Much-loved Budleigh Salterton teacher Joan Bannister in her eighties, with one of her pupils in the Linhay classroom at Fairlynch
She herself was educated at
Above: Beatrice May Baker, headmistress of Badminton School, flanked by, left, Miss Webb-Johnson and Miss Rendall, with Major. The photo, captioned 'The Powers', is from the late 1930s or early 1940s. Miss Webb-Johnson and Miss Rendall were described as Miss Baker's "staunch allies and supporters." They formed, it was said, "a formidable team." Three of the Houses at Badminton School are named after them. Image courtesy of Cristobel Thomas,
Hon Archivist Old Badmintonians
A lifelong spinster, ‘BMB’ as she was known, ran her school on autocratic lines but she was
far from conventional, being a committed socialist, pacifist, feminist and vegetarian. A passionate supporter of the
Maria Montessori, photographed in 1913
Joan Bannister’s own career in education
began in 1928 when she went to
development of a child's own initiative and natural abilities, especially through practical play, was controversial and regarded with suspicion by many educationists. But it clearly appealed to the young Miss Bannister. “I went to schools all over
work of education” must have appealed to ‘BMB.’
Another temporary move came when for a few months the school took over Braemoray House seen here in the leafy surroundings of Ting Tong, a few miles west of Budleigh.
“We will always remember hearing the children playing outside the Linhay during their break - a lovely , gentle, twittering noise - and being invited to hear the children sing Christmas carols,” wrote Museum co-founder and now President Joy Gawne. But by 1991 storage had become a problem at Fairlynch and Joan Bannister’s school at the Linhay had to close in June of that year.
Film starlet Belinda Lee was a former kindergarten pupil of Joan Bannister
Among her former pupils Joan Bannister remembered teaching the film actress Belinda Lee whose parents ran the Rosemullion Hotel, and the musician Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, seen above.
“When Richard was decorated by the Queen for his services to music I wrote to congratulate him and very kindly he replied and recalled his former schooldays with me,” she recalled. Many of the future award-winning composer’s kindergarten recollections remained vivid for him, including his memory of Belinda Lee “who had a toy accordion of which I was extremely jealous” as he amusingly wrote in 2011, a year before his death.