Tribute to potter who loved history

Rosalie Young
Rosalie Young

A FORMER Scarborough pottery teacher and military history lecturer has died after losing her battle with cancer.

The funeral of Rosalie Young, of Ebberston, is being held today following her death at home on Monday, aged 81.

Mrs Young, formerly Rosalie McFerran, moved to the Scarborough area in the early 1950s and became a well known pottery teacher and later a lecturer in military history of the First World War.

Born Rosalie Coltman in 1929, she grew up in Market Harborough, in Leicestershire, where she was educated at the local grammer school before going to work for the chairman of Dunlop.

After marrying local veterinarian Rex McFerran she moved to East Ayton to set up her family home, in which she had four children; Ian, Cathy, Niall and Ewan.

Her career in pottery began in the 1960s, when while balancing family responsibilities with running the veterinary practice, the then Mrs McFerran studied at the Scarborough Technical College.

She then qualified as a teacher, and while a teacher at the technical college continued to develop her skills as a professional potter.

Her interest in military history was inspired by her father’s experiences in the First World War. In the early 1980s she began visiting the battlefields of northern France and Belgium.

She became an accomplished historian and inspired many to visit and learn more about her specialist subject.

Many met her though her involvement in the Western Front Association and as a lecturer in this subject at the University of the Third Age.

Following the death of her first husband she married George Young in 1984 and moved to Ebberston, where she lived until her death.

Mrs Young has been described by her daughter Cathy as a “true inspiration”. She said: “Mum would always say to me you can do anything you want to do, and as a girl growing up in the 50s and 60s that was a wonderful thing. Many of the things I have achieved in my life I owe to her for giving me the confidence to do them. She was a wonderful woman and a lot of people loved her.”

Mrs Young’s friend, the author Martin Middlebrook, wrote to her and said: “You can go, knowing that a great number of people will miss you but be thankful of having known you.”

Mrs Young’s funeral will be held today at 10am at Woodlands Crematorium.