Running away, 1961

I had just turned eleven and moved up to the Main School, following two happy years at Glyn. It had been a going out weekend and my mother and grandmother were staying at the Ship Hotel in Dolgellau. Standing there in my green sack singing the last verse of “God be in my Head” in Long Prayers, my heart was pounding. I counted down the last few moments before my escape. Another girl was supposed to come with me, but decided against at the last minute.

As we processed out of the Hall, through the Crush Hall, along the corridor, up the stairs by the gym and past the staff room, I tore down to the cloakroom and out through the door by the Polish Corridor to freedom. I ran down the cinder track to the gate by the Lady Bridge, turned left, then right onto the Barmouth Road and ran in the direction of Dolgellau.

Unfortunately, however, after only five minutes or so, a car slowed down and to my horror, I saw it contained games teacher, Miss Thompson, and Head of Glyn, Miss Bainbridge. I kept running, crossed the bridge over the River Wnion, dived into the small park nearby, hid in a doorway and watched as they ran past! I then crossed over the street and entered the Ship via the back car park entrance and – much to the astonishment of my mother and grandmother – appeared in the dining room, in the middle of their main course.

The next memory I have is sitting on the arm of my mother’s chair in a sitting room at the hotel, with both teachers present. I was presumably then returned to school and I remember that the next day, DBL summoned me to her room. She told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was a very silly little girl and that I would never be Head Girl like my mother. A couple of days’ confinement in Sick Wing followed. I was suitably humiliated – and I never did become Head Girl.

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