Ginner-Mawer Update. October 1938

Ginner-Mawer Update.  October 1938


Among Miss Mawer’s collection of newspaper cuttings, this one has a little surprise right at the end:  “Miss Ginner, Miss Mawer and Miss Sherwood are taking over all the classes in Greek, National Dancing, and Mime at the headquarters of the Women’s League of Health and Beauty”.


In 1926 Marjorie Duncombe (a graduate of the Ginner-Mawer School) helped Mrs Bagot-Stack to set up her own school to train teachers, The Bagot Stack Health School.  If I understand things correctly, this later became the Women’s League of Health and Beauty (WLHB).  So the Ginner-Mawer School had had close associations with the Women’s League of Health and Beauty for the previous twelve years, or so.  I wonder what the reasons were behind this move to employ the top three people at Ginner-Mawer?  Certainly they would have all needed to earn their livings, Mawer more so than Ginner – so income would probably have come into it, but from the WLHB point of view it would have been cheaper to employ Old Girls.  Could it have been a matter of prestige?  Ginner-Mawer was very well renowned at this point, but also possibly on the way down – certainly, the evacuation to Boscastle the following year did not help matters.


In addition to the WLHB work, and the Ginner-Mawer School curriculum, other teaching work included Ruby Ginner teaching Greek Dance to the medical gymnast students of St Thomas’ Hospital; while Miss Mawer was due to hold special weekly classes in Mime in education on behalf of the Middlesex County Council Education Committee.


A masque (a type of performance) was specially arranged by Miss Mawer at the Worthing Repertory Theatre.  Called The Rose Without a Thorn, it starred Ena Russell, Cleone Chadwick and Elizabeth Coxon.


The annual summer schools were still booming, with some eighty teachers and students taking part in 1938.


At the Summer Schools for American delegates at Malvern and Stratford during the towns Festivals, Miss Susan Pearson instructed the Mime classes.  While at Buxton Festival, Miss Joyce Ruscoe held classes in Mine, Historic Movement, and Speech in the School of Drama which was organised by the British Drama League.


Interestingly, we have a note about a group of men taking part in a class (not sure which one).  Joyce Ruscoe gave a lecture-demonstration (not sure if it was mime or not) to a “large group of unemployed men”!  Joyce was a busy bee, as she also gave demonstrations in Mime for approximately fifty children from the Buxton Council Infants School.

Author: Janet Fizz Curtis

Janet Fizz Curtis is trained in the Irene Mawer Method of Mime and Movement.

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