Wednesday 3 December 2008


Richard Buchanan has written that our member Dot Lawrence had died - She was well into her 80s.
Dot was interested in many aspects of Greenwich history - and had been active in saving an archive of electrical engineers and cable makers, Johnson andPhillips.
At least she will be spared a twilight life, something an active person like herself would have hated.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dot Lawrence was her usual busy self during November 2008, and asking after other people’s heath; but in the last days of the month she failed to answer her telephone. She had died at home of heart failure, at the age of 81. Active to the last, she avoided a decline which she would have hated.
The ‘Celebration’ of Norah Doreen Lawrence was at Eltham Crematorium, Falconwood at 11.30am on Wednesday 17th December. Although the hymn ‘And did those feet in ancient time’ was sung it was not a religious service, other music being ‘The Lark Ascending’ by Vaughan Williams and the song ‘Long Ago and Far Away’. Barry Gray gave the address, emphasising her strength as a campaigner – which he had seen at first hand over defeat of the plans for the East London River Crossing and its road through Oxleas Wood. She and eight others, who had raised funds by mortgaging their homes, took the case to the High Court. It was headed “Mrs N D Lawrence and Others vs the Minister of Transport” - one Michael Hazeltine. He did not stand a chance! From there it went to Brussels where Dot button holed the Italian commissioner, saying that the EU should not be spineless but stand up to the British Government – it did.
She was born in Poplar, though her family had soon moved to Jackson Street by Woolwich Common where she grew up. During the Second World War, she volunteered as a Junior Clerk in the ARP at Shrewsbury House. She later worked for some years for a firm of Solicitors in Powis Street, J.D. Langton & Passmore; then, when they moved thither, Piccadilly. They had taken their Woolwich archives with them, but when space got tight, Dot rescued them and brought them home.
Dot was always very efficient herself, and expected others to be also. She belonged to, and was active in, an impressive number of societies and groups in and about Woolwich, including, of course, ours. Barry Gray said how good a secretary to People Against the River Crossing she had been in its most active period. In his conclusion he said that her real memorial was Oxleas Wood and Woodlands Farm, peaceful, with no road through them.
Donations in her memory may be made to the Woodlands Farm Trust:
c/o Welham Jones Funeral Directors, 4 Belmont Parade, Green Lane, Chislehurst Kent, BR7 6AN

Dot was always very efficient herself, and expected others to be also. She was one of the first to promise me a piece for the 'Shopping' Book. However, I committed a deadly sin by not fully including all her piece about shopping. I received a frosty reception, at my apology. But she was quick to forgive and once again she was her own friendly self. She was always helpful and had good suggestions for other projects we might follow.
She had promised a piece about Sweets and Schooldays, but alas we shall never know what she got up to when she was young, nor what were her favourite sweets. Farewell Dot.