April 2018 – April 2019


The University extends its sincere condolences to the friends and families of those listed below for whom we have received notification of death between April 2018 and April 2019.

  • Dr Frederick Hamblin (BSc 1935, PhD 1937) died February 2018, aged 103
  • Dr Peter Legat (MBChB 1943) died March 2018, aged 99
  • Roger Underhill (BSc 1943) died 2019, aged 98
  • Nada Jennett (née Phillips) (Diploma 1944, BSc 1943) died March 2018, aged 96
  • Andrew Nicholls (BSc 1944, MSc 1974) died May 2018, aged 94
  • Barbara Gerrish (née Baird) (BA 1945, Certificate of Education 1947) died 2018
  • Jocelyn Hosford (née Wiles) (BA 1945, Diploma 1946) died March 2017, aged 93
  • Professor Emil Wolf (BSc 1945, PhD 1948) died June 2018, aged 95
  • John Batt (BSc 1946) died 2018, aged 92
  • Cyril Brownsey (BSc 1946, MSc 1950) died May 2017, aged 92
  • Ellen Denny (née Shaw) (BSc 1946, Certificate of Education 1947) died October 2017, aged 91
  • Dr Eric Morgan (BDS 1946, MBChB 1954) died December 2018
  • Professor Frank Stone (BSc 1946, PhD 1949, DSc 1962) died 2018, aged 93
  • Elisabeth Waterhouse (née Hill) (BA 1947, Certificate of Education 1948) died April 2018, aged 92
  • Nancy Adye (née Banks) (BSc 1948) died January 2019, aged 91
  • Ruth Burle (née Gregory) (BA 1948, Certificate of Education 1949) died February 2019, aged 91
  • Cynthia Gee (BA 1948) died July 2018, aged 92
  • Rosamund Rhymes (née Pender) (BA 1948, Certificate of Education 1949, Certificate of Education 1949) died 2018, aged 93
  • Patricia Smith (née Wade) (BSc 1948, Certificate of Education 1949) died 2018, aged 91
  • Reverend Canon Richard Craston (BA 1949) died January 2018, aged 95
  • Shirley Jones (née Robinson) (BA 1949) died January 2018
  • Alan Pope (BSc 1949) died May 2017, aged 88
  • Stanley Savage (BSc 1949) died 25 July 2018, aged 90
  • The Rev Chancellor David Walker (BA 1949) died 20 December 2017, aged 94
  • Margaret Baxendale (née Cheetham) (BA 1950, Certificate of Education 1951) died 2019
  • Jean Benfell (BA 1950, Certificate of Education 1951) died 2019, aged 90
  • Dr Denis Brown (BSc 1950, PhD 1968) died July 2018, aged 89
  • John Fowler (BA 1950) died 2018, aged 93
  • The Rev Michael Griffith (BSc 1950, Certificate of Education 1951) died January 2018, aged 93
  • Jean Harper (BA 1950, Certificate of Education 1951) died 2018, aged 90
  • Donald Mackney (BSc 1950) died 2017, aged 95
  • Cecil Sturley (BSc 1950) died March 2018, aged 97
  • Brian Wheeler (BA 1950) died December 2018, aged 89
  • Eileen Anderson (née Crummey) (BA 1951, Certificate of Education 1952) died March 2018, aged 89
  • Sheila Atkins (née Rigby) (BSc 1951) died 2018, aged 89
  • Catherine Bond (née Healey) (BA 1951) died October 2017
  • Geoffrey Brace (BA 1951, Certificate of Education 1954) died March 2019, aged 89
  • Olive Frampton (née Tippins) (BA 1951, Certificate of Education 1952) died October 2018, aged 88
  • Jane Hanly (née Auden) (BSc 1951, MSc 1956) died 2016, aged 86
  • Dr Gillian Peacock (née Pinckney) (MBChB 1951) died January 2018, aged 91
  • Dr George Pilkington (MBChB 1951) died June 2017, aged 90
  • Donald Watson (BSc 1951) died July 2018, aged 92
  • Audrey Wyatt (née Brandon) (BA 1951, Certificate of Education 1952) died December 2017, aged 88
  • John Adderley (BSc 1952) died July 2017, aged 86
  • Richard Bartlett (BSc 1952) died April 2018, aged 87
  • Dr Derek Brooks (BSc 1952) died December 2017, aged 88
  • Mary Buck (née Conyers) (BA 1951, Certificate of Education 1952) died July 2017, aged 87
  • Dr Nigel Cobb (MBChB 1952) died June 2018, aged 89
  • The Rev Mr David Green (BA 1952) died February 2018, aged 90
  • Peggy Hewes (née Sewards) (BA 1952) died December 2018, aged 86
  • John Mayes (BSc 1952, Certificate of Education 1955) died 2019, aged 89
  • The Rev Canon David Richards (BA 1952) died February 2018, aged 87
  • Dr John Tovey (MBChB 1952, MD 1960) died 2017, aged 93
  • Lancelot Watson (BA 1952) died February 2018, aged 89
  • Dr Nelly Wilson (née Jussem) (BA 1952) died June 2017, aged 87
  • Dennis Cockerill (BSc 1953) died February 2018, aged 85
  • Anthony Cook (BSc 1953) died February 2018, aged 86
  • Alec Coppen (MBChB 1953, MD 1957) died 2019, aged 96
  • The Rev Mr Alan Edwards (BA 1953) died 2017, aged 88
  • John Hancock (BSc 1953) died September 2017, aged 85
  • Janet Lockyer (née Ellingham) (BA 1953) died 2018, aged 87
  • Jill Price (née Brider) (BA 1953) died November 2018, aged 86
  • Christopher Pugh (BSc 1953) died 2018, aged 88
  • Dr Thomas Richards (MBChB 1953) died 2017, aged 95
  • Michael Robbins (BA 1953, Certificate of Education 1954) died August 2018, aged 86
  • Dr Philip Rogers (BSc 1953) died December 2017, aged 86
  • James Roscoe (BSc 1953) died February 2018, aged 87
  • Dr David Thomas (BSc 1953, PhD 1962) died June 2018, aged 86
  • Christopher Trewhella (BSc 1953, Certificate of Education 1954) died September 2018, aged 88
  • Joan Waddleton (née Honey) (BA 1953) died April 2018, aged 86
  • Dr James Beel (MBChB 1954) died July 2017, aged 91
  • Jack Burnham (BSc 1954) died 2018, aged 85
  • Professor Ross Day (PhD 1954) died 2018, aged 91
  • John Greenaway (BA 1954, Certificate of Education 1957) died March 2018, aged 85
  • Dr Alison Hanham (née Forester) (PhD 1954) died September 2018, aged 89
  • Dr David Paintin (MBChB 1954) died March 2019, aged 88
  • Norman Powell (BSc 1952, Certificate of Education 1954) died 2018
  • Charity Vanstone (BA 1954, Certificate of Education 1955) died March 2019, aged 86
  • Margaret Watson (née Jenkins) (BA 1954) died 2018, aged 86
  • Geoffrey Windsor (BA 1954) died January 2018, aged 85
  • The Rev Ian Young (BA 1954) died December 2017, aged 88
  • David Bown (BSc 1955) died 2017, aged 85
  • Dr Colin Bracewell (BSc 1955) died 2018, aged 88
  • Dr Raymond Burbidge (BSc 1955, PhD 1958) died March 2018, aged 87
  • Jane Coleman (BA 1955) died 2018, aged 84
  • Shirley Davis (née Drake) (BA 1955, Certificate of Education 1956) died December 2018, aged 84
  • The Rev Mr Peter Egginton (BA 1955) died March 2018, aged 90
  • Dr David Garrod (BSc 1955, PhD 1970) died December 2017, aged 83
  • Allen Godfrey (BA 1955, PGCE 1959) died April 2018, aged 84
