Old West Downs Society – Memories of the Helbert/Brymer Era, 1897-1922

Lionel Helbert’s sister, Lady Goodrich, writes to parents

West Downs, Winchester.

June 24th, 1920.

You will, I hope, realize from Mr. Nowell Smith’s letter that Mr. Tindall is indeed fitted to follow my brother Lionel here at West Downs. I know it was Lionel’s intention to give up the School, and after very deep thought, and on Mr. Nowell Smith’s advice, I have agreed to let Mr. Tindall take this most precious heritage, firmly believing he will do all in his power to keep up the ideal and spirit of West Downs.

Of the Staff here, Mr. Kirby’s health, to my very deep regret, made it impossible for him to take command. I think most people know it was offered to Mr. Brymer. How can I say a quarter of all I feel about him? Without a moment’s hesitation he took hold of the rudder, and through the terribly sad and difficult days steered the ship bravely and well. I know how grateful Lionel is to him. I have no words to express my deep obligation, and I know that is shared by all the parents and Staff. But though he does love the work, he cannot make West Downs his permanent career. This does not mean that we are to lose him. He has unhesitatingly stated his readiness to remain on the Staff. And you will agree with me it is a very fine decision, and worthy of the highest traditions of West Downs. What can I say about the Staff except that one and all have been perfectly splendid all through? I hope most of them will remain here.

Just one word about myself. While it is not possible for me to let things remain as they are, need I say, that as “L.H.’s” sister, nothing could possibly break my association with his life’s work, and I shall, at Mr. Tindall’s very kind wish, come often to West Downs and remain always its most loving friend.

Adeline R. Goodrich.