Tribute to village eyes and ears

Monica Urquhart
Monica Urquhart
Share this article

THE Whitby Gazette’s Goathland correspondent – who for many years was the eyes and ears of the village – has died.

Monica Urquhart (88) passed away last week in Hull Royal Infirmary after a short illness.

Her funeral will be held a week tomorrow at 2pm at St Mary’s Church in the village followed by burial in the churchyard.

Mrs Urquhart moved to Goathland with her husband, retired clergyman Donald in 1972. The former rector of Rowley and rural dean of Howden in East Yorkshire, still preached at services in the Whitby area up until his death in 1980.

Mrs Urquhart became heavily involved in village life following her move and for many years right up until her death, was the village correspondent for Goathland, regularly sending news to the Whitby Gazette.

After her husband’s death, the dog lover set up a garden centre and cafe with friends on the road between Egton and Sleights which she helped run for a number of years.

And in her spare time Mrs Urquhart was also a keen actress and had been an extra in Heartbeat as well as being an active member of Whitby Amateur Dramatic Society (WADS) for 20 years.

She sung in Goathland Choir and was a keen Scrabble player – her family say she could beat anyone.

WADS member Helen Argument told the Whitby Gazette: “She was always the most gentle and calm person. Monica was always exactly the same. She was one of the calmest people I’ve ever met.

“She brought a lot of grace to a character and she played a whole variety and she was marvellous with her accents.

“She was always a friend to everybody, both her own age group, the one below and the young ones. She was like a Queen Mother.

“If anyone had any problems she would sit and just listen. She was such a calming influence.

“It makes me sad she has gone.”

Mrs Urquhart’s son Charles told the Whitby Gazette his mum was a real character who would be greatly missed by all.

“She loved to keep in touch, people used to phone her with all their news,” he said. “She loved it and she kept mostly up to date right up until the end.

“She was very strong minded. She was brought up three or four miles from the nearest village as a child and she wouldn’t move from where she was living in Goathland three quarters of a mile up a track.

“She just wasn’t used to living in villages because she said she could see other houses.”

Whitby Gazette acting editor Jon Stokoe added: “Monica epitomises what our correspondents are all about – keen, friendly and dedicated.

“All the team in Bridge Street will miss her and I am sure Goathland will too.

“Our best wishes go out to her family.”

Mrs Urquhart leaves behind three sons, Andrew (69), Charles (67) and Bob (65), 10 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.