This week’s memory is shared with us by Alyson Rintoul, 1957 MES leaver. Alyson says:
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Many of my year and others will know this story, but for those who might find it amusing I shall tell it once more.
When I was in first year, I became very interested in Medieval History and the old English spelling of names. I decided that Alison spelled as Alyson had a much richer and more Medieval ring to it and so I decided that from now on I would be known as Alyson. No comment was made all through first and second year although everything I wrote included my new spelling.
However, in third year we had a form mistress who was new to the school, a very pleasant and stimulating English teacher called Miss Mackintosh. What follows is a scene which I can only imagine!
OCCASION: a staff meeting.
Miss Mackintosh – ‘Miss Jennings, what is the correct spelling of Alison Henderson’s name? It is spelled with an ‘i’ in the register but she writes it with a ‘y’
Miss Jennings – ‘How dare a girl upset the register! Send her to me in the morning’.
And so next morning I was summoned to Miss Jennings’ room. First of all she said: ‘You are a silly little goose’ followed by ‘you know that it is illegal?’ (I knew it was not.) And finally ‘You almost caused Miss Mackintosh to have a nervous breakdown’. I was then dismissed from her presence
I felt sorry for Miss Mackintosh as she said that she hadn’t realised I would get into so much trouble. However, from that day on (with the exception of my Highers) I wrote A K Henderson on everything. I wasn’t going to get into more trouble but neither was I going to give in.
I only found out the amount of fuss I had created when many, many years later I visited another of my teachers, Miss Loudon, in a Nursing Home. She had been an excellent Maths teacher and was now 100 years old. I said ‘You won’t remember me Miss Loudon, Maths was not a subject I excelled in’.
She looked at me then said ‘You are the girl who changed the spelling of her name’.
Well! What must have that staff meeting been like!