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Material relating to period spent at St. Trinnean's School, Edinburgh, and at Edinburgh School of Cookery by Florence Bruce Steven

 Fonds — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Coll-1162

Scope and Contents

  1. - Photograph album - dated 28 August 1926 - Florence B. Dorward - St. Trinnean's School, Edinburgh
  2. - Photograph - Group - 1926-1927 - St. Trinnean's School, Edinburgh - Whole school
  3. - Photograph - Group - 1933 - St. Trinnean's School, Edinburgh - Whole school
  4. - Photograph - June 1986 - Florence Bruce Steven (right) with friend (left)
  5. - Drawing - St. Trinnean's School, Edinburgh - by Charles G. Napier R.S.W. (1889-1978)
  6. - Programme - Speech day, 24 July 1931 - St. Trinnean's School, Edinburgh
  7. - Copies x 3, Lochran Cuimhne, school-magazine - Oct.1938-Jul.1939, 1941-1942/1942-1943, 1943-1944/1944-1945
  8. - Newspaper and magazine cuttings relating to St. Trinnean's School (including correspondence from former pupils reacting to adverse publicity re: St. Trinnean's/St. Trinian's)
  9. - Address book - School Reunion 1998
  10. - Address book - 1922-1946 - St. Trinnean's School 1985
  11. - Loose-leaf notebook - notes on patchwork, cookery/menus/utensils etc
  12. - Notebooks x 5, Edinburgh School of Cookery and Domestic Economy/Edinburgh College of Domestic Science - Theory of Cookery; Patching millinery; Sick nursing and hygiene; Scullery and elementary cooking and high-class cooking; Housekeeping
  13. - Patchwork - a worked example
  14. - Autograph book, with 'Florence B. Dorward' on first page, and dated 28 August 1922, containing signatures, drawings, and other entries, and also containing 6 x loose photographs (described following)
  15. - Photographs x 6, being: Florence speaking to Annette Roberts, also with Anne Borthwick, Betty Ogilvy, Margaret Cooper or 'Coopie', and Betty Playfair, at a St. Trinnean's Reunion; Dancing at St. Trinnean's; Marie Hutcheson, Margaret Cooper or 'Coopie', Betty Playfair, and Florence; Marie Hutcheson, and Sheena Croall, Summer 1930; Sheena; and, Marie Hutcheson and Florence, at School

The collection gifted to Special Collections, Edinburgh University Library includes the following publications:

  1. Practical domestic hygiene. Notter, J. Lane and Firth, R.H. London: Longmans, Green and Co. Ltd., 1928
  2. The Edinburgh Book of Plain Cookery Recipes. Edinburgh School of Cookery and Domestic Economy. London: Thomas Nelson
  3. Recipes for high-class cookery as used in the Edinburgh School of cookery. London: Thomas Nelson
  4. Notes on practical laundry work. Edinburgh School of Cookery and Domestic Economy. Edinburgh: Thomas Allan


  • Creation: 1926-2000

Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

Florence Bruce Dorward was born in Galashiels on 28 August 1912. She was the eldest child of Norman James Dorward and Elizabeth Haig Bruce. Her father, and his brother Adam, ran the family tweed clothing manufacturing firm J. & J. C. Dorward of Galashiels. In October 1925, following the death of her father, Florence was sent as a 'boarder' to St. Trinnean's School, Edinburgh. However, when the family moved to Edinburgh in 1928 she became a 'day-girl' at the school.

St. Trinnean's School had been founded in Edinburgh by Miss Catherine Fraser Lee in 1922 and when it opened in October of that year it had just 60 girls as students. It was located in a building at 10 Palmerston Road, just off Grange Road in Edinburgh. Miss Lee practised the Dalton system of education with an emphasis on self-discipline. Later, in 1925, the school moved to St. Leonard's House, off Dalkeith Road in Edinburgh, but the outbreak of the Second World War then forced the girls and staff to be evacuated to Galashiels, to Gala House. In the 1950s, a series of St Trinian'scomedy films was made, starring Alastair Sim, George Cole, and Joyce Grenfell, and with the school depicted as a quite unorthodox one and where the girls wreaked havoc.

Florence left the real St. Trinnean's in summer 1930 and then attended the Edinburgh School of Cookery and Domestic Economy which was located at Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh. In October 1931 she obtained a Housewife's Diploma First Class, and a Cook's Certificate

From October 1931 to July 1932 Florence worked as a cook at Canaan Park School in South Oswald Road, Edinburgh, and between October 1933 and August 1935 she worked in Ettrick Road, Edinburgh - probably at a nursing home run by a Miss Eleanor Murdy - and then as a cookery demonstrator with the Southern Scottish Electric Supply Company Ltd., in Galashiels. Later in 1935, and until February 1936, she visited family in South Africa. Over 1938-1939 she was an Assistant Manageress at a Mackie's Buttery.

During the war, on 29 June 1940, Florence Bruce Dorward married Thomas Cowan Steven who later became a Chartered Accountant and partner in the firm William Home Cook, Robertson Maxtone Graham, and Thomas McLintock. The couple had a son in 1942, and then a daughter in 1945.

In May 1975, Florence gave her war-time wedding outfit, the receipts for it, and trousseau items, to the National Museum of Antiquities, Queen Street, Edinburgh, where it was displayed in the then 'Costume Gallery' a year later. She is also noted as having attended the St. Trinnean's School Reunion which was a 'sit down' buffet luncheon held on Thursday 22 October 1998 at the John McIntyre Centre, Pollock Halls, Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh. A look around the old school building had been planned too. A Reunion had also been held at the same place in 1985.

Florence Bruce Steven died on 25 November 2008. She had been pre-deceased by her husband, 10 May 1988. Her old school, St. Trinnean's, had closed its doors in 1946 on the retiral of Miss Lee.

St. Leonard's Hall which housed St. Trinnean's between 1925 and the outbreak of war is now within Pollock Halls of Residence, Edinburgh University, and has an administrative, hospitality and conference function. It was built in 1869 by John Lessels (1809-1883) in Baronial style. During the First World War the building was used as a Red Cross Hospital, and during the Second World War it became an Air Raid Precautions and Home Guard Headquarters. St Leonard's became a hall of residence for female students until the completion of the more modern buildings on the Pollock site from the 1960s onwards.


1 box

Processing Information

Catalogued by Graeme D. Eddie, and updated 11 August 2016.

Material relating to Florence Bruce Steven (1912-2008) and her education at St. Trinnean's School, Edinburgh.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379