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Dancing queen Edith wants Hartlepool’s unsung heroes to follow in her steps

Lifetime Achievement award winner Edith Harrison receives her award from Editorial Director Joy Yates.
Lifetime Achievement award winner Edith Harrison receives her award from Editorial Director Joy Yates.

Ultra-fit Edith Harrison is into her 80th year of dance in Hartlepool - and she’s not about to stop any time soon.

The founder of Edith Harrison Performing Arts, who won the Lifetime Achievement category of the Best of Hartlepool Awards last year, has just completed eight decades in the business.

Dancer and performing arts teacher Edith Harrison in 2015 when she was invited to the Queen's Garden Party for her services to dancing.

Dancer and performing arts teacher Edith Harrison in 2015 when she was invited to the Queen's Garden Party for her services to dancing.

She admitted: “I suppose I will have to stop some day, but I can still do tap and ballet.”

She started dancing when she was three and celebrated her 83rd birthday in August.

Edith still runs the performing arts academy she formed to bring dance to children whose parents can not afford dance classes.

She qualified as a dance teacher when she was 16.

I suppose I will have to stop some day but I can still do tap and ballet

Edith Harrison

Edith joined the Hartlepool School of Dance and Drama when Winnie Warnes was principal and the line-up of teachers included Freda Compton and Lillian Pinkney.

She has been a school principal, a dance school owner, and much more besides.

In 2015, she was invited by Her Majesty the Queen to Buckingham Palace.

In typical Edith style, she was busy with putting on a new show almost as soon as she returned.

Dancer and performing arts teacher Edith Harrison in 2015 when she was invited to the Queen's Garden Party for her services to dancing.

Dancer and performing arts teacher Edith Harrison in 2015 when she was invited to the Queen's Garden Party for her services to dancing.

Edith was the winner of the Lifetime Achievement category and reflected on the awards night.

“I was surprised, but it was a good surprise,” she said.

“Everyone was very friendly and the atmosphere was really good. The meal was good and the presentation was excellent and I thought some very good people won awards. They deserved it.”

She urged the people of Hartlepool and East Durham to nominate their community favourites for this year’s competition and added: “It is up to the public to do that.”

This is your chance to give those very special unsung heroes the praise they so richly deserve.

We have loads of categories enter your nomination in. Take a look at the list below and choose the right one for your community favourite.

In fact, don’t limit yourself to putting forward one hero. Feel free to put as many nominations in as you like as we are sure there are loads of worthy causes out there.

Here are the categories to choose from;

• Young Performer of the Year (Under 21);

• Green Champion;

• Student of the Year;

• Fundraiser of the Year;

• Volunteer of the year;

• Sporting Excellence;

• Community Group;

• Community Champion;

• Child of Courage;

• Child of Achievement;

• Emergency services award;

• Carer of the Year;

• Neighbour of the Year;

• Sports team of the year;

• Role model of the Year;

• Lifetime Achievement award.

Stagecoach, the Northern School of Art, Hart Biologicals, Joel D. Kerr Funeral Services, Utility Alliance Ltd, Tilly Baily and Irvine, the Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group, and English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College are the backers in this year’s competition and we thank them all.

We want you to nominate people by post to Lynn Wild, Sunderland Echo, Alexander House, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland. DH4 5RA.

Alternatively, you can email: lynn.wild@jpress.co.uk, or nominate at http://www.bestofhartlepool.co.uk/nominate.

The deadline for entries is Friday, October 26. Soon after that, the judges will meet to draw up a shortlist of the best entries.

And then comes the grand finale which will be held at Hardwick Hall on Thursday, November 22,

In the meantime, make sure you have those nominations to us by the deadline date.

Let’s make this an awards which is really hard for the judging panel to sift through - because the standard of entries is so high.

And there’s only one way to do that. So come on, get nominating!