Chosen by Margaret Clark, volunteer
Milton Mount College, a girls’ boarding school, was founded in 1871 in Gravesend for the daughters of Congregational ministers. Later it was opened to all girls aged 8-18. In 1920 the school moved to Worth Park, a large Victorian mansion on the outskirts of Crawley, previously owned by the Montefiore family.
The school excelled at music and drama. An example of the latter was the plays performed by the VIth form after their A level exams. We were able to use the Dutch Garden, normally out of bounds.
In 1955 Miss Lunt, the English Mistress, produced Christopher Fry’s ‘The Boy with a Cart.’ It tells the story of Cuthman who walked from Cornwall to Steyning taking his mother in a cart. He then built the church at Steyning.
I had a very small part in this production; all the rehearsals took place out of doors in the Dutch Garden and the whole scenario was magical, especially as our exams were over!
The Record Office has a comprehensive catalogue of the school archives which I have collected since 1984. Items span the years from 1871 to date. Among the early items are the first school magazine, published in 1874, and a photograph album containing portraits of trustees, staff, and pupils. There are exercise books, art work, a large number of photos including girls’ photograph albums, school reports, end of term letters to parents from the headmistress, clothes lists dating back to the 1920s, letters home, newspaper cuttings, and items about the College’s evacuation to the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester (First World War) and to Lynton (Second World War).
The Miltonian Guild (Old Girls Society) was founded in 1888. Despite the closure of the school in 1960, the Guild is still flourishing with over 150 members worldwide. http://miltonmount.org/ The Guild magazine was first produced in 1888, and is still being published annually. A complete set is held in the Record Office, along with many other items including reunion photos and obituaries.The mansion was demolished and replaced with flats, but the grounds survived. The recently renovated Worth Park Gardens, including the Dutch garden, are open to all, free of charge. http://worthparkfriends.org/