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Mrs Ribbins was very pleased to no longer have the financial constraints that had been imposed on the school over the preceding decades when the local authority had tried to close the school.

One of the initiatives was to redecorate the main school hall.

The curtains in the hall were the ones that had been bought twenty years earlier when the Hall had burned down. They were gold and brown with a medalion motif. Mrs Ribbins with the advice from Mrs Kate Brierley, the head of Art, chose a fabric designed by William Morris - a green background and a chrysanthemum design.

William Morris was born in 1834 and died in 1896. Along with people like Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Morris was also one of the most prominent practitioners within the Arts and Crafts Movement - an aesthetic movement that was prominent in the UK and USA between 1880 and 1910. He influenced a number of other important designers such as Charles F.A. Voysey (1857-1927). William Morris Fabric 'Chrysanthemum' was designed in 1877 and from its beginning as a wallpaper it was transferred into a popular fabric pattern. There are many different versions of it today.

The local period house, Wightwick Manor had been decorated with William Morris fabrics and wallpapers, showing it was the height of fashion at the time the school was built. He was such a popular 'Arts and Crafts' designer, and Mrs Ribbins felt that one of his designs would be ideal to redecorate the hall of a building that was built at a time when all of the best houses were using his designs in their decor. She also thought it was educational for 'the girls'...




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