The chalet school and ofsted?

(455 Posts)
thebody Sat 01-Dec-12 11:56:56

Aibu to wonder what Ofsted would have made of the Chalet school.? Any fellow chaletians around?


SecretNutellaFix Sat 01-Dec-12 12:00:29

Their health and safety record would come under the most intense scrutiny.

thebody Sat 01-Dec-12 12:01:59

Health and safety lol yes a near death most terms.

Languages outstanding though!

Gigondas Sat 01-Dec-12 12:03:33

How they passed off griselda running off up a mountain and Joey following her can only be cos her sister is staff. I think some huge cover up going on.

thebody Sat 01-Dec-12 12:16:50

I wish I could send dds there though as they would return home willing to make beds, tidy rooms, help with all the chores and render cheerful obedience! Also chattering in French and German useful.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Sat 01-Dec-12 12:20:54

grin I think health and safety would be their biggest issue. I also suspect that their paper work is a bit dodgy. Sometimes they even had the wrong child there without noticing.

Selky Sat 01-Dec-12 12:22:56

Did Madge even have a teaching qualification?

thebody Sat 01-Dec-12 12:27:46

No selky but one can go a long way in life with elusive prettiness and a charming smile.

Her lectures on English literature were also delightful.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 01-Dec-12 12:28:05

Having a 17yo Joey dating the local GP would probably be a child protection issue. She was always fainting into his arms and next thing was having his babies!

MarianForrester Sat 01-Dec-12 12:32:27

I think that Kaffee und Kuchen would not meet the appropriate healthy snack criteria.

YuleBritannia Sat 01-Dec-12 12:39:24

I was going to start by saying that Ofsted would have no responsibility for the Chalet School because it's not in the UK but I do agree with what has already beenm said.

It's so long ago that I read any Chalet School books that it's not my place to express an opinion apart from the H&S issues.

If we were to go down the Abbey School route though .................

Oh, that's what schooldays were all about - including Mallory (or was it Malory) Towers. Oh and Greyfriars - can'rt ;eave out the boys, can we?

If we still had that sort of school - not necessarily public; just strict - we'd have fewer ASBOs and juvenile delinquency.

YuleBritannia Sat 01-Dec-12 12:39:42

*can't leave

WilsonFrickett Sat 01-Dec-12 12:41:17

Lots of child protection issues due to general dating of 16 yo's by older doctors, crazed younger brothers of princes kidnapping crown princesses, etc.

Coffee at every break - really?

Science procedures to be overhauled due to regular explosions.

History hmm. 'Once he is in the thick of battle, the British soldier doesn't know how to spell defeat' anyone?

OTOH excellent multi-cultural awareness, outstanding for languages and knowledge of alpine flowers and a nice uniform.

SecretNutellaFix Sat 01-Dec-12 12:45:57

Pastoral support seems to be second to none however, children left bereaved are cared for superbly.

thebody Sat 01-Dec-12 12:52:17

And I want Anna to come and live with me and run my house and life.

Lets face it she can do anything from washing windows, making hair washes and dying clothes and can still bring up 11 children and assorted wards and rise at 5am to pick lettuces for an expedition picnic.

Gigondas Sat 01-Dec-12 12:54:57

Ofsted would have responsibility for plas y gwyn .


thebody Sat 01-Dec-12 13:03:21

Yes and big house and glendower house( English branch)

I need a life.

Oodthunkit Sat 01-Dec-12 13:04:35

Lots of private fostering arrangements too.

Bilbobagginstummy Sat 01-Dec-12 13:11:51

Miss Annersley would scare Ofsted into giving them an excellent report, though.

BegoniaBampot Sat 01-Dec-12 13:15:49

Didn't it start off or end up in the UK? Was it the Channel Islands maybe?

Bilbobagginstummy Sat 01-Dec-12 13:17:23


Armifordshire (Herefordshire)
St Braivels (South West Wales)


Sephy Sat 01-Dec-12 13:18:02

What would Ofsted make of the excellent training in arguing from cause to effect in History? Can't be much less than outstanding on that front alone...

Graceparkhill Sat 01-Dec-12 13:27:30

Didn't do Chalet School but think Mallory Towers would need to evidence any sort of anti bullying policy and defend total absence of social inclusion strategy.
No sign of diversity policy either.
No risk assessment procedures in place and total absence of staff supervision

Ericaequites Sat 01-Dec-12 13:31:24

Joey did a spot of teaching the term after she finished. She also acted as a highly unqualified lay counselor, especially in Switzerland.
I was also struck that not all girls expected to take O levels/CSEs, let alone A levels.
The girls at St. Millicent's seemed to learn very little, and spent most of their time working on a pantomime. My folks would have made me learn typing and bookkeeping, by contrast. Very few Chalet girls learned typing, which is always useful.

OOAOML Sat 01-Dec-12 13:32:39

Insufficient risk assessment before trips.

Head Girl post appears to be almost hereditary.

Lack of an anti-bullying policy.

Not enough time or hot water to wash properly.

No exploration of any faith other than Catholic or C of E.

DizzyHoneyBee Sat 01-Dec-12 13:35:01

They would fail spectacularly when it came to safe guarding I expect!

MissAnnersley really needs to contribute to this thread smile

OOAOML Sat 01-Dec-12 13:40:48

MissAnnersley is probably helping Miss Dene forge permission slips going back 5 years, whilst Gaudenz incinerates the accident reports and Matey hides all the castor oil.

ApplesinmyPocket Sat 01-Dec-12 13:51:14

Was never really happy with the 'Show a leg' thing. The image of a dorm with one bare leg sticking out through each bed-curtain always sounded a bit pervy to me. I think Ofsted would see my point.

thebody Sat 01-Dec-12 14:10:31

What I always liked was the fact that as soon as they married all chalet girls immediately have up work to become stepford wives.

Daisy was a top paediatrician but gave it all up for Laurie. All the working women were spinsters but I suppose life was like that once, well for well off women.

Also Eleanor bless her always described any troublesome child as having a silly mother, fathers were always perfect.

Hesterton Sat 01-Dec-12 14:14:30

I bet every adult who had regular contact with them wasn't CRBed though.

babybythesea Sat 01-Dec-12 14:49:38

I would have thought they'd do quite well for provision of extra-curricula activities - Guides and the like.
But yes to insufficient risk assessments, and I also would query ratios of staff to adults - they seemed to manage a lot without the staff really noticing.
Also the practice of punishing one child (Joey) to get at another (Robin) seems dodgy. I'm sure they could have come up with something even for such a fragile wisp of a child.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 01-Dec-12 14:59:33

They wouldn't cone under ofsted though it would be ISIC

MissAnnersley Sat 01-Dec-12 15:00:41

Ofsted you say?

<runs screaming from thread to find Miss Dene and Miss Wilson>

And for goodness sake, someone keep Jo out of the school until it's over!

NellyBluth Sat 01-Dec-12 15:03:52

God, now I want to read the Chalet School again blush Anyone read them recently?

I think I used to fancy Jo's doctor bloke. But was he really that much older than her?

thebody Sat 01-Dec-12 15:05:28

You can't keep jo away!!! She's a foundation stone.

Matey mustn't be seen to be holding the noses of juniors though and force feeding them obnoxious medicine.

kennyp Sat 01-Dec-12 15:06:09

didnt pat and isobel o sullivan have a real fire in their study. no mention of a fire guard.

thebody Sat 01-Dec-12 15:07:17

Nelly, I have lots of them and my sister has the whole bloody set.

They are a good read and screamingly dated and not PC.

purplewithred Sat 01-Dec-12 15:11:40

Not available on Kindle sad

Welovecouscous Sat 01-Dec-12 15:11:54

Ethnic diversity is an issue at this school and neither Eid nor Diwali are separated.

However, children's emotional welfare is well catered for and relationships between children and adults are generally excellent.

Welovecouscous Sat 01-Dec-12 15:12:11

Celebrated not separated blush

daisymaybe Sat 01-Dec-12 15:29:11

They might have found it alarming that every troublesome girl has a life-changing incident, only learning humility once in a wheelchair/ in the san with pneumonia/ kidnapped by fictional European crown states.

I'm fairly sure that even if they had got a special measures the school could have been kept going by the breeding program. How many chn did Madge have in the end?

Jingleflobba Sat 01-Dec-12 15:45:51

The Chalet School would have been shut down within months of opening if OFSTED had been around!
Can you imagine the amount of CRB checks they would have had to do? People wandering in and out of the school all the time, Joey's Huuuge family all over the place, children running away, students having to escape Nazi's and spies infiltrating the school?
Not to mention the amount of pastoral staff needed to deal with all the children affected by home environments and various orphans.

Jingleflobba Sat 01-Dec-12 15:46:34

Madge had a few children but Joey and Jack had about 12 I think?

thebody Sat 01-Dec-12 16:49:02

Madge had 6 in total as she had twins while in Canada.

Jo had 11 of her own and I think 2 wards/adopted ones. Including the 3 richardsons.

PurpleTinsel Sat 01-Dec-12 17:16:53

The ridiculous number of near fatal accidents would set alarm bells ringing with Ofstead.

And what was all that business with having to have cold baths every morning? I never understood how that was compatible with the bit about how they keep a close eye on the girls health as lots of them have relatives with TB.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Sat 01-Dec-12 17:18:35

I've got about 3 missing from my set. Would love to ge them but they cost a fortune!

PurpleTinsel Sat 01-Dec-12 17:19:09

Would having the school 'adopt' a penniless Irish orphan be counted as having a social inclusion policy?

Oodthunkit Sat 01-Dec-12 17:19:44

I've got them all in either hardback or GGB. Was aiming for set of unabridged ones.

PurpleTinsel Sat 01-Dec-12 17:23:42

OhYouMerryLittleKitten - Girls Gone By Publishers have been reprinting some of the Chalet School books - they only have a few titles in print at any one time, but it may be worthwhile looking there to see if your missing ones are currently in print? Prices currently around £13 to £16 per book.

Oodthunkit Sat 01-Dec-12 17:27:26

You have to buy them pretty quick from GGB as there is a long wait between publishing runs!

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Sat 01-Dec-12 17:31:00

I used to do a bit of proof reading for them purpletinsel smile good idea though I ought to check them out again.

ArkadyRose Sat 01-Dec-12 17:31:40

It's rather telling that the author, Elinor M. Brent-Dyer, did actually open her own school in the 1940s in Herefordshire that closed very shortly afterwards in 1948.

curiousuze Sat 01-Dec-12 21:16:23

I think all the drugging pupils and teachers without their consent that went might horrify OFSTED a bit! Matey was forever slipping sleeping drugs into people's hot milk.

Sadly Jack Maynard is not as fanciable on a re-read; in fact he's a patronising nobber, forever saying to Joey 'now look here my child.'

I am loving this thread grin

Inaflap Sat 01-Dec-12 21:48:36

Safeguarding a major issue. Also how many parents died or randomly took off just leaving their children with Madge or Joey as a ward. The cold bath thing always struck me as odd too. Did schools really do that? And how did they find staff fluent in three languages?

Murtette Sat 01-Dec-12 21:57:56

Teaching at CS must have been so easy as all of the European children (Robin, the Maranis, Mensches, von Eschenaus etc) were trained in "instant obedience". Oh, if only DD was instantly obedient!

Health & Safety would have been a major issue. And so would bullying - it was fine if you were Jo or Mary-Lou or someone but what about all of the others who never really got mentioned but were outside the main clique & very lonely?

PrincessOfChina Sat 01-Dec-12 22:04:13

I'm re-reading at the moment - I've just arrived in Guernsey so about 12 or so books in. Starting to get more expensive now though so am heartbroken when I think of my almost full set being sent to the charity shop 20 years ago sad Keep expecting to buy one back!

My main concern is children being left with family and friends while parents swan off to distant lands with their other, more favoured children. Yes, Dick and Molly Bettany I am talking to you.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Sat 01-Dec-12 22:08:06

Dh kindly helped me identify my missing titles in a list I printed off and highlighted blush I will see if Christmas brings me any happy surprises!

SoggySummer Sat 01-Dec-12 22:17:01

I never read the chalet school books but loved Malory Towers and St Clares and Trebizon a bit later on.

Think I may and give them go!

OhYouMerryLittleKitten Sat 01-Dec-12 22:35:18

Malory towers was great for midnight feasts.

GothAnneGeddes Mon 03-Dec-12 01:12:17

While I did read M.T and C.S and loved them, Trebizon seemed to be really cool, not sure why, I'll have to try and grab them for a re-read.

I would love to be in a classic YA book club. Judy Blume, Lois Duncan, all the boarding school books...

TooImmatureMincePies Mon 03-Dec-12 02:40:30

grin I think the bits about how Jack had realised what Joey meant to him since she was a harum scarum schoolgirl are a bit alarming. Also, he was a qualified doctor when she was about 14 or 15 (he was definitely around in Head Girl of the CS).

Think Ofsted would have had something to say about the various eccentric music/art teachers who liked to throw things or dress like Plato. And I'm sure a Guide Camp involving fishing up a dead body, girls falling into pits and hornet attacks would fail a risk assessment. Also the bit in Rivals where they decide to re-enact the Ku Klux Klan might raise a few eyebrows these days. I wonder how that's been sanitised in the later editions? I read my granny's copies, the original Chambers hardbacks, with all the references to working like niggers left in. Oh, and Jockel the simple handyman, forgot about him.

OhYouMerryLittleKitten, I have some electronic transcripts which I found on a website a few years ago but which have now been removed. I've got the original uncut Head Girl with the bit about the Stuffer and Maria left in, A New Chalet School (also the original, ie, A New CS and A United CS), CS Triplets, Challenge for the CS, CS and Richenda, Future CS Girl, The CS Cook Book and Two Sams. I've also got some other non-CS titles - Kennelmaid Nan, The School At Skelton Hall and Trouble At Skelton Hall. If you (or anyone else) wants a copy, PM me and I'll email them to you.

New prints definitely not "sanitised" mince pies.

Jack Maynard is a creep who is forever slipping sedatives in his wifes coffee. That said, would love to be pampered half as much when even just slightly pregnant, here it's business as usual and I'm expected to work out of the home as well, even with four children, another on the way and no bloody Anna,.Rosli or Co Adjutant to be seen.

primigravida Mon 03-Dec-12 06:01:11

I would also love the help in the home that Jo and Madge had.
in common with SilentMammoth and other mners, I found Jack Maynard much less appealing when reading the books as an adult.

