Making Beds with Envelope Ends

Beck Hall and Women's Experiences of Student Life at Swansea University, 1920-1939.

by Dr. Jay Rees



When the College opened its doors on October 5 1920, its charter authorised that ‘every office […] shall be open to women equally to men.’[1].  Like the other constituent colleges of Wales, Swansea allowed women to explore most fields of study and work towards the same degrees as men within a coeducational environment. From this opportunity, many women found great academic success.

Emily Dix graduated with a first-class honours degree in geology in 1925, and later became a renowned palaeobotanist, teacher and field scientist.[2]  A decade later, Marian Phillips earned a first-class honours in history[3] and pursued a fruitful career as a historian—publishing works on both central European and Welsh history.  

Despite their academic eminence, these women experienced a very different version of student life than that encountered by their male counterparts.[4]  Societal expectations about women’s lives after completing a university education, such as their re-entry into the home to pursue both marriage and motherhood, meant the College made many conscious efforts to ensure that women consistently adhered to traditional gender norms.[5] In and outside of the College, disciplinary regulations limited women’s interactions with the opposite sex, while prescribed activities in household management ensured that they followed the proper course planned for their lives—housewifery. 

Despite more women entering the College, with the gender ratio falling from 10:1 to 5:1 in Swansea by the 1930s, these patterns strengthened and women consistently navigated a different version of student life that buttressed both domesticity and patriarchy.[6]  

Drawing out some of the key findings from my PhD thesis about student life at Swansea, between the years 1920 and 1939, it is the purpose of this essay to illustrate how the College used both its built environment and regulations to control women’s lives at the College. Particular attention will be placed on the women’s only hall of residence, Beck Hall, and how its homelike surroundings and paternal warden, encouraged women to continue in their domestic responsibilities—despite their recent entry into higher education.[7]  Finally, it will determine how far Beck Hall’s domestic ethos extended across the College’s Singleton site, and how this materialised in separate common rooms, societies and sporting events for women undergraduates. In examining this, this essay will highlight how student life at the College often underlined women’s separate position in society and reinforced traditional notions of femininity.

‘House Rules’ and Pastoral Care at Beck Hall

Consistently outnumbered in both the humanities and sciences, women were a conspicuous minority at the College.

Table 1: General Trends in the Distribution of Full-time Students by Faculty, 1920-1939.[8]



Pure Science

Applied Science





























































Similar to other higher education institutions in this period, Swansea formed part of a larger picture occurring across the whole of Britain. Reports from the University Grant Committee (UGC) indicate that women represented just over a quarter of full-time students across Britain, equating to around 11,299 out of the 49,189 enrolled undergraduates.[9]  Such demographic patterns served to strengthen moral panics over the effects universities could have on women’s femininity and character. Taken out of their family setting, and no longer under the instruction of their mother, women were seen as more susceptible to the wider temptations of society.[10]  In other words, in their pursuit of academic study, contemporaries feared that women could potentially abandon their intended roles as mothers and wives.[11]  

To provide both supervision and the moral guidance often found within the home, and to assuage contemporary anxieties about women’s education, the College sought term-time accommodation for its women students. This materialised in 1923, after the death of the College’s Vice-President Roger Beck (1841-1923), a local philanthropist and benefactor, when the College was bequeathed six of his Victorian houses in Gwydr Gardens for student accommodation. By 1925, in his honour, the College named these residences Beck Hall. Admittance was compulsory and the hall’s admission policy thereafter read: ‘all women students not residing with their parents or guardians are required to reside in the hall unless the Senate sees good reason for allowing exemption.[12]’ 

