Beryl Footman grew up on a council estate in Essex. She studied maths at Nottingham University then became a teacher. In 1963 she became Head of Macclesfield County High School for Girls where she remained for 16 years. She encouraged her pupils to broaden their horizons, to think beyond careers as nurses, teachers and secretaries, to aim to be surgeons, scientists, engineers.

Miss Footman then became Principal of Macclesfield College when it was on its current site but also on Parsonage Street, Park Lane (Silk Museum) and Park Green (Wetherspoons).

And since her retirement she has not become idle! She took on roles on exam boards and she still (at 94) gives motivational talks to young people and continues to be a much loved, admired and inspirational ex Head of two of the town's significant educational institutions.

She has also played an important role in the development of the town. She was a founder member of the Friends of Macclesfield Silk Heritage, who preserved the looms etc from the closing silk mills and thereby ensured that we have a Silk Museum at all.