It was with deep sadness that we learned of the death of David on Tuesday 15 August 2023. Many of us knew that he was struggling against illness, but also that he was being very positive and putting great faith into his treatment – so his passing still came as a shock.
David became involved with the Old Low Light in 2012 and in 2013 was a founding trustee of the charity ‘The Net North Shields’ which has managed the centre since then. In November 2014 he became chair of our trustees of ‘The Net’ a post he held until earlier this year when he stepped down to focus on his health and recovery.
David’s commitment to the charitable objectives of The Net was total and dedicated. His vision was to turn the Old Low Light into a sustainable community asset which would benefit both directly and indirectly the people of North Tyneside and North Shields. David’s hard work and behind-the scenes efforts helped the Old Low Light to flourish. With his many connections to local businesses, the local authority, and numerous other charitable organisations David was able to bring many groups and individuals together to achieve this goal. What mattered most to David was the welfare of the people in the community. At the opening of an exhibition David watched the interaction between visitors and volunteers and said ‘History and heritage are great… very interesting, but it is how they make people feel, how they bring people together and the good they do when they are together which makes this place (The Old Low Light) important’.
Despite being the chair of The Net, David only ever saw himself as one trustee and one volunteer among many. To benefit as many people as possible David was driven by a desire to make connections with people and to involve those people in a project which benefits the whole community. Whenever he was at the Old Low Light, he always stopped to talk to and thank other volunteers for their hard work and efforts. He would also chat to customers and visitors, and explain to them it was their simple act of popping in or buying a cup of coffee that was key to making Old Low Light a success. One of the last times we all saw David was at our Christmas party, a happy and celebratory event, as our volunteers had won the ’Spirit of North Tyneside’ award which he was delighted to announce.
To say David will leave a big hole is a massive understatement. But this is tempered by the fact that we have had the pleasure of his stalwart support and good company for so long. We will now do our utmost to ensure the Old Low Light continues to grow. If our Heritage Centre can successfully carry on along the path so well prepared by David, then that will be the best way we can honour his memory.
Our love and thoughts go to David’s wife Anne and to all his family. They will be left reeling, but we hope the knowledge that David was so very highly respected will be of some small comfort to them in this most difficult time.
On behalf of the Old Low Light Staff, Volunteers and all the Trustees our deepest and most sincere condolences.
David’s funeral will be held at Holy Saviours Church on Tuesday 29th of August at 12.30pm.
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