Farewell to a great community servant

Joan and George Green
Joan and George Green

A FORMER Castle Morpeth Mayoress has died at the age of 86.

Joan Green served alongside her late husband George, as Mayor, in 1984/85 and again in 1993/94.

Mrs Green was born in Rowlands Gill on May 24, 1927, the daughter of William and Phyllis Laidler. She attended Hookergate Grammar, where she enjoyed learning to play the piano and dancing.

In 1941 her home was bombed in the war. She flung herself over her baby sister Phyllis to shield her, before pulling the infant to safety.

At the age of 15, she joined the Women’s Junior Air Corps, where she learned various skills, including Morse Code and aircraft recognition. One of her most cherished memories was marching in Horse Guards Parade in the post-war celebrations. She continued to be involved in the Air Cadets until the mid 1960s, leaving as County Commandant of Northumberland and Durham.

In 1942, Mrs Green went to Comptometer School in Newcastle. She began her career at Thomas Hedleys, before moving to Strakers Ford and then an agency, assisting offices with audits.

She had met George, who was serving in the ATC, towards the end of the war, and they were married in 1948.

Mrs Green often helped her husband with committees, including Bellingham Show, East Morpeth Farmers, Morpeth Gathering, Tranwell Show and Wansbeck Show, among many others.

When he set up Green Agriculture Company in 1968, she worked by his side and the business continues to flourish today under the ownership of their son Ray.

The couple took on their Mayoral duties with huge enthusiasm, travelling the length of the borough for events.

After her husband’s death in 1997, Mrs Green continued her active community life and involvement in Inner Wheel, which she served as President and District Chairman. She was the instigator of its coffee stall at Morpeth Farmers’ Market, the children’s fancy dress competition at Morpeth Fair and the summer Beetle Drive.

Mrs Green also served as a tour guide at Morpeth Town Hall, and was a great blood donor, giving her first pint during the war, even though she was too young, and reaching 75 pints in 1981.

She was also known for her good sense of humour.

She moved into The Pines care home in 2010 and died there peacefully on February 3. Her funeral was held at St Mary’s Church, Morpeth.