Mary Lily Walker

walker of social reformer Mary Lily Walker and her life and works are examined with the release of a new book by Eddie Small.

But who is Mary Lilly Walker I hear you ask?

She helped introduce social and healthcare reform throughout late-Victorian Dundee and a this coming Thursday a four-day celebration starts with the aim to restore her place in the history of social reform.

Mary Lily Walker: Forgotten Visionary of Dundee.

Author Eddie Small said: “Her energy and achievements, against so many odds, were amazing, yet her natural modesty allowed her to slip from mind (and) I resolved to do all I could do reverse this.”

He believes it is “a legacy which still survives 100 years after her untimely death, and has been too long in the telling“.

Mary Lily Walker was the first person to gather evidence on housing and the health of women working in Dundee’s jute factories as well as implementing many of the priorities which are still adopted by the contemporary early-years movement. These helped to recognise that the first three years of a child’s life are crucial for his or her development.

Amazingly the community centre that she established, the Grey Lodge Settlement, still serves families in Dundee, and the city’s emergency housing centre is named after Walker.

Dr Zeedyk: “For me, Mary Lily Walker’s story is not a historic one, Her vision is very much living and breathing with us today.”

The celebration will include an event to discuss ways to help today’s low income families, incorporating some of her ideas.