Supplement staff 1971

This photo (from the OED archives, dated 3 August 1971) appeared in OUP’s Record (OUP’s house journal) with the caption ‘A Lexicographical Line-up’.

Left to right, back row: L. B. Firnberg, Deirdre McKenna, Deborah Cowen (later Deborah Honoré), Joyce Harley, Jelly Williams, Frances Williams, Anne Wallace-Hadrill, Joan Blackler, Peggy Kay, Michael Grose; front row: Veronica Salusbury, Julian Barnes, Sandra Raphael, Tony Augarde, R. W. Burchfield, Alan Hughes, Elizabeth Brommer, Eric Dann, William (‘Bill’) Waterfield.

Julian Barnes, the novelist, worked on the Supplement from 1969-72 after reading for a degree in Modern Languages at Magdalen College, Oxford. Years later he published a short story which featured a meticulous lexicographer bleakly correcting the Supplement proofs (see ‘Evermore’ in Barnes’s collection Cross Channel (London: Cape, 1996); Brewer 2007b: 174; 290 n. 63).

Many thanks to Tony Augarde (1936-2017) – subsequently a journalist, author, and broadcaster – for supplying first names, and reporting that ‘William Waterfield was told off for spoiling the photo by deliberately slumping’. In the photo’s original place of publication, names were specified in the formal manner of the day, with initials preferred to first names and with women’s marital status indicated by the presence or absence of ‘(Mrs)’.

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