It is with a heavy heart we would like to pay tribute to our Chairman Lorna Windham who sadly passed away recently. 

Lorna was a founding member of Hive Storytellers, having been a Director of Community Arts Project North East CIC, who set up the original group Hive Radio Storytellers, with funding from the National Lottery. Lorna guided the group to become an independent constituted group in 2019.

Her drive, enthusiasm, and creativity has enabled us to work on many amazing projects, achieving more than we ever dreamed was possible. She has left us with a huge legacy of work that we can all be proud of.

When asked to describe Lorna, one of the first words from group members is ‘Inspirational’ followed by a mix of ‘Talented, professional, Determined, Caring, Visionary, Lovely Lass, Creative, Encouraging and Organised to perfection (always a Plan A and a Plan B!) A wordsmith! Thoughtful, Sensitive, a Guiding Light, Imaginative and just a great Teacher.’

Lorna, ever the writer,

would gather words kindly –

then set them to work.

(written by Terry Quy)

Our members have achieved so much with Lorna’s support and guidance and have many happy memories

John

I’ll always remember Lorna and Dave when I first met them in 2014, when Diane, Ben and I were trying to bring the Bede train disaster to life, they had so much confidence in what we were trying to do, nothing was too much trouble, when she wrote the story of the 7.05, and her positivity, especially when I was absolutely terrified standing in front of a microphone, I never thought in my wildest dreams the things we have achieved in the last ten years,

She will always be alive in my head and my heart  

Ann

The day I first joined ‘Hive’; it was a Tuesday night – April 30th 2019

I remember Lorna’s enthusiasm – as Diane, Lorna and Ben, were planning ‘The Tenth Bord’ at the time. I so enjoyed acting with her in that play; it was very special – in the St Hilda’s Pithead on June 28th 2019.

The rehearsals of ‘100 not out’ in her garden during Lockdowns were also fun and unforgettable. Lorna’s focus helped us all to raise our standards, for which we are all eternally thankful.

She was innovative and tireless in her work.

Andrew

As for memories, there are so many, such as her actually crying with laughter (a rare and precious moment) when one of her monologues was played back to her that I’d recorded, or how very impressed I was with her organization skills for our group trip down to London for ‘Dodge & Twist’, or encouraging compliments she gave me from the very first time we met, when after the first read through she came up to me to ask;

Lorna; So, how long have you been doing am-dram as a hobby Andrew?

Me; Err, well… this is the first attempt I’ve ever made at it.

Lorna; NO. REALLY!? You sounded like you’d been doing it for years…

That was a MAJOR confidence boost for me. I shall miss her guidance and help in structuring my writing, and so much, much more besides.

Mick

Lorna’s imagination, creating characters and writing short stories that were believable.

not only to children, but adults as well. Remember the play or was it a pantomime, at Cramlington Library. (great fun). Her advice to use small sentences and always have conflict in my writing will stay with me forever. When I first read my poem The Ship to the group, I had planned to make it into a song, but Lorna said ‘just read the words’ and she was right.

Diane

When I first met Lorna, I had recently changed career, and was starting out on a new journey in radio and audio production. Lorna has supported me all the way, and has been such an amazing friend and inspiration to me over the years. We have worked on so many great projects that I cannot pick a favourite, I will remember how much I enjoyed our collaborations, with many laughs, and poignant moments. We talked many times about the group and our pride in all those that have joined the Hive Storytellers, and those that have supported the group from the side-lines. Her memory will guide us in the future in whatever direction we take.

RIP Lorna xxx