My cousin, Margaret Holt, who died at the age of 76, was a Manchester stockbroker’s fund manager when she became the first woman to be admitted to the Northern Stock Exchange trading floor in 1972, almost a year before the addition of female members to the London Stock Exchange in 1973.
At the time, it was reported in the national press that Miss Holt “guardedly denies that women have a special role as stockbrokers – rather, she admits that investors generally have more confidence in male stockbrokers, but hopes this will change” Margaret was born in Liverpool, the daughter of an accountant, Frederick Holt, and a clerk, Millicent (née Stewartson).
She accompanied her parents on a journey around the world in 1948 at the age of four, visiting relatives in Canada before going on to Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and the Canary Islands, returning to the Southport area of Woodvale and Ainsdale, where she stayed for the rest of her life. Margaret became an internship student at Cheltenham Ladies’ College in 1955, then studied English and Drama at the University of Manchester, graduating in 1966.
She then wanted to pursue her interest in legislation and finance. She first worked at Tilneys, an investment management firm in Liverpool, and then became a fund manager and partner at Charlton, Stott, Dimmock and Co. stockbrokers in Manchester.
Before becoming a solicitor specializing in property law, she later retrained in law and worked for the Cooperative Wholesale Society and as a solicitor for Knowsley Borough Council. Margaret assisted a number of charitable organisations.
She was the director of the St Albans, Hertfordshire Abbeyfield Society, which provides elderly and disabled people with residential care activities, and worked with the Salvation Army, St John Ambulance, Methodist Homes for the Aged, Ainsdale Methodist Church, Halewood Youth-in-Community Centre, and St Hilda’s East Community Centre in London’s East End.
She was also an active member of Ainsdale’s St John’s Anglican Church and took care of her mother as she grew older. Her cousins, Ann, Ruth and herself, survived Margaret.