out enormously but she wants to work now both girls are at school. Laura and Sophie will come here as pupils and Anne will teach the Senior and Middles Art while Olivia Davidson will continue teaching the Juniors Art and English. She’s thrilled to be back here.”
“Oh she’s definitely a find and I’m glad she’s returning,” agreed Ivy, “I always did like Anne Seymour. Where is she going to live, at school?”
Dollie shook her head, “no she has a cottage not far from here so she and the girls will walk to school each day.”
“I’m glad we’ve got at least one old girl,” mused Ivy. “I must say this term is going to be difficult. Most of our senior girls are all the old Tanswick ones, or empty headed ones like Jennifer Penrose and her gang.”
“I know,” nodded Dollie. “Hilda and I discussed that before she left, but there’s not much we can do. We can’t stop girls from going to Switzerland just because it means there are no leaders here. I must admit I’m more thankful than I can say that at least VIa has some leaders in that form and VIb isn’t to bad either; its mainly the fifths who will be the problems.”
“Well, hopefully some of them will grow up a bit and take on more responsibility,” said Ivy devoutly.
“We can hope,” agreed Dollie, “which is partly why I’m so glad we managed to find so many old girls to fill in all the positions left opened by staff going to Switzerland.”
“Who else did you find?” then inquired Ivy.
“Monica Marilliar will be our new Games Mistress, Joanna Linders is the new Singing Mistress and she’ll teach some piano as well.”
“Well, both Joanna and Monica were very capable prefects when they were here, but I thought you employed a very nice girl-Dorothy Watson wasn’t it for Piano?” asked Ivy perplexed.
“Dorothy Watson was going to start, but she broke her wrist and ankle with a bicycle accident and won’t be able to start until January at the earliest,” said Dollie slowly.
“Oh no,” said Ivy with a cry, “so what will do? The parents won’t like the girls not being able to continue with their music lessons.”
Dollie’s eyes twinkled. “We do have a find,” she said demurely. “I can’t see any parent complaining about the mistress we do have filling in Dorothy’s place this term.”
“Who?” asked Ivy agog with curiosity.
“Margia Stevens,” said Dollie waiting for Ivy’s reaction
“Margia Stevens!” exclaimed Ivy Norman in surprise. “But, isn’t she a concert pianist?”
“She is, but Margia isn’t touring at the moment and when she heard we needed someone for a term or two she offered her services. She said she could do with a break from it all and Margia was a very capable prefect in her day, so Madame agreed on the spot,” explained Dollie.
“Well I’m more thankful than I can say to have enough old girls returning like this,” said Ivy decidedly. “Who’s taking over Mademoiselle de Lachenais job?”
“A Lorna Carey,” answered Dollie. “Margery Alton recommended her; they went to school together and Lorna has been teaching at her old school while their language mistress was away ill or something of the sort but she’s returning so Lorna was looking for a new job. Miss Grace, the Headmistress there, was sorry to lose Lorna and couldn’t recommend her highly enough.”
“Well that’s a relief,” said Ivy sitting back in her chair. “When are they all arriving?”
“The staff meeting is tomorrow and most are arriving this evening. Margery is collecting Lorna Carey, Joanna Linders, Monica Marilliar and Alison Goodley,” explained Dollie.
Ivy nodded, “It’ll be nice to have the new secretary start.”
“I know,” agreed Dollie with heartfelt tones, “and Margia is staying with Anne Martin at the moment. She’s agreed to live in rather than travel each day, but as she said she hasn’t seen Anne in years.”
“Well I better be off,” said Ivy standing up. “It’ll be lovely to catch up with everyone when they arrive.”
“It will be,” answered Dollie. “I’ll see you later at Abendessen.”