ON a summer’s day in the early 1930s, the pupils of Hendon House School, Southampton, trooped across Palmerston Road and lined up to have their photograph taken in the nearby park.

Sitting in the centre of the third row is Miss Mabel Wilkins, the headmistress, and daughter of the school’s founder.

Said to be the last surviving traditional “dames school’’ in Southampton, Hendon House, which was founded in 1906 in a red brick bow-fronted house on the corner of New Road, continued to teach youngsters right up to 1969 when it closed.

Daily Echo:

According to the history books, dames schools were originally small private ventures run by older women who looked after local children, and the classrooms were often based in the front room of their own homes.

Looking at this photograph from the Daily Echo archives, pupils seemed to range from just a little older than toddlers, to aged 13 or 14.

Seated just behind Miss Wilkins is her assistant teacher, who is remembered only as Mollie.