Worthy honour is a real Close call!

Gladys Worthy pictured at the entrance to the close named after her
Gladys Worthy pictured at the entrance to the close named after her

A FORMER mayor has had a street named after her on a new housing development.

Gladys Worthy has been given the honour to recognise her work serving the Owton, Catcote and Rift House areas of Hartlepool as a councillor for 32 years.

Gladys Worthy with (left to right) Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher, Coun Marjorie James and Coun Angie Wilcox in Gladys Worthy Close.

Gladys Worthy with (left to right) Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher, Coun Marjorie James and Coun Angie Wilcox in Gladys Worthy Close.

The mum of two said it brought a tear to her eye when she found out the news.

The 82-year-old was a county councillor for 12 years, a magistrate between 1974 and 1991 and stood as ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool between 1995 and 1996.

Gladys Worthy Close is a new development of 18 houses between Kipling Road and Thackeray Road, on the Rift House estate.

Labour councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher nominated his close friend, who retired as Rift House ward councillor in May, to be honoured in this way.

The move was rubber-stamped by Hartlepool Borough Council.

Gladys, a former Labour councillor, said: “It is great to be honoured by my colleagues in this way. My family and friends are very pleased for me and it is a great honour.

“I was in Turkey visiting family when I received the news via text message and it brought a tear to my eye.

“I have lived on this estate for 48 years in July and I hope people living in this close will be as happy and as fulfilled as I have been serving this area.” Coun Akers-Belcher, who represents the Rift House ward, said: “Gladys has worked extremely hard in this area and she has been a fantastic public servant.

“Everybody knows her, and this is a fitting tribute.”

Gladys has been married to husband Norman, 87, for more than 60 years.

The couple, who celebrated their diamond wedding in January last year, met at the former Queens Rink Ballroom, in Clarence Road, Hartlepool, in 1949.

Gladys, who worked as a bus ticket operator, and Norman, who was a welder at Gray’s Shipyard, were married at St Oswald’s Church, in Brougham Terrace, Hartlepool, in 1950.

The couple have two children, Hilary Worthy and Norman Worthy, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

The new Kipling Road scheme includes two, three and four-bedroom family homes with one bungalow with wheelchair access.

The development has been funded by Hartlepool Borough Council and the Homes and Communities Agency.

The houses are being managed by Housing Hartlepool.