Memorial service to be held in Addingham for Dewsbury's Baroness Betty Lockwood

A memorial church service for the late Baroness Lockwood will be held in a West Yorkshire village this summer.

Monday, 27th May 2019, 17:09 pm
Betty Lockwood, Baroness Lockwood (right), chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission, and Lady Howe, the deputy chairman, at their Mayfair office, London, 21st September 1976. Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Obituary - Baroness Betty Lockwood, equality campaignerTributes to West Yorkshire's Baroness Lockwood who has died aged 95Political activist Betty Lockwood of Dewsbury died on April 29 at the age of 95 and a private family funeral took place last Friday.

Her friend, the historian Dr Margaret Faull, said a memorial service will follow at the parish church in Addingham, near Ilkley, where the Baroness used to live, on Tuesday, July 23 at 2pm.

The service is expected to be well-attended and Mrs Faull said the family would arrange for a marquee to be erected in the church car park, subject to prior notice from attendees if the venue’s 200-person capacity is likely to be exceeded.

Betty Lockwood, later Baroness Lockwood, on a visit to the-then new Job Centre in her native town of Dewsbury.

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Born on January 22, 1924, the coal miner’s daughter left school at 14, but studied at night school and read economics and politics at Ruskin College in Oxford before going on to enjoy a distinguished career in public service.

Baroness Lockwood was the first chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission and chair of the board of trustees at the National Coal Mining Museum for England in Overton near Wakefield for which she is credited with having played an integral role in ensuring its continued existence.

The Baroness lobbied the Government to ensure funding was made available in the 90s when the future of the-then Yorkshire Mining Museum was threatened by the end of Coal Board funding.

She became active in the Labour Party as regional women’s organiser for Yorkshire, then in London as women’s officer, and was instrumental in the creation of the Equal Pay Act 1970.

In 1978 she married Lt Col Cedric Hall, a widower, and in the same year was elevated to a life peerage; a position in which she served until her retirement in 2017.

She chaired the European Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men between 1982 and 1983.

Her husband died in 1988.

Following Baroness Lockwood’s death last month, Dr Faull, who was managing director of the National Coal Mining Museum for nearly 30 years, told The Yorkshire Post: “She was dedicated to the Labour Party and promoting women.

“Betty was tenacious in any cause that she took up and without her steadfast work the National Coal Mining Museum for England would never have achieved national funding.”

Nick Dodd, director of the National Coal Mining Museum, has also paid tribute.

“She is fondly remembered here for her achievements and all she did for us,” Mr Dodd said.

“She was massively important to the success of the museum...the things she did were impressive, particularly being a woman in politics in the 60s and 70s.

“She was a force to be reckoned with.”