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Rawlins Grammar School, Quorn, Speech Day 1959

Loughborough Echo - 13th November 1959

"Pity if this became the century of the common woman" - Miss Marjorie Sawdon.

The hope that local girls would not descent to vulgarity and violence was expressed by Miss Marjorie Sawdon, headmistress of Rawlins Grammar School, Quorn, at the school's annual speech day yesterday afternoon, when she declared: "It would be a great pity if this became the century of the common woman".

"There is still plenty of chivalry in the world, in the sense that men still expect to be able to respect women as creatures of morals and manners perhaps a little higher than themselves" she said. "Somehow vulgarity and violence always seem much worse in girls and women than in boys and men. We are told that we are living in the century of the common man - it would be a great pity of this became the century of the common women."

Miss Sawdon said that "Last November I urged parents to try to stop their girls growing up too fast, but from all one reads and sees, things do not seem to have improved in Great Britain within the last year. Young people seem to burst violently from childhood into wild unrestrained youth, but I cannot believe this violent change is natural, or right or happy. I should have thought that human beings, like plants, should experience a gradual, not a violent, development."

She continued: "One may argue that the violence is merely superficial, that the vulgar clothes, strident voices, offensive manners, the easy resort to physical violence, are merely superficialities and that the young people are still rather unhappy and bewildered children at heart. Well, all I can say is that they are very unpleasant ones and make the world an ugly place to live in," she added.

"How does this all apply to Rawlins School? It is not the unpleasant and violent place I have predicted - not yet. But who knows? Outside pressures and influences may corrupt anyone, unless constant vigilance is exercised in the school, and perhaps even more importantly, in the home, and unless self-discipline is constantly practised by every member of the school."

She said the tremendous growth of the upper part of the school after the struggle to prevent half the girls leaving at 15, was an indication of how an attitude to education could improve over a relatively short course of time.

"This larger Sixth Form will inevitably produce changes in the pattern of the school. For one thing only about a third of those who enter the sixth can hope to become prefects, and we must take care to give other responsibilities to the rest", she said.


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 Submitted on: 2010-01-21
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 726
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own.

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