I was born a Scoucer in Old Swan in Liverpool – one of the poorest parts of the city. I came to the North East in 1983 with my late husband, who came here to work for ICI at Billingham. Apart from three years in Bristol, I’ve been here ever since, working mainly as a teacher. I brought my mother over here to look after her for the last seven years of her life – she ended her days in a wonderful home in Shildon. We intend to retire to the house we still have there.
I am passionate about the history of the area and educational opportunities for young people – no-one should be thrown on the scrapheap! I also care very much indeed about how we treat the elderly in the community, as this is how any society should be judged. I am the NUT rep. in my school and have been a member of my union for as long as I have been a teacher. My parents, who were lifelong socialists and trade unionists, taught me that ‘unity is strength’ and never to forget where I came from and the people who got me where I am today.
My current partner is the son and grandson of miners – one of the things I am proudest of is the fact that both families actively supported the miners in their struggles against Mrs Thatcher and her cronies.