Photo:Mrs Mountford, Miss Butlin

Mrs Mountford, Miss Butlin

Photo:Mrs Mountford, Miss Butlin, Sandra, Janice

Mrs Mountford, Miss Butlin, Sandra, Janice

Photo:A-Level English Stalwarts

A-Level English Stalwarts

Tideway teacher

By Marion Milroy (Nee Lower)

My mum has told me Mrs Mountford died aged 95 just after Christmas. I was cross that I hadn't been able to attend her funeral as I had visited her at her flat in Dane Road Seaford to have a chat with her and her son Jim (if he was visiting) nearly every school holiday for the last 20+ years

She was a wonderful teacher who taught me all the technical stuff I needed to know to be more than someone who just enjoyed sewing!

The only photo I have of her was taken in the last week of my time at Tideway in July 1974. She looks really young and yet was already in her late 50's and coming up for 'retirement' from her school career before she embarked on a second career as seamstress at Glyndbourne.

In the days when you could do things on the spur of the moment I remember missing Mr Martin's english lesson to go to London on the train with her in order to buy beautiful fabric from Liberty's for the stock cupboard (which I chose!). There was no risk assessment or letter of consent from home - all I did was ring my mum at work from the payphone by the staff room to tell her I'd be late home and we were off!

At the time I knew my experience in the sixth form (surrounded by some memorable teachers) was special but its only now that I am almost the same age as Mrs Mountford was when we left - I appreciate what a special time it was.


This page was added by Marion Milroy (Nee Lower) on 24/01/2012.
Comments about this page

Mrs Mountford (why, after so many years, does it still feel somehow wrong to call a teacher by their first name?) was my form tutor in my 4th and 5th years at Tideway - Forms 4RM and 5RM. Our form room was the needlework room right at the top of B Block. Mrs M was a fantastic form tutor, always there to help and always willing to go that extra mile for her class. I don't know how she did it, but she obtained permission from Mr Rothwell for her class to remain indoors during break and lunchtimes. While all the rest were out in the cold and rain, we were all cosy and warm inside. All she asked of us was that we behaved, and I think we all did! I'm sure that she was aware of the card school that went on at lunchtimes (plenty of pins ready for betting in that room!) but never complained! RIP Ruth Mountford, we won't forget you.

By Andy Gilbert
On 24/01/2012

Lovely to read your memories and comments Marion. What a lovely teacher Mrs Mountford was. I think her success lay in the fact that she truly loved her students and her craft. The perfect combination. Kids can sense a genuine teacher a mile off. She certainly showed some patience with me when I tried to make a coat for "O" level needlework. I gave up the subject in frustration, well before she ever gave up on me! Frightening that we've reached almost the same age that Ruth was, she looked so young then!

By Helen Wagstaff
On 24/01/2012

I am sorry to hear this news I too have fond memories of Mrs Mountford although I didn't continue with needlework at O level. We found a half finished blouse in my mum and dads loft a few years ago, I fear I was a disappointment on the sewing front. Interested to see Miss Butler [Butlin - Ed] on the photo I saw her a few years after we left school in Brighton has anyone seen her recently?

By Jan Parry (nee Wingate)
On 29/01/2012

Hi Jan. In answer to your question, I taught at Tideway for a few years and Sue Butlin was still there and married by then. I think she retired a couple of years after I left in the early 90's. I went to Duncan Sandford's retirement about 5 years ago, she came to that. Gill Cummings was also there. Despite having both hips replaced due to arthritis, Gill was still going to the Gym, walking the downs and looked fantastic. In fact these Tideway stalwarts just don't seem to change! As soon as I can find them, I have a couple of photos from our school reunion back in 1996 which I'll post on here. Do you think we should have another one when we're 60 or is that just too much?!

By Helen Wagstaff (nee Russell)
On 02/02/2012

I have such fond memories of Mrs M (no, I can't use her 1st name either!). She was a brilliant teacher and exceptional person, who treated us as intelligent people who could make our own decisions. She passed on to me the lifelong skill of dressmaking, and much more besides.

By Val Lidster (Vinall)
On 04/05/2012

I am so glad that I was able to visit Ruth shortly before she died. Her laugh was exactly the same and despite quite a bit of memory loss she could name Tideway students and reminisce about the old days. I loved her as a teacher and a friend and I never lost contact with her despite the fact I moved to Canada 36 years ago. She taught me to love sewing, taught me how to be the best teacher I could be, and instilled a love of theatre and life. I hold her in my memory as a role model for how I want to live my life and the kind of teacher I aspire to be. Thank you for posting these lovely photos of her laughing and looking so care free.

By Caroline Morrison (nee Taylor)
On 31/12/2013

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