Miss Trott's Schools

In 1895 we learn from Bulmer's Directory of Derbyshire that Mrs Selina M Shrubsole owned a private school in Dore at the Licensed Victuallers' Institute. She lived at Ardendale. She was Principal of this seminary for young ladies for 29 years of the Dore and Totley High School. She died in 1914.

Broomfield - Dorothy attended here for a while. Most of the teaching was done by Mrs Shrubsole's niece, Miss Reed. Broomfield was a "commodius house built on the hillside, overlooking Totley Valley with a glorious moorland view beyond: at the foot of the hill, the cattle grazed in the shade of the lovely trees in Abbeydale Park".

The school was near the station, 2 miles from home and 3 miles from Dore Church. St John's was half a mile away.

On her way to school Dorothy used to cross the railway line and walk past Brook House on Grove Road, with the model railway in the garden.

In 1916 Dorothy went to boarding school in Buxton. Later, back home, she started to teach the piano. then Miss Reed called her to Dore High School to ask if she would coach a girl for her examination. Then she was employed by a Mrs Richards of Millhouses Lane to teach her 3 daughters. When Mrs Richards said it was time they went to school, Dorothy said she would start a school.

After Ebenezer Hall died Abbeydale Hall became a private hotel. Dorothy asked if she could use the premises but this was refused. She asked the Reverend Kerfoot if she could use St John's Church Rooms. She obtained permission from Miss Reed to use the name Dore High School, and wrote to 2 small school in the village explaining her plans. The school was less than half a mile from its former home.

"St John's Church, near Dore station an exquisitely appointed small building was erected by John Roberts of Abbeydale Hall in 1877 and when later, Ebenezer Hall added the Church Rooms in 1893, he willed that any proceeds from lettings should accrue to his friend the Vicar, the Reverend Kerfoot".

Dorothy now had to prepare it for its new use as a school. Her father lent her fifty pounds to be repaid at five percent. Apart from this she had five pounds capital, which she spend on school essentials:

1 Kindergarten Table15s 0d
4 Kindergarten round-backed chairs20s
1 Portable Blackboard and Easel15s
2 Boxes chalk [white and coloured]2s 6d
2 dozen Exercise books [ruled]3s
1 dozen Exercise books [squared]2s
2 Bottles ink [red and black]3s
Reading cards
Sundry KG materials£1.15s
Boxes, pencils, pens,
Indiarubbers, Blotting Paper5s
Less discount on purchases of £56d

"On a crisp Thursday morning in January 1924 I lifted the latch of the heavy oak doors leading to St John's Church Rooms. Inside the large hall, the caretakers had already set out the polished kindergarten tables, four small armchairs and other equipment. Proudly I surveyed the scene, praying silently that, as the mantle of Elijah had fallen upon Elisha, so might Miss Reed's skill and understanding fall upon me, giving me wisdom to guide my children."

Meals for Day Boarders were taken at Abbeydale Hall, then later at Vera Hoyland's house in Totley.

When the five year lease expired new buildings had to be found. Brook House, set in two and a half acres was in an ideal location. There were several outbuildings which could be put to good use. Across the grounds was Woodleigh. The straight drive into the grounds of Woodleigh was bordered with tall cypress trees to the lawns and tennis court beyond and behind both gardens, flowed the River Sheaf.

There were alterations in 1933. And over the years various houses were bought. At the start of the 2nd World War Miss Trott considered moving the School in the country, but then bought Woodleigh, the beautiful house next door. Her father helped her again, buying the house and renting it to the school. Over the years more houses were bought on Grove Road.

During the war a Kindergarten was opened in Dore, and Miss Trott bought a small school in Bakewell. Later she took over Clarkehouse Preparatory School.

The twenty-first birthday celebrations of the school were held a month early in December 1944 on Speech Day in Sheffield City Memorial Hall.

"One of the reasons for our rapid expansion was the ability to produce successes in Public Examinations. With so few pupils, small classes and individual attention, we could develop the potential whether academic or practical of each girl and sound tuition in basic subjects enabled the boys to gain entrance to the schools of their parents' choice. The pre-1914 conception of an academy for the daughters of gentlemen where only the social graces were cultivated was passing rapidly out of fashion. The 1914-18 war had opened many professions to women; they had found freedom, politically and financially, and it was no longer possible to restrict their development. Thus is was essential that educational curricula should change to enable women to be equipped for a new style of employment and Dore High School sensed the need and offered the opportunities."

The school started with seven pupils and eight members of staff in 1924. It closed forty-two years later, ninety years after it was opened by Mrs Shrubsole.