History

Archives
In recent years many people have gathered up various items to do with MDGS and stored them in different places.  Miss Godwin tells the Old Girls Club that she has a number of archives stored in her house and also in a shed specially built for the purpose in her garden using funding from the Clothworkers. The former editor of the Old Girls newsletter also owned a lot of archives. These have been stored by the Club. Some records were moved to Southwark Library we understand, others are stored in a private storage facility. A lot of us own bits and pieces.

Clothworkers Hall

Clothworkers Hall has a store of archives to do with the school.  The Clothworkers were Governors of the school for almost all its life.  They also have an archivist on the staff so if you are trying to trace an Old Girl - this might be a good place to start.

Other Club Archives

Currently the Club pays for off-site storage of archive material that has been accumulated in recent years.  There are back copies of school and Old Girls' magazines, various school publications, photos and a range of odds and ends.  If anyone has some spare space (like a large cupboard or two) they would be welcome to take over this storage (thus saving the Club some money).  We could also do with an archivist volunteer who could look over the stored matter and help decide which to keep and which to let go.  Please do contact us if you have some unusual items.  We are contacted regularly by children of Old Girls who have died.  The 'children' are keen to send us things that were treasured.  Sadly we have too many copes of the regular things like school magazines and Old Girls newsletters so don't be upset if we have to say no to accepting these materials

The history of the school since 1877
Mary Datchelor school history has been well documented.  A book published in 1957 called 'The Story of Mary Datchelor School' is out of print but there are often copies for sale on Amazon. Contact us if you want a copy as we have a few for sale. This book was updated and re-published in 1977.  At the request of some Old Girls a copy of the words and music of 'Wisdom' by Margaret Donnington has been added to this website.  Click here to see Page 1 page 2,  page 3, page 4.

Recent interest in the evacuation of the school in 1939 has resulted in two new formats of recordings made by evacuees documenting some of their memories.  Initially the tapes made in the 1990s were made available online at this web address:  www.krowdrah.co.uk/podcasts/datchelor/podcast.xml  (Please note that this internet page reference has stopped working and I am trying to trace the route to the recordings at persent - webmaster).

Searching for a relative?

Do by all means contact us here on this site if you want us to check our records.  We only have the names and details of those who joined the OG Club.  We do not have complete form lists of every girl who ever attended.  The Clothworkers Company, governors of the school for most of its life, does have a helpful archivist who may be able to find old form lists.  As mentioned above, Southwark Library also holds some Datchelor archive material.


The history of the Old Girls Club
The Old Girls Club started in 1889 and held its first official meeting on January 18 1890. The centenary supper held at Clothworkers Hall in 1989 was attended by 300 club members. The 125th anniversary of the Clubwas celebrated in May 2014 with a special Cream Tea Party at Clothworkers' Hall and attended by over 100 Old Girls.  Despite the closure of the school in the 1980s, the Old Girls Club lives on. We currently have more than 850 members.  There is also an independent face book group with about 400 members.
 

MDGS Archive Webgroup (Not used for the last couple of years Oct 2017)
A yahoo webgroup (which is completely separately run from this website) was set up to gather information on the whereabouts of various items. Sadly it is not as user-friendly as it used to be, so a lot of us don't bother with it much anymore.  It is NOT run by one person, neither is there a central store of archives held in any one place. This is a place on the internet where we can all post lists of which items we have plus photos can be posted there.  Anyone can go to the site and add copies of photos, look at files where people list what they have, or ask a question: eg What happened to the Honours Boards from Datchelor? (For the answer to this question - see the Gallery section of this website and look for a write up of a Regional Group visit to Clothworkers Hall in November 2010.)
In order to use this private webgroup you have to join as a member. (And you need to have a Yahoo identity first of all).  To join the group you need to register your e-mail address but no other personal details. (In fact adding other details, like a phone number,  is discouraged.) Once you are a member you can just look at the information there or you can add details of things you own yourself.  So far there are albums of photos there, a database of Datchelor Music recordings and a 'files' section where you can add a list of what you own.  The message board enables you to find out if anyone has a particular item.  If you want to join go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MDOGArchives/  Alternatively if you find this route difficult - go to contact us on this site and contact the webmaster with your e-mail address and she will send you an invitation to join the archives webgroup. That will make the process a little easier!
 Update April 2018:  The yahoo archive group still exists but is not used much these days - partly because Yahoo have changed the format making it less easy to navigate etc.