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Monday, 23 January 2017

Introduction to St Angela’s

Outlining the premise of the St Angela's Girl School series of stories. From Roué 9
Anyone who read a short story in Roué a few months ago entitled Room 2D will have been in on the genesis of the idea for St Angela’s. The story centred around a little room in a girls school which was set aside specifically as a Punishment Room, and though no one actually got punished in the story, there was enough material there to describe a sketchy outline of the school and the kind of things which went on there.  Response from readers was encouraging, and has led to this present idea for a more complete St Angela’s Girls School series.
The intention is that the school should be fully described, complete with class registers, list of staff members etc., and that a few introductory incidents, in the form of short stories, should be used to set the ball rolling. Thereafter it is hoped that, keeping within the framework of the day to day running of the school, readers will contribute their own ‘incidents’ using as their characters those people whose names appear on the various relevant lists. No particular guidelines are necessary, except to say that of course stories should be publishable. Even three or four hundred words would be sufficient, more if you choose, but as the series goes on it will be necessary to ‘do your homework’ on the various characters involved.
The timescale for these first incidents is the week after half-term.

The School
St. Angela’s was the bright idea of one Arthur Grimsley, councillor, deposit-losing parliamentary candidate, and leading light of the Surrey Social Set. The school was conceived as a kind of ‘halfway house’ for girls who had got themselves into trouble in the juvenile courts seriously enough to warrant a spell in an Approved School, but whom the magistrates, for one reason or another, were reluctant to actually send to such a school.
St. Angela’s is, therefore, a kind of ‘approved school’, but since the girls are allowed home out of term time it is more like a boarding school. The girls’ ages range between sixteen and nineteen, and because the school isn’t like an ordinary school by virtue of its ‘re-education’ policy, corporal punishment is permitted, indeed even encouraged, by the governors.
Set in the Surrey countryside the school is about a mile from the nearest village and some three miles off the main A23, London to Brighton road.

As the Staff See It
An excellent establishment. Nice lot of girls — pretty, too, some of ‘em. Have to keep ‘em on their toes though — give ‘em a ‘bit of stick’ when they need it. They’re not angels, mustn’t forget that. They’re here because they overstepped the mark somewhere else. Have to ‘keep ‘em in line’, don’t y’know — in lines outside the punishment room as often as not.
MR PINK (History)
Right kind of place for girls like these. Social responsibility, that’s what I like to think we teach them. Any trouble and they get their pants taken down. Should have had more of that kind of thing when they were younger, that’s my opinion.
MR QUENTIN (Geography/Maths)
They’re nice kids, just a bit misunderstood that’s all. They need trust and affection. Someone to come to when they’re confused or unhappy. My door is always open to them, day or night.
MISS DAVIES  (Gym/French)
St. Angela’s? Oh, yes — the school, you mean? Well — um — by the way, have you seen my glasses? No? Oh well —. Now where was I? Knickers — that was what we were talking about was it? No? Oh — the school! Yes, lovely place, ideal job to retire to when you’re my age. Plenty of pretty girls around — brightens the place up. Mmm — they don’t seem to mind it too much, once they’ve got used to it. What? Well — getting their little bums smacked, things like that. Isn’t that what we were talking about? No? Oh — mmm — I wonder if I left them over here — sorry if I seem to be missing the point, but I can’t seem to hear too well without my glasses —.
MR PAYNE (Headmaster)

As the Girls See It
It’s alright — so long as you don’t want to do too much sitting down.
Dawn Inchley (Form 8B)
St Angela’s? A bit too strict for me, I seem to spend half my time over someone’s knee, and the other half waiting to be put over someone’s knee.
April Sweet (Form 7B)
This place? A pain in the bum, that’s about it!
Christine Riddens (Form 6B)
OK, I s’pose, though I sometimes wonder why they bother to put elastic in our knickers — they don’t seem to stay up long enough to make the expense worthwhile.
Judy MacKintosh (Form 7A)
It’s alright here, I like it. And Miss Davies is sweet —.
Nancy Verity (Form 6A)
Pardon? Oh — well, look, I’m sorry — I really ought to go — I’ve got to see Mr Payne. What for? But aren’t you one of the staff here — I mean, don’t you know anything?
Christine Lord (Form 8A)
I’m not sure I like it at all. It’s alright if you are — well, plain, I suppose. But if you’re sort of pretty or something — well, some of the staff have started to call me ‘Bouncy Bottomley’, if you see what I mean.
Rosalind Bottomley (Form 8B)

As the School Governors See it
An excellent school, and just the kind of place for these ‘delinquent teenagers’. Ought to have a lot more of them, and I shall let my MP know what I think too.
Col. J.C. Mayne M.C. and bar
Well, you see, St Angela’s is so much better than some kind of Borstal or something, don’t you think? A more normal atmosphere gives the girls the feeling that they’re still involved in society.
Mrs P. Wilder
It’s well run, you know. A first class Headmaster, Mr Payne. Something of a friend of mine actually. I often find myself popping in to see him, just social calls really but it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on things, does it. I think the girls look a picture in those uniforms, don’t you? As a matter of fact I designed them — did you know that? Oh yes. I’m thinking about a few modifications by the way. Perhaps an inch or so off the length of the skirt — what d’you think? Yes — I think I’ll have one of the girls over one afternoon to model for me — one with long legs, eh?
Rev. Peter Garould

Plan of the School

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