Our Lasses – Your Inspirational Women of Whitby

Your Lasses – Your Inspirational Women of Whitby.

For the 2024 exhibition nominations were made of famous, infamous, and otherwise significant women of Whitby. A selection was made of women to go on display from all the fabulous nominations, but  there are far more who could not be included in the space available within the museum. This page is designed to recognise the women our visitors and supporters felt worthy of inclusion, to record the remarkable achievements of women of this unique town.

If you have a woman you would like to see included on this page, please send details to  or please write to us at Whitby Museum, Pannett Park, Whitby YO21 1RE.

We have also been asking our visitors to let us know their inspirational women, not necessarily from Whitby. Click here to see your inspirational women.

Inspirational Women of Whitby suggested by our visitors

Dame Laura Knight – 1877-1970. Part of the Staithes Group of Artists.

Alice Wren – born c1822. Of St Hilda’s cottages, Abbey Plain. Left on her own after her husband, Wilkes Wren, sought his fortune in the gold fields of Victoria. Left with six children she used her entrepreneurial skills to advertise her laundry skills in the Whitby Gazette and also took in visitors and served teas.

Mary Nelson – 1886 -1970

Councillor and Chair of the Urban Council. As Chair of the council Mary officially opened the new approach road to Whitby Museum in October 1954 at the same time as two new wings, shipping and explorers, were opened at the museum.  Mary also happens to be a descendant of a smuggler who carried out his business in Saltburn, Thomas Pressick Andrew

A group of 6 individuals, including three military personnel, stand on the steps outside Whitby Museum. All are white men with the exception of the white female third from right who wears mayoral chains and a dark coloured dress.

Mayor Nelson third from left on the steps of the Pannet Art Gallery and Museum.

Mary nelson as an older lady receiving mayoral insignia from the marquis of Normanby. Black and white image. The two are shaking hands. The marquis wears a black suit and tie.

Mary Nelson receives the Mayoral insignia from the Marquis of Normanby.