The lead up to university
March to September 1945
Here we use extracts from Mary’s diaries and writings to relate events leading up to her beginning her university studies at the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth.
Friday 2 March 1945
Received Diploma of Proficiency in General Farming from Bath College (passed in 6 subjects – quick results). Have written asking for detailed percentages.
Thursday 15 March 1945
Half day. Twyford shopping, bus to Reading. To WLA … consulted county secretary re college (shall probably have to do dairy or poultry)
Sunday 8 April 1945
May be able to go to University College of Wales at Aberystwyth. [presumably Mary had received a letter from the WLA to this effect] … Wrote to University of Wales and WLA.
Monday 4 June 1945
Aberystwyth has accepted me (if my London matric suffices).
Monday 11 June 1945
Accepted for 3-year degree course not NDD [National Diploma in Dairying] as supposed.
Thursday 14 June 1945
Nettle cutting in yard. Half day. From Twyford to Reading by bus. To see Land Army re college, shopping, tea at Cadena, saw ‘And now tomorrow’, v.g., and some swing tripe. Typed acceptance to Aberystwyth.
Tuesday 19 June 1945
Passed WLA Proficiency test in General Farming (1st 2 girls in Berkshire, out of 1100) …
Friday 22 June 1945
E. Sorting letters, filled in multitudinous forms re Welsh matric and government grant …
Tuesday 10 July 1945
Final matric acceptance by college today.
Friday 13 July 1945
Went to Dr Jacob’s surgery for pre-college vaccination.
Sunday 23 August 1945 Last day in the Women’s Land Army
Mary went home to her family in Ealing, then away on holiday for a short time, before moving to Aberystwyth to start university.
Friday 21 September 1945
Good news. Am to receive grant of £180 per annum plus tuition fees! B & L fees [board and lodging] are only £60 per annum so this leaves a good margin. (Tuition £25) After board and all etceteras are paid this leaves £124.1.6 or £2.7.9 per week pocket money for 52 weeks.