(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…’

After retirement (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’.

Categories: Agriculture

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