Sally Goldsmith


Associate Committee Member

Sally is a prize winning writer and broadcaster who discovered Carpenter through his biographer, Sheila Rowbotham, in the 1970’s. Finding him as an early exponent of many of the concerns of her own time – particularly feminism, socialism, gay rights and ‘living your politics’ – was both surprising and salutary. She later moved up north to try the communal life for herself. She worked as Outreach Officer for Sheffield City Art Galleries and later developed as a musician, singer and community artist. She invented new touring shows – Plotters and As We Walked Out - written out of research with, and respect for, ‘ordinary local people.’ She has written songs to be sung by Sheffielders in plays and lately a Sony award winning feature for BBC Radio 4 about the Chapeltown made Izal medicated toilet roll. Now winning prizes as a poet, she has published her first small poetry collection, Singer. She has researched many of Carpenter’s local connections with Sheffield and believes that a memorial “to this kind, brave and inspiring man” will be sought out by admirers from all over the world.

Rony Robinson


Associate Committee Member

Rony has lived much of his life as a writer and broadcaster and has a lifelong interest in Carpenter. After school in Sheffield he read Modern History at Oxford and edited the university newspaper Cherwell. Next a teacher in London schools, he wrote about them in The Ted Carp Tradition publicised as the ‘first novel to come out of the comprehensives.’ Twice resident playwright at the Crucible, his plays include Edward Carpenter Lives! and Free for All, set on one weekend out at Carpenter’s Millthorpe. His Faber novel The Beano about a brewery outing to Scarborough in 1914 was launched at Sheffield Central Library, turned into the seaside for the day, replete with pier, donkeys, sand and deckchairs. Last Loves, a play co-written with Sally Goldsmith for Radio 4 about sex among the elderly, won a Bronze Sony and five other awards. He has presented his programme on BBC Radio Sheffield since 1984, and published his memoirs Who’s Been Talking last year. His mother and grandparents met Carpenter and he treasures a signed photograph on his study wall. He hopes that a public memorial will be established soon in Sheffield.

Steve Slack


Commitee Member

Steve was born in the Midlands and came to study in Sheffield in the 1980s. He sees himself as an adopted Sheffielder and loves living in Yorkshire. Steve originally trained as a social worker and his first job was in Barnsley at the beginning of the miners' strike. Witnessing the decimation of the villages and peoples' lives and livelihood have influenced his politics ever since. Within the NHS, Steve now works as an HIV prevention and sexual health promotion manager. For six years he sat on the government advisory group advising on national HIV and sexual health policy. Steve has actively campaigned around equality issues and is excited at the thought of seeing Edward Carpenter's life and work commemorated in Sheffield. He relaxes by gardening, vegetarian cooking or walking in Derbyshire. He loves going to the theatre, is addicted to charity shops and tries to keep fit by going to the gym (but not as often as he should).

Kate Flannery


Commitee Member

Kate grew up in Sheffield and has experience of working in local government, the voluntary sector and trade union movement. This has involved her in organising many political and public awareness campaigns and events. As an activist Kate was involved in numerous campaigns including Women Against Pit Closures, she was Chair of the Sheffield TUC women’s committee and Secretary of Sheffield Campaign Against Racism. She has worked to promote and develop Domestic Abuse services in the city and has had roles in local government promoting and advising on equality and diversity particularly in relation to Women and LGBT issues. Kate's love of music, theatre and literature, and her belief that they are a force for social change, influenced her in initiating this project. She wants to ensure that as a significant artistic and political figure in Sheffield, Edward Carpenter is given the public profile he deserves. "This exciting new project gives us the opportunity to celebrate Carpenter's life and achievements and ensures a lasting tribute to a person who has influenced our lives and paved the way for the freedom of others."

Mark Scott


Commitee Member

Mark divides his time between working as a self-employed coach and consultant and various activities in the arts. He is a part-time author of children's / YA literature and poetry. Mark also promotes a number of local concerts and loves attending live music events - from Madonna to Metallica, from Kylie to Kiss. He recently completed an MSc in Coaching and Mentoring. For his dissertation he looked at the potential for LGBT Mentoring, specifically with respect to coming-out in work or in other institutions like university or college. He has developed a passionate interest in diversity, equality and inclusivity and how this is achieved in organisations (and thinks Carpenter would approve). He is passionate about establishing the memorial for Carpenter. "Having a public, permanent memorial for such an amazing man is so important. We need to ensure our role models and icons are both celebrated and recognised. This memorial provides a way for us all - and by that I mean a worldwide community - to connect with someone from history who has greatly influenced and inspired us. It may also provide the catalyst for some to discover Edward Carpenter for the first time."

Baroness Joyce Gould



Baroness Joyce Gould of Potternewton was born and raised in Bradford. Educated at The Roundhay High School for girls she later studied pharmacy at Bradford Technical College. Before entering politics Baroness Gould worked as a pharmaceutical dispenser from 1952 until 1965. During her time in the Labour Party, Baroness Gould has campaigned tirelessly around many issues including women’s rights, sexual health and reproductive rights and the rights of gay men and women. She consistently fought for the repeal of section 28 of the Local Government Act which banned the so-called ‘promotion of homosexuality’ by local authorities; legislation which had devastating effects on the lives of young gay and bisexual people. Baroness Gould was made a Labour peer in 1993. Although she now resides in Brighton (Edward Carpenter’s birth place) she remains proud of her Yorkshire roots and describes trips back to Yorkshire as ‘coming home’. She was delighted to be invited to be The Patron of Friends Of Edward Carpenter, believing passionately that there is a need to recognise the courageous deeds of those in the past; and acknowledge their impact on furthering the rights of marginalised groups and their contribution to the fight for a more fair and just society.

Mike Jackson


Associate Patron

Mike grew up in Accrington. His grandmother was the first person who taught him about the importance and relevance of politics. Mike left home at 16 in 1970 with a passion for horticulture which he later studied at Kew. Living in London gave him the opportunity and confidence to ‘come out’ due to the wonderful patience and support of staff at the Gay Switchboard. He was a founder of North Staffordshire Gay Switchboard and in 1981 volunteered for London Gay Switchboard after being interviewed by Mark Ashton. Mark and Mike became firm friends, organising collections together for striking miners in 1984/5 and forming 'Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners’ (LGSM). Mike was secretary. Tragically aged 26 Mark died of AIDS only two years later. Mike initiated the film ‘Pride’ – one of the most celebrated British gay films in recent years. He has ensured that this story of struggle, solidarity and friendship has been told. Mike combined horticulture and his social concerns by working for a charity. He is now self-employed as a horticulturist and loves running gardening classes for beginner gardeners. As a socialist, gay rights campaigner and political activist Mike is along time admirer of Edward Carpenter.

Sheila Rowbotham


Associate Patron

Sheila is a renowned socialist, feminist, historian, writer and campaigner. Sheila’s work takes up the task of unearthing and documenting the ‘hidden histories’ of our everyday lives, emphasising the ways in which class exploitation and sexual oppression have shaped these histories. As a founder of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Britain, helping to organise the first conference in 1970, Sheila’s activism in socialist and feminist politics made her a key figure of the British left. Much of her activism and work reveal a desire to highlight the personal aspects of political struggles and to make politics and history come alive with the stories of those who make it. Sheila’s highly acclaimed biography about Edward Carpenter - A Life of Liberty and Love - is a compelling portrait of a man described by contemporaries as a 'weather-vane' for his times whose life heeds the importance of looking at sexual struggles alongside socialist concerns.