Honorary Awards 1992

Myrella Cohen QC (1927 - 2002)

Myrella Cohen QC

Her Honour Judge Myrella Cohen was the first woman barrister, the first woman QC and the first woman to occupy professional judicial office in the North East.

Born in 1927, she was educated at Manchester High School for Girls and Colwyn Bay Grammar School. She was Called to the Bar in 1950, after graduating from Manchester University and in 1972 became only the third woman in Britain to be appointed a Judge.

A Judge at Sunderland County Court for several years, who presided over North East Crown Courts, she left the region in 1988 to preside over courts at Harrow Crown Court, the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) and act as a Judge in the Family Division of the High Court.

President of Sunderland Soroptimists and Sunderland Cancer Research Campaign, she was a founder of the Sunderland Group of the League of Jewish Women and was a Life Member of its National Council.

Founder and President of Sunderland Family Conciliation Service, she was also Patron of Sunderland Council for the Disabled. Her husband, Lieutenant Colonel Mordaunt Cohen, was the first Chairman of the Board of Governors of the former Sunderland Polytechnic.


Sir Tom Cowie OBE (1922 - 2012)

Sir Tom Cowie

Sir Tom Cowie went into business selling used motorcycles from a small shop at Matamba Terrace, Sunderland, on June 1st, 1948, with capital of £1,000. 

The Cowie group embraced 20 motor dealerships and a contract hire fleet of some 65,000 vehicles, the largest in Britain, by the time Cowie retired in 1993 after 45 years at the helm. 

The Company, which was one of Britain's top 250, had Britain's largest fleet of vehicles on contract hire and a turnover of around £565m a year. In 1997 the company name was changed to Arriva.

Sir Tom was a former Chairman of Sunderland Football Club and received an OBE in 1982 for his political service.

Sir Tom was well known for his charitable work in the North East, and for his involvement in the Prince of Wales Community Venture, which encouraged projects involving young people. He received his knighthood in the Queen's New Year Honours List in 1992.


Dr Sue Hurley (1938 - 2004)

Sue Hurley

Dr Sue Hurley was Regional Director of the Open University.

A graduate of Manchester University, she went on to gain a PhD in Plant Biochemistry.

After two years on a Harkness Postdoctoral Fellowship to the University of lllinois in the United States, Dr Hurley returned to Britain to lecture at London University.

Dr Hurley played a key role in improving access to education for adults, particularly women, in the North East.

She was instrumental in the development of courses for childcare workers and 'A Hitch-hiker's Guide', an innovative programme to help adults on Wearside come to terms with Science and Technology. Dr Hurley was a member of the University of Sunderland's Board of Governors.

Sir Richard Storey CBE

Sir Richard Storey

Sir Richard Storey was the Chairman of Portsmouth and Sunderland Newspapers PLC from 1973 until it was purchased by Johnston Press in 1998.

A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, he completed his national service before being Called to the Bar in 1962.

He was a director of Reuters between 1986 - 92 and of the Press Association since 1986 (Chairman, 1991).

He was President of the Newspaper Society 1990 - 91, having been a member since 1986. 

Sir Richard was a member of the CBI's Employment Policy Committee, 1984 - 88 and the organisation's Regional Council between 1984 - 88. He was a member of the Press Council between 1980 - 86 and became a member of the European Newspaper Publishers' Association in 1991. 

From 1992 to 1993, he served as High Sheriff of North Yorkshire and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1996 "for services to the Newspaper Industry" and appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for North Yorkshire in 1998.

The RT Hon. the Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top

Hilary Armstrong

Hilary Jane Armstrong, Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top is a British Labour Party politician who was the member of parliament for North West Durham from 1987 to 2010.

She was educated at Monkwearmouth Comprehensive School, Sunderland, graduated in Sociology from West Ham College of Technology and gained a Diploma in Social Work at Birmingham University.

She worked as a social worker with Newcastle Social Sevices (1970- 73) and Southwick Neighbourhood Action Project, Sunderland (1973- 75). She joined the then Sunderland Polytechnic as a Lecturer in Community and Youth Work in 1975 and taught until she was elected to Parliament in 1987.

Between 1988-92, she was a member of the Education Front Bench Team, responsible for pre-school and primary education and equal opportunities. When she received the award in 1992 she was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Labour Leader, John Smith.


David Allan Stewart

Dave Stewart and Prof Anne Wright

David Allan Stewart was born in Sunderland on 9th September 1952.

Together with Annie Lennox he formed the Tourists in 1977. The Tourists split up in 1979 but Stewart and Lennox stayed together to form Eurythmics.

The duo's phenomenal success includes worldwide sales of over 30 million albums and sell-out concert tours throughout the world. Dave Stewart has won a wide range of music industry awards including Best Artist, Songwriter and Producer.

Dave has produced major Artists including Mick Jagger, Darryl Hall and John Oates, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Shakespear's Sister. He also composes film and TV soundtracks and movie scores, including:" Ruthless People"," Scrooged" and "Flatliners".

Dave owns and runs the successful record and publishing companies Anxious Records and Anxious Music and has established companies in the UK and United States for the development of feature films, drama and TV programmes.

The Honorary Fellowship for Dave Stewart was confered in a special ceremony at the University's Langham Tower on 5th November, 1992. 

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