Moyra Johnson (1915 – 2009) said that she “grew up a bit of a tomboy. I could drive before I was 17, and other girls’ mothers told them not to mix with me because I was a hooligan”.
Her father was a gun maker who was made a freeman of the City of York, a title she inherited when she became a freeman in 1981 shortly after City of York Council agreed to reinstate the admission of women.
As well as being involved in the Gild of Freeman for many years Mrs Johnson was also a keen glider pilot, having learned to fly in a home-made aircraft off Sutton Bank, before the Second World War.
“I was 20 years old when I got my glider licence. I was so competitive and it meant I didn’t want to be beaten by the boys. I can still fly in two-seaters now and I still get a thrill out of it. It’s a good life and it’s really exciting to be up there in a glider.”
As president of Yorkshire Gliding Club, and at the age of 93, she was still inspiring others, taking to the skies to mark the 75th anniversary of glider flights at Sutton Bank.
Sources: York Press, British Gliding Association