  • Barbara Griffith (BA 1955) died February 2018, aged 84
  • Olufemi Oyesiku (née Coker) (BA 1955) died November 2016, aged 88
  • Derek Parry (BSc 1955) died May 2018, aged 83
  • David Perkins (BSc 1955) died November 2017, aged 86
  • Marian Peterson (née Quartermaine) (BA 1955, PGCE 1956) died 2018, aged 84
  • Eric Stevens (BA 1955, Certificate of Education 1957) died March 2018, aged 85
  • Dr Donald Walton (BSc 1955) died June 2018, aged 85
  • Jennifer Brittain (née Mitchell) (BDS 1956) died August 2018, aged 85
  • Catherine Haworth (BA 1956) died August 2018, aged 83
  • Professor John Hayes (MBChB 1956, MD 1968) died January 2018, aged 88
  • Josephine Hearne (née Hankinson) (BA 1956) died March 2018, aged 84
  • Clive Hill (BSc 1956, MSc 1972) died 2019, aged 86
  • Major Anthony Horne (BSc 1956) died May 2018, aged 86
  • Dr Evelyn Horton (née Crow) (MBChB 1956) died 2017, aged 84
  • Barry Newth (BA 1956) died 2018, aged 85
  • The Rev John Turner (MA 1956) died November 2018, aged 88
  • Sally Wheeler (née Scott) (BA 1956) died April 2018, aged 81
  • Keith Deacon (BA 1957) died September 2018, aged 82
  • George Hudd (BA 1957) died 2018, aged 84
  • Dr Clive Jones (BSc 1957) died May 2018, aged 81
  • Dr Robert Neale (MBChB 1957) died 2019, aged 87
  • William Almond (LLB 1958) died November 2017, aged 82
  • Dr Anthony Codd (MBChB 1958, MD 1972) died November 2018, aged 84
  • Robert Gale (BSc 1958) died 2019, aged 83
  • Dr John Hammer (BA 1958, Certificate of Education 1960) died February 2018, aged 81
  • Rosemary Hunter (née Edwards) (BA 1958, Certificate of Education 1959) died March 2018, aged 81
  • Peter Stevenson (BSc 1958, Certificate of Education 1959) died 2018, aged 82
  • Anthony Tuff (LLB 1958) died 2018, aged 83
  • David Bridge (BSc 1959) died January 2018, aged 80
  • Leslie Clark (née Jones) (BA 1959) died June 2018, aged 81
  • Anthony Daws (BA 1959) died March 2018, aged 81
  • David Drew (BSc 1959) died July 2018, aged 80
  • Douglas Endean (BSc 1959) died 2019, aged 84
  • Dr Derek Hurst (BSc 1959, PhD 1962) died December 2018, aged 80
  • Peter Richards (BSc 1959) died July 2015, aged 77
  • Jean Taylor (BA 1959, PGCE 1960) died July 2018, aged 81
  • John Williams (LLB 1959) died 2019, aged 82
  • Patricia Edey (née Best) (BA 1960) died December 2017, aged 78
  • Dr Peter Gurney (MBChB 1960) died June 2017, aged 79
  • John Heesom (BSc 1960) died 2018, aged 80
  • The Rev Canon Mr Julian Frost (BA 1961, MA 1963) died 2018, aged 82
  • Peter Rogers (LLB 1961) died January 2019, aged 79
  • Dr George Parfitt (BA 1962, PhD 1966) died October 2018, aged 78
  • Professor Dr Paul Robinson (BSc 1962) died December 2017, aged 78
  • Paul Terni (BSc 1962) died October 2018, aged 80
  • Peter Tilley (BA 1962) died February 2018, aged 76
  • John Bogle (LLB 1963) died October 2017, aged 75
  • Alan Ferne (BSc 1963) died December 2017, aged 75
  • Richard Gregory (BSc 1963) died September 2018, aged 76
  • Dr Brian Johnson (BSc 1963, PhD 1966) died April 2018, aged 76
  • Michael Kerr (BSc 1963) died July 2018, aged 76
  • Antony Herbert (BSc 1964) died November 2018, aged 76
  • Barbara Neal (née Gough) (Certificate of Education 1964) died 2017
  • David Nicholson (BSc 1964) died 2015, aged 72
  • Martin Norgate (BSc 1964, Certificate of Education 1966) died April 2018, aged 75
  • Christopher Rowland (BSc 1964) died February 2019, aged 76
  • Richard Williams (BSc 1964) died April 2019, aged 76
  • Vivien Blundell (née Woodall) (BSc 1965) died October 2017, aged 73
  • Dr David Birdsall (PhD 1966) died 2019, aged 79
  • Robert Izon (BDS 1966) died 2018, aged 76
  • Dr John Heavens (MSc 1967, PhD 1973) died 2018, aged 75
  • Dr John Jackson (BSc 1967, PhD 1970) died June 2018, aged 72
  • Dr Fiona Pushman (née Audus) (BSc 1968) died 2017, aged 70
  • Professor Rosamund Sutherland (née Hatfield) (BSc 1968) died January 2019
  • Commodore Nicolas Baldock (MBChB 1969) died September 2018, aged 73
  • Alastair Ennals (LLB 1969) died January 2017, aged 68
  • Lynne Harris (née Benson) (PGCE 1969, Diploma 1976, MEd 1978) died 2018, aged 72
  • Dr David Hogg (MBChB 1970) died May 2018, aged 75
  • The Rev Stephen Rawling (MSc 1970, Diploma 1973) died February 2018, aged 72
  • Michael Platt (BA 1971) died April 2018, aged 68
  • Ian Richardson (BSc 1971) died October 2018, aged 69
  • Dr Peter Warren (PhD 1972) died March 2018, aged 75
  • Dr Martin Howell (MBChB 1973) died 2018
  • Peter Birch (BSc 1974) died 2018, aged 66
  • Rosemary Dunn (née Fisher) (BA 1974) died 2018, aged 66
  • Colin Juffs (BSc 1974) died November 2017, aged 65
  • David Webb (BSc 1974) died 2018, aged 64
  • Dr Clive Harris (BDS 1975) died July 2018, aged 65
  • Colonel Hugh Boscawen (BA 1976) died 2019, aged 65
  • Charles Dowson (BSc 1976) died March 2019, aged 64
  • Alan Dix (BSc 1976) died March 2018, aged 62
  • Jill Fox (née Scott) (BA 1976) died July 2018, aged 64
  • Peter Timmis (BSc 1977) died December 2018, aged 65
  • Peter Craig (BSc 1978) died June 2018, aged 62
  • Susan Woodman (BA 1978) died 2018, aged 61
  • Gillian Ralphs (née Gathercole) (BSc 1979) died November 2018, aged 60
  • Colin Clements (MLitt 1981) died July 2018, aged 93
  • Neil Cook (BSc 1981) died January 2019, aged 59
  • John Williams (BSc 1982) died March 2018, aged 56
  • Mark Wynn (BSc 1985) died February 2018, aged 54
  • Alistair Bradshaw (BEng 1990) died 2018, aged 50
  • Professor Sir Alan Battersby (Honorary DSc 1994, DSc 1962) died February 2018, aged 92
  • Brian Iles (Certificate of Education 1996) died September 2018, aged 70
  • Lucy Standring (BA 1996) died March 2018, aged 45
  • Lee Jenkins (BSc 1997) died December 2017, aged 42
  • Ed Wakeman (MEng 2000) died June 2018, aged 39
  • Virginia Eccles (née Trivini) (MSc 2001) died 2018, aged 64
  • Tamara Rome (BA 2001, MA 2003) died December 2018, aged 38
  • Wesley Catanzaro (JYA 2008) died February 2018, aged 37
  • Edward Renshaw (Certificate 2009, BA 2013) died April 2018, aged 75
  • Alexander Smith (BSc 2009) died 2018, aged 31
  • Miss Jessica Fuellenkemper (MEng 2015) died October 2018, aged 26
  • Edward Senior (BSc 2016) died February 2018, aged 22
  • John Capstick-Dale, died 2019, aged 85
  • Mr Malcolm T Roper (LLB 1957-1960)


