Classic Movie Characters: Joyce Grenfell As WPC Ruby Gates in The Belles of St Trinians


One from our occasional series looking at classic film characters, here it is the incomparable Joyce Grenfell in 1950’s British comedy classic The Belles of St Trinians (as well as The Pure Hell of St Trinian’s).

Upstaging even Alastair Sim, Joyce Grenfell’s willing WPC, Ruby Gates, was so desperate to win the affections of Lloyd Lamble’s police inspector in the St Trinian’s films that she would face any indignity in her best girl’s own heroine fashion.

Infiltrating St Trinian’s was to put herself in mortal danger. Skulking around the corridors, she raised the suspicions of pupils and staff alike. And then there was the hockey match, in which Ruby, horrifically renamed Chloe Crawley – ‘oh no, they’ll call me creepy’ – bounded onto the field all jolly hockey sticks and ‘come along gels’ only to be stretchered off having been bonked on the head as soon as the whistle sounded.