Located in Sketty, and approximately a fifteen-minute walk from Singleton Abbey, the hall often physically isolated women from their male counterparts.[13]  In providing this sheltered environment at the College, the authorities sought to protect the physical and moral well- being of its women students. Entry into the hall often made an immediate impression on residents, especially their social lives, and its setting reasserted the traditional pairing of women with home. As Figure 2 shows, it is clear that despite being converted into a hall of residence, women were greeted with the original look of the six, separate, Victorian houses. Aside from the addition of small covered corridors, the design of each house remained the same as did its original purpose—the ‘perfect’, separate sphere for the domesticated woman.[14]  

Traditionally, Victorian homes, through both their furnishings and set conventions, encouraged contemporaries to understand a woman’s rightful place as within the boundaries of marriage and motherhood.[15]  The houses of Beck Hall transmitted this ideology onto residents[16] and the hall’s social conventions promoted traditional expectations of femininity. ‘House Rules’, such as those specified in 1926, expected residents to take care of their own laundry (despite the presence of service staff), air their bedrooms daily and to make their beds after breakfast.[17]  Further ‘feminine’ refinements accompanied residents’ domestic duties, and included the wearing of dressing gowns, the taking of tea and attendance at summer garden fetes.[18]  

Many residents did not find the hall’s practices unusual and often welcomed its homely atmosphere.[19]  In 1929, in a report to the College’s Hostel Committee, residents praised the hall’s domestic routine for creating ‘a good feeling and comradeship between those of different year’ and a ‘considerateness which caused the wheels of this little community to go around smoothly without any feeling of restraint.[20]’  Indeed, when women left the hall, many reminisced about the ‘vivid and pleasant recollections of those first days’ and the formal structure that such duties brought to College life.[21] 

To ensure that residents correctly followed the hall’s conventions, the College’s Senate appointed a warden to undertake the hall’s management and to provide pastoral care to its women students. The application of the second warden of Beck Hall, Mary Wilkinson (from 1926-1946), highlighted the extent to which maintaining the residents’ domestic skills facilitated her appointment.[22]  Although Wilkinson had no previous experience as a warden, her ‘intimate knowledge of household management’ secured her the position.[23]  One of the first lessons Wilkinson taught her residents was how to make beds with mandatory ‘envelope ends.’ In contrast, they were not instructed on how to safely light or extinguish their bedroom fires, despite being provided one scuttle of coal each day.[24]  This strong emphasis on domestic skills suggests that the warden was a kind of ‘stand-in’ mother to her residents. From this position, the warden exercised both disciplinary and moral control over the women.[25]

From the outset, residents required permission from the warden before accepting invitations from the opposite sex, adhered to strict gate-hours and rules of chaperonage, and observed a compulsory curfew of 10.30 pm.[27]  

Remarkably, in a bid to further segregate the sexes, the warden’s regulations also stipulated where women could and could not eat. While men ate regularly at the refectory, women had to return to the hall between the hours of 1 and 4. 30 pm to take both dinner and tea.[28]  Forced to commute to and from Beck Hall, the regulation ensured that minimal contact between the sexes occurred outside of the lecture theatre. Clearly, the hall enforced rigid ideas about how women should behave and often reiterated the importance of home. However, this is not to suggest that residents immediately became mothers and wives after their university education, or that the hall undermined their academic capabilities, but that women adhered to social and cultural restraints that did not affect their male peers.[29]

‘Lady Members’ and ‘House Warmings’: Student Life at Singleton’s Abbey

Outside of the hall setting, at Singleton, College authorities further sought to control the social behaviour of all of its women students via predetermined spaces and gender-specific activities. Despite residing in a woman’s only hall, angst over their increasing presence within the College’s site forced the authorities to consider how casual interactions with the opposite sex could potentially endanger women’s delicate and domesticated demeanour.[30]  