NellyBluth Mon 03-Dec-12 07:46:35

I feel like I am having a large part of my childhood ripped apart here to hear Jack Maynard isn't as wonderful as I thought he was sad

alistron1 Mon 03-Dec-12 08:10:45

I fear Matey would be at the centre of a Saville style scandal what with rubbing brandy into chests and doing things to girls that were never spoken of again.

Tanith Mon 03-Dec-12 11:09:02

As historical accounts, they are fascinating! One of my favourites is Jo of the Chalet School(?), the second one. The description of the remedies necessary because Jo caught a cold belong in a medical history!

I also really loved The Chalet School in Exile. The terrifying description of the Nazi riot and the children on the run to escape a concentration camp was very brave, as was the message of peace to all nations that the school League promoted. Very brave at such a patriotic time to insist that "I don't hate the Germans" and to make such a distinction between the German people and Nazism.

However, for a really challenging read, I think you can't beat Antonia Forest. Such a shame her excellent books aren't more widely recognised.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 03-Dec-12 11:15:12

there are many Antonia Forest obsessives out here Tanith. I am pondering changing my name to ThalianotFailure

2aminthemorning Mon 03-Dec-12 11:24:17

I find life is vastly simplified by this motto:

What Would Joey Do?

hels71 Mon 03-Dec-12 11:26:12

I love Antonia Forest!

I epxect Ofsted would have a field day at the CS. Can you imagine Bill being keen on leveling work and ticking boxes to say what they can and can't do......and prefects doing most of the games lessons as well as all the accidents!

Mind you, they would have to be impressed by the fluency in 3 languages within a few weeks of arriving!

HumphreyCobbler Mon 03-Dec-12 11:28:03

In the event of a crisis of illness Joey would sing to the invalid, or just speak firmly to them, and they will immediately recover

haggisaggis Mon 03-Dec-12 11:38:17

Girls Gone By have 3 titles (School at teh Chalet, Exile and Chalet School at Camp) in e-book format. I used to have loads of the original hardbacks but my dad got rid of them when they got slightly wet when a radiator leaked. Having bought a few second hand hardbacks now for £ 30 + I reckon he threw out a small fortune!

Janeatthebarre Mon 03-Dec-12 13:20:28

Really impressed at all your memories - or do you all sneakily re-read the Chalet School books at regular intervals?

TooImmatureMincePies Mon 03-Dec-12 13:57:32

Those people I sent transcripts to, I have just realised that Head Girl is on my old laptop so wasn't included. I'll try to find it - I know I didn't chuck it out but I don't know where it is! Apparently you can send Word files to a Kindle but not get them back again. hmm

TooImmatureMincePies Mon 03-Dec-12 14:15:11

Jane, blush yes...

HanSolo Mon 03-Dec-12 14:42:46

Humphfrey- there is already a poster named thalianotfailure!

SelfRighteousChristmasPants Mon 03-Dec-12 15:09:09

I'm one book short of the set- sounds like a euphemism grin

The latest one I've got is the Swiss finishing school branch- they are worried about a girl writing to a boy but the smoking and gambling goes by unpunished!

HumphreyCobbler Mon 03-Dec-12 15:18:31

Bugger. We would be kindred spirits though grin

I reread one of the books recently and it's scary how dated they are. Addictive reading though. And the whole school-as-a-factory-for-well-trained-wives-for-doctors-in-the-San thing made me uncomfortable.

I'm imagining if of stead defended there would be a lot of unexplained localised fires in the filing cabinets though. And ferrying certain pupils around to avoid the inspectors!

Janeatthebarre Mon 03-Dec-12 15:41:18

I love re reading old childhood books but have never really felt tempted to rediscover The Chalet School series. However, this thread makes me want to light a fire, pull the curtains and snuggle up with one.

LRDtheFeministDude Mon 03-Dec-12 15:47:23

Well, I think they did excellently in terms of impact. They were constantly considering how the girls' work would affect, say, the rise of the Nazi party or the socialist state, or even Princess Elisaveta's kingdom. Full marks!

Yes, they are rather out of date in terms of casual racism, failure to diversify beyond the family and friends of the original founders, there is rampant bullying, and as time goes on less and less attention is paid to the younger members, the actual students ...

Clearly, the Chalet School is an exemplary modern British University!

WilsonFrickett Mon 03-Dec-12 15:50:14

I'm also not sure about all the adopting/fostering of parent-less girls in order to add to Joey's enormous brood. Did a SW ever visit her?

babybythesea Mon 03-Dec-12 15:52:50

The more I think about it, the more I think the school would be done for not involving SS when there are clearly cases of neglect going on in the family.

As an aside, The Book People catalogue dropped through my door today and for those who are interested, you can buy the set of the Twins at St Clare's books for £4.99. I'm tempted (for DD you understand - for when she's old enough...!)

OodKingWenceslas Tue 04-Dec-12 07:13:27

Watch out for new St Clare's/ Mallory towers, they just aren't right!

DeWe Tue 04-Dec-12 09:34:32

Dread to think of what any healthy eating policy would have made of those cakes/coffees with "a perfect featherbed of whipped cream" as well. grin

DD2 has recently got into them. Must buy some of the new titles from GGBP. Purely for her you understand grin

How have they changed the St Clare's books? I was going to get them for my niece for Christmas.

OodKingWenceslas Sat 08-Dec-12 06:52:05

Some of the language has changed, I've not read them properly just caught bits of dd2s. There's new books with new characters too

lemonpuff Sat 08-Dec-12 07:24:52

I have an almost complete set and a number of duplicates, if anyone wants to pm me, I can check to see if I have the ones you are missing. Wont be ripping anyone off.

elennare Wed 22-May-13 01:40:56

Matey was forever slipping sleeping drugs into people's hot milk.

Possibly the amount of coffee they drank had something to do with that? wink

I have electronic copies of the first six books, plus "The Chalet School and Rosalie" and "New Mistress of the Chalet School", that I'd be happy to email to anyone who want them. And I'd love any others people may have!

GlitzPig Wed 22-May-13 19:45:43

I know it's an old thread, but I do love Joey singing students through serious illnesses and wish I had hair long enough to do it in earphones

And I STILL fancy Jack Maynard and was a bit sad like I didn't get an emerald engagement ring like Jo does blush

thebody Wed 22-May-13 19:56:37

Ohhhh my thread ressurected.

I am currently reading 'the chalet school reunion' Jo holds a house party for all the old girls to cement are Grizel returning from New Zealand.

Of course calamity follows serious injury as Grizel is injured saving Zlend life and then ends up marrying Dr Shepherd.

Oh also Doris Trewkayney dies ( Mary lous mother)

Got about 30 of them. My sister has the full set.

thebody Wed 22-May-13 19:57:11

Zlend is Len.

thebody Wed 22-May-13 19:58:12

Glitz think it was also robin singing 'the red sarafan' that saved Joey as well. Hey ho.

GlitzPig Wed 22-May-13 21:07:41

Clearly multiple generations of Chalet girls can be saved from serious illness by a bit of singing. All together now 'Her fever has broken!' said Matron with a smile breaking across her exhausted face etc etc

God I love the Chalet school. Grizel was a right bitch to Joey when she got engaged, does Joey return the favour, thebody?

I didn't realise it was an old thread, am hoping against hope the poster who had some electronic copies is still here!

SelfRighteousPrissyPants Wed 22-May-13 21:56:27

I'm re-reading mine now I have the full set. I like the way MissAnnersley on here posted on a thread about chair tilting the other day without mentioning how frowned upon it was at the CS grin

All the girls are likely to get pneumonia from being a bit cold (think my MIL went to the same school of quackery as Matey) so it's just as well singing cure them wink

Clodia Wed 22-May-13 22:01:18

I'd love an electronic copy (indeed, any copy) of the Chalet School and Rosalie!

meala Wed 22-May-13 22:12:18

Oooh! I love the chalet school. I have a complete set of the hardback books with mostly first editions. My lovely DH, before we were married, managed to find out from my mum which books I still needed and then found me a copy. His sister couldn't believe that I was delighted getting an old book for my birthday!

I wonder what would have been made of the Robin being sent to her cot so early every night. Also, the adoption of Biddy O'Ryan would have raised some child protection issues.

meala Wed 22-May-13 22:19:30

Apparently the pleuro pneumonia that Jo was so ill with is a cattle disease! smile

thefuturesnotourstosee Wed 22-May-13 22:46:49

I'm not sure how Ofsted would have looked on other pupils helping Robin have her bath. Would this not normally raise some kind of child protection issue?

I'm sure they'd fail on risk assessment - girls falling over cliffs, kidnaps both Elisaveta who was clearly high risk and Robin by a mad man, large dog being kept on site. Girls falling into huge holes at guide camp.

I love the books though they're fantastic. I've got a lot of them but not all of them by a very long chalk. I keep bidding on 2 sams and getting outbid so still not read it. If anyone has a copy they want to sell for a reasonable price or the poster who had the electronic copy is about please let me know I'd love to read it.

It is only the fact that this is an anonymous forum, and none of you lot will be able to find me, that gives me the confidence to say I have the full set of CS stories!

I think Miss Annersley would wrap OFSTED around her little finger - don't forget, she was part of a group of esteemed educationalists chosen to visit lots of schools and write a report.

WildThongsHeartString Wed 22-May-13 23:23:31

Don't miss out the wonderful St Clares!
Those morning cold water baths wouldn't be allowed now smile

MrsOakenshield Wed 22-May-13 23:24:47

if HumphreyCobbler is reading, I did change my name to ThalianotFailure, and absolutely no-one commented on it, so I changed it back bunch of ignoramuses.

thebody Wed 22-May-13 23:31:40

Glitz of course joey wasn't a bitch? How could you??

She was perfectly wonderful.

For me the character of Anna is crucial to the books.

She has no contracted hours, at the stop of a hat she is shifted to look after other friends brats, she cooks, cleans, rears children, rises at 5am to pull lettuces for an expedition, makes 'tisanes' for shampoo...

The woman is fantastic. I want her in my house.,

thebody Wed 22-May-13 23:33:17

SDT I think I know you!!!!

Not really of course.

JoyMachine Wed 22-May-13 23:33:28

Red Sarafan.

I haven't read them in 20 years, and all I could think of was the red sarabande, but I knew it wasn't that. Or samovar... I knew it was something Russiany blush

JoyMachine Wed 22-May-13 23:34:35

MrsOak- isn't 'Thalia' pronounced 'Tharleeya'?

meala Wed 22-May-13 23:39:45

Does anyone else find Mary-Lou and Len irritating? They were always too good.

thebody Thu 23-May-13 00:25:32

Indeed meala I liked Betty Wynne davis, and she was a bad expelled girl.

thebody Thu 23-May-13 00:26:54

Indeed meala I liked Betty Wynne davis, and she was a bad expelled girl.

NKffffffffabeee2d7X127640abcce Thu 23-May-13 06:10:10

I'm sure I remember that in one book, several teachers dressed as imps in black leotards and tights, then chased the girls round the school with switches whipping them. I'd like to see the lesson plan for that one. When Mary Lou tried to escape by climbing onto a wardrobe which then fell against a wall, trapping her, she was blamed for carelessness!

glastocat Thu 23-May-13 06:25:10

I would love it if anyone who has ebooks of these would send them to me, please!

mikkii Thu 23-May-13 06:39:05

Can anyone please tell me how to pm someone? 'IM on an ipad. Thanks.

mikkii Thu 23-May-13 06:47:43

I would also love to receive any ebooks people would like to share. I can't wait until DDs are old enough to read these. I think my sister still has some books, I doubt she'll lend me them thoughsad

katolla Thu 23-May-13 07:38:26

Pm me with your email address for ebooks, I have at least the first few.

katolla Thu 23-May-13 07:39:39

I'd really like Malory towers if anyone has those.

thegreylady Thu 23-May-13 07:39:39

I think Girls Gone By publishers have some CS books as e-books. I am not sure how you would share them though. They also have a book called The Maids of La Rochelle which is separate from CS but has some of the same characters. I think I have already passed on my spares to a mnetter. I do have some duplicates of the Abbey Girls books though.

MissAnnersley Thu 23-May-13 08:04:04


Absolutely PrissyPants.

Weegiemum Thu 23-May-13 08:24:25

SDTG - I know (roughly) where you live!! (You gave me a lift home from the tramway once!)

Grizel's story in Reunion is really quite racy. She'd been in love with a bloke in New Zealand and then Deira (recently widowed and I think she'd lost her baby too?) pinched him. Leaving Grizel bitter and wretched etc etc but hey never mind there was a hunky doctor on the boat who turned out to be climbing in Switzerland and just perfect for the San and he gets the aged Grizel up the duff at least once. Karen's special lemonade all round!

In terms of doctors leering after pupils remember that Gisela Marani basically goes straight from school to marriage with Gottfried and poor Len doesn't even get to finish school before being engaged to the social climbing Reg.

Those concerned about social workers may be reassured by remembering that the Robin was a social worker for a while - till her health broke down and she retreated to a nunnery.

Also in terms of mothers and fathers EBD's father was a total waste of space - wikipedia reports he abandoned the family. This may explain the idolisation of the father figure in Jem and Jack particularly?

katolla Thu 23-May-13 08:36:09

sent some books
mikkii in the iphone app you click More at the bottom then PMs
sorry feeding baby

thebody Thu 23-May-13 08:38:06

NK yes that was marylou of the chalet school I think.

Northern, that's interesting about EBD. She does have a fascination for strong men and doctors in particular.

What I love about her is that she always brings so much teething, illness and general frailty into her stories and seems to have no knowledge really.

People have 'Rocky hearts' and ' double shock!!' What the heck is that.

Jo Scott's mother has a 'bad heart attack' but is quite ok by the end of the book.

Absolutely love them.

Poledra Thu 23-May-13 09:09:25

I am so cross now that, when we thought we were cool teenagers, my sisters and I charity-shopped all our CS books. We had loads including some old hardbacks my gran had given us.

thebody Thu 23-May-13 09:17:00

Oh poledra, agonising.

My sister managed to get the full set from charity shops and such in the 80s.

Hope not yours!!

GlitzPig Thu 23-May-13 09:21:02

I like how you can always spot a wrong un, as they'll either have a) too much money b) a fondness for the delicious honey and nut cream cakes they have for Kaffee und Kuchen which edges into greed and/or c) have to have their cold baths 'chill off' the WIMPS

decaffwithcream Thu 23-May-13 09:29:03

I suspect the school and san were in cahoots, with the school and their racy expeditions constantly supplying a new set of patients (and their ill parents) to the san. The san charged private fees didn't it?

