It had been a fantastic trip down memory lane for Doreen, who always enjoyed getting out and about to the various Folk and Writting Groups with Roy.
I didn't know Doreen well personally, and so Sue Sutherland has put together with Roy a short account of Doreen's life for the Acoustic Rotherham Blog and Web Site.
You will be able to find two tracks of Doreen reciting a couple of her well known poems on the Acoustci Rotherham News Page HERE
Doreen Bottomley…… A Life’s Story.
Doreen was born Iris Doreen Coney on the 27th of November 1925.
Her father was called Friend Coney, which was a recognised Christian name in those days. Her mother was Miss Alt and we think her Christian name was Susan and she lived in Rawmarsh.
Her sister Joyce (Wells) lives in Folkstone aged 89 and Joyce’s husband was head gardener for the Fitzwilliam’s at Wentworth Woodhouse.
Their birth-place was High Green in Sheffield . They both grew up at Newton Chamber’s houses at Brookhill in the Chapletown area. Both of them were lucky to have been born, as Friend sustained a bullet wound through his head in the first world war and covered up for dead in 1918. He twitched and they uncovered him and sent him off to the hospital.
They moved to Thorpe Hesley where she went to Primary School and won a scholarship to the Girls High School in Rotherham. Following this Doreen attended the Rotherham Technical College to study a course of shorthand and typing. She was appointed to the R.B.C. Youth Employment Bureau.
She was married twice. Her first marriage 1948 was fraught with difficulties but however they had a son David Powell. She divorced him and brought up her son alone. She later married Terry Bottomley whom Doreen described as ‘ A loveley man’. He suffered a stroke after only three months of marriage and died after nine long years of caring by Doreen.
Her son David Powell was born in 1952 he is disabled and married is to Kathleen.
Doreen and Roy have had many special occasions with them and more recently celebrated their 84th and 75 th birthdays at the Gardener’s Rest at Neepsend.
Doreen and Roy met through performing poetry at the Red Deer Public House, Pitt Street Sheffield in 1993. They also went to the Rotherham Metro writer’s group at Nellie Dene’s and the Last Mountain Writer’s Group at Crystal Peaks plus numerous folk music events but only became an item in 2003/4.
Doreen’s poetry performances were second to none and she will be loved and remembered for this by so many people. She made us all laugh and reflect on how we view others.
Her last attendance was ‘Hearts of Steel’ at the Civic on Monday night and she had really loved the whole day. Of course she wondered where Roy was but then that’s what we all wonder. Ray Hearne’s last image of her is of Doreen being helped by Barrie into Sue and Barrie’s car at 10.30 at night and Roy doing his walk about as usual.
She died overnight and Roy woke up thinking she looked peaceful at 12 ‘o clock lunchtime Tuesday thinking it was eight in the morning it being a dark dismal day.
Her next engagement would have been on her birthday November 2011 when she planned to marry Roy Blackman in a civil ceremony at a registry office somewhere.
Her poetry and prose will live on forever. God Bless Her.