When I asked a group of girls who had been at Hatherop Castle in the 1960s whether the school had had a lab in those days they gave me a blank look. 'A laboratory?' I expanded, hoping to jog their memories. 'Oh that kind of lab!' one of them said. 'I thought you meant a Labrador.' As we discover from Ysenda Maxtone Graham's quietly hilarious history of life in British girls' boarding schools between 1939 and 1979, this was a not untypical reaction.
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