Posts tagged ‘Tara Patterson’

November 14th, 2015

What the Papers say

An adventure into journalism leads to an unfortunate encounter with the headmistress.

By Tara Patterson

Sixth form prefect Alice Watts pushed open the heavy school gate and walked confidently down the driveway of Queen Anne school, Ambleside. Her high heeled peep toed shoes clicked across the footpath. Alice had a very trim figure, her black skirt clung tightly to her behind; she could not resist wriggling her shapely hips as she passed a group of sixth form boys. Her brown hair was wound up on top of her head in a tight bun. It was not unusual that she was out of uniform. Wednesday was a part day for Alice. As she had a keen interest in journalism, she had a regular afternoon work experience placement at the local newspaper. Alice reached the school reception desk and began filling in the line of the sign-in book to mark her return. Then she must go and change out of her smart black business suit and back into uniform. Alice hated the change really. She was ready to leave school for good. Her twice weekly visits to the paper were a breath of fresh air, a chance to get away from school, away from the rules and away from the discipline.

November 8th, 2015

The Handover

In the next part of the series we recall Meryl Taylor’s return to Queen Anne’s, this time as Matron.

By Tara Patterson

Nurse Meryl Taylor looked at herself in the full length mirror and checked her uniform; she was wearing her new mid-blue uniform dress that was covered with a starched white apron. As it was summer, her legs were clad in a pair of sheer stockings. Her auburn hair was wound into a tight bun that sat below a white nurse’s hat. The shining buckle of the blue belt showed up against the white of the apron. As Meryl pulled the last of her white elasticated cuffs up her arm she caught sight of the time on the wall clock; she was late. A quick check of her fob watch showed the time to be correct.

October 24th, 2015

Uncle David

The marriage of Mr Lane’s Goddaughter sparks memories from years past.

By Tara Patterson

Today was a bitter sweet moment for Mr Lane, Headmaster of Queen Anne’s Boarding School, Ambleside. His Goddaughter, Hannah Reeves, was getting married and he had the honour of walking her down the aisle to give here away. For David Lane this was a sad duty one he didn’t want. He thought of his old school friend, Michael Reeves, and his brave battle with cancer and how he hadn’t lived long enough to see his beloved daughter’s wedding day. As David paced nervously around the sitting room of the Reeves’ family home, going through his ‘father of bride speech’ he didn’t notice Hannah glide into the room.

August 27th, 2015

A Character

An inspection of the school cellar leads to a painful outcome for one pupil and a sense of deja vue for Matron.

By Tara Patterson

Matron Meryl Taylor had worked at Queen Anne’s boarding school, Ambleside for thirty years. Despite the fact that she had turned sixty-five during the school summer holidays, she was not yet ready to retire. Queen Anne’s was her life and she felt she knew every intimate detail of the building, staff and pupils. She had attended as a pupil from the age of eleven until she had completed her A-levels in June 1969. It was only her fifteen years’ service in the Queen Alexandrea’s Medical service that had seen her away from the school.

August 1st, 2015

Have You Thought About Becoming a Nurse?

Another flashback to Meryl Taylor’s youth recalling the incident that sparked the beginning of her Nursing career.

By Tara Patterson

Mr Rose, the Deputy Headmaster of Queen Anne’s, stood at the lectern at the end of morning prayers on this May 1968 morning and addressed the school.

“You will be pleased to know that your Headmistress is recovering well after her surgery following her unfortunate riding accident. She is expected to make a full recovery and return to her duties soon but in the mean time I will be acting headmaster.”

Mr Rose then continued into a long lecture about reinforcing the school rules and discipline. Sixth form pupil Meryl Taylor wasn’t listening. Her mind wandered; she thought about her home in York and her recent locomotive footplate trip with her father during the Easter holiday. Suddenly something in the Headmasters speech snapped her out of her daze and grabbed her attention.

