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News > School News > Globetrotting retirement ahead for beloved College Archivist

Globetrotting retirement ahead for beloved College Archivist

Travel adventures await our beloved Archivist and Librarian Maggie Garrett as she retires from the College after over 19 years service.
22 Dec 2020
School News
College Librarian and Archivist, Maggie Garrett
College Librarian and Archivist, Maggie Garrett

Travel adventures await our beloved Archivist and Librarian Maggie Garrett as she retires from the College after over 19 years service. 

Maggie Garrett joined the College in September 2001 with her first week coinciding with the tragic 9/11 events, prompting Maggie to start her infamous ‘clippings service’ for teachers – a highly valued activity that she has continued ever since. Invaluable is the perfect word to describe the work that Maggie has undertaken over the years here at the College.

Maggie has lovingly nurtured the College archives and has provided numerous interesting displays for OS events and answered countless enquiries from OS and their families about the general history of the school and their loved ones time here. She has shared her wealth of knowledge with many OS visiting the campus for a tour – often wowing them by swiftly finding their image in their school days photographs within the digital archive – much to their delight. Research is a huge part of Maggie’s talents and as part of our recent 150th Anniversary celebrations, Maggie worked closely with OS Committee member Michael Baim (SHb, 58-62) to cfill a time capsule to be opened in 50 years time and created signs, now displayed within, and providing the history of, every named building on campus.

Maggie has built wonderful relationships with people across the College community and beyond. Relationships that have helped to bring some amazing artefacts back into the College, two of her proudest achievements are receiving the donations of FS Young’s (SH, 1881-90 & Headmaster 1900 – 1931) cricket bat and 2nd Lt. L C Billington’s (SH, 1908-11) Officer’s sword which both take pride of place in the library for future generations to admire. 

Maggie was instrumental in the establishment and expansion of the College digital archive and has worked tirelessly to enhance the information and photographs held within our Roll of Honour. Annual visits along with the fourth form history pupils to pay the College’s respects to OS WW1 graves at Ypres has given her great pride.

Along with the daily running of the Senior School library, Maggie has cherished her key role in the Annual Picture Book Award as part of the Festival of Literature. She has been a loyal member of the College choir and performed in numerous concerts during her time at the School. There are very few areas of the College that Maggie’s talents haven’t touched.

Maggie’s proudest achievement has been the relationship and support she was able to provide to Val Valentine, an Ex-Barnardo’s boy whom she managed to share information with about his OS Father, Wing Commander George Valentine (SH, 23-28) to whom he was born after his Father’s death in 1941. Maggie reached out to Mr Valentine after seeing an appeal for information about his Father was shared and having built a strong rapport with him she welcomed him back to the College Service of Remembrance for as long as he was able to attend. As a result of their relationship Mr Valentine was also able to find the family of his half siblings that he never knew he had. Maggie’s dogged search for information literally changed Mr Valentine’s life.

Maggie and her Husband Keith share a passion for the theatre and travel and hope to fill their  retirement, when current conditions subside, with plenty of both, a cruise around the Eastern Mediterranean being the first journey on their list.  

Maggie’s total contribution towards the conservation of the history of the College is just too broad to quantify but it will be highly cherished by many generations of Stortfordians to come.

Maggie has pledged to continue her digital archive work as a volunteer during her retirement, for which we are extremely grateful but until then we wish Maggie a happy and healthy retirement when she finally locks the door of the library for the last time at the end of term. She will be greatly missed by pupils, colleagues and generations of OS alike. 






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