Category Archives: Mary Rainey

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.

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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

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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

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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.

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Our Visit to the Library Archives

library archives group shot

Here we are at the archives

I went along with my hands on history class to the Archives at Peterborough Central Library for a prearranged appointment to trace the history of  women who shaped Peterborough.

The assistant Archivist allowed us to look at some original paper work of and exhibition work on WUTAC -Womens United Total Abistance Council.  Also original document copies associated with Fletton Infant Welfare Association. Then we were shown documents relating to Emily Pankhurst which then led to us being shown how to use the microfish machine to look at film of copies of old Peterborough Advertiser and Peterborough Standard – local papers – to find advertisements of Ms Pankhurst coming to the Corn Exchange in Peterborough and write ups following this meeting in both local papers dated 1911.

Microfiche image - Emily Pankhurst

On certain machine we were able to photocopy these items for use in our exhibition for International Womens  Day on 8th March 2011 to be displayed for the renaming of the conference room in Peterborough Womens Centre to The Mary Rainey Room – she was former founder of the Peterborough Womens Centre – who passed away in 2010.

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Mayors of Peterborough

Peterborough has had a mayor since 1874, when Queen Victoria granted a municipality “Charter of Incorporation” which meant Peterborough had become a city.

Most mayors serve one year in office, although some have held office for two, three or even four years.  The city first had a woman as mayor in 1939 when Lily Bryant took over.

Subsequent female mayors have been:

1939-1940           Lily Bryant

1952-1953           Mabel Wood

1955-1956           Lady (Gladys Mary) Benstead, JP

1959-1960           Maude Swift

1977-1978           Jean Barker

1980-1981           Audrey Chalmers

1988-1989           Connie Gray

1993-1994           Kathleen Coppen

1994-1995           Roberta Glenys Ewart Day (Bobbie Day)

1997-1998           Yvonne Lowndes

1998-1999           Mary Rainey, B.Ed(Hons)

2007-2008           Marion Todd

2008-2009           Patricia Nash, MBE

2009-2010           Irene Walsh

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