A History of St Hilda's in 125 Objects

This project is part of our 2018 celebrations. It will bring together a collection of items, places and even animals that have added to the experience of living and working at St Hilda's over the past 125 years.

The view from South Building in the mid-1920s

Our first 'object' is this picture, showing a calm and frosty winter  view  across the front of South Building in the mid-1920s. In 1919, it got so cold that the water on the surrounding meadows froze over. Student Ethel Collinson wrote in a letter to her mother on the 16th February 1919:

“The frost held for about a week here.  The University Skating Club flooded Long Meadow, and let it freeze, and while it held all the world went skating.  I could not get there until the end of the week.  I spent about an hour one afternoon falling about on Marjorie’s skates.  Then just as I had arranged with Doris Coleman to borrow her skates during the afternoon, as she could not ever use them till after four, of course the thaw came!  She had a gorgeous time that week.  She and her colleagues and their friends, some of them male, used to have moonlight supper parties on the ice!” [PP 13/52]

Our grateful thanks go out to all those who are sharing their stories in order to create this compilation of treasured memories. We do hope that you will find this collection as interesting, varied, rich and evocative as we do. If you have any objects of your own to share, do contact the Development Office.


125 Objects

Booklet of photographs of college student teams, 1920-1921


This photograph includes Ethel Margaret Collinson (St Hilda’s, 1917), who wrote extensively to her mother about life as a student, particularly her sporting exploits in the hockey team. In one letter dated 13th November 1917, she describes her admiration for the hockey skills of fellow student Marjorie Comins (St Hilda’s, 1917). She alludes to Marjorie’s sharp shooting at goal as akin to the Oxfordshire game of Aunt Sally, where a doll is knocked off a perch by throwing sticks:

 “Our practices are rather apt to become a solo concerto for Marjorie's powers of shooting, the rest of the players acting as orchestra.  She can shoot, too, as multi-coloured bruises on various parts of my lower limbs bear eloquent witness - the opposing goal rather acts as a kind of Aunt Sally. On Monday we had a practice at 7.15 a.m., and had to climb the fence into the bargain!”  [PP 13/10]

Booklet of photographs of college student teams, 1920-1921
South Building exterior, mid 1920s