A History of St Hilda's in 125 Objects

Part of our 2018 celebrations, this collection brings together items, places and even animals that have added to the experience of living and working at St Hilda's over the past 125 years.Our grateful thanks go out to all those who are sharing their stories in order to create this compilation of treasured memories. We do hope that you will find this collection as interesting, varied, rich and evocative as we do. If you have any objects of your own to share, do contact the Development Office.


125 Objects

St Hilda's Hall Eight Going Past the Barges in 1921

This wonderful image was featured in the lifestyle pictorial magazine The Sphere (1900–1964). Ethel Collinson (St Hilda’s, 1917), rowed in the VIII, which was coached by William Best. Collinson wrote over a hundred letters during her time in Oxford to her mother,  a number of which mention her passion for rowing.

In a letter dated 26th October 1919, she comments on the photographic session documenting the St Hilda’s VIII. It is clear that the coach was not impressed:

“On Thursday, a man came to photograph us for the Ladies’ Pictorial or some such rag. Anyway, (we all) had to trot down to the Isis at 1.10 to be photographed in the Eight. The joke is that it was a fixed seater, owing to Salters’ (the boatmakers)  mistake, and we should have had  some difficulty in rowing it if we had tried. You should have seen Best and the photographer!  He wanted to take us across stream at first!  Then when Best stood up in the sten…the young man told him “you can sit down now”!  Best was finally provoked into remarking that he had been on the river 60 years!”  (PP 13/71)

St Hilda's Hall Eight Going Past the Barges in 1921