Surbiton High School had different house names in 1944: Blue House, Green House, Red House and Yellow House. Students had positions inside the houses: Secretary, Treasurer and Head.

All students helped many charities and collected fruit, vegetables, clothes and food which then were gathered up and were put in sacks for Lambeth ( South London). Due to the fact that in 1944 London was being heavily bombed this charity work so they helped people who were homeless/ in need of food . The Red House put on three short plays to support the charity which raised the bulk of the money.

The Dramatic Society (Or the Drama Club) put on three plays in the Autumn  Term. The first was a religious play, (Where love is, God is.)The second a ‘delightful’ comedy,(A Collection Will Be Made)  and the third was acomedy about an ordinary family ( The Dear Departed).

Like we go and see plays with school, on October 16th 1944 30 girls were taken (from forms VB to VI) went to Southwark Cathedral to see ‘The Messiah’.  After seeing different landmarks, they had lunch in the Vestry and were also given tea, while the Verger gave a short talk about the history of the Cathedral. The party of girls was also given a tour of the Cathedral, with the Verger, who pointed out some interesting Norman and early thirteenth century architecture. Then they were taken to Harvard Chapel and finally the ‘magnificent’ screen and reredos behind the High Altar. Afterwards they saw

A present day birds eye view of Southwark Cathedral

A present day birds eye view of Southwark Cathedral

a fine performance of the Messiah, given by a full adult choir, a sting orchestra, along with the organ, harpsichord, trumpets and drums. They returned at 6:30 p.m after  ‘a very enjoyable day.’ I think it is very interesting that even during war time, the school were able to do such enjoyable school trips. I have highlighted some parts which I think we might still have done today if we were on that school trip.

A more recent visit to Southwark Cathedral

A more recent visit to Southwark Cathedral

At 10.15 am on June 3rd (1944) the school attended St. Andrews church (Surbiton) for the Ascension Day service also for the founders day. Like previous years they sung three hymns: ‘Son of God Eternal Saviour’, ‘Our Father by Whose Servants’ and for all the Saints who from theLabours Rest.’ But the Second was actually ‘In our work and in our play.’ They had the same psalm as last year ( No. 121) But it did have a different tune to last year. After the sermon we sang our second hymn, followed by prayers and then the third hymn. The service then closed with a blessing.

By Victoria Penney

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