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Forecast Raine in Morley

Park Mill was the last new mill built in Morley.. but its completion was unfortunately timed; at the start of a slump in manufacturing after WWI. As the new boy on the block, it was first to go out of business and so the mill was sold to the well established, Marshall & Son.⠀

It was named Park Mill for it position opposite Lewisham Park. The Park itself named after Viscount Lewisham, the 6th Earl of Dartmouth, was opened in 1914.⠀

50 years after Lewisham Park was gifted to the Borough, in it, a youth centre was constructed and opened.. and it’s ribbon was cut by a fascinating Lady... Raine. ⠀

Dressed in coral, long white gloves and with her hair quaffed to perfection.. the then, Lady Lewisham accepted the bouquets and a pair of scissors and opened a very modern Centre for Youth and Disabled Activities.⠀

As I say, ‘then’ she was Lady Lewisham, married to Viscount Lewisham and the 9th Earl of Dartmouth. But Raine, throughout her life, amassed a dazzling number of aristocratic titles through a series of upper-class marriages.⠀

She was Lady Lewisham, Countess Dartmouth.. later Countess Spencer and Princess Diana’s stepmother… later still Comtesse de Chambrun…. Before reverting back to Raine Countess Spencer.⠀

Raine wasn’t simply a socialite, marrying for fame and fortune.. She was a wildly independent woman, who knew what she liked, was deeply intelligent and fiercely passionate about the causes for which she cared.⠀

And the reason she came to Morley was not decadent or extravagant, she came for her passion. She was fanatical about people, communities and... parks. ⠀

At 23 she became the youngest ever member of her local council in Westminster.. she remained in local government for 17 years. In this role she took a special interest in environmental planning. She then used her name and title to campaign for new developments; more recreation space and community centres, locally, throughout the UK. ⠀

What an image.. this beautiful socialite.. a spoonful of colour in a sea of men dressed in greys and blues.. walking through a park named for her Great-Grandfather-in-Law.. BOSSING the ribbon cutting.. not because she was entitled.. but because she cared.

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