Honorary Graduates

  • Dr John Braunholtz, (DSc 1999) died February 2018, aged 90
  • Dr Robert Woodward (LLD 1987) died January 2019, aged 85

Staff/Former Staff

  • Emeritus Professor Michael Banton, died May 2018, aged 91
  • Emeritus Professor John Nye, died January 2019, aged 95
  • Wyndham Thomas, died February 2018, aged 79


  • Nancy Rothwell, died 2019, aged 64
  • Eva Smith (née Waddell) died April 2019

Please email any notifications for alumni in memoriam to alumni@bristol.ac.uk

Forest 404: Bristol Drama alumni across generations come together in ambitious BBC Radio 4 ecothriller

Four Bristol alumni take part in BBC Radio 4’s recent ambitious podcast projects, Forest 404 – a 27 part podcast series starring alumna Pearl Mackie. The series is accompanied by a national experiment looking at how listening to natural sounds could boost wellbeing.

The BBC is launching an innovative 27-part sci-fi podcast series, which imagines a futuristic world in which forests have been erased from history. Forest 404 is described as a first for BBC podcasts. Its three-tiered structure creates a new listening experience which aims to draw the audience deeper into the world of the podcast.

At its heart is a classic sci-fi thriller set in the 24th century following a data crash called The Cataclysm. The action follows the character Pan (Mackie), a sound archivist who uncovers some sound recordings from the early 21st century that haunt her. They are recordings of rainforests, places which no longer exist, and Pan feels compelled to hunt down the truth about how the forests of the old world died.

Award-winning writer Timothy X Atack, Becky Ripley, award-winning BBC producer and director, and Pearl Mackie who starred in Dr Who, and Pippa Haywood who starred in Bodyguard and the Green Wing, all read their BA in Theatre and Drama at the University of Bristol. The project is a first for BBC podcasts in that it is part of a wider academic research project too. The series offers an additional dimension to an Arts and Humanities Council (AHRC)-funded project looking at the world of wildlife filmmaking over the last 25 years, particularly the world-famous BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol.

Led by Alexander Smalley, a Virtual Nature Researcher at the University of Exeter, Forest 404: The Experiment hopes to develop a unique insight into how the British public respond to nature-based sounds. Peter Coates, Professor of American and Environmental History from the University of Bristol’s Department of History, is the wildlife filmmaking project’s academic lead.

Professor Coates and his colleagues see the podcast and BBC project as part of an emerging area of academic research – the environmental humanities – whose starting point is the belief that a scientific perspective is not enough to do full justice to our complex and many layered relationships with nature.


About Forest 404: the series

Each of the nine talks is delivered by a wide range of speakers including musicians, biofuturists, bioethicists and anthropologists. They delve into the themes which inspired the drama, such as:  “Why should I listen to trees?”, “Would you vote for an AI government?” and “What is death in the digital age?” to explore the real-life ideas which inspired the drama.

The soundscapes designed by Graham Wild and Becky Ripley, which bring each episode of the thriller to life, are mixed to create an immersive 3D experience for the listener. A rainforest symphony, an orchestra of frogs, a montage of whale song and a sonic woodland walk make up some of the sounds of nature which sit alongside more experimental soundscapes as the narrative unfolds.

About Forest 404: The Experiment

The podcasts are accompanied by an ambitious online survey devised and operated by researchers at the University of Exeter and The Open University which hopes to develop a unique insight into how the British public respond to nature-based sounds.

This survey promises to make a major contribution to what we already know about how contact with nature benefits our physical and mental wellbeing. It will contribute new knowledge by exploring how people respond to various sounds of nature; previous research has concentrated on the visual.

Alex Smalley said: “A large body of evidence shows that spending time in natural environments can have positive effects on people’s wellbeing. But we know very little about the importance of sound in this relationship.

