Bristol University - Special Collections - Online Archive
Library home | Special Collections | Online Archive Catalogue | Search | Browse

Online Archive

Repository University of Bristol Library Special Collections
Level Collection
Ref No DM2701
Title Papers of Miss Margaret Leach M.B.E.
Date 1918-1991
Extent 4 archive boxes and 1 envelope
Description This collection includes the personal papers and diaries of Margaret Leach (30 April 1907-1991, Hornsey, London), O.B.E., F.I.H.E.C. and her mother Ida Leach.

Margaret took National Diploma in Poultry Husbandry at Midland Agricultural College before taking a two-year course at the National Training College of Domestic Science in London. Having worked as Home Service Advisor for the Electricity Board in Bedford she then obtained a job at RDE Scientific, attaining a senior role in Leicester before being appointed to Long Ashton Research Station, part of the University of Bristol.
At Long Ashton she was head of 'Food Science', encouraging understanding of scientific principles enabling people to preserve, cook and keep foods to high standards of safety. In addition, she ran popular courses across England and Ireland for teachers and for the judging of cookery and preserves. She also produced booklets and leaflets, as well as Bulletin 21, the 'bible' for food preservation. She was also involved in the early development of frozen food and freezing techniques as well as being running and advising courses for the Women's Institute.
She retired from Long Ashton but was called back in her late 60s, before finally retiring. She became a member and representative of the South West Branch of the Institute of Home Economics. In 1967 she was awarded an M.B.E. in recognition of her contribution toward food science.
Margaret was also a dedicated member of the Women's Institute, Avon Federation.

Margaret kept a diary for almost every year of her life, which are held in this collection as well as additional photographs and documents relating to Margaret.
This collection also holds some diaries of her mother, Ida Leach, with whom she lived for most of her life. This collection also contains letters between Ida Leach and Major Thomas Leach, her son and Margaret's brother, sent to Ida from Africa where Thomas was in military service. Ida kept these letters preserved and in order.

This collection will be of use to those interested in the history of food science and rural food production, particularly throughout WWII and the following decades.
In addition, Thomas Leach's correspondence will be of use to those interested in British colonialism in Africa during and after WWII, the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and British Veterinary care abroad, animal care and tropical medicine.

BOX 1
The yearly diaries of Margaret Leach, including household expenses, addresses etc.
1918-1958
Groupings by date refer to bundles of items
1918, 1919 complete. Both Charles Lett's school-girl's diary'. 1918 includes details of air raid warnings
1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925. All 'Charles Lett's school-girl's diary'. 1920 is fragile with some loose pages, 1921 has some loose sheets
1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929. 1929 has 1 loose sheet
1930, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939. 1932 diary complete until 12 Feb, 1 loose sheet. No diary 1933
1940, 1941, 1942, 1943 complete
1944, 1945, 1946, 1947 complete
1948, 1949 complete
1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954 complete

The yearly diaries of Ida Leach, 1959-1965
1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, mainly filled

BOX 2
The yearly diaries of Margaret Leach, including household expenses, addresses etc.
1955-1990
Groupings by date refer to bundles of items
1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959 complete
1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964 complete
1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969 complete
1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974 complete
1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 complete
1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 complete
1986, 1987 complete. Two 1988 diaries partly unfilled
1989. Two 1990 diaries partly unfilled
1965 Good Housekeeping Diary and Account book

BOX 3
Bundle 1
1946
Detailed correspondence to Ida Leach, Leicester, from her son and Margaret's brother, Major Thomas Leach, R.A., Asmara, Eritrea
Concerning military service in Eritrea and surrounding countries, his wife, Cecile, who was also employed by the military, family life, veterinary service and science in Kenya
Handwritten and typescript
Includes postcards, letters and envelopes, telegrams, photographs
These letters were ordered by Ida Leach and should be kept as such

Bundle 2
1942-4
Detailed correspondence to Thomas Leach and Ida Leach, the parents of Major Thomas Leach and Margaret Leach. From Major Thomas Leach, Royal Veterinary College, Berkshire and Veterinary Hospital, Doncaster and various locations as part of the Middle East Forces
Concerning finances, working for the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, family life, military service in the Middle East Forces, politics
Handwritten and typescript
Includes letters and telegrams
These letters were ordered by Ida Leach and should be kept as such

Bundle 3
1952
Detailed correspondence to Ida and Margaret Leach, Leicester and Dorking, Surrey from Major Thomas Leach, Khartoum, Sudan
Concerning journey to Sudan via Malta, British society in Sudan, Major Leach's wife, Cecile, Sudanese officials, political situation, serving in the veterinary hospital, his sons, Rodger and Anthony
Handwritten
These letters were ordered by Ida Leach and should be kept as such

Bundle 4
1956
Detailed letters to Ida Leach and Margaret Leach, Leicester, and Dorking, Surrey from Major Thomas Leach, Khartoum, Sudan
Concerning his children, Rodger and Anthony, politics and British society in Sudan, British military in Sudan
Contains photographs, children's letters and drawings
Handwritten and typescript with envelopes
These letters were ordered by Ida Leach and should be kept as such

Bundle 5
1958
Detailed letters to Ida Leach and Margaret Leach, Leicester and Dorking, Surrey, from Major Thomas Leach, Kaduna, Nigeria. Letters addressed to Margaret Leach at Long Ashton Research Centre, Bristol
Concerning his children, Rodger and Anthony, politics and British society in Sudan, British military in Sudan
Handwritten and typescript
These letters were ordered by Ida Leach and should be kept as such

