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NEWS > Alumnae News > 100-Year-Old Prize Book Returns to LEH

100-Year-Old Prize Book Returns to LEH

A beautiful copy of 'The Stories of King Arthur', awarded to Elsie Langford, Class of 1911, when the school was still in Hackney, has kindly been donated to the LEH archive by her great niece.

Sharon Langford sent us her Great Aunt Elsie’s immaculate hardback, which bears the school crest on the cover and a copperplated inscription on the fly leaf.  Sharon said: “I decided to offer the book to you as I felt it was the best home for it, and one where it would be appreciated and treasured.”

According to the inscription, 11-year-old Elsie was awarded the book as a ‘Prize for Class Work’ in Midsummer 1905. The Head Mistress of LEH, Mare Street, Hackney, at the time would have been Mrs Beatrice-Clarke.  She oversaw an era of expansion and growing recognition for the academic achievements of the school. The 200 pupils benefitted from a newly installed laboratory and gymnasium.

Elsie was one of four sisters, all seen in the photos below (you need to have activated your Holles Connect account to be able to see them).  Elsie is front left, the other sisters are Violet (back left), Lillian (back right) and Dorothea (front right). She also had three brothers. 

“I always remember Elsie as a kind and gentle soul,” says Sharon, who lived next door to Auntie Elsie and Auntie Dot in Oxfordshire in their later years. “Neither of these sisters married and I believe (but can’t be sure) they both were engaged, and I’m pretty sure that Elsie’s fiancé was killed in the First World War.

“They lived together for many years and looked after each other in the end. Elsie was 87 when she passed away. I do remember Elsie being the more practical and down to earth of the two - my Auntie Dot could barely boil an egg!”

Sharon came across the book on a shelf in the family home when she was clearing it out for sale a few months ago.  “My mother had kept hold of it all these years. I know she had been very fond of Elsie. The book is rather lovely and I’m sad to see it go, but it’s nice to be able to send it somewhere it will be appreciated.”

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