2011 REMARKABLE WOMEN OF DEVON – Dr Todd Gray

A HISTORIAN has given a talk on remarkable women of Devon to the Torquay Soroptimist Club.

Dr Todd Gray, an honorary research fellow at Exeter University and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, detailed the history of some of Devon’s notable characters.

Soroptimist Club members said it was a ‘fascinating’ talk.

Dr Gray specialises in Devon history.

Penny Crump, who looks after the press and publicity for Soroptimist International Torquay and district, said: “When you consider that women make up more than half the population of Devon there is very little written about their exploits, even though they may have made remarkable contributions to the history of our county.

“Most of us know about Agatha Christie, Lady Nancy Aster, and may be Dorothy Elmhirst of Dartington Hall, but what about Granny Scott and Betsy Gammon of Ilfracombe? Elizabeth Ann Holman, a Devon navvy? Or the Misses Skinners and their hotel of rest for women in business at Babbacombe from 1878 to 1971? “These are some of the unsung heroines of Devon.”

Dr Gray has written more than 40 books on Devon, including Lost Devon, Blackshirts in Devon, Devon and the Slave Trade, and Remarkable Women of Devon.