Joyce Pickard, Peace Campaigner

Joyce Pickard (1921- 2017), Quaker, peace campaigner, and educator, was born in Derby in 1921, and educated at the University of London Westfield College, taking a modern language degree and then a teaching certificate.

She moved to York when she was appointed head teacher at the Mount School in 1960, the youngest ever, and she stayed in post until 1977. She remained in York for the rest of her life.

One of the founder members of the York Interfaith Group, and founder member of the North Yorkshire branch of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, she was also a legendary peace campaigner. She was one of the Quakers who set up and volunteered at the Peace Centre when it was based in York. Present at several of the Peace Camps around the UK, she also participated in numerous protests against inequality here in York.

Known for riding her bicycle across the city with small posters attached to the back carrying messages such as ‘Ban the Bomb’, she was made an Honorary Freeman of the City in 2007. Her belief was succinctly expressed in the quote:

“Do you want a just society? Then you must help to create it. Don’t leave it to the politicians!”


Profile, The York Press, 2012; Material from Friargate Meeting House, York, including personal recollections of Barbara Windle. Thank you also to Dee Boyle and Andrew Hill.
Image credit: © The Press, York