‘We all owe her an enormous debt’ - tributes to volunteer Dot Ashmore who ran village youth club for 40 years

Dot Ashmore on her 90th birthday.

Dot Ashmore on her 90th birthday. - Credit: Archant

A woman who helped shape the lives of dozens of young people in Great Ryburgh and was made an MBE for services to youth, has died at the age of 93.

Dot Ashmore outside Buckingham Palace where she collected her MBE.

Dot Ashmore outside Buckingham Palace where she collected her MBE. - Credit: Archant

Dorothy Ashmore, commonly known as Dot, helped to run the youth club in Great Ryburgh for more than 40 years, from 1960, and was known as 'a second mother' to many who attended.

Her efforts were recognised when she received an MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2000.

Her son David Ashmore, 69, who lives in Little Snoring, said: 'For years people were saying mum deserved a medal and she was incredibly proud to be made an MBE.

'She was also very humble and not one to talk about herself too much, so many people never knew about her MBE.'

Dot Ashmore with Great Ryburgh Football Club.

Dot Ashmore with Great Ryburgh Football Club. - Credit: Archant

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Mrs Ashmore was born in Birkenhead, Merseyside.

She met her husband Ernie, who was from Great Ryburgh, when he was stationed at West Kirby with the RAF.

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They married in 1944 and moved to Great Ryburgh. David was their only child.

Mrs Ashmore worked in two shops in Great Ryburgh, raised money for the village hall, was a member of the Women's Institute for more than 60 years and was the coach of Great Ryburgh Football Club in the 1960s.

In an article in The Pink Un on March 15, 1969, sports reporter J.H. Phillips writes: 'Whoever heard of a soccer team with a woman trainer? When I got the news and heard I would be meeting the lady I confess to visualising an Amazonian figure striding towards me, all biceps and grim ruggedness.

''This', said a voice, 'is Mrs Ashmore, the trainer' and I turned to face a person of obvious charm and attractiveness, totally devoid of all the qualities I had mentally constructed.'

With the youth club, Mrs Ashmore organised camping trips around Norfolk and in Cornwall and North Wales.

She also encouraged children from Great Ryburgh and the surrounding area to take part in sporting competitions around the country.

Keith Robotham, a former member of the youth club, nominated Mrs Ashmore for her MBE.

In his nomination form, he wrote: 'I sincerely feel Dot has been invaluable to Great Ryburgh and the surrounding villages for four decades, with a firm but kind influence over many hundreds of village youth, someone who would listen to your problem, a second mum to many, also keeping some of the wilder members on the straight and narrow, teaching the difference between right and wrong, resulting in very little crime in the Ryburgh area over the years.'

He adds: 'We all owe Dot an enormous debt which we can never repay.'

Mrs Ashmore died on December 22 after a short illness.

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