Sue Brown, the Oxford undergraduate who made history on Saturday as the first woman to cox a university crew in the Boat Race, began her school career in Chorleywood.

Sue, now 22, attended the Russell County Combined School from 1963 to 1969. Her family, who lived in Shire Lane, then moved to the West Country.

Miss Jean Taylor, head of the Russell Infants’ department, who retired a year ago after 25 years, remembers the family and was delighted when Sue’s mother rang her in great excitement to say Sue had won a place at Oxford.

But it was not until she was asked by the Watford Observer if she remembered Sue that she realised the first woman cox was, in fact, her former pupil – even though she had watched the televised race.

Both Miss Taylor and the school secretary for the last 17 years, Mrs Eva Paver, remember Sue as being quiet, serious and intelligent at school.

[From the Watford Observer of April 10, 1981]

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