[Skip to content]

Sign up for our daily newsletter
The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Calculating women

I would like to make a few comments on Katrina Malone’s account in the October issue as there seem to be one or two inaccuracies arising, no doubt, from her interview with me being taped.

Firstly, I am puzzled as to what I could possibly have said – in connection with my time at Torquay – that has resulted in the record hut being described as ‘beastly’. I can only think that I referred to it as a ‘brick’ hut; the huts we worked in were made of wood but the record hut was made of brick. The fact that there was so much wood about always struck me as unfortunate when, for example, we were on fire-watching duty and the planes were going over us on their bombing flights to Plymouth and Exeter. Fortunately the huts and the records survived, although Torquay itself suffered some bombing while we were there.

I was also puzzled at first to read that some of the girls in my year at Wimbledon High School had become ‘bursars’ until I realised ‘barristers’ might have sounded similar on her tape! As a matter of interest, my year also had at least three doctors and two dentists as well as an actuary!

I was, however, concerned that, in her account of our early ‘tea parties’, Katrina made no reference to the part Pat Merriman (Bacon & Woodrow) played. She and I worked closely together on these and the first tea parties were held at the offices of B&W until, sadly, we outgrew their accommodation. But this was some years later and only then did we eventually hold them at the Prudential! For the record, I did some years ago (in 2002) write a history of the tea parties and the speakers we had for the archives and deposited this with the Institute librarian.