Holliewantstobehot Thu 23-May-13 09:42:35

Loving this thread - so glad I am not alone in having re read these!
Think Ofsted would have to address the sex education classes as all the ex pupils seem to have huge amounts of children!

Have read malory towers and st.clares to my ds and dd and also some of the naughtiest girl and their favourite game at the moment is boarding schools where all their teddies are pupils - last week spongebob got expelled for stealing and setting the school on fire!

DeWe Thu 23-May-13 10:34:49

My favourite EBD quote is something along the lines of:
Cecil was a determined little madam, but, at the age of 4 months, she was finally learning that no meant no.

I think any Ofsted inspectors after arriving would have been taken off by Joey to admire her "large family" and not actually have time to do anything other than admire the "perfect featherbeds of whipped cream" on Anna's nectar like coffee. grin

Or Miss Annersley would have used her piercing grey eyes that had never yet needed glasses to hypnotise them into giving them an outstanding. Which Joey would have taken all the credit for.

i think the preponderance of illness and miraculous recovery also has it's roots in EBD's personal history - her younger brother died from meningitis I think. Can you imagine what a release writing about recovery provoked by singing would be sad

decaffwithcream Thu 23-May-13 10:42:38

That is sad NorthernLurker, I didn't know that. It does explain a lot about her themes - the miraculous cures that only the san could work etc.

I have some of the later ones as pdfs if anyone's interested? PM me (I'm avoiding work today wink)

Rosiette Thu 23-May-13 11:30:33

Someone always "breathing a swift, inward prayer for wisdom" when one of the girls did some minor crime and needed agood Talking To.

You're right, weegiemum - you'd be welcome to come round and borrow a selection of CS books, if you want!

Anyone read the Chalet Girls Grow Up which is a "what might have happened later"? Won't spoil it for anyone but lots of it is shock. You can tell who the author likes and doesn't like grin.

DeWe Thu 23-May-13 12:17:29

But be careful of Chalet girls grow up... I had to remove it from dd2 (age 9) when she found it in a charity shop, as I'd heard some of the things that were in it.

oh, yes, not child friendly, should have said, sorry

persimmon Thu 23-May-13 12:55:50

The tableaux they were so fond of putting on as a 'treat' for 'Madame's birthday' always seem to end with someone falling off a sideboard 'shrieking wildly'. Wasn't there a scene where a girl crashes into another one whilst she's getting ink form a top shelf? There was a lot of wild shrieking then too.

SelfRighteousPrissyPants Thu 23-May-13 13:25:46

DeWe I read the Cecil quote the other day- poor wee thing!

persimmon- wild shrieking sounds about right for a girl's boarding school though! Not that I've ever been to one.

The Chalet Girls Grow Up is funny.

I was trying to think who'd play the Chalet school people in a film. Johnny Depp is Jack as he has film star looks, Helen Mirren for Mrs Annersley, Dawn French for Nancy Wilmot. Can't think who'd be Joey though.

Rosiette Thu 23-May-13 15:15:30

Harriet Walters is Jo.

Charles Collingwood for Jem.

Samantha Janus for Mary-Lou

Imelda Staunton for Bill.

thegreylady Thu 23-May-13 15:22:13

I have read CGGU and hated it.Not only was the style completely wrong but I didn't like what she did with the characters.
For those who like Antonia Forest GGB have Kingscote School-Spring Term which follows on from Run Away Home and is very convincing in both plt and style-well worth buying.I am sure AF would have approved smile

thebody Thu 23-May-13 15:29:40

I need Anna in my life. And rosli.

Joey lemonade called 'cherry whiskers' Stephen being far too busy to write to Len because of course as a boy he's destined for a serious career.

But the best is when Charles has appendicitis and joey is hoping that daisy and Laurie can bring him to the platz and is so grateful that 'Laurie is a doctor!!!' Fuck sake isn't daisy a paediatrician with medals!!!!!

Hated chalet girls grow up though. Reg a rapist, Mary Lou a harlot and Sybil a slut too.

Dear lord.

thegreylady Thu 23-May-13 15:35:21

It is nice to have our own mn Chalet School fans thread smile

HumphreyCobbler Thu 23-May-13 15:42:11

MrsOakenshield - I applaud your now extinct name change. It was a truly excellent name.

I like your new one too though.

happyyonisleepyyoni Thu 23-May-13 15:43:39

thanks OP, Ive just ordered the first three books second hand from Amazon. I LOVED the Chalet School and am looking forward to revisiting them!

HesterShaw Thu 23-May-13 15:51:56

Skating? On the ICE? On a lake??????????????????

The chances of falling through it and contracting rheumatic fever or bronchial pneumonia (as opposed to mere hypothermia) are extraordinarily high. Have they risk assessed this activity appropriately?

HumphreyCobbler Thu 23-May-13 15:57:33

what about collecting moss on the side of a cliff? Bound to be a disaster.

JellicleCat Thu 23-May-13 16:05:49

Another chalet fan coming out of the closet. I loved the books as a child and started collecting them a couple of years ago.

They are the ulimate stress reliever - just chill out with a chalet school book and I always feel much better blush

Back to Ofsted, I think they would get a good rating for the number of girls they manage to send to university (and maybe they could just not mention the large number who have appalling accidents while skiing, skating etc).

Definitely safeguarding issues about Jo and Jack though.

thebody Thu 23-May-13 16:29:35

' she lay still, white and to all appearance dead'

I am amazed at the amount of accident forms Miss Annersley must have signed.

The safeguarding was also an issue in the 6th form between the san doctors and girls and also the local baron marrying Marie at 18.

Poledra Thu 23-May-13 16:31:27

Thanks to this thread, I emailed my sister about our Chalet books and guess what?

She rescued them and took them to her house shock But she says i can't have them as they're her retirement fund wink

HesterShaw Thu 23-May-13 16:40:34

thebody, is that Mary Lou of the Chalet School? When she rushed to save Margot and the naughty friend from a serious tobogganing accident and ends up flung against a pine tree?

Marie married someone ("engaged! engaged while she is still a babe at school!") with a host of prepositions in his name, didn't she?

thebody Thu 23-May-13 16:50:13

Poledra I am sadly excited by this!!!

Yes Hester, it was Margot and Emmerence! The baron was i think something like von der su weirtheimer.

Many ran away as well, Gay lambert and Eustacia Benson but of course both paid for their silliness!!!

Love the chalet school.

HesterShaw Thu 23-May-13 18:06:26

Of course! Eustace! She Became A Cripple and Mended Her Ways.

MissAnnersley Thu 23-May-13 18:13:50

Eustacia of the Chalet School is one of my favourite books.

Mary Lou really got on my nerves though.

Poledra Thu 23-May-13 18:17:43

Are you allowed to sat that about one of your Head Girls, MissAnnersley? grin

Poledra Thu 23-May-13 18:17:58

say that, of course.

MissAnnersley Thu 23-May-13 18:20:50


I like to think that Miss A was grinding her teeth while Mary Lou was busy being so worthy all over the place.

HesterShaw Thu 23-May-13 18:22:09

My fave is Exploits of the Chalet Girls when Evadne blows up the lab. Or the one when they escape from the Nazis and Bill's chestnut hair turns white in an instant.

MissAnnersley Thu 23-May-13 18:25:50

I love Evadne and Cornelia. They had some gumption and weren't worthy all the live long day.

GlitzPig Thu 23-May-13 18:27:45

Gumption? That sounds like slang, Annersley, you know Madame can't bear it, pay your fine into the box for the teachers gin fund

HesterShaw Thu 23-May-13 18:30:12

FINE HER! I bet you have used spiffing and topping today as well.

MissAnnersley Thu 23-May-13 18:31:28

I'll bet a gin or two was taken in the staff room after some of the half term trips.
I love this thread.

MissAnnersley Thu 23-May-13 18:33:02

Oh, I've been spiffing on and off all day. I may even have uttered a top hole for good measure.

HesterShaw Thu 23-May-13 18:36:04

Cornelia Flower - what a fab name. Didn't she and Evadne use the phrase "rubbernecked sneak" quite a lot?

Can you imagine if one of tge Chalet girls had used the word "cunt"?

1/2 term trips - like the one where Len was arrested as a shoplifter or when the whole of lower 6th were nearly flattened by an avalanche (that they were able to out-run...hmm) or Miss Wilson breaking her ankle and the whole party getting snowed in or that wretched child falling in the lily ponds and Carola jumping in after her or Miss Ferrars nearly falling off the glacier......................

MissAnnersley Thu 23-May-13 18:39:22

<necks gin>

Weegiemum Thu 23-May-13 18:50:22

Thank you to the people who sent me PDFs. I have done precisely nothing all day except read Jo of the Chalet School

Weegiemum Thu 23-May-13 18:50:54

and drink gin

I have shamelessly begged several of you for electronic copies.

I went to the library recently to see if I could borrow a copy or two only to find out they've all been binned or put in long term storage. heinous!

MissAnnersley Thu 23-May-13 18:55:55

When I was at school I would go to the library on a Saturday and take out four Chalet School books. They were the old hard backs that my mum remembers taking out of the library too as a girl. It is such a shame that these books are being hidden away or thrown out.

Lifeisontheup Thu 23-May-13 19:01:23

I want a whole set now. << stamps feet in a tantrum which would have bought Matron down with castor oil in hand>>
I used to have all of them but they fell apart and I got rid of them when I left home. sad

HesterShaw Thu 23-May-13 19:05:34

I have no idea what happened to mine. They were falling apart when I bought them from jumble sales in the 80s

Weegiemum Thu 23-May-13 19:06:53

STDG please message me.

We could have a great chat and plus, you have chalet books I don't.

I make good soup!

thefuturesnotourstosee Thu 23-May-13 19:08:49

Given the price of the old hardbacks now I'm surprised the libraries aren't putting them on ebay to raise funds. Storing them away where no one can read them is beyond heinous.

Kveta Thu 23-May-13 19:19:23

So nice to see other fans!

I had almost the whole set once, but my parents made me cull my book collection, so I jettisoned the lot sad

I would LOVE some electronic copies, if anyone could send me some? Can't do PMs from the tablet, but will try and send some from the laptop later smile

mikkii Thu 23-May-13 19:36:09

I suggested Cornelia as a name for DD1, DH didn't go with it unfortunately. I suggested it again for DD2. Closest I got was Amelia as DD2's middle name, but that was or my great grandma.

Holliewantstobehot Thu 23-May-13 20:02:18

I also blame the chalet school books for my decision to study french and german at uni!

I'm looking forward to reading some of these over half term. I shall be reading them with the insight of someone who now works in a school and am expecting to be deliciously horrified by the lack of health and safety risk assessments.
may or may not eat kaffee and kuchen whilst reading

thegreylady Thu 23-May-13 20:06:07

Many thanks to Midnight for the two pdf's can't wait to get reading smile

Closef Thu 23-May-13 20:12:39

Wow, I'm so surprised to find Chalet School fans on here. I still have quite an extensive collection which I still read from time to time.

Pascha Thu 23-May-13 20:13:02

Ha! Just stumbled upon this thread! My almost complete set of (tatty paperback) books is in the loft since the children came along and I lost bookshelf space hmm

I'm going to dig them out again this weekend.

Has anyone mentioned Gay Lambert's 12(!) mile walk overnight to catch the milk train because Miss Bubb was a bitch yet? And the biggest telling off she got was from Granny on the train along with a peppermint...

funnyperson Thu 23-May-13 20:36:12

I didnt realise the Chalet girls grew up. Last I read they escaped the Nazi's. What have I missed?

funnyperson Thu 23-May-13 20:38:02

I didnt realise the Chalet girls grew up. Last I read they escaped the Nazi's. What have I missed? I still think of Bill's hair going white in an instant to this very day.

katolla Thu 23-May-13 20:44:10

Sent books to everyone I think , if you asked and didn't get please ask again! Sorry for short replies I read MN on phone one handed during feeds smile

funnyperson Thu 23-May-13 20:44:17

For some strange reason I have always thought it important to know how to walk/ski from Austria to Switzerland. I blame the Chalet school (and the Sound of Music). Top marks for languages and healthy walking.

funnyperson Thu 23-May-13 20:44:57

Yes please katolia please please send me some!

thefuturesnotourstosee Thu 23-May-13 20:46:44

funnyperson another 40 books or so!! Quite a lot happens - the school goes to Gurnsey, Wales and Switzerland. in teh final book Joey's triplets are in the sixth form. You've got a lot catching up to do grin

By the way what on earth would social services and ofsted have made of Biddy being kept as a secret project by the middles then adopted and clothed by the guides?

How impressed would they ahve been by record keeping so lax that it allowed Carola to join the school even though she wasn't registered for it?

well, MN LOVES the Chalet School - I've been offered sexual favours and body parts wink. Think I've replied to everyone who's PMed me - if not, try again, although it may be tomorrow before I get back to you, as DH is home soon and I may have to speak to him rather than MNing shock

Kveta Thu 23-May-13 20:52:50

thank you so much for the books, that's my night feeds sorted for the next few weeks! yay! grin

katolla Thu 23-May-13 20:54:57

Funny person pm me your email

thefuturesnotourstosee Thu 23-May-13 21:03:37

Ishallwearmidnight sorry I've just added to your stack of pleading messages.

JoyMachine Thu 23-May-13 21:07:29

Ooh greylady I have a first edition hardback with original dust jacket of The Maids of La Rochelle!
I love that book <sigh>

Do you think I'd need to mention it on my house insurance yet?

I have a lot of the hardbacks actually, mainly 2nd and 3rd editions- they were lovely to handle, much nicer than the paperbacks.

moonblues Thu 23-May-13 21:07:51

Wow, this thread has made me want to read the Chalet school again. I read most of them as a child, but they were my mum's old copies from the 1950/60's I think and were falling apart when I read them. Which wasn't too bad when the first few pages were missing, but very frustrating when you got near the end only to find the last chapter had fallen out!
I would love if someone could send me electronic copies and will pm people if thats ok. smile

PourquoiPas Thu 23-May-13 21:10:56

I had almost all of them, thought they were in my parents attic but found out my mum chucked them sad I had got all excited at the thought of rereading them.

Kveta Thu 23-May-13 21:11:09

waaaah, how do I open/read .mobi files?!

