A happy ending to my Paddock Wood Girls Finishing School project

Earlier this year I recounted the story of an intriguing part of Lightwater’s past, and one that affected me. Lightwater was the home of the highly regarded Paddock Wood Girls Finishing School. It closed in the early 1980’s and houses were built in its grounds [I live in one of those houses, hence the connection].

My interest was aroused because some of the school buildings survive, now converted into up-market apartments, and some of the attractive gardens remain. I dug out the school’s history, published on this blog, and to my surprise received comments from about 30 past students, from around the world, looking to re-establish contact with one another.

Pippa AndersonMy challenge to myself was to facilitate this contact. Rather wonderfully I met a local past student, who’s keen to be the worldwide contact point. She is Pippa Anderson, and can be contacted at pippa.anderson@me.com. The picture shows what Pippa is committing too. Good luck Pippa.

Rather than repeat the story here, you can, through my blog posts, see how the project unfolded:

Pippa has, with terrier like skill and perseverance, collected a good deal more information and photographs, and as she says, there are “whispers of a reunion – what fun”. A happy story, don’t you think, with a happy ending.

8 thoughts on “A happy ending to my Paddock Wood Girls Finishing School project

  1. Brilliant again Tim! Thank you for the ‘happy ending’ though I somehow doubt it is an ending as I’m sure girls from all around the world will still continue to contact you and you put them in touch with me – thank you, thank you once again for all your help without which, 60 students wouldn’t have formed my Former Students of Paddock Wood Association! You’re a star, thank you!


  2. Sophia! I read your comment. I hold the database of everyone who attended PW.

    Also, we have a lovely big Reunion taking place on 26th September 2015, next year and we’d love to have you with us!

    If you’d care to email me: pippa.anderson@me.com I’ll see if I have anyone else from 1956/7 that I can put you in touch with.


  3. Hi Charis,

    Pippa Anderson, who has done a great job over the last few years in reuniting some of the Paddock Wood girls told me you had been in touch. Pippa was at PW in the 70s and unfortunately not many of our year have got together. She organised a reunion last summer and one about 3 or 4 years ago. I went to each of them along with Patsy Huxtable. I don’t know if you remember Patsy because she was there from Jan to Dec 1969 but I’m sure she mentioned you and Penny when we reminisced.

    I’ve been in touch with Lu Manfield thanks to Pippa but she couldn’t make the reunion last year. I would love to find Chris Cowen and Sallie Berriff. So what about you and Penny and your brother Steve? Where are you all nowadays? I’m back in Skegness in Lincolnshire but travel a lot through work and pleasure when I’ve time. Do contact me and it would be great if we could meet sometime. I’m meeting Patsy down south or in London in May.

    Hope to hear from you
    Rosie xx


  4. I had to add a comment……my late grandfather was the landscape gardener responsible for the layout of the school gardens. Obviously he is no longer with us but his daughter, my mum, who is now 93 years old has a number of photos of her dad in the grounds. His name was Arthur Chitty and he lived in Lightwater in a large house called The Hollies (bulldozed in the mid 1970s) on Guildford Road.


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