Allison Ernest Shaw was born on 10 May 1863 in Newnham, Cambridge, his father being a printer. He was appointed under porter at Emmanuel College in 1887, when he was living at 28 Earl Street (very close to the College) with his first wife Isabella; by 1891 he was gate porter and by 1893 head porter. In 1891-93 he was also a University constable. His salary rose from £40 in 1887 to £252 12s in 1928. By 1904 he was living at 27 Clarendon Street and from 1930 to his death at 40 Eltisley Avenue in Newnham Croft.
At his retirement in 1930 after 43 years’ service to the College, he was described as ‘An extremely efficient servant who never spared himself and who set a high standard of duty done for his successors to emulate.’ Known for his uncanny memory of students, it was said that ‘when years after they would come back … with older faces and perhaps more spherical shapes, few if any could say that Allison had forgotten them’.
By 1926 he owned two houses in Cam Road that he sold c 1928. When he died on 3 May 1931 in Addenbrookes Hospital, he left the substantial sum of £4,515. His widow, Edith, aged 55, was granted an annuity of £20 from the College.
Lat Lon : n/a
Parish : Holy Trinity
Rachel Wroth, “Emmanuel College Servants in the 19th Century” (2001, typescript in College Archives)
Spalding Cambridge Street Directory
By Amanda Goode, Archivist, Emmanuel College (with Ian Bent)