Trubutes pour in for community champion Dot Harrison

A leading light in helping to turn a South Tyneside estate around has lost her fight with cancer.

Friday, 24th August 2018, 6:00 am
Dot Harrison, centre, with fellow Horsley Hill Residents Association members, from left, Coun Eileen Leask , Leanne Picken, Lawrence Fox and Maureen Fox

Dot Harrison, also known as Dot Moseley, loved the Horsley Hill in South Shields, where she grew up and lived all her adult life.

When the area took a dip - with homes boarded up and people refusing to move in - Dot, along with a team of fellow residents, launched the Horsley Hill Residents’ Association.

The group were passionate about the area and determined to make it a place where people wanted to come and live.

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Family day trips, fun days and encouraging people to look after their gardens through the launch of an annual gardening competition all become fixtures on the calender - led by great-grandmother Dot.

Paying tribute to the 74-year-old, mum-of-three, who lost a short-battle with ovarian cancer on August 16, her daughter Donna Moseley said: “She used to do everything for us. She looked after all of us and when the grandkids came along, she looked after them so we could work.

“When she was diagnosed with cancer, she was more bothered about us, than herself. That is the kind of person she was.

“My brother Neil died in January from a heart attack and I don’t think she ever recovered from that.”

“My mam lived on Horsley Hill all of her life and loved the area. When homes started to get boarded up and no one wanted to live here, she and a few others got together to start the residents’ association.

“She loved being part of the group.“

Dot was also an active campaigner who lobbied hard for improvements on the estate -including a new community centre to be built, bus services and improvements to the Hill Square itself.

Horsley Hill councillor and South Tyneside Council leader, Coun Iain Malcolm, said: “Dot was determined to improve the life of residents and worked with a range of agencies to ensure the local environment was improved.

“She was a quiet woman, never criticised nor complained but simply saw the good in everyone. People went to her for support and it was always freely given.

He added: “A shy and reserved woman, she was content to let others take the limelight but many of the improvements in the area were achieved because Dot quietly but effectively worked to see them happen.

“In many respects Dot probably didn’t appreciate how crucial she was to many of the improvements in the area but she can rest in peace knowing she made a difference and the community is today a sadder place for her passing. “

Dot’s funeral service will take place on Tuesday, at Harton Cemetery, at 12.15pm.