Kveta Thu 23-May-13 21:17:54

ignore me, got it smile

happy day!

DeWe Thu 23-May-13 21:27:04

Anyone else have a paper Armada copy of A Chalet Girl from Kenya? Got a copy from a charity shop and there's about 40 pages missing from the middle-obviously a publishing error. sad

but I have managed to get dd2 (year 4) reading them. I think her teacher (very young) is totally bemused whenever she gets a homework beginning with the words: "using the book you are currently reading..."

meala Thu 23-May-13 21:27:20

health and safety and child proection issues galore in Summer Term at the Chalet School.

Erica breaks her foot falling into a pit in the grounds.

Joey just takes home a baby orphaned in a train crash becaise Erica liked the baby.

hmmmm. wink

thegreylady Thu 23-May-13 21:31:59

Joymachine I am really really jealous now envy.
This is a long shot but does anyone have an emailable version of the very last Chalet book [I think the triplets] were prefects in it.I thought I still had a copy but I haven't got it any more sad

moonblues Thu 23-May-13 21:32:36

Thank you so much katolla
Looking forward to hours of happy reading. smile

kungfupannda Thu 23-May-13 21:41:13

EBD was friends with some of my great-aunts. Or something like that.

My granddad knew her and apparently "the aunts" had first editions of all her books. No-one knows what happened to them.

[swans about thread, basking in extremely reflected glory]

WinnieFosterTether Thu 23-May-13 21:41:24

Does anyone else remember the home ec lesson where they had to peel potatoes and Joey threw her's in the bin as they were too thick? Every time I peel a vegetable, I aim for peel thin enough to make the Chalet School proud grin

Even more reflected glory: one of the additional Chalet School books was written by a friend of mine. She felt the need to add an Author's Note at the beginning to the effect that the first aid lessons she describes were what was best practice in the 1920s and people shouldn't try any of it at home...

justaboutalittlefrazzled Thu 23-May-13 21:59:06

That's fabulous SGB.

acebaby Thu 23-May-13 22:07:08

2am "I find life is vastly simplified by this motto:

What Would Joey Do?"

Generally she would turn cartwheels around her huge garden, sing an aria and have a couple more babies (between writing another bestseller).

Gosh - I love the Chalet School. off to re-read Eustacia now grin

CorrieDale Thu 23-May-13 22:25:18

I have very nearly a full set but they're all paperbacks. Apart from a couple of GGBPs. I recently bought Adrienne and was soooo disappointed! I can see why there's not many copies around...

There is an ace website called the chalet school bulletin board. A forum for the serious addict!

I have added to the ebook PM plaints! !

CelticPromise Thu 23-May-13 22:54:05

Marking place to beg for ebooks later.

I have about 30 I think, in storage with some of my dad's stuff. Must dig them out. I LOVED them and have read some of the early ones about 400 times.

RiffyWammal Thu 23-May-13 22:57:07

I am the only person I ever knew who read the Chalet School books - and now I have found you lot! smile

God I loved them. All the talk of liberty bodices, eyes like black pools, messy mops of hair, ridiculous fertility and the plump cushions in Madge's airy salon - lol it's funny the things you remember isn't it?

I remember reading one of the girls say something like 'what's important in life is to get a really good screw' and I was shellshocked. I was about ten but I knew it was very rude. Of course later I found out it meant a job. The rudest thing that happened was some of the vulgar American girls reading a very naughty book called 'Forever Amber'.

I was very discombobulated by the different illustrations through the ages; I started off with the 70s ones (which are my favourite covers) where Jo has short hair in a pixie style, then I got some of the original copies and she had a bob with a fringe! shock I thought 'page boy style' meant short like a boy's. Then the ghastly 80s ones came out with the wishy washy grainy illustrations. Those rubber-necked four-flushers!

JoyMachine Thu 23-May-13 23:07:15

Oh! I used to be on CSBB... but I've no idea what my username was, it was so long ago sad

Somethingyesterday Thu 23-May-13 23:18:52

I was about three away from a full set (in the 80s)and then they were all packed up and taken off to storage. I've never seen them again.

But I'm fairly sure the Chalet School was the reason I went to boarding school at 13.

Tinuviel Thu 23-May-13 23:19:00

DD has a Chalet School name but I didn't tell DH where I got the name from! Absolutely love them and have the full set but only about 25 in hardback/GGB. I also have a few extra that tie in - La Rochelle/The Lost Staircase/Monica Turns Up Trumps (a particular bargain 10p at a summer fair in Robin Hood's Bay!) Nice to see so many CS fans.

Jaynebxl Thu 23-May-13 23:53:31

O wow I adored th Chalet School books! It was my sole ambition as a child to go there, and as an adult I spent many years working in international schools (though not in Austria or Switzerland). Must dig them out.

elennare Fri 24-May-13 05:53:52

I think I've emailed everyone who asked me for copies - if I missed anyone out, let me know!

Skating? On the ICE? On a lake??????????????????

Oddly enough, that never really bothered me - I blame Arthur Ransome! His Winter Holiday has kids skating, unsupervised, including in a blizzard at one point... The Chalet School ice mishaps seemed rather tame in comparison wink

Thank you to whoever send me a copy. :-)

I love Mumsnet - you ladies are amazing

<undying gratitude>

Tricycletops Fri 24-May-13 08:46:01

Love this thread! I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought Mary-Lou was insufferable...

Weegiemum Fri 24-May-13 09:00:55

Thankyou everyone who sent me stuff,I've done nothing but read since yesterday lunchtime!

Ive actually been to Pertisau, the place EBD based her books on. And though a little touristy, it's as gorgeous as the books make out!

EBee57 Fri 24-May-13 09:26:36

Oh what a fabulous find - just read all this thread - dd1 found CS books when younger - second hand books from charity shops first and then our local Hampshire librarian printed a list for her and set about tracking down most of them for her to read from the library stores - fantastic lady. We had such fun with them and most supper times were spent with dds eating while I read them aloud - God, I miss those days - now both big teens.

Like Weegiemum we were all so taken by them that we went to Pertisau - travelled on the train, walked up the mountains, took the boat to Scholastika, ate the cakes! Loved it so much we're going again..

Wonderful ladies MNers!!

Holliewantstobehot Fri 24-May-13 09:42:37

I have to go to pertisau one day - that sounds like an awesome holiday.

getyourshoesonNOW Fri 24-May-13 10:38:53

Wow I loved those books. I have vague recollections of Joey getting double pneumonia - does that even exist? And a girl called Eustacia who magically became Stacey after her life-changing experience

And the months of planning before putting your hair up. "xx has put her hair up now and xx's goes up after Christmas"

Oodsigma Fri 24-May-13 10:45:38

I used to be on the CBB. Might have a look to see if I remember my name/password.

Need to do my check of GGBP to see what's new too!

HesterShaw Fri 24-May-13 10:55:09

Double pneumonia is simply pneumonia in both lungs. However Joey was far too speshul to simply get double pneumonia. Oh no, she had PLEUROpneumonia! I asked a doctor friend about this once and she looked a bit nonplussed and said it sounded like pneumonia and pleurisy at the same time. But pleuropneumonia presumably sounds worse and made Joey into More Of A Hero for trying to save Maureen and falling through the ice! EBD missed the basic fact that cold water immersion is not going to give an infection of the lungs and pleural membranes grin. But it sounds more dramatic than hypothermia.

Remember the first winter they were in the Tirol, Joey became seriously ill after standing in a draught?

Have possibly thought about this a bit much.

I thought 'double pneumonia' meant you got it in both lungs? I may be completely wrong about this of course, or it may have been what they though 60 years ago when everyone was so TB-obsessed.

BTW did anyone else know that the main reason people stopped dying of TB all over the books towards the end of the series was because in the real world it had become possible to treat it quickly and effectively with antibiotics?

HesterShaw Fri 24-May-13 10:57:40

Cor! Were they administered by Dr Jem at the San?

DeWe - I have a paperback of A Chalet Girl from Kenya. I've also got a hardback copy of a book called Monica Turns up Trumps - about Monica Marilliar, and a bit of her life before she joins the Chalet school. It starts with her getting a bad report from her school, and her dad, Dr Marilliar (who, in a later book, tells Lavender Leigh's Aunt to send her to the Chalet school), decides to remove her from that school, and send her to a day school near home, so he can keep an eye on her.

Then some cousins have to come and live with them too - and through it all, Monica grows up and becomes the all-round good egg that means she is a worthy pupil of the Chalet School/

SelfRighteousPrissyPants Fri 24-May-13 11:55:15

That sounds good SDTG I must get more EBD's when I've finished reading my Chalet set. Very envy of people with hardbacks, let alone 1st editions mine are all paperbacks or GGB editions.

I'm re-reading Joey and Co. in Tirol- Professor Richardson must be ASD surely? And if there were SS in Austria Joey and Jack would've reported him! Instead they just adopt (well become guardians) of the 3 kids they met a week before instead!

The fertility in the CS isn't as bad as in the Abbey school- one woman has 2 lots of twins in a year shock

GlitzPig Fri 24-May-13 12:21:01

The Maids of La Rochelle is about Janie Lucy, the ugly one with two gorgeous sisters, isn't it? Friend of Joey's.

GoingGoingGoth Fri 24-May-13 13:01:45

Yeah, finally able to see this thread (MN playing up for me last night)
Am now frantically emailing everyone with e-copies. Never met anyone else in RL who read these, apart from (now I know) SDG

we were planning an interrailing round europe holiday for this summer, and DH couldn't work out why DD2 and I were more interested in the Austrian/Swiss sections than any others wink. Annoyingly it's had to be put off till next summer, so I'll have to amuse myself with re-reading it all from the beginning instead.

Only people I know in RL who read CS are me, DD1 and DD2. DD3 is 11 and thinks they're boring shock. She obviously has too many of DHs genes wink

Oodsigma Fri 24-May-13 13:39:25

I've sorted my books now and ordered the 2 new GGBP that I didn't have. Have 2 doubles that need to make it to eBay at some point.

ShoeJunkie Fri 24-May-13 15:07:51

Loving this thread!
I was a school story fan as a child but favourites were definitely CS. I still hunt in charity shops for copies but rarely come across any these days.

Xenia Fri 24-May-13 16:12:51

I read them all as a teenager and I still have the whole set. Might be one reason I had so many children (and why I got rather good at German and French).

AuldAlliance Fri 24-May-13 16:28:26

Is there some reason why the link in discussions of the day leads to a biscuit rather than this thread? A plot by St Scholastika's maybe?

Just joining in to say that I loved the Chalet School and even, at the age of about 8, believed in God for about a month because in one book Joey prays to him to save someone (the Robin, perhaps?) and since I'd read a later book and knew whoever it was doesn't die, I was convinced of God's existence. blush

I have an old copy of Jo to the Rescue, with Jo in a green silky dressing gown throwing a frying pan full of bacon and eggs at an evil burglar come to steal Pheobe's cello (or 'cello as EBD would write it). She looks beautiful in a 1940's book cover way, and her two earphones of plaits are magnificent...

squoosh Fri 24-May-13 16:43:34

I was annoyed that the oh so fragile Robin never kicked the bucket despite all her near misses. Am I alone in suspecting a group case of Munchausen by Proxy going on and the Robin was in fact as hearty as an Alpine cow?

Tricycletops Fri 24-May-13 16:55:29

Jo to the Rescue is I think the one where Jo starts to get really, really annoying! It's also the introduction of mardy groomer Reg, who at that point is 13 to the triplets' 3...

RalphGnu Fri 24-May-13 16:58:27

I just don't understand why on earth I'd never heard of Chalet School before I joined Mn. I read avidly as a child, have all the Mallory Towers books still, but CS for some reason completely passed me by.

Weird. I'm desperate for a read.

Tricycletops Fri 24-May-13 17:04:10

squoosh in The Chalet School in Exile Robin seems pretty tough - and then a few years later she suddenly becomes super-fragile again as an adult and gets her to a nunnery. Do you think EBD just couldn't think of an adult character for her?

squoosh Fri 24-May-13 17:18:01

Maybe the Robin thought is better to flee to a nunnery than be pumped senseless by Dr Jack as was Joey's fate, that poor woman's womb was never empty.

Wasn't Joey fragile in the start too? Dr Jack had a type the Robin vould see that! wink

squoosh Fri 24-May-13 17:24:31

RalphGnu I'm amazed too that the Chalet School books bypassed you, especially as you loved school stories, she wrote about 50 of them. Our school library was full of them and my Dad used to root them out in secondhand book shops for me too.

I dreamt about wearing that (frankly vile sounding) orange uniform and stuffing myself with Kaffee und Kuchen.

squoosh Fri 24-May-13 17:24:54

No! It was brown with an orange tie!

How could I forget??

THe GGBP books often include essays by people even more obsessed than you lot and there was one that pointed out that a girl as sickly as Robin was supposed to be would almost certainly have died during the flight from Austria (in 'Exile'). But I think it's worth remembering that EBD, like most people of her era, was fairly medically ignorant. Some of the depictions of recovering from accidents are frankly bizarre - in a coma for five days and the first thing you do on waking is puke your ring up? You'd have no stomach contents...

After they went the Oberland the brown and flame actually got left behind and they went for Gentian blue with touches of crimson and silver I seem to recall hmm

Joey's terribly insensitive about the obvious difficulties Simone and Andre have conceiving. Lots of 'at LAST Simone is catching up etc etc'.

SGB - I think the fact that TB was cured is referred to in a few of the books - lots of talk of pioneering treatment and illusions to moving in to treatment for 'growths' ie cancer. Rest assured Sir Jem and Jack's gravy train will roll on wink

Oodsigma Fri 24-May-13 17:42:49

The war stuff was supposed to be fairly accurate though wasn't it

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 24-May-13 17:43:30

I loved the Chalet School series - but I don't understand how a zombie thread ended up inn the talk round up....

adoptmama Fri 24-May-13 17:48:00

"Maybe the Robin thought is better to flee to a nunnery than be pumped senseless by Dr Jack as was Joey's fate, that poor woman's womb was never empty."

oh dear god I nearly died laughing... smile

And at least Dr. Jack was a decent, burglar scaring kind of a guy...

unlike sulky Reg Entwhistle who Len had the misfortune to marry whilst barely out of uniform....

so glad that fellow Chaletian addicts are out there. I feel it is finally ok to Come Out smile

EmilyAlice Fri 24-May-13 18:02:01

OK here goes (it has been a while). Purists will note that I have mixed my frameworks.
Standards of attainment at the Chalet School are sound overall with some strengths and many weaknesses. Provision for the the teaching of Modern Foreign Languages and Religious Education are outstanding. Pupils make inadequate progress in mathematics and science owing to unsatisfactory teaching. Teaching is good overall, but some teachers lack sufficient subject knowledge and systems for the assessment and monitoring of pupil progress are inadequate.
Provision for spiritual development is outstanding and the opportunities for developing awe and wonder are excellent overall, although insufficient care was taken to ensure pupils' safety and wellbeing on a recent visit to Oberammergau.
The leadership and management of the school are good with many strengths and some weaknesses. Senior staff know their pupils well, but the lack of consistent systems in the management of the school is inadequate.
Inspectors were impressed by many aspects of the school and will return to the Bernese Oberland as soon as possible to monitor progress.

