Death of Heysham village campaigner

Barbara Verhoef.
Barbara Verhoef.

A leading light in the fight to preserve the heritage of Heysham has died, aged 83.

Barbara Verhoef was instrumental in setting up the Heysham Heritage Association.

In 1990 Barbara and her husband Ronald battled against a planned coastal development on the fields north of Heysham village, rallying hundreds of villagers against the plans.

After the campaign was successful, Barbara and others decided to carry on and work together for the heritage of Heysham, forming the Heysham Heritage Association.

The group has since helped the National Trust to take over Heysham Head and the Cliffs, and been involved in opening a Heritage Centre in the village.

Barbara served as secretary and treasurer for 20 years organising numerous fundraising and other social and heritage events.

She also oversaw the running of the centre and organised an annual outing for volunteers to historical sites in the north west.

“Her enthusiasm, energy and commitment for the cause knew no bounds,” said John Holding from the Heysham Heritage Association.

“We are most grateful for what she has achieved and we will endeavour to continue the good work well into the future.”

Barbara passed away on December 31 in Ferncross Residential Home. She was married to Ronald and had two children Gillian and Nicola, and three grandchildren.