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PHSG Memories

Join us and journey back through time to the cherished memories and unforgettable moments that have shaped our school community. Whether you're a current student, an alum, or simply a friend of our school, we invite you to embark on a trip down memory lane with us. From the laughter-filled hallways to the quiet moments of reflection, our school memories page is a celebration of the moments that make our school community truly special. 
Hear directly from our students, old and new, as they share their favourite memories, anecdotes, fables and celebration on their time at our school.
Share Your Memories:

We believe that memories are meant to be shared, and we invite members of our school community to contribute their own stories, photos, and reflections to our memories page. Whether you're an alum reminiscing about your school days or a current student creating new memories, your contributions help enrich the tapestry of our shared history.

Please send your school memories / photos to the Head's PA: Vicki Benwell

Stay Connected:

Don't let the memories end here! Stay connected with our school community through social media, alumni networks, and upcoming events. Whether you're reliving old memories or creating new ones, we're excited about continuing this journey together.

School Facebook Page

PHSG Alumi Webpage


Memory Moments

A thank you to the PHSG Old Girls Association for providing us with some hilarious and insightful memory moments. 


Blackboards and chalk

Lidded desks (and never being able to keep mine tidy!) 

The gongs

Being forbidden from using the main front door until the Sixth Form 

The staff 'secret stairways' 

Lovely pupil artwork in the main corridor

Large wooden board over the main staircase with this names of all past headteachers 

Certain classrooms being synonymous with certain lessons - Room 19 French, Room 22 German. Room 12 Maths...

Room 16 being my first form classroom and starting PHS in 1J

The long climb to the Art Room

The PE Changing Room showers

Table tennis in the Annexe basement

Horrible toilets near the first form classrooms

6th Form Common Rooms

Freezing cold hockey lessons at Efford 

Finlandia, The Bartered Bride and The Entertainer in Music Lessons

End of O Level Year 5 trip to Mrs Boorman's home (also Mrs B's amusing abbreviations for almost everything...'the A B of C' (Archbishop of Canterbury)... etc

Inter House competitions - Gymnastics, Music, Drama

Miss Paddon getting married and transforming into Mrs Remington!

The 'Hi-de Hi' incident in assembly (you needed to be there!)


Miss Newman's 'traffic light' system for entry into her office.

Getting a detention (the only time!) for going to Majestic (night club) to see the Radio One Roadshow.

The gong at the end of every lesson and getting to strike it when I was in Sixth Form.

Singing the school song at the end of term 'Non scholae sed vitae discimus'

Playing table tennis in the Annexe basement.

Mrs Jowett playing her accordion on the last day of term. 


Making custard 'illegally' in the lunch hour.

When the ceiling fell on us (Form 2A). Form 2B were doing PR in the Hall above. There was dust and plaster everywhere. Thankfully no one seriously hurt.

The arrival of the first male teacher, Mr Rowe, to teach Physics.

The look on Miss Millers face when we all stamped our feet and cheered Mr Rowe, the only male teacher, when he went up the steps to the stage at the end of term. 

Jane Akers speech (in the public speaking competition) entitled 'Nothing in Particular'.

School dinners! - the joy of cheese pie and Manchester Tart and dread of butter beans!

Horror at the introduction of the tricorn hat.

The Sixth Form common room in the Blind Institution and jiving to jazz records on a Dansette record player.

Secreting a group of several young men (including my future husband) into the Sixth Form common room in the Blind Institution for coffee. 

Earning money for being a Lab Assistant for Chemistry and Physics, and having to dust all the bottles for 10 shillings. 

A public speaking competition which included a character called 'Scubbins' in a 'takeoff' of Butlins. It was hilarious, as was Miss Brogden's ever darkening face. 

Getting lines for not wearing my hat in the street, or eating in the street. 

Chocolate pyramids for school dinners.

Being caught by the Headmistress for wearing a non-uniform coat!

Being caught reading 'Peyton Place' which I had wrapped in brown paper to disguise it.

In our Fifth Year, our school trip was cancelled at the last minute so our form tutor (Mrs Boorman) took the whole year to her home in South Brent - it was full of birds and small pet animals - quite amazing and so kind of her to be overrun with 40+ girls. 

The school song in Latin 'for life, not school, we learn'. Latin is now very useful for crosswords and quizzes!

Posture badges! Standing to attention when passing prefects or teachers in the corridor. 

Swimming outdoors in unheated seawater pools at Mount Wise or the Hoe- 1st May, whatever the weather. Teachers standing on the edge in coats, gloves and scarves telling us to 'get our shoulders under', so we wouldn't feel the cold.

Hockey lessons in Efford and taking ages to get home afterwards. 

Miss Irish, my Maths teacher and form mistress.

Drill on how to roll out pastry with Miss Hulbert.

