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Crich village cross


1st April 1925 – 8th July 2017



Doreen Mason who died on July 8th


Doreen Mason passed away peacefully at the Derbyshire Royal Hospital, having lived in Crich all of her life. She was very well known in the area and admired for her musical talents and for her work in the community. She was the daughter of George Flinders, a miner, and his wife Gertrude, who was a post lady for many years, and was the elder sister of Laurence [Sonny]. Doreen attended the C of E [Top] School in Crich and on leaving school she was employed by Stevenson’s Dye Works and Lea Mills. In 1943 Doreen married Charlie, her husband for fifty-four years until his sudden death in 1997, and bereaved are their two sons, Ray and Malcolm, their wives and families which gave Doreen a total of five grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. In 1967 she commenced work again, taking over the post round at the ‘top end’ of the village and continued until deliveries on the village rounds were transferred to the post vans. Her last employment was the Relief Warden at Westbank Avenue and the Tors.

At the age of five Doreen commenced piano lessons with Mrs Exton of Crich and won a cup for piano playing at school, gaining a mark of 90%. The headmaster, Mr Heywood, filled the cup with lemonade for Doreen to go around and let all the pupils have a drink. When the war started she was having lessons on the church organ from Mr Walter Glossop, the organist, and took over as organist at the Mount Tabor chapel when her uncle was called up for war service. In addition to being the organist she became treasurer, secretary and Sunday school superintendent before it closed on Easter Sunday 1983. She recalled recently that the last hymn sung at the service was Thine Be the Glory Risen Conquering Son, and added ‘We brought the roof down’.

After the Mount Tabor closed, Doreen was asked to play at Fritchley Congregational chapel. She subsequently assisted as organist at Crich church and became organist at the services in Wingfield Park, all of which she continued doing until shortly before her death. In 1980 Doreen also became accompanist for the R.J.N. Male Voice Singers, attending weekly practices and twenty to twenty-five concerts each year. She remained with them until they ceased in January last year. There was never any doubt over Doreen’s love for music and her willingness to share her talent or assist organisations in the village. I recall returning from a concert in Nottinghamshire with the R.J.N. Singers one evening and calling at a pub for light refreshment. When we entered the pub there was an empty room with a piano which she promptly began to play, and before the end of the evening the room was full to capacity with the locals joining in the singing and asking if she would return the following week.

Doreen’s contributions to the community also supported the welfare of the residents. The Crich Parish Welfare Committee started the Evergreen Club which met on Friday afternoons in the Parish Room. In 1953 she was asked to join the committee and subsequently became Assistant Secretary, organising the activities of the club which ranged from playing whist and dominoes to having sing-songs, excursions to places of interest and reciprocal visits to other clubs. The club eventually closed in 2010 due to lack of membership.

Doreen’s generous voluntary services were recognised in 2010 when Derbyshire County Council honoured her with a Certificate of Excellence in the Community Award, and on 14th August 2016 she was presented with the CACN Community Award in appreciation of the valuable support to the community of Crich and its surrounding area for more than 80 years.


Stan Smith