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Brummie Women listing

February 11, 2009
  1. Alice Beale(1st President of Birmingham Settlement, Philanthropist)
  2. Alison Hammond (Television Presenter)
  3. Alison Nicholas MBE (Worldclass Golfer)
  4. Ann Jones (Tennis player)
  5. Anne Wood (Founder of Rag Doll Productions)
  6. Barbara Cartland (Novelist)
  7. Bertha Ryland (activist & feminist)
  8. Beryl Foyle (MD of Boxfoldia and 1950s ‘Industrial Tycoon’)
  9. Bessie Rayner Parkes (Poet, Essayist and feminist.  Mother of Hilaire Belloc)
  10. Betty Jackson (Fashion Designer)
  11. Cat Deeley (Television Presenter)
  12. Catherine Hutton (Writer and historian)
  13. Carol Coombes OBE (1st person in UK to be honored for leadership work and top brummie woman)
  14. Catherine O’Flynn (novelist and wit)
  15. Christine McVie (Musician – Fleetwood Mac)
  16. Claire Dowie (writer and performer)
  17. Clare Morrall (Novelist)
  18. Clare Short (Former MP)
  19. Constance Naden (Poet & Philosopher)
  20. Deirdre Figueiredo MBE (Director of Craftspace)
  21. Denise Lewis (Athlete)
  22. Dorian Chan (Deputy Chair of the Wing Wah group of restaurants)
  23. Dorothy Thompson (Historian)
  24. Dorothy Wilson MBE (CEO of mac)
  25. Edith Holden (diarist – The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady)
  26. Edith Willis (Birmingham’s first woman MP)
  27. Edwina Currie (Politician)
  28. Dame Elizabeth Cadbury (philanthropist and wife of George Cadbury)
  29. Elizabeth “Tetty” Porter (wife of Samuel Johnson)
  30. Ellen Pinsent (first woman councillor)
  31. Elnora Ferguson (philanthropist and activist)
  32. Emma Jane Worboise (author)
  33. Estelle Morris (Former MP, politician)
  34. Floozie in the Jacuzzi (The river, public art in Brum city centre)
  35. Gail Troth (Artist)
  36. Georgina Gaskin (Arts & Crafts Jeweller)
  37. Gisela Stuart (MP for Edgbaston Birmingham)
  38. Gladys Morgan (Miss Birmingham 1944 and Hollywood actress)
  39. Gurjeet Bains (Editor of Eastern Media Group, 1st woman chair of the Institute of Asian Businesses)
  40. Gwyneth Fox (linguist and dictionary publisher)
  41. Harriet Martineau (journalist, political economist, abolitionist and life-long feminist.)
  42. Dame Hilda Lloyd (First President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG))
  43. Jamelia (R&B singer)
  44. Jane Bunford (world’s tallest woman at 7’9″)
  45. Jane Sixsmith (International Hockey player)
  46. Jane Webb (gothic novelist)
  47. Janice Connolly (actress, founder of Women & Theatre)
  48. Jasper Carrot’s mum
  49. Jill Knight (Former MP)
  50. Jo Hamilton (Chamber-folk artist)
  51. Joan Armatrading (Singer/Songwriter)
  52. Joan Blaney (trainer, author, social entrepreneur)
  53. Joan Woodward (Psychotherapist, founder of Lone Twin Network)
  54. Judith Cutler (novelist)
  55. Julia Varley (first woman member of the Birmingham Trades Council)
  56. Julie Walters (actress)
  57. Karen Carney (Professional Footballer)
  58. Karren Brady (Former Football Club Manager, Right hand to Sir Alan Sugar)
  59. Kate Bunce (artist)
  60. Kathleen Deyus (author)
  61. Kelly Sotherton (Olympic Athlete)
  62. Lauren Crace (Actress)
  63. Lindsey Davis (author)
  64. Lisa Clayton (Solo yachtswoman)
  65. Liz Light (Founder and company Director of Stage 2 Theatre Company)
  66. Louisa Ryland (philanthropist)
  67. Lucy Davis (actress, Jasper Carrot’s daughter)
  68. Lynne Jones (former Labour-ish MP)
  69. Mandy Rice-Davies
  70. Margery Fry (Prison reformer, magistrate and Hall Warden at Birmingham University)
  71. Maria Harvey (erstwhile Nightingale)
  72. Marie Bethell Beauclerc (First female reporter i.e. Pitman’s shorthand recorder, in England)
  73. Marjorie Brown (The City’s first woman Mayor)
  74. Mary Cutler (longest serving Archers writer 1979- )
  75. Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck (Theologian, abolitionist and theorist)
  76. Mary Showell Rogers (founder of the Ladies Association for the Care of Friendless Girls)
  77. Dr Mary Sturge (2nd Female Dr in Brum, helped establish B’ham Women’s hospital)
  78. Mollie Randle (Established mac)
  79. Natasha Carlish (Bafta Winning Film producer)
  80. Noele Gordon (TV presenter and actress)
  81. Dame Rachel Waterhouse (former chair of Consumer Association, founder chair of the renewed Lunar Society +more)
  82. Rebecca Anderton (paid for St Anne’s Church, Moseley and some bells in St Mary’s Church)
  83. Ruby Turner (Soulful music’s best kept secret)
  84. Rustie Lee (Soulful food’s best kept secret)
  85. Ruth Badger (Business & Sales Consultant and Apprentice Finalist)
  86. Sadie Plant (Author)
  87. Sally Luton (Head of the Arts Council in the WM 1996-2010)
  88. Salma Yaqoob (Leader of the Respect Party, BCC Councillor)
  89. Shabana Mahmood (Labour MP, 1st UK female Muslim MP)
  90. Shazia Mirza (Comedian)
  91. Shefali Oza (TV Anchor person)
  92. Shelia Wright (Former MP, Head of Education when Comps were introduced to the city)
  93. Shirley (OK, she’s technically in Solihull),
  94. Sonia Lannaman (Athlete)
  95. Sue Howell (Watercolour Artist)
  96. Sue Lawley (TV & Radio presenter)
  97. Sue Reeve (Athlete)
  98. Sue Whitehouse (The Darkness Manager, Billboard Band Manager of the year)
  99. Sylvani Merilion (Artist, Co-founded Ikon gallery)
  100. Theresa Stewart (Politician)
  101. Toyah Willcox (Singer, actress and television presenter)
  102. Una White (Subject of public art-work)
  103. We’ve got a fuzz box and we’re gonna use it (pop punk quartet – according to Wikipedia!)
  104. Zena McNally (Singer – Mis-Teeq)
48 Comments leave one →
  1. Ade Awcock permalink
    March 21, 2013 3:22 pm

