Tributes paid to tireless community stalwart who was given MBE by Prince Charles for decades of dedication

Tributes have been paid to a tireless community stalwart who dedicated her life to improving the village where she was born and never left.
Dorothy Clark outside Greatham Community Centre which she was chair of for around 50 years.Dorothy Clark outside Greatham Community Centre which she was chair of for around 50 years.
Dorothy Clark outside Greatham Community Centre which she was chair of for around 50 years.

Much-loved Dorothy Clark, awarded the MBE for her decades of community service to Greatham, has died at the age of 90.

That included about 50 years as chair of Greatham Community Association, which runs the village community centre, and more than 30 years as a key part of Greatham in Bloom responsible for all the public planting which won many medals in Northumbria in Bloom.

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People are asked to wear green or yellow and carry a gardening implement or sweeping brush to salute as her funeral cortege passes through the village next Thursday morning, May 14.

Dorothy after receiving her MBE at Buckingham Palace in May 2016.Dorothy after receiving her MBE at Buckingham Palace in May 2016.
Dorothy after receiving her MBE at Buckingham Palace in May 2016.

Dorothy’s son Peter Clark, 64, said: “Mum loved Greatham which is why she was involved in so many different things.

“As a family we’re immensely proud of everything she achieved. She leaves a massive hole in our lives but we can look back with great pride and affection at everything she did for us.”

When she was younger Dorothy worked in the village shop and later as a cook at Cerebos factory in the village, then one of Hartlepool’s big employers.

She married Geoff Clark in 1950 and they had one son.

Dorothy celebrating Greatham's success in Northumbria in Bloom in 2018 with fellow members Peter Dixon, Hazel Campbell, Ann Murray and Brian Walker. Picture by FRANK REIDDorothy celebrating Greatham's success in Northumbria in Bloom in 2018 with fellow members Peter Dixon, Hazel Campbell, Ann Murray and Brian Walker. Picture by FRANK REID
Dorothy celebrating Greatham's success in Northumbria in Bloom in 2018 with fellow members Peter Dixon, Hazel Campbell, Ann Murray and Brian Walker. Picture by FRANK REID
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At the age of 86 in 2016, Dorothy, along with her family and close friend Brian Walker, travelled to Buckingham Palace to receive her MBE from Prince Charles.

Peter said: “It was a lovely day and one that she always treasured and remembered.”

At the time Dorothy said: “I’m proud to bring the MBE home in recognition for all the people in the village that help to make it the place that it is.”

She suffered a stroke around three years ago and moved into Stichell House care home where Peter said she was very well cared for.

Dorothy regularly entered Greatham Feast's fancy dress competition with close friend Brian Walker seen her as Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot.Dorothy regularly entered Greatham Feast's fancy dress competition with close friend Brian Walker seen her as Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot.
Dorothy regularly entered Greatham Feast's fancy dress competition with close friend Brian Walker seen her as Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot.
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Although in a wheelchair, she continued to attend village events and meetings of Greatham in Bloom and the community association.

Dorothy also leaves brother Malcolm Thompson, daughter-in-law Tracy and grandchildren Joe, 33, and Rebecca, 29.

A memorial service is planned next year as the current restrictions mean her funeral can only be attended by her family.

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