Anxieties over the possible masculinisation of women, to the consequences of destructive ‘horseplay’, coloured discussions at all levels at the College. At the Abbey, apart from its refectory and lecture rooms, authorities segregated students by gender. Each sex had its own self- contained area within the building, which included a common room, lavatory and cloak room.[31]  With these areas located on different floors and separated by a series of corridors, this layout dictated how the sexes interacted on the site. Forced to put their coats in separate cloakrooms and conversing in different rooms in-between lectures, women occupied separate spaces to that of their male-counterparts. This proved irksome, as ‘spare moments’ found in secluded corridors, to a chance passing when walking to and from the physics’ laboratory, became the only means for the opposite sex to mingle during College hours.[32] Garfield James, a male undergraduate at the College complained: ‘The scuttling into corners is one of the worst habits that the student butterfly forms.[33]’      

Within their separate spheres, the activities experienced by the two sexes at the Abbey varied greatly. While male undergraduates smoked and amused themselves in their common room, which included billiard tables and robust furniture that could endure episodes of hijinks and drinking, the women’s common room echoed the same homely touches as Beck Hall. Decorated with fresh flowers, tea sets and dainty furnishings, the common room held civilised ‘House Warmings’ and encouraged women to play musical instruments and take tea.[34]  

In other words, separated from their ‘rough and tumble’ male peers, and encouraged only to participate in traditionally feminine activities, the Abbey reiterated the gendered sentiments of the period—women should radiate lady-like behaviour and adopt social poise. How far this had become an entrenched feature of student life at the College is perhaps reflected by contemporary reports of Principal Edwards’ protest against plans for mixed common rooms from the late 1930s onwards.[35]        

Once immersed in Swansea’s student life, the College’s emphasis on maintaining a woman’s decorum and femininity became even more apparent outside of the common room. While mixed societies existed at the College, both women’s participation and position within them were limited to those of a more ‘feminine’ nature. Women needed to obtain permission from the College’s authorities to join a society and if accepted, their roles often reinforced rather than jeopardised their traditional gender roles. In 1921, 'lady members' of the student Physics Society, such as Gwyneth Edwards and Gwen Williams, found their roles confined to ‘tea maker’ and ‘cutlery minder’ during social gatherings.[36]  Often holding these limited positions of influence, and dwarfed by the number of male undergraduates attending these societies, women found that their opinions did little to change the running of a society or its trajectory. In those societies that were identified by the College’s authorities as belonging to a ‘woman’s sphere’, however, such as the Biological Society and Modern Languages Society, women garnered a much greater presence as both presidents and vice-presidents—albeit their control was over a smaller, often women’s only, audience.[37]      

Equally, to further conform to the societal expectation’s surrounding appropriate feminine behaviour, the College’s authorities also advised women to limit their involvement in rag proceedings. On 15 November 1920, the Cambria Daily Leader reported: ‘the first University Rag in the history of Swansea took place on Monday afternoon, when a large band of students paraded the town blowing all sorts of instruments, musical and otherwise.[38]

From then onwards, the high-spirited occasion, with its carnivals, costumed processions and high jinks, raised money for local causes (mainly Swansea Hospital). Students collected charity as far as Llanelli and Neath and utilised buckets, fancy dress and stunts to encourage public donations. Frequently borrowing from the pantomime tradition, these charitable processions featured cross-dressing, slapstick comedy and parodies of popular culture.[39]   Male students dressed up as female stock characters, including nurses and titled ladies, and also performed as over-grown babies, clowns and pirates (see figure above).[40]  In 1928, for example, the rag included: a Lobby Lud stunt, a baby show tableau and a fake operation on an undergraduate.[41]  While the town often relished in the spectacle provided by its student revellers, their potential for rowdyism became ever-present.[42]  Rivalry was an important aspect of the rag, with students from different societies competing to raise the most money through various tableaus. In a bid to sabotage the opposing society’s performance, pitched battles often broke out between students and included the throwing of rotten fruit and dried food.[43]  With both spectators and local property often caught in the cross-fire, police increasingly escorted the rag through the town and cut proceedings short.[44]  

