Sheila Snelling aka Mad Mary

Crawley’s best-known eccentric, Sheila Snelling, was born in south London in 1926, and died in her flat in Broadfield, Crawley, in 1995.

Thanks to her trademark dirty raincoat and floppy hat, and her habit of shouting and snarling at anyone in her vicinity, she acquired the popular name of Mad Mary.

Sheila Snelling appears to have had a fiancé, who was killed during the second world war. She is known to have attended the church at the Franciscan Friary, and to have visited the George Hotel for the occasional drink. Little else is known of her life except that upon moving to Crawley she lived for a while in Brighton Road, Southgate, and from 1979 to 1995 in Trefoil Cresent, Broadfield.

There are apparently plans to erect a plaque in her memory.

All the information on this page is taken from