Being given a detention by a prefect for 'eating on the bus'. We weren't allowed to eat outside of school in our uniform.

The awful tricorn hat that was introduced instead of the beret.

Being allowed to strike the gong. 

I was a prefect, and we had our own common room with a kettle and armchairs - very plush!

Gaining my Queen’s Guide Award as a member of the school Guide company.

I remember the very cold winter of 1962/63 : no school dinners for a long time, and rather cold in classrooms, but nobody considered closing the school.  In particular, we were taught A-level maths in a little room that was accessed by going through the art room, and we kept warm by sitting around a small electric fire with coats on!.

Miss Watts (head of English) wore her gown to teach - she said it kept the chalk off her clothes!

As a prefect, we hit the gong at the bottom of the main staircase at the end of lessons.

Needlework and cookery lessons - I still use the book that we had for these lessons now!

Before we could get a new notebook, the teacher had to check that every line had been used, and sign the book.

Miss Jeffery bringing a rescued baby owl into school.

Forgetting my lines in 'The mad women of Chaillot' and Miss Mills (the prompt) explaining afterwards that she thought I was pausing for dramatic effect!

Writing speeches for the annual Public Speaking competition. My speech 'Silence' was selected. I announced my title and stood saying nothing for a long time. Finally, I launched into song: "Silence is golden , golden, but my eyes can see..."  (Engelbert Humperdink). Then I delivered my speech, which had bits in it that made the whole school laugh, and I won. I was chuffed to bits!!

When we went down to the basement for our "practicals" we used to say we were going to the dungeons.


A music festival where my House did a Country and Western contribution and the live chicken escaped and perched on Mrs Richardson's piano, to her great distress.

Miss Garner (games and gym) with matching gym slips and bloomers, going to the far end of the canteen to blow her nose. Do you remember where she kept her hankie?

The day King George VI died. Miss Turner came to Room 4 where we were having a French lesson with Dr Glas and we were given the rest of the day off. 

Forgetting to put my bread to rise during lunch break but getting a top mark for it anyway!

Taking part in 'Little Women'. The scene was the harrowing return of Joe's father - 'he' lay surrounded by his weeping family on his sick bed. The bed collapsed, so did the cast and the whole of the school.

Getting an 'Order Mark' for doing somersaults over some bars which were out of bounds, behind the Domestic Science block.

Winning the 80 year sprint race at Plymouth and District Sports at Farley's Fields. 

Struggling with school bags, hockey stick and boots to get on the buses which took us to Farleys Field for games. 

Being carried downstairs - a hefty 5th Former - by Miss Garner, after having fallen off the wall bars in the gym.

The form trip to London to see the decorations along the route of the Queen's Coronation Procession in June 1953.

Two girls (seperately!) from the school running off to Gretna Green to get married!

Quaking in the Headmistress' Office, having my misdemeanours found out!

Playing the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. 

The smell of Farley's rusks whilst we played hockey on a crisp day.

Carol singing with Miss Heal from Oxfam.

Sharing orange honeycomb bars in the basement when we were first formers. 

Playing Pirates in the gym at the end of term.

The mystery of the back stairs...


'Yellow bird' at the House Music competition.

Seeing celebrities after international hockey matches, namely Micheal Flanders, Armand and Michaela Dennis, spotted on Regent Street.

An absolute highlight was the trip to see 'My Fair Lady'. Stanley Holloway leaving the theatre on his bicycle; the kindness Rex Harrison taking us behind the scenes to see his dressing room and tour the stage; Kay Kendall waiting in the car clutching her poodle. 

Scaring ourselves with an Ouija Board.

Someone reading out loud from a brown paper covered copy of Lay Chatterley's Lover. 

Flat alto lead in a Mozart performance - uncontrollable hilarity in the choir!

Tennis coaching at Seymour Road with Mrs Couldrey.

Having to number every page in our exercise books so that you couldn't tear anything out.

Signing for numbered text books then covering them in brown paper. 

Trying to get the bus to the hockey field at Efford without the local boys pinching our hats

First thing in the morning sitting at the back of the Dinner Hall eating biscuits and checking our homework. 

The ringing of the dinner gong continuously one April Fools' Day. The fire drill was so badly executed that a further one was held in the afternoon - not many lessons on that day!

Was it really the 'Head Girl' on that day (April 1st) continuously ringing the gong... initiating an impromptu Fire Drill!! 

Getting stuck on stage as Charles II in a clinch with Nell Gwyn in '1066 and All That'' - the curtains failed to close on schedule.

Noses against the window to read everyone else's O Level results, having received them that morning by post our individual results. 

That I made lifelong friends during the best years of my life at school!

I remember athletics at Brickfields and hockey at Farley's field. 