With the occasion encouraging male undergraduates to either ‘let-rip’ or ‘let go’, the rag often ended in ‘boozer fever’ and destruction.[45]  In 1928, in the process of rousing spirits for the carnival procession, male students destroyed several armchairs in their common room whilst under the influence of alcohol.[46]  Such disorder spilled onto Swansea’s streets, and an amazed student spectator reported: ‘the so-called rag in the Theatre last term was a thoroughly undignified exhibition of the grossest behaviour.[47]’      

Often involving these episodes of ‘booze fever’ and parades that needed police escorting, authorities regarded the rag as potentially too dangerous or inappropriate for the ‘fairer’ sex.[48]  With men making a ‘mockery’ of femininity during the parade, with their tongue-in-cheek performances as stock female characters, the authorities further considered how the rag endangered the respectable appearance of women at the College. Therefore, to create a distinction between these characters and the College’s decorous women, administrators determined that women could only participate if they collected money, wore academic dress and spectated the pageantry. For example, the Senate’s regulations concerning the rag included: ‘the women students are forbidden to masquerade or wear fancy dress, but the permission is granted for them to assist in collecting.[49]’  A male student, who participated in the 1929 rag, described how the Senate’s decision shaped processions: ‘Methought it mightily slum that these she-students went all in black like a flock of crows, whereas the he-students bedeck and bedizened themselves like a circus.[50]’  Although this regulation remained in place until the outbreak of the Second World War, there were instances whereby women did participate in processions. However, it should be stressed here, that this was often contested and each woman’s costume needed approval prior to the event.[51]

Flower Pot Races and ‘Ladies’ Exercise: Women’s Participation in Competitive Sport at the College

The College's desire to protect a woman’s proper, feminine, character not only affected students’ social activities but their sporting events as well. Predetermined spaces and gender-specific regulations ensured that the sporting field safeguarded women’s feminine and domesticated character.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, women found themselves unable to participate or engage with specific sports at the College. Although this was a period of growing concern about the general health of the nation, which resulted in several initiatives that improved the fitness of university students across Britain, reservations about the effects that sport could have on women undergraduates increased—especially in light of its potential to both harm and masculinise participants.[52]  

In comparison to their male counterparts, who had free reign across the College’s sporting facilities, including its sports pavilion, sporting fields and swimming baths, women found their leisure time limited to specific sporting apparatus, events and days.     

Authorities feared that women could not endure the physical strains of competitive sport and so discouraged their over-exertion. To prevent them from becoming exhausted, College authorities introduced less strenuous forms of exercise for its women undergraduates. This is best illustrated by the College’s athletic sports day in 1934.[53]  While male students participated in middle-distance running events, such as the 880-yard sprint and three-mile race, the authorities only permitted women to run up to 440 yards.[54] Prescribed sporting activities, which supposedly aligned more closely to their feminine capabilities, women found that instead of discus they threw cricket balls and whereas men participated in the 120-yard hurdle, they partook in either the ‘flower pot race’ or the ‘potato race’. During these events, women would either compete whilst standing on flower pots, or would race to collect as many potatoes as possible before reaching the finishing line.[55]  

Key events in both summer fetes and schools throughout this period, the strength and endurance needed to complete these races was minimal and deemed appropriate for the delicate, feminine physique.[56]  Furthermore, with contemporaries believing that athleticism and femininity were incompatible, such minor activities removed the possibility of women becoming unattractive to the opposite sex. In order to be future wives and mothers, women needed to protect their frames and avoid developing muscular strength—an attribute commonly associated with both masculinity and toughness.[57]

Protecting a woman’s decency also resulted in further gender-specific rules that regulated space and prevented mixed interactions. Swansea’s women undergraduates could not use the pavilion’s facilities, especially the swimming bath, at the same time as their male counterparts, but only within the restricted hours of Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings.[58] From its inception, authorities further banned mixed sporting events and teams at the College. While men participated in rugby, soccer and boxing tournaments, women were often isolated to just ‘Ladies’ hockey and netball matches.

