Legends of Sunderland: Rosalyn Warner, the “Mad Cow Girl” of the Monster Raving Loony Party

Rosalyn Warner (1961-2010) was a nurse and political satirist who became known in Sunderland due to her participation in the satirical Monster Raving Loony Party.

Originally born in Essex, Sunderland came into Warner’s life after she visited a friend in the city and decided she liked the place. As she told the Echo in 2008: “After a two-week visit to a friend in Sunderland I quickly decided that the friendliness and hospitality of the people up in the North East of England was my kind of society. The north-south divide does exist in my opinion – the north being a much more pleasant place to live.

Working full-time as a nurse at the intensive care unit at the Royal Hospital, Warner’s participation in the Monster Raving Loonies began after she met Screaming Lord Sutch in 1997 and decided to join the party, believing that politics really only ought to be treat as a joke and a bit of fun to be had.

As she also told the Echo: “We like to have fun when we go to elections…That’s what we’re in it for. But on this occasion it seems that the sensible candidate is acting like a loony, so it’s up to the Loony Party to try and act sensibly. What a topsy-turvy world we live in.

Creating the joke persona “The Mad Cow girl”, she would go on to hold numerous positions on the party’s executive committee, and regularly fielded herself (at the cost of her own deposit) in many parliamentary and by-elections, including against high profile figures such as David Davis.

Although the Monster Raving Loony party is just a laugh, Warner was nonetheless committed to her local community and the area of Hendon she lived in. Having stood in many Hendon elections in the early 2000s, she successfully helped steer the protest vote away from the BNP, and even beat their candidate in the vote for the Hendon regeneration project. Because of this, she was well respected.

However, Warner passed away unexpectedly at the age of just 48 years old. The cause of her passing was never revealed publicly and she was cremated on Friday July 16th at the Chester Road Crematorium.