Caroline Thomas, author
How I collected information for the book
Miss Elizabeth Warren, having persuaded me to write the book, helped enormously by meeting me at the Heritage Room, Folkestone Library, and working steadily through their collection of photographs, mazazines, albums and letters donated by the de la Mares, Miss Moya Kennedy and others. The difficulty was deciding what to include and what to leave out. I also wrote to everyone in our database for reminiscences. Most responses were from the older people educated by the de la Mares, which was wonderful because that was the era that most of us know less about. My mother, though no longer alive at the time, had already written some memoirs of her days at St Mags, and I included some of these.
The Heritage Room collection included some splendid old photographs, and I was allowed to walk across the road with them to a photocopying shop to make laser copies, with the library staff watching me from their window. I had the feeling they would have called the police if I had escaped with them! Quite right, too: they are so precious.
Producing the text
I produced the text on my dear old Amstrad pcw using LocoScript wordprocessing program. Chappell Gardner of Windsor, the printers, converted my floppy disk to their system and printed off the proofs for Miss Warren and me to check. The big advantage offered by these printers was that I could reprint in small quantities as everything was stored electronically, except for the covers, of which I therefore had extra copies printed. But when the time came to reprint I learned that they had assumed I did not want them and destroyed them. Reprinting now would have been too costly. At that moment I decided to make this website, and put the book onto it. Problem solved! I do hope that the bookless Old Girls without Internet can find a grandchild or other bright kid to work it for them. Everyone is welcome to print the book out for bed-time reading. I don't want copyright!
When I opened the first box of memorabilia, the first item lying on top was a certificate of a French examination for Amber Thomas, my sister who attended the School in the thirties. I regarded this as a good omen for my project!
The School Magazines
In the 1964 issue the Editor writes of the speed in which the events of the school year become little but memories.
"These memories fade and soon become blurred. What was the name of that girl? Who scored the winning goal in that match? When did so-and-so leave? What University did she attend? When did Miss Whatsisname retire? If we have retained our old issues of the Magazine, which will be seventy-five years old next summer, we can find the answers to most of these questions. This is one of the Magazine's principal functions and all connected with the School owe a debt of gratitude to those who devote time and effort to writing for each successive issue."
The Webmistress echoes those thanks, for a huge proportion of this website is drawn from the School Magazines, and yet has only touched the tip of the iceberg of information within them.