Author of The Christmas Village and Return to Canterbury

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

D is for Dormitory

From 1937 to 1940, my mother was a student at the Liverpool Blue Coat School for orphans and fatherless children. It was a boarding school whose mission was to give poor children a quality education.

The girls boarded all together in one giant dormitory that was really just a vast, broad hallway spanning one end of the first floor of a building to the other. Single beds with simple bedspreads lined each side of hall, with large, unadorned windows above. There were no bureaus - each student was given a locker to house their minimal possessions.

When we visited the school in 2012, we learned that what had been the girls' dormitory building was no longer part of the school. It had been sold off and made into private condos.

Here is a picture of the outside of the girls' dormitory - which doesn't look much different from the outside than it did when Mom was there:

To see what the dormitory looked like inside - this link will take you directly to a photo of the inside of the girls' dormitory as it looked in the 1930's. The photo is on the Brotherly Society's website: The Dormitory

After you take a look, come back and tell me how you would have felt had you just been left off alone at the school and been shown your new "bedroom"!


Annalisa Crawford said...

Hey, told you I'd be back. That dormitory is so stark! I grew up reading Malory Towers by Enid Blyton, and I always imagined the dorms to be so much more homely - perhaps the fictional ones were!

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

Isn't it something Annalisa? Can you imagine???? I hope when I write the scene, I can capture how my mother must have felt. Not one bit homely - stark and impersonal...