1920 Miss Chettle
1922 Miss Chettle and Miss Petch
According to Joan Durrant, a pupil from 1923-29, “Miss Chettle and Miss Petch were joint Headmistresses when I was a student. Miss Petch ran the Kindergarten in the gym for 5-7 year olds. Miss Chettle ran the senior half of the school for 12 years.”
Joan Durrant fills in some school history as she recalls: “Miss Petch left sometime between 1923 and 1925. Miss Chettle continued but the school dwindled considerably. Eventually she sold out in 1926 to Gunnersbury School for Boys. Gunnersbury put in two new joint Headmistresses, Miss Cross and Miss Wilde.”
1927 Miss Cross and Miss Wilde (after 1929 alone)
Joan Durrant tells us about these two new Heads of Broomfield, “They bought the school up again and were very keen academically taking great trouble that pupils should pass into good senior schools”
As Gunnersbury School colours were red and grey, Broomfield adopted these as part of a new compulsory school uniform.
Joan Durrant tells us that, “Miss Wilde was an eccentric individual who tended to wear rather dramatic clothes and was decked out in her full array whenever possible. She had a very memorable purple velvet dress and a striking orange one. She liked bright colours and was altogether colourful character with great knowledge and the knack of imparting gems of information in such a way that her pupils never forgot them!” Miss Wilde fell ill in 1935.
1935 Miss Phyllis Palmer
In her first Headmistress’ report at the school’s joint Speech Day with Gunnersbury at Chiswick Town Hall, Miss Palmer noted the successful entries by Broomfield girls to schools including St Pauls, Notting Hill and to Miss Cross’ Old Vicarage.
By 1939, Miss Palmer had taken over Broomfield as an independent school from Gunnersbury. Speaking at the first Broomfield Speech Day in the school’s own hall Miss Palmer thanked parents for their support in this change of course:
“If Broomfield was to go to fresh success the time was right for the school to stand on its own feet and take its full position as an entity in her own parish and neighbourhood.”
Miss Palmer also announced her delight that Broomfield now had the country’s first air raid shelter in a private school, so the safety of the children was secured during the troubled times of the second world war.
The happy atmosphere of the school is remembered by Janet Somers, a pupil from 1938-47:
“I have many happy memories of the school in the war years, from sitting singing by the air-raid shelter on the lawn, to attending the summer holiday school sessions, organised at the time when holidays away in the country or by the sea, were then impossible for the children.” After many years’ service, Miss Palmer died in 1952. Her service to Kew and the school is commemorated by a plaque in St Anne’s Church, Kew Green, erected in 1954.