Posts tagged ‘Hilary Wilmington’

March 25th, 2018

Longer Lines

A Sequel to ‘More Lines’, the headmaster’s secretary gets into more difficulty.

By Hilary Wilmington

“No!”

“I shall only repeat myself once more. Hold out your other hand.”

Lucy was listening at the connecting door between her own office and that of Mr Clements, and she was most frustrated at having missed the beginning of this scene. She had been away delivering a message to the kitchen, and when she had returned to her desk and had been about to start typing again, her ear had caught the unmistakeable sounds of a punishment in progress next door. She had hurried over to listen and been just in time to hear this girl, whoever she was, uttering this refusal. Might she be the extremely troublesome new girl in the sixth form, Lucy wondered, the one all the teachers were complaining about?
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February 16th, 2018

More Lines

A sequel to ‘Lines’, a school secretary is in trouble again

By Hilary Wilmington

“You may go back to your office now, Mrs Burford, and compose yourself.” Mr Clements was referring to the fact that she was crying. “I shall not need you for the rest of the morning but I shall need you for dictation immediately after the lunch break.”

Having gained her office through the door which connected with the headmaster’s, Lucy made straight for the other door, which led onto the corridor. She listened carefully to make sure no-one was approaching before she grabbed her handbag and went across to the Ladies, which was directly opposite. Once inside, she pushed home the bolt, opened her handbag, and prepared to ‘compose herself’, at her leisure.
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January 11th, 2018

Lines

A school secretary explores her relationship with the headmaster

By Hilary Wilmington

“Mrs Burford, you were late again this morning,” said Mr Clements.

“I’m sorry, headmaster,” said Lucy Burford, “It is just that my bus is supposed to get in at eight thirty-five and usually it is on time, but sometimes it arrives late.  There isn’t really anything I can do about it.”

Mr Clements remained silent, which probably made a greater impression on Lucy than anything he might have said. She had only been working for him for three weeks and she was quite in awe of him. Not that she minded being in awe of him. It seemed perfectly proper to her. This was her very first job, despite the fact that she was over thirty years old now. She had got married just before getting her secretarial qualifications and the three children had soon followed in quick succession. Considering her lack of experience and the length of time that had elapsed since her training, she had been lucky to get this job as school secretary. The money would be very useful and she and her husband were already planning a more ambitious holiday than they had ever had before.
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October 2nd, 2017

Martha and the Minister

A woman seeks help for her daughter, and gets it too.

by Hilary Wilmington

“I won’t say there is nothing to worry about, of course, Martha,” said Reverend Smith. “I would never say that about the teenage rebellion stage, simply because if it goes unchecked it can lead to much worse. But I’m sure that is all this is.  Sherry is fundamentally a good girl. It is just that at the stage she is going through, she needs a firm hand.”

They were having a heart-to-heart discussion, at Martha’s request, in his office.  Reverend Smith made himself available to his parishioners, by appointment, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and he had made a point of giving Martha a one-hour slot. She was one of the most faithful of his flock and she had some domestic difficulties of late. Her husband had left home eighteen months previously and had now told her he wished for a divorce. Her daughter, Sherry, was a headstrong girl. He did not feel as confident as he sounded about her, but it would not help Martha to make her even more worried.
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August 29th, 2017

A New Broom

A period piece about domestic staff at a large mansion

By Hilary Wilmington

The two hazel bushes which grew in a corner of the walled garden on the Ligurin estate had flourished undisturbed for some time now. Too long, according to the head gardener, who grumbled that the nuts they yielded were hardly worth harvesting and they were not being put to that other use they were kept for. Only the other day, one of the kitchen maids had trampled straight across the onion beds on her way to give him a message that more carrots were wanted. When he’d got angry about it, she’d given him a lot of cheek and trampled back the same way. Though he’d complained bitterly, nothing was done about it.
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July 9th, 2017

A Conversation between Mother and Daughter

The title says it all and offers an insight into family discipline

by Hilary Wilmington

As she entered the kitchen, Sasha was blinded by the sun streaming through the windows, so she did not at first notice her mother, who was sitting at the table shelling peas.

“Oh, I didn’t see you,” said Sasha. “Why isn’t the radio on?”

Penelope usually had the radio on when she was working in the kitchen. If Sasha had known her mother was here she would have stayed in her room. She braced herself for the deluge of recrimination she expected and all those awkward questions  she would have to answer, for which as yet she had not managed to think up any plausible lies.
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March 22nd, 2017

Unruly Class

A lazy teacher receives a lesson herself

By Hilary Wilmington

Amid the screeching and hilarity a desk overturned with a crash and Miss Turnbull thought this was the cause of the sudden, shocked silence which descended on her class. Then she realised the girls were all scrambling to their feet. She turned and saw the headmaster standing behind her, with a face like thunder. A few girls went to retrieve the desk.

“Leave it!” He barked.

They froze, then returned to their places. He asked Miss Turnbull to step into the corridor for a word. You could hear a pin drop as they exited the room.
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February 2nd, 2017

Belle de Jour

An unusual scenario for us, but still a lesson in discipline.

By Hilary Wilmington

“I’m to see Mr Edwards,” Marigold told the secretary.

“Oh yes.” The secretary glanced down at a pad on her desk. “Well, you’re right on time,” she said. “Just go straight in.”

Marigold ignored this instruction and walked towards the desk. What was this girl’s name? Sally. That was it. Pretty. And young. As Marigold approached, Sally’s hand went out and casually covered the book she’d been reading. But she was too late because Marigold had already seen it: Teach Yourself Accountancy.

Now Marigold remembered. Until recently, Sally had been working in the club downstairs and servicing clients elsewhere, like the rest of the girls. Then Edwards had made her his ‘secretary’. No-one took the title seriously but, lo and behold! Within a few weeks she could type eighty words a minute and could take dictation in shorthand. Typing and shorthand were all very well, Marigold thought, but with accountancy she was surely getting above herself.
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December 11th, 2016

Lois and Miranda

Discipline in a girls boarding school

By Hilary Wilmington

“I’m terribly sorry,” said Roberta Smythe to the four younger girls ranged in front of her in Miss Acrington’s study. Her words were uttered with heavy, unmistakeable sarcasm. These four girls had been anticipating her apology with feelings of triumph, thinking the tables had been turned on their former tormentor. They looked apprehensive now, and more so when she added, in the same tone: “I wouldn’t dream of asking you to apologise to me for sneaking, of course.”

The headmistress’s face was a picture. Her deputy, Miss Denham, carefully avoided eye-contact with her, afraid that her expression would convey the message: ‘I told you so’.
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August 14th, 2016

Dress Code

A mother visits a headmaster to discuss the caning he gave her daughter

By Hilary Wilmington

“Mrs Megginson? Please do come in.”

She walked in with an inclination of her head and a gracious smile, although she did not say anything in reply.

“And Mr Megginson? Is he not with you?”

“Oh no, I’m afraid he’s far too busy at his work to be able to join us.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” replied the headmaster, insincerely. Dealing with one awkward parent was better than dealing with two and better still if that was the mother. He always felt more comfortable having dealings with the female of the species, which is possibly why he had ended up as headmaster of an all-girls boarding school. “I was just going from a note made by my secretary in my diary,” he explained. “She herself is unwell and hasn’t been in all week.”
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