Len was going to finish at uni before becoming Mrs Entwhistle <<boak>>

I did like that nice Dr Couvoiser though. He had something about him wink

Excellent Emily grin

Any views on the persistent employment of non-qualified teachers to teach subjects they were 'quite good at' whilst at the school themselves.....?

EmilyAlice Fri 24-May-13 18:29:58

Coded in "lack sufficient subject knowledge".
BTW when Joey left Guernsey she was so upset she had to "cast" her babies. Have never seen this as a synonym for weaning before or since.

GlitzPig Fri 24-May-13 18:34:44

Doesn't Joey turn an awful American into a Jolly Decent Sort in the cello stealing book? Possibly called Zelda hmm

I've always wondered if it is actually possible for someone's hair to turn completely white through shock (Bill fleeing the Nazis)

Simone would have been diagnosed with a personality disorder 'She doesn't want you to have ANY OTHER FRIENDS and gets hysterical if you speak to anyone else, cuts her hair to get your attention and is whiny and needy? NARCISSIST' etc etc

Pascha Fri 24-May-13 18:43:44

Zephyr. Who the fuck names their child Zephyr?

adoptmama Fri 24-May-13 18:46:18

It's Zephyr Burthill who tries to have the chello pinched.

And poisons Rusus, the bitch.

But Joey lays out the burglars with a frying pan of bacon. She was very strong, for a girl...

Surely, in the later years at least, the science teaching cannot have been inadequate? Not with Bill teaching it!

Joey did help Zephyr Burthill (the awful cello stealing american) turn into a decent sort, but it was really the Robin's friendship that did the trick.

adoptmama Fri 24-May-13 18:52:09

Good old Robin. She was wasted as a nun in Canada.

And they all-but-cured chello owning Phoebe of rheumatism, found her a husband - ugly Dr. Peters - and rescued surly Reg from his anti-education aunt all in one go.

Bloody marvellous really.

Holliewantstobehot Fri 24-May-13 18:59:50

I just want to be a chalet school teacher as they were always very 'trig and fresh', wore lovely pretty woolen dresses and were always pretty and slim despite eating 'luscious cakes all honey and nuts and cream'. When they were bored of teaching they could simply marry a hot doctor from the san and take to their beds whenever they were a bit tired in the knowledge that a housekeeper would clean their house and look after their kids.

As well as fitting an extraordinary number of children in a four bed house - with mothers et al.

I believe we had:

Joey, triplets and Stephen
Frieda and two babies inc one new born
Marie and two children
Simone and one child
Anna or Marie or somesuch or possibly both?

And Jack AND Jem visiting. No wonder Robin stayed in a hotel......

squoosh Fri 24-May-13 19:08:34

Joey's uterus was like Mary Poppins's magic carpet bag, she could pull twins and triplets out of it just by deciding she was going to have a multiple birth.

GlitzPig Fri 24-May-13 19:32:49

Zephyr! Thank you smile

Hollie, I think the nervous energy of having girls in your care fainting, being carried off to the San and getting trapped on glaciers would probably help burn off the extra cake calories...

elennare Fri 24-May-13 20:15:11

I just realised the Chalet School and Malory Towers have very similar uniforms! Brown tunics and orange details (ties for CS, belt for MT - and I think possibly a tie as well, in the later books?). Hmm... homage, (unconscious?) plagiarism, or did they both honestly think they were nice colours for a uniform?

VikingLady Fri 24-May-13 20:57:33

DD has a CS name, too grin

I always wondered whether Robin had asthma. She was always poorly and short of breath in the valleys and in England, but magically revived as soon as she was at altitude - no dust mites (which is why lung cases were sent there).

Oooh asthma - goo thought. That must have been what was up with Margot too - poorly in Wales, fixed by Canadian mountains.

Holliewantstobehot Fri 24-May-13 21:21:44

Glitz - I would only have to take charge for about 1/2 hour before some silent alpine woodsman/cowherd/shepherd would miraculously appear, throw the two weakest pupils over his shoulders and lead the way down the mountain, where I would be rushed into a hot bath by matey, drugged up to the eyeballs and sent to bed.

I might ditch the hot doctor and go with the handsome stranger and live in Australia/India/South Africa/Malaysia where I would refer all my neighbours ASBO kids to the chalet school (like Emerence Hope the Australian Arsonist).

Both DS and DD have CS names - have just realised that.

HesterShaw Fri 24-May-13 21:25:47

All of this later stuff is a mystery to me. I'm only really up to speed with what happened in the Tirol, a couple on the island and then a couple in Switzerland.

Did the school join with St Scholastika's?
And did it then split later?

See, someone needs to fill me in. These are BASIC FACTS sad

HesterShaw Fri 24-May-13 21:26:20

Is there a book by book synopsis somewhere?

Plotline...ok -others please cut and paste and add bits:

The School at the Chalet - The Chalet School in Exile

The Tyrol years, Madge is head and the marries Dr Jem. Joey progresses through the school heading up as head girl. Juliet, Grizel and of course the magnificent Gisela Marani are head girls during this point. Also Mary Burnett, Biddy O'Ryan and Hilary Burn who both later return as teachers. Bill, Charlie and the Abbess all join the school to teach. Mademoiselle is Head before becoming very ill. Eustacia, Cornelia, Evadne , the Lintons and Elisaveta are all feature. This section of books ends with the Nazi takeover of Austria and the flight of several major characters in to Switzerland.

The second part of Exile and teh Chalet School goes to It are the Guernsey years. EBD sent the school there and then when it too was invaded she had to decamp again.
During this time Joey (who has married Jack 'off screen') produces triplets and there is an enormously moving reunion with Frieda who has escaped the nazis too.

Thence follow the Welsh years including Gay from China at the Chalet School, Lavender laughs at the Chalet school and many others that I can't remember. The school is in Wales. Joey has three boring boys during this time. The school then moves to an island off the coast of Wales and teh last few welsh books are set there - Peggy of the Chalet school. both Peggy and Bride are head girls.

Then the school goes back to Switzerland - Changes for the Chalet school - and the books conclude with about the last 20 or so books? In this time Joey produce Cecil and twins Phil and Geoff, the triplets grow up and Len becomes head. Madge is not much seen and Eyropean characters - hardly seen in the Welsh books again assert themselves.

Oodsigma Fri 24-May-13 21:42:23

Oh and I completely missed out teh Saints - yes the two schools merge shortly after Joey has finished being head. Is it in Louise Redfield's first term as head or after that?

thefuturesnotourstosee Fri 24-May-13 21:51:06

Glitzpig at the risk of outing myself --- my step father was a life guard in his mide 20s, swum out to rescue a complete bloody idiot who had swum against all advice, managed to get them then they told them their son was out there too. He went out again, couldn't find them, got caught in a current and his life was saved because he got washed up a sewage pipe and was then eventually rescued himself.

He nearly died himself. The son was only found days later sad

In hospital they would not let him have a mirror for the first few days because his hair had turned completely white. So yes it can happen!

thefuturesnotourstosee Fri 24-May-13 21:54:27

northernlurker Louise's first term as head was in Joey Returns. I felt really sorry for her. Imaigine your first term as head girl and having hte old head girl returning and strutting about all over the place. I keep meaning to write a diary for Louise for that term and one day I will.

squoosh Fri 24-May-13 21:57:49

I liked Rosalie, she went to a <whisper it> state school before winning a scholarship to the Chalet School but managed to rise above her 'umble beginnings.

It was mentioned at least once in every book though. Couldn't let her rise too much.

Holliewantstobehot Fri 24-May-13 22:00:19

Yes Rosalie was definitely the cinderella of the books - she wasn't even allowed to finish her education so couldn't be a teacher, but had to be a secretary. Did she ever get married? Didn't have the later books.

squoosh Fri 24-May-13 22:03:33


I didn't realise Rosalie's dreams were cut short! Elinor M Brent Dyer, you big meanie.

LJBrownie Fri 24-May-13 22:05:14

My DD was named after Daisy Venables. People always remark that it's a surprisingly girlie name for my tastes and I'm always thinking " no, it's a name for a tomboyish, tall, skinny girl with straw-like blonde plaits who becomes a brilliant doctor"...

Like Xenia, chalet school books definitely gave me the urge for many kids and to be good at French and german!

Another one who always wondered about Bill's hair turning White.

Exile is definitely the best one. Any alternative nominations for fave ever CS book?

HumphreyCobbler Fri 24-May-13 22:06:17

Wasn't it Rosamund who went to a state school? In A Problem?

But I have never read the Rosalie one, so maybe they both did?

squoosh Fri 24-May-13 22:07:01

My favourite was Carola Storms the Chalet School, it's probably no better than any of the others but it's always stuck in my mind.

HesterShaw Fri 24-May-13 22:07:28

Ah, thank you. I am working my way through the synopses.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 24-May-13 22:07:32

My favourite is the first one, I loved it so much as a child.

squoosh Fri 24-May-13 22:09:05

You're right Humphrey, it was Rosmamund Lilley. Sorry Rosamund, I was so appalled by your humble roots that I didn't even bother to learn your name.

MissAnnersley Fri 24-May-13 22:09:51

I loved The Chalet School and Barbara - I really wanted to be her.

MissAnnersley Fri 24-May-13 22:10:43

There was Joan Baker too who followed Rosamund to the Chalet School.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 24-May-13 22:12:26

I like that one too. Also The Wrong Chalet School where the worldly girl reads Forever Amber. I immediately got that from the bookcase and dived in.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 24-May-13 22:13:56

Joan Baker, whose parents blew all the money they won on the pools. She wore lipstick that clashed with her dress and had unconvincing slang.

I think I loved them all, actually.

ShadowStorm Fri 24-May-13 22:14:18

NorthernLurker - you've missed out Joey's twins Felix and Felicity.

Were they the ones born when Joey was in Canada?

squoosh Fri 24-May-13 22:15:45

You can tell by her name that Joan Baker was a common and fast kind of girl.

I liked the one where Thekla was expelled.

ShadowStorm Fri 24-May-13 22:16:37

I got a copy of 'Forever Amber' too after reading about it in the Chalet School books. I read somewhere that the book was 'Gone with the Wind' in the original hardback.

MissAnnersley Fri 24-May-13 22:18:04

Thekla was a great baddie. Even Joey couldn't save her. Imagine!

squoosh Fri 24-May-13 22:20:05

And YOU expelled her!

thefuturesnotourstosee Fri 24-May-13 22:21:25

I like the Highland Twins. I really felt for their big sister (Shina?) being shoved into the WRENS after years living in a tiny island community and then there's the whole intrigue around the Map of Erisay. Brilliant

MissAnnersley Fri 24-May-13 22:22:31

I thought it was Mademoiselle Lepattre? Or was she ill by that point?

squoosh Fri 24-May-13 22:23:29

Ah, you might be right.

I really need to brush up on my Chalet School history.

HesterShaw Fri 24-May-13 22:35:05

Calamity, near misses, terrible illness, mishaps....who on earth would send their child to the Chalet School?

HumphreyCobbler Fri 24-May-13 22:38:44

My mind used to boggle at doing lessons in another language. And at how quickly Joey picked up new ones. A few weeks in a new country and she is chattering happily to the natives.

Holliewantstobehot Fri 24-May-13 22:39:19

yes rosamund went to state school but rosalie didn't finish school as she had to leave to look after her father and brothers after her stepmother(?) died and then resurfaced as Dr Jem's secretary at the san before becoming secretary to the chalet school. She always regretted that she was never able to attend Miss Annersleys literature classes.

Always liked the bit in rosamund where it is explained that rosamund's mother is a good mother as she bakes her own cakes whereas joan's mother is obviously terrible as she buys ready made cakes from the shop and only gives her kids bread and jam for tea.

I also really liked carola - probably one of my top ten. Just liked the nerve of her running away to school. Also really liked chalet school and the island where annis runs away in a rowing boat and has to climb up a cliff and is nearly drowned.

HesterShaw Fri 24-May-13 22:46:09

And was saved by some chap called Kester who liked birdwatching....or did I dream it?

squoosh Fri 24-May-13 22:52:06

One of Madge's twin boys was called Kester. Kester and ....... Kevin?

Poor Kevin he got the dud name.

Sticklebug Fri 24-May-13 22:52:26

My DD has been stuck in an Enid Blyton school story rut, since being traumatised by the Phillip Pulman Dark materials series (recommended by her yr6 teacher) after reading this thread I resurrected my CS collection. Three days of reading and the first 2 books read ---she is hooked! smile

ShadowStorm Fri 24-May-13 22:59:59

Yes, Annis was saved by Kester, the famous birdwatcher.

bountyicecream Fri 24-May-13 23:00:00

Oooh just found this thread and am sorely tempted to re read. Will I really find Jack Maynard creepy and not romantic?

Have also remember that I planned on having triplets confused and am still waiting for Rufus my St Bernard. Shame I've now found out just how hairy and slobbery they are.

Holliewantstobehot Fri 24-May-13 23:22:47

yes kester and kevin and they were about a week old when it was decided one would go into the army and the other the navy.

I am sloooooowly picking up all the best ones in the GGBP versions, as I have the complete set in Armada paperbacks which have mostly been massively cut. Keep crossing my fingers for Highland Twins to come out, and Rivals, and possibly Eustacia (because I read that one first when I was 8 and was obsessed with it...)

Kester and Kevin who are born when Madge is about 45. David is 17 isn't he?

