Thursday, 13 December 2012


This is where Mary Lily Walker was born in 1863:  152 Perth Road, Dundee.  It is still standing.  Lots of us probably walk past it every week.  Let’s hope the tenants currently living in it are signed up to this blog!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Ursula Bethell

Ursula Bethell is one of New Zealand’s leading historic poets.  What is New Zealand doing as part of Mary Lily Walker’s story, you ask?  The answer is that the two became friends during Mary Lily’s year in London with the Grey Ladies, in 1898.  We have discovered that letters were later written between them! You can read the letters in Peter Whiteford’s 2005 book Vibrant with Words.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Grey Lodge Settlement

When she died in 1913, Mary Lily Walker’s will left her house, Grey Lodge, to the city of Dundee, to be used as a School of Social Work and community centre.  This is Grey Lodge today – situated right next to her original house.  You can come and join our activities!  We are at 21 South George Street, Dundee.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Myra Baillie thesis

The only detailed historic investigation carried out so far, on the life of Mary Lily Walker, was carried out by Myra Baillie.  Myra completed her Master of Arts in 1996, at McMaster University, in Canada.  Sadly, Myra has herself passed away.  If you like, you can read her full thesis by downloading it Here

Friday, 30 November 2012

Mary Lily Walker

Meet Mary Lily Walker.  This is the only known image of her, dressed in the habit of the Grey Ladies, which she always wore in public, from 1898 until her death in 1913.  If you know of any other image of Mary Lily, send it to us!  You will be feted for months to come!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Street scenes

When Mary Lily Walker began to develop her strong interest in social work, starting in the mid-1880s, the situation for many children and families in Dundee was dire.  Many children arrived at school barefoot and with no warm clothes.  This is a typical scene from the time.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Poster for our events in June

This poster gives you the key information for our June events.
Feel free to print and hang in a public place!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Not just history: Nurturing today's Early Years Movement

Our celebration of Mary Lily Walker's life is intended to be more than a historical occasion.  We want to remember all she did, but we also want to look anew at the lessons she taught us.  

Scotland is at the centre of a burgeoning Early Years Movement, with all sorts of sectors engaged, including the police, education, social work, economists, business, and politicians.  Mary Lily Walker was essentially one of the city's, and one of Scotland's, first Early Years champions.  Reflecting on her efforts 100 years ago and more gives us an innovative lens through which to reflect in new ways on the challenges that face us today.  

That's why we'll be holding a day-long early years conference, with some of the UK's most inspiring speakers.  Everyone will be welcome, from parents to professionals to local and national politicians. Dundee in Mary Lily Walker's day faced some tremendous challenges, and she devised some tremendous solutions.  Its likely she still has things to teach us.

*UPDATE* Registration is now available for the conference - tickets are £80/£50 for students, with a free copy of Eddie Small's new book Mary Lily Walker: Forgotten Visionary of Dundee. 

You can book your place using the below link:

If you want to learn more about what's happening in the Early Years Movement in Scotland, here are some useful links to get you started: