Norwood, Class of 1959

Vivien Heffernan (Lack)

Vivien shares photographs of a cycling trip to France, art lessons and an end of year school dance:


“This is during the filming of The Admirable Crichton at Claremont in 1956 or 1957.  The film was released in 1957.  It starred Diane Cilento and Kenneth Moore.  As far as I remember Claremont was only used for the exterior shots. The filming caused great excitement and as a treat we were allowed to crowd round the stars and they chatted to us girls.  I remember that they were very gracious and looked stunning!

Figures I recognise are – far left Sandra B, third from left with dark hair and only her head visible is Philippa G, next to her with leg pushed forward is Diana S, and next to her, Betty C.  On the right side of the photo, the only person I recognise is Diana E- she’s the only girl in a dark blazer. Fun times!”

“Taken in the Art room in the Summer of 1959, I am on the left watching Elizabeth W drawing.  Elizabeth ended up as a successful professional artist.  I was clearly aware of her exceptional talent and loved to watch her.”

“The Upper V preparing the floor for the end of year dance!  This hall was the dining room as well as the gym – as can be seen by the wall bars.

Second from left is Sally Ann W.  Fifth from left is Sandra B. I think the girl in the middle just before the gap and looking directly at the camera is Valerie B. I am third in from the right also looking directly at the camera. Second in from the right is I think, Rowena G.  The girl on the far right I think is Sheena, but I can’t recall the surname – it could have been a Scottish name.

The dance itself was a strange affair as most of us were very unworldly and without boyfriends.  So most of the boys were brothers and some may have been imported from Fan Court!”

“Taken just outside the art room during the Summer of 1959, Elizabeth W is sculpting the clay head on the right. I am centre, watching her. I think the girl on the left might be Diana B-H – or DBH as we called her.  Not sure why she’s not wearing uniform.  

It was probably outside school hours – I used to stay at school long after lessons finished, often staying for tea as well as prep time and supper. The art teacher at this time,  and for the whole of my time at Claremont (1954-59), was Mrs Sexton.  She was much liked and the atmosphere in the art room was always very relaxed and happy which was perfect for the subject of course.”

“This was taken during a cycling weekend organised by the school in the summer of 1957. It was as a trial run for the longer holiday, possibly about 10 days, organised by the school to Switzerland. We went by train to Basel (I think) then cycled round Switzerland and staying at youth hostels and returning from Basel. We carried everything in paniers on our bikes. We must have been fit – and so must the teachers! The weekend was just overnight if I recall correctly. 

Pictured are – left to right – Sally Ann W, Philippa G, myself at the front, Joanna (can’t remember surname) and Elizabeth M. I think we were all in the same class except Joanna. We left Claremont in 1959, so would have been about 14 in the photo.”