Discover Her Story trail

New profiles of 25 pioneering Tyneside women

Celebrating exceptional Tyneside women

[Download this trail as a pdf]

Follow these new plaques around the museum to find out about pioneering and courageous women of Tyneside. Often women have been overlooked in history, or their achievements not perceived as equal to men’s.

There are no objects in these galleries to represent these women’s stories. This is a first step in recognising the significant contribution of those women.

You will read about women running for parliament when they themselves were not allowed to vote, women studying for degrees they wouldn’t be allowed to graduate from and all of them battling long held beliefs that women are somehow inferior to men.

Many women around the world still do not have equal rights and even in the UK women still face challenges in some areas of life. 

Inspired by Joyce Quin and Moira Kilkenny’s book Angels of the North - Notable Women of the North East. In this short introductory film Joyce Quin introduces the trail and her personal heroine. 

Newcastle Story

In this gallery you will find the stories of: 

Stuarts - Mary Astell, Elizabeth Elstob, Elizabeth Montagu

Georgian - Anne Fisher, Mary Eleanor Bowes,  

Victorian - Harriet Martineau, Anna Richardson 

1914-25 - Muriel Robb, Charlie Marsh, Githa Sowerby, Kathleen Brown, Sister Winifred Laver, Dr. Ruth Nicholson, Ruth Dodds

1926-39 - Irene Ward, Ruth Jacobsen

1940-45 - Nancy Spain

1960s - Connie Lewcock

Story of the Tyne

In this gallery you'll find the stories of Isa Jobling and Susan Auld. 

Tyneside Challenge

In this gallery you will find the stories of Rachel Parsons and Dorothy Buchanan. In the short film below acclaimed historical author Henrietta Heald shares how Rachel Parsons founded the Women's Engineering Society. 

Working Lives

In this gallery you will find the stories of Dr Ethel Williams and Emily Davies. 

We need your help

We would like you to nominate a local woman that you think should be recognised for her achievements. These achievements could be through community or social work, charity work, scientific or business successes or she could be a pioneer in some way.

Email your suggestions to or tweet using #DiscoverHerStory