Could simply listening to birdsong or waves lapping on the beach be enough to help people recover from a stressful situation? The effects won’t be the same for everyone so we want as many people as possible to take part in this study, helping us uncover what works and why.

Anyone over the age of 18 can take part in the experiment. Participants will be asked to listen to several different sounds and will need to have headphones or speakers at the ready. It’s hoped the study’s findings will form the basis for bringing the benefits of nature to people who might not be able to access them, such as patients in hospital, older people in long term care, or those who work in stressful situations.

Take the survey: https://nquire.org.uk/mission/forest-experiment/contribute

Listen to the series on BBC Sounds: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06tqsg3


Alumni Awards 2019 Winner: Eboni Usoro-Brown, Achievement in Sport


Eboni Usoro Brown

Alumna Eboni Usoro-Brown (née Beckford-Chambers) (LLB 2009, MSc 2011), Solicitor, Team Bath netball captain and play for England  talks to us about her time at Bristol and the career that’s led to this award.

You can hear Eboni Usoro-Brown in-conversation with The Rt Hon the Baroness Hale of Richmond DBE (Hon LLD 2002, Hon Fellow 2017) on Tuesday 11 May, 1 pm – 2 pm as part of the 2021 Alumni Festival. Click here for more information and to book your place.

The award
I’m really honoured to receive this award, especially given the calibre of the other recipients. I feel very privileged to even have been nominated.

Why Bristol?
I was first attracted to Bristol as a vibrant city with very welcoming people. I had been training at the Bath Netball Academy and the University of Bristol had an excellent reputation and was near to Bath. I liked the fact that the Bristol campus was part of the city as some university campuses can be quite isolated.

At the time Bob Reeves was the Director of Sport, Exercise and Health and he was one of the first in the University Sector to establish a sports performance programme for students, enabling them to fulfil their potential both academically and in sport. He wanted to attract elite athletes of high academic ability, and this allowed me to study law as well as continue my netball career. This was quite unusual as at most universities elite athletes study things like Sports Science degrees alongside their athletic commitments. I was drawn to studying law because my Dad is a lawyer. I also loved the debating team at school so law was a natural choice.

At Bristol pastoral support was offered to help manage my degree as well as my sport. I was given help to facilitate conversations with the academic tutors, to understand what I was doing. I was also able to access things like sports massage, sports psychology, nutrition and so on, which really helped my performance.

I’m so excited by the prospect of Bristol’s new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus. Studying at Bristol was one of the best times of my life. If this experience can be expanded to more people, then that’s a great opportunity.

Advice to current students
Make sure you get involved in the city when you’re studying at Bristol. There’s such a buzz about Bristol, it’s a very multi-cultural city, throw yourself into it because your three years go by quickly.

Eboni Usoro-Brown

I started netball at primary school and began to take it more seriously at secondary school. I was scouted for England aged 15 at a game. In 2008 I got my first Senior cap and I have 96 caps so far. I want to get my 100th cap during the Netball World Cup in Liverpool in July. So far in my netball career I’ve played in two World Cups and three Commonwealth Games.

My Mum is a headteacher and she really encouraged me to try all sports at school. I initially liked netball because all my friends played and then I grew to love the teamwork and the strategy involved. All the games are different and tactical, you must constantly develop your skills.

Studying at the University of Bristol gave me the confidence that I could commit to both sport and study fully. When I later applied for a training contract with Bath law firm Mogers Drewett I already had proof that I could juggle both and so they were very supportive of me continuing my netball career as well as my legal career.

Bristol provided an excellent standard of education. It’s well-renowned, it has a good reputation. Wherever I go I’m met with approval when I say I’m from the University of Bristol. Bristol really helped develop my level of professionalism. I was given a great foundation in things like time management, discipline, determination. Staff like Matt Paine and Bob Reeves were instrumental in helping me network and make the right contacts in netball. And my Master’s degree is what made me really fall in love with Law as a subject and made me want to work in law.

Following my Master’s at Bristol I did my LPC at UWE and then spent four years in Australia playing professional netball while also working for law firm Allen and Overy. I then came back to the UK for my training contract with Mogers Drewett in Bath. Today I’m proud to say I’m now a fully qualified solicitor as well as about to embark on the Netball World Cup this summer.

The Bristol Reds sports awards and the #wearebristol campaign are phenomenal. They really make Bristol sit above other universities in their promotion of sports excellence.

Memories of Bristol
I knew from the start of my time at Bristol what my long-term goals were. I had to be very focused and disciplined. Everything was geared towards that. I had to develop extreme resilience. Sometimes it felt like the hardest thing in the world to keep everything going.

Highlights for me at Bristol were both my graduation ceremonies, from my LLB and MSc. I had spent so long in the Wills Memorial Building studying and working that it was wonderful to be there to finally have a moment of achievement. It was a big celebration for my family too. I enjoyed my MSc graduation in particular. My course was wonderful. I had such phenomenal, passionate teachers. I really enjoyed it. There was a real moment of ‘I did it’ at that graduation ceremony. A moment of realisation and recognition after working so hard.

Greatest achievement
I think my greatest achievement has been the level of resilience I’ve built. I’ve had to generate extreme levels of mental toughness and self-belief. It’s taken me 15 years to get a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. You need real persistence to keep going.

Greatest challenge
I guess my greatest challenge is knowing when to say ‘no’ to things. I’m enthusiastic and ambitious but one needs to be careful not to get burned out. I need to learn to make myself less available sometimes.

Alumni Awards 2019 – Winner: Community Impact, Annie Hudson

Alumna Annie Hudson (BSc 1972), Director of Children’s Services, London Borough of Lambeth, tells us what she loved about studying at Bristol and why she’s honoured to have received this award.

Annie Hudson

Annie originally started studying Law at Bristol but five weeks in she realised it wasn’t for her and switched to Social Science, a decision which was instrumental in her rise to becoming one of the country’s foremost authorities on services for children. Graduating in 1972 with a BSc in Social Science, Politics and Sociology this current Bristol resident (and ex-staffer at the University) explains what drew her to Bristol and how it has informed her career and life to date.

Why Bristol?
I’m originally from London and as an undergraduate I was drawn to Bristol for several reasons, not least its reputation as a place of academic excellence. I also liked the idea of being in a city, especially one with such an aesthetically pleasing campus and with good access to the countryside. It’s the best of both worlds. It was, and remains, a very well-regarded university. Bristol gave me a solid bedrock of an education. It was here that I acquired skills in critical and analytical thinking as well as confidence in writing and communication skills. I got an excellent grounding in the social sciences. Some of the politics and sociology lectures were real highlights of my time there, pushing me to think deeply and broadly about complex social issues. We had big, challenging debates with one another and with our lecturers, pushing us to think about different ways of seeing and understanding the world we live in.

