(Nellie) May George
Nellie May George was
born in 1889 in Rosebush, Pembrokeshire. During the First World War, she served
as an accounts clerk and later became a member of the Royal British Legion.
In the 1930s, May
started work as a newspaper reporter and correspondent with the Narberth Weekly
News. Later, she moved to the Western Telegraph where she was well-respected by
employers and news contacts, becoming its main reporter in the Narberth area.
Local journalist Vernon Scott posthumously described her as ‘Pembrokeshire’s first female journalist’.
During this time, May
lived at Redstone Road, Narberth; later moving to 13 North Mead. Despite being
born into a rural community and living her adult life in a small market town,
she wrote an article promoting the virtues of urban living. In an undated,
handwritten article, she makes particular reference to opportunities for women
to escape social isolation and argues that a ‘town-bred child has the advantage over a child brought up in the
country’. With both educational and social opportunities, she continues: ‘In most towns there is a branch of the
Girls’ Friendly Society’ and this, like the Guides, is open to girls of all
denominations…work of a useful nature is taught’. For adults she suggests ‘the Women’s Institute is an excellent
institution…(where) many friends are gathered together’. The Mother’s Union
too brings opportunity to experience life beyond the ‘bosom of the home’.
Despite describing her
life in a town as ‘a privilege’, May
was considered by those who knew her to be ‘very
active’ in country pursuits, taking part in rock climbing, walking the
Preseli Mountains and riding a motorcycle in her younger days. By the 1940s and
50s, David Allen of Saudersfoot remembered how she travelled on a ‘slightly rusty, but trusty, pedal cycle…
from the handlebars invariably hung a crocheted bag of white string containing
a blue cushion. This was used on Narberth Court days to claim a chair…’
(which she acknowledged only as her ‘resignation’) she continued to supply the
Western Telegraph with news until she was 90 years old and delivered
newsletters to the church in Crinow, (to which she was a faithful member),
until a few months before her death.
May George died in
Narberth in March 1987, aged 98 years. She was regarded as being ‘very popular and well- respected’ with
a ‘strong independence and agile mind’.