It was to be expected that for Susan whose predominant characteristic, described by Alice, was that of ‘a constantly inquiring mind’, adolescence would awaken many new interests, enthusiasms, rebellions, and desires also for much wider exploration of the interests already firmly planted in her childhood. Her sources of knowledge were in and around her home, with its many books, highly intelligent older members of her family, and many intellectually distinguished friends of her father. School does not seem to have played very much part in her real education though, at the age of twelve, she had been able to leave the Council School which she disliked so much and attend the newly opened Bolton Secondary School where she doubtless found more scope to use what was quite clearly a brilliant intelligence. She was, I think, less critical of this school and was certainly regretful when forced to leave it. Her life-long concern with education was probably partly at least due to experiences of frustration when schools failed to meet her needs – together with some hope, derived from certain good experiences both in the Infant School and the Secondary School, that it was possible schools might, with more understanding teachers, become very different and deeply satisfying. Her brother Enoch was often at home and had a considerable influence on her growing mind. He introduced her to philosophical writings, and under his influence she became agnostic. This caused the next great sorrow in her life as it led to a complete rift with her much loved father. He was quite unable to tolerate his daughter's repudiation of his most deeply held convictions and for about two years refused even to speak to her. Her suffering was intense though she was never repudiated by Bessie. Indeed Bessie herself, probably a little later, identified herself with the same views. Miriam, I think, took sides with her father. Susan was removed from school though still under fifteen, her father's attitude being, ‘If education makes women Godless, they are better without it.’ She lived at home and helped Bessie and her stepmother with the household work. Of course she continued to read voraciously. Miriam and Alice were allowed to stay on at school and later both went to colleges to train as teachers. Miriam afterwards went to South Africa and married. The life-long very close tie between Susan and her eldest sister was, no doubt, cemented at this period. Alice writes, ‘The one member never to go abroad or depart from the even routine of a household was the eldest of the four girls, Bessie, but what a lovable unselfish woman she was – so unselfish that she could never put her interests first. But they were there too, ambitions never to be fulfilled. In her spare time, and not too much of that, this sister wrote voluminously on two oddly contrasting characters, Charlotte Bronte and Napoleon.’ An old friend, Mrs Rogerson, who knew the family at that time gives a clear picture of the home life of the two sisters. ‘Their home was full of books of all kinds. Drawing-room, dining-room and bedrooms were lined with bookcases and Bessie and Susan were keen readers. They bore the chief burden of the housekeeping for years and their reward was five shillings each per week, out of which they had to dress themselves and pay for their amusements. They made their own clothes and in order to have time for study they rose at 4 a.m. Their kitchen was spotless, gleaming with brass. They reminded me of the Bronte sisters – they were great admirers of the Brontes and George Eliot. They used to come to our house, especially on a Sunday evening after service, drink coffee and eat toasted teacakes, and with other young people, discuss every subject under the sun in lively fashion.