Advice to current students
Bristol has high academic standards and a great physical and social environment. One thing I would advise current students is to get out and explore all parts of the city. Looking back, I think I had quite a narrow geographical experience of the city as a student, I wasn’t fully aware of some of the social differences between different communities living in the city. It is really important to use your time here to engage actively with the city, its diverse and resourceful communities; so get out and don’t stay in a bubble. This is important in terms of making a social contribution to the city, to your future careers, and for general personal enrichment. Get as much practical experience as you can.

When you’re at Bristol your intellect is really stretched. Bristol has very high academic standards and a great physical and social environment. It’s a wonderful place to be a student.

The award
I’m so touched that David Berridge, Professor of Child and Family Welfare at the University nominated me for this award. I’ve known David from when I worked as Director of Children’s Services in Bristol from 2008 -2013 and I’ve long been an admirer of his work. I appreciate the fact that the University of Bristol works hard to promote evidence to inform social work practice. Research from Bristol was an important shaper of some of my professional decisions in in Children’s Services in Bristol and now in Lambeth. Receiving this award means a lot as it’s from my alma mater and I’m a resident of the city so I’m immensely proud to be counted amongst the winners.

Annie Hudson

I was a social worker first, then an academic, before returning to social work. Studying at Bristol undoubtedly shaped and helped my career because of the intellectual skills and understanding it provided. I subsequently chose to train and work as a social worker for a range of reasons, including a natural curiosity about families and relationships I enjoy social work’s interest in working at the interface between individuals, communities and society. It can be a very challenging and demanding job; it is also one the public (and media) often misunderstands. However, the rewards are also very great when, for example, a child is helped to be safe and recover from trauma.

I’ve been a senior manager for the last 20 years; this involves being both able to operate very strategically and to stay fully in touch with the realities of practice and work with families. I’m sure that my excellent academic training at Bristol has contributed to my ability to speak across different systems to find solutions to social problems. In my area of work, one must look for answers to issues that cut across different public services. It involves being a leader across different ‘systems’, services and communities, including schools, the police, and health services. You need the ability to see the bigger picture.

My degree at Bristol made me more socially conscious. We had rigorous intellectual debates about politics and social issues facing the world. For me it was a time of discovery. I learned so much not just from my studies but also from my peers. Studying at Bristol is a great opportunity to make social networks.

Career highlights
It’s my view that social work can be terribly misunderstood and misrepresented. What we do is unbelievably difficult work and most of it is hidden from public view, except of course when things go wrong. So when we had the opportunity in Bristol to work with the BBC on a TV show to raise the profile of social work, I jumped at it. Some colleagues thought I was crazy and taking a great risk in inviting in the cameras. There were risks but I felt it really crucial that we provide a more accurate picture of social work to the general public. Protecting our Children went on to become widely acclaimed for its portrayal of social workers’ daily and direct work with children and families. I’m incredibly proud to have been part of that project.

I’m also very proud of a body of work I did in the 1980s as an academic, researching adolescent girls who were in care. This research has of course been superseded since then, but at the time it was influential and had a real impact. I believe that it made a difference to work with this group of children and young people.

Fond memories
Bristol wasn’t all about the study. I used to love walking across the suspension bridge late at night, enjoying romantic views of the city, sometimes in good company! I enjoyed my time at Bristol, so much so that I’d slowed down a bit in my second year on the studying front. I was at a Christmas party in my third year when a tutor made a comment that I’d be fine, I’d definitely get a 2.2. I was somewhat peeved by this and pulled out all the stops for the rest of my time there! I worked very hard to gain a 2.1 and it probably contributed to my work ethic since then. It is a long time since my first week as a fresher in Badock Hall. I remember being in a long line of students getting BCG injections and then, when it came to my turn I fainted in front of everyone. It was deeply embarrassing! I have better memories of enjoying myself in the Anson Rooms, especially at the great rock and folk concerts they held there, I remember being particularly enthralled by Deep Purple amongst others.

Greatest challenge
The work that I do now involves working to help and protect children, young people and families who are often facing unimaginable adversity but who also have great resilience and personal resources. Our challenge is helping to create conditions in which we can best help individual children and families have good, safe and happier lives. Searching for the best way of making a difference to individuals and communities, in the face of great austerity, is sometimes hard. But I remain optimistic and have real faith in making good change possible.

Top 7 Happiness Hacks

Bristol became the first UK university to launch a ‘Science of Happiness’ course in 2018, designed to teach students a set of science-based strategies for living a more fulfilling life. It’s being led by eminent psychologist Professor Bruce Hood, who has carried out world-leading research into how the brain works and how human’s think.

Here’s his top 7 Happiness Hacks for International day of happiness [19 March]:

The course draws on the latest results in psychology and neuroscience to get to the root of what happiness is and how to achieve it, as well as teaching tangible practices which students can apply in their everyday lives. It’s being led by eminent psychologist Professor Bruce Hood, who has carried out world-leading research into how the brain works and how human’s think.

The Science of Happiness (SoH) course has been an extremely popular voluntary 10-week lecture series with over 800 students signing up in the first year. The course combines weekly lectures with weekly happiness hub-meetings run by undergraduate senior students who meet with 6-8 attendees to discuss mental health and well-being.

Professor Hood said: ‘Feedback on the course has been extremely positive. On measures of mental well-being, those who took the course maintained their levels of well-being over the 10-week period leading up to exams, whereas those in the waiting list control group dropped significantly on mental well-being scores over the same period.

This evaluation tells us two things: 1) the first-term is a time associated with reduced mental well-being over the 10-week period for students, and 2) those who attended the course proved to be more resilient.’

It comes amid growing concerns around the mental health and well-being of students, with 94 per cent of universities experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people trying to access support services (IPPR Report – Sept 2017). The course is one part of Bristol’s wider approach to improving wellbeing and pastoral care across the University. Bristol’s new course was inspired by Yale University’s highly-successful ‘Psychology and Good Life’ course – the most popular in its history, with one in four students enrolling.

Thank you so much for this inspiring course. It came just at the right time for me as I returned to my studies to reassure me that ‘hiccups’ are normal but to always persevere through to make your dreams come true, knowing people around you care, no matter how hard it is to love oneself at times(!)

Student taking the Science of Happiness course.

