I was elected to Leyton Borough Council for Harrow Green Ward in 1953 and represented
it until amalgamation of the Boroughs in 1965 when I was Leyton’s last Deputy Mayor.
As a single woman I found no prejudice and was appointed Chair of the Libraries
Committee (a prestigious one then) within two or three years of election. I had
the signal privilege of an inspiring Town Clerk, Derek Osborne, and an internationally
recognised Borough Librarian, Edward Sydney MC FLA. I remained Chair of that Committee
for approximately seven years and when I suggested a change, hey presto ! my much
valued Vice Chair, George Robinson (of the outstanding local Robinson family) became
Chair and myself Vice Chair !
During my 13 years as Councillor I benefited from the knowledge and experience of
many outstanding women Aldermen and Councillors : Mrs King, Mrs Hammond, Mrs Burnell,
Mrs Dare, Mrs Pearson and another, a Chair of Housing whose name slips my memory.
And they were tough ! The same values applied to male colleagues and I particularly
cherish the quality and memory of Aldermen Béchervaise and Reynolds.
One woman Leyton Councillor’s experience - Vi Gostling