Queen Mary School opened in 1930 with 153 girls. It is now part of AKS Independent School. The Headmistress, Miss Bailey, had already instigated a League of Nations Union (LNU) junior branch at her previous school, Hulme Grammar in Oldham, so it is unsurprising that the first club set up at Queen Mary was a League of Nations junior branch. In the first year pupils had lectures on the League of Nations (LoN) from key speakers: Mr Starkey, Professor Darnley-Taylor and Frederick Whelen. (1) By 1932 there were 82 members.
The branch benefited from an active input by staff. For example, Miss Morley talked on disarmament (1932), Miss Hickey on Germany and its colonies (1938) and at an assembly, representing 54 countries, staff and girls read papers on the work of 13 countries (1932). The school magazine commented ‘It is encouraging to think that the School is taking a part in the great work undertaken by the League of Nations in its efforts to abolish war in the future.’ Pupils were also ‘greatly impressed’ by a LoN sponsored film in 1936. LNU lecturers came at least annually to keep pupils informed about international issues. Mr Donald Grant talked to the Seniors on the Abyssinia Crisis in 1935. He made further visits in 1936 and 1938 to talk on ‘World Affairs.’ Mr Archer lectured about the League in 1937 and 1939. Mr Starkie spoke on the League in November 1939, after war had been declared, but no details of his talk survive. (2)
(1) Headmistress’s speeches, Speech Day, 1931-38. AKS Independent School Archives.
(2) Queen Mary School Magazine, 1931-38, and Queen Mary School Events Book. AKS Independent School Archives.