Given the rich four hundred and ten year history of Dame Alice Owen's School, we often receive emails and calls in relation to our archives.
It was recently a complete delight to receive an email from the daughter of an Owen's alumna who shared with us that her mother may very well be our oldest surviving student at 102 years old!
Daphne Paskin (née Green) would have attended Dame Alice Owen's Girls School in Islington in the 30's. Daphne and her sister Lily joined the army after leaving school but they were then recalled when their father's garment factory took a direct hit and he was killed while ushering his workers to safety not long before the end of the war. Lily was assigned to Bletchley but she would never talk about it, no matter how hard the family tried to persuade stories out of her. As for Daphne, her daughter is convinced that she would have become a concert pianist had she not met and married her late husband.
Daphne's daughter, Barbra, came forward with some wonderful images of her mother and remarked, "the most I remember of my mother talking about the school was in terms of her elite education and the languages she studied while there. Back then it was in Islington. Also, her aunt (my great-aunt) Gloria Brent taught there. She was a famed elocution teacher with books to her name but I'm not sure what she would have been teaching, whether elocution or English. My mother did tell me she was not allowed to let on that Aunt Gloria was a relative so it remained their secret.".
Daphne currently lives in Nightingale House Care Home, London. Thank you to Barbra for sharing the images and information about her mother with us. If you have a story to share, please get in touch via the link below.
"However this was fraught with danger because, as all pre-1971 Old Owenians will know, entering the school through that door was a capital offence in itself" More...