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News > 1574-2024 Anniversary Features > Imagining life in 2024 in 1924

Imagining life in 2024 in 1924

Our first featured article to be published as part of our 450th anniversary celebrations is 'Diary of a Schoolgirl in the Year 2024' from the 1924 PGSG magazine. What a lovely find!
The Assembly Hall in 1926
The Assembly Hall in 1926

Monday

I got up quite early this morning. It was only 7:50 when I opened my eyes. The bell on the telephone at the side of my bed soon rang, and I picked up the receiver. It was Mother, telling me to get up.

I pressed a button at the side of my bed, and the blind flew up, the window opened with a bang, and the bedclothes folded back, my basin was immediately filled with warm water. I jumped out of bed and pressed a second button. My bed folded into a lounge and glided out of the way. To my disgust, I found that my automatic neck-washer was not working well; it took at least thirty seconds to wash my neck. My face-washing and tooth-cleaning machine, however, acted perfectly. Owing to the slow speed of my neck-washer, this part of my toilet took at least three minutes. I then found that my hair, owing to its having grown to a length of three inches, was quite tangled. (This reminded me that I wanted a new hair-cutting machine.) I switched on my electric hair-brusher and my “locks” were soon smoothed.

Having donned my shortest tunic and my trousers, my usual clothing, I then rang up the servants and told them I wanted breakfast directly after I returned from a walk in the garden. I descended in my lift and went into the garden and took a walk. It was getting quite late when I re-entered the house. I then started the slow-moving porter, which went round and round the table. It was well laden this morning, and I helped myself to melon and lettuce as the dishes containing these delicacies passed me.

It was now 8:55 and so I got out my aeroplane and set off for school. Time was short, and so I flew at two hundred miles per hour and arrived at school in good time. The day was fine, and many other aeroplanes had already arrived. I descended with the aid of my parachute and anchored the aeroplane in the playground. I entered and placed my books in a small lift. They were drawn up to be sorted. My shoes were soon changed, and I ascended in a lift for Prayers, which were held every morning at 9am. After this, we jumped on to various non-stop railways, and arrived at our different classrooms. We had four 25-minutes’ lessons before “break”. After a recreation of twenty minutes, we re-commenced lessons until 12.45.

Our last lesson was History, and we were talking of the habits nine hundred years ago. We all laughed heartily when we were told that schoolgirls had to do most things with their hands in those days, wash and dress themselves, and even pass the dishes round at table. But when the mistress said that everyone had quite long hair, and some people had hair nearly to their waists, we nearly cried, we had laughed so much. She also said that girls and boys rode to school on funny little machines, called bicycles, which they had to work with their feet. We had seen a bicycle in a museum a few days before, and I could not imagine any of my friends riding to school on one of those queer machines. Their games were also different from ours. Girls did not play football or polo then, but they played a game called hockey, in which they hit a ball with a wooden stick and tried to send it between two posts.

I had dinner at school. In the afternoon we had aeroplane races, and I won three times. Miss I.M. Possible (one of the mistresses) flew at 300 mph in one race.

When I got home I had tea. I had very few lessons to prepare, and as my History lesson had interested me very much, I determined to look at some old, old books which had been in the attic, but which I had never examined before. I soon found one which dealt with the period in which I was interested. I read it all evening and found many queer and amusing things. All girls wore dresses – sometimes quite long ones, and ladies wore skirts below their knees. Very few girls had motorcars, and nobody had an aeroplane in which they went to school! Wireless sets were not found in very many houses! Beds never folded up and moved; and nobody ever pressed buttons to make their windows open! I was glad I did not live then. I soon went to bed and dreamt that I lived in 1924!

By S. Pates (Upper V)

 

 

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