Classes address a series of core issues such as whether happiness is in the genes and can really be changed, how our minds distort happiness, the role of culture in happiness, pursuing experience rather than possessions and how to reset happiness levels. Alongside the theory, students will also learn a variety of exercises to practice and reflect on how these effect happiness-levels through weekly Happiness Hubs.

Most people think that the path to happiness is success in jobs, salaries, material possessions, and relationships. While these goals are associated with happiness, they do not necessarily guarantee happiness and indeed, the relentless pursuit of these may actually contribute to unhappiness.

Professor Bruce Hood.

“The course is aimed at all students and not just those who might identify as having challenges with their wellbeing. Ultimately, the aim of this course is to give students a greater understanding of what happiness is and how the human mind often sabotages happiness. Greater awareness amongst the student body will equip students to pre-empt and improve the mental health of themselves and others.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Professor Judith Squires said: “This new course is pioneering in the UK. We hope it will be hugely beneficial to our students, not just during their time at university but throughout their lives.

“It’s an example of how our own research can directly benefit the wellbeing of our community, equipping them with the personal skills to thrive and grow in an increasingly complex world. This course is linked to our Bristol Futures initiative, which offers a range of courses and events to support our students’ wellbeing. We look forward to hearing students’ feedback on the course and to working in partnership with our students to develop it further in future years to help them flourish.”

‘Get engaged to save planet’ Sir David Attenborough urges young people as he receives a Lifetime Achievement award

Sir David Attenborough has urged young people to ‘get engaged, come together and do something’ about the threats facing the natural world.

The much-loved broadcaster was speaking at the University of Bristol’s inaugural Alumni Awards, where his achievements were celebrated with a Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of his exceptional career which has spanned more than six decades, inspiring and educating millions by bringing the natural world into our homes.

Sir David has a long association with the city of Bristol through his work with the BBC’s Natural History Unit, which was honoured by the University awarding him an honorary degree in 1977.

He has subsequently worked with Bristol academics for his television series, given talks at the University and opened its £56.5 million Life Sciences Building in 2014, where students are studying the very subjects highlighted in his documentaries.

Sir David said: “Young people are much more aware of how important the natural world is than they were 60 years ago when I began my career. The natural world is under greater pressure than it has ever been, not just in my lifetime but since humans existed.

“This is the first time ever in the history of Homo sapiens that we have had the power to actually transform and protect the world – or to destroy it.

“Your generation knows that, and your children and grandchildren will either be thanking you or blaming you. To an extent we do not have any excuse.

“The history of humanity is a disaster – of arguing, of quarrelling, of wars. That’s got to come to an end. My message to young people is ‘get engaged, come together and do something about it’.”

In his acceptance speech, Sir David acknowledged that the University was a great source of zoological expertise, as well as a talent pipeline, for the BBC’s Natural History Unit.

The University of Bristol Alumni Awards, held at Mansion House in London, celebrated the exceptional achievements of the University’s alumni. Other winners included Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo and many other works, gold medal-winning netball player Eboni Usoro-Brown (nee Beckford-Chambers), and recent graduate Chanté Joseph, who has championed the importance of diversity and equality through a variety of roles.

The 10 winners represent national and international success in science, literature, business, sport, social justice, public health, journalism and broadcasting.

Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, said: “There’s no one more deserving of a Lifetime Achievement award than Sir David Attenborough. Throughout his incredible career, he has educated, guided and inspired generations to care about our planet – achievements which are synonymous with our own mission at Bristol.

“All the pioneers, innovators and leaders we’ve celebrated through these awards are inspiring role models for our students and we’re thrilled to honour them all at our inaugural Alumni Awards.”

Professor Brady co-hosted the event alongside alumnus Peter Estlin, the current Lord Mayor of the City of London. Peter studied Economics and Accounting at the University of Bristol, graduating in 1982 before embarking on a 30-year career in finance.

Sabbatical Officers Vanessa Wilson and Stanford compered the evening, presenting the awards in front of a 245-strong audience, who also enjoyed live entertainment from the University of Bristol Gospel Choir.

Full list of winners:

Alumni Awards for Arts and Media
Recognises significant achievements of alumni in the world of arts and/or media

Julia Donaldson CBE (BA 1970, Hon DLitt 2011) is one of the UK’s best-loved children’s authors, famed for writing favourites such as The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and Stick Man. Having studied Drama and French at the University of Bristol, Julia’s varied career has seen her create 184 published works and in 2011 she was appointed as Children’s Laureate.

Alumni Award for Achievement in Sport
Recognises significant achievements or contribution by alumni to the field of sport

Netball player Eboni Usoro-Brown (LLD 2009, MSc 2011), known as Eboni Beckford-Chambers before she got married, secured a place in sporting history as part of the England team who won gold at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. She made her international debut for England in 2008 while studying as an undergraduate at the University of Bristol Law School, where she also completed an LLM in Commercial Law in 2011. Eboni is captain of the Team Bath netball team.

Alumni Award for Business and Industry
Recognises the outstanding success of alumni in the world of business

Nigel Wray (BSc 1970, Hon LLD 2005) studied Economics at the University and is now a director of over 50 companies, as well as the owner of Saracens rugby club. He has been described as ‘Britain’s most successful living investor’. While he is known for his business acumen, he is also renowned for his ability to spot potential and talent in people and his commitment to investing time in them.

Alumni Award for Community Impact
Recognises the personal contributions alumni have made to the enrichment of society through services to their community

Annie Hudson (BSc 1972, Cert 1997) received her BSc in Politics and Sociology and returned nearly 25 years later to study for her certificate in Advanced Urban Studies. She is a prominent social care leader in the UK, who has made a significant impact through her previous role as Director of Children’s Services in Bristol and now at the London Borough of Lambeth. She also held the position of Chief Executive of The College of Social Work and is one of the most admired leaders in UK children’s services. A truly extraordinary person who has been passionate, vocal and integral to improvements in her profession for the last 40 years.

Alumni Award for Innovation and Enterprise
Recognises the outstanding achievements of alumni in the field of innovation and enterprise

Dr Harry Destecroix (PhD 2014) co-founded University spin-out company Ziylo whilst studying for his PhD at Bristol.  As part of a team led by Professor Tony Davis in Chemistry, he helped to develop a glucose binding molecule which could be the key component of ‘glucose-responsive insulin’ which brings genuine hope to diabetes patients of a ground-breaking treatment. In August last year, pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk purchased Ziylo, providing investment and commitment to the team to conduct further research and clinical trials. He has also established Unit DX, a science incubator in central Bristol which ensures that scientific companies in the South West now have access to the facilities they need and are part of a burgeoning science community.

