Mary Elizabeth Henrietta Smith: Tape One

Scope and Content

Mary Elizabeth Henrietta Smith born 5 Jan 1920 in Guildford Surrey. Father, engine driver with Southern Railways. Move to Plymouth: childhood and schooling. Links with Maud Jeffreys, Crown Estate Commissioners (CEC): student secretary in London. Training re housing in Lincoln local authority office; at Cumberland Market office. The Second World War. Became Chartered Surveyor, 1940: awarded Octavia Hill prize. Managing Mount Gould housing estate: social housing re Royal Navy. Move to Cheltenham as assistant housing manager, then as deputy manager. Married, 1947. Describes husband's career as architect. Brief spell in Bath. Smith took position with CEC at Cumberland Market office as assistant manager. Completed degree course by post. Death of husband; birth of daughter. Involvement in women's rights; Fawcett Society. 1978: became advisor on Housing Service Advisory Bureau (HSAB) with Bill Wolf as Director (formerly director of Housing at Gateshead). Wrote leading articles for 'Housing' magazine. Describes working under Labour then Conservative Government. Details of HSAB work; retired in 1985. Post-retirement: Governor of Peabody Trust; Commissioner of Management of Hanover Trust; former Chairman of Women's Pioneer Housing; of National Federation of Housing Associations. 'Guide to Housing.' Daughter's career; Smith's degree studies. Husband's career: Secretary of local Architectural Chapter; Royal Institute of British Architects. Smith as Chairman of Wimbledon House Residents' Association. Domination of housing management by women. Society of Housing Managers. Discrimination with CEC; Department of Environment; Civil Service. Change in housing management since 1979. Amended 'Guide To Housing' re Housing and Local Government Act. Talks about husband's death; family life; daughter; holidays; family relations. 1967: Smith awarded Member of the Order of the British Empire re CEC. Mary Smith House, Mary Smith Estate and Women's Pioneer Housing Limited.