In terms of the organisation of inter-varsity sports at the College, authorities further encouraged its ‘ladies’ teams to join the Women's Inter-Varsity Athletic Board (WIVAB). Set-up in 1922, women students at Swansea joined in 1925 and participated in netball, hockey, swimming, and lawn tennis, alongside representatives from Bangor, Reading, Durham, Exeter, London, Southampton and Edinburgh.[59]  

Participation in these sporting events often emphasised rather than undermined female modesty. For example, as seen in the figure above, women’s kits fully covered the body via tunics, divided skirts, leggings and high-top boots. The feminine nature of this kit further prevented the de-sexing of the women, because it avoided garments traditionally associated with men’s sports, such as trousers or shorts.[60]  Overall, for College authorities, this lack of mixed-gender interaction alongside sport’s continued safeguarding of women’s feminine qualities was of the upmost importance; it continued to protect their domestic character even when they were not on site or under the watchful eye of Wilkinson.[61] 


Societal expectations surrounding women’s education, and its promotion of attitudes of mind seen as appropriate for future wives and mothers, defined how women experienced their time at Swansea. Although they had equal access to the many intellectual opportunities that accompanied undertaking a university degree, women found their experiences of student life more reminiscent to those made at their family home.

Beck Hall was intentionally structured to resemble home, with its ‘surrogate’ mother, lessons in household management and paternalistic regulations. Familiar, domestic refinements consistently dictated how Beckian women acted around, and interacted with, the opposite sex.

Across the site predetermined spaces and gendered regulations further ‘forbade’ women’s involvement in areas of student life that threatened their ‘domesticated’ nature—the hijinks of the rag, the rough and tumble of the men’s common room, and the strenuous exercise associated with men’s sport. This acknowledgement of the College’s attempt to both control and segregate women’s lives is important, because it highlights how their entry into education cannot be perceived as only a story of acceptance and assimilation. Rather, as this essay has demonstrated, despite the College’s charter, the experience of women at the College included episodes of restriction, conservatism and the adherence to ‘traditional’ gender boundaries.

However, this is not to suggest that when looking at Swansea’s history, across the whole of the twentieth century, that women conformed to or welcomed the authorities’ restrictions. Accounts testify to a student life that included forms of companionship that often ignored the site’s tedious restrictions. Women took time off to visit the Gower and its beaches, attended matches at St Helens, and enjoyed the locality’s attractions—alongside their male counterparts. While gendered regulations remained a mainstay of student life, with mandatory ‘envelope ends’ continuing into the late 1940s, women found ways to publicly challenge the paternal nature of the College.

Beck Hall became a place of protest from the post-war period onwards, and women clashed with the patriarchal prudery of its warden—demanding the removal of set visiting times, chaperonage and guest books for entry and exit. With their actions culminating in 1970, Beckian women successfully rallied 2,000 students against the hall’s disciplinary regulations and moved one step closer to experiencing the gender-inclusive community that students witness today at Swansea.[62]

Dr. Jay Rees recently completed her PhD in History at Swansea University. Her thesis examined student life at the institution from 1920 to 1990. A historian, specialising in higher education, everyday living, gender and post-war history, her passions have seen her write about major societal themes throughout the twentieth century—including youth culture, war and student activism.




[1] Jay Rees, ‘Student Life at Swansea University, 1920-1990’ (unpublished thesis, Swansea University, 2020).  

[2] Cynthia V Burek, ‘Emily Dix, Palaeobotanist- A Promising Career Cut Short’, Geology Today, 21 (2005), pp. 144- 5.  

[3] Eirlys Mair Barker and Philip Henry Jones, Marian Phillips (1916-2013)-Peacetime Student and Wartime Lecturer (2019), <> [accessed 9 July 2020].  

[4] See: Barker and Jones, Marian Phillips (1916-2013).  

[5] C. Myers, University Coeducation in the Victorian Era (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 2-3.

