Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > School > THE LEGACY OF ESME CLARK

THE LEGACY OF ESME CLARK

Students reap the benefits of Miss Esme Clark's passion for the English language, her dedication to WGGS and her provision for the advancement of students she would never know...
25 Jan 2021
School

Miss Esme Clark 1 October 1903 – 17 July 2005

Esme Clark was a much loved and respected English Teacher at Watford Grammar School for Girls from 1938-1965.  According to former pupil, Marcia Fielden, Miss Clark was, “a wonderfully gifted teacher of English, being both light-hearted and amusing and yet a guardian of the highest standards in both writing and speech.”  Her skills and standards in English were put to good use in her capacity as Head of the WGGS Magazine Committee, a role which she filled for a number of years.  According to Margaret Baxter and Neil Hart in Mrs Fuller's Free School, “after an active retirement she reached her hundredth birthday in October 2003”.  

 

 

Esme’s Legacy Gift –

In 2005 the Women of Vision Trust received Esme’s gift; a bequest of one quarter of her residuary estate.  The gift was to be used to assist students with hardship grants “to finance Scholarships or Exhibitions for University places and an annual prize for English” and ultimately her wish was to help as many students as possible reap the benefits of any expenditure.  The English prize and scholarship were first awarded in 2006 and the school continues to commemorate Esme each year with the Esme Clark English prize to this day.

In 2020 the Parents’ Association generously donated funds for the refurbishment of the school library and the opportunity presented itself to create a reading room.  In an entirely appropriate extension of the library refurbishment, funds from Esme’s gift were directed to this extra project and her legacy now continues to benefit the students with the newly created Esme Clark Reading Room.

In the current circumstances the reading room cannot be used as planned, but in the future the students will benefit from Esme’s generosity and love of her subject.  In the meantime, WGGS librarian, Beverly Small commented, "The Esme Clark room is a fantastic addition to the library, where girls will be able to sit and read quietly or have book discussions.  We cannot wait to be able to have book groups taking place, and to hear girls talking about books they have read.  We will be making good use of the space as a Y13 silent study area until Covid restrictions are lifted."


For further information about legacy gifts, please visit our Support Us page


Esme's former student and friend, Patricia Slatter neé Foster sent the following photograph of Esme - taken on her 100th birthday.  Patricia remembers Esme as 

"an inspirational teacher"  who's A level English lessons will be remembered "as well as happy memories from the previous years".

Patricia vistited Esme in hospital days before she died and reports that Esme was as sharp and humourous as ever.

 

Similar stories

Following on from the success of 2023’s ‘Legally Blonde,’ Watford Grammar School for Girls are proud of present ‘The Add… More...

PE and Sports Assistant (Female Graduate Role) vacancy at WGGS More...

Cover Supervisor & LSA vacancy at WGGS More...

Most read

Class Photo

In a selection of interviews, alumnae from the 1950s to 2016 talk about their experiences as Watford Grammarians; from changes in uniform and subjects… More...

Careers

WHEN YOU STARTED YOUR DEGREE, DID YOU KNOW WHAT CAREER OR JOB YOU'D BE DOING AFTER YOU COMPLETED IT? More...

WGGS

CURRENT TEACHING STAFF VACANCIES More...

Have your say

 
image

Quick Links

This website is powered by
ToucanTech