Daughter’s tribute to mum

Doreen Whiteley
Doreen Whiteley
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The daughter of a former Shireoaks bowls secretary, who passed away after a long struggle with Parkinson’s, has paid tribute to her late mother.

Doreen Whiteley, from Cherry Tree Avenue, died on 27th October at West Villa Nursing Home in Retford.

Back row, far left is Doreen Whiteley, pictured with the Shireoaks Miners Welfare Bowling Club.

Back row, far left is Doreen Whiteley, pictured with the Shireoaks Miners Welfare Bowling Club.

After moving to the area in 1970, with husband Ronald and their only child Virginia, Doreen continued her life-long interest in bowls by joining the ladies team at Shireoaks Miners’ Welfare.

She became secretary and treasurer for more than 18 years before the onset of Parkinson’s disease prevented her from continuing in her role, and playing the game she loved.

Her daughter Virginia Barton said it was a difficult time for her mum, who was ‘heavily’ involved in the club.

“There was no-one better than my mum at collecting money for the club,” said the 61-year-old from Bigsby Road, Retford.

“She was honest and dedicated to the job she did. Both her and my dad dedicated their lives to the bowling club.”

“She was really good at getting people involved and getting youngsters to take up the sport.”

Doreen received the Bassetlaw Lifetime Achievement in Sport Award in 2002 and chaired the Dinnington Ladies Bowling League.

She founded the Huddersfield Ladies Bowling League, one of the most recognised leagues in the country, and became its first president a few short years after they moved to Meltham, near Huddersfield, in 1950.

“She was a natural mother,” Virginia said.

“She loved children and was very nurturing. She would have done anything for me.”

“I’m so proud by the way she brought me up and the way she taught me right from wrong.”

Doreen and Ronald met in London in 1945 after their mothers became friends in Yorkshire during the Second World War. Doreen’s mum had been sent to Yorkshire to recover following a bombing raid in the nation’s capital and Ronald’s mum suggested to him he should meet Doreen when he was visiting his aunt in London.

It didn’t take long for love to blossom and the two married on 26th March 1949.

Virginia said: “They had lots of friends my mum and dad – and they loved entertaining.”

“For their silver wedding in 1974 they even turned my bedroom into a bar!” Ronald passed away in 2006 after a short battle with cancer.

“They both enjoyed their lives together,” she added.

Doreen was presented with a medal by the Lord Lieutenant of Notts in 2008 for wartime service in the Land Army.

Her funeral was held at St Luke’s Church, in Shireoaks, on 4th November.