Vote for your favourite great North Yorkshire son or daughter

This story was published 26 February 2021

North Yorkshire residents are being invited to vote for the county’s greatest son or daughter.

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During the past year, North Yorkshire County Council’s Great Sons and Daughters campaign has shone a light on inspirational people from North Yorkshire’s history, some of those who have made the county the special place it is today.

The campaign has highlighted 10 influential figures, ranging from nurses and doctors to pioneers of photography, the father of flight, and many more. They have represented towns across the county.

Members of the public were invited to nominate historic figures from their towns and communities who played a special part in the area’s history and heritage. More than 70 people were nominated.

More than 10 local history groups and institutions, including Harrogate Civic Society, Slingsby local history group, Friends of Jacob Smith Park, Keld resource centre and many more, were involved in the campaign, offering interviews, artefacts and information to help to reveal the legacy of these figures from the past.

The county council is now putting these 10 finalists to a vote, so the public can decided who is the greatest son or daughter of North Yorkshire.

The vote will be held across the county council and County Record Office’s social media channels (look for @northyorkscc and @north_yorkshire_archive on Instagram and @nyccarchives for Twitter) and on our website.

Voters will be asked to like, react to or comment on their favourite nominee. In addition, they can fill out a short survey by following a link on the post. By doing so, they will be entered into a prize draw for a £30 voucher to spend in the County Record Office’s online shop.

The survey will ask for your favourite nominee and your opinion of the campaign. The vote will run from Friday, 26 February, until Wednesday, 31 March. The winner of the draw will be selected randomly shortly after.

Cllr Carl Les, Leader of the County Council, said: “The campaign has showcased some special people from our county’s past. It shows that North Yorkshire is truly a place of innovation, creativity and uniqueness, characteristics which continue to be seen across the county today.”

The nominees are:

  • Miss Ursula Lascelles – WW1 VAD nurse born into privilege but tended to hundreds of dying soldiers, and wrote letters to them for years after.
  • Sir George Cayley – the father of flight.
  • Richard and Cherry Kearton – pioneers of early wildlife photography.
  • Dr William Pickles – leading epidemiologist who dedicated his life to investigating diseases and epidemics.
  • Miss Bridget Elizabeth Talbot – her invention of the watertight torch saved hundreds of lives during WW2, last owner and saviour of Kiplin Hall.
  • John Carr – the bridge master and architect – responsible for many bridges across North Yorkshire.
  • Marie Hartley, Ella Pontefract and Joan Ingilby – their combined skills as photographer, writer and artists created a unique impression of personal, domestic and working life in the Dales, which led to the preservation of Dales heritage.
  • Thomas Richardson – Great Ayton’s benefactor.
  • Miss Winifred Jacob Smith – after joining the Women’s Land Army in 1939, she soon became the organiser for North Yorkshire’s WLA and later the whole of Yorkshire, a community-spirited woman who cared for the welfare of others.  
  • Dr Laura Sobey Veale – first woman doctor in North Yorkshire, who overcame strong hostility and had a considerable influence on life in Harrogate.

Read more about the project and the nominees.