HUNT, Hill School, Totteridge, 1940's

September 2001

Pip James (pjames @t of Australia says: I'm trying to find the records of a preparatory boarding school I was incarcerated in when I was 4 in 1941-5. The school's name was Hill School, Totteridge, and I don't believe it exists anymore. I would dearly like to be put in touch with a local historian with an interest in finding old school records, or even the existence of the school, its exact whereabouts would be nice to know. You tend to forget these things when you're only four. The Headmistress at the time was a Miss Hunt. I have tried the friendsreunited site with no luck. Hope you can help.

Totteridge is no longer in Hertfordshire but in Barnet and as this site does not normally deal with such modern records I can only give a few general guidelines.

The first is that, assuming that it is a small private school, the records would be like any other small private firm in that it would be up to the owner to keep or dispose of them at will once they were more than a few years old. Definitely for short-lived private 19th century schools which the survival rate is very low. I know of a modern University department which, apart from the published list of degrees awarded, found it had no surviving records of its own students some 10 years after they had graduated, due to an over-zealous computerisation of the records and ditching filing cabinets of "obsolete documents" to make more room in the Professor's office. You may be lucky but ...

Many local papers print Nostalgia columns and the like, where people post queries of the "Does anyone remember" and Totteridge may well be covered by a Barnet based newspaper. In addition the public library will undoubtedly have a list of local organisations such as historical societies which could be worth contacting. (For Hertfordshire the list is available online through the Herts County Council web site and the same may apply for Barnet.)

Finally it could be worth getting the school entered onto friendsreunited, if not already there, and putting your name down, as then other former pupils visiting the site can contact you.

April 2005

Carol Baker (lavillegueno @t writes: Someone called Pip was asking about. I went to that school as a weekly border around the years 1954-58 roughly, the mind dims! Had a horrible time, hated Miss Hunt and her brother Eric, she was fond of the cane, she called it the army stick! I was told it had closed by the 60's she must have been quite old, and became a private house, it was situated in Totteridge Lane right at the top, hence the name Hill School. Not happy memories.

The school was probably started around 1930 as the 1933 and 1937 Kelly's Directories for Hertfordshire list Miss T.A. Hunt, N.F.U., M.R.S.T., boys' and girls' preparatory school, The Hill, Totteridge. There is no listing in 1929.

Pip James (pjames @t replied: Thank you for forwarding Carol Baker's message and her email address. I shall get in touch with her. Just to let you know, I found the
Hill School a few years ago through advertising in the local newspaper. The paper took my ad up as a small story and published my email address and, through that, I met Pauline Stringer, who also went to the school about ten years after I had left. She still lives in Barnet and, in 2003, when I was visiting England, she kindly took me there. Friends Reunited has had the school listed ever since I rediscovered it with Pauline's help and there's even a group of ex-pupils who meet and call themselves The Hillbillies. I have met one of them. You're right, the school did open sometime in the thirties -  was sent there in 1941.  Through the people who went there later than me, I found there was, before the war I think, also a summer school where a lot of them were sent as kids. I don't think they liked it very much. I think that was stopped during the war, which, of course, is when I was sent there with my small brother, aged two. I actually know quite a lot more about it since meeting Pauline and going there, so if you find anyone else who wants information I can give it to them. I have a picture of the house too.

There is a web page for Totteridge

Please Note: At about the time this page was first posted there were legal problems relating to the posting of childhood school experiences on the internet, and there are other potential legal problems relating to the UK Data Protection Act. Large sites such as friendsreunited can handle such matters, but this site is only a small hobby site and to avoid legal complications it is now does not accept questions relating specifically to the 20th century and concentrates on pre-1900 genealogy and local history. See Policy.

No more contributions will be accepted on this page - please make future contacts through  friendsreunited.


Page updated April 2005