The Sunday Times Magazine (30/10/2016)
Terms & Conditions author Ysenda Maxtone Graham recalls the appalling food, cold dorms and stern matrons of her all-girls boarding school in the 1970s – and says it did her the world of good.
I was sent to board at Sibton Park Preparatory School in Kent at the age of nine. Every day, we had to line up along a flagstone corridor in our gingham overalls to have our hands checked for cleanliness before proceeding into the junior dining room, where we were made to eat everything on our plate — including the inch-thick slab of fat all the way along the pork chop, and the thick skin on top of the milk in which the Friday fish had been cooked. On Sundays we lined up in our Sunday best, including white gloves and straw boaters, to be “passed” by Matron, before walking to church in a crocodile line. On packing day, if you had lost a sock, you had to search the laundry, all afternoon if necessary, until you found it . . .