Yorkshire Day: 14 incredible Yorkshire women

Olympic Champion Jessica Ennis-Hill
Olympic Champion Jessica Ennis-Hill

To celebrate Yorkshire Day we’ve put together this list of great Yorkshire women, past and present...

Nicola Adams

Born in Leeds in 1982, Nicola became the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title at the London games in 2012.

Her Gold Medal success at London 2012 turned her into a national personality, and in the same year was named as the most infleuntial LGBT person in Britainn by The Independent.

Nicola was educated at Agnes Stewart Church of England High School, in Leeds.

Corinne Bailey Rae

The Bronte sisters

The Bronte sisters

Born Corinne Jacqueline Bailey in Febraury 1979, Bailey Rae is a British singer-songwriter and guitarist from Leeds.

She was named the number-one predicted breakthrough act of 2006 in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2006.

Her two albums have sold more than five million copies.

Dame Janet Baker

Mel B

Mel B

Born in Hatfield, South Yorkshire, in 1933, Dame Janet Baker is a mezzo-soprano opera singer.

She was particularly closely associated with baroque and early Italian opera and the works of Benjamin Britten.

During her career, which spanned the 1950s to the 1980s, she was considered an outstanding singing actress and widely admired for her dramatic intensity, perhaps best represented in her famous portrayal as Dido, the tragic heroine of Berlioz’s magnum opus, Les Troyens.

The Bronte Sisters

Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench

Charlotte (1816-1855), Emily (1818-1848), and Anne (1820-1849), were novelists born in Thornton, near Bradford.

Between them they produced some literary classics.

Charlotte, the oldest, is best known for her novel Jane Eyre, which published under the pen name Currer Bell.

Emily’s one and only novel, Wuthering Heights, is considered a classic of English literature.

The youngest of the sisters, Anne is the least known, and her best known work is The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Her life was cut short by TB at the age of just 29.

Melanie Brown

Helen Sharman, the first Briton in space

Helen Sharman, the first Briton in space

Better known as Mel B, the 40-year-old from Leeds became an international star in the 1990s when she shot to prominence as part of all-conquering girl band The Spice Girls.

The group - famous for their Girl Power ethos - went on to sell more than 100 million albums worldwide.

Nicknamed Scary Spice, more recently Mel has been in the public eye for her TV work, amongst other things as a judge on America’s Got Talent.

Betty Boothroyd

Baroness Boothroyd was the first and only woman to hold the position of Speaker of the House of Commons.

Born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, in 1929, she went on to study at Dewsbury College of Commerce and Art.

In the 1940s, she worked as a dancer, as a member of the Tiller Girls dancing troupe.

She was Speaker of the House between 1992 and 2000.

Dame Judi Dench

Born in York, Dame Judi Dench is one of the most celebrated British actors.

As well as achieving success in theatre and on television, she is best known for some of her roles on the big screen, notably as M in the James Bond franchise, as well as starring in films including Shakespeare in Love, Chocolat, and Philomena.

She has won and been nominated for Oscars, BAFTAS, and Golden Globes during her glittering stage and screen career.

Jessica Ennis-Hill

The Golden Girl of British athletics was born and raised in Sheffield.

She became a national hero in 2012 when she clinched the Gold Medal at the London Olympics in front of a rapturous crowd on Super Saturday.

Ennis-Hill is also the former European and World heptathlon champion and the former world indoor pentathlon champion.

She is the current British national record holder for the heptathlon and is a former British record holder in the 100 metres hurdles, the high jump and the indoor pentathlon.

Lesley Garrett

Born into a musical family in Thorne, South Yorkshire, Lesley Garrett is noted for being at home in opera and ‘crossover music’.

She attended Thorne Fieldside Infant and Junior Schools andThorne Grammar School, where she performed in school plays and musicals and passed 10 O-levels and an A-level in music.

Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson, CBE (1 July 1903 – 5 January 1941) was a pioneering English aviator and was the first female pilot to fly alone from Britain to Australia.

Flying solo or with her husband, Jim Mollison, she set numerous long-distance records during the 1930s.

She flew in the Second World War as a part of the Air Transport Auxiliary and died during aferry flight.

Johnson was born in Kingston upon Hull, , and was educated at Boulevard Municipal Secondary School (later Kingston High School) and the University of Sheffield, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics.

Helen Sharman

Helen Patricia Sharman, OBE PhD (born 30 May 1963), is a British chemist who became the first Briton in space and the first woman to visit the Mir space station in 1991.

Sharman was born in Grenoside, Sheffield (where she attended Grenoside Junior and Infant School), later moving to Greenhill.

After studying at Jordanthorpe Comprehensive, she received a BSc in chemistry at the University of Sheffieldin 1984 and a PhD from Birkbeck, University of London.

Jane Tomlinson

Born in Wakefield, Jane Emily Tomlinson, CBE was an amateur athlete who raised £1.85 million for charity by completing a series of athletic challenges, despite suffering from terminal cancer.

Having had treatment for breast cancer in 1991, aged 26; the disease returned in 2000 throughout her body.

During the next six years, Tomlinson completed the London Marathon three times, the London Triathlon twice, the New York Marathon once and cycled across Europe and the United States.[3] Jane Tomlinson died in 2007, aged 43.

Are there any great Yorkshire women you think should be added to this list? Leave your suggestions in our Comments section below.