Jessamine Victoria Bradley, Gower House School and the Loft Theatre

Rehearsals at the Loft Theatre in August 1948.
Warwickshire County Record Office reference PH(N)600/214/1

Jessamine Victoria Bradley was born in Derby on 25th May 1897. She was the daughter of William Edge Bradley, a clerk for the Midland Railway, and Louise Violet Squirrell, who was the second eldest daughter of the Rev. Squirrell, thus making Jessamine the Rev. Squirrell’s granddaughter.

She was married to her first cousin Henry James Stretton-Ward in 1919 and moved with him to live at Warneford House.

Preparatory school

I know very little about Jessamine except that around 1945 she established a preparatory school at 9, Radford Road, giving it the name Gower House. She remained principal of the school until she retired in 1973. The house still exists and is still called Gower House.

She was also a member of the Afternoon Townswomen’s Guild and a keen supporter of the Loft Theatre. Plus she was a member of the Christian Scientist Church.

Jessamine passed away at 3, Warwick Street, Leamington Spa on 14th September 1979 and was cremated at Oakley Wood crematorium on the 20th.

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