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Welcome to our Web site in which we will endeavour to keep you informed of all our activities and update you on the progress of the Bolitho School as it is now known .
Double click on the above links for other news from Alumni, School, Old Girls and Reunions

The Bolitho School closed September 2016 and is now in the hands of the Receivers.
The Alumni will continue in a Social Capacity and will organize lunches.
If you want to be updated please send email to




Thank you for all those that got in touch and again we had a good luncheon at Trevaskis.


Barbara Nicholls dec'd

It is with great sadness that I have to report news of the death of Barbara Nicholls, whom many will have known as their PE teacher and, latterly, also deputy head, from 1962 to 1987.

Barbara had borne the heavy burden of Alzheimer's for some 10 years, and passed away peacefully on 16th November 2022, aged 95, with her daughter, Susan, at her side.

We would love to welcome all who wish to join us in celebrating Barbara's long and eventful life, at Perranuthnoe Parish Church on Tuesday 13th December 2022 at 2pm. Further details can be found in The Cornishman on 24th November and The Western Morning News on 26th November.

Su and family



Thank you for those that turned up at Trevaskis today. It seems a long time since our last gathering and hopefully we will arrange another one in the New Year.

Message from Caroline Jackson, formerly Caroline Harvey. December 2021

I was at Clare's from 1952 to 1964, save for one year when I tried Penzance Grammar school but didn't like it and returned to St.Clare's. I was fortunate that my time at the school coincided with the arrival of two gifted teachers, Miss Crankshaw (Latin) and Mrs Goriely (English). Some of those reading this may have found them a bit hard to take, but I am eternally grateful to them for helping me get to Oxford.
Their ghosts were very much in my mind when I had a chance to visit the old school in October of 2021. St. Clare's became the Bolitho school and tried to stagger on. But for a variety of reasons the enterprise fell apart. Nothing much has happened at the school since it closed. It seems to me unlikely that any developer would get planning permission to knock down the whole building even though the height of the ceilings at least in the ground floor rooms will cause problems for any conversion. The most likely end game will probably be flats, made out of the existing building, and further building in the extensive grounds. The pictures I took show the old front door,

With me striding westwards along the terrace . and the present sign outside which suggests that "Cornwall Care" has taken over at least part of the building.
There are bigger changes up towards the old sports field. The art block that was built on the former netball court has been demolished, and they have started building houses on the sports field itself. Things are closing in. I hope that just occasionally those who come to live here give a thought to the many children who enjoyed their time at St Clare's and remember it all their lives.

I had many emails from members of the Bolitho Alumni all saying how pleased they were to receive some news and communication from the Alumni. Thank you all for getting back and I do appreciate some feedback. I had this email from David Dobson who was Headmaster at Bolitho and I have his permission to publish this and I am sure many of you will remember him. Wendy


Thank you for continuing to send me Bolitho Alumni news.

It is hard to believe that over 12 years have passed since I left my post as Headmaster in August 2009 when we moved back to Cambridge. Like all of you, I was so sorry to see the school close 7 years later; Joyce and I have very happy memories of the years we spent at Bolitho and I am still in contact with several members of staff who were there with us and several former sixth form students - now in their 30s!! We have also been to two weddings of former sixth form students - one in Cornwall and the other in Oberstdorf, located in a fantastic region of the Bavarian Alps.
With the successful vaccine roll-out life has again become busy for us. Joyce resumed her volunteering at the local primary school working with children requiring additional support with their reading skills. She has also become a Community Governor at the school, has re-joined her WI committee, attends the WI Book Club and Craft Group, and she helps out our family quite a lot taking care of the grandchildren. I am still doing part-time consultancy work with schools in the UK and international schools in Germany and Denmark. Work was obviously affected by Covid as schools were closed for so long but this term, I have resumed my travels. Last month I went to Denmark to work again with my Danish schools and, all being well, my German schools are expecting me in January. In addition, my voluntary ‘Front of House’ work at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge restarted in the autumn as did my running mock interviews for GCSE and A-level students in several Cambridgeshire schools. Of course, my work as Vice-Chairman of Governors at Parkside College also keeps me very busy!

We haven’t been able to do a lot of travelling this year but have taken the plunge already for 2022 and booked a hotel in Edinburgh for the Fringe which we haven't been to since 2019, and also booked flights to France in August as our niece is getting married there. Hopefully we will find a time in the not-too-distant future to re-visit Penzance!

I hope you have an enjoyable Christmas and we send you every good wish for 2022. Please give my best wishes to those Bolitho Alumni who remember me.


David Dobson BA BPhil MA
International and UK Education Consultant

Photos from the late Margaret Cowls collection



I went to the Penzance Expo 2018 to see the plan for our Old School now known as Polwithen House. Basically the Nursery will be moved to the cottages and this will be completed by September 2019.

The new Junior block at the back of the school will become a Health and Well being Hub including hydrotherapy pool, small gym, exercise studio, treatment and consultation rooms, physiotheraphy and healthcare education spaces.

Phase 2 completion 2020 - The refurbishment of the main house offering apartments for rent and sale, public rooms for community use, a garden kitchen restaurant, cafe and communal landscaped gardens. I understand the cafe, restaurant, gardens are all being open to the public so if you are ever down in Cornwall it may be worth popping in for a coffee after 2020! I understood from their representative yesterday that the Chapel will remain. All the small additional buildings will be removed and the house will be brought back to its main structure.

Phase 3 completion 2023. Building clusters of homes and apartments with some residential care use on the old games area. This will service approximately 100 further residents.

Archives – Sue Jennie and I have been into the Polwithen House and made a record of all the photos, and memorabilia of the House and School. Hopefully some of this material will be on display when the house is refurbished. Sue has got the St Clare Statue restored and we will keep you updated on any further developments. Wendy
Sue has had the St Clare Statue restored by Jill Bray and we sent a gift to of a subscription to visit Art Exhibitions and we have had this letter of thanks to the Alumni:-

"What a wonderful surprise and how extremely generous of you! I have never indulged in a National Art Pass and we will have such fun using it. It was particularly thoughtful of you to make it a ‘Plus One’ card as John is as interested in art as I am and will very much enjoy sharing the expeditions. It’s also appropriate as he did rather more of the plaster work than I did! We are planning a trip to London later this Autumn so our card will get plenty of use then. I do hope St. Clare eventually manages to live back in the school chapel, a place of which I was very fond. I loved a large, very quiet painting of St Clare which, sadly, was sold - I did plead that she should have stayed but I fear it was felt she was no longer ‘of the moment’! I am rather embarrassed to accept such generous payment as I am not a professional restorer although I will admit to many an hour being spent on her! Thank you again and good luck with your future plans.Jill

A link to our reunion at the House of Commons in 2002.




If you would like anything added to the site, please contact us by clicking on the email contact above. If you have any articles that you would like included in this Web Site or in our annual Newsletter we would be only too pleased to hear from you. Have you met any old school friends and where did you meet them?



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