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I am grateful to Churchill College, Cambridge for appointing me as Archival By-Fellow for the period July – October 2018, and for setting dates which allowed me to pursue my academic career alongside my job as a school teacher. I am also extremely grateful to have been awarded the John Antcliffe Memorial Fund in for my research project concerned with the political career of John Hoskyns.
The majority of my time was spent studying the papers of John Hoskyns. Although Hoskyns’ name is familiar to students of Thatcherism, little scholarly attention has been paid to his papers. It was therefore a rewarding experience to read through documents related to his time spent advising Margaret Thatcher, both in opposition and during her first government.
The Churchill Archive Centre provided the ideal location for this research. Not only did I have access to a first-class library, the immense knowledge of Andrew Riley (Senior Archivist) and the warm hospitality of Allen Packwood (Archives Director), but at the Churchill Archive Centre Hoskyns’ papers could be set alongside the papers of several other prominent figures, most notably Thatcher herself. This allowed Hoskyns’ papers to be set in context, enabling an assessment of the extent of Hoskyns’ political influence, Thatcher’s relationship with her advisers, and Thatcher’s approach to strategic leadership. Being based in College also offered me the opportunity to meet other Fellows, notably Dr. Peter Sloman, whose expertise and advice were most useful.
The By-Fellowship has provided me with the opportunity to continue my academic career, a wonderfully stimulating experience, new friendships, and the basis for an forthcoming article on John Hoskyns. I look forward to returning to Churchill Archives Centre in order to complete my current research projects, and to begin future work.
— Tom Hurst, Archives By-Fellow
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