Remembering your good work across Hartlepool and East Durham

Albert Lumley with the children who inspired him into verse.
Albert Lumley with the children who inspired him into verse.

There’s lots of people in Hartlepool and East Durham who do incredibly worthy work.

And it seems it has been that way for many a year.

Doreen Close with some of the dolls she made clothes for.

Doreen Close with some of the dolls she made clothes for.

We turned the clock back to 1983 to look at the quirky way people were doing their bit for important causes.

One creative woman was supporting Cancer Research. Doreen Close spent her time knitting clothes for dolls from her Seaton Carew home.

The Hartlepool Mail said at the time: “Her clicking needles have raised thousands of pounds for cancer research, churches, old people and of course been a constant source of financial aid for worthy causes in Seaton Carew.”

At the time we spoke to her in 1983, she was on the search for more dolls to clothe so that she could prepare them for a summer fair at Holy Trinity Church in Seaton Carew.

Just as handy with the knitting needles was Father Keith Mitchell from St Oswald’s Church in Hartlepool who racked up £600 for the appeal to replace the dilapidated roof at the church.

Just as important was the work that lollipop man Albert Lumley was doing.

Although it wasn’t for charity, Albert, 66 at the time and a grandfather, loved composing verses in between helping the youngsters across the road near St Helen’s School.

He became a lollipop man after retiring from the steelworks and his rhymes included this excellent effort;

My cap is yellow, my jacket is white,

I look to the left and then to the right,

Who am I, will you try and guess,

I stand out bold, without a recess.

His work clearly made a difference as Albert was loved by the children he helped.

Over in East Durham, a Wingate pub landlord was preparing for a head shave with a difference – just to make sure that enough money was raised for the children of his regulars to go on an outing.

John Elliott, of the Commercial Hotel, was planning to sit in the middle of the bar room and have his locks chopped off – before having a Mickey Mouse painted onto his newly balded head.

John, aged 60 at the time, said: “When you get to my age you don’t really care. Everything is coming off and I don’t mind because it is all for a good cause.”

He had hoped to raise between £60 and £70 and who can tell us how his head shave went?

Or who remembers the excellent knitting of Father Mitchell and Doreen Close?

Or perhaps you got to experience the excellent verses of Albert Lumley. Or maybe you can think of other outstanding fundraisers and community heroes from down the years.

Get in touch and tell us more by emailing