Madame’s Pioneers: Norah S. Strathairn

Norah S. Strathairn (1912)Norah Strathairn 1912

Norah attended St Leonards School in St Andrews and, while still at college, was identified as a very good games coach. She gained the Bergman Österberg Certificate with First Class Honours in Hockey, La Crosse, Cricket, Gymnastics and Teaching. Madame invited her to join her staff in 1912. There are many photographs in the BÖU archive of Norah coaching hockey, cricket and lacrosse. Norah left Dartford in 1917 and taught at Berkhampsted Boy’s School before returning to St Leonards in 1919 as Drill and Games Mistress.

Norah was a talented games player and played for Scotland in the first Home Internationals in 1913, alongside Rosabelle Sinclair and six another graduates from MBÖ’s college. (Nineteen of MBÖ’s former students or present students played for either England, Scotland or Wales in these inaugural matches.

Between 1921-29 Norah captained the Scottish Ladies Lacrosse team. She also played in the team in the 1930s. Norah presented E.R. Clarke, Captain of England’s Lacrosse team in 1921, with a silver spoon to commemorate the start of internationals after WW1. ER Clarke spoon bNorah also played hockey for Scotland from 1919 until 1925 and was Captain for two seasons. She was selected as an ‘A’ Umpire in 1927. Norah also wrote articles about coaching hockey and lacrosse in Hockey Field and Lacrosse in the 1930s.   Norah was linked with the Women’s Cricket Association in the late 1920s and early 1930s. W.C.A .matches took place at St Leonards in that era.