Iris Lemare, Composer

Lemare, Iris Margaret Elsie (1902–1997) was the first professional British woman conductor, and also a keen supporter of the music of British composers. She was the first woman to conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra (in 1936, and 1937) – which caused a stir in the press. Educated at the Royal College of Music, she attended […]

Enid Ord, Teacher, Community Volunteer

‘A kind-hearted retired teacher well known in York for teaching generations of families in Clifton and Rawcliffe, and for her voluntary work to help others‘ (York Press) Enid Marie Ord (nee Raine) was born in Burton Stone Lane, York on 28 January 1926. When Enid was a child the family moved to Bakewell in Derbyshire where her father was headmaster of a local school.  After leaving school she worked […]

Violet Cannon, Chief Executive, York Travellers Trust

Violet (1979 -) was born into a traditional Gypsy Family, living roadside in Yorkshire until a change in the law made that increasingly difficult. She has held senior roles within Gypsy Traveller Projects for over 14 years and became CEO of York Traveller’s trust in 2018. In Violet’s own words:  “I want to fight for […]

Doreen Bolton, Publican

Doreen Bolton (1910-1996) was landlady of the Royal Oak, Goodramgate from 1938 until 1950, and claimed to be the youngest landlady in Yorkshire at the time. A member of the Gretton family of publicans, her grandmother held a licence in the 1910s, the Barrack Tavern in her husband’s name (as was customary then) and Ye […]

Lisa Kelly, York LGBT Forum

Lisa Kelly is a transgender woman. She started life as Dave, growing up in a small Yorkshire town in the 1970s and 80s, and faced bullying throughout her childhood and at school: “I knew was not male, I did not fit in”. She eventually moved away to escape the bullying and started her new life […]

Lauren Winfield, Cricketer

Lauren Winfield (1990 – ) is an international cricketer, who currently plays for Yorkshire, Northern Diamonds and England. She is a right-handed batter and wicket-keeper.  Winfield was born in York and spent her childhood pursuing her love of sport. She played cricket, football and netball. At the time, there were no women’s or girls’ teams nearby, so Winfield played boys’ and men’s cricket. Her […]

May Kendall, Writer and Researcher with B.S. Rowntree

May Kendall 4 December (1861 – 1943)  born in Bridlington, the youngest of four children of Rev. James Kendall, a Wesleyan minister and Eliza Goldworth Kendall.  The family moved frequently due to their father’s work but in 1890 when he retired, they settled in York. May remained in York after the deaths of her parents.   From 1887 […]

Helen Crews, Director of Plant and Bee Health

Helen Crews joined the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in December 2014 as Director of Plant and Bee Health after a long career in scientific research and corporate management. After retiring, she was given an OBE for services to Plant and Bee Health and voluntary services to the community in York.  Helen grew up […]

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 […]