Obituary - Zena Marjorie Scoley MBE DL

Zena Scoley meeting Mer Majesty the Queen to receive her MBE. EMN-141125-132437001
Zena Scoley meeting Mer Majesty the Queen to receive her MBE. EMN-141125-132437001

The first ever woman chairman of Lincolnshire County Council, Zena Scoley, has died aged 83.

Zena Marjorie MBE DL, of Westmoor Farm, Martin Moor, near Metheringham, passed away on Saturday.

Born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, she leaves her husband, Peter, a retired farmer, two sons and three grandchildren.

Educated at Dame Allen’s Grammar School, Newcastle upon Tyne, she studied at the School of Agriculture at Houghall, County Durham, and Reading University.

Mrs Scoley held many positions within the county over the years. She was Deputy Lieutenant of Lincolnshire (appointed in August 1997); Voluntary County Organiser for Lincolnshire South Federation of Women’s Institutes for some years as well as being the Vice Chairman of the Federation.

She was Vice President and board member of the Community Council of Lincolnshire and was awarded the MBE in 2000 for services to the Parish Council and to the local community. In politics she was elected as a member of Lincolnshire County Council in 1981 and during her period as a councillor served as chairman of the Passenger Transport Committee, Vice Chairman of Highways and Planning, Vice Chairman of Lincolnshire County Council (1985-87) and was elected chairman of the County Council from 1987-89 - the first woman to do so in the council’s history.

Mrs Scoley became acting chairman of the Lincolnshire Ambulance and Health Transport Service NHS Trust and was a founding director and acting chairman of the Lincolnshire Air Ambulance.

She has been Vice-Chairman of the Lincolnshire branch of the Institute of Civil Defence and Disaster Studies and chairman of the Lincolnshire branch of the Britain Australia Society (Mrs Scoley accompanied the Lincoln Magna Carta in her capacity as chairman of Lincolnshire County Council during its display at the World Fair held in Brisbane, Australia in 1988).

Additionally she was joint founder of the Friends of Metheringham Airfield, a member of the Schools’ Advisory Committee of De Montfort University for the School of Agriculture; chairman of Governors of the Lafford High School in Billinghay; school governor of the Mrs Mary King’s School, Martin and for the Cranwell Primary School; member of Martin Parish Council and an active volunteer for Meals on Wheels for many years.

She was a Fellow and Member of the Lincolnshire Committee for the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA) and her numerous local and county activities included a series of presentations entitled “Cows for Kicks” that she gave to numerous Women’s Institutes and clubs - a humorous retrospective of Zena’s earlier life when having been evacuated from wartime Newcastle to Cumbria. She discovered her love of agriculture and in particular for dairy farming and the adventures she found herself having during those early years. During that time, she enjoyed work experience with dairy herds in North Wales, the North of England and Denmark where she became bilingual speaking rural Danish with remarkable fluency and accuracy.

Mrs Scoley’s funeral will be a private family service on December 4.