Eileen Hutchins

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Eileen Morley Hutchins, born 28 June 1902 in Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire and died 9 October 1987 in Stourbridge was a Steiner school teacher, author and founder of the Elmfield Rudolf Steiner School in Stourbridge.

Hay-on-Wye Town in Brecknockshire, Wales

Hay-on-Wye, often abbreviated to just "Hay", is a small market town and community in the historic county of Brecknockshire (Breconshire) in Wales, currently administered as part of the unitary authority of Powys. With over twenty bookshops, it is often described as "the town of books", and is both the National Book Town of Wales and the site of the annual Hay Literary Festival.

Herefordshire County of England

Herefordshire is a county in the West Midlands of England, governed by Herefordshire Council. It borders Shropshire to the north, Worcestershire to the east, Gloucestershire to the south-east, and the Welsh counties of Monmouthshire and Powys to the west.

Stourbridge town in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, in the West Midlands of England

Stourbridge is a market town in the West Midlands county of England. Situated on the River Stour, it was the centre of British glass making during the Industrial Revolution. The 2011 UK census recorded the town's population as 63,298. Conservative MP Margot James has held the Stourbridge parliamentary constituency since 2010.

Contents

Biography

Together with her sister Shirley, Eileen Hutchins experienced a strict upbringing. She was a gifted child, beginning to read Scott and Dickens at the early age of 14, but it was seeing her first Shakespeare performance that became, for her, a life-changing experience. It led her to study literature at Oxford University.

Walter Scott 18th/19th-century Scottish historical novelist, poet and playwright

Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet was a Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright and historian. Many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Old Mortality, The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor.

Charles Dickens English writer and social critic

Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the 20th century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories are still widely read today.

William Shakespeare English playwright and poet

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Initially she began to teach in Colwyn Bay, then moved to the Leeds High School in the 1920s, where she met Edith Rigby who introduced her to Anthroposophy and to the work of Rudolf Steiner. In November 1930 she joined the Maud Wilson Group of the Anthroposophical Society in Leeds and attended its meetings. [1]

Colwyn Bay town, community and seaside resort in Conwy County Borough, Wales

Colwyn Bay is a town, community and seaside resort in Conwy County Borough on the north coast of Wales overlooking the Irish Sea. Eight neighbouring communities are incorporated within its postal district. Established as its own separate parish in 1844 with just a small grouping of homes and farms where the community of Old Colwyn stands today, Colwyn Bay has expanded to become the second-largest community and business centre in the north of Wales as well as the 15th largest in the whole of Wales with the urban statistical area—including Old Colwyn, Rhos-on-Sea, and Mochdre having a population of 29,405 at the 2011 census

Edith Rigby English suffragette

Edith Rigby was an English suffragette and arsonist. She founded a school in Preston called St. Peter's School, aimed at educating women and girls. Later she became a prominent activist, and was incarcerated seven times and committed several acts of arson. She was a contemporary of Christabel and Sylvia Pankhurst.

Anthroposophy philosophy founded by Rudolf Steiner

Anthroposophy is a philosophy founded by the 19th century esotericist Rudolf Steiner that postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world, accessible to human experience. Followers of anthroposophy aim to develop mental faculties of spiritual discovery through a mode of thought independent of sensory experience. They also aim to present their ideas in a manner verifiable by rational discourse and specifically seek a precision and clarity in studying the spiritual world mirroring that obtained by natural historians in investigations of the physical world.

Elmfield School

Meanwhile, her sister Shirley Hutchins had started to work at a home for children with Special Needs near Birmingham called Sunfield after the original Anthroposophical curative home, the Sonnenhof in Arlesheim near Basle, Switzerland. Fried Geuter, the founder of the home heard of Eileen and wrote, asking if she would be willing to come to Sunfield and teach his and the other co-worker children. She began there in 1931 but soon a number of other children joined her and they needed a larger space. It was Lloyd and Theodora Wilson, Fried Geuter’s co-founder, Michael Wilson’s parents, who offered the budding school space in their home, Elmfield, in Selly Oak, Birmingham. In 1934 the school joined "The New School" as the second Rudolf Steiner school in Britain. Eileen taught first in the primary school, then later in the high school as the children grew older.

Birmingham City in the English Midlands, 2nd highest population of UK cities

Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, and the most populous city in the English Midlands. With an estimated population of 1,137,100 as of 2017, Birmingham is the cultural, social, financial and commercial centre of the Midlands. It is the main centre of the West Midlands conurbation, which is the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population in 2011 of 2,440,986. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 3.7 million. Birmingham is frequently referred to as the United Kingdom's "second city".

Sunfield is an Independent special school, Children’s Home and charity on the border of Worcestershire and the West Midlands in England. It was founded in 1930 and now supports boys and girls, aged 6 – 19 years, with complex learning needs, including autism.

Arlesheim Place in Basel-Landschaft, Switzerland

Arlesheim is a statistic town and a municipality in the district of Arlesheim in the canton of Basel-Country in Switzerland. Its cathedral chapter seat, bishop's residence and cathedral are listed as a heritage site of national significance.

During World War I years it was not possible to keep the school open in Birmingham, so space was made for the children in the village of Clent, to which Sunfield Homes had moved. At the end of the war, Eileen Hutchins’ father bought a house for Elmfield in Park Hill, on the outskirts of Stourbridge, so Eileen was able to re-found the school, now as a day school. [2] [3]

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Clent village and civil parish in the Bromsgrove District of Worcestershire, England

Clent is a village and civil parish in the Bromsgrove District of Worcestershire, England, southwest of Birmingham and close to the edge of the West Midlands conurbation. At the 2001 census it had a population of 2,600.

Despite growing blindness and deafness as she grew older, Eileen Hutchins continued to direct the school until 1984 and also played a role within the countrywide Steiner schools movement. She edited its magazine Child and Man from 1968 until 1979 and taught for many years in the teacher training programmes. She wrote poems and plays, commentaries and handbooks on Waldorf education, translated the German poet Novalis and lectured both in the UK and abroad. She died at the age of 85.[ citation needed ]

Books

Articles

Eileen Hutchins wrote a large number of articles on Steiner education, some of which can be found below

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References