Mar­i­lyn Stowe

Mar­i­lyn Stowe is se­nior part­ner Stowe Fam­ily Law, the UK’s largest spe­cial­ist fam­ily law firm. She started the firm in 1982 in a con­verted cob­blers shop in Hal­ton, Leeds. She is mar­ried to fel­low solic­i­tor and part-time Judge Gra­hame Stowe. Their son Benj

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What’s your first York­shire mem­ory?

I was born and raised in Leeds and al­ways wanted to stay in the city. I was ed­u­cated at Tal­bot Road Pri­mary School and later Leeds Girls High School and the Uni­ver­sity of Leeds. I love Round­hay Park in Leeds. I have vivid child­hood mem­o­ries of sledg­ing in the snow down Hill 60, feed­ing the ducks in the Canal Gar­dens and play­ing ten­nis af­ter school on the courts. My par­ents even­tu­ally moved to an apart­ment block in the park.

What’s your favourite part of the county and why?

I’ve been a run­ner for 30 odd years and within min­utes of leav­ing home can be in the coun­try­side, around Ec­cup. My favourite race ever is the Hare­wood 10 miles, which runs around the Ec­cup Reser­voir and Hare­wood, past the set of Em­merdale.

What’s your idea of a per­fect day, or per­fect week­end, in out in York­shire?

Per­fec­tion is sim­ply be­ing out­doors, so re­cently over a long week­end, I had three days of en­joy­ing dif­fer­ent ter­rains. One day was spent walk­ing nine miles around Ec­cup, an­other do­ing five more hilly miles along the Ebor Way and the third day was lit­er­ally hill climb­ing up Ilk­ley Moor and hik­ing along the top of the moors. My job is in­tense, so be­ing out­side, breath­ing in fresh air and tak­ing in the views helps me to re­lax.

Do you have a favourite walk – or view?

My favourite view is near my home. It’s the view on the Ebor Way look­ing to­wards Hare­wood House with the Dales in the back­ground. Turner painted that view and it’s hang­ing in the Tate in Lon­don, but I can get to see it ev­ery day; driv­ing down Hare­wood Bank to work in Har­ro­gate and watch how the light and colour con­stantly changes. It’s a priv­i­lege to have a view like that on my doorstep and I’ll never take it for granted.

Which York­shire sports­man, past or present, would you like to take for lunch?

It has to be Kevin Sin­field, the cur­rent cap­tain of Leeds Rhi­nos. I’ve been a fan of Rugby League since I was seven, when my dad used to take me and it’s a real fam­ily event to go and watch my team. As far as I’m con­cerned it should be Sir Kevin Sin­field by now!

Which York­shire stage or screen star, past or present, would you like to take for din­ner?

I ad­mire Kay Mel­lor very much. I think we’d have a great laugh to­gether.

If you had to name your York­shire hid­den gem, what would it be?

Sand­send, just along from Whitby has the most won­der­ful beach that’s great for fam­i­lies and has great views. I’m not sure that it’s hid­den, but it’s def­i­nitely a gem.

What do you think gives York­shire its unique iden­tity?

I’d have to say that it’s the peo­ple. They’re open, straight­for­ward and friendly. I love that when you say hello to some­one whether on a walk or a run, they al­ways say hello back.

Do you fol­low sport in the county, and if so, what?

Of course, it has to be Rugby League and the Leeds Rhi­nos. I was at Wem­b­ley last year when they won the Chal­lenge Cup (as I was in 1999 when they last won it) and I’ve got my fin­gers crossed for this year as well. I also love horses and ev­ery year my firm spon­sors the Stowe Fam­ily Law Spring Meet­ing at York Races which usu­ally at­tracts about 30,000 peo­ple. This year it will be held on May 30 and will be our 10th year. It’s a won­der­ful day out.

Do you have a favourite restau­rant or pub?

The Black Swan at Old­stead off the A19 is amaz­ing. It’s friendly and wel­com­ing. The food and the wine list are great and they never have any prob­lem ac­com­mo­dat­ing any re­quests for non-meat op­tions. An­other bonus is the lo­ca­tion near to the White Horse at Kil­burn, so it’s per­fectly placed to ei­ther go for a walk be­fore your meal to work up an ap­petite, or af­ter­wards to work off dessert.

Do you have a favourite food shop?

Fod­der in the Great York­shire Show­ground. Owned by the York­shire Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety, there’s so much good stuff to choose from. It has a restau­rant too and I can per­son­ally rec­om­mend the choco­late cov­ered salted caramel fin­ger. It’s calo­rie free (I wish)

How do you think that York­shire has changed, for bet­ter or for worse, in the time that you have known it?

I think York­shire has changed and for the bet­ter. The stan­dard of living is good, the cost of living much cheaper than down south and with the coun­try­side on our doorstep, it is qual­ity living. York­shire is where my heart and my roots are and I’m thrilled to see it do­ing so well.

Has York­shire in­flu­enced your work?

Def­i­nitely. I’m a York­shire lass and what you see is what you get. That’s how I am in my work life as well. I have clients down south who tell me that they like deal­ing with me be­cause I’m di­rect and don’t flan­nel them, and I think that a char­ac­ter­is­tic of the York­shire peo­ple.

If a stranger to York­shire only had time to visit one place, where would it be?

I’d say spoil your­self, hire a chauf­feur for the day, or get a friend to drive. Then fol­low the route of day one of the Tour de France last year, from Leeds driv­ing through Hare­wood into the Dales, up to But­ter­tubs, tak­ing in breath­tak­ing views, fin­ish­ing as Le Tour did out­side our of­fices in Raglan Street in Har­ro­gate. Top it off with a splen­did af­ter­noon tea at Betty’s and a glass of cham­pagne. That’s what I would call a grand York­shire day out.

MAR­I­LYN STOWE: Her grand day out would be a drive around York­shire’s Tour de France route

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