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Staff Memories - Margaret Hall

I was the Chairman of the Women's Group for a year in the 1970s and want to make sure that something of it is mentioned in these memoirs as it served a valuable purpose.

We came to Warwick in 1970 when my husband was appointed to a lectureship in Physics and we quickly got to know many of the other Physics staff and their wives and families. It seemed much harder to meet people from other departments, so we were very grateful that the Women’s Group existed. It had been started by Doris Butterworth as a means of involving wives in the life of the University.

Even now, after 35 years, many of the people we know from different departments were first encountered through the Women’s Group. Each year the Group organised a number of social events, with outings, coffee mornings, a dance at the end of the summer term and for the children, a Christmas party and a party in the summer in the garden at the Vice-Chancellor’s house, 110 Kenilworth Road.

It was felt important to welcome new members of staff and their wives, so one big event every year was the Newcomers’ Supper, which was a splendid home-cooked buffet to which all new staff were invited. A later innovation was that a member of the committee would visit the wives of all new staff to make them feel welcomed and give them an opportunity to ask about life at Warwick. There were also a book club and a cookery club, which met each month, not at the University, but in members’ houses.

Much later, it was deemed politically incorrect to have such a group and it became, I think, the Social Club, but it gradually withered away! However, it is good to be able to record that the Cookery and Book Clubs are still flourishing, though many of their members no longer have any connection with Warwick.

Margaret Hall