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Alumnae Celebrate the Jubilee

In the run up to the Platinum Jubilee Weekend, South Hampstead alumnae joined the whole school community for a celebratory tea party.

Former South Hampstead pupils celebrated with staff, governors and former Headmistresses Mrs Burgess and Mrs Scott at the school’s sports ground in Lymington Road, West Hampstead.

Headmistress Mrs Bingham gave a warm welcome, as the sun emerged, before everyone joined a rousing rendition of the National Anthem, accompanied by our Junior and Senior School trombone players. The Coronation March – composed by the cellist, music teacher and composer Caroline Bosanquet, when she was a 15-year old pupil at South Hampstead in the 1950s – was also played.

Pupils from each year group, from Reception to the Sixth Form, cut the ceremonial ribbon alongside our alumnae, before pupil dancers delivered a spectacular performance. The Head Girl Team chatted to former pupils, teachers and former Headmistresses over tea, while everyone enjoyed some strawberries and cream and royal-themed cupcakes designed by Junior School pupils.

When the Queen was crowned 70 years ago, 19 pupils were given special permission by London Country Council to represent South Hampstead and watch the procession from Embankment.  They stood in the crowd holding up a banner bearing the words South Hampstead High School, Finchley Road and Charing Cross, which was captured by film cameras recording the day. Other pupils watched the coronation film, The Queen is Crowned, at the Embassy Theatre in Swiss Cottage; the whole school was given a three day holiday. To commemorate the occasion, the school’s Girl Guide team created a coronation flower garden in the school grounds, and girls were encouraged to make scrapbooks – one of these scrapbooks was recently donated to our archive by the family of former pupil Heather Chesterman. Shortly after the Coronation, the Queen visited Hampstead and pupils lined the streets to welcome her, as recorded in our archive photos above.

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