Frances Baines House

Frances Baines House was named after Miss Frances Baines, Lady Warden of St Anne’s from 1907-1917.

In 1926, the House system was introduced, and the school was divided up into three ‘houses’ – Macrorie, Usherwood, and Frances Baines – according to the dormitories in the main building. Frances Baines was housed in the former blue dormitory. Since then, the House system has provided a basis for competition both on and off the sports field.

The first Housemistress was BWW Burnside and the Head of House was Lynette Dick.

When Mr Mortimer’s house – adjacent to St Anne’s – was purchased by the school in 1930, it became the new home of Frances Baines House and remained so for over 30 years until a new house was built in 1959.

The impact of both World Wars affected school life. By 1943, there were evacuees in both the Prep and the College from England, Portugal, Palestine, Egypt, Greece, India, and Kenya. Many of these girls were in Frances Baines.

In 1944-45, Frances Baines House ‘adopted’ two children in the East End of London after reading in the press of Uncle Lofty’s scheme for naval families. Parcels of food were sent every month and every member of the house donated three shillings quarterly. Contact with these children was maintained after the war was over.

In 1941, a small new sanatorium wing was attached to Frances Baines House. On occasion, the girls of Frances Baines House had to move out when an epidemic required extra san accommodation.

As Frances Baines was some distance away from the main building, the girls had to wait on Sundays for instructions on which outfit to wear. A kind of signal was hung out of the main building – a navy or white garment – to let Frances Baines House know which uniform to wear that day.

At their 1947 meeting, the Old Girls decided to erect a sundial in the Frances Baines garden in memory of Miss Jessie Jones, who had been a Housemistress there and had loved to work in the garden.

Frances Baines House was altered in 1951 to increase the number of beds from 29 to 34, and in 1960, a new Frances Baines House was completed and blessed by the Lord Bishop on 3 September.

During 1964 and 1965, the girls of St Anne’s took part in various fundraising activities to bring an American girl to St Anne’s for a year. Frances Baines raffled a tape recorder and a wendy house to raise funds for the cause.

An attractive portico was built at the front of Frances Baines House in 2000. The year 2004 marked a major upgrade of dormitories as well as the addition of a Boardermistress flat. All Grade 12’s are now housed in single rooms with study facilities, Grade 11’s in double rooms with study facilities, and Grade 10’s are provided with a special study area within the House.

The Other Houses