Posts tagged ‘Jane Fairweather’

July 24th, 2019

The Button on the Sleeve

How a girl copes with being caned

By Jane Fairweather

“You aren’t going to do that silly thing with your formulas again, are you?” Stephen Blake said to Stephanie Coldstream on the morning of their mock ‘A’ level in Maths.

“You are not my bloody father!” Stephanie retorted, reflecting to herself that she must be rude and decisive, and not let Stephen tell her what to do. “You are just a friend, not even a boyfriend, and you have no right to tell me what to do. I’d much prefer a good girl friend anyway; you don’t have to worry about kissing them.”

She did not add that she really did know those wretched formulas, but dreaded getting in to the exam and finding it had all vanished from her head, which was why she always scribbled them on her wrist, hopefully under the cover of her blouse sleeve.

June 13th, 2019

A Victorian Picnic

A pleasant picnic leads four girls astray in this period piece

 By Jane Fairweather

Elsie Smith and Anne Paxton, who were assistant mistresses, and Elizabeth Doyle and Sarah Brown, who were eighteen and nineteen and lingering rather long at the Perivale School for the Daughters of Gentlefolk as somewhere between mistresses and pupils, sat themselves down to a splendid picnic tea. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon; it was warm among the green leaves and the light danced.

“What a spread!” Elsie Smith exclaimed, surveying the cloth which had been very decorously placed in a little clearing in the wood and covered with the contents of the picnic hamper, which the four of them had brought from the school with the aid of the gardener’s wheelbarrow.

April 12th, 2019

Strained Friendship

A girl wants to make a friend, but has a strange way of showing it.

By Jane Fairweather

“Poor Anne has had to go home. I am afraid her nerves are not as good as they might be, which is always a risk when a sensitive girl tries for the highest level of exams.” Miss Frazer observed rather wryly to Priscilla Smith-Jones, her deputy head girl and the only other present member of the Scholarship Sixth, which specifically targeted places at the Cambridge women’s colleges.

“I am jolly sorry to hear that, Miss.” Priscilla stated demurely.

In fact, she was well aware of Anne’s panic attacks of the last week, which in Priscilla’s opinion had been cowardice, pure and simple. The stupid cow had kept sitting in her room crying and saying she could not possibly pass the Cambridge scholarship exams. And now it had finally led to her leaving the school.

March 18th, 2019

Family Honour

A girl acts rashly to defend family honour

by Jane Fairweather

Elizabeth Johnson’s flaming red hair, which she wore down to her shoulders, was very visible in the nearly deserted school library. Her gym-slip was in marked contrast to the pleated skirts of the two genuine Sixth Formers who were sat at a table at the opposite end of the Library and was a sign that she had failed her School Certificate and was a member of that ambiguous class, Six Remove. The normally high spirited girl was in a restless, anxious mood as she sat in the Library. Half of her was trying to construe the passage of Caesar that she was supposed to have ready for Miss Coleridge’s lesson in two periods time. It was lucky that she had a free morning, for there was quite a lot of Latin and she had not bothered to look at it before. There had been mutterings from Miss Coleridge about what would happen if she failed to prepare her set book again. This at least gave her something to do. However her other half was extremely anxious about the set-to she had just had in the Common Room with Priscilla Smith- Jones, the Head Girl. Was Prissy SJ going to carry out that very angry threat to report her to the head?

February 3rd, 2019

Questions of Principle

Poor choices gets different generations into difficulty, but with similar results

By Jane Fairweather

Miss Thomson ran her hand rather sensuously over her very elegant nylon underskirt, which was itself covering the lower half of a rather lovely scarlet petticoat. The petticoat hid a very ordinary white vest, an extremely elegant black bra and fawn coloured directoire knickers, not to mention a small corset that doubled as a suspender belt and kept the worst of her stomach from view.

She had long ago decided that it was good in the evening to remove the stern grey skirt suit that served as her headmistress’s uniform in the day, and put on something altogether more informal. It served to teach the girls that one day they would be free to change into more elegant clothes in the evening when they had finished their day as a teacher or civil servant or secretary, and she liked her girls to know what dressing well looked like.

