Plaque at 194 Marlborough Avenue (where Kay was born), HU5 3LE
Kay was born in Hull in 1915, living there for seven years and then in France and Germany, when her father’s work moved there. She became interested in film and in 1935, when working as a secretary at Goebbels’ International Film Congress in Berlin, she met delegates from the British feature industry, who she contacted for a job when she returned to Britain. She soon realised that she wanted to direct, but was employed for several years in traditionally female departments such as publicity and production. In 1937, Kay joined the Association of Cinematographic Technicians (ACT – now BECTU) and in 1940, became the first woman to be elected to their General Council. She went on to direct around 50 technical training films for clients, including Shell, the Fire Service and the Ministry of Home Security, as well as educational films. After setting up a film unit in Indonesia with her husband, Kay returned to Britain during the 1950s to continuity roles, working on films such as From Russia with Love and Tommy. She died in 2013.
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