Blue plaques unveiled at the Leamington sites where two prominent townswomen once worked or lived

Ceremonies were held yesterday (Wednesday, March 23) at the buildings where the 'legendary' Margaret Fowler OBE owned the Blue Cafe in Bath Street and prizewinning author Eleanor Doorly lived in St Mary's Crescent

Margaret Fowler OBE - photo supplied by Allan Jennings.
Margaret Fowler OBE - photo supplied by Allan Jennings.

Blue plaques have been unveiled at the sites in Leamington where two prominent townswomen once worked or lived

Ceremonies were held yesterday (Wednesday, March 23) at the buildings where Margaret Fowler owned The Blue Café in Bath Street and prizewinning author Victoria Doorly lived in St Mary's Crescent.

Margaret Fowler OBE, lived from 1881 to 1957 and owned the Leamington café in the pre-war years.

The plaque for Margaret Fowler OBE is unveiled in Bath Street. Photo by Allan Jennings.

She became well known for her work with the Red Cross, visiting schools with its nurses and teaching first aid to children.

Her husband George was killed in the First Word War and she dedicated much time thereafter to helping and caring for disabled and wounded servicemen at the Weddington VAR Hospital in Nuneaton.

She organised concert parties, motor car outings, musical evenings and light recreational sports for those who could manage them.

She moved to live in Leamington at the end of the war and continued her charity work as an organiser for the Alexandra Music Society in aid of disabled ex-servicemen and fundraising for nurses and other societies.

The blue plaque put in place in Bath Street, Leamington, for Margaret Fowler OBE.

In the 1920s, she set up a caravan which could be converted into a first aid station which she took to festivals and pageants across the Midlands.

She was made an honourary life member of The Red Cross for her unstinting work and her caravans were used across the region in the Second World War during The Blitz.

Victoria Eleanor Louise Doorly E - known as Eleanor - was born in Jamaica but spent her formative years living in Leamington where she was a pupil at Leamington High School for Girls - now The Kingsley School - between 1892 and 1898.

She lived her life as an educator, linguist, Francophile, motorist, caninophile and connoisseur of the arts.

Eleanor Doorly. Photo courtesy of Leamingtonhistory.co.uk

At the age of 35 she was given her first headship at Twickenham County High School for Girls.

She published her first novel, England in Her, while working there.

Eleanor was awarded with The Carnegie Medal - a British literary award which annually recognises one outstanding new English-language book for children or young adults.

She was also the head of King's High School in Warwick from 1922 to 1944.

The blue plaque for Eleanor Doorly is unveiled at the house where she once lived in St Mary's Crescent, Leamington. Photo by Allan Jennings
The blue plaque for Eleanor Doorly unveiled at the house where she once lived in St Mary's Crescent, Leamington. Photo by Allan Jennings.