[6] Rees, p. 73.  

[7] Rees, Ch. 1.  

[8] Information collected from University College of Swansea’s Annual Reports between the years 1920-1939.  

[9] Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Women in Twentieth-Century Britain: Social, Cultural and Political Change (London: Routledge, 2001), p. 121.  

[10] Christina de Bellaigue, Educating Women: Schooling and Identity in England and France, 1800-1867 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 161;Jane McDermid, ‘Women and Education’, in Women’s History: Britain, 1850-1945: An Introduction, ed by. Jane McDermid (London: UCL Press, 1995), p. 95.  

[11] Cornelie Usborne, ‘Pregnancy is the Woman’s Active Service’, in The Upheaval of War: Family, Work and Welfare in Europe 1914-1918, ed. by Richard Wall and Jay Winter (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 396; Jane McDermid, The Schooling of Girls in Britain and Ireland, 1800-1900 (London: Routledge, 2012), p. 99.  

[12] Richard Burton Archives (RBA), University College of Swansea Registrar Correspondence, Regulations of Students 1926-27, UNI/SU/AS/2/1/96.  

[13] Barker and Jones, Marian Phillips (1916-2013).  

[14] Rees, p. 77.  

[15] Gillian McClelland and Diana Hadden, Pioneering Women: Riddel Hall and Queen’s University Belfast (Belfast: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2005), p. 9;   Andrea K. Tange, Architectural Identities: Domesticity, Literature and Victorian Middle Classes (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010), p. 29.  

[16] For further discussions on the built environment and the material culture of women’s halls of residences see: Jane Hamlett, ‘Nicely Feminine, Yet Learned’: Student Rooms at Royal Holloway and the Oxford and Cambridge Colleges in Late Nineteenth-Century Britain’, Women’s History Review, 15 (2006), pp. 137-161.  

[17] RBA, University College of Swansea Registrar Correspondence, Letter from Miss Mary Wilkinson dated 21 May 1927, UNI/SU/AS/2/1/96.  

[18] RBA, University College of Swansea Registrar Correspondence, Letter from Miss Mary Wilkinson dated 21 May 1927, UNI/SU/AS/2/1/96;Rees, p. 78.  

[19] Elizabeth Edwards, Women in Teacher Training Colleges, 1900-1960 (London: Routledge, 2001), p. 34.  

[20] RBA, Report of the Warden of Beck Hall to the Hostels Committee, 15 January 1929, UNI/SU/ACM/3/2/1/9.  

[21] Dawn, Lent Term, 1926, p. 52. For oral testimonies relating to this sentiment occurring in the post-war period, see: Sam Blaxland, Swansea University: Campus and Community in a Post-war World, 1945-2020 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2020).  

[22] The first warden of Beck Hall was Mrs Elsie Mathias (1923-26).  

[23] RBA, University College of Swansea Registrar Correspondence, Letter from Miss Mary Wilkinson dated 21 May 1927, UNI/SU/AS/2/1/96; University College of Swansea Registrar Correspondence, Mrs Wilkinson Application Letter for Beck Hall, UNI/SU/AS/2/1/84; Rees, p. 79.  

[24] Sail Alumni Magazine, Brenda Dawson (2019), < English.pdf> [accessed: 19 June 2020].  

[25] Carol Dyhouse, ‘The British Federation of University Women and the Status of Women in Universities 1907- 1939’, Women’s History Review, 12 (2003), pp. 470-1.  

[26] Dawn, June 1934.  

[27] RBA, University College of Swansea Registrar Correspondence, Beck Hall Regulations for Students Session 1926-27, UNI/SU/AS/2/1/96; Rees, p. 84; Barker and Jones, Marian Phillips (1916-2013).  

[28] RBA, University College of Swansea Registrar Correspondence, Beck Hall Dietary, UNI/SU/AS/2/1/111.  

