LADY OF THE MANOR OF RIDLINGTON

DEBORAH ANNE ANGUS

5 Banool Avenue,
St. Ives NSW 2075
AUSTRALIA
debbyangus@optusnet.com.au

I was born in Sydney, Australia on February 24th 1954.  My father was Arthur Leighton Angus, a descendant of the Angus/Angas family who settled in South Australia.  My ancestor, George Fife Angas, is known as the founder of South Australia.  His family were Carriage builders in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, U.K., but in the early 1830’s, it was George who brought German wine makers to the new colony of South Australia.

A later branch of the family continued the Carriage building tradition in Sydney, New South Wales, and established Angus and Sons, Carriage Builders. My great grandfather was offered the first automobile dealership in Australia for Singer motors.  He unfortunately said “Those new fangled things will never catch on…” and so he continued for some time to produce Carriages.  His firm later joined the Rolls Royce Company of New South Wales.

My mother’s side of the family, the Marr’s, were from “Ardlogie” a farm in Fyvie, Scotland.  The first of that family to arrive in Australia was Gordon Marr who took passage on the S.S. Rifleman in 1862 and after a voyage of 4 months, arrived in Sydney in April 1863. He established an iron foundry, Gordon Marr and Sons, which in time became the largest in the southern hemisphere.

I was educated at Pymble Ladies College on Sydney’s North Shore and graduated with a Higher School Certificate.  I then did a year’s secretarial course but went on to make TV commercials and finally graduated to acting in local productions including “Home and Away”, “Sons and Daughters”, and “Behind the Legend”.  I also worked at Channel 9 in Sydney for 2 years as a secretary.

In 1979 I married and had two children, Stephanie and Andrew. (But divorced 5 years later). My daughter Stephanie is a TV Producer for a current affairs program and my son Andrew is a Stockbroker and Financial Advisor.

At the age of 12, I took to studying painting and started portrait classes in the evening at Jerrold Nathan’s studio. Mr. Nathan was a royal academist who had retired to Australia to be near his daughter.

I have always been passionate about painting and after the birth of my daughter, turned my interest into a business – The Amberley Art Studio that I still run today.

In addition to managing the art school, I paint portraits on commission and also submit work at major exhibitions in Sydney.  Some of my subjects have been Brendon Nelson, former Leader of the Federal Opposition; Gai Waterhouse, leading racehorse trainer; Peter Harvey, Journalist and “60 Minutes” Presenter; Doug Walters, international cricketer and Glenn Boss, leading jockey and three times winner of the Melbourne Cup.

I was a finalist in the Dobell Prize for Drawing at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2010 and have been a 3 times finalist in the Portia Geach Memorial Portrait prize for Women Artists.

I illustrate children’s books and was the Judge of the 2006 Bradfield Art Prize for NSW school children and also adjudicate for the Northern Suburbs Agricultural Society Art Show.

Other qualifications include a Dispensary Assistant Certificate and a Business Degree.

Volunteer activities include Guest Instructor for the Avondale Pony Club; raising orphan possums for the Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Service, and the Delta Society Pets in Therapy program.  As a member of the Delta Society, my dog Alice and I were volunteers at the Lourdes Nursing home for dementia patients.  No one remembered me but my dog Alice was welcomed with open arms.  She was a special sort of service dog who was never off duty.  She sat with people in wheelchairs, or with disabilities wherever we went and six months after her passing I am still getting enquiries about her.

In December 2006 I bought the Feudal rights to the village of Ridlington in Rutland, U.K. from Sir Anthony Noel, Earl of Gainsborough.  In 2007 I came to England and met with him at which time he awarded me his title of Lord/Lady of the Manor of Ridlington, Rutland. Since coming into the title of Lady of the Manor, both my son and daughter have visited the village of Ridlington. Andrew will, in time, assume any future responsibilities related to the village.

This is one of the most memorable and enriching things I have ever done.  Not only are my family and I once again closely connected with the United Kingdom, but I have also made a whole village of new friends.  I feel incredibly privileged to be part of the village of Ridlington and the lovely people who live there.