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Mary Hare and the Dene Hollow Oral School, Burgess Hill, Sussex

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 6 February 2015

Dene Hollow Oral School for the Deaf was a private school established by Mary Adelaide Hare (1865-1945) at Burgess Hill, Sussex, 1916.  After her death on November the 5th 1945, in accordance with her wishes, it ceased to be a private school for children of all ages, and became instead a voluntary special school for boys and girls aged 11 plus, under the control of a board of managers nominated by her.  This was approved by the Ministry of Education and the school was named after her in 1946.  The new head of the school was Edgar L. Mundin, who had taught at the oralist Northampton Private Deaf School (mentioned in earlier posts).  Mary’s sister Ethel Madelaine Hare (1874-1951) was also a teacher of the deaf, and after retirement she “became the spirit behind the work of her sister Mary at Dene Hollow, Burgess Hill”.

Dene HollowThe school moved to Arlington Manor, Newbury, Berkshire, in 1949.

In the 1891 census Mary was living in Croydon with her mother and sister, and an assistant teacher from Ireland whose name is hard to read.  They had six pupils, Ada Harvey from New Zealand, aged (34? or more likely) 14, Mary Ramson from Hastings, aged 12, Jane Avery from Kent, aged 12, Coralie Wilson from Battle, aged 11, Henrietta Foss from Kent, aged 11, and Ethel McMahon from London, aged 8.

1891 Census – Class: RG12; Piece: 596; Folio: 42; Page: 9; GSU roll: 6095706

MAGAZINE – Dene Hollow Club/Association – Dene Hollow School Old Pupils’ Association, 1927-46 [journals, under ‘Dene Hollow’]

Silent World, 1946, 1, 16-18.

Silent World, 1954, May. (Front cover photo of pupils and teacher in classroom)

TREASURE, A.R. The Mary Hare Grammar School for the Deaf: a brief history. Mary Hare Grammar School, 1990.

50 and still going strong. British Deaf News, 1996, Apr, 8-12.

REDWOOD, F. Value added facts. Special Children, 1999, 119, 20-21.

Listen and learn. Special Children, 2002, 151, 33-35.

HARE, Ethel Madelaine

Obituary. Bluebird, 1951, 7, 2.

Obituary. Teacher of the Deaf, 1951, 49, 80.

Mary HareHARE, Mary Adelaide

BOYCE, A.J. and LAVERY, E. The lady in green: biography of Miss Mary Hare 1865-1945. British Deaf History Society, 1999.

BROWN, I. Rare portraits and some memories of a great woman. Silent World, 1952, Oct, 142-43. (photos)

Miss Mary Hare. Deaf History Journal, 1997, 1(2), 10-17. (Includes text of Mary Hare’s will)

Obituary. Teacher of the Deaf, 1945, 43, 132.

Report of the NCTD Conference, Brighton, 1929. (photo – frontispiece)

RIDDELL, F. Silent world. Geoffrey Bles,  1934. (The character and appearance of Ann Deering, headmistress of Heathside School for Deaf Children “some twenty miles south of London” is based on Mary Hare, to whom the novel is dedicated – see pp. 35-36 for description of Miss Deering.)

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