Scope and Contents
The papers listed here comprise personal and biographical records; papers relating to Beryl Platt's Cambridge years; speeches and lectures delivered by Beryl Platt; papers deriving from her work in the House of Lords; and papers deriving from her periods of office as Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission and Chancellor of Middlesex University. Each section is arranged broadly chronologically.
Biographical / Historical
Beryl Catherine Myatt was born in 1923 near Southend, the daughter of Ernest Myatt, a bank accountant, and Dorothy Emma Mathilda Sarah Wood. She was educated at schools in Essex and Slough before coming to Girton College in 1941 to study for the Mechanical Sciences Tripos [the forerunner of the Engineering Tripos]. She undertook war work as an aeronautical technician in the Design Department of Hawker Aircraft Ltd at Kingston-on-Thames from 1943-46. She then went on to work for BEA (British European Airways Corporation) from September 1946. In 1949 she married Stewart Platt.
Beryl Platt served as member, patron, president, director etc of innumerable organisations over a period of almost fifty years, including universities, advisory committees, educational and training organisations, local government organisations, local government authorities, professional bodies, companies and equal opportunities organisations (with particular emphasis on equal opportunities for women in work).
The following appointments are of particular relevance in relation to her archives: she was Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission from 1983 to 1988 and Chancellor of Middlesex University 1993-2000. She was also instrumental in the establishment of the WISE (Women into Science and Engineering) Campaign in 1984.
Beryl Platt received the CBE in 1978. She was created a Life Peer in 1981, taking the title Baroness Platt of Writtle. She served on several House of Lords Select Committees over the next 20 years, including the Select Committee on Science and Technology, 1982-85.
She was awarded honorary degrees from many universities and became an honorary fellow of several institutions and colleges, including Girton College in 1988.
Lady Platt died in Hertfordshire on the 1st of February 2015.