You're right I did miss out the silvery blonde and lisping Felix and Felicity.

lemonpuff Sat 25-May-13 06:47:28

I'm still trying to complete my set, will start re-reading this weekend. Apparently it's harder to get the later books, in hardback as the popularity waned. probably explains why I still have duplicates of the earlier ones.
The wrong chalet school was one of the first I read, imagine the paperwork today, if a pupil went to the wrong school....investigations, action plans.....

adoptmama Sat 25-May-13 07:44:15

Love all the Armiford ones, espeically the Chalet School at War, when Elisabeth Arnett comes good due to her devotion to Gillian Linton, but Betty Wyne-Davis goes all out bad and wears bright red lipstick and a head scarf.


Have to say though I really do like the fact that she consistently lays the blame for children's problems on bad parenting. She did really understand how childhood instability caused problems for kids. Ahead of her time on that one.

But not on the role of women.... now girls, remember no matter how successful you are in your education, God has no greater plan for you than to be a wife and mother smile

My mum - well in her 60's now - introduced me to them when I was little.I have the full set and we both still re-read them avidly and I plan on forcing my DDs to like them too smile Having the fortune to live in central Europe I have many a familiar stroll down the Mariahilfe in Vienna thanks to EMBD and a rather good understanding of pre-war Austria. Every time I drive home I do a chaletian tour of austria smile Planning on getting to Oberamergau one year, but not painting my faces like 'Red Indians' and scaring the natives.

Have to say, when I re-read them now I find Joey an over-bearing, self-satisfied religious fundamentalist.

And do wonder about the regular appearance of tomboyish girls with no interest in boys.... Jack, Tom, etc.

And if only all my problems in life could be solved by marrying a doctor smile

Pascha Sat 25-May-13 08:53:22

My favourite story is the second one, Chalet School and Jo. It seemed so evocative of an old fashioned christmas in the snow, even though it was a bit sickly sweet at times. I would have liked Herr Anserl to be my grumpy old uncle.

clarinetV2 Sun 26-May-13 23:23:01

Yes, I like Jo of the Chalet School too - love the relationship between her and Madge in that book. I like the younger Joey better than her bossy and interfering older self!

I've started re-reading Chalet School and the Island today - I've just read one of the GGBP fillers set the term before that (A Difficult Term for the Chalet School) - it was really good and it made me want to jog my memory about what happens next. I'm intrigued that when they arrive at the landing stage in St Briavels, three busloads of girls get their cases into two mistress's cars. This includes two 'cellos in cumbersome wooden cases. What on earth were those mistresses driving?

Oh, I love Jo Of The Chalet School with the Oberammergau trip. I have actually been to Oberammergau and seen the Passion Play, though that was in 1984 so the real actors that EBD mentions would have been long gone, but it is a gorgeous place.

Though the Passion Play is actually pretty fucking tedious, particularly to a teenage Wiccan with a hangover...

clarinetV2 Mon 27-May-13 00:31:14

Ooops, muddling my 'And Jo' and 'Jo Of'. I like them both, though. In fact I like all the Tyrolean ones. I can remember finding the tricks in Rivals hysterically funny and wishing I could be at boarding school so that I could flour someone's hair.

On the question of Ofsted, I'm not sure they'd do well on confidentiality in the latter years - every little detail of pupils' home backgrounds gets revealed to the foundress's sister. And forgive me if I've missed it, but I don't recall the mistresses sharing learning intentions and success criteria in their lessons.

Just started re reading CS no1. Oh my Lord but Simone is irritating. and the sapphic undertones!

Kveta Mon 27-May-13 07:19:59

I was talking to my grandmother about the chalet school books yesterday. She hasn't read them, but was at boarding school in the 1930s/1940s (her school was evacuated to the country during the war), so her experiences were not totally different to those of the chaletians.

She was telling me about a friend of hers, whose mother died when friend was 6, then her father remarried a year later, and friend was sent to boarding school to keep her out of the way of her stepmother. I can't imagine that sort of thing happening nowadays!

And I was commenting on how alien it seems to me, that the women all go overseas with their husbands in the chalet school books, leaving their kids behind (because no matter how much we joke about sending ds to boarding school, I really wouldn't want to be away from him for years at a time!). Grandma just said that it was to stop the husbands from straying, as back then it was far harder to be separated/divorced, and support your children. So most women, when given the choice, chose husbands over children, so kids were shipped off to boarding schools.

Seems like a different world to me!

Anyway, I am still very much enjoying reacquainting myself with Joey et all smile it is rather topping to be able to reread the books now! grin

Pascha Mon 27-May-13 07:40:20

Grizel was basically sent away to keep her out from under her stepmother's feet wasn't she? No wonder she was bitter for so long, with a dead mother, a distant and unloving father and a stepmother who had no idea of her existence til she was fairly married!

HesterShaw Mon 27-May-13 11:37:55

Talking of Grizel I never read the one in which she was hit in the head with a stone by an Irish firebrand called Deira. What happened?

MissAnnersley Mon 27-May-13 11:42:10

I think it was Head Girl of the Chalet School which is number 4 or 5 in the series.

Grizel is made head girl and Deira O'Hagan doesn't like her. During a snow ball fight words were exchanged (I think) and Deira loses her temper and throws a stone or a snowball with a stone in it.

It hits Grizel on the temple ( naturally!) and she is knocked out.

Disclaimer - that is my best recollection and I could possibly have got most of it wrong.

MissAnnersley Mon 27-May-13 11:43:07

I can't remember filling out an accident form either. shock

What would ofsted say?

HesterShaw Mon 27-May-13 11:59:51

Tssssk Miss Annersley.

And what happened to your chum Miss Wilson? Compared to some of you lot, I am a CS ignoramus. I could never get a lot of the copies. The book shop and library in our village wasn't the best!

MissAnnersley Mon 27-May-13 12:02:49

She ended up in charge of the finishing school branch of the Chalet School in Switzerland.

I remember reading somewhere that she had a huge crush on Jack Maynard.

HesterShaw Mon 27-May-13 12:03:42


And could someone tell me all about the books in which the girls' future lives are described. Are they by EBD or another writer?

MissAnnersley Mon 27-May-13 12:06:16

It's another write Hester. I have only read a summary of the book. It was pretty horrible and definitely not in the spirit of the EBD books IMO.

Am off to have a google to try and find it.

The Miss Wilson thing I read in an article on a Chalet School fan site or in one of the Chalet school fan magazines that I used to subscribe too. blush

MissAnnersley Mon 27-May-13 12:06:40

Blimey. Used to subscribe to not too.

MissAnnersley Mon 27-May-13 12:09:14

I think this is the book about them all growing up.

HesterShaw Mon 27-May-13 12:17:07

It was supposed to be following the lives of the Maynard triplets after they left school, but every year in their lives was an annus horribilus apparently. This book has rape, suicide, infidelity, drugs


HesterShaw Mon 27-May-13 12:17:19

So shocked I had shock-fail.

Holliewantstobehot Mon 27-May-13 12:17:53

Yes and Carola who is left with her great aunt while her mother goes out to Africa with her husband - sees her parents about twice as far as I can gather. And all the Bettany kids are dumped on Madge while they live it up in India. No wonder they manage to have so many children, no saying not tonight darling I am exhausted!
But when they do finally see their parents all is lovely whereas I would imagine in real life you would feel either resentment or indifference to people who had left you half way round the world for years on end.

HesterShaw Mon 27-May-13 12:29:05

I liked Carola.

clarinetV2 Mon 27-May-13 13:00:25

Whaaaaaat? Miss Wilson had a crush on Jack Maynard? Never! I always thought that she and Miss Annersley were an item.

I love the hetero couple romances as described in the CS. They're so bland and seem to offer so little (especially to the women), it put me off heterosexuality for life. Whereas the friendships/relationships between the girls and the women are complex, interesting, continually developing and full of nuances. I'm pretty sure it's not what Brent-Dyer intended, but I read them and came to the conclusion that a woman-centered life was the way to go!

MissAnnersley Mon 27-May-13 13:03:04

The whole article was based on a couple of exchanges between them over her hair turning white. I wish I could find it.

Will go off and look for it again.

HesterShaw Mon 27-May-13 13:26:52

Ah. The Chalet School in Exile.

I wish I could work out how to work my Kindle sad

Holliewantstobehot Mon 27-May-13 15:53:46

I always thought Miss Annersley and Rosalie Dene were an item myself. No reason why, just did. I agree about the marriages though - all these hard working, well educated career women who have travelled all over Europe in charge of lot of kids are suddenly deemed incapable of deciding anything for themselves, are not allowed to work and seem to have to ask their husband what to do in all sorts of situations. Jem takes charge of the school in Chalet School in Exile as though Madge couldn't possibly know what to do!

Jem and Miss Wilson have an exchange about the hair. 'Poor Nell' he says 'Never mind, the Poudre effect is quite becoming' 'Oh as if it mattered' said Miss Wilson giving him a queer look - or words to that effect. My 'Exile' is on a high shelf.

Hollie - there is a hint in The Chalet School in the Oberland that Peggy at least does have some difficult feelings about her parents absence (which of course was prolonged by the way - no tripping about for 6 month furlough then). When Molly is ill EBD writes something like 'And we've had so little of her' thought poor Peggy 'Rix and Bride and Jackie and I. All those years that she and dad and the twins were in India. It's really only these last four years'
How sad is that!

By the way? SHould be by the WAR

MissAnnersley Mon 27-May-13 22:17:44

Oh right. Dr Jem and Miss Wilson. I thought it was Jack.

I think it might have been an article in one of the focs magazines. I used to subscribe to it but you could also read them online.

I think all the online articles have been taken down unfortunately which is a shame because some of them were really good.

VikingLady Mon 27-May-13 22:23:08

Miss Annersley and Miss Wilson must have been an item! Remember the accident where Miss Annersley nearly dies and Joey recalled Miss Wilson to handle the awful Miss Bubb? Miss Wilson tells Joey how much Miss Annersley means to her. I remember reading that as a teenager and thinking hmmmm.....

Oh yes! 'Hilda and I are both lonely people and we mean a lot to each other.......' (!)

MrsFrederickWentworth Mon 27-May-13 22:46:43

I loved the Abbey School more than the Chalet School. It would have had poor ofsteds in h+ s too, midnight rambles in ruins. Poor sport, only country dancing, bit good music, d+ t a bit limited.

Finding staff who could speak three languages not hard then. Middle class girls were taught French and German automatically, prob by governesses. And because of WW1 they wouldn't have married. And would have to support themselves. Maths teaching a bit more problematic but not much.

I too love Antonia Forrest, Thalianotfailure. She is so witty. Natch. Just saying. And knowledgeable. Have never liked the Brontes so much since was it Karen did that devastating job on them in Peter's room. Put me off Emily for ever " when she wants you to think badly of someone she makes them drown puppies" of similar. And I had never realised until then how far Emily was on the spectrum.. Seriously, gondal.

That school would have come out well academically in everything unless Lois had written a bitchy whistle blowing letter.

I didn't like Malory Towers so much. I found Darrell boring ditto her mother's sensible shoes.

I do think there was quite a lot of simmering non-heterosexuality in the Chalet School. Not only Miss Annersley and Miss Wilson, but the magnificently named Tom Gay and, later, Jack Lambert.

Also, Miss Ferrars and Miss Wilmot, who seemed to be the absolute favourite pair for slash fiction on the Chalet School talk board I used to read.

MrsFrederickWentworth Tue 28-May-13 13:46:22

Also on the Abbey School despite the.twin.syndrome.

Pixielady83 Tue 28-May-13 19:52:44

I feel compelled to post for the first time ever on mn to admit that when I was 8 I had a notebook that I completed with lists of head girls, family trees and even head shot sketches of each head girl blush perhaps I should go and join that forum!

I haven't read the books again since then but will definitely be digging them out again, I don't think I ever got any of the later ones.

Like a pp I too was determined to have triplets or at least a couple of sets of twins after reading confused

DeWe Tue 28-May-13 20:09:28

Pixielady EBD could have done with doing that. then maybe she wouldn't have made so many mistakes.

Isn't Pixie a name in the Abbey series?

Pixielady83 Tue 28-May-13 20:41:30

I don't know the Abbey series (although looking them up after this) my pixie is just a nickname DH gave me due to my diminutive stature and I haven't thought of a good mn nickname yet

Totally inspired to use chalet school as baby name inspiration after this thread though!

DeWe Tue 28-May-13 21:39:52

Oooh, a baby name party. Definitely go for Malvina wink

clarinetV2 Tue 28-May-13 23:26:18

Something reminded me of the baby name party just a couple of days ago. Which book was it in? I think it's one of the early ones. And which cherub is it who suggests that the baby should be called 'Wufus'? A fine name for a baby.

I love the early Abbey books, up to about Abbey Girls Go Back to School. The later ones get a bit tedious, I think, but I love the ones where the original generation are still young. And for simmering non-heterosexuality there's the married coupledom of Jen and Jack - not to mention all the late night 'coffee-drinking', ahem, in and out of each others bedrooms. I feel a bout of Goddesses coming on... I will not have those crossings skipped...

Tinuviel Tue 28-May-13 23:35:16

It was Chalet School and the Lintons, clarinet. I read it yesterday morning before I got up. blush

Some excellent suggestions were made - Evangeline, Angel, Rufus, Tibby, Honor, Malvina, Elisaveta, Otillie!! If only I had reread that book before I had DD, Otillie Tibby Evangeline would have had a fine ring to it!

LJBrownie Wed 29-May-13 00:36:37

Astrid is a CS name I've always fancied using pixie

Otillie was on my short list for DD2, I also had a boss called Malvina in my first Saturday job shock.

clarinetV2 Wed 29-May-13 08:07:27

I was very taken with the name Phoebe when I first read Jo to the Rescue. Only trouble was, I thought it was pronounced 'Fweb'.

VikingLady Wed 29-May-13 12:49:37

Oh - Rosetta! The baddie in Jo's first book! I think I've found the next DD's name!

MumInVillage Wed 29-May-13 15:36:38

Loving this thread, hankering after a like button. Favourite book has to be Exile, definite lack of risk assessments there...

elennare Sun 02-Jun-13 02:31:07

Having just read Wrong Chalet School, I have to agree about Miss Annersley and Miss Wilson - several "my dear"s, and worrying about each other, and so on. Plus Miss Wilson going to stay with her during Mystery at the Chalet School!

By the way, I was just checking - between myself and the lovely people who sent me copies, we have ebooks of 29 out of the 58 in the series! Here's a GoogleDoc list, with the ones I have / was sent crossed out. Pretty good smile

ooooooh, I have the Chalet Girls Cookbook (which I'd totally forgotten about), in hardback, and there's a copy on ebay for £105 shock. I bought it for £5 a few years back.

nennypops Sun 02-Jun-13 10:28:05

I do think there was quite a lot of simmering non-heterosexuality in the Chalet School. Not only Miss Annersley and Miss Wilson, but the magnificently named Tom Gay and, later, Jack Lambert.

