Forty-two-year-old Sue Staveley lives in a village on the outskirts of Scarborough with her husband Jamie, 13-year-old daughter Emily and son Harry, aged nine. Her father Ian Macdonald (72) and brother Andy (45) had already followed her maternal grandfather into the ancient trade guilds some years ago.
But Sue, who works for North Yorkshire County Council, gave no thought to joining them, until she was alerted by her cousin, Kim Mullaney, that a change in Equality Laws eight years ago had cleared the way for women to apply.
“Like me Kim was born in Durham and we share a maternal grandfather, Bill Redden, who was warden of the Draper’s Company until his death in 1997. She told me last year that I now qualified for membership and told me my mother’s cousin, Judith Magee, was also applying for membership,” said Sue.
“I decided to apply and was due to be sworn into the Butchers’ Company at the same time as Kim in February of this year but had to pull out of that ceremony at a late stage to undergo a hospital operation,” she added.
Sue was born at the Durham’s Dryburn Hospital but left the city at the age of eight when the closure of Her Majesty’s Stationary Office in Gateshead forced her dad to look for work elsewhere. He subsequently took up a new appointment with a private printing company in Scarborough.
Sue’s parents still live in Scarborough, while brother Andy’s home is in Wetherby.