Photographic memory


Pictured (left to right): Ann (Morrow) Cooper (deceased) ’55; Harriett “Hal” Goldsborough ’55; Margaret “Jill” (Jenning) James ’55

If you were a second- or third-year girl at St. Hilda’s during the 1950s, you were required to manage the switchboard as part of your “light duties.” First-years lived at “Freshie House” at 101 St. George, and fourth-years were supposed to be more serious about their studies, so mainly all they were required to do was to take attendance at the St. Hilda’s Chapel. It wasn’t too daunting for the second- and third-years, though— there were about 24 girls per year, so you only had to work the switchboard once every three months or so.

There were phone booths at either end of each floor, so when the switchboard operator buzzed a room to let a student know when she had a call, the recipient would have to race around to find a free phone. Some girls tied pop bottle caps to strings to their intercoms so they could sit in another room—the caps would rattle if their intercom was buzzed.

All visitors had to check in with the Porter’s Lodge where the switchboard was located, and the reception room was right across the hall. So if you were on the switchboard, you had a “birds-eye” view of the gentleman callers waiting in the yellow chintz room—and a first-hand source of all the gossip!

Harriett Goldsborough ’55, shared this memory. Despite becoming adept operators, she, along with pals Ann and Margaret (pictured), Mary F. Williamson ’55 and Marion Magee ’59, never used their switchboard skills again.

Share your photographic memory Do you have an image of a Trinity person, place or memento that you’d like to share? We welcome your submissions, along with a 150-word written account sharing a memory or story about the image. Please send a high-resolution scan of your image (350 dpi or greater, scanned at 100 per cent). Original photos may also be sent for scanning and will be returned. For more detailed submission guidelines, please send an e-mail to

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