ISOBEL SCOTT was simply a baker's daughter from Middlesbrough until she met Edmund Chaytor in Darlington.

He was quite a catch, being the youngest son of the wealthy landowning Chaytor family of Croft - Croft Hall (below) had been their family home for 600 years.

The Northern Echo:

They married on February 19, 1912, and moved to Redcar where Isobel had a daughter, Lilyan, in November.

But eight months later, their comfortable family life suddenly changed – as a talk in Croft Village Hall next week will explain.

Edmund's older brother, Sir William Clervant Chaytor, died suddenly and unexpectedly, transforming Edmund into the 6th Baronet of Croft and Witton Castle – a century earlier, the 1st Baronet had been instrumental in getting the Stockton & Darlington Railway to start from near his castle, and coalmine, in south Durham.

And so Isobel became Lady Chaytor!

Isobel enjoyed being a lady. She liked the limelight and the high life. She had three more children, and the family lived in the south for many years during which time she was ill for a while. But when the family returned to live at Witton Castle (below) in the late 1920s, she entered a period of frantic social activity. There were balls, whacky parties, charity dos, speeches, a jaunt across the Syrian desert and the odd car accident – Isobel was highly visible and frequently in the newspapers.

The Northern Echo: The Chaytor family had homes in Croft-on-Tees and Spennithorne, but Isobel held her balls at Witton Castle, near Bishop Auckland

In 1931, she announced that she intended to fly to Australia to lecture on British fashion – even though she could not fly and did not have a plane.

So she partnered with a man 15 years her junior who could and did.

Her Gipsy Moth left the Brooklands racing circuit and aerodrome in Surrey on March 8, 1932, and after many mishaps arrived in Darwin on April 24. She toured Australia and New Zealand for seven months, becoming a noted celebrity and fashion expert.

It is not clear what her credentials were as a fashion expert but she claimed to have run her own fashion business and espoused opinions about how well both Australians and Kiwis were dressing and what they needed to do to keep up with the smart cities of Europe. She ‘lectured’ to people at the smart stores of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Wellington as well as speaking at dozens of engagements in country towns.

When she left Australia on November 19, 1932, she sailed to Los Angeles, where she rejoined her husband, Sir Edmund. She did not return to England until March the following year.

For years afterwards, Isobel cropped up in the papers as the woman who flew halfway around the world was still a minor celebrity. She was well known in California and she seems to have had a connection with the film industry.

Sir Edmund died unexpectedly in Santa Monica in California in 1935 and within five months Isobel married a rich American businessman. She faded from view after the Second World War and died on the island of Madeira in 1968, where she had lived since the mid 1950s, at the Miramar Hotel in Funchal.

The Northern Echo: Isobel Chaytor, pioneering aviatrix and fashionista, whose amazing story is to be told in a talk next week

Isobel Chaytor, pioneering aviatrix and fashionista

Kate Streatfield has been researching Isobel’s amazing story over the last couple of years, and will deliver a talk, Flight and Fashion: Lady Isobel Chaytor’s Australian Aviation Adventure, at Croft Village Hall, based on her research at 7.30pm – doors open at 7pm – on Wednesday, January 19. Admission is £5 on the door to include refreshments.