Papers of Catherine Thackray

Scope and Content

Collection includes extracts and rough material from her autobiographical writing; and copy of her autobiography.

Administrative / Biographical History

Catherine Thackray was born in May 1922, the daughter of Margery Sharp and one of eight children. The family moved to France before returning to Cambridge where Catherine attended the Perse School. As the Second World War broke out, she began work at the Fulham Day Nursery where she worked or a short time until she moved to working at Barclays' Bank and then on to Southwark Day Nursery. However, she went on to enlist in the ATS as a Specialist Wireless Operator and was posted to Harrogate, Shenly, Lancashire, Derby and then Aldermaston. She left the service in 1943 and then went on to study at the London University Collage, obtaining a diploma in Social Sciences. In 1944 she joined the Battersea Labour party, going on to join the Central London branch of the Fabian Society three years later. In 1949 she married Lawrence Thackery and completed her training as a psychiatric social worker at the Tavistock Clinic. In 1949 the couple moved to Surrey. Catherine Thackery began work at the Woking Child Guidance Clinic the next year before they moved once again, this time to Huddersfield in 1951. There she became a volunteer at the local Citizens' Advice Bureau and the local secretary of CND. In 1953 she was elected the councillor for the Milnsbridge ward. When her first child was born in 1956 she continued her work for another fourteen months before resigning her position. After this she was a house worker for 12 years before returning to teaching when the youngest of her children went to school. She taught at the local technical college before working at the new secondary modern. Her research into the lives of seventy married women was published in 'Education' in 1968. She remained active in the anti-nuclear movement until the end of her life and in 1984 she was arrested during a protest outside of Greenham Common. She died in 1997.

Access Information

This collection is open for consultation. Intending readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Acquisition Information

Presented by the creator in 1995.

Other Finding Aids


Related Material

The papers of Thackray's mother (Marjory Sharpe (nee Ingle) (ref. GB 106 7/HSH) are also held by the Women's Library.