From the L.R. Reeve collection - this worthy piece about Caroline Graveson of Goldsmiths’ College. She is commemorated at their library site which is where the photo comes from (with much thanks). Her dates are not given but she started there in 1905. Reeve, as usual addresses the subjects speaking skills ('…her elocution was perfect…majestic'.)
It would be very unlikely to hear of even one ex-student, trained at Goldsmiths’ College, London, when Miss Graveson was the Vice-Principal, who would speak disparagingly of one of the most gracious educationalists of her long era and an illustrious member of the Training College Association.
For Miss Graveson was one of those exceptional women whose integrity, judgment, fairness, and dignity were suggested immediately one met her, and one always felt that any of her interpretations was likely to be the right one.
Then, too, she was fearless in her decisions. She wouldn't, she couldn't, choose an easy way out of a difficult situation. Her self-respect permitted no relaxation, and compromise was possible only when no principle was involved. Many people in important positions look born leaders even when they are out for a country, walk, or sitting in an hotel lounge. Miss Graveson, walking in a crowd, quietly dressed, unostentatious, would be hardly noticed: unless she spoke. Immediately eyes would be turned her way, and would observe a woman of quiet attraction, for she was fortunate in the possession of a superb voice which could, without the microphone, penetrate to the remotest corner of the Great Hall of Goldsmiths' College. Her elocution was perfect, and she must have been nearly eighty when she last appeared at a College Reunion and gave a majestic short reading to the preliminary assembly of more than a thousand students. Her reading to the reunion was one of the outstanding events of the day.
My wife's young cousin Kathleen was anxious to be trained at Goldsmiths' but applied late for the current year. So I wrote to the Vice-Principal and was granted an interview. Said Miss Graveson, "I remember you and your record at college, therefore your evidence may be the decisive factor, but I can make no promise until I have seen the young applicant; what can you tell me in her favour?" I mentioned her education at a high school for girls and her father who was a schoolmaster. Our interview lasted about twenty minutes, and I left with my appreciation of her integrity higher than ever, together with a greater understanding of her immaculate reputation. It may be she was a Quaker. Certainly I have never known a woman who gave one a more immediate impression of trustworthiness, and I was not at all astonished to be told that she had been elected to the presidency of the Training College Association; and as a slight digression I am pleased to add that the young cousin ultimately achieved a first-class certificate.
I have been assured by certain acquaintances that because Goldsmiths' has been designated a school of the University of London its examination procedure is different from that of many training colleges. It sets its own questions, marks its own papers, assesses its own students, and grants appropriate certificates to every successful examinee and the results are accepted by the Ministry of Education. All the same the Ministry quite rightly exercises its necessary safeguards. Occasionally a group of specialists enters the college, examines questions, answers, marks, and ultimately the staff at New Cross receive a lengthy report of the deputationVs conclusions. The last time I heard of such an inquiry of the old Board of Education the commission stated that, on the whole, the standard of examination was much stiffer than that of some training colleges and the marking prone to be of a higher standard than usual. The Board was very pleased with its findings and had no intention of repeating a similar investigation for several years.
I omit any mention of the Warden, Captain Loring, on this occasion, but I am sure he would be the first to admit the brilliance of his two Vice-Principals, and I cannot think that any report would give them more gratification than the tribute paid by the old Board of Education.
Goldsmiths’ College appeared to me the great dedication of Miss Graveson’s life and I can imagine her three great sources of cherished memories were the triumphant results of a yearWs arduous preparation for the historic opening day, the tributes of the Ministry of Education, and repeated evidence of the respect and affection of ex-students.