Alumni Award for International Impact
Recognises the significant impact made by alumni internationally

Andrew Sheng (BSc 1989) is a chartered accountant by training and holds a BSc in Economics and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bristol. He has had many achievements in global finance which have been acknowledged and recognised around the world. In 2013, Time Magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. His career began in Bank Negara, Malaysia, where he rose through the ranks to become Chief Economist and Assistant Governor. He has published widely on monetary, economic and financial issues and he is a regular contributor to leading economic publications throughout Asia. He is deeply committed to the development of his native Malaysia. He and his wife have a passion for the role of higher education in providing opportunities for young people in their home states.

University of Bristol Friends and Supporters Award
Recognises an individual’s service, advocacy and commitment to the University

John Rutley (Hon LLD 2013) is an entrepreneur and businessman who co-founded the hugely successful company A-GAS in 1993 and received an Honorary Degree in 2013. After many years of being at the helm of his burgeoning company, he chose to give back to his home city and work in partnership with the University. The community sports programme was co-developed and personally funded by Dr Rutley to benefit young people across the city, alongside University of Bristol students. Since its inception, in excess of 6,000 children have taken part in the annual Bristol Festival of School Sport and the programme has also helped more than 500 University of Bristol students gain nationally-recognised coaching and leadership qualifications.

Alumni Award for Transformative Philanthropy
Recognises significant strategic and enduring impact on the institution through inspirational philanthropic support

Hugh Sloane (BSc 1977) graduated from Bristol in 1977 with a First-Class degree in Economics and Politics and is today a highly successful businessman. He established one of London’s most successful asset management companies in 1993 and is renowned in particular for his knowledge of the Japanese markets. He and his business partner George Robinson went on to create the Sloane Robinson Foundation and made a commitment to support the advancement of the education of the public. In 2017, he and his Foundation gave a landmark gift of £10 million in support of the new Temple Quarter Enterprise campus – the largest philanthropic gift from an individual in the history of the University.

Vice Chancellor’s Award
Recognises the aspirational work and notable achievements of a recent graduate that benefits local communities and wider society    

During her time at Bristol, Chanté Joseph (BSc 2018) championed the importance of diversity and equality through a variety of roles. In her first year, whilst studying Social Policy, she was elected as the chair of the student council with the largest margin in the history of student council elections.  In her second year, she launched ‘Bristol is the New Black’ – a project dedicated to giving black students in Bristol a voice, which received funding from O2. During her final year, she founded the BME Powerlist which recognises Bristol’s 100 most influential Black and Minority Ethnic People. Her dedication to effecting change in such a positive manner brought national recognition with a place on the TAB Future 100 list, which describes itself as ‘a definitive list of women at UK universities who are set to achieve incredible things in the future’. Since graduating, she has written for numerous high-profile publications and has her own website with commentary on political and cultural issues.

Alumni Awards 2019 – Winner: Arts and Media, Julia Donaldson

Children’s author, Gruffalo creator, former Children’s Laureate and Bristol graduate Dr Julia Donaldson (BA 1970, Hon D Litt 2011) MBE, CBE, has been honoured with the 2019 Alumni Award for Arts and Media.

Why Bristol?
Back in 1970 when I was applying to universities, only four in the UK offered Drama, which is what I wanted to study. Of those four, Bristol had the best academic reputation and I liked the fact that the university was in the heart of an attractive city with accessible countryside. I grew up in London and I had to take the tube out a long way just to get to some countryside, so I was enticed by the idea in Bristol you could just walk into the countryside.

Why Drama & French?
I’d always loved acting. Aged 12 I was an understudy for one of the fairies in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Old Vic in London. I managed to get on stage to perform and was starstruck by the actors Judi Dench and Tom Courtenay who were part of the cast. I wanted to be an actress but was also quite academic and loved languages, so I decided on a joint degree in Drama and French.

Advice to current students
My advice to students is to work hard but don’t forget to have fun. And enjoy the surroundings – there is proper countryside just across the suspension bridge!

There’s great pleasure to be had in exploring not just the city of Bristol but also its surroundings. I remember some great fungus- foraging in Leigh Woods when I was a student.

Fond memories
Going to university was my first big adventure away from home, and I relished the independent living, especially when I moved out of Hall to a flat in Clifton – I used to like buying bacon ends and bargain vegetables like a proper housewife! I enjoyed the course, especially the plays we put on in the Drama Department and the time in Paris and Avignon as part of the French course. Probably the best part was meeting my husband and also making many friends who have remained friends for 50 years.


At Bristol I acted in a lot of plays put on by the Drama Department and various dramatic societies. In a production of Moliere’s Dom Juan I met Dave Illingworth. He later founded the Bristol Street Theatre, which I joined. The plays we devised turned out to be formative for my future writing career.

In my second year, as part of the French course, I studied in Paris, where I went busking with my future husband (a Bristol medic). This led to my writing songs and performing in folk clubs. It reached the point where I had a body of songs written that I pitched to the BBC, and my children’s books eventually grew out of that.

Alongside the writing, and before starting a family I also had various jobs in publishing, at Radio Bristol, and teaching English in a secondary school. All of these turned out to be useful in my writing career, though I never imagined at the time how the writing would take off.

I remember doing cabaret at student balls, often writing songs to order – like one about teeth for a group of dentists!

Greatest challenge
Back in the early 70s there weren’t so many job opportunities for women. In order to work in publishing you had to be a secretary, whereas men could just walk in to an editor’s job. I remember interviewing for an editor’s job and being told they wouldn’t hire me as I was young and newly married and would just have children!

Career highlights
I love the feeling that I’m part of a chain of verse and stories. As a child I would learn poems off by heart and today I get told by so many parents that their children can recite my stories word for word. Maybe some of those children will one day be writers themselves – the next links in the chain. I also know how special reading to a child at the end of the day can be, and I like the feeling that through my books I am playing some part in that bonding time between parents and children.

I’m delighted to hear of the University’s plans for the new library at the heart of the campus, which will host events and have areas open to the public.

1 person, 2 degrees and 30 years of perspective: Paul Lindley OBE (BSc 1989)

On 9 February, the University of Bristol awarded an honorary degree to alumnus Paul Lindley OBE (BSc 1989), founder of Ella’s Kitchen, which is now the UK’s largest organic baby food brand. Paul reflects on just how much Bristol has had a hand in shaping his life, how much has changed and what he’s learnt in the time he’s been away.

It was a surreal experience, getting robed up and entering the Great Hall to receive a degree exactly 30 years after I had first done so; and then giving a public lecture in the very building I attended lectures in, with my undergraduate textbooks and dreams.

