Collection AR51 - Woodford School

Identity area

Reference code



Woodford School


  • 1902-1984 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

2 boxes

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Administrative history

Woodford School was a private day-school for girls. A few boarders were also taken. Boys were taught in the preparatory classes. The school originated in 1867, established by Miss Annie Waters, who was joined shortly afterwards by her sister, Jennie Waters. It was originally located in the family home at 9 George Street, Croydon; but in 1878 the family and school moved into a new house at 8 Dingwall Road. This was named Woodford House after the village of Woodford, Wilts, where the family originated. The school subsequently expanded into the two neighbouring houses, 7 and 9 Dingwall Road. The Misses Waters retired in 1900, and Miss AHB Walford became headmistress; she was succeeded in 1927 by Miss Mary Horsley, an old girl of the school, who had taught there since 1919. The name changed in 1916 from Woodford House School to Woodford School. The school went into decline during World War 2. The Senior School closed in 1942; and, after Mary Horsley died in 1945, the surviving Junior School also closed.

The Old Girls Association (WOGA) was established in March 1902. It went into abeyance during World War 2; and was wound up after the death of Miss Horsley, and the closure of the school, in 1945. It was revived in 1951 by Phyllis Fretwell (nee Densham) and Valerie Williams, who became joint secretaries. It established strong links with Mary Horsleys sisters, Misses Margaret and Gwendolen (Dee) Horsley: Margaret, who had been Secretary of the school, was elected President of WOGA. The Association was finally wound up in 1984.

Archival history

Donated by Mrs Phyllis Fretwell, May 1984. Mrs Fretwell (nee Densham) was joint Hon Secretary of the Woodford Old Girls Association. AR51/1/7 was transferred in April 2005 by Mrs Fretwell; her intermediary, Sadie Marks, (nee Potterton) also donated AR51/1/5/10-11).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Accession Number: A811

Further Records of Woodford School

Volume entitled School Careers: lists pupils alphabetically with dates of admission, leaving and career details where available.

[Sadie Marks has also donated three copies of The Woodfordian (1938-9, 1963 transferred to LSL) a speech day programme 1938 and a sports day programme, 1938, both added to AR51/1/5.

Item date: n.d.

Accession date: 23/04/2005

A previous donation by Phyllis Fretwell was made in 1984 (AR51) and this item will be added to it.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Records of Woodford (House) School, of Woodford Old Girls Association, and material re Woodford House School, New Zealand.

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Conditions governing access

Some of the records in our collections contain sensitive and personal data that we have a legal responsibility to control access to. In these circumstances, staff may search the collection on your behalf, having received consent or proof of death of the individual concerned.

Please contact us at for further information regarding the particular collection you wish to access.

You can make a request for information which may be in a closed record under the Freedom of Information Act, 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations, 2004. For more information about making a request, see the Croydon Council website ( Making a request does not guarantee access to the information you ask for, as there may be a valid exemption from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Related units of description

Further records of the Woodford Old Girls Association, recovered from the estate of Valerie Williams, are held at AR19 and in the records of Eleanor Macdonald at AR133/1.

A report book of Margot Sanders is held at AR50.

A scrap book relating to Woodford School is held at AR125

A run of copies of The Woodfordian, the old girls and school magazine, (1902-1945; 1963; 1969), received with this material, has been transferred to the Local Studies Library collections.

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