Milton Boarding and Day College owned by Miss Angela Milton is first found in 1927 at 2 Gordon Road, Boscombe. In 1930 it has moved to 27 Hawkwood Road, with Mrs Hurdle listed as one of the residents. During the middle war years 1941 - 1943 no directories or registers were printed, and in 1944 it first appears as Milton College owned by Mrs I Hurdle. It was a private school mainly for girls, although a few boys under the age of 12 were admitted. Boarders were taken before and during the war for girls whose parents were unable to be at home, but this ceased in the late 1940s. The school closed for a couple of years approximately late 1940s - 1950 while Mrs Hurdle was ill, then reopened.
The school curriculum was typical of a pre-war girls' school; English, arithmetic, history, geography, French, bible study, art, sewing, music, singing, elocution and tennis. A full prospectus from 1959 is shown below. Pewter work was taught from the age of 7 when a child's hands were supposed strong enough to use the tools. Embossed and painted sheet pewter was used to cover boxes, brush backs, teapot stands and various household objects in the Arts and Crafts tradition. The practice enhanced co-ordination and strengthened hands. However, the main purpose of the school was the instruction of shorthand and typing. The shorthand was Sloan-Duployan, a style that held records for speed because unlike Pitmans, it did not need lined paper. Mrs Hurdle was secretary of the Sloan-Duployan Shorthand Society and conducted worldwide postal tuition. Sloan-Duployan text books copyright James Duploye Sloan were published under the Milton College address. The school guaranteed to find every school leaver an office job.
Mrs Hurdle was also a keen supporter of the Barnados children's charity. Occasional slide shows about Barnados were shown, and all proceeds from each year's annual concert and bazzar held at St Andrews Hall in Wolverton Road were donated to the charity. The maid-of-all-work Alice Edwards was a Barnados orphan.
The school closed in 1964, reputedly closed by the local authority because it did not meet the current required standard of education. Mrs Hurdle then moved to 108 Southbourne Road, where she opened Milton Secretarial College and continued to teach shorthand and typing until she died in 1969.
As a small private school, Milton College also accepted some pupils whose parents considered them to be unsuitable for mainstream state schools, where they might be too slow or subjected to bullying. Now the policy is called Inclusion and encouraged, but in those days the less able were usually sent to special schools for the mentally or physically disadvantaged where they did not mix with other children. Mrs Hurdle believed that the less able would be helped by mixing, and the other children would learn tolerance. But in later years a lack of specialist teachers meant this resulted in some of the most able pupils not progressing as well as they should have done. Mrs Hurdle was however a dedicated woman, devoting her life to her school. After losing a leg in the 1950s she ran the school from a wheelchair, and as soon as possible wore an artificial leg - which creaked terribly as she walked. She continued teaching Sloan-Duployan shorthand and setting diploma exams until old age. It was her aim that every girl in her care should leave school able to earn their own living. She died in September 1969 aged 82.
Known teachers: Miss Cox, Miss Kirk, Miss C. Bartlett, Miss Dawson, Mrs Morley, Miss E. Morgan, Miss Harris.
At 17-19 Hawkwood Road towards the Sea Road end there was another private school called Rosegarth. Nothing is known about it now.
Photos from Fay, Deanna, Rosemary and Madeliene.
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All materials on this site (C) TLP July 25th 2016 unless specifically attributed elsewhere
Updated some images August 23rd 2020