Some things have irreversibly changed: my 1980’s mullet, the Cold War, Apartheid and the revolutions that are the internet, smart phones, social media and reality TV. Other things haven’t, seemingly at all:- my childlike belief in a better future, the Queen as our head of state, Gary Lineker popping up on our screens every weekend, the dominance in the news of a wall built to divide people (albeit one then coming down and another now going up), and a seemingly un-ending and irresolvable fight over our relationship with Europe.

And I stood there reflecting on where those 30 years had gone, how I could never have planned for where my life has taken me and how unlikely it all seems to be in a position to be honoured and humbled in this way.

Being humbled, makes you feel small.

I felt small because I was there in front of the people I love: my parents who never got the opportunity to go to university; my wife, who I met at this very university all those years ago, and my children who are now at the university stage of life, and who belong to a generation to whom all purpose in my life points.

I also felt small because I was in front of the university itself, not just any university – but THE University of Bristol.  With all its history of people who had been in that Great Hall and who led better lives because of what they learned -and learned about themselves – at Bristol.

So, I felt small because all these people, and thousands more, known and unknown to me have influenced the opportunities in my life, have seeded ideas and taught me both compassion and ambition.  And so, I have realised that my big learning in life – learnt between last leaving The Wills Memorial Building and now returning – is that it’s people that matter – and that they are pretty much the only thing that matters.

Each young graduate in that Hall was capable of doing remarkable and extra-ordinary things in the years to come. But whatever brilliance that is within them – it can only get out, only have the impact it could have – only ever even be found – with the care, time, love, and selfless-ness of other people.

To achieve anything – we need each other.

As an entrepreneur, people often say to me – ‘oh you had such a great idea’, ‘your brand is spot on’, ‘the products are so innovative’, ‘it’s changed my life’ – but I know that although the initial idea was wholly mine, its delivery relied on the energy, ideas, passion and hard work of others – and that without a team, without community and without the civic space that enables entrepreneurs to thrive – our roads, schools, safety, and NHS – and everyone who works within them – nothing would happen from a just great idea.

This idea that we need each other, and we are connected – that we are all just human beings, each stumbling through life trying to do the best for our families and our communities – is real.  As is the fact that we have the best chance of fulfilling our passions, our life’s purpose and of leaving a little legacy that says we were here, when we know we have more in common with each other and feel better about ourselves because of it. We can put ourselves in others’ shoes and understand that they too are stumbling through their life, trying to make the best of it for themselves and others.

I absolutely believe that our tomorrows will be better than our yesterdays because the spirit of youth is full of optimism, collaboration and a can-do attitude and it is a university’s role to find, direct and amplify such a spirit. If a man in his fifties like me can claim that spirit of youth –  as a state of mind rather than a stage of age – then as a member of that younger generation, I think that not only do universities have the ability to light passions and fires in young people’s bellies in the academic subjects that they study whilst in their care, but also they have the power to ignite each student’s zest for life, and their belief in their ability to question and then change things – for the betterment of the world around them, for nurturing that sense of togetherness, interconnectedness and of ‘more in common’. Especially in this volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world where so much is designed to divide us.

Universities hold the responsibility for forming the whole person in these young adults and the ability to forge them into true leaders of tomorrow. They are also one of the last institutions in our society that still retains the trust and credibility that they have always had in contributing to our communities and moving us forward. In such hands pass our future leaders and so also an opportunity to create a culture and environment to maximise inclusiveness of opinion, diversity of experience and create influence in shaping our society’s future. That is daunting, but I know – and I shared – that a university like Bristol is more than up to the task.

Back in 1989, I had Bob Marley posters adorning the walls of my undergraduate room; and 30 years later I still look to his words to make sense of my journey in life:

The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.

Some things don’t change.

Paul Lindley is winner of our 2021 Alumni Award for Business and Industry. To hear from him and other alumni award winners, join us for the Alumni Festival in May 2021. Click here for more information and to book your place.

Paul graduated from the University of Bristol in 1989 having studied Economics and Politics (BSc). He went on to found Ella’s Kitchen in 2006, which is now the UK’s largest organic baby food brand.

Paul also co-founded The Key is E, supporting African entrepreneurs whose social businesses benefit children. He was recently appointed Chair of the London Child Obesity Taskforce and is also Chair of the non-profit Robert F Kennedy Human Rights UK, a Trustee of the educational organisation Sesame Workshop, and sits on the Board of social enterprise Toast Ale.

Celebrating women: The first female lecturer at Bristol

To mark the 2018 centenary of the first British women winning the right to vote, we are honouring Bristol women who have changed our institution, and the world. From our first woman lecturer to the first British woman to have won a Nobel Prize, these activists, educators and agitators now take their rightful place on the walls of the Wills Memorial building – along with ten of the women in today’s University community to who continue to be inspired by their legacy.

Mary Paley Marshall, the first woman lecturer at University College Bristol, with Professor Sarah Smith, Head of the Department of Economics

“Mary Paley was a pioneer in the field of economics. She was the first woman to pass finals in political economy at Cambridge
(although barred from graduating due to her gender) and in 1875 she was invited to return to her former college, Newnham, as the first woman economics lecturer at Cambridge.

“Mary arrived at Bristol in 1876 with her husband, the economist Alfred Marshall, after being forced to leave Cambridge because of regulations preventing college fellows from marrying. Marshall became the first Principal of University College Bristol and Professor of Political Economy, while Mary became one of the first female lecturers. Although Bristol was the first higher education to admit women students on an equal basis to men, Mary’s salary was paid out of that of her husband.

“While at Bristol, Mary co-wrote The Economics of Industry with Marshall after being asked to turn her Cambridge lectures into a book. Her influence was evident from the book’s discussion about gender pay inequality, putting forward the argument that men and women may be equally productive but receive unequal pay because of “custom and general opinion”.

“Mary remained an active champion of women’s education and of the increase of their employment, particularly in the domains of teaching and business management. She herself continued to lecture and was an inspiration to many generations of her students. Given that Mary wasn’t permitted to graduate from Cambridge, it was very fitting that Bristol presented her with an Honorary degree in 1926 for her lifelong work as a teacher of economics


The University of Bristol was the first higher education institution in England to welcome women on an equal basis to men, but our commitment to gender equality reaches far beyond this milestone. The wooden panels of the Great Hall in its Wills Memorial Building have been an all-male domain thanks to hosting portraits of its Vice-Chancellors. But now, thanks to a project specially-commissioned to mark 100 years since the first women in Britain won the right to vote, a series of ten portraits redresses the balance and celebrates notable Bristol women who have changed the institution – and, indeed, the world.