Obituary: The saviour of Harrogate’s abandoned animals

Margaret Rose Drury, aged 20, in her wedding year, 1946.
Margaret Rose Drury, aged 20, in her wedding year, 1946.

A wonderful woman who did a lot of good work in her life.

After setting up Harrogate’s Society for Abandoned Animals in her Bilton home in 1974, Margaret Rose Drury dedicated her time to helping find a home for abandoned animals all over the district.

Married to George Drury, a lorry driver, from 1946, she was mother to three children - Christopher, 67, Lesley, 63, and Richard, 61.

Animals always had a firm place in Mrs Drury’s heart and her daily life, and even when she tried to retire at the age of 77, she would still be the first port of call for many people needing her help. This happened throughout her life, and well into her 80s.

Her daughter Lesley Carey told the Harrogate Advertiser: “There are a lot of local people who still remember her, she was a very wonderful woman in her own way.

“She kept to her principles and did her absolute utmost to help animals, even when it cost her money and time.

“She spent hours trying to find homes for pets and right up until she died she was still sending food to Pateley Bridge strays.

“Even the police, if they found a cat or a dog, they would bring it round, and so did the social services when people went into a home.

“She did a lot for the animals of Harrogate, starting off as a one man band, and she was a really hard worker.”

Lesley said her mother will be fondly remembered by many people.

Included in this are the two vets at Crab Lane in Bilton, Nigel and Frances Harcourt-Brown, with whom Mrs Drury worked for many years.

They said: “We have known Mrs Drury for nearly 40 years. She was one of our first clients when we set up our veterinary practice in Crab Lane and we treated and neutered the animals she rehomed.

“’Mrs D’ was a favourite with us and our staff. She tirelessly and selflessly worked to help several hundred unwanted and stray cats and dogs. She will be missed.”

Mrs Drury’s pets, one dog and two cats, have been found a home, some of them going to her daughter Lesley.

The funeral for Mrs Drury will be held at 2.20pm on February 24 at Stonefall Cemetery and Crematorium.

Mrs Drury lived a truly full life

Born on October 22, 1926, Margaret Rose married George Drury 20 years later, in October 1946.

With her husband George she had three children.

In 1974 she set up Harrogate’s Society for Abandoned Animals and ran it from her home in Bilton.

On February 11, 2015, she died, at the age of 88.