Category Archives: Peterborough Women (Deceased)

Mary Rainey founder member of PWC remembered….

Mary Rainey, founder member of Peterborough Women’s Centre has today been remembered in a blog post by the centres Older ‘n’ Bolder group.

Mary joined some of the ladies on a Digital Photography course in previous years and this has been remembered by Shirley Blackwell in her Scrap Book Page design on Digital Photography.

Shirley says she remembers:

Mary took a picture of the group with my little Pink Canon camera.  I can remember her disappointment at not being able to operate her brand new camera due to uncharged batteries.  However, she was so thrilled with being able to join in using shared resources.

The photo Mary was pleased to take

Thanks Shirley, for sharing this.

Leave a comment

Filed under Mary Rainey, Peterborough Women (Deceased)

Peterborough Women’s Centre mark IWD2011

Here’s a link to an article that has appeared in today’s Peterborough ET regarding our Interneational Women’s Day event last week.

We are awaiting a link to this on the web and will share as soon as we have a better link.

Article from ET 14th March 2011

Double click to enlarge

Unfortunately they got Glennis Bentley award incorrect.


Filed under Glennis Bentley, MBE, International Women's Day 2011, Mary Rainey

International Womens Day

Just spent the day at Peterborough Women’s Centre, absolutelyamazing and great food.  I don’t think anyone realised just how many inspiring women have lived or been involved with Peterborough.  The day went very well and thanks to the 2 Councillors and the Mayoress and Deputy Mayor who turned up to join the celebration.  Such a shame that more women didn’t feel able to.  Mind you as it was standing room only at the back, not sure over anumber where they would have been but I am sure that Stella and her team would have have found room.  I was disappointed that more of the manageement commitee weren’t able to attend, I was hooping to catch up with some of them. So pleased  that PWC have dedicated the conference room to Mary Rainey, without her passion and commitment the centre would not be as advanced as it is.

Can’t finish without thanking both the Karen’s for inviting me to be involved with this particular project.  Karen W, you will be sorely missed, we have worked together over a number of years and I have always found your work and commitment to be excellent.  Such a shame that none of your senior team were available to view the project.

Well done to everyone who took part in the day.  I will keep in touch

With kind regards

Glennis Bentley MBE

Leave a comment

Filed under International Women's Day 2011, Mary Rainey

Memories of Mary Rainey

One sunny day back in August 2007, I walked into Peterborough Women’s Centre, I was welcomed by the then manager Marie Flanagan and taken upstairs into a room where no less than 5 women were sitting eagerly waiting to interview me for the post of ICT Co-ordinator at Peterborough Women’s Centre.

I’d never been interviewed by 5 people before, so was a little taken back at the questions I was fired at to answer, but none-the-less I answered them to my best ability and well, as the saying goes……

“The Rest is History….”

On 3rd September 2007 I walked back into the centre but this time as a member of staff and throughout the last 3.5 years taught in the region of 1800+ women through the Reaching Communities (Big Lottery) Project.  On several occasions Mary was a learner on one of my courses.

Mary came on my digital photography course.  Unfortunately, whilst carrying out a practical exercise taking pictures in Stanley Rec (the park behind the centre) her batteries went flat.  So in true ‘Mary’ style, she carried on regardless and mingled in with the group, joining in with the group photographs.


Mary pictured with another learner from the Digital Photography for Beginners COurse

double click to enlarge


I had a 1-2-1 with Mary a couple of days afterwards where I believe we spoke about websites.  Mary could talk the “Hind legs of a donkey” and we ran over time and ran through my dinner break.  A Thank You card appeared on my desk the next day, and this can be seen along with the others on the wall of my IT Training Suite.

On a personal note, Mary was a good listener and always asked (as did others) about an illness a family member of mine was going through.  It was warming for me to know, that even though my family & friends were 60 odd miles away, I always had someone to talk to.

So tomorrow, along with other staff members, clients and business associates that Mary knew, we dedicate and rename our conference room to the ‘Mary Rainey Room’ as part of International Women’s Day 2011.

Without the effort that Mary et al, put into the centre (past and present) Peterborough Women’s Centre would not be able to offer the superb services that it does at present.  We will all be toasting a glass to Mary!

…………….Orange Juice, of course !


Karen Toon Comp IT and Comp (Open)
ICT Co-ordinator, Peterborough Women’s Centre

1 Comment

Filed under Mary Rainey, Peterborough Women (Deceased)


Saint Kyneburga, one of the four daughters of King Paeda, was married to Alfred, Saxon King of Northumbria at the time the Saxons were being converted to Christianity in the mid 600s.

She was converted, had the marriage annulled and set up a nunnery with her sister Kyniswitha at what is now Castor.  The pair were canonized as saints in 670 and later buried in the village, although their remains were moved to Peterborough Abbey some 500 years later.

The church at Castor, on e of the oldest in the country, is the only one in Britain dedicated to St Kyneburga.

Leave a comment

Filed under Peterborough Women (Deceased), Saint Kyneburga

Mary Rainey

On 8th March 2011 at Peterborough Women’s Centre the Conference room will be dedicated to Mary Rainey.

Mary was instramental in setting up the Womens Centre at Peterborough and she had also received a Lifetime Achievement Award for years of work in the city.  Mary passed away in February 2010.

Some of her achievements during her lifetime she was a Teacher, Councillor, City Mayor, Wife and Mother.

During an interview with the Peterborough ET Mary said she had wanted to create a supporting environment where women could be not just supported but also empowered.

Leave a comment

Filed under Mary Rainey, Peterborough Women (Deceased), Uncategorized

Edith Cavell

All of us are familiar with the story of Florence Nightingale. “The Lady of the Lamp”and the bravery shown by her during the Crimean War, but how many of us know of the bravery of Edith Cavell?

Edith Louisa Cavell was born in Swardeston, Norfolk on December 4th 1865. When she was seventeen she became a pupil teacher at a school in Laurel Court which is in the precincts of Peterborough Cathedral.

She became interested in hospitals while travelling in Bavaria and began her nurse’s training in London in 1895. In 1906 she moved to Brussels to help train Belgian nurses. When World War 1 broke out in 1914 Edith was in charge of a clinic which she immediately converted into a hospital for wounded soldiers. She showed no discrimination, treating British, Belgian, French and German soldiers. She also helped allied soldiers, once they had recovered from their wounds, to escape over the border into Holland where they were able to rejoin their armies.

In 1915 Edith Cavell was betrayed to German authorities by a Belgian traitor and was imprisoned. Despite pleas for leniency and mercy by the British, American and Spanish governments she was executed by a German firing squad on October 12th, 1915.

Shortly before her death Edith Cavell was counseled by a British chaplain and is reported to have said during that interview “I have seen death so often that it is not strange or fearful to me, Standing as I do in the view of God and eternity, I realise that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness to anyone.

Edith Cavell was a far better and braver woman than I could ever hope to be and deserves far more recognition than she has received so far. There is a statue erected in her memory in Saint Martin’s Place in London and she has a mountain named in her honour in Canada.

Edith Cavell

Leave a comment

Filed under Edith Cavell, Peterborough Women (Deceased)