It Seems Like Only Yesterday
Ruth Davies came back to school this week having not stepped foot inside the building for 69 years.
Ruth Davies (Signy), LEH 1944-1950, visited to take a look round, having not been back since she left to go up to Oxford, as one of the first girls from the school to study medicine.
Ruth, aged 88, was persuaded to return for a tour of the school after all these years by LEH archivist Trish White, LEH 1947-1955, who remembered her when their paths crossed at church.
“It is so fascinating to be here,” said Ruth, who was pleased to spot her name on the honours board marking her exhibition to St Hughes, Oxford. While there have been many changes and new additions to the property since she was here, the memories came flooding back.
Looking round the assembly hall made her think of the school dinners that she’d eaten there when it also doubled as the lunch servery. “Lunch was usually something like spam fritters or dead man’s leg (a kind of suet pudding). We were particularly fond of a green firm set ‘carving’ jelly that we discovered had just the right degree of wobble, which if you put it on your fork and flicked hard enough, would stick to the ceiling. That was fun!”
After studying medicine at Oxford, Ruth went on to train at UCH to become a doctor and worked at North Middlesex Hospital before going out to Trinidad to join her husband Peter, whose work with Shell then took them round Africa, South America, Asia and the Middle East.
When they returned to the UK, Peter helped set up the British Lung Foundation, and the couple travelled round Britain to attend numerous fundraising events, and met many celebrities over the years, including Princess Diana.
Ruth continued her career in medicine as a clinical medical officer before ending up working in child development. “I’ve been very lucky,” she mused. “I’ve had a very interesting life. I shall always be grateful for the time I spent here. Miss Richards (who was head mistress from 1944-1949) was very nice and took a few of us on a day trip to Oxford to look round and that really set me on my way.”