[29] Throughout this period, the hall did provide academic talks from female scholars. In 1929, for example, the warden organised a talk by Dr Catharine Morris Jones on ‘Home Nursing’. See: RBA, Report of the Warden of Beck Hall to the Hostels Committee, 2 November 1927, UNI/SU/ACM/3/2/1/8.  

[30] Rees, p. 74.  

[31] Rees, pp. 82-3.  

[32] Ibid.  

[33] Dawn, May 1933, p. 74.  

[34] RBA, University College of Swansea Senate Minutes 1924-1925, 4 February 1925, UNI/SU/ACM/4/1/1/4; Rees, p. 84.  

[35] Glanmor Williams, Glanmor Williams: A Life (Cardiff: university of Wales Press, 2002), p. 85.  

[36] RBA, Physics Society and Physical and Mathematical Society Minutes 1921-1927, 2 June 1921, 2014/20 (uncatalogued material).  

[37] Appendix 3, Rees, p. 286.  

[38] The Cambria Daily Leader, 15 November 1920.  

[39] Emily Rutherford, Rag Drag and Early Twentieth Century Undergraduate Masculinities (2018), < masculinities/> [accessed 19 June 2020].  

[40] Georgina Brewis, A Social History of Student Volunteering: Britain and Beyond, 1880-1980 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), p. 20.  

[41] RBA, University College of Swansea Student Union Minutes, 1928-1937, UNI/550/1/1/1.  

[42] Carol Dyhouse, Students: A Gendered History (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 189.  

[43] Brewis, p. 84.  

[44] Dawn, Michaelmas Term 1927-28, p. 13.  

[45] Dawn, Michaelmas Term 1927-28, p.7; Dawn, Michaelmas Term 1927-28, p. 13  

[46] Ay-Yah!, October 1931, p. 29.  

[47] Dawn, Michaelmas Term 1927-28, p.7  

[48] Rutherford, Rag Drag and Early Twentieth Century Undergraduate Masculinities.  

[49] RBA, University College of Swansea Registrar Correspondence, Letter dated 25 September 1929, UNI/SU/AS/2/1/25.  

[50] Ay-Yah!, October 1929, p. 38.  

[51] Rees, p. 86.  

[52] University Grants Committee, Report for the Academic Year 1923-24 (London: HMSO, 1925), p. 24; Jennifer A. Hargreaves, ‘Playing like gentlemen while behaving like ladies: contradictory features of the formative years of women’s sport’, British Journal of Sports History II, 2 (1985), pp. 40-52.  

[53] Dawn, June 1934, p. 77.  

[54] Ibid.  

[55] Ibid.  

[56] Carol Dyhouse, Girl Trouble: Panic and Progress in the History of Young Women (London: Zeb Books Ltd, 213), p. 92.  

[57] Ibid

[58] RBA, University College of Swansea Registrar Correspondence, Letter addressed to Registrar from SUC Vice President, Dilys Jenkins, dated 14 March 1939, UNI/SU/AS/2/1/261.  

[59] Lynne Robinson, ‘Tripping Daintily into the Arena": A Social History of English Women's Athletics 1921-1960’ (unpublished thesis, Warwick University, 1996), p. 74.  

[60] Jennifer Hargraves, Heroines of Sport: The Politics of Difference and Identity (London: Routledge, 2000), pp. 141-2.  

[61] Rees, pp. 88-9.  

[62] Rees, pp. 259-60.

Image Credits

Figure 1: Women students at Beck Hall, Swansea University. Image: Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University.

Figure 2: Beck Hall as it stands today, now Beck House, Image: Swansea University Flickr

Figure 3: Cartoon regarding Beck Hall’s discipline under the watchful eye of its warden, Mary Wilkinson, in Dawn, June 1934.  Image: Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University.

Figure 4: RAG parade 1920's, predominantly a male event. Image: Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University

Figure 5: Swansea University Ladies Hockey Team. Image: Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University.