Tributes to West Yorkshire's Baroness Lockwood who has died aged 95

Tributes have been paid to a political activist from West Yorkshire who was integral in securing the future of a national museum.

Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 6:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 7:10 pm
Baroness Lockwood and Dr Margaret Faull, a former museum director, at the then Yorkshire Mining Museum.

Betty Lockwood, Baroness Lockwood of Dewsbury died on Monday aged 95.

She was the first Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Coal Mining Museum for England - an organisation which, without her intervention wouldn’t still be here today.

When the then Yorkshire Mining Museum was under threat in the 90s, as Coal Board funding came to an end, Baroness Lockwood lobbied the government to ensure funding was made available from the central purse, leading to the establishment of the National Coal Mining Museum.

Director, Nick Dodd said: “We are all very sad. She is fondly remembered here for her achievements and all she did for us. She was massively important to the success of the Museum and wanted people to see how important coal-mining was to the nation. It is a really important legacy she leaves. 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.”

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She was born on January 22, 1924 and her father, Arthur, was a coal miner.

She left Eastborough Girls School aged 14, but studied at night school and read economics and politics at Ruskin College in Oxford. Baroness Lockwood became active in the Labour Party as regional women’s organiser for Yorkshire, then in London as women’s officer. She was instrumental in the creation of the Equal Pay Act 1970.

She was chair of the European Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men (1982–83) and in 1978 she was elevated to a life peerage until her retirement in 2017.