Nick Washington-Jones, TACK UK’s MD, talks about three of the women that have inspired him on International Women’s Day 2019.

I find it incredibly difficult to single out just one person and call them a role models or inspirational person, as there have been so many! I have therefore chosen to focus on three people who to me have a great strength of character and drive, a “can do” attitude and have an incredible spirit of adventure – all of which inspires me to do more in my life!

  1. Amelia Earhart, the American aviation pioneer who was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic. Many years ago, I stood with my father by her memorial plaque in Bury Port in Wales and thought about what an adventurous spirit she must have had, coupled with extraordinary bravery. We are talking 1932 here with a plane built of wood with a plywood covering and a 225 horsepower engine!
  2. Elspeth Beard. For anyone into motorcycling and especially adventure motorcycling then you should recognise the name, as she was the first English woman to ride a motorcycle solo around the world. It took 2 years and 35,000 miles of motorcycle riding through every major continent on an old BMW R60 motorcycle. Hands up who doesn’t think that is inspirational?
  3. The third one is actually my first and most special one and it’s my mum of course. She came from a working class family in Liverpool and like so many at the time, left school at 14 to start work and help contribute to the family’s needs. In her late 20s, she enlisted in the WAF and was stationed at RAF Cardiff where she met and married my father who was in the RAF. She had four sons (sadly one died aged just 6 months) and never stopped working until forced to retire at 60. During her lifetime she lived in Venezuela (my brother was born there) and Georgia in the US where she co-ran a successful printing business. She travelled around the world, often flying first class with Pan-Am or on the Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth from Liverpool to New York and always ready for another overseas travel adventure right up until the day she died. My mother took everything in her stride, she had been poor and she had been comfortable but she never showed off. She was incredibly kind and generous to all and I think about her and miss her every single day.