Hilary Joan Stelfox, our aunt, was a pupil at DWS from 1950/51 to 1957. Prior to that she was at Tremhyfryd junior school from 1949. Sadly Hilary passed away in July 1957 having contracted Rheumatic Fever which was exacerbated by the ‘flu epidemic in 1957.
Initially Hilary was a boarder at DWS but following the death of her father, her mother moved from the family farm near Birmingham to Awelfa in Brithdir so that Hilary could continue as a day girl. We have received an account from Alex Wotherspoon that Hilary would keep the boarders up to date with the developments in The Archers, particularly the death of Grace Archer in the fire at the stables.
The 1956 School Magazine lists her O level results as having passed English Language, English Literature, General Science and Cookery. We understand that Hilary was keen on sports.A photo taken circa 1953/54, kindly sent by Alex Wotherspoon, shows Hilary with three other girls Jackie, Moira and Sue. The photograph is also published on the site.
We have found Hilary’s photo album containing a photo entitled ‘Lower Vth 1955’ showing Nest Edwards and Jennie Briggs ‘Playing tennis on the first Saturday of term’. There are also a couple of group photos, one with Rhiannon Jones, Pat Parker, Jill Whitfield and Sheila Catlin, another ‘Summer Term 1955’ with Janet Hampson, Mary Coole, and Gill Ranecombe. On a separate DWS page sadly the photos are missing but we have the names of Pat Griffiths, Ann Willcock, Elinor and Lynette and Ann Pat Williams.
A section of newspaper was tucked into the photo album from Y Cymro dated 7th January 1955 showing Hilary in costume (drama?) along with Margaret Fish, Rhian Thomas, Judith Fish, Chris Roberts and Gwyn Thomas. We are not sure whether this performance was related to DWS or not.
Two photographs in Hilary’s book are of young men. One named Chris in uniform and another handsome young man named Jimmy. We wonder whether either of these young men were brothers of DWS pupils as we are sure Hilary would have had little opportunity for meeting young men outside of her local community.
We are trying to piece together as much information as we can gain of Hilary’s short life. DWS archives have proved interesting and the memories of Alex Wotherspoon have been very much appreciated.