Girls Blazer Badge Boys Blazer Badge

Miss Winifred Moss

2010 reunion

A inifred Mary Sheephouse Moss was born in 1901 and attended schools in Plymouth and Winchester. She went on to Kings College, London in 1922 and gained a BA Honours degree in English. Miss Moss spent four years in Liverpool as Headmistress of the Liverpool College for Girls before being appointed headmistress of Lewes County School for Girls in 1944. She retired in December 1961 and lived in Lewes until her death in 1972 after a long illness.

Tributes to Miss Moss on her retirement in 1961.

From Miss J Bartlett Deputy Head

On behalf of the present staff I should like to pay a very sincere tribute to Miss Moss and thank her for her help and guidance during the last seventeen years. The school has seen many changes during that time and through them all we have been assured of Miss Moss's unfailing wisdom and unselfishness. Several of us have reason to be grateful for her kindness and consideration during times of personal and domestic troubles, and all new staff, especially those starting their teaching career, have found her ready to help them with good advice. Through all the complications and irritations of new buildings, alterations, a general inspection, floods and other problems, we found that Miss Moss never lost her sense of humour or her imperturbability. I am sure that if one morning I had reported that there was a large brown bear on the netball court Miss Moss would have responded with "Oh really ? I must tell Mr. Glazier about it".

This has been of great value to the whole school as well as the staff and has helped us to surmount successfully the difficulties of the last few years.

Miss Moss has set us a high standard during her years as headmistress of this school and we shall endeavour to maintain it in the years to come.

We wish her a long and very happy retirement in which she may be able to do all the things she has not found time for during the last seventeen years !

From Miss P Bailey, Head of the history department 1925-1957.

I remember that in the School Magazine of 1945 you said of the year 1944-45 : "The year as far is School is concerned has been pleasantly uneventful. There have been all the normal activities and, as usual, we never get enough time to fit in all the things we should like to do." That was the year of V.E. Day and of the new Education Act which is still revolutionising the purpose, content, organisation, and even methods of education. In school, numbers continued to increase and each term we somehow managed to squeeze in a few more girls. Sixth Form groups were forced to study in the stock room and sometimes in cloakrooms. Corridors were congested and rooms overcrowded. It was all very difficult but somehow we managed because you were always calm and determined to surmount difficulties even when staff were at times bewildered and frustrated. Some of us realised the enormous pressure of administrative work which these changes entailed for you but in school you were always available to deal with the problems of staff and girls with patience and tact and understanding. Your courage and constant devotion to the school have done much to smooth the difficult passage through the last few years of rebuilding and expansion with the many restrictions and inconveniences that had to be endured. I hope the story of the floods will be written by another.

Now we can only wish you a happy and active retirement and thank you for your years of devoted service to a very happy school, and for your friendship to those who worked with you.

From Wendy Watson, Head Girl 1946-47.

The years I spent at Lewes under Miss Moss's headship were those of the latter part of the second world war, and of the immediate post-war period. At that time the school was smaller and more intimate.

The times were restless and difficult. Travel was crowded, buses and trains being few and far between and never fitting in with the complex school time-table. It was not an enviable task for any headmistress to lead a school in these circumstances, and to confront often over-exuberant and restless pupils with the realisation that here or not at all they were laying the foundations of their future.

Miss Moss was quite equal to this task however, and, with the calm determination which we later grew more and more to appreciate, she steered the school through these difficult days. As Head Girl perhaps I could realise more fully the extent of her support and active help in all the many problems with which we approached her.

It is a wide span of years between those days and the present time, with the growth from just the "Old" and "New" Buildings to the new assembly hall and class-rooms, and in numbers from three hundred to five hundred and fifty girls. Miss Moss must feel very contented with the expansion which she has seen, and has good reason to be proud of the wise influence that she has had on its metamorphosis.

We hope that she may take with her this sense of achievement and that she may enjoy a well-earned rest in her retirement from such a task well done.

Headmistress at Lewes for 17 years.

Obituary for Miss Moss in the Sussex Express (date unknown)

THE following tribute to Miss Winifred Mary Moss, of 6 Park Road, Lewes, Headmistress of the former Lewes County Grammar School for Girls from 1944 to 61, has been contributed by one who was a member of her staff.

'Miss Moss came to Lewes in September 1944. It was not her first headship, as she had spent four years in Liverpool as Headmistress of the Liverpool College for Girls. The post-war years were not easy ones, and we soon learnt to appreciate the qualities Miss Moss showed as a Headmistress.

'Her integrity and steady sense purpose, as well as her devotion to the school, were unswerving in a rapidly-changing world. 'She demanded high standards work and behaviour, and the school became well known for its happy atmosphere during her years as Headmistress.

'Miss Moss's sense of humour could liven many a dull occasion, and she was able to combine this with an air of dignified composure. We are sad to think that she was not able to enjoy a longer retirement in the town she had grown to love so well. The splendid courage she showed, in her last illness was an example to us all.

'Miss Moss will long be remembered with respect and affection by all who had the privilege of working with her.'

The funeral at St. John's Church, Lewes, on Monday, was conducted by the Rector (the Rev. M. Loughton).