January 21st, 2019


Set in medieval times, a girl receives typical punishment of the age

By Jane Fairweather

“You have got the quails for your aunt, dear, haven’t you?”

Mother was fretting, Alice thought to herself. Mother did not like sending her only child away at such a time, when the loyalty of her husband to the crown was openly being questioned, but, Alice thought to herself, her lady mother knew all too well that Alice would be a lot safer with her Aunt Margaret, the countess of Eboracum, whose husband stood high in the favour of King Arthur the Fourth of Lyonesse, than here in the castle of her father, who was on the verge of being condemned to death for treason, which would lead of course to the loss of his lands and her own disinheritance. Mother would probably end up in a nunnery, if she did not find herself on a scaffold sharing her husband’s fate, which god forbid. Women were not often executed for treason, but it was not unknown. Everyone knew King Arthur was a great and wrathful king; and her Mother and Father had always been very close. If Father was involved in treason, it was quite likely that Mother was as well. This could well be the last time she would see either of her parents.

November 28th, 2018

Elfreda’s Revenge

A letter from school spells trouble for a girl

By Jane Fairweather

“Your father wants to see you in his study, Miss, at once.” Said old Betsy James who had been the general dogsbody of the Kavanagh household at Monkhold House for as long as anyone could remember.

There was a sneer to the old woman’s face from under her old fashioned muslin cap as if to say she had never had a high opinion of her employer’s only daughter and what was coming was only justice and rather overdue. A far from comforting return home from school after the Autumn term, Elfreda Kavanagh thought to herself, remembering the spanking she had got after her first term in the Fourth Form. But Betsy was gloating rather too early in the day, she decided. After all, she was a young lady now and a Sixth Former; probably her father was just eager for a chat. And anyway, quite probably he had not got to hear of the silly piece of trouble that she had been in.

October 22nd, 2018

A Little Piece of Research

Two girls have to be punished, and a discussion ensues

By Jane Fairweather

Miss Stephens demurely poured out tea from her best china teapot for this interesting young man from Cambridge, who had come seeking information for his PhD about a former member of her staff in the days when she had been a headmistress and a person of importance.

Pete Williams picked up his cup of tea in its best china cup and said to Miss Stephens in her pleasant little flat in Torquay: “I think I told you in my letter that I want anything you can fill in about Alice Blakely, especially her time in the War. She was a teacher in your school wasn’t she?”

September 2nd, 2018

Clarice Edmonds Plays Truant

Extenuating circumstances mean a special punishment.

By Jane Fairweather

“Oh, not again!” Miss Carson snapped. “Why does Clarice Edmonds need all these advanced music lessons? It is not as if there are that many job openings for female cellists in the year of our lord, Nineteen Hundred and Twenty-Five.”

“Headmistress,” Jo Bell replied. “It is obvious to me every time I hear her play that Clarice has very real talent, and her father seems very willing to put her through the Royal College of Music when we have finished with her here. I think we should be doing everything we can to support her.”

“On the contrary, it is a total waste of money!” Miss Carson snarled. “Clarice Edmonds is a pretty young flibbertigibbet, who will rapidly end up flat on her back with some penniless husband, producing rather too many babies. I have seen it all before. And is Thursday evening through to Sunday evening really necessary? It seems a very long time for a few music lessons. I thought these lamentable visits to her teacher usually went from Friday evening till Saturday evening and she stayed with her Aunt in town on Friday so as to be fresh for the lesson on Saturday.”

July 31st, 2018


Not getting up in time causes a problem

By Jane Fairweather

“Violet, what are you doing? You’ve barely time to catch the bus, let alone have breakfast! Just take a piece of toast with you.”

“You should have got me up, Mother, and not waited for me to come down.”

Violet Evans did not like to admit she had in fact been finishing her essay on the Outbreak of the English Civil War for the formidable Miss Taylor and had only just achieved it.

“Really, Violet, you ought to be capable of getting yourself up now you are a Grammar School Sixth Former, and Upper Sixth at that. Now get off with you. Or you will be late and having to explain yourself to Miss Chapple! And if you get the cane for it you will be spanked; your father and I have always said that if you misbehave at school you will be punished at home for it.”