Community pays tribute to Mary

The Duchess of Northumberland visits Pegswood. Mary Henderson is presented with her certificate.
The Duchess of Northumberland visits Pegswood. Mary Henderson is presented with her certificate.

A RESPECTED member of the Pegswood community has died following a short illness.

Mary Henderson was involved with a number of local organisations over the years and was one of the people who started Pegswood Community Project from a small colliery row house in 1991.

The former Chairman was instrumental in developing its services and the move to a new centre on Longhirst Road so that it could offer activities for villagers of all ages.

Pegswood Community Project Manager Tracy Machnicki said: “Mary had a pivotal role in developing the project to the huge success that it is now. Besides her family, the project was one of the most important things in her life and her commitment to the services, staff and users was endless.

“Over many years she worked tirelessly to bring better services to the people of Pegswood and she will be greatly missed. We will be dedicating our community garden in her memory.

“Upon giving up her Chairman position due to health reasons, Mary was awarded the position of Life President which she was very proud of.”

Mrs Henderson died on Monday in Wansbeck General Hospital at the age of 79. Residents have been expressing their sadness at the news over the last few days.

Pegswood Parish Council Chairman Peter Stonell said: “Mary had been at the centre of village life for many years through her involvement with the Pegswood Welfare Ladies Committee, Pegswood with Bothal WI, where she was Past President, and having been involved from the very beginning as Chairman of Pegswood Community Project and, latterly, Life President.

“Her commitment was recognised last year when she was awarded the parish council’s Meritorious Service Award and received the Duchess of Northumberland at the project prior to the opening of the Juliet Oakley Activity Area.”

A book of condolence is being opened at Pegswood Community Project and funeral details will be announced in due course. The open day which was scheduled to take place at the building tomorrow has been cancelled.