Yebbut you just know Tom and Jack were saved by the love of two good doctors and went on to have 15 children each.

Tom went to be a missionary (in Africa?) working with boys I think, so not saved by a doctor sad. Don't know if we find out what happened to Jack, my knowledge of the later books isn't as good

SelfRighteousPrissyPants Sun 02-Jun-13 10:53:31

Tom was a missionary in London grin Bet she married a minister though in the end. Jack's still at school at the end.

OodPi Thu 06-Jun-13 08:38:42

Malorie Blackman article in the Guardian says she used to read the CS books!

I thought Tom was an inner city missionary working in London's East End. She and the boys she works with keep on making the dolls houses/chalets/villages for the Sale each year, don't they.

vintageclock Thu 06-Jun-13 16:50:35

I am meant to be working but have been reading this thread and laughing my head off. There is a bag of my old chalet school books up in my mum's attic. I'm now very tempted to get them down and re-read them. I'd forgotten most of the characters (apart from Jo and her gi-normous family, the saintly Mary Lou and a few others) but it's all coming back to me now.

Do you think they are better re-read on a sun dappled lawn, or should I wait a few months and read them on a wintry November afternoon in front of the fire?

Kveta Thu 06-Jun-13 17:00:29

oh, re read them now! I'm loving them during night feeds smile may just have bought a few hard copies from ebay <whistles innocently>

EmpressOfTheSevenOceans Tue 11-Jun-13 08:49:02

I'm getting to read the non-abridged versions for the first time (thank you all the luffly people who emailed me) grin.

When they're waiting for 5-year-old Robin to arrive Madge says "We shan't find her too much of a baby." From then, what does EBD call her? The baby. And when they spend Christmas with the Mensches, Robin is given Frieda's old cot and has to ask Joey to lift her out of it when she wants to get up. confused

DeWe Tue 11-Jun-13 09:48:42

The cot could be that was the only spare bed. I remember being put back in the cot when I was 3yo and all the cousins were staying. I remember holding my hands up for my oldest cousin to pick me up. I was out of the cot at 18 months, but I don't remember being upset at being put back in, more excited because of the visitors.

However they do baby her dreadfully, bathing her and dressing her until she's way too old. I think there's another time she's referred to as sleeping in a cot or a crib, when she's about 8yo, because I started reading them at 8yo, and remember double checking her age.
She's still being carried round in the Exile book-age 14! Even if she was tiny for her age, I can't see many people being able to carry a 14yo up mountains even with full meals, let alone on the skanty rations they had with them.

I think the problem was EBD didn't really know what to do with her once she wasn't the interesting school baby.

Arabesque Tue 11-Jun-13 10:04:15

I remember finding the way Robin was treated as a baby very strange. I recall one scene where a crowd of them were standing around admiring her when she was asleep as if she was about six months old when she was actually about 7.

BabetteAteOatmeal Tue 11-Jun-13 10:55:44

Yay this thread is back! I am loving reading all the e-books that lovely MNers sent me. My current shock moments:

- Anne Seymour misses out on being made Head Girl because she slipped off the side of a mountain picking flowers, when this was a positive recommendation for Jo, Grizel and other HGs passim
- Thekla ate a rasher of raw bacon??!!!
- Miss Wilson sleeping with Miss Stewart to free her bed for Jo and Gillian, who will be late in after a late night romp catching the Middles acting
- Bette's husband and Robin's father - break it to us gently, EBD!

something that's puzzling me on my re-reading - Dick and Mollie are in India, and it's generally accepted that British DC will be sent back home when they are 4. Why? But then later on the Second Twins are 8 and still there?

Did people just hand their DC over to relatives? For years on end?

YY to all the Robin queries. Why at age 7 can't she bath and dress herself?

Some of the bits taken out in my Armada paperbacks are shock - in one of the early ones, one of the maid was described as being like a typical peasant, slow and stupid (words to that effect, am at work so can't check exact phrasing). There's a few other bits like that too.

thebody Tue 11-Jun-13 11:08:52

Yippee my thread back.

Yes simmering same sex passions. Cathy ferris and nancy Wilmott, Hilda and Nell and why was Neil shepherd hanging around with young doctor Hamilton on his days off?

Just re read Chalet school reunion where Grizel gets married and Len nearly dies but Grizel saves her.

Robin or blumchen is a bit of a pain in the arse to be honest, agree on that one.

The one true saint though is Anna rising at 4 am to pick lettuces for an expedition. Ye gods that woman needed a nanny contract.

DeWe Tue 11-Jun-13 12:16:17

The book which really raises my hmm face is "The Chalet School and Jo". There are so many places that I go agghhh!

We have Jo making a fuss about being head girl and being told "Marie is no leader" in chapter 1. Chapter 3 it says Marie "had a considerable following in the school" and it is acknowledged that if she stands against Jo's suggestion (Of Stacie as mag editor) then the prefects may well go with her.

Then we have the dramatic scene of telling Jo that the Robin may have TB. Why tell her then, when the tests are coming next week when they know that she will react violently?

And then Jo is told to tell Marie and Frieda but not Simone despite them being a close foursome. Simone is depicted as being unreasonable to think she's been left out (if she found out) but it would be a very obvious leaving out.

Then we have Jo's almost immediate reaction that Stacie is to blame. She says it despite Marie saying it's not, and is blatently nasty to her. Then when she finds out Rob is fine, then she tells Stacie that it wasn't her fault and EBD writes "Stacie... always felt a deep gratitude for Jo saying that." And I think we're meant to think how wonderfully kind of Jo to think that and say that... but actually it's obvious that if the Robin had been found to be ill then she would have continued to blame her.

Next issue is that they know Jo is fretting about the Robin, so why didn't Madge phone her up and tell her right away they knew it was okay? She waits for Miss A to phone and ask. And then she refuses to tell Miss A because it is "Jo's right to know first"-we'll tell her at the weekend and then we'll let you know either. That's quite rude to Miss A really isn't it?

And the adopting of Biddy must be one of the strangest episodes. And deciding the school can't keep her, but the Guides can raise money for her and they'll train her up to be a maid and send her to the village school despite her apparently not speaking anything but heavily accented English...

Bananagio Tue 11-Jun-13 13:23:03

love this thread! I get frustrated by the whole "Jo was the best Head Girl we ever had" nonsense in the later books when there was nothing at the time that particularly stands out. All part of the beatification of Jo by EBD I guess.
I am gradually replacing paperbacks and filling gaps with GGB books but have pounced on your Google list Elennare and want to beg anyone with Mystery, Rosalie, Joey goes to Oberland and Jane to PM me!

I used to love these. I'll have to look into reading them again, hopefully my mum has my copies as I can't afford to buy any new copies!!!

thebody Tue 11-Jun-13 16:19:29

DeWe so agree. I don't see why jo was such an outstanding head girl?

I always wondered what Marilyn did so badly that they decided to exclude special sixth from the head girl position.

I also hate the 'next time quads' line from a woman who has 11 freaking children and seemingly no bodily issues. No repairs or stitches and seemingly no caesarians despite having triplets and 2 sets of twins!!

But love the books as such escapism.

Pakora Tue 11-Jun-13 17:38:42

Marking my place - so delighted to see this thread. Haven't read everything but was always struck by extraordinary levels of prettiness the popular girls were blessed with - sweeping lashes huge limpid eyes, tumbling curls etc. recently re read lavender laughs ...

elennare Wed 12-Jun-13 17:03:26

- Bette's husband and Robin's father - break it to us gently, EBD!
YES! I actually went all the way back to the beginning of that book and double-checked I hadn't somehow missed the previous book, it came so out of nowhere.

Having missed the book the triplets were born in (Exile?), I wondered who they were named after. Margot was obvious, and I remembered "Charlie" Stewart was Constance, but got completely stuck with Len. Even when "Chalet School Does It Again" told me she was Helena, I didn't realise until "Chalet Girl From Kenya" that it must be after her godmother Nell Wilson! blush (In my defence, the only Helen I know goes by Helen, so I never remember Nell is a nickname for it...)

The fathers never seem to get much say in the names, somehow!

Lazy moment from EBD in those books - the description of visiting the echoes is almost word for word from one book to the next, right down to both Biddy O'Ryan and Miss Wilson "lifting her voice in a clear yodel, to the admiration of her pupils, who had no idea she possessed that accomplishment."

I thought it odd in "Joey Goes To The Oberland" that Marie doesn't get a visit, or even a phone call! Poor Marie...

ShadowStorm Wed 12-Jun-13 21:28:07

Isn't there one of the later Chalet School books where Joey doesn't even realise the Robin is temporarily at a nunnery in France until the Robin sends a girl (Adrienne?) to the school?

What was that about? Given how close they seemed when at school themselves......

Arabesque Thu 13-Jun-13 12:30:06

Bette's husband and Robin's father - break it to us gently, EBD!

What?? What???

DeWe Thu 13-Jun-13 12:53:16

They died in a climbing accident sad
It's mentioned lightly in passing in The New Chalet School, in a sort of The Robin's now an orphan but she wasn't allowed to fret because that could have effected her health, so that's fine way.
I don't think he's ever mentioned again.

Arabesque Thu 13-Jun-13 12:59:35

Thanks DeWe.

I really will have to get up into my mother's attic and retrieve some of my old Chalet School books. Like Vintage, this thread has made me go all nostalgic for them.

NicknameTaken Thu 13-Jun-13 13:07:40

This thread sent me off to read the non-EBD The Chalet School Girls Grow Up, and I loved it. It made sense to me that something that seemed wonderful through childish eyes (Jo's enormous family yet inability to detach from school) would look less so portrayed through the eyes of her adult children.

Much less an escapist read that EBD herself, and clearly not popular amongst many fans, but it worked for me.

NicknameTaken Thu 13-Jun-13 13:10:55

Oh, and this book is non-fiction and has a really interesting analysis of whether there are implied lesbian relationships. She concludes that they're probably not intended as sexual, but it's still a powerful thing to portray women loving and respecting other women.

clarinetV2 Thu 13-Jun-13 13:33:16

OK, so now I'm reading Carola Storms. Carola has been left with a cousin while her father is off doctoring in Darkest Africa and her mother is with him because he can't be trusted to look after himself. When Carola runs away to join the Chalet School, father re-appears in short order to work out what is to be done with his daughter and seems to be flabbergasted that she is nearly 15. He thought she was a 'small girl'. What? Didn't her parents send her birthday cards or anything? Leaving your child for years on end and not seeing them is bad enough, but not keeping track of how old they are?? Almost (but not quite) as bizarre as the adoption of Biddy who re-emerges as a teacher in Carola Storms with her creamy Kerry brogue intact as ever.

Some interesting Hilda/Bill action early in Carola Storms - Hilda proclaims that she is going to bed with a, 'Nell, are you coming?' And off they go to bed together leaving the rest of the staff to tidy up. No-one bats an eyelid.

NicknameTaken Thu 13-Jun-13 13:41:11

Doesn't it say at the start that the cousin had a pied a terre in London? I didn't know what a pied a terre was, but I thought it sounded immensely glamorous.

Arabesque Thu 13-Jun-13 13:43:00

In real life you would think a grown woman with a busy life of her own was a bit weird if she was constantly hanging around her old school, giving unasked for advice to pupils, popping in to visit with a moses basket over her arm and basically acting as if she'd never left the place. I would imagine that pretty soon people would be dodging behind doors when they saw her coming or that the next time the school relocated they would be careful to leave no forwarding address.

NicknameTaken Thu 13-Jun-13 14:24:40

Totally - I can't imagine hanging around my own secondary school decades later. Grow up, woman, make new friends! Broaden your horizons!

thebody Thu 13-Jun-13 14:53:21

But joey is 'the spirit' of the school my dears.

Arabesque Thu 13-Jun-13 15:52:30

Actually, in a way we're just like her. Here we are, grown up women with careers, mortgages, kids, spreading waistlines, stretchmarks, winesoaked livers but have we left our chalet school books behind us? No! We are raiding our parents' attics, scouring charity shops, searching ABE Books and generally behaving as if we are still living at home, lying on the sofa with a book in one hand and a curly wurly in the other.

NicknameTaken Thu 13-Jun-13 16:17:25

That's, er, a purely dispassionate intellectual interest, old thing.

<smoothes gym-slip over knees reassuringly>

Arabesque Thu 13-Jun-13 16:41:17

True, Nickname. <pulls up socks and straightens beret>

clarinetV2 Thu 13-Jun-13 19:42:53

lying on the sofa with a book in one hand and a curly wurly in the other

Great idea, Arabesque. I know what I'll be doing this evening. Shame you can't get spangles any more but a curly wurly will do.

elennare Fri 14-Jun-13 18:41:50

Reading "Ruey Richardson", and Len has just been scolded by Matron for having a ponytail - What on earth is wrong with ponytails??

Vintageclock Sat 15-Jun-13 15:00:45

Ooh a bit American and rock and rollish elennare, she'll be leaping around like Sandy in Grease and showing her knickers next.
A nice pair of plaits, you can't go wrong.!

arabesque Sat 15-Jun-13 15:05:05

Shame on you elen. I suppose you also think it's okay to wear pedal pushers and go to the beach with boys?

thebody Sat 15-Jun-13 15:22:58

Elen!!! You will end up like Joan baker!! She was a bit slutty but of course was previously at a council school so to be expected.

Now great flat earphones like joey are the way to go.

squoosh Sat 15-Jun-13 16:57:37

Everyone knows that only fast girls sport ponytails. The sort that get up to no good behind the herbaceous border with the gardener's son.

thebody Sat 15-Jun-13 17:47:21

One tail is acceptable if it is clipped into the make of the neck.

Otherwise you will just go straight to hell.

Wabbitty Sat 15-Jun-13 19:00:37

I find it interesting Jack Maynard was Catholic as his sister wasn't.

