Edge Hill retro-fashion

A fascinating gift from a long-standing Alumnus has arrived in the 125 Office. Apparently in the very earliest years at Ormskirk, the (all-female) students were all given a silk square to wear when they commenced their studies:


It has lasted remarkably well for 70+ years. Perhaps the narrow gold stripes were a bit brighter when it was woven but the heliotrope and green are still very fresh.

The precious original has been stashed in the 125 Archive and no others are know to exist. But the 125 Team are wondering if there would be a market for these if new ones were made? Or if they would make a good gift for visitors?

That’s all folks?

Well this is the end. 125 days ago I started posting possibly-interesting things from the Edge Hill archives and about events happening to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the college.

Today I’d like to look back at some of the things I’ve posted. First up a visualisation of what I’ve written. I’ve used Wordle to take the contents of the blog and turn it into a pretty word cloud:

Word Cloud for 125 by 125

When I started our I had no idea if anyone would be interested. I’ve been consistently amazed by people telling me things they’ve seen on the blog. In the last four months there have been over 10,000 visitors and some 23,213 page views!

Visitor Number

Let’s see what the top ten blog posts are:

  1. Tribute to Miss Jenkins
  2. Edge Hill… isn’t that in Birmingham?
  3. No Swimming
  4. Sculpture Found!
  5. Edge Hill Secondary Modern School for Boys
  6. A personal message from the Director #1
  7. Edge Hill, Groove Armada
  8. Edge Hill College Television
  9. How to beat the problem of traffic
  10. Frequent electric train MERSEYRAIL

But more importantly which are those poor neglected posts at the bottom of the table?

  1. Short Story Shortlist
  2. Manifesto for Change and Race Online 2012
  3. To Ireland; To Scotland; To London!
  4. The Centenary Celebrations
  5. Brush Script

I’ve been using Flickr to store most of the photographs published on the blog so feel free to flick them through – there’s quite a few that I’ve not made use of.

There are many people I should thank for their assistance in sourcing materials, sending in photos and even writing posts but I know I’ll forget people so thanks to you all!

It’s been really good fun writing for the last 125 days but far harder work then I imagined. I’ll be glad to be able to go away for the weekend without panicking on Friday afternoon that I’ve not scheduled posts; it will be nice not to have to carry my laptop around to write posts from coffee shops and I’ll be very happy not to suddenly realise at 10 minutes to midnight that I’ve not posted that day!

Having said all that it’s been great to find out about the history of Edge Hill College, digging around in the archives for interesting documents and photos. The anniversary year has a full programme of events and this blog has given me an excuse to go to them.

So this isn’t going to be the end but I will be slowing down. I plan to continue posting on an ad-hoc basis as and when I can. If you have anything that might be of interest please do send it in and I’m going to keep blagging invites to all the great events over the next seven months!

Gym Knickers

One day to go and this is what it all comes down to. When I first went up to the university archives in the Library and spotted these I knew this would be how the blog ended. So here they are – a pair of authentic* Edge Hill gym knickers size 22″ waist as modelled by my glamorous (and anonymous!) assistant.

I have no idea how old they are, who they belonged to or how they ended up in the rolling stores but I’m glad I came across them and I’m sure you’re glad I’ve shared them with you, dear reader.

Tune in tomorrow for the stunning anti-climax that will be the 125th (regular) blog post and the end* of 125 by 125!

* possibly not true

Directory 1885 – 1915

The archive contains a very interesting artefact – a directory listing every student to pass through the College in its first 30 years. The back page of the booklet lists some fascinating statistics including the following snippets:

Number who have passed through the College: 1,705
Number who did not complete the training: 4
Total number who became certified: 1,701

209 are Head Mistresses

The number of Married Students: 527
The number of Married Students engaged in Teaching: 24