Posts tagged ‘Hilary Wilmington’

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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June 19th, 2016

Ellen’s Lucky Escape

A shop girl is caught stealing, and there are consequences. By a new writer to us.

By Hilary Wilmington

“I should have brought an umbrella,” thought Ellen, hearing the rain on the windows. When disaster was about to strike, as it was now, Ellen’s mind had a habit of straying elsewhere, to irrelevant things. She had not responded to Mr Barton’s last question, just sat there in silence. The implications were too awful to contemplate, so she didn’t contemplate them. There were rumours that Mr Barton’s wife had left him because she didn’t want to be the wife of a mere shop manager, although any of the local girls like Ellen would hardly have complained about being married to the manager of the largest (actually, the only) department store in the town. And so young! The wife must be very posh, she decided.
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