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Miss Sargeaunt's leaving party, 1966 (Ref: Q/PH4/17)Miss Sargeaunt's leaving party, 1966 (Ref: Q/PH4/17)The Department of Household and Social Science at King's College for Women was fortunate during its formative years to have Dr Lane Claypon (later Lady Forber) as Warden. During the seven years of her wardenship (1917-1923) she was devoted to the task of strengthening the scientific foundations on which many subsequent developments in the academic work of the College were based.

Her work was consolidated and extended under the wardenship of Miss Helen Reynard, whose service between 1925 and 1945 saw the College’s expansion in numerous areas. Following the retirement of Miss Reynard, Acting Principal Miss Dent, steered the College through two difficult post-war years, before being replaced with the permanent appointment of Miss Sargeaunt in 1947.

Miss Jessie Lindsay, Head of Household Arts, 1924-1948 (Ref: Q/PH4/7)Miss Jessie Lindsay, Head of Household Arts, 1924-1948 (Ref: Q/PH4/7)Taking up position immediately after the Second World War, when the College had just 240 students and 25 staff, Miss Sargeaunt guided the College through a period of enormous change and growth, including the post-war reconstruction of buildings, the granting of the Royal Charter, and the development of new degree courses.

Following her retirement on 30 September 1966, and in recognition of her contribution to the expansion and educational standing of Queen Elizabeth College, Miss Sargeaunt was elected as the third Fellow of the College on 26 October 1966. She was replaced as Principal by the appointment of Mr K G Denbigh, an eminent scientist with an academic career spanning government, industrial and university services. Serving the College for eleven years and through a period of considerable economic constraint, Mr Denbigh retired in 1977, and was succeeded by the College’s final Principal, Dr R S Barnes.

Particularly prominent among academic staff was Miss Lindsay, Head of the Household Arts Department, whose expertise was in great demand among external organisations. Her many roles included examiner in Sickroom Cookery at St Thomas’s and Bethnal Green Hospitals, Cookery Examiner for both the Federation of Working Girls’ Clubs and the Girl Guides, and Examiner in Cookery and Dietetics for the London, Liverpool and Manchester Domestic Science Training Colleges.

Professor Vernon Mottram, Head of Physiology, 1920-1944 (Ref: Q/PH4/8)Professor Vernon Mottram, Head of Physiology, 1920-1944 (Ref: Q/PH4/8)Miss Lindsay was also appointed by the Ministry of Health as the only woman member of the Advisory Committee on Nutrition and as a member of the Institutional Diets Sub-Committee. In connection with this she carried out extensive work in diet balancing and menu construction, and acted in an advisory capacity to numerous hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. Miss Lindsay retired as Head of the Department of Household Arts in 1948, a post she had held since 1924.

Of equal standing, within the Physiology Department, was Professor Mottram. A leader in his profession, Professor Mottram published several books during the 1920’s, with titles such as 'Elementary Physiology' and 'Food and the Family' becoming extremely popular. He also collaborated with Miss Lindsay on the principles of diet and cookery in her book 'A Manual of Modern Cookery', and went on to publish 'The Properties of Food' with colleague Miss Clifford. His work with Dr Hartwell on the nutritive values of white and brown bread was widely reported in the medical press, and his series of talks on food and nutrition were regularly broadcast by the BBC.

Professor Mottram retired in 1944, having held the Chair of Physiology since 1920.

For more images of College staff, see our gallery.

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