ILKLEY Soroptimist Club is mourning the death of their Honorary Member Baroness Betty Lockwood who died on April 29th, 2019.

Baroness Lockwood was born into a mining family in Dewsbury and in later life lived quietly in the Addingham and Ilkley area for many years and holds a special place in the hearts of the Ilkley Soroptimists.

She left school at 14, continuing her education at night school and, with the support of a Mary MacArthur Scholarship For Working Women, went on to read economics and politics at Ruskin College, Oxford.

After university she was very active in the Labour Party, campaigning vigorously for Equal Pay and was instrumental in getting the 1970 Equal Pay Act on the Statute Book.

Baroness Lockwood served as the first Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission from 1975 to 1983 and chaired the European Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunities for Men and Women. In 1978 she was awarded a Life Peerage and was a lively member of the House of Lords until her retirement in 2017.

Locally Baroness Lockwood served as Chancellor of Bradford University from 1997 to 2005. She was a true, gritty Yorkshire woman and when the Yorkshire Coal Mining Museum had its funding withdrawn, Betty Lockwood lobbied Parliament successfully to get the upkeep of this unique museum funded from the national purse. And thus the National Coal Mining Museum of England came into being, with Betty Lockwood as its first Chair.

Her lifelong commitment to equality and the empowerment of women has earned her a place in the annals of human rights activism. Baroness Lockwood will forever be an inspiration to women and girls and their dreams of advancement as she believed, and proved, that all things are possible.