Mary Lister B.D. 1922-1985
(First published in 1986 in volume 2, p. 69, of the third series of The Bradford Antiquary, the journal of the Bradford Historical and Antiquarian Society.)
The Bradford Historical & Antiquarian Society suffered a sad loss when Mary Lister died suddenly in March 1985.
Miss Lister, who joined the Society in 1947, became a Life Member. She was President from 1975 to 1977 and Excursions Secretary from 1966 to the time of her death. She was the moving spirit behind many of the Society's activities, from helping to catalogue the library to arranging Biennial Dinners and holding coffee mornings in aid of the Society's funds. It was her work as Excursions Secretary which we valued most. Many will remember her cheerful efficiency on the Cotswolds Week-ends and the careful planning which went into all the arrangements for the summer outings.
For thirty years Mary Lister was on the staff of Hanson School, where she taught History and Religious Studies and held the post of librarian. After retiring in 1979 she took on the complete reorganization of the Chapter Library at Bradford Cathedral. In addition, as a member of the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS), she helped to record the total contents of the Cathedral; St. James's, Bolton; All Saints', Bingley; St. Oswald's, Guiseley and St. Wilfrid's, Calverley. She had a long connection with St. James's, Bolton but more recently devoted much time to her duties at the Cathedral, where she was often to be found in the library, or acting as Guide and Welcomer. At home she was fond of needlework and one of the kneelers in the Cathedral chancel was made by her.
Mary Lister wrote several booklets: The Hanson Saga 1891-1970 (1970), The Moravian Museum, Fulneck (1974), The Township of Bolton and the Church of St. James with St. Chrysostom 1876-1976 (1976) and The Story of Bolton Woods and St. Laurence's Church (1980).
I knew Mary Lister personally as a fellow pupil at Hanson School, and after a friendship of over forty years I feel her loss very keenly. Such people are hard to replace.
© 1986, The Bradford Antiquary