St Mary’s School, A Pageant of 100 Years

Pageant type

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Place: St Mary’s School Garden (Brighton) (Brighton, Sussex, England)

Year: 1936

Indoors/outdoors: Outdoors

Number of performances: n/a


July 1936

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Producer [Pageant Master]: Holden, Mrs Alec
  • Writer: Miss F.L. Ghey


Miss Ghey was the headmistress

Names of executive committee or equivalent


Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)

Ghey, F.L.

Names of composers


Numbers of performers


Financial information

Object of any funds raised


Linked occasion

Centenary of the founding of the school

Audience information

  • Grandstand: Not Known
  • Grandstand capacity: n/a
  • Total audience: n/a

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


Associated events


Pageant outline

Scene I. 1832-1858

Scene II. 1858-1863

Scene III. 1863-1884

Scene IV. 1884-1899

Scene V. 1899-1911

Scene VI. 1911-1936

Key historical figures mentioned


Musical production

Newspaper coverage of pageant

Book of words


Other primary published materials


References in secondary literature


Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • East Sussex Record Office, Brighton: Illuminated script with photography, Reference SMH/9/4/1/1

Sources used in preparation of pageant



Commemorating an anniversary or milestone in a school’s history through a pageant was relatively common. Notable examples included the Pageant of Harrow (1923), Hull Grammar School (1936 and 1979), Ipswich (1935), and St Catherine’s School (1985). This pageant, reproduced in a handwritten illuminated script with photographs of the event, was produced by the headmistress, F.L. Ghey. St Mary’s School opened in August 1836 as a boarding school for the daughters of Anglican clergy, one of a number of institutions around the country at a time when most church livings were insufficient to pay most school fees.1 It was extended in 1920 to admit the daughters of laymen. It is the oldest school in Brighton with a continuous history.2 A history of the school was published in 1956.3 There was a subsequent pageant to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the school in 1986.


  1. ^ Janet Howarth, ‘The Church of England and Women’s Higher Education, c.1840-1914’, in Peter Ghosh and Lawrence Goldman, eds, Politics and Culture in Victorian Britain: Essays in Memory of Colin Matthew (Oxford, 2006), 156.
  2. ^ Tim Carder, ‘St Mary’s Hall’ Encyclopaedia of Brighton (Brighton, 1990), accessed 30 September 2016,
  3. ^ Eileen E. Meades, A Brief History of St. Mary's Hall, Brighton, 1836-1956 (Brighton, 1956).

How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘St Mary’s School, A Pageant of 100 Years’, The Redress of the Past,