Lady Pearce

Lady Dinah Elizabeth Pearce,
1836 – 1918

Sir William was survived by his wife, Lady Dinah Elizabeth Pearce. Although overshadowed historically by her husband, Lady Pearce was nevertheless held in extremely high regard by the people of Govan. It was said of Lady Pearce: “Any community was well off where there was a ‘Good Angel’ in the district, with a liberal heart and a readiness to help forward the best interest of the people and the district”.

Lady Pearce acquired an intimate knowledge of and deep affection for the people of Govan. A discerning philanthropist, she was continually involved good causes and was one of the pioneers of the ‘Fresh Air Fortnight Scheme’ which gave hundreds of children, who had been ill or sickly, the opportunity to convalesce at the coast or the country. Lady Pearce was relentless in her activities, striving to improve living conditions for the poor and to alleviate distress and hardship. Through her efforts, she kept many homes together in dark days. Her most enduring gift to the people of Govan is the Pearce Institute, a beautiful A-listed building containing a public hall, library and other rooms, which remains a community establishment to this day.

Written by local resident
Mairi Holmes

To Dinah – Lady Pearce
By Fullertone, local resident

Lady Pearce

At the Gushet, “The Black Man” statue stands    Yes she carried on supporting his name
With this statue erected in his honour
In this showed pride, and,
The strength of the “women of the Clyde”
So three cheers and good wishes fall on her!

She commissioned and built “Our Institute”
And other buildings important to all
As comfy with the people of Govan
As she was at the society ball

Now like I’ve thought before
This woman was more, and much more
Than just a powerful man’s wife
‘Till eighty one years, she lived long and strong
Contributing to “Good Govan life”

No airs and no graces
No sign of two faces
She mixed so easily with them all
The elite and high fashion
Though, that wasn’t her passion
For the poor, she spoke loud and stood tall

But there is no memorial to his wife
For her honest goodwill to the people of Govan
We should commemorate her… and her life

Her name, Lady Dinah, Elizabeth Pearce
Though rich, suffered in Victorian life
Then, when her husband died
She seemed to thrive
And was freed from being just a wife

Well, when he passed on
Honoured, buried and gone
He left a fortune… indeed
And Dally… that’s Dinah, came into her own
Helping those, in Govan, in need

Behind every great man stands a great woman, they say,
Well, Dally was no exception
She stood by her man, proudly
In his colourful life
No matter society’s perception

Yes she carried on supporting his name
With this statue erected in his honour
In this showed pride, and,
The strength of the “women of the Clyde”
So three cheers and good wishes fall on her!

She commissioned and built “Our Institute”
And other buildings important to all
As comfy with the people of Govan
As she was at the society ball

Now like I’ve thought before
This woman was more, and much more
Than just a powerful man’s wife
‘Till eighty one years, she lived long and strong
Contributing to “Good Govan life”

No airs and no graces
No sign of two faces
She mixed so easily with them all
The elite and high fashion
Though, that wasn’t her passion
For the poor, she spoke loud and stood tall

She fought the good fight
She knew it not right
That the sick were ailing and sore
And although she was wealthy
Good, strong and healthy
She never forgot nor left out the poor

Her wonderful “fresh Air fortnights”
Filled up weak lungs…with good air
City kids gifted with air to breath
And free to run wild
With the wind through their hair

Her modern mind knew that the town’s life was killing
And to good health the smog was a thief
So for the children at most
A trip to country or coast
Was a two week pollution relief

So to Dally, Dinah Beth, an angel in Govan
I for one, would raise a glass
If a monument is proposed in HER memory
For she was truly a woman of class

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