‘Mum was positive and would look on the bright side of life’

Helen Simpson
Helen Simpson

A well-known Amble woman who was heavily involved in community life has died, aged 76.

Helen Simpson passed away on Wednesday, October 18, at Cramlington hospital with her family at her bedside.

Her funeral is on Tuesday at 10am at St Cuthbert’s Church, Amble, with a burial at West Cemetery, followed by tea at the Bede Street Club.

Helen will be remembered as a very positive woman who contributed much to her beloved home town.

She was born and bred in The Friendliest Port and remained an Amble lass all her life.

Born during an air raid in 1941, she was one of eight children, living in Turner Street and Ivy Street. She attended Amble Modern School until she was 15.

On leaving school, she worked at various local shops, the bingo hall and later part-time in a pub before becoming the Amble postwoman.

She looked after the Masonic Lodge, catering for all the events. Helen was also chef at the Bede Street Club.

Helen married Colin in 1985 and was mother to Yvonne and Wendy, as well as grandmother to Jo, Emma and Stephanie. She loved sharing their achievements with family and friends.

Creative Helen loved to paint and knit. She also wrote poems about her observations of life in Amble and sold three booklets during the 1990s giving the proceeds to charity. Last year, her poems were combined into one volume, My Thoughts in Amble.

Helen, who was particularly keen to encourage youngsters into drama and art, founded Amble Variety Club, which staged many variety shows and pantomimes.

She wrote the script, made the costumes along with her friend Hilda, arranged the music, sorted out the staging and was responsible for the rehearsals.

Sadly, she suffered a thrombosis which affected her mobility. However, she was still able to get out and about on her mobility scooter and loved visiting the Harbour and the Links.

She would often meet up with her sister and friends to have a good chat and put the world to right.

In September, she was diagnosed with lung cancer, but still managed to find the strength to organise her affairs, ensuring that cupboards were cleaned out and papers could be found.

Yvonne said: “Mum was well known and well respected in the town and admired for her community spirit.

“Her contribution to the life of Amble will be long remembered and she will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

“She had a great sense of fun. She was very sure of herself – very positive – and would always look on the bright side of life.

“Home and family were her priority, but she was also generous with her time and would always want to change the world for the better.”

Helen’s next project was going to be to make requests for photographs of the Amble Variety Club events, so she could have a collection to share with everyone.

Unfortunately she was unable to fulfil this idea as she was diagnosed with cancer.

In her memory, her family is appealing to anyone who has photographs, videos or press cuttings to email yvonne@garretstudio.co.uk