From an old exiled DWS (who is still young at heart) 1936-38

Sent to DWS from Mexico in 1936,Gladys Dutton wrote a memoir for her schoolfriends as they gathered for a reunion in Dolgellau in 1988. Miss Lickes joined the occasion.It was fifty years since they had all left DWS. Gladys lived in Mexico at the time she was sent to school in 1936. Today she and her family live in America, where Gladys was born.

Here is an extract from Gladys's memoir which touches on how she ended up at Dr Williams' from Mexico in the 1930s. It provides intriguing glimpes into life at DWS in the 1930s


"There is one person responsible for my going back to DWS and this person is Barbara Beaumont. It all happened this way ...... Barbara came to visit me in Florida. We had a great time, talked till the wee hours of the morning about the good and not so good times of our stay at school.Little by little, life at DWS flashed before my eyes - old friends, teachers, classes, games and walks.

Baking day was a day we all looked forward to ....those thick slices of fresh bread. Forget about the old wives' tales "Fresh bread is not good for your digestion". We thrived on it. The butter and the jam made it so good.

French Day .... when we had to sit at the French table. Mademoiselle had a hard time pulling French phrases from us. That table was very quiet. We had to move up the table until we were next to the teacher seated at the head of the table. Sometimes we would rather die than be there, maybe because we did not know the lesson or we had been naughty.

I remember our German teacher, Ms Wolff. She was a sweet lady, kind, rather clumsy. If she became excited while she was talking you might need an umbrella to avoid the spray.

The Spanish Senorita from Spain, her accent different to my Mexican accent, tried and tried again to change my accent to her Castillan, to no avail.

There were two girls who could speak Spanish; Morffudd Rhys and her younger sister Nest. They had lived in Spain, therefore Spanish was familiar to them. But, when I would come near to Nest and speak in Spanish, she would run away. She was very shy. Not so with Morffudd, we would carry on lengthy conversations. It was through her father that my Dad heard about DWS. Both of them worked in the Diplomatic Service for Britain.

Visiting the UK and Dolgelley after 50 years was the most wonderful trip for me. Seeing the old school again, running up and down the stairs, classrooms, partaking with all of you that delicious tea that only you Britishers can brew, talking to 'old girls'.As I sat in the gym listening to Ms. Lickes speak, I would close my eyes and hear Ms. Nightingale talk to us. What a soothing and enhancing voice you have Ms.Lickes.

Fifty years have passed since I was in school and left England just before the war. We each contributed to put an end to it."

Gladys Dutton
Class of 1936-37-38

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