Madame’s Pioneers

Madame’s Pioneers: Jean Milligan

Plaque outside the building used for the RSCDS. - Copy Jean Milligan (1907)

Jean was educated at Glasgow High School for Girls.  She was very influenced by Miss Hunter, her teacher of gymnastics, one of Madame’s former students.

Mary Tait conducted Jean’s college interview at the North British Hotel in Edinburgh, so she did not have to travel to Kent.

Jean worked as a VAD during WW1 in Malta and then, when she returned home, she went to Jordanhill College as the Principal P.T. Instructor.

Jean is best known as a founder member, in 1923, of the Scottish Country Dancing Society.  In 1948 she gave up her job at Jordanhill to concentrate on her work for the Society.  She travelled extensively promoting Scottish Country dancing.  Her particular interest was preparing teachers for the Society’s Teacher’s Certificate.  She compiled many books of dances.  In 1977 the University of Aberdeen awarded her an LLD.

Madame’s Pioneers: Elizabeth Impey

E.S. Impey 1897 Elsie Impey (1897)

Elizabeth, known as Elsie completed her training at Madame Bergman Österberg’s College in 1897.  She contributed to the successful introduction of hockey at college as she had played the game at The Mount School and Polam Hall.

In 1904 Elsie began her medical training, aged twenty seven, at Birmingham University.  She qualified as M.B., Ch.B., in 1911 and worked in local hospitals in Birmingham.

She accepted a post in 1915, as Medical Officer at Dufferin Hospital for Women, in Lahore. She embarked on her voyage to India on SS Persia in December 1915.   On 30th December the ship was torpedoed in the Mediterranean.  Elsie helped many people to the life boats and saved fifty nine passengers before diving into the water from the ship and was never seen again.

Madame’s Pioneers: Ethel Adair Impey

Ethel Adair Impey booklet BOU archive Ethel Adair Roberts (1898)

Ethel Adair Roberts attended Madame Bergman Österberg’s College between 1896-98.  She joined the staff of Anstey Physical Training College shortly after completing her course.

In 1900 she was on the first committee to determine the rules of netball.  In 1902 she was appointed to the staff at Chelsea College of Physical Training.  Three years later she moved to Scotland to take up her post as Warden of the newly founded Dunfermline College of Hygiene and Physical Training.  She became its second Lady Principal in 1906.

Ethel wrote The Handbook of Free-standing Gymnastics which was adopted by the Ling Association of Trained Teachers of Gymnastics.

She married Frances Levitt Impey in 1908 and in 1908 she inaugurated and edited the Journal of Scientific Physical Training.

Madame’s Pioneers: Mary Hankinson

s album)Mary Hankinson (1898)

Mary Hankinson entered Madame Bergman Österberg’s College in 1896 as a mature student.

She was a founder member of the organisation which became known as The Ling Association.  Mary was instrumental in the development of the game of netball and was also a founding member of the All England Women’s Netball Association in 1926.

In 1913 Mary was made President of the Gymnastics Teachers’ Suffrage Society.

Madame’s Pioneers: Rhoda Anstey

Rhoda Anstey 1895Rhoda Anstey (1895)

Rhoda attended the Hampstead Physical Training College.  After completing the course in 1895, she started a health centre called the Hygienic Home for Ladies at New Cross Farm in Somerset.

She then moved her establishment to The Leasowes, Halesowen from where, in 1879, she launched Anstey Physical Training College.  Rhoda was a founder member of the Ling Association and by 1907 she had relocated her college to Chester Road, in Erdington.

Rhoda was a keen supporter of the women’s suffrage movement and a member of the Gymnastics Teachers’ Suffrage Society.

Madame’s Pioneers: Rosabelle Sinclair

Rosabelle Sinclair in Dartford tunic

Rosabelle Sinclair (1912)

Rosabelle Sinclair, was born in the Ukraine in 1890.  She attended St Leonards School, in St Andrews, Fife and then, between 1910 – 1912, Madame Bergman Österberg’s College in Dartford.  Rosabelle played lacrosse for Scotland in 1913.  She is credited with starting the first women’s lacrosse team in the United States, at Bryn Mawr School, in Baltimore. MD.   In 1993 she was the first woman to be inducted into the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame.