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Margaret Firth was a part-time member of the Geography staff in the 1970s. She taught alongside Miss Woolley and Miss Watts. Born and brought up in Bristol, Margaret attended Merrywood Grammar School, where she became Head Girl, and was the first pupil to win a place at Cambridge University, earning a half-day holiday for her grateful school mates! Her younger sister recalls with glee that her otherwise unblemished school record was somewhat marred when she and her prefectorial team were detected playing a noisy game of marbles in the sixth form room whilst a Governors' meeting was taking place in the Head's study immediately below - earning a week long suspension from office.

At Girton Margaret revelled in her studies, and formed lifelong friendships. She played hockey for the first eleven, and a team photograph from her third year shows both Margaret and a young lady who was to become Jean Spurgin, later a respected physics teacher at WGHS. Margaret was amongst the last cohort of ladies who were not allowed the honour of a graduation ceremony on achieving their degrees, but returned to Cambridge in 1998 with 900 others to mark the 50th anniversary of the first women receiving their degrees in the Senate House. The coaches from Girton were accorded the honour of a full police escort!

Margaret also returned to Cambridge in 2002 to visit a student grandson. He was requested to remove her from his college library when her excitement at finding known texts and names on the geography shelves became all too audible!

Margaret met her husband, Geoff, at Cambridge. They moved to Wolverhampton in 1971 when he took up the Headship of a Dudley school. In their later years they travelled widely - India, Nepal, China, USA, Iceland, Kenya, and much of western Europe. Moving to south Wales in 2000 to be nearer some of her family, Margaret enjoyed several good years before gradually being 'lost' to Alzheimer's. She died peacefully of pneumonia in January 2010.

Jane M. Firth (nee Raybould 1968-75) (Daughter-in-law of Mrs. Firth)


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