Rosie Cord-Udy


As a schoolgirl, I struggled with English, but my headmistress supported me to achieve university entry, where I was the only female student in my classes. One day, at one of my architecture lectures, the lecturer George Parker asked why I always sat with my head bowed in his classes. It was because I was taking down his lectures in shorthand.

He offered me a job, and I worked doing drawings, typing specifications and working on perspectives for him until I was married — he said, we don’t want you to leave, and in those days, married women usually did. So I worked for him from home. Essentially, I did all the work and study of an architect, though I never actually sat the exam.