In September 2022 we launched our new House Structure. We consulted the school community and agreed that we should use the names of women important to the local area or the school. As a result we adopted the following five women:
Pat Albeck - Pat Albeck, was a prolific, gifted designer of printed textiles whose genius for flat pattern also took her into design for ceramics, wallpapers and a whole range of merchandise for the National Trust. At Beverley High school Pat had an excellent art teacher who focused on pattern-making and calligraphy. She spent four years at Hull College of Arts and Crafts at a time when ex-servicemen were flooding art schools, inspiring in their seriousness and determination and in 1950 won a scholarship to the RCA in London, to study printed textile design. From the start she found art materials inspiring, using all types of paper, often for cut-outs and collage, paints, fine inks applied by brush, and pens – including, by the 60s, felt-tips.
Mary Braddon - She was a Victorian actress, writer, poet, editor. Her most renowned texts are Lady Audley’s Secret and Aurora Floyd, but Braddon wrote over ninety novels, one hundred and fifty short stories, alongside numerous plays and articles. Whilst working in Beverley and the East Riding she performed alongside the country's leading black actor, Ira Aldridge, an indicator of the prestigious company she kept during this time in her life. Beverley can be credited with providing Braddon with the time, means and creative freedom to launch her writing career. She summed up her time in Beverley by saying “in that peaceful summer I finished my first novel, I saw spring time arrive in Beverley, the summer raes and the hopelessly wet weather, I learnt to love the Yorkshire people and left Yorkshire almost broken heartedly.
Hilda Lyon - Hilda has a unique connection to the school as she was in the first group of pupils when Beverley High School first opened in 1908. She learnt to love mathematics and pursued this further studying it at Newnham College, Cambridge in 1918 – at a time when the university noted the exam results as equivalent to the male only agreed but did not award actual degrees to women until 1947. After graduating, Lyon took an Air Ministry course in aeroplane stress-analysis and then obtained a job as a technical assistant. Around 1922, Lyon was admitted as an Associate Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. From 1925 onwards, she was a member of technical staff at the Royal Airship Works in Cardington, helping to develop the R101 rigid airship through her work on aerodynamics. With a length of 731ft, the R101 was the largest flying machine ever built. Prior to its first flight, Lyon wrote to her brother: “When are you coming to see the R101? Hope that it’s a north wind when I get my first flight so that I can persuade them to fly over Market Weighton
Margaret Powell - it is thanks to her that Beverley looks the way it does today. She was a conservationist, campaigner and ferociously challenged any applications to change the look and feel of Beverley. She lived through the 1960’s a time when a war had been fought – it was the age of modern architecture, concrete, high rise, motorways and cars for all. There was a lot of rebuilding needed after bomb damage. She lived in Beverley and her garden attached to her home was to be used in the Lairgate/York Road new road scheme involving the loss of a street full of historic buildings. Other plans for Beverley included creating a huge roundabout n the middle of Beverley which would have left North Bar stuck in the middle of the roundabout. As well as widening Hengate which would mean the loss of Nellie’s. Margaret was outraged by these proposed changes and after being elected as a Beverley councillor fought all of these planning applications. Beverley is the preserved, beautiful market town you see today thanks to her
Mary Wollstonecraft - This extraordinary woman lived in Beverley as a child and was educated in the town. She lived in a house in Wednesday Market from age 9 to 15 (you might have seen the plaque that is outside the front door) the longest she ever lived in one place. This time covered the important years of her education developing her into the writer and philosopher she became. She is best known for her written pieces. Most famously a piece called A Vindication of the Rights of Woman this is one of the trailblazing works of feminism. When men read it at the time they reacted by calling her “a hyena making a lot of noise in a skirts” and they said “although she has some worthy points I despise her lifestyle and overall opinions