By the time you read this I’ll have done a pilgrimage round parts of Fife for a BBC Scotland radio programme on the late and very great Jennie Lee.

It’s one of a couple being made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Open University, of which she was the instigator when Harold Wilson’s arts minister.

For those of us who were able to re-visit unfinished educational business thanks to the OU, it was, and remains, an inspirational institution.

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But in Jennie’s day – she was born in Lochgelly, home of the infamous tawse, in 1904 – the idea that a woman could become an MP, and then rise to cabinet level, was purely fanciful.

But she had a couple of things going for her early on – a miner father and grandfather steeped in politics, and being one of a family of just two in an age of large broods.

I visited the new version of her original school, which has retained the old roll of honour of those who became the dux.

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And nestled among the names of the boys, including author Ian Rankin, was Jennie. Smart as paint even then.

With a Carnegie grant she found her way to Edinburgh University, and latterly became the youngest MP in the Commons when she won North Lanark for the Independent Labour Party at a by-election when she was just 25. And held on to it at the general election.

Her marriage to Nye Bevan, one of the prime movers of universal health care, produced one of Labour’s power couples, and, after a decade out of front line politics, she became an MP again in 1945.

But it was 20 years later, as a junior minister in the Department of Education and Science, that she lobbied for and pushed the cause of a “University of The Air”.

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And if she had done nothing else with her life, that in itself would be a fabulous legacy.

The folk I met in Fife remain fiercely proud of their pioneering daughter. Me too.