One day having to eat my lunch at the Staff Dining Table and Miss Rooke turning to me and saying ''If you survive this then you'll survive anything!'' - teachers were human beings after all.

The excitement of playing PIRATES up and down the wall bars of the school hall during the last Gym lesson of the term. A skill I regret I have never needed in adult life. 

The thrill of acting in the first production of a school play put on at the real theatre in Stonehouse Barracks - smell of grease paint in the Green Room, glare of bright lights and a large audience. 

Winning the SW School's U15 Hurdles Championships. 


Iron rations (Horlicks Tablets & Buscuits) in a small tin box in case of long air raids. 

Girl Guides from school being enrolled in the air raid shelter.

Fire Drill on the top landing, where we went down the hatch (still there) and ended up on the top of a cupboard in Miss Turner's Study!

Wearing hand knitted tights for three years.

Being chosen as a prefect, 'because all the good girls had been used up!'

My love scene in the Merchent of Venice as 'Lorenzo', on a grassy bank, being urged to: Put your arm around her and look as if you like it!!, whilst Saint Saens 'The Swan' was being played on a violin in the shower rooms outside.

Going to school after it had been bombed, helping clear up the broken glass, ceilings etc. Water running down the stairs from the Main Hall - there was no roof where the firemen had put out the fire.

The thrill of knowing I had gained a place at Plymouth High School and buying the uniform at Dingles, Charlton House (now the House of Fraiser in town)

The kindness of Miss Saville

The seagull who deposited a 'whoopsie' on my new school panama hat and the fact that the stain would not come out. 

Upsetting a tin of sardines over the bed during the evacuation to Newquay whilst being forbidden to eat in bedrooms ever, - a small dead giveaway! My punishment: many lines and a severe dressing down.

Being detailed to drag the large, heavy floor cloth over the Hall before each gym lesson. It was attached to a rod with rope handles and sat in the shower rooms in a tray of large disinfectant.

No PE teacher available for the Emergency High's outpost in Durnford Street. Instead, wonderful lessons with the Royal Marine PT Instructor on a loan from Stonehouse Barracks.

Scrambling over rocks and running around Devil's Point from the Emergency High School with a very handsome PTI from the Marine Barracks - PT lessons were never the same after that!

Swimming Gala's at Mount Wise, lots of fun races and diving for plates - there were no stop watches in those days.

Receiving a Conduct Mark (the most serious punishment) for my behaviour after a debate with Sutton High, when I took off my hair ribbon and sat on the table, swinging my legs.

The arrival of Miss Chivell 'Mac' who showed me that a teacher could be friendly and funny and still pass on her own love of her subject.

Miss Turner siding down the corridor with her gown flowing behind her - stately as a galleon!

Supplying our own exercise books in Form 1, and distribution of drinking chocolate from America. 

Going to Bigbury by charablanc with our year to celebrate VE Day, barbed wire being part of the landscape and a delicious picnic being delivered by Miss Hulbert including pastries for each pupil.

Exploring the 'forbidden' air raid shelters under the tennis courts and getting lost in the darkness. 

In 1947, with other Sixth Formers, attending the naming ceremony of Royal Parade and the unveiling of the replica of Drakes Drum, by King George and Queen Elizabeth.

Being kept in detention with the whole class for putting an upturned blackboard cleaner on Miss Trenchard's chair.

Cursing Miss Garner for keep blowing her whistle every time we started a hockey match into the freezing cold.

Being told off at the Christmas Party for jiving - it was not considered 'lady-like'!

Accidentally catching my fingers in the new toilet door which was bolted from the inside.

Two live crabs rescued from the box of fishes for Zoology dissection, 'coming to' and fighting on the windowsill in Miss Saville's English lesson one Friday afternoon.

Staying behind at 4pm in the Sixth Form classroom and listening to Dick Barton, Special Agent.

Playing mixed hockey games with Plymouth College boys at Collings Park in the Christmas Holidays, only to have them banned as being' unladylike' for PHS girls.


Appearing in the chorus in a scene in 'The Lion and the Unicorn', performed at the Guide Bazzar in the Plymouth Guildhall in March 1935, Our changing and dressing rooms were in the Law Courts and stage make-up was a raspberry lipstick, owned by one of our more 'with it' members, and used by us all!!

The bust at the foot of the staircase was draped in a science apron on an important occasion just as the civic procession came down the stairs. Needless to say, Miss Turner the Headmistress was not amused!

Fire Drills - climbing down the ladder into the Headmistress' Study.

Uniform regulations strictly enforced. Hats and gloves to be worn outside School hours with School uniform, blazers and coats buttoned up. No eating in the street whilst wearing uniform. If caught breaking the rules, 'Order Marks' were given and recorded on school reports - widely believed that 3 order marks meant suspension.