Nicola Spence, Scientist

Professor Nicola Spence Nicola was born into a British forces family, her father being a Royal Airforce Officer. This meant she moved homes and schools every 2-3 years and this was the reason she went to The Mount School, York for her secondary education. Her time at The Mount started a lifelong love of, and […]

Margery Gertrude Willoughby, Headteacher

The photograph of Mill Mount School, York has a special memory for me. I am a chronically too early person and used to stand alone at the pupils’ entrance at the left of the picture. Every morning I heard Miss Willoughby tapping along, I looked down not wanting to have eye-contact. One morning the tapping […]

June Hutt (Ayres), Sportswoman

June Hutt June Hutt (née Ayres) has the gift of unusually good hand-eye coordination; she sees the ball before other people. She also plays the piano and draws (and her grandfather, Arthur, was a concert pianist, music teacher and composer).  As far as June knows, her sporting talent was not inherited from a particular family […]

June Hargreaves, Town Planner and Conservationist

Dr June Hargreaves: Planning Officer, conservationist and history enthusiast It was a love of history that prompted June Hargreaves to come to York in 1961 as a Senior Planning Officer. Later, she became Assistant City Planning Officer, responsible for Development Control and Conservation. Born in 1937 she grew up in Cowling, West Yorkshire and, after attending […]

Kate Atkinson, Novelist

Kate Atkinson was born on 20 December 1951) and raised in York; an only child of shopkeepers (pharmaceutical supplies – as in Behind the Scenes at the Museum). Keen that she should have the life chances he lacked, her father sent her to a fee-paying school in York. Passing the 11-plus earned her a place […]

Elizabeth Hartley, Archaeologist

Elizabeth Grayson Hartley (1947 – 2018) As the first ever-Keeper of Archaeology at the Yorkshire Museum, Elizabeth held a key role in the City of York. She had responsibility for possibly the largest and best collection of Roman-British antiquities outside of London and for the Yorkshire Museum’s vast archaeological collection drawn from the City of […]

Harriet Fawcett, Politician and Trade Unionist

Harriet Fawcett (1881-1930) Harriet was born in 1881 to John and Harriet Turton at Birkin near Pontefract in South Yorkshire. She was one of six children. John was an agricultural labourer. In 1901 Harriet was living in Hunslet, Leeds and working as a shop keepers assistant. She married Fred Albert Fawcett in 1906 in York […]

Sally Arnup, Sculptor

Sally Arnup (1930-2015) Sally Arnup was one of the world’s leading animal sculptors.She was born and brought up in Surrey. She remembered being handed a piece of clay at her Montessori School when she was about two and a half and enjoying the feel of it between her fingers. By the age of five, she […]

Canon Linda Ali, York Minster

Linda Ali, born in Trinidad and Tobago, travelled to Britain in 1961 to study Beauty Therapy and Electrolysis. As a result of sustained discrimination, she decided to follow a different career path in Trade Marks management working in the City of London for over 30 years. After a personal tragedy, Linda embraced education as her […]

Elaine Ruth Barlow, Royal Observer Corps

Elaine (b.1925) was the third daughter of Daisy and Wilfred Williams who owned Eborcraft, a cabinet making company in Huntington (now based outside York). At the outbreak of War in 1939, they were living on Meadowfields, Huntington. Elaine left school at 14 and was apprenticed as a seamstress, and this is what she was doing […]