    No 8 – Dr Beryl Foyle was my step Grandmother !

    • March 21, 2013 5:16 pm

      That’s exciting. Have you got any more information on her? I’d be glad to do a full blog post about her.

      • David permalink
        November 18, 2013 1:32 pm

        Ha ha ha ! Hi Ade ! Jaki – I have a bunch of stuff about Beryl I can pull together for you. Regards, David Warne (Ade’s cousin!). is my address.

  2. Alison Wheatley permalink
    March 12, 2012 8:47 pm

    Kay Alexander…BBC, Radio 4, Midlands Today…also first woman Chair of the Birmingham Assay Office, former Director of the Bham Hippodrome…

    Gloria de Piero…?

  3. Alison Wheatley permalink
    March 12, 2012 8:29 pm

    Jane Suffield, interesting Brummie woman. Check her out on the Connecting Histories website. Interestingly, she coached her nephew for the KES entrance exam in 1900. He passed, and went on to become a fantasy novelist of some fame…JRR Tolkien. I think she deserves some credit for that.

  4. February 22, 2012 6:43 pm

    Sam Porter- first ever female director at the Wesleyan Assurance Society

    • February 22, 2012 7:05 pm

      I’m on it as we speak. Thanks Carol – I was a bit slow adding Sam…

  5. February 22, 2012 6:42 pm

    tell us more about no 93 Jaki?

    • February 22, 2012 8:40 pm

      Is that the biochemist? A friend of mine is the archivist at the King Edwards Foundation. (Please don’t ask me why it has taken me two years to work out she was worth chatting to about this site!!) So, she has given me a good load of names, there’s a head-teacher post in the making. If you follow the link on 93 you get a fair bit of info. I’ll add her to my list for a more detailed post.

