Nancy (Lucy Frances) Nettleford (1914-?)


Nancy Nettlefold dedicated her life to social justice and made key contributions to cause of equal pay and the anti-apartheid movement. 

Nancy Nettlefold came to LSE in 1914 after being awarded firsts in both parts of the Cambridge law tripos, since Cambridge did not award degrees to women until 1948. Although she did not complete her further studies at the LSE, probably at least in part because of World War I intervening, Nettlefold was an active member in the British Federation of University Women.She had begun to qualify as a lawyer, but the war intervened and she finally abandoned law when her father died in 1924. She joined her brother as managing director of the family ironmongery business. Her father had kept Nettlefold and Sons, High Holborn, London, separate from the Birmingham business, Nettlefold and Chamberlain, which later became Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds (GKN). In 1947 Nancy and her brother finally sold the London business to GKN. 
Nancy had been a member of the royal commission on equal pay, and became a Conservative member of London county council, to which she was elected in 1949. She later moved to South Africa with her sister, a student at the LSE, and became involved in the anti-apartheid movement. The leader of South Africa’s Progressive Party, Helen Suzman, said of her: “She was incensed by the lack of opportunities for non-Whites, and she did everything in her power to encourage those who were fighting for the removal of disabilities based on race and colour”.