Margot Mason Gibb Collection

Scope and Content

This collection contains personal correspondence with friends, colleagues and family members, including with Group Captain Leonard Cheshire and members of the Cheshire Family. Included is her work on the Cheshire Who's Who project, collecting the history of the overseas services and her papal award and certificate.

Administrative / Biographical History

Margaret Sylvia Gibb (nee Mason) was born in 1915 at Hinckley, Leicestershire. Throughout her life she was known as Margot. Whilst governess to the children of Earl Ferrers at Staunton Harold Hall in Leicestershire, Margot met Group Captain Leonard Cheshire who was being encouraged by the family to purchase the Hall for use as a Cheshire Home.

The sale of Staunton Harold was traumatic for the whole family, and the Earl died upon the eve of its sale. Finding herself at the end of a useful role at the hall, Margot decided to join Leonard in his fledgling foundation. A great administrator, she helped Leonard set up Cheshire Homes in the UK and then abroad in India, where she pioneered the foundations expansion in 50 different countries.

In 1964 Margot married Wing Commander James Clifford McEwen Gibb A.F.C in Durban, South Africa, and the pair lived there for a few years. Margot left Leonard Cheshire Foundation work for a while, becoming CEO of Helping Hands (now Turning Point) through her friendship with founder Barry Richards, who had also been a trustee of the Leonard Cheshire Foundation. Her friendship with Leonard Cheshire was partly responsible for her conversion to Catholicism, and her faith earned her a Papal Award in 1982.

By 1982 Margot was living in Norfolk, England and after her retirement from Helping Hands (and the death of her husband) she returned to further Leonard Cheshire Foundation work, assisting Leonard with compiling a history of the overseas Cheshire Homes for his new archive, many of which she had set up herself.

In the 1980s Margot was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and continued to work supporting the archive's development until her death in 1990.


The collection is arranged into files of correspondence by correspondent or project, and is in date order where possible.

Conditions Governing Access

Access is granted by appointment with the Archivist, address:Leonard Cheshire Disability Archive Centre,Newlands House,Main Street, Netherseal, South Derbyshire, DE12 8DA email

Acquisition Information

All materials were donated by Margot Mason Gibb between 1985 and 1990.

Other Finding Aids

An item level finding aid is available at the Leonard Cheshire Disability Archive. Access is given at the Archivist's discretion.

Separated Material

Oral histories pertaining to Margot Mason Gibb can be found in the Leonard Cheshire Sound Archive GB 2047 AV-S

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction is subject to copyright law and access is subject to the Data Protection Act and other relevant legislation

Related Material

An oral history interview from 1989 about Margot's early life can be found on Leonard Cheshire Disability's Rewind website click here to view