Tribute to an Amble lass

Posted on 30th November 2017 | in Community

Helen Simpson was the founder of Amble’s Variety Club. She published three books of her poetry for charity.

Helen Simpson was born and bred in Amble and remained an ‘Amble lass’ all her life.

One of eight children, her family lived in Turner Street and Ivy Street. She attended Amble Modern School until she was 15. Her first jobs were in local shops, the bingo hall and later a pub before becoming a post lady.

She looked after the Masonic Lodge, and was also chef at the Bede Street Club, producing buffets and catering for weddings.

She was blessed with daughters Yvonne and Wendy and grandchildren Jo, Emma and Stephanie. She loved sharing their achievements.

Helen and Colin married in 1985 and lived in Acklington Street and Bede Street before moving to Andrew Drive.

She had a creative mind and was skilled with her hands. She loved to dabble with painting and her home displayed many of her watercolours. She often used prints of her paintings on family cards.

Helen was a prolific knitter and knew her way around a sewing machine, a skill she used for clothes and costumes. She was a talented poet and produced three books of poetry for charity.

Variety Club founder
She spent a lot of time and energy creating a ‘sense of community’. She founded the Variety Club and presented pantomimes and shows in the Parish Hall encouraging youngsters into drama. She wrote the scripts and together with her dear friend Hilda Henderson made the costumes arranged the music; sorted the staging and supervised the rehearsals. She was inspired by all that her grandmother had achieved in a former generation.

She was very sure of herself, always positive, and looking on the bright side. Home and family were her priority but she was generous with her time and always wanted to change the world.

Sadly, she suffered a thrombosis but was able to get about on her mobility scooter. She loved visiting the harbour and the links, and would meet up with her sisters and friends to have a good chat.

In September she was diagnosed with lung cancer, but managed to find the strength to organise her affairs. She died in Cramlington Hospital on October 18 with her family around her.

Her contribution to the life of Amble will be remembered and she will be greatly missed.

Yvonne Davies

Related article: Appeal for Variety Club photos