Sue Sykes, Musician and Band Conductor

Sue’s dad was a lorry driver and her mum a cleaner. Her father was a POW in Poland for three and a half years having been captured after Dunkirk. In the camp her father began an education programme and found he was able to absorb information at a high level. This opened up a world […]

Alison Owbridge, Bus Driver

In 2014 Alison was hailed as the country’s top female bus driver. She started working in the bus industry in York in 1988. The bus driver contest involved about 120 drivers from across the UK, who had each been successful in local competitions to claim their place at the finals. Competitors were tested on all […]

Joan Maw, Air Raid Warden

On the 28th October 1940 the Luftwaffe bombed the city of York. The A.R.P. report of this raid states that Miss Joan Maw of No.41 Elmfield Avenue was commended for ‘special comment’. Census records of 1939 show that Joan Maw was only 19 years old at the time of this raid. She was living with […]

Haleh Afshar, Crossbench Peer

Haleh Afshar (BA York, PhD University of Cambridge) teaches Politics and Women’s Studies at the University of York and serves as a Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords. In 2005 she was awarded an OBE for services to equal opportunities. She was born and raised in Iran where she worked as a journalist and […]

Florence Umpleby, Teacher

Florence was the Spinster daughter of Thomas, a Railway Porter, and Ann Umpleby of 214 Burton Stone Lane, York. She was an Assistant Mistress at Shipton Street Council School where she had been employed for nearly twenty years and had gained a reputation as a very capable and painstaking teacher. Her sister, Mabel, was a […]

Plummer Sisters, Milliners

The two Plummer daughters bearing the business name, Emma, born 1856 and Alexandra Annie, born 1864 were set up in their millinery business by their family. They had two millinery shops in York, one in Church Street and one in Feasegate. Plummer Sisters Millinery is featured in Kirkgate, the victorian street in the Castle Museum. […]

Rana Nasr, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon

When meeting Miss Nasr, as a patient or interviewer, you are immediately struck by her amazing smile and the calmness about her. You feel safe. As I told her at our interview, this is very important when you know that soon you will be lying unconscious and she will have something very sharp in her […]

Kath Gent, Psychiatric Nurse

Kath Gent (1930 – 2017)  Kath Gent worked her way up the ladder in Nursing and became a pioneer in dementia. She was a bright and intelligent woman with a determined and positive character; Kath was highly principled and generous.  Her family was the centre of Kath’s life. Those close to her respected her and […]

Florence Wright, Education Officer, Castle Museum

Florence Wright (1917 – 1991) was education officer at the Castle Museum and used to give informative, historical talks to groups of schoolchildren about 45 years ago.  She always dressed in grey, had her grey hair in a bun and “was a lovely woman who will always be remembered”.  The former Queen Anne prefect was […]

Margaret Barnet, Doctor, York Public Health Service

Margaret Campbell Barnet (1917 – 2008) was born in Sunderland, daughter of Peter Campbell Barnet and his wife Margaret Bell. Educated first at Sunderland Church High School, she went on to study medicine at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland and was awarded her MB and ChB in 1941.  Margaret began her career in Birmingham working […]