Research and Ideas for the School Scene

Miss Suzie Funnell’s School for Young Ladies

Notes made early in the process of devising the play

• Miss Susan Funnell was born circa 1861 in Portsmouth. By 1891 she was living in The Avenue, Wimborne with her mother, a widow. She is described as a school teacher.


Miss Suzie Funnell
Council Employee / Teacher at School / Angry Parent / Pupil/s – could be represented by still images


Council Office where Miss Funnell has come to pay her rates / collect her ration book. On the wall can be seen an image of the room when used as a school. This causes Miss F to recall her life at the school.

1. How she started: advertised, built reputation, attracted boarders from around the county, Verwood, Cranborne, West Moors, Bournemouth, Broadstone etc., all brought to Wimborne by the wonderful (new) railway. SEE PROSPECTUS*

2. War-time: Child’s father interned because of foreign surname.
Ex-pupils who gave their lives for their school and town.
*Child whose brother was killed in the first two weeks of the war
– such a shock to the whole school…

3. Celebrations at the armistice: Children sang (carols?) in front of the Union Jack.

4. Fourteen good years – peaceful retirement in sight – then disaster – *diphtheria broke out – angry parents removed pupils. She had hoped to sell school – had a buyer lined up – now she must find new premises – where could she go?


Empty desks (as in photo)
Tennis court (as in photo)
Children in front of a Union Jack
Armistice Day
Minster Parade / Thanksgiving Service


Children running
Doors banging
Assembly Hymn
Chairs scraping
Chanted Latin / Times Tables
Tennis Game

*Diphtheria – shadow-show of doctor / bed etc. behind screen?

*Trigger = prospectus audio + image of schoolroom

*Great War; dead brother of pupil; internment of Heidi Mannheim’s father

Close Comments