Bundle 6
1952-1959
Detailed letters to Ida Leach and Margaret Leach, Leicester, Dorking, and Bristol, from Major Thomas Leach, Khartoum, Sudan and Royal Veterinary College, Berkshire
Handwritten and typescript
Include telegrams, children's drawings, house plans and plans of Kaduna, Nigeria
These letters were ordered by Ida Leach and should be kept as such

Bundle 7
1942-45
Correspondence to Ida Leach and Thomas Leach (senior), London, from Major Thomas Leach and his wife Cecile, Asmara, Eritrea. Also includes letters from military hospital in Eritrea on Thomas' illness, possibly with typhoid
Concerning, boat journey from Eritrea to the U.K., life in the Middle East Forces, Palestine, injury and illness (letter 72), the death of Thomas Leach Senior
Handwritten and typescript. Includes telegrams
These letters were ordered by Ida Leach and should be kept as such

Bundle 8
1945-1957
Detailed letters to Ida and Margaret Leach, Leicester from Major Thomas Leach, Veterinary Division, Ministry of Animal Health and Forestry, Kanduna, Nigeria and Khartoum, Sudan
Concerning, the politics, pharmaceutical testing, Egypt, his children, Anthony, Rodger and Martin, social life
Handwritten and typescript

BOX 4
Envelope 1
1917-1990
Photographs of Margaret Leach, family, friends and colleagues at Long Ashton Research Station
Includes postcards, photographs and negatives

Envelope 2
1950-1983
9 newspaper cuttings of articles mentioning Margaret Leach, in no order
Concerning career and time as part of Women's Institute
From the South Avon Mercury, North Somerset Mercury, Leicester Advertiser, Bristol Evening Post, Clevedon Mercury
Includes black and white photographs

Bound manuscript, 'The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, 1957'.
Contains:
Letter, [1967], to Miss Margaret Leach M.B.E. from Registrar of the Order of the British Empire. Asking for contributions toward providing a Chapel for the Order in the Crypt of St. Pauls' Cathedral
Letter, [1967], to Miss Margaret Leach M.B.E. from General Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, St James' Palace. Transmitting Warrant of Appointment
Envelope marked, 'On her Majesty's Service' 4th May 1967, containing page of the Evening Post, Thursday 9th November 1967: Features column, Blackboy's Diary
Letter, May 3 1967, to Miss Margaret Leach from Michael Halls, 10 Downing Street. Notifying Leach of intention to submit name for honours, asking for confirmation this would be welcome. Also includes memorandum requesting quick reply.
Note, [n.d.]: Information on the Chapel of the Order of the British Empire, October (to accompany above letter)
Letter, 12 October 1967, from C.H. [Colquhoun], Secretary, Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood to Miss Margaret Leach, MBE. Requesting attendance at Investiture, Buckingham Palace, 9 Nov 1967
Receipt, 19 October 1967: 1 pound received from Miss Margaret Leach M.B.E. on account of the Fund of the Chapel of the Order of the British Empire

2 certificates, 1938, rolled up paper
Margaret Leach, Certificate in Housecraft, from The Northern Polytechnic, Holloway, London, N7. First Class, March 1938
Margaret Leach, Certificate in Cookery from The Northern Polytechnic, Holloway, London, N7. First Class, summer 1938

Roll of certificates, photograph and Diploma in Veterinary State Medicine papers:
Examination papers for Diploma in Veterinary State Medicine, Veterinary Bacteriology and Protozoology; Epizootiology, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, 15 March, 7-8 June 1949. 5 pages
Photograph of Long Ashton Research Station Staff, July 1967, Black and White
Diploma in poultry keeping awarded to Margaret Leach, with distinction, from Midland Agricultural and Dairy College, Sutton Bonington, Loughborough and Kingston, Derby, 1924-1926. 2 pages.

Folder
Margaret Leach's school certificate and London University Matriculation. 2 documents inside small red pouch with 'University of London' written on the outside:
School certificate from Hornsey High School, June 1925, with credit in 8 subjects
Certificate presented to Margaret Leach by Bristol University at her retirement, 1958-31 of June 1972. Contains names of her colleagues
Card from the Avon Federation of Women's Institutes congratulating on being at the executive commemorative dinner to mark the 10th anniversary of A.F.W.I. Signed by members, list on back of all who attended
Letter from Margaret Leach, London, to her Father, Thomas Leach, 6 Dec 1917. Letter written by 10-year-old Margaret recounting air raids overnight. 2 sheets
Note from colleagues at Electricity House on Margaret Leach's leaving. 1 sheet
Letter from Mrs Pauline Horrigan FIHEc Chairman, Backwell, Bristol to Margaret Leech, 26 Nov 1985. Inviting Margaret to accept a lifetime membership of the Institute of Home Economics
Large card given on the presentation of certificate of life membership of the Institute of Home Economics, 6 December 1985. Signed by Margaret's friends and family
Sheet outlining Margaret Leach's wishes for her funeral, 1985
Copy of death certificate for Margaret Leach, 1991
Copy of the last will and testament of Margaret Leach, 10 Aug 1983, 3 sheets
Note to unknown, from unknown author, probably Thomas Leach, on carrying out the will of Margaret Leach.
Newspaper clipping, [1972], Home Economics, on retirement of Margaret Leach including complimentary slip from magazine
Copy of eulogy for Margaret Leach at memorial service, 22 June 1991
Magazine clipping, September 1991, Backwell Parish Magazine. Margaret Leach, O.B.E. An appreciation.

BOX 5: ENVELOPE
Envelope addressed to Miss Margaret Leach, M.B.E., Bristol
Contains certificate accompanying M.B.E. award. Signed by Elizabeth II, 1962

Catalogued by Ruth Donaldson, September 2018
Access Conditions This material is held off site and needs to ordered a week in advance.

Powered by DServe