July 27th, 2015

Parliamentary Research

A young MP visits Queen Anne’s to discover the secret to good school discipline but gets more than she bargained for

By Tara Patterson

At twenty-four, Hannah Philpott was the youngest MP in parliament. As a member of the up and coming SNP party she had been surprisingly elected to represent a lowland Scottish constituency in the 2015 general election. Hannah was passionate about education and its role in social mobility; she believed that anything was possible, you just had to strive for your goals to achieve. However something frustrated her. It was a problem that had dogged her own school days and something that she felt had held her back at times and that was the falling standards of control and discipline in the UK state school system. Something was going to have to be done and she was in the right place to do it.


June 17th, 2015

HMHS Emphatic 1982

In the next part of the series we learn a little more of Matron’s past.

By Tara Patterson

Tara stood before Matron Taylor in her new uniform. As was usual at Queen Anne’s it was everything you would expect from a traditional nurse’s uniform; a burgundy short-sleeved dress with white piping on the sleeves, a white elastic belt and a starched white hat. Along with the uniform, Tara had been instructed to wear a pair of sheer stockings and white plimsolls. Matron had even included a silver nurse’s fob watch and a brooch with the school logo.

“The plimsolls are so you can move around the corridors after lights out without being heard,” quipped Matron Taylor. “Didn’t you ever wonder why I was able to catch you up to no good so many times? You look quite the part though. We thought burgundy would be the ideal colour, seeing as you are not a qualified nurse. Your first aid qualifications are more than adequate for your duties as my deputy though. How does it feel for you Under-Matron Patterson?”

June 4th, 2015

Carnforth 1968

Another story in the series, this one looking back at matron’s youth.

By Tara Patterson

A request from the chairman of the School railway society reminds Matron Taylor of her past.

Matron Taylor thumbed through the pile of internal mail on her desk; email had not yet infiltrated the medical department of Queen Anne’s Boarding School, Ambleside. In the middle of the pile mixed in with all the ‘medical excused’ referrals, illness slips and accident reports was a hand-written card inviting her as an honoured guest to attend the 50th anniversary meeting of the school railway society?

Dear Matron,

As one of the earliest members of our railway society, and what we believe to be the first female member, we, the organising committee, warmly invite you to propose the vote of thanks for our speaker at the society’s 50th anniversary meeting. We are also delighted to receive your article for the society newsletter of your recollections of the society’s early days and your life as a railwayman’s daughter.

May 27th, 2015

The Witness

Tara is asked to help Matron resolve a delicate situation.

By Tara Patterson

It was nearly the end of the 2015 exam season. Six weeks of Sixth form and GCSE Examinations had been intense and stressful not only for the pupils of Queen Anne’s Boarding School,  Ambleside, but for all the staff too, especially 35 year old Tara Patterson who had been the main Examination Invigilator.

Tara awoke late on this June Tuesday morning. There were no time-tabled exams today and only two more to oversee before she must leave Queen Anne’s again and return to her normal life on the family farm in Lincolnshire. Tara had decided to make the most of this extra midweek day off and do some walking. Although she had been a pupil at the School for five years she had seen little of the tourist side of the Lake District. Trips outside the gates for pupils were strictly controlled.

May 22nd, 2015

The Hangover

An evening in the local pub leads to a break of Matron’s rules and a painful visit to the Headmaster

By Tara Patterson

“Come on Tara another drink won’t hurt,” said Tara’s Roommate, Clare Nicolson.

The two junior members of the school staff of Queen Anne’s Boarding School, Ambleside were enjoying a night out in a local pub to mark the end of their first month’s work at the school. They had hardly noticed the time had passed 9.00pm, the official curfew time of the dormitory floor they had lived on since joining the school staff and agreeing to abide by the ‘house’ rules.

“It’s gone curfew already,” warned Tara. “If we leave now then we might make it back before lights out. It’s a pity, this Windermere Pale is a very drinkable pint. You know my Young Farmer friends used to call me the beer monster.”