CFHS code : ML56
Parish : St Mary the Less
Inscription : EDWIN EVANS d Aug 14 1872 in his 8th year LUCY MARY EVANS d Dec 19 1911 aged 67
Monument : Stone cross/Kerb stones
Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey
Lat Lon : 52.202689, 0.13795811 – click here for location
This plinth with broken cross and kerb stones, in the parish area of Mary the Less, is to the east of the centre circle, eleven rows east, next to the path.
‘EDWIN EVANS died Aug 14 1872 in his 8th year.’
“The Lord …”
‘LUCY MARY EVANS / died Dec 19 1911 aged 67’
“Omnia vincit Amor”
Edwin Evans (1844 – 14 August 1872)
Edwin was the younger son of Thomas and Esther Evans and grew up on Fitzwilliam Street. He married Lucy Hutt on 9 July 1868 at St. Mary the Less Church. At the time of his marriage he was living in Upper Holloway and was working as a publishers clerk. The couple returned to live at 6 Rutland Terrace in Chelsea (1871) and had two sons: Edwin Beresford (1870-1870) and Arthur Frederick (1871-). Edwin died at 7 Summerfield in Cambridge of consumption in 1872.
Lucy Mary Evans (née Hutt) (1845 – 19 December 1911)
Lucy was the daughter of Samuel and Julia Hutt and was baptised at St. Mary the Less Church on 30 March 1845. She grew up on LIttle St. Mary’s Lane and her father like Edwin’s was a college servant. After she was widowed she lived at 4 Tennis Court Road (1881) and worked as a certified school mistress. In 1891 she had moved to Elland, Yorkshire and was teaching at Grace Ramsden’s School House. She returned to Cambridge to become headmistress of the newly founded Cambridge and County Girls’ School. The school opened on 18 September 1900 led by Lucy assisted by four teachers and the stated aim of the school was ‘to give a good secondary and practical education at a low fee to girls who are 12 years of age’. The fees were £1 per term, excluding books and ran for two terms a year. The council who ran the school had also arranged half price rail tickets for pupils coming to the school. The school was located in temporary buildings on East Road. By 1903 there were nine teachers including Miss Wallis who taught dressmaking, and Miss Shacklock who taught chemistry and hygiene. The fees had increased to £1, 5s per term, but by then included class books and stationery.
In her Headmistress speech of 1906 she touched on some of the issues with girls education at the time. In 1906 there were 234 pupils in the school and Lucy said ‘I sincerely wish that the average age of the girls when admitted was less than it is, if parents intend a girl to become a pupil at the County School and secure the full advantages of the education given there, she should be entered not later than when she is 13 and go through the four years’ course.Many girls do not come to us until they are 14, or even 15 years of age’.
A permanent location for the school proved problematic, as the council were responsible for acquiring the site, and it was out of the hands of the Governors. At the 1903 Speech Day the chair of Governors apologised for the lack of permanent site and said that what they thought was the ideal site had been found the previous year, but the Finance Board would not agree the cost as it was thought too high. The issue he said was that ‘sites on the town side of the railway bridge were few and far between and the owners had exalted ideas of the value of them’. Lucy said in her speech that she trusted ‘that in a few months the work of the school would be conducted in commodious and well-equipped buildings where the work could be done with less strain and more comfort that at present’.
The question of the permanent location rumbled for many years. In 1905 the issue went before a Local Government Board inquiry into the cost of a proposed site. A site on Hills Road had been found which was to be bought from Jesus College. The cost per acre was £6,400 per acre, whereas a Council depot on Kingston Street had been bought for £1,280 per acre. The relative merits of location, acreage and use were debated, and Lucy told the inquiry that she ‘thought the site an admirable one, just in the right place and suitable for town and country girls’. The population of Cambridge in 1905 was said to be 38,379 and the population of Cambridgeshire was 120,264. The relative merits of having a stand alone Girls’ School as opposed to a joint Girls’ School and Arts school were still being debated as late as November 1907. Meanwhile Lucy kept teaching in the cramped surroundings of East Road with an ever increasing roll of students.
In 1909 the school finally moved to their new buildings in Collier Road, which were jointly shared with the Cambridge School of Arts and Crafts. The latter provided more practical courses, including the introduction of innovative evening classes from 7pm to 9pm which aimed to improve the skill set of employed people. Lucy’s speech at Speech Day 1910 mentioned her pleasure at ‘the ample accomodation and splendid facilities…the school was not only pleasant to look at but beautiful to work in’.
The new school buildings were deemed highly innovative and soon after opening were visited by educationalists from Japan and by headmistresses from right across England. The school drew pupils from both locally and further afield – from Wales, Yorkshire and Dorset. The school taught the girls to swim and was a pioneer of this.
She lived with her brother in law Frederick Evans at 11 Brunswick Walk (1901) and then at 5 Willis Road (1911). Sadly Lucy did not get to enjoy the new school surroundings for very long as she died at Willis Road leaving an estate valued at £3,024 3s 1d.
The Collier Road site is now used by Anglia Ruskin University.
Cambridge County Girls’ School moved to a new site on Long Road in the 1930’s (now Long Road 6th Form College).
by Claire Martinsen and Mary Naylor
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