Judith Todd (1941-1956)
I was the third generation of the Todd family to attend Bolton School, along with four cousins. I entered Beech House aged just four, the Junior School at eight and the Senior School at eleven. I took A Levels after two years in the Sixth Form and won a Bolton and a state scholarship, stayed on an extra third year as Head Girl and won the Lady Lever Scholarship.
I left to attend King’s College London to read Law and got a 2:1 and after a further six months passed the Bar Finals as second in the country and was called by Gray’s Inn.
I joined ICI, initially in the personnel department, but after 18 months was transferred to the central legal department in London. It had three sections: conveyancing, litigation and general. I was in the latter, doing international company work – mergers, joint ventures, disposals, technology transfer, anti-trust, employment law, financing and stock market listing. My main overseas areas were the sub-continent, Far East, especially Japan, East and South Africa, but also included Australia, USA, Brazil and Iran.
I retired early after more than 30 years with the company, at which point I was the most senior female employee. I retired to the house I had already bought in the Lake District.
After retirement I was a School Governor for six and a half years – just after Tony Blair had abolished the Assisted Places Scheme; on the Committee of the local NADFAS for nine and a half years; on the Golf Club Ladies Committee for three years and trustee of a local charity since 1998 of which I am now Chairman. I am also on the local PCC.
My voluntary activities were interrupted by several cancers and consequent surgery and treatments, but, having got a taste for foreign travel when I was working, I still go on foreign holidays and I still play golf.
My fondest memory of School is the friends I made and still have. The two teachers to whom I feel most gratitude are Miss Drury (Head of Beech House) and Miss Varley (Head of the Senior School).
School was an academic hothouse when I was there, but I enjoyed it. We had to work hard, but also play games and support local charities. We learned how to conduct meetings as chairman, secretary or speaker, how to take minutes and write reports, all valuable in later life.
I would advise students now to work hard, but to have outside activities, not to expect the world to owe them a living, but to be prepared to start at the bottom and work their way up, however good their qualifications.
I wholeheartedly endorse the School’s 100 Campaign, to re-establish the open access from which my generation benefited.