A top honour for volunteer

A volunteer who has dedicated nearly seven decades to help improving housing conditions in the borough has stood down.

Margaret Grey, of North Shields, has stood down from the Square Building Trust after almost 66 years service.

The 86-year-old was invited to join the trust on her 21st birthday in April 1949, and in recognition of her dedication, the trust committee agreed to appoint her as honorary president – the first ever for the trust.

Margaret said: “I have been truly privileged to serve on the trust which has always worked hard to provide high quality homes for those in need.

“To be made honorary president was a total surprise but I was delighted to accept. I now feel it is time to hand over to the new generation of trust members and I wish them, and all our present and future tenants, all the very best.”

Margaret was presented with a special certificate from the chairman, Bill Southern, at the trust’s AGM at the Grand Hotel in Tynemouth.

Bill said: “It’s remarkable that Margaret has served this long on the committee. Her contribution to the work of the trust is much appreciated and the committee wanted to show its gratitude by making her the first honorary president.”

The Square Building Trust was established in 1929 by the men of the bible class at St Columba’s (then Presbyterian now UR Church) in response to dire housing conditions in the area at the time.

The trust now has 120 properties.