Leicester writer needs your help telling lost story

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Katrina Chilver

A Leicester writer is seeking information for her book based around an inherited collection of letters.

Melissa Lawrence, 55, of Clarefield Road, is basing her book on the life of Ethel North, close companion of Lady Burghclere, the sister of the fifth Earl of Carnavon who funded the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb.

Ms Lawrence said: “I think there is an amazing story to be told and at the moment I am desperate to find anybody that knows anything about her.

“She didn’t have any children but she had six sisters so there is bound to be relatives of hers out there somewhere.

“I want information and to check that everybody is okay with me writing this.”

Ethel was the eldest daughter of butcher Harry North, whose original shop sign can still be found in the West End of Leicester on the corner of Hinckley Road and Ridley Street.

She was friends with Ms Lawrence’s grandmother and wrote to her between 1919 and 1933, during her travels with Lady Burghclere.

Ms Lawrence added: “About four years ago my mother died and I knew there was a collection of letters that I thought would be interesting to look at.

“The letters weren’t in order and there was one letter I read where Ethel’s personality started to come through, it was almost like she came alive.

“After that, I started putting the letters in order as best as I could and felt inspired to write about her.”

Ethel went on to work for the Leicestershire branch of the British Red Cross until she passed away in 1960 when she was living in Wynfield Road.

Ms Lawrence added: “Ethel was born and died in Leicester and she refers to the city quite a lot in her letters.”

If you have any information that could help with Ms Lawrence’s research, call her on 0116 285 8718 or email mel@melissalawrence.co.uk.

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