  6. Julia permalink
    May 10, 2010 10:05 pm

    Also … Joan Armatrading – for younger readers she is a songer-songer writer guitarist and certainly I name I grew up with: and Archer’s fans should be aghast to realise that we are missing Mary Cutler:

    • May 10, 2010 10:20 pm

      Joan is already there, and I’ve now added Mary Cutler (the 101st to be added) – a huge oversight, thank you. In fact, thank yuo Julia for recommending so many – you sure do know your brimmin!

    • May 10, 2010 10:20 pm

      Joan is already there, and I’ve now added Mary Cutler (the 101st to be added) – a huge oversight, thank you. In fact, thank you Julia for recommending so many – you sure do know your brimmin!

      • Julia permalink
        May 10, 2010 10:34 pm

        Whoops – I was checking by surname, should have remembered you are doing by first name! Thanks for supplying the opportunity Jaki – very interesting exercise.

  7. May 10, 2010 9:36 pm

    How about Deirdre Figueiredo MBE from Craftspace?

    And Sally Luton ex Director of Arts Council in west Midlands?


    • May 10, 2010 9:56 pm

      Deirdre’s covered in an article, but not on the list, I’ll add her:
      Sally’s a good idea.

  8. March 25, 2010 1:44 pm

    Also, talking of Acocks Green, what about famous Arts and Crafts jewellery designer Georgina Gaskin (1862-1928)? (Her work is in the Museum and Art Gallery, examples here.)

    Bonaham’s sold one of her pieces not long ago:

  9. March 25, 2010 1:13 am

    Only just noticed: we’re missing Edith Holden … she grew up in the best suburb in Brum (Acocks Green!!)

    Also, do you want Shelia Wright? (MP for Handsworth (1979-83) Before she was an MP she was a Birmingham councillor (1956-65) and Chair of the Education Committee when comprehensive education was introduced in to Birmingham – a very big thing at the time.

  10. February 19, 2010 1:38 pm

    Jo Hamilton (singer)? She’s in today’s Mail

  11. February 19, 2010 11:57 am

    Beverly Knight?

    • February 19, 2010 12:02 pm

      Thanks Ellie, but she’s from Wolverhapmton, which is a bit of a stretch even for my somewhat relaxed approach. I think I’ve looked at her a few times. If anyone can give me a strong Brummie connection, she’ll be straight in there.

  12. dave5n permalink
    January 31, 2010 7:53 pm

    Yebbut that’s cheating innit.

    Have you got Dr Mollie Barrow – there’s a plaque to her on Braithwaite Road.

    • January 31, 2010 8:58 pm

      I can’t find much about her on the web. All I can find is: “Dr Molly Barrow, physician and welfare rights campaigner” and some connection to the establishment of Sparkbrook Family Centre. I’ll keep looking, but if anyone knows more or finds a website, please let me know.

  13. dave5n permalink
    January 31, 2010 7:24 pm

    How come I am already logged in?

    Anyway, aren’t Christine McVie and Julie Walters Bearwood babes? And from over the border?

    • January 31, 2010 7:36 pm

      We’re working on increasing the number not decreasing Dave! Besides, I’m happy to claim them, they’re too close to count.

  14. Keith Bracey permalink
    January 30, 2010 11:48 am

    I thought I would suggest 3 Birmingham women who have made a great contibution to the world of sport.

    International athlete and Birchfield Harrier Kelly Sotherton who was a 2004 Olympic bronze medallist in the Hepatatlon, and a 2006 Commonwealth gold medallist in the same event in Melbourne. I think Kelly used to live in Bearwood where I hail from.

    Just up the road from Bearwood is Harborne, where Alison Nicholas is captain at Harborne Golf Club. Alison is a former Solheim Cup captain (the ladies equivalent of the Ryder Cup).

    My daughter is an ex-WBA ladies footballer and her hero is Karen Carney, the England and former Birmingham City Ladies winger. Karen has represented her country in the FIFA Womens’ World Cup and played in the 2009 UEFA Women’s Championship Finals and now plays in the USA for Chicago Red Stars

    • January 31, 2010 7:15 pm

      3 great suggestions, your detail really helps build a bigget picture than I can manager, so thank you for that too.

