Winifred Gledhill was born on 17 July 1908 in Market Rasen. Her parents were William Walker Gledhill and Julia Ellen Gledhill. William ran his own business, being listed as a bed factor (agent) in the 1911 Census, and he may also have run a shoe shop in the town’s Market Place at some point. The family’s address in 1911 was listed as 5 Market Place, Market Rasen. Miss Gledhill had a sister, Constance May Gledhill who, it is believed, ran a Boarding School in Cromer, Norfolk called Sutherland House.
Miss Gledhill is understood to have studied Music at Trinity College in London and achieved an ATCL Music Diploma there.
She is believed to have taken over the running of an established private ladies school at Sheffield Manor in George Street, providing an education for children aged 3-11. Many people who attended the school still live in the wider Market Rasen area and remember Miss Gledhill fondly.
A SCHOOL NEXT DOOR TO A SWEET SHOP?
Miss Gledhill employed a group of teachers and other staff to help run her school. These included Mrs Shirley Cade, Miss Jane Heyden, Miss Jill Massey and Joyce L Brown. Mrs Cade taught 6 ½ to 8 year olds, while Miss Heyden taught infants. Miss Gledhill herself is remembered as giving elocution lessons and having a great passion for English Literature. Some former pupils remember a Mrs Page helping at break times in the school, recalling that she lived next door to the school and ran a sweet shop. This fits with the 1939 register, which lists Mr and Mrs Page running a Sunday newsagent, confectioners and tobacconist shop at 8 George Street, which is indeed next to Sheffield Manor.
Miss Gledhill is remembered as particularly enjoying the poetry of the Poet Laureate, John Masefield. She is known to have corresponded with him and it is also believed that at some point in her life she met him, too. Her fondness for literature extended to naming the two team houses at the school ‘Tennyson’ and ‘Masefield’.
THE MARKET RASEN FESTIVAL
A major part of Miss Gledhill’s contributions to life in this part of the Wolds is her creation of the Market Rasen Festival, along with Mrs Scupham, believed to be a teacher at another Market Rasen school, in 1944. The Market Rasen Mail reports Miss Gledhill as having run the festival between 1944 and 1976 with an ‘enthusiastic team of supporters…’. The festival ran for many years and was an important cultural event in the life of the town. Market Rasen Secondary Modern School (now the Primary School) was the normal venue. Her support of the festival included entering teams of pupils from her own school to take part in the event.
References for Winifred Eleanor Gledhill: Principal, Sheffield Manor School
- Original story created for the Wolds Women of Influence Exhibition, 2018
- Former staff, pupils, and parents of Sheffield Manor School
- Rase Heritage Society www.raseheritage.co.uk
- Market Rasen Mail
- www.ancestry.co.uk (1911 Census, 1939 Register, Civil registration records)