Liz still to get freeman honour

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A WHITBY woman due to be made a freeman of the city of Newcastle will still be given the accolade even though she died just days before she was due to be sworn in.

Liz Shipley, of Hanover Terrace, died in James Cook Hospital on Monday 21 February due to a blood clot.

Her father, grandfather and great-grandfather had been awarded the accolade and a change in the last year meant women could inherit the title.

On Saturday she was supposed to have been sworn in but the Lord Mayor of Newcastle says the certificate can still be bestowed on her - something which her family are immensely proud of.

She was born in Chubb Hill to parents Ted and Grace who both taught at Whitby Grammar School, where Liz too would be educated.

After leaving school she joined her mother in the antiques business.

They had two shops, in Hunter Street and Silver Street, and also dealt in second hand books which would attract a wide range of customers.

Elder brother John, Lord Shipley the former leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “I remember them saying they had famous people coming into the shop including King Olaf of Norway who is a friend of the Marquis of Normanby and author Graham Greene.”

In her younger years Liz used to play in goal for Whitby Ladies Hockey Team, was a member of the Archery Club and used to go rifle shooting as well as being secretary of the Whitby Amateur Dramatic Society where both her parents were members from the 1950s.

Liz dabbled in country dancing and set up the basement of her house for woodcarving.

A life member of the Whitby Literary&Philosophical Society Liz was instrumental at Whitby Museum where she was lecture secretary and catalogued photographs and social history.

She could often be seen riding around town on her mobility scooter and in her spare time she was a bookworm and had just finished reading Churchill’s six volume history of World War Two and was halfway through a painting of a goldfinch.

Lord Shipley added: “She loved nature and nothing more than sitting in her garden looking out of the window watching the birds feeding on seeds and occasionally spotted rare birds.

“We are enormously proud of Liz and all that she achieved and are particularly grateful to the neighbours and friends for looking after her in Hanover Terrace for so many years.”

She leaves her pet cat Tobe, brothers Harry and John, niece and nephew Jon and Helen and great niece Holly.

The funeral will be at Scarborough Crematorium on Friday 11 March at 10.40am followed by a reception at the Stables.