Exhibition chronicling life of South Shields doctor Anne Seymour leads to outpouring of memories

Anne Seymour with her MBE
Anne Seymour with her MBE

An exhibition created as a tribute to a South Tyneside doctor Ann Seymour MBE has led to an outpouring of memories by those whose lives she touched.

Dr Seymour was well-known for her charitable work and ran the A&E Department at the old Ingham Infirmary in South Shields.

A memory wall for Anne Seymour at exhibition in South Shields Musuem and Art Gallery.

A memory wall for Anne Seymour at exhibition in South Shields Musuem and Art Gallery.

She died in 2016 at the age of 80 - shortly after receiving a royal honour for her services to asylum seekers and refugees in the borough.

An exhibition was created at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery in Ocean Road in her memory as was opened earlier this month. Since then, it has attracted people who have left their own tributes to Miss Seymour.

Dominque Bell, assistant keeper at the museum, said: “The exhibition has been going well. Anne had a lot of friends in the area and she influenced a lot of people’s lives.

“It was because of all the charity work she did and her kindness towards people which is why the exhibition is proving to be quite popular.

“We have a memory board where people can write and place their own memories of Anne. We also have a folder of some of the emails we have received with much longer stories about Anne which can people can read through as part of the display.”

A number of photographs have been included in the exhibition, which will run until September, taken by Italian photographer Romano Cagnoni who spent a day with Anne in 1969 in Biafra, Africa.

He described Anne as “one of the most beautiful person I met in my story as a photographer, meeting all kind of people world wide.”

The exhibition is part of a series of displays to mark 100 years since women were given the right to vote, with each designed to showcase some of the remarkable women connected to South Tyneside.

Originally from Bromley in Kent, Miss Seymour moved to South Tyneside in 1976 to take on her hospital post and remained in the borough ever since.

Dr Seymour oversaw the provision of medical services for the first Great North Run and travelled with the sick to Lourdes on numerous occasions. She was one of the small group behind the establishment of St Claire’s Hospice and founded STARCH ((South Tyneside Asylum Seeker and Refugee Church Help) in 1992 – having experienced being a refugee herself in Africa.