Following the passing of my dear friend and neighbour Dora Burkinshaw donations totalling £358 were made to Grenoside Reading Room, a cause close to Dora's heart.
I have known Dora since the 1960s when, as a small boy, I visited my Great Aunts, the formidable “Misses Ashton” next door on Woodside Lane. She was always kind and interested in us all. Our friendship continued until my own children, nieces, and nephews christened her “Dora the Explorer” after the popular television character.
My family and other Grenoside residents have had the privilege of being Dora's neighbours and friends, often sitting in her garden as she rested from her frequent weeding expeditions, drinking ginger beer or strong tea, whilst the children availed themselves of her never-ending supply of chocolate.
Dora's life story is an interesting one. She was born in 1918 as a blacksmith's daughter and she worked at Grenoside Hospital as Matron's Maid, for Lady Mabel Smith at Barnes Hall during WWII and for Arnold Scholey's dental practice in Firvale. She experienced happy times camping in the Lake District as well as sadness at the loss of her husband Stan, far too early in their lives. Her ability to live with so little and still be happy always impressed me.
As she became less mobile over the last few years she relied on visitors to let her know how things were going in Grenoside. She was always interested in the building work at the Reading Room and, once completed, she would ask me about the activities and the Monday Cafe (she particularly enjoyed the left-over lemon cake).
Thanks to Dora, her family and friends the funds raised will pay for new blinds to enable films and slides to be shown and to keep the sun at bay during the summer, which will be much appreciated by all our users for many years to come.
Grenoside Reading Room