  15. January 28, 2010 11:32 pm

    How about Kelly Sotherton?

    • January 31, 2010 7:15 pm

      Thank you, she’s in.

  16. Carol Coombes permalink
    January 27, 2010 6:57 pm

    Could I suggest – strongly- – Jaki Booth, who is setting up something that allows Brummie women to be hrecognised and celebrated. This list will no dobut be here onger than us- a fact jaki has already geographically proved.

  17. lyn jones permalink
    January 27, 2010 12:56 pm

    sorry didnt read soley women

    • January 27, 2010 1:29 pm

      no worries, I can always research his Mom!

  18. lyn jones permalink
    January 27, 2010 12:53 pm

    How about Tony Hancock. comedian born in southam rd hall green

  19. Julia permalink
    January 27, 2010 12:17 am

    What about Dame Hilda Lloyd (1891-1982)

    She was born in Birmingham and educated at King Edward’s. She was the first president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She practiced at the Maternity and Women’s Hospitals in Birmingham. Google Dame Hilda Lloyd – loads on her.

    • January 27, 2010 1:06 am

      I’m loving these, what a great suggestion, thank you. I’ve added her to the list – and found an intriguing article which links her to Jane Bunford and Gracie Fields. Blog coming next week, so watch this space…

  20. Keith Bracey permalink
    January 26, 2010 8:54 pm

    There seems to be a distinct lack of Asian women on the list. Can I suggest two, one a journalist, the other a businesswoman. The first is Gurjeet Bains, the first female to become editor of the Sikh Times and a former chairwoman of the Institute of Asian Business (IAB),based at the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.

    The other is Dorian Chan, Deputy Chairwoman of the Wing Wah Group of restaurants and a former West Midlands Asian Businesswoman of the Year.

    • January 26, 2010 10:07 pm

      Thank you Keith, a very good point, well made and partially rectified. I’ve added the two you’ve suggested. Keep them coming!

  21. January 7, 2010 11:09 pm

    Thanks Julia, I’ve slotted her in at No.27.

  22. Julia permalink
    January 7, 2010 9:49 pm

    I think we are lacking Jane Webb, AKA Jane Loudon, Jane Loudon Webb or Jane Webb Loudon. She was born at Kitwell House in Bartley Green in 1807, and wrote an amazing Gothic-Sci-Fi hybrid novel The Mummy: A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century which was published in 1827. See, for example, and Jane ditched novel writing, after this long novel published at the age of 19, but then became a gardening writer, and a flower painter. You can still buy posters of her very attractive flower illustrations for her books – some of her paintings are here: . A plaque was recently put up to her at Kitwell Primary School. which is on the site of Jane’s birthplace.

  23. March 23, 2009 10:30 pm

    Great, thanks Clare – keep them coming, not far to 100 great Brummie Women… Also send me url’s for modern day women websites

  24. Clare Edwards permalink
    March 23, 2009 1:05 am

    I would still add Joan Blaney:

  25. March 23, 2009 12:02 am

    Estelle makes number 50, thanks Nicola… Keep them coming everyone!

  26. March 22, 2009 11:43 pm

    Apologies – Clare Short is already there

  27. March 22, 2009 11:42 pm

    Perhaps these 2 ladies are not Brummies born and bred but they have shaped Birmingham’s politics. It is difficult not to admire both of their ethics and morals.

    Clare Short and Estelle Morris.

  28. March 1, 2009 7:44 pm

    Thanks for the ideas Carol & Nick, consider it done. And yes, striking them off is certainly not in the right spirit, but my aim is to have at least one post for each woman and you will be able to leave your comments and judge them to your heart’s content! Who do you want struck off?

  29. March 1, 2009 7:01 pm

    Can some of these women be struck of the list for being bloody irritating? Or is that not in the spirit of this enterprise?

    Could you add:

    Catherine O’Flynn Novelist and wit?

    Is Denise Lewis too West Brom?

  30. Carol Coombes permalink
    February 12, 2009 11:23 am

    well done Jak: this is entirely long overdue: Louisa Ryland, Kathleen Deyus, and others are my immediate additions: can we ask people at 2nd mondays to add more?



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