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Personal Papers of Shirley Stanley, 1950 - 1953

Reference Code: GBR/0271/GCPP Stanley

Scope and Contents

The papers comprise the following: a file containing letters, photographs and an ADC programme (1); a volume of poetry (2); and a file containing a scan of a 1952 dance card and a 1953 letter home (3), as follows:
1) The file contains chiefly photocopies of letters written by Shirley Wright to her parents during her first year at Girton, 1950-51: the letters are dated October 1950; December 1950 (x2); January 1951; February 1951 (x2) and May 1951 (x2). They refer to lectures and other academic work, with occasional mention of Alison Duke; Girton events; financial matters; and domestic and social matters. S W often asks her parents to send various items from home, including rationed food items. Specific Girton events referred to include a College dance in December 1950; Founder's Memorial Lecture February 1951; and the College Feast May 1951. She also mentions a trip to Oxford with a friend in February 1951 and a punting trip in May 1951. The file also contains the following:
i) modern copies of two photographs of a punting trip on the Cam, June 1952, showing Shirley Wright, Dorothy Killick of Girton, and Hugh Bowden of St John's College, together with a related letter from Shirley Stanley [no date];
ii) photocopy of a photograph by Stearn & Sons of Girton Table Tennis Players 1950-51, together with partial key to names, including Shirley Wright, Naomi Macleod, Anne Peter, Brenda Sheail, Isabel Woodhead, Pauline Crispin, Jo Shipley, Lesley Donnison and Joan Kerr;
iii) photocopy of programme for John Barton's 'That's All One', a production at the ADC, October 1950, to which S W refers in her letter of 22 October 1950.
2) 'The Queen's Garland: Tudor poems collected in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II' compiled by M C Bradbrook, 1953. This copy was given as a prize to Shirley Wright when she and her future husband, Michael were dancing a 'spot' waltz at the College's Coronation party, 1953. During the dance a spotlight rotated and when the music stopped the couple on whom the light shone got a prize. Michael, then a student at Pembroke College was also given a copy.
3) File containing scans of the following: dance programme for a Girton College Ball held on 29 November 1952, signed by various including Michael [Stanley]; and a letter to her parents, June 1953, in which Shirley mentions a visit to Hughes Hall and the purchase of items off ration at Sainsbury’s, with which she made a meal for herself and Michael, and says she will let them know about Degree Day soon.


  • Creation: 1950 - 1953


Conditions Governing Use

Shirley Stanley retains the copyright in the letters written by her.

Biographical / Historical

Margaret Shirley Wright (known as Shirley) was born in Leeds, the daughter of Sydney Wright, bank manager, and Evelyn Appleyard. Educated at Cheadle Hulme School, she studied Classics at Girton 1950-53. She studied for her PGCE at Hughes Hall 1953-54. She taught Classics in York, 1954-59 and then later in Loughton, Essex. She married Michael Stanley, an engineer, in 1956. In a letter accompanying an item relating to a Girton dance in November 1952, donated to the archives in 2018, she gives background information on some Girton events in the 1950s. Dances were usually held in the Stanley Library and finished at 10.30pm, not least as the Mistress’ flat was immediately above the Stanley Library. On May 31st 1952 Shirley Wright and Dorothy Killick [also G 1950] held a dance in the Stanley Library as a joint 21st birthday party celebration, with the rugs removed and chairs around the walls. Shirley also mentions a Coronation Party in Girton [in 1953] and says a number of Girton students went up to London on June 1st and slept on the pavements in order to watch, although she stayed at Girton and watched the event on television in the JCR, Pye having given each of the Colleges a television set: it was only the second time she had watched television.


2 file(s) : paper

1 volume(s)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The originals of the file containing letters, photographs and an ADC programme were brought to the Girton Roll weekend in 1984 by Mrs Stanley: copies were taken and the originals returned. The volume was given by Shirley Stanley in July 2015. The file containing the 1952 dance card and a 1953 letter home was given by Shirley Stanley in July 2018.


Stanley, Margaret Shirley, b 1931, nee Wright, teacher

Finding aid date

1998-09-03 13:40:49+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Girton College Archive Repository

The Archivist
Girton College Archive
Huntingdon Road
Cambridge CB3 0JG United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 338897