Influential Women

Surrey Women – Surrey Museums Month

Surrey Museums Month is an annual event run by the Surrey Museums Partnership (SMP). Working with 43 of Surreys musuems and galleries, the SMP aims to educate the public on the hidden history of our county, finding new and exciting ways to share the museums’ collections with the public through events, exhibitions and activities held througout the year.

Each year the event focuses on a different theme from Surrey in 50 Objects to Trees. In 2017 the theme was Surrey Women for which we celebrated the lives and work of women in Surrey and their influence on key moments, discoveries, inventions, celebrities, trades & industries, arts & crafts, contributions to society in Surrey and further afield.

The event featured 20 Surrey Women and the stories of their lives. To find out more information about the lives and work of these significant Surrey Women see the links below.

Margaret Robinson (Courtesy of Chertsey Museum)

Margaret Robinson (Courtesy of Chertsey Museum)

Margaret Robinson (1920-2016)

Margaret was an artist, a puppeteer and a model-maker as well as a much loved local resident.

She also has a worldwide fan base as a result of the models she created for Hammer Film, most noticeably The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Mummy.

In the early 1960s Margaret moved to Chertsey and her career was put on hold. In 1970 she started teaching further education courses at art colleges. The group she taught were to become the core of what is now the Chertsey Artists, located on Windsor Street

Read more about Margaret Robinson.


Hope Sanger (Courtesy of Send and Ripley Museum)

Hope Sanger (Courtesy of Send and Ripley Museum)

Hope Sanger ( 1897 – 1994)

Hope came to England from the US before WW1. In 1939 she was living at Willingham Cottage, Farm Lane, Send.

In WW2 she came into her own. Married and living in Send with 3 children, she was the supreme organiser. She ran the local WRVS, was Marshall of the rest centre, billeting officer and re-housing survivors of bombing and more.

Hope was a school governor, a magistrate on the Woking Bench from 1949 until 1970 and after 1974 was the village representative for Meals on Wheels in Send, only giving up this post aged 93.

Read more about Hope Sanger.


Ada Lovelace (Courtesy of Elmbridge Museum)

Ada Lovelace (Courtesy of Elmbridge Museum)

Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852)

Ada is recognised as the world’s first computer scientist

She is famous for writing a description of Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer the Analytical Engine and wrote programs for a machine that had not yet been invented by Babbage.

Ada Lovelace lived at Sandown House in Esher from 1841 with her husband William King-Noel, Earl of Lovelace. Ada’s mother also lived nearby at Moore Place.

Read more about Ada Lovelace.


Dame Ethel Locke King (DBE) (Courtesy of Brooklands Museum)

Dame Ethel Locke King (DBE) (Courtesy of Brooklands Museum)

Dame Ethel Locke King (1864 – 1956)

Dame Ethel was a keen motorist and oversaw the completion of the Brooklands Motor Course.

During the First World War, she had a key role within the Red Cross as Assistant County Director and Commandant of more than 12 hospitals, including her home at Brooklands House, Weybridge.

In honour of her work she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 1st January 1918.

Read more about Dame Ethel Locke King.


Surrey was also home to many influential women involved in the pro and anti Suffrage movements in the early years of the 20th Century.

Click here to read a selection of their biographies.


To find out more about the women featured in Surrey Musuems Month 2017 click the links below:


To find out more about the Surrey Museums Partnership and Surrey’s museums and galleries click here.

Some of the women above and those from the world of the Women’s Suffrage are featured in the Surrey Live article ’82 inspirational and influential women from Surrey’s past and present you should know about’ https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/78-inspirational-women-from-surrey-17870062

Read the Surrey Live article about Ebony-Jewel Rainford-Brent, the Surrey cricketer who was the first Black woman to play cricket for England.