What I also find noticable is the range of ages they get in a form and that the forms were based mostly on ability rather than age.

elennare Sat 15-Jun-13 22:18:51

But Len had been wearing her hair in a ponytail all the holidays! Was Joey an extremely modern and easygoing mother, then? wink

I'd have had no end of trouble over my hair if I'd gone to the Chalet - it's curly and fine, so it's impossible to comb without it going frizzy while dry; and there's so little of it that if I plait it, it looks like a rat's tail. With a ponytail the curls give the illusion of volume. smile
I suppose I'd have had to have short hair, but I hated having haircuts (even trims) as a teen because it took ages to grow long again! I have never forgotten having to wear wool plaits for a school performance age 5 because my own hair had never grown long enough to plait.

arabesque Sun 16-Jun-13 15:34:51

Joey had never moved further than six feet from the Chalet School her entire life. She was unaware that 'out there in the real world' all sorts were going on - girls jiving with boys; girls wearing trousers; girls accepting lifts from boys they'd just met. She had been protected from all that wickedness and did not realise that a chirpy ponytail was the thin end of the wedge. Wise matron, on the other hand, knew Len would never nab herself a nice doctor with such a slutty hairstyle.

clarinetV2 Sun 16-Jun-13 15:52:43

Girls should wear proper plaited pigtails until they either 1) are nearly killed saving someone else's life and are reincarnated with curls, 2) bob their hair themselves out of devotion to their best friend, or 3) put their hair up, preferably into earphones. Pony tails are an aberration and have no place in the Scheme Of Things.

squoosh Sun 16-Jun-13 15:54:47

Did anyone in the Chalet School ever get a perm, or permanent wave as I'm sure they'd have called it?

Would probably have marked them out as permanently common and wanton.

OodPi Sun 16-Jun-13 15:57:59

Think Joan did wink

Jengnr Sun 16-Jun-13 17:25:16

Ohhh. I haven't read the Chalet School for YEARS and I didn't read any of the later ones. I LOVED the early ones though.

Can I shamelessly request any ebooks going please?

Tinuviel Sun 16-Jun-13 17:52:08

Yes, Joan definitely did, squoosh, along with her nail varnish , lipstick (that swore at her dress) and 'unsuitable' dresses, she was clearly a right slapper! wink

DeWe Sun 16-Jun-13 17:53:07

Joan had a perm-very clearly disapproved of, described as "cheap looks". Although I seem to remember perms were quite expensive wink

I've a feeling Ruey had one too, but I'm not totally sure. In her case it was meant to show the lack of mothering.

Yseult may have had a perm, I can't recall whether she did or not, but it would go with the diapproving of her parenting theat EBD did.

arabesque Tue 18-Jun-13 14:19:13

Actually, given that the fifties seemed to pass the Chalet School by, do you think it could be still out there, in some parallel universe, with the granddaughters of Mary Lou and Len and Vi Lucy and the rest of them still having Kaffee und Kuchen and totally unaware of facebook and the X Factor and One Direction?
Occasionally a 'modern' type wanders in wearing fake tan and mascara and they all have a ladylike fit until she's expelled and the school can resume the even tenor of its days?

<needs to find a hobby>

OodPi Tue 18-Jun-13 14:22:02


arabesque Tue 18-Jun-13 14:30:37

Joey, who's now a hundred and ten, still totters in occasionally on a zimmer frame to visit her 426 Great Granddaughters while wondering how on earth they're going to find enough doctors for them all to marry.

The 'modern type' might not get expelled - if I recall correctly, only two girls were ever expelled (Thekla and Betty Wynne-Davis), so it is more likely that the 'modern type' would be reformed and made int a fairly decent sort, thanks to the influence of cold baths in the morning, bracing 'rambles' in the alpine countryside and a quiet chat with Joey. And Matey would make short work of the fake tan!

elennare Thu 20-Jun-13 22:21:43

arabesque, Joey expresses her intentions of doing exactly that in "Jane", which I just finished reading! grin

(Also, last night I wrote Chalet School fanfic. I blame the lot of you :P)

arabesque Fri 21-Jun-13 09:54:42

Wow, I know her so well!

Where can I access Chalet School fanfic. Sounds interesting. Might start a chain story on here.

elennare Fri 21-Jun-13 17:53:04

You can find fic on, Archive Of Our Own and the Sally Denny Library. (The last one is specifically for Chalet School fanfic). There's some overlap with stories being on more than one, but there's still plenty to read!

A chain story sounds fun smile

arabesque Fri 21-Jun-13 18:29:15

Great thanks.

I will def start that chain story.

EmpressOfTheSevenOceans Fri 21-Jun-13 20:11:10

Chain story sounds like a great idea, I'll join in!

SallyDennyLibrary is terrific, it was what got me back into the Chalet books after reading them as a kid. Although its very easy to forget what's official and what's invented...

I recommend Tea and Militancy by Finn and Eilidh's Maynard Boys series.

OodPi Sun 23-Jun-13 16:49:50

I used to love the crossover ones on the CBB, didn't realise its branched into its own site. goes off to read instead of sorting the washing

elennare Mon 24-Jun-13 05:02:03

Reading "Redheads at the Chalet School" at the moment, and it's brought up several times how 'the school will allow shortenings but not nicknames, so Copper must be Flavia to teachers and in lessons'. What, pray, is Tom Gay's 'Tom' if not a nickname? It's certainly not short for her actual names! (Granted it could be, while Copper is a nickname pure and simple, but it's still a bit of a double standard). Does "Tom Tackles the Chalet School" clarify why everyone uses it? I haven't got that one.

ShadowStorm Mon 24-Jun-13 20:41:56

Wasn't Tom's real name Lucinda, or something along those lines?

It wasn't a name where Tom was an obvious abbreviation of a real name, anyhow.

Wabbitty Mon 24-Jun-13 21:02:25

Tom was Muriel Lucinda.

"However she had always flatly refused to answer to either, so even the staff called her "Tom", which had been her nickname since babyhood and might have furnished the Head with another argument against nicknames if she had thought of it at the time."

So basically they didn't think to ban nicknames 'til Tom came along and then they couldn't until she left.

Fionar71 Thu 22-Aug-13 08:26:25

Depends on which sister you ask mikkii!!

Have to get in mobile home to check but fingers crossed all my paperbacks are still tucked away under the seats in there - not got them all but a fair number mostly the abridged Armada ones!

chaletian Fri 10-Jan-14 11:21:38

just stumbled across this after googling for chalet school ebooks. Thanks for the memories!! If anyone's still around would LOVE some sending please???

Same here. All these years thinking I was the only one who had read them!

And it's shocking that Antonia Forest's books still haven't been reprinted except for Autumn Term! I regret losing my copy of The Cricket Term sooo much.

BuntyPenfold Fri 10-Jan-14 13:45:25

<waves to SilverDragonfly1>

'Mr Tallboy' thought Nicola, almost an invocation, as her arm bent back...

my copy is in many pieces now.

wholesomemum Fri 10-Jan-14 13:49:25

Can I just guys are NUTTERS and this is the best laugh I've had all day!

I've been lurking for ages, this thread finally convinced me to join in.

The Cricket Term taught me what a palimpsest was at age 12. I didn't realise until buying the reissued Autumn Term though how long ago they were written. The school and girls are so modern in outlook! Completely different to other school stories of the period (I collect old school stories and even managed to squeeze them into my dissertation).

Oh, just finished Joey in the Oberland. She calls her children 'the brats' every.single.time she refers to them, which gets terribly jarring.

BuntyPenfold Fri 10-Jan-14 17:56:39

I would like your dissertation SilverDragonfly1

House is stuffed with old school stories even though I lost hundreds in a house move.

Do you have Run Away Home?

No, Autumn term is the only one I have sad

My dissertation was about children acting as carers in fiction and I was able to use Angela Brazil's 'Schoolgirl Kitty' as one of my sources. Also got to do a research project about Bunty the comic!

BuntyPenfold Fri 10-Jan-14 23:38:16

That sounds really interesting Silver.

It was fun. I was lucky enough to have a tutor whose field was children's literature, so she was very supportive and helpful.

I haven't managed to read any Abbey Girls books yet either.

weirdbird Sat 11-Jan-14 01:02:01

Yay, my 2 worlds collide, chalet school on mumsnet, are any of you on the CBB or members of FOCS?

I still have my original CS Armada collection, but now also have the GGBP reprints as well as they are unabridged.

Risks outing her mumsnet ID to fellow CBBers

Hello weirdbird.

I lurk on CBB and occasionally comment on SDL under another name. Elennare is / was here under the same name and I've only just noticed smile

weirdbird Sat 11-Jan-14 02:05:53

Hi Empress,

I don't post much on the CBB these days but I still gather.
I have one thing in SDL but am not much of a writer

Adeleh Sat 11-Jan-14 02:31:11

Used to be member of FOCS. Love Antonia Forest and Chalet School. My Antonia Forests are in pieces now, too, alas. Sally Hayward's Spring Term is an AF continuation - it's brilliant - all about Ginty going to the bad!

weirdbird Sat 11-Jan-14 02:38:53

I never got into Antonia Forrest but I have a couple in my to read pile, though why I would need another GO author to collect I am not sure, but lots of people seem to love her.

Gwendoline Courtney I discovered via GGBP reprints, that I now adore

Adeleh Sat 11-Jan-14 02:45:54

Elizabeth of the Garrett Theatre is brilliant. Only other Gwendoline Courtney I read was A Coronet for Cathy, which I didn't like as much.

weirdbird Sat 11-Jan-14 03:52:22

Highly recommend Sally's family, I found it a few years ago at a car boot and it is probably my favourite GO book now. My DD1 who I has never shown any interest in GO, just main lines Jacqueline Wilson even loves it.

ProudAS Sat 11-Jan-14 07:32:13

Would OFSTED be bothered with the chalet school (not in UK)?

They did inspect Hogwarts though.

weirdbird Sat 11-Jan-14 11:49:23

It was in the Uk during the war and soon after, and they did continue an English branch after they went to Switzerland, though you hear little of them as the books progress

Maybe they were keeping quiet about having been shut down!

weirdbird Sat 11-Jan-14 16:28:55

Definitely try the Abbey Girls SilverDragonfly1, but start with the first one in the series, I tried them years ago, but a random one in the middle and all the characters and connections just confused me, they do not stand alone as well as many of the other series. I then got them all for my kindle and loved them.

You have all the Abbey books on kindle??? How? Where from? <excited>

What Empress said!

weirdbird Sat 11-Jan-14 21:34:10

There was a group before the republishing rights were bought that transcribed them all, the group has now closed as the books are being reprinted

Adeleh Sat 11-Jan-14 21:55:21

Thanks weird. Will try Sally's family.

Thanks. I genuinely don't know if I'm being unreasonable to be annoyed that they've done that and are now charging a fortune for the books rather than letting everyone enjoy them...

weirdbird Sun 12-Jan-14 15:10:04

Sorry i explained that badly, the group that had transcribed them is not the EJO society that is now prinitng them, it was not an official group, just a group of fans/friends on a online forum.
Most people would still prefer an actual book to a e-book still. Which is why they are printing them.
Any official group would not be able to offer a kindle version for free unless they had permission from the estate, as royalties have to be paid.

What I find sad with both this and GGPB is that because they have bought the rights to print them, but it is a small just cover the costs, print run so the cost per book is high they will not be found my any new generation of fans.

Whereas a large publishing house they would be back in the shops again.

I see, I thought they were out of copyright. That's completely different of course and not unreasonable at all.

It is a shame. I had hoped the new issue of Autumn Term would have done well enough to spark publication of at least the rest of AF's school stories, but apparently not. I suppose they are just too divorced from the reality of children today. Thinking about it, books of that era also tend to contain a lot of mentions of books and subjects that schools don't teach today (whether Spencer's The Fairie Queen, botany or lacrosse)- at least, not to the age groups that would be reading them.

finnthejotter Mon 13-Jan-14 22:05:14

Crumbs, I've got a mention on mumsnet! Is this some kind of internet fame?

Thank you, EmpressOfTheSevenOceans - I'm so glad you're enjoying Tea and Militancy. Do I know you over on the SDL?

Chairchair Thu 16-Jan-14 00:07:50

Hello from another CBBer but of no fame. I wish books weren't so expensive.

Finn! Hello!

I'm Rafaella on the SDL, I've reviewed T & M a few times.

(and changed my name from a Fiona Cooper tribute to a Jasper Fforde one).

finnthejotter Thu 16-Jan-14 14:45:10

Hello Rafa smile thanks for the rec!

clarinetV2 Fri 17-Jan-14 17:44:36

Oh good, this thread is back. Since I last saw it I've finished my CS re-read. My, but the final books are tedious. I read them with an 'I've started so I'll finish' attitude but it took some doing. I seem to remember there was a suggestion somewhere that EBD might not have written the final books - or at least not written them on her own. I could believe that.

Seriously clarinet, go to SDL. A lot of the stories are far better!

You're welcome, Finn, just keep writing!

NomDeClavier Fri 17-Jan-14 18:09:15

Weird bird I think I know who you are <creepy> I don't go on the CBB or SDL much now though.

clarinetV2 Fri 17-Jan-14 18:40:51

Thanks for that link, Empress. I can see what I'm going to be doing this weekend...

OohAahBird Sun 19-Jan-14 11:54:32

Pm me NomDeClavier and have a guess grin

Ewieindwie1 Thu 01-May-14 19:57:31

Have just been directed to this thread and spent the last hour laughing out loud. Hurrah for MN!

lessonsintightropes Thu 01-May-14 20:51:27

Anyone else also re-reading the books as a result of this and the 'which school would you have gone to' thread? I am currently re-starting The Chalet School and the Oberland, and have bought the next six... I am trying to reassemble the whole collection. Love this thread grin

Louise1956 Thu 01-May-14 21:45:14

I liked the first few books, but lost interest after Joey left the school. She was by far the most interesting character.

But she never really left, did she, Louise? All that stuff about still being a Chalet girl when she's 90 years old and gaga, and her slightly obsessive over-involvement with the school and the pupils.

DeWee Thu 01-May-14 22:05:48

Joey? Left? And I thought I'd read them all! Which book did that happen in? wink

I think maybe Joey used to be let in to see the girls instead of sex education lessons.... Warning: if you don't use contraceptives loook what you could become....

Chaletfan Tue 21-Oct-14 00:22:55

I just found this thread while Googling looking for e copies of Chalet books and have thoroughly enjoyed all 19 pages! I wondered if anyone would be kind enough to share some of the electronic copies as I gave away mine years ago, have limited storage for books and have already bought the GGB e copies, I would be hugely grateful to anyone sharing the Tyrol ones, which are by far the best. You guys should be thankful that Joey isn't a member on here, can you imagine how bossy she would be? :P

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