History: Linton Life

Born on 4th March 1925, Sheila Catherine Bownas was an only child. She lived in Linton-in-Craven, North Yorkshire, where her parents Reg and Minnie owned and ran the village general store.


Sheila attended Threshfield Primary School between 1930 and 1936 followed by Skipton Girls’ High School. Showing artistic promise and encouraged by her art mistress, she was awarded the West Riding Junior Art Scholarship to attend Skipton Art College between 1941 and 1946. Here she studied various aspects of art & design and at the age of 17 we see a first glimpse of her natural flair for pattern and hand drawn repeat work.

On completing her exams with distinction and 1st class results Sheila gained the West Riding Senior County Art Scholarship to go to London’s prestigious Slade School of Art in 1946. Her proud parents gave her their blessing, even though it meant losing her to the capital, which had barely recovered from the ravages of war.

Sheila’s designed a pattern which depicts the village of Linton (shown below). You can see a grand looking building which stands in front of the village green. This is Fountaine’s Hospital, an almshouse funded by Richard Fountaine to house the poor of the ancient parish of Linton since 1721. He left instructions for a hospital, using the word in the contemporary sense of a ‘refuge’, in his will for the benefit of “the poor of the community” along with strict instructions as to how his bequest was to be administered down the years. The legacy still stands today.

Sheila lived to the right of this building in the cluster of little cottages.

  • Sheila Bownas
    Sheila Bownas
  • Sheila c 1926
    Sheila c 1926
  • The village store in Linton
    The village store in Linton
  • Sheila's pattern depicting the village of Linton
    Sheila's pattern depicting the village of Linton
  • Sheila and her mother Minnie
    Sheila and her mother Minnie
  • Sheila and her father Reg
    Sheila and her father Reg
  • (aged 17) Sheila's art homework from Skipton College titled
    (aged 17) Sheila's art homework from Skipton College titled "Sprig Patterns" dated 1942