Respects paid to bloom champion Bernard

Tributes have been paid to well-known Berwick resident Bernard Shaw at a funeral service.

Thursday, 16th December 2021, 4:17 pm
Northumbria in Bloom presentation (2015): Lord Beith presents an award for Berwick to Bernard Shaw, centre, and Hazel Bettison. Picture: Jane Coltman.

The loving husband, father and grandfather died at the age of 86 on December 3.

He was born in Southport in 1935. After completing his National Service, he qualified as a teacher and taught in schools near Liverpool and in Newcastle before he retired in 1988, and moved to Berwick with wife Margaret and daughter Clare the following year.

As chairman of the Civic Society in 1995, he oversaw the restoration of the Main Guard that became the society’s headquarters.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

With others, he created several summer exhibitions with booklets to accompany them – including the ‘Coming of the Railway’s to Berwick’ and ‘Berwick at War’.

Although not a regular church-goer, he was a member of the Church Trust and he wrote, with the assistance of the then Vicar, Alan Hughes, a history of the Parish Church and a booklet on the churches of Berwick.

He was a founder member of a relaunched History Society and was its chairman for many years, and he served as a trustee of the Berwick Community Trust.

Bernard was involved in many projects including ‘The Golden Age of Northumbria’ and ‘Stephenson 150’. He created, with others, the former interpretation trail through the parks and the New Road.

He was a member of the committees that over saw the realigning of Marygate, an interpretation of Berwick Railway Station and the development of the ‘Public Transport Interchange’.

One of the most progressive schemes was to ensure Berwick qualified as a Cittaslow Town. This accreditation took 18 months and required him working with many different organisations.

He promoted Berwick whenever a chance emerged and was Berwick’s representative on the European Walled Towns organisation.

In 2009, he was encouraged by the then town centre manager to enter Berwick into Northumbria in Bloom. It took 10 years to reach Gold.

This year saw the best results ever for the town. Of 14 entries, 13 were of the highest (Gold) level.

Bernard’s peaceful nature and diplomacy meant that very few can claim to have fallen out with him. His funeral service took place on Tuesday at Berwick Parish Church.