To mark International Women’s Day, on March 8, 2022, we’ve rounded up just some of the area's inspirational women, in no particular order.
1. Alice Bendle, Hospice Founder
The founder of Alice House Hospice, Alice Bendle was an inspirational women with vision and determination. In 1969 she was told she may die by doctors during a routine operation, which made her think about the support available for people with life-limiting illnesses. Over the next ten years Hospice founder, Alice Bendle, argued her case to town leaders, business owners and residents, harnessed support and raised funds for the hospice where she later passed away in 1993. Pictured here is the The Duchess of Norfolk (left) in 1990 being greeted at the then Hartlepool & District Hospice by Alice, which was later renamed in her honour.
Photo: JPI Media
2. Amy Norman, Suffragette
Amy Beatrice Norman (1874-1937) lived in Seaton Carew and was the Secretary of the West Hartlepool Branch of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). She was a close personal friend of leading Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst and she organised marches and lectures in the borough. Her role in the Suffrage movement was celebrated at The Glass Ceiling outdoor performance in Ward Jackson Park (pictured) in 2018.
Photo: JPI Media
3. Savannah Marshall, Boxer
Born in May 1991, sporting hero Marshall became the first British female amateur world champion in 2012 and also represented Great Britain at middleweight in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. In October 2020, in her 9th professional fight, she became the WBO female middleweight champion with a TKO victory over opponent Hannah Rankin at Wembley Arena. She's pictured here collecting a Best Of Hartlepool award for her sporting achievements.
Photo: Hartlepool Mail
4. Gemma Low, Swimmer
Born in 1990, the former High Tunstall and English Martyrs school pupil followed local legends Margaret Auton and Judith Sirs in representing Great Britain at swimming in the Olympics. Lowe featured at the 2008 and 2012 Games.
Photo: John Walton