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Anniversary Celebrations

120 Years of QM

Friday 23rd July 2021 marks 120 years since Queen Margaret's was formally dedicated by the Archbishop of York.

Queen Margaret’s Celebrates 120 Year Anniversary

In July 2021, the School reached a very important milestone - 120 years of students, achievements and the QM Family. On 23rd July 1901, the Archbishop of York formally dedicated the School "to the work it was intended to do". The day began as many important days do at QM now - with a celebration in the Chapel followed by a gathering of many staff, students, parents and friends of the School.

To celebrate the School’s 120th birthday, we’ve dived into the archives to find some fantastic 'then and now' photos to showcase the School throughout the years.

Opening Queen Margaret’s 1901-2021

Named after Queen Margaret, Queen of Scotland 1070-1093, for her practical charity, optimism and energy, Queen Margaret’s was initially established in Scarborough by the Woodard Foundation in 1901.

Queen Margaret's School – Our first home in Scarborough
Queen Margaret's School – Our first home in Scarborough

Bombardments and the Wars

During the First World War, two German battleships bombarded the undefended Yorkshire town for about half an hour. Feminist author and former student, Winifred Holtby, recounted her experience in the Bridlington Chronicle. Eating breakfast with fellow students, she recalled hearing banging, which she at first thought was someone falling over.

Then someone whispered ‘guns’. The word, like magic, passed from mouth to mouth as we sat white-faced but undismayed, with the uneaten food before us,” Winifred wrote.

The School was evacuated, and the students marched three miles to Seamer, carrying a sick teacher and ration of biscuits, before being relocated to Pitlochry as a result.

Queen Margaret’s returned to Scarborough once the First World War was over, only to be evacuated again in World War II, this time to Castle Howard.

Castle Howard, where students lived during World War II
Castle Howard, where students lived during World War II.

It wasn’t until 1949 that the School arrived in Escrick Park, where it has been ever since. This magnificent country house, that was built with the assistance of John Carr in 1758, is now a home from home for our girls.

The front of QM then.
The front of Main School then and now.

Modern Day Renovations

In 1986 the School was re-established under a new company limited by guarantee and registered with the Charities Commission. At the same time the School became independent of the Woodard Foundation. Since then almost £10 million has been invested into new and improved facilities, some of which you can clearly see in the images below.

The Old Chapel
The Old Chapel.
St Margaret's Chapel today
St Margaret's Chapel today.
The Red Stairs then
The Red Stairs then.
The Red Stairs now
The Red Stairs now.

Although the boarding accommodation has been modernised, the girls still enjoy their home comforts all the same.

Boarding then
Boarding at QM in the 80s.
Boarding now.
Boarding in Red House now
Red House Lounge then
Red House Lounge as it used to look.
Red House Lounge now.
QM girls relax in the cosy Red House Lounge.

Another tradition that has stood the test of time is the QM girls' love of Horse Riding, the horses at the Queen Margaret's Riding School have been a familiar sight at the front of School over the years.

QM Horses then
QM Horses now
Though the faces have changed, Horse Riding has remained a much-loved tradition at QM.

To